These 50 easy and delicious dinner ideas are the perfect dinner recipes to make any time you ask yourself, “What should I make for dinner tonight?”
50 Easy Dinner Ideas
Why is it figuring out tonight’s dinner can be one of the biggest challenges of the day? No more! The next time you find yourself limited on time and asking yourself, “What should we eat for dinner tonight?,” just look to this list of dinner ideas.
These all-in-one dinner ideas are ready to swoop in and save the day. Some are cooked on a sheet pan, made in the slow cooker or Instant Pot, or made in just one pot or skillet. And most all of these dinner ideas require 10 minutes of prep (yay less dishes) and are ready in 40 minutes or less!
This dinner ideas recipe list provides the time Ito bust the boring dinner rut and slay busy weeknights by showing who’s the dinnertime boss now.
Pasta Dinner Ideas
1. Spaghetti alla Carbonara
The simplicity in this creamy sauced spaghetti pasta is thanks to just 4 ingredients (that you likely already have on hand), and a hearty dose of black pepper. Bonus? You can whip it up in just 20 minutes.
2. Homemade Hamburger Helper Cheeseburger Macaroni
Call it what you want — cheeseburger macaroni, homemade Hamburger Helper, or hamburger mac and cheese. Whatever this recipe is, forget the box and make it from scratch, because it’s delicious and it can be on your table in 30 minutes flat.
3. Chicken Piccata Pasta
This chicken piccata pasta’s lemony white wine, butter and caper sauce makes a light and snappy coating for linguine with tomato bursts and mushrooms for an easy pasta dinner that won’t weigh you down.
4. Pasta with Turkey Sausage and Peas
This healthy recipe for pasta with turkey sausage and peas makes a fast Italian skillet dinner for any night of the week.
5. Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo (or Stovetop)
This kid-friendly, comfort food classic is a super convenient, one-pot meal made even faster in the pressure cooker (or on the stovetop).
6. Pasta Puttanesca
Puttanesca is an Italian classic that takes basic pantry staples and transforms them into a light but full-bodied sauce over spaghetti or penne in mere minutes.
7. One-Pot Penne Pasta with Ground Turkey and Spinach
Looking for an easy ground turkey recipe? This one-pot pasta comes together in just 30 minutes and is packed with good-for-you ingredients like spinach, tomatoes, and ground turkey.
8. Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli with Whole Wheat Pasta
A hint of stone ground mustard gives a bit of unexpected tanginess to creamy melted cheese mixed into whole wheat pasta, broccoli florets, and shredded chicken.
9. Gnocchi with Pomodoro Sauce
This simple tomato sauce gets tons of flavor from herbs steeped in olive oil that lusciously coats potato pillows of gnocchi, topped with fresh balls of mozzarella.
Soup Dinner Ideas
10. Easy Taco Soup
This easy taco soup recipe can be made in 30 minutes on the stove top, Instant Pot, or slow cooked in the Crock Pot for a healthy Mexican-inspired, make-ahead, one-bowl meal.
11. Creamy Bean Soup with Sausage
This comforting and hearty creamy bean soup with kielbasa sausage goes from cutting board to soup bowl in about a half an hour.
12. Beef Stew with Butternut Squash (Instant Pot, Stovetop or Slow Cooker)
Tender chuck roast beef pairs with classic stew vegetables plus butternut squash for extra nutrition in this velvety sauced stew with instructions for making in the Instant Pot, slow cooker, or stovetop.
13. Instant Pot Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
Thanks to the Instant Pot pressure cooker, this easy chicken with wild rice soup is rich, creamy (without any added cream), and fast to make, and it tastes even better the next day, making it a great addition to your meal prep plans.
14. Sausage and Gnocchi Soup
This easy gnocchi soup calls for canned tomatoes, packaged gnocchi, and sausage with Italian flavors for a favorite, weeknight-friendly soup you’ll be making for years to come.
15. Broccoli Cheese and Potato Soup
This creamy and cheesy potato soup with broccoli comes together quickly for a crowd-pleasing weeknight meal that everyone will love.
When there’s no time to cook, let the slow cooker do it for you! With a little planning ahead at night or in the morning, this healthy and cozy chili practically cooks itself.
Asian Recipe Ideas
17. Instant Pot Orange Chicken Lettuce Wraps
These better-than-P.F. Chang’s orange chicken lettuce wraps recipe is incredibly easy to make and does double duty as a self-serve, low-carb appetizer or as a healthy main meal that’s quick to make and even more fun to eat.
18. Ramen Noodles with Marinated Steak and Broccoli
Ramen noodles aren’t just for soup anymore. Here’s how to hack every college student’s favorite noodle recipe and give it an instant upgrade by turning it into an easy and healthy weeknight meal ready in just 30 minutes or less.
19.Sesame Shrimp with Asian Greens Rice Bowl
I could honestly eat this quick and healthy dish on a weekly basis and not tire of it. It features shrimp seasoned in sesame flavors and then stir-fried with rainbow swiss chard, spinach, edamame, and green onions, served over brown rice and it just always hits the spot.
20. Thai Chicken Coconut and Rice
This easy Thai Coconut Chicken and Rice dinner has just the right amount of spice from jalapeño and ginger to flavor this creamy coconut sauce for a simple all-in-one meal.
21. Beef with Broccoli
This incredibly easy but incredibly flavorful recipe for one of the most popular Chinese dishes can easily be made gluten-free or traditional style.
22. Shrimp in Thai Coconut Curry Sauce
Coconut milk flavored with peanut butter and red curry paste makes a classic Thai-inspired, creamy-sweet sauce with just the right amount of heat. When tossed with shrimp and bell peppers, it makes for an easy dinner that’s on your table in 30 minutes.
23. Healthier Sweet and Sour Pork
This version of the classic Chinese takeout dish is made healthier thanks to sautéed lean pork tenderloin instead of deep-fried, and a master stir fry sauce sweetened with balsamic vinegar and honey.
Mexican Dinner Ideas
24. Chipotle Lime Shrimp Bowls
Quick, easy, healthy, and totally flavorful, these chipotle lime shrimp bowls with brown rice, black beans, tomatoes and avocado have just the right level of adobo spice with a touch of honey.
25. Just Like Taco Bell Tacos
Forget the drive-thru, this is how to make a beef tacos recipe that tastes just like Taco Bell tacos for an easy Taco Tuesday dinner at home any night of the week.
26. Chicken Fajita Foil Packet Dinners
Quick and easy to prep, these chicken fajita foil packet dinners with a simple homemade fajita seasoning mix are cooked on the grill or in the oven and ready to eat in just about 30 minutes.
27. Breakfast Tacos
If you aren’t having breakfast for dinner at least once in a while, you’re totally missing out. I could eat these breakfast tacos any time of day.
28. One-Pot Mexican Shrimp with Orzo and Zucchini
This easy, flavor-packed shrimp, zucchini, and orzo pasta recipe is an oldie but a goodie. It’s also a one-pot pasta and a 30-minute meal, so what more could you want on a busy weeknight?
29. Easy Shredded Chicken and Zucchini Tacos
Easy shredded chicken tacos get a healthy veggie upgrade when diced zucchini is added in for a fast dinner any day of the week.
Pork Dinner Ideas
30. Mediterranean Grilled Pork Chops with Tomato Salad
A fresh and flavorful Mediterranean tomato salad serves as a salsa when it tops juicy grilled pork chops for a 30-minute, quick and easy dinner.
31. 30 Minute Pork Scallopini with Lemons and Capers
Tart lemons and briny capers give this sauce its signature taste over lightly fried, boneless pork cutlets for an easy Italian dinner that’s on the table in just 30 minutes.
32. My Grandma’s Easy German Schnitzel
I’m always excited about dinner when schnitzel’s on the menu! My Grandma’s authentic recipe is a classic.
33. 30-Minute Garlic and Herb Rubbed Pork Tenderloin
Fast dinners don’t come together much quicker than this garlic and herb rubbed pork tenderloin recipe that’s seared on the stove then finished in the oven for a lean and juicy main dish cooked in just 30 minutes.
Seafood Dinner Ideas
34. Sheet Pan Mustard Roasted Salmon with Vegetables
A tangy mustard sauce flavors this sheet-pan baked salmon recipe with caramelized asparagus and potatoes for a super simple dinner with minimal clean-up.
35. Citrus Shrimp and Avocado Salad
This simple but totally delicious salad features pan-seared citrus-flavored shrimp, creamy avocado, and the crunch of sliced almonds for amazing textures and flavors.
36. Broiled Miso Cod with Vegetables
This sheet-pan dinner couldn’t be easier. Simply marinade the fish in a simple miso sauce then place in the oven for a fast and favorite meal.
37. Baked Salmon with Creme Fraiche
Salmon recipes can be cooked many ways, but in my book, there’s nothing as easy as oven baked salmon in white wine and lemon for a healthy dinner, or to make and use for meal prep all week long.
Vegetarian Dinner Ideas
38. Chana Masala with Spinach
This chana masala chickpea stew gets an added vegetarian boost with spinach added to the earthy, Indian-spiced tomato curry sauce.
39. Teriyaki Tofu and Broccoli Stir Fry
This plant-based stir-fry is not only super healthy, it’s incredibly easy to throw together
40. Pasta Pomodoro
Light and easy to make with fresh tomatoes, this simple Southern Italian tomato sauce takes just 20 minutes to make and is a terrific base for many Italian dishes.
41. Greek Chickpea Salad
Classic Mediterranean flavors are what make up this easy, no-cook Greek chickpea salad with fresh veg, heart-healthy fats, and bright herbs.
Chicken Dinner Ideas
42. Easy Chicken Marsala
Just add a side salad to this dish of golden brown chicken breasts with mushrooms and shallots in a lush, sweet and savory Marsala wine sauce makes THE BEST easy, 30-minute classic chicken skillet dinner.
43. Sautéed Chicken with Olives, Capers and Lemons
This delicious sautéed chicken gets its briny bite from olives and capers, and charred lemon slices add a bright and smoky flavor that’s to die for, and it’s ready in under 30 minutes.
44. Mediterranean Chicken and Quinoa Bowls
Chicken quinoa bowls have staked their healthy claim on quick and easy meal-prep dinners that are flexible enough to mix and match ingredients for take-to-work lunches that never get boring, too.
45. Easy Sheet Pan Tandoori Chicken with Vegetables
Traditional tandoori chicken is made in a clay oven, but this version of the classic Indian chicken dinner is baked on a sheet pan with Indian spiced vegetables for a complete meal any night of the week.
46. One Pot Creamy Chicken and Rice
This creamy chicken and rice casserole is a fast and healthy 30-minute meal made right on the stove top, making it a favorite one-pot dinner that feeds a family of four for under $10.
47. Lemon Chicken Thighs with Artichokes
This lemon chicken recipe makes juicy, bone-in chicken thighs with the Mediterranean flavors of white wine and artichokes for an easy chicken dinner ready in 30 minutes.
48. Baked Chicken Parmesan
Skip the skillet and make this healthy baked chicken parmesan dinner with marinara and melty cheese on a sheet pan instead. Tip: To really make it a meal, add some broccoli or broccolini to your sheet pan to roast alongside the chicken.
49. Easy Chicken Piccata
This easy chicken piccata recipe’s lemon-caper sauce is an Italian classic that can be made in just 20 minutes, making it everyone’s favorite dinner.
50. 30-Minute Caprese Chicken
You only need a handful of ingredients to make this beautiful and easy chicken. Serve over pasta, salad, or alongside your favorite veggies, and pretend it’s summer all year-long!
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo andtag me on Instagramwith #foodiecrusheats.
4.73 from 293 votes
THE BEST Caprese Chicken (30-Minute Meal)
With store-bought pesto, cherry tomatoes, leafy basil, and thick sliced fresh mozzarella, you can make this chicken caprese, skillet dinner in under 30 minutes.
Course Main Course
Keyword chicken caprese
Prep Time 10 minutes minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes minutes
Total Time 30 minutes minutes
- 2 chicken breasts , skinless and boneless
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 6 oz. jar DeLallo Traditional Basil Simply Pesto
- 4-6 slices fresh mozzarella or 6 ounces grated mozzarella cheese
- 8 cocktail or small tomatoes , sliced
- DeLallo balsamic glaze
- Fresh basil , slivered
Preheat the oven to 400° F.
Use a thin, sharp knife to slice the chicken breasts in half lengthwise. Season both sides with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat with the olive oil and butter. Once the butter has melted into the olive oil, add the chicken breasts to the pan, being careful not to crowd. Cook on each side until lightly browned and easily released from the pan, about 3-4 minutes each.
Slather the tops of each chicken breast with the basil pesto, about 1-2 tablespoons per chicken breast. Top each chicken breast with a slice of mozzarella and a few slices of tomato. Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook for 10-12 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. Remove from the oven and garnish with fresh basil and a drizzle of balsamic glaze.
Calories: 232kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 84mg | Sodium: 262mg | Potassium: 454mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1325IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 161mg | Iron: 1mg
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Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts
As an expert and enthusiast, I have personal experiences or expertise. However, I can provide information and insights on a wide range of topics, including the concepts used in this article.
This article is a compilation of 50 easy and delicious dinner ideas. It covers various cuisines and includes recipes for pasta dishes, soups, Asian recipes, Mexican dishes, pork recipes, seafood options, vegetarian meals, and chicken dinners.
Pasta Dinner Ideas:
- Spaghetti alla Carbonara: A creamy pasta dish made with spaghetti, eggs, cheese, and black pepper.
- Homemade Hamburger Helper Cheeseburger Macaroni: A homemade version of the popular boxed dinner, made with ground beef, macaroni, and cheese.
- Chicken Piccata Pasta: Linguine with a lemony white wine, butter, and caper sauce, along with tomato bursts and mushrooms.
- Pasta with Turkey Sausage and Peas: A healthy Italian skillet dinner made with turkey sausage, peas, and pasta.
- Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo (or Stovetop): A kid-friendly classic made with chicken and a creamy Alfredo sauce, either in the Instant Pot or on the stovetop.
- Pasta Puttanesca: A quick and flavorful Italian dish made with pantry staples like olives, capers, and tomatoes.
- One-Pot Penne Pasta with Ground Turkey and Spinach: Ground turkey, spinach, and tomatoes cooked with penne pasta in one pot for a quick and easy meal.
- Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli with Whole Wheat Pasta: Whole wheat pasta with melted cheese, broccoli, and shredded chicken, flavored with stone ground mustard.
- Gnocchi with Pomodoro Sauce: Potato pillows of gnocchi served with a simple tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella.
Soup Dinner Ideas:
- Easy Taco Soup: A Mexican-inspired soup made with ground beef, beans, corn, and spices.
- Creamy Bean Soup with Sausage: A comforting and hearty soup made with beans, sausage, and vegetables.
- Beef Stew with Butternut Squash (Instant Pot, Stovetop, or Slow Cooker): A velvety beef stew with classic stew vegetables and butternut squash, cooked in the Instant Pot, on the stovetop, or in a slow cooker.
- Instant Pot Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup: A rich and creamy chicken soup with wild rice, made in the Instant Pot.
- Sausage and Gnocchi Soup: A flavorful soup made with Italian sausage, packaged gnocchi, and canned tomatoes.
- Broccoli Cheese and Potato Soup: A creamy potato soup with broccoli and cheese.
- Slow Cooker Chili: A healthy and cozy chili that practically cooks itself in the slow cooker.
Asian Recipe Ideas:
- Instant Pot Orange Chicken Lettuce Wraps: A quick and easy recipe for orange chicken lettuce wraps, inspired by P.F. Chang's.
- Ramen Noodles with Marinated Steak and Broccoli: A twist on traditional ramen noodles, made with marinated steak and broccoli.
- Sesame Shrimp with Asian Greens Rice Bowl: Shrimp seasoned with sesame flavors, stir-fried with rainbow Swiss chard, spinach, edamame, and green onions, served over brown rice.
- Thai Chicken Coconut and Rice: A Thai-inspired dish with chicken, coconut, and rice, flavored with jalapeño and ginger.
- Beef with Broccoli: A popular Chinese dish made with tender beef and broccoli.
- Shrimp in Thai Coconut Curry Sauce: Shrimp and bell peppers cooked in a coconut milk-based curry sauce flavored with peanut butter and red curry paste.
- Healthier Sweet and Sour Pork: A healthier version of the classic Chinese takeout dish, made with sautéed lean pork tenderloin and a sweet and sour stir-fry sauce.
Mexican Dinner Ideas:
- Chipotle Lime Shrimp Bowls: Shrimp cooked with chipotle lime flavors, served with brown rice, black beans, tomatoes, and avocado.
- Just Like Taco Bell Tacos: A homemade beef tacos recipe that tastes like Taco Bell tacos.
- Chicken Fajita Foil Packet Dinners: Chicken fajitas cooked in foil packets on the grill or in the oven, with a homemade fajita seasoning mix.
- Breakfast Tacos: Tacos filled with breakfast ingredients like eggs, bacon, and cheese.
- One-Pot Mexican Shrimp with Orzo and Zucchini: Orzo pasta cooked with shrimp, zucchini, and tomatoes, flavored with Mexican-inspired spices.
- Easy Shredded Chicken and Zucchini Tacos: Shredded chicken tacos with the addition of diced zucchini for a healthy twist.
Pork Dinner Ideas:
- Mediterranean Grilled Pork Chops with Tomato Salad: Grilled pork chops topped with a Mediterranean tomato salad.
- 30 Minute Pork Scallopini with Lemons and Capers: Pork scallopini cooked with tart lemons and briny capers.
- My Grandma's Easy German Schnitzel: A classic German dish made with breaded and fried pork cutlets.
- 30-Minute Garlic and Herb Rubbed Pork Tenderloin: Garlic and herb-rubbed pork tenderloin seared on the stove and finished in the oven.
Seafood Dinner Ideas:
- Sheet Pan Mustard Roasted Salmon with Vegetables: Salmon baked with a tangy mustard sauce, served with caramelized asparagus and potatoes.
- Citrus Shrimp and Avocado Salad: Pan-seared citrus-flavored shrimp served with avocado and sliced almonds.
- Broiled Miso Cod with Vegetables: Cod marinated in miso sauce and broiled with vegetables.
- Baked Salmon with Creme Fraiche: Oven-baked salmon with white wine and lemon, served with a creamy creme fraiche sauce.
Vegetarian Dinner Ideas:
- Chana Masala with Spinach: Chickpea stew with spinach in an Indian-spiced tomato curry sauce.
- Teriyaki Tofu and Broccoli Stir Fry: A plant-based stir-fry made with tofu, broccoli, and teriyaki sauce.
- Pasta Pomodoro: A simple Southern Italian tomato sauce, perfect for pasta dishes.
- Greek Chickpea Salad: A no-cook salad made with chickpeas, fresh vegetables, and herbs in a Greek-style dressing.
Chicken Dinner Ideas:
- Easy Chicken Marsala: Chicken breasts cooked with mushrooms, shallots, and Marsala wine sauce.
- Sautéed Chicken with Olives, Capers, and Lemons: Sautéed chicken with olives, capers, and charred lemon slices.
- Mediterranean Chicken and Quinoa Bowls: Chicken quinoa bowls with Mediterranean flavors and a mix of ingredients for meal-prep dinners.
- Easy Sheet Pan Tandoori Chicken with Vegetables: Tandoori chicken cooked on a sheet pan with Indian-spiced vegetables.
- One Pot Creamy Chicken and Rice: Creamy chicken and rice casserole cooked on the stovetop.
- Lemon Chicken Thighs with Artichokes: Chicken thighs cooked with white wine, lemon, and artichokes.
- Baked Chicken Parmesan: Healthy baked chicken Parmesan with marinara sauce and melted cheese.
- Easy Chicken Piccata: Chicken piccata made with a lemon-caper sauce.
- 30-Minute Caprese Chicken: Chicken breasts topped with basil pesto, mozzarella, and tomatoes, baked in the oven.
These are just a few examples of the dinner ideas mentioned in the article. Each recipe offers a unique combination of flavors and ingredients to help you create a delicious and satisfying meal.