Need to find dinner recipes…fast? Try these easy dinner ideas! They’re healthy and all made in under 30 minutes.
The question we get asked most often is, “What are your favorite fast and easy dinner ideas?” We get it. Life is busy. There are 101 things to do, and adding cooking to that list can be stressful. But making delicious and healthy recipes doesn’t have to take all day! The best easy dinner ideas balance big flavor and quick cooking methods. Here we’re sharing fast dinner ideas you can make in 30 minutes or less. In many cases, making one of these easy dinner ideas is even faster than takeout!
Some pasta recipes stand a head above the rest, and this is one of them. Try this cheese tortellini in creamy marinara sauce! In just 15 minutes, you’ve got a pasta skillet that’s a literal symphony flavor. The fresh basil-infused marinara sauce is perfectly complimented with pillows of tangy goat cheese. (In fact, it’s like this baked goat cheese dip made into a main dish.)
Here's the very definition of easy dinner recipes: 5 Minute Tacos! Can dinner really be made in 5 minutes? Yes, dinner will materialize before your eyes! These tacos are filled with "chorizo-style eggs", which take on a meaty texture and flavor in a flash. Top them with salsa fresca, red onion slivers, cilantro & hot sauce, and prepare to be amazed.
Hello and welcome to the best healthy easy dinner around: the Hummus Bowl! At it’s base, this simple concept requires no cooking at all: layer a dollop of hummus with crunchy veggies and serve with pita wedges. It’s easily customizable and you can make it super basic or fancier with easy additions of ingredients.
Shrimp are one of the simplest paths to a fast and easy dinner, and this recipe makes them taste irresistible in minutes. Try this Cajun Shrimp! Toss these babies with a little Cajun seasoning and sauté them up in a skillet. The flavor is so savory, garlicky and irresistible, you’ll hardly believe the prep time: it takes only 5 minutes to put together! Pair it with a quick veggie side or salad and you’ve got dinner.
If there’s easy dinner recipe we lean on time and time again, it’s the mighty quesadilla. This Mexican and Tex Mex recipe is genius in its simplicity, from the golden tortilla outsides to its melty, gooey interior. This easy quesadilla makes a crispy, deliciously seasoned tortilla melt every time.
Who doesn’t love a good grilled cheese sandwich? Here’s one with a glamorous twist: the avocado grilled cheese.Simply adding an avocado and tomato to a standard grilled cheese makes it fit for serving to company! Although it’s a simple dish, grilled cheese can be gussied up as much or as little as you like.
You can tell by the shine on that creamy sauce that this one’s a good one. Welcome to one of our favorite ways to eat chicken: this Garlic Chicken recipe! The tender, juicy chicken breasts are coated in garlic powder, onion powder and smoked paprika, then cooked and smothered in a garlic cream sauce! Dinnertime win.
Next up in our fast and easy dinner recipes: garlic shrimp! The shrimp come out impossibly juicy with the best garlic flavor. The best part? It takes under 10 minutes to make. Yep, that’s pretty unheard of in dinnertime territory. Serve with pasta or couscous and a salad for a speedy meal. Also try Cilantro Lime Shrimp.
Here's a throw-together easy dinner recipe: Mediterranean Tuna Salad! Combine canned tuna with crunchy vegetables, feta cheese, olive oil and a punch of Dijon mustard for the most flavorful salad to hit your plate! Serve it with crackers as an easy lunch, or over greens for a quick dinner with pita bread and olives.
Here’s an easy sandwich recipe that hit the spot with both of us: the Avocado Club! It's full of umami flavor and so satisfying that it surprised us both. The combination of smoky, rich, hearty, crunchy and savory is so irresistible…you’ll want to eat it all over again once it’s gone.
Want a good retro-style fast dinner? Try this classic tuna melt: it’s the stuff dreams are made of! Between crusty bread is sandwiched a creamy, savory mess of tuna and crunchy veggies so perfectly seasoned that you won’t be able to stop taking bites.
Looking for a fast dinner recipe? Try this Blackened Tilapia! This Cajun technique for cooking seafood and meat makes it taste restaurant-style in minutes, ideal for fast and easy meals. Blackened seasoning has savory intrigue and makes a crispy darkened crust on the outside of the fish.
Here’s a quick dinner idea that’s always satisfying and works for nearly every diet. That’s right, the good old Burrito Bowl! We can thank Chipotle for its widespread popularity, but it really is a killer idea. Throw rice, veggies, and burrito fillings in a bowl and call it meal! You can make this one 15 minutes (really: we timed ourselves).
Here’s our ultimate fast and easy dinner recipe: Naan Pizza! Get this: it’s faster than delivery pizza, healthier, and it tastes better. So why order out when you can make tasty pizza in? Packaged naan bread is easy to find these days, making it easy to run to the store on a naan pizza run. You’ll never need delivery or frozen pizza again!
Here’s a genius trick that makes a fast and easy dinner with no cooking required. That’s right, no need to grab your pan and spatula. Try this Smoked Salmon Salad! It’s healthy, fresh, and 100% cook free. Imagine: savory smoked salmon, fresh greens, fluffy goat cheese dollops and a tangy shallot vinaigrette. It’s ideal for a summer meal al fresco or fast lunch: and it comes together in 15 minutes flat.
Here's an easy dinner recipe that sounds fancy: Cacio e Pepe! There’s something intoxicating about this shallow bowl of steaming pasta covered in salty, creamy sauce, black pepper and fluffy bits of Pecorino Cheese. This famous Roman pasta that’s blown up in world-wide popularity.
Here’s a fun way to cook shrimp without all the hassle of a shrimp boil: try Old Bay Steamed Shrimp! Truth be told, this method is a combination of boiling and steaming: but it results in beautifully succulent, seasoned shrimp. Get this: the cook time is only 2 to 3 minutes! This easy preparation is fun to do and results in a seriously easy dinner recipe.
Here’s an easy dinner idea for when you’re not sure what to cook: Chickpea Tacos! This plant based recipe does heavy lifting with a short cook time and big flavors. Garbanzo beans make a flavorful filling coated in cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, and lime.
It’s simple, it’s elegant, but it tastes like something you’d order at a restaurant: Sheet Pan Salmon and Asparagus! Roasting it up on a sheet pan with lemon slices and fresh herbs adds effortless flavor that feels fresh yet refined. This sheet pan meal is the perfect weeknight meal.
Got pesto? Here’s a great way to use it to make an impressive dinner recipe: Pesto Chicken! Combine basil pesto with a bit of cream and it makes a stunning fresh sauce for juicy chicken breasts! It’s a quick trick that makes an everyday dinner into something special, perfect for entertaining or just an easy weeknight meal.
This crispy tofu recipe is easy to make and comes out perfectly seasoned, with extra crunchy edges and a tender interior. There’s no need to even press the tofu! It’s actually pretty amazing that it can go from a tasteless blob to meaty, savory cubes in just 20 minutes.
This creamy spinach pasta recipe stars chewy al dente pasta and an irresistible Parmesan garlic cream sauce! The way the creamy sauce and garlic accentuate the leafy greens makes it one of our top vegetarian pasta recipes. Cozy up to a bowl and it’s positively life-giving.
Looking for a healthy and easy weeknight meal? Try this shrimp and broccoli!The pair are cooked with soy sauce and and rice vinegar until bright and savory. The contrast of the crisp tender broccoli against the juicy shrimp is really something. Serve it with rice or noodles to make it a complete meal that comes together quickly.
Here’s a quick and easy dinner recipe for weeknights: try these Mushroom Tacos! Portobello mushrooms have enormous savory flavor: throw them in a skillet with some punchy seasonings and they make plant-based magic. This recipe is for when you have just a few minutes to throw together a meal: combine those portobellos with creamy refried beans and the quickest slaw, and you’ve got dinner!
Looking for a fun way to mix up dinner? Try this salmon bites recipe! Salmon is tasty in a fillet and all, but have you ever tried slicing it into pieces before cooking? It makes perfectly seasoned bites that are simple to eat and perfect for serving with rice or over a salad.
This chickpea curry is the epitome of healthy weeknight dinners! It can be made in just 20 minutes, a speed record for sure. But there are no flavor shortcuts: it's bursting with garlic, ginger, cumin, and curry powder, with a bit of coconut swirled in for a creamy body. Serve with basmati rice and it's a true gem.
Here's the ultimate quick weeknight meal, a filling vegetarian dinner that comes together in 20 minutes flat. Meet this soba noodle bowl! It’s filled with stir fried broccoli, red pepper and onion, mix with a savory sauce with creamy peanut butter. Even better: eggs are scrambled right into the mix (like fried rice, but with noodles!).
Is there anything better than shrimp tacos? Add chips and salsa as a side, and we can’t think of much better. The cilantro sauce drizzle is creamy like ranch, but with cilantro and cumin. This easy dinner idea is fast enough for weeknights and fancy enough for entertaining: making it a double whammy.
Here’s a meal that consistently makes everyone who takes a bite say Wow. Try this Pecan Crusted Salmon! It has an air of restaurant-style fancy, but it’s fast and easy to whip up on a weeknight. It takes basic salmon to the next level, coating it in a crunchy topping of nuts, seasoned breadcrumbs, and Parmesan cheese. The flavors are elevated enough for dinner guests, but also tasty enough for kids to shovel in bites.
Here’s an easy dinner that’s basic but satisfies every time: Salmon Caesar Salad! Imagine: tender, perfectly seasoned chunks of salmon nestled with bursts of crunchy romaine, juicy cherry tomatoes and crunchy croutons. It’s all covered in a creamy homemade Caesar dressing that makes each bite absolutely sublime.
This recipe makes the humble solo meal into a delicious fast and easy dinner, resulting in a big batch all at once on a sheet pan! All the quesadillas are done at the same time, and they come out with a beautifully crispy exterior. In fact, it feels like a whole new version of this classic: like Quesadillas 2.0. Here's how to whip up a pan of baked sheet pan quesadillas that are so good, everyone will be begging for more.
This chickpea bowls recipe is a common repeat in our easy dinner recipes repertoire. In just 25 minutes, you have a fresh bowl of veggies that’s smothered in a tangy lemon tahini sauce. If you’re just starting to eat plant based recipes or have been eating them for years, this one is a truly tasty way to eat your veggies.
Looking for easy dinner recipes? When it comes to flavor and simplicity, this Honey Garlic Salmon delivers. The salmon is pan fried for brown, seared exterior, then baked in the oven until it’s perfectly tender. Drench it all in this sticky honey garlic sauce, a sweet savory glaze that adds layers of complexity in flavor.
Next up in our easy dinner recipes: this mushroom pasta! It's a fan favorite recipe because of the big flavor that's possible in under 30 minutes. Imagine: creamy goat cheese and savory mushrooms, seasoned with thyme and oregano and paired with the bite of chewy pasta. An absolute showstopper.
For this creamy mac and cheese, Greek yogurt is stirred in at the end, to give a creamy texture. Fresh spinach is gently wilted in for all the added nutrients without a strong flavor, and turmeric gives a tiny immunity boost and some extra color. And the flavor? Spot on delicious. The combination of cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese and fresh garlic makes it irresistible.
Introducing a favorite easy dinner recipe...this Black Bean Chili! It’s beyond simple to make, and the flavor is outstanding. It’s got a hint of smokiness to highlight the tangy tomatoes and savory black beans. Top it with your favorite toppings, and it’s so hearty and savory, you’ll forget it’s healthy, too.
Want a meal to impress…with a little kick? Try Shrimp Fra Diavolo! This Italian-style dish stars tender shrimp that swim in a garlicky, spicy tomato sauce. “Fra diavolo” translates to “brother devil” in Italian, alluding to the intense heat of this dish. But make it homemade and you can customize the spiciness to your taste!
Ready in just 30 minutes, we affectionately call this soup “pizza soup” because it tastes like liquid pizza! The pizza flavor comes in part from the San Marzano tomatoes, an Italian variety of tomato that’s available canned. Combine with fennel and smoked paprika, throw in some Tuscan kale to the mix, and you've got one delicious soup that reminds you of your favorite pizza pie.
Salmon is so quick to prepare and full of nutrients that it prominently features in our easy dinner recipes. Here this 10-minute baked salmon recipe makes for an ultra quick dinner, paired with a bright green pesto sauce. Serve with a whole grain like our pesto quinoa or rice.
Total time: 30 minutes
What people are saying…
Does this sound too good to be true: recipes that are easy AND taste good? Well let us assure you, it’s absolutely possible! Here are a few recent testimonials from readers who have emailed us about the easy dinner recipes they’ve been trying:
“My husband has a heart condition and I have borderline high cholesterol. My son bought me your cookbook and I am continuing to try new recipes from your book and website. While we still eat meat, we have cut back considerably. I have managed to lose about twenty pounds and my cholesterol has improved. This week I made your teriyaki stir fry and mushroom and goat cheese pasta. Both were TERRIFIC!” –Debbie
“My husband and I decided to take our family down the vegetarian road about 9 months ago. I used to LOVE cooking, but have been in a slump since we went vegetarian. Often I find vegetarian/vegan recipes try to do too much with too many ingredients. Well, tonight, the tides have turned! I made FOUR of the five sandwich recipes I got from your blog and every single one was a winner! I have not felt this satisfied in the kitchen in such a long time! ” –Terra-Leigh
Top concepts for easy dinners
Turns out, you can find dinner recipes made in less than 30 minutes with big flavor. These are recipes with fresh, high quality flavor that’s achieved without using cheap shortcuts. Outside of the easy dinners above, here are some of our favorite concepts for fast and easy dinner ideas for you to riff on:
Boil the tortellini according to the package instructions (fresh usually takes 2 to 3 minutes and frozen takes 2 to 5 minutes to boil). Then drain it.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, place the crushed tomatoes, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic powder, oregano, kosher salt, spinach, and whole basil leaves. Bring to a simmer, then cover and simmer while the pasta cooks or at least 10 minutes.
When the pasta is done and drained, add it to the skillet. Crumble in the goat cheese into the sauce and stir until a creamy sauce forms (if you’d like, save out a few crumbles for topping). Serve immediately.