25 Easy Weeknight Dinners

All of us are looking for easy weeknight dinners. Busy weeknights demand quick and easy meals.

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Who has time to spend hours in the kitchen cooking dinner after a long day?

Whether you work a job outside the home, have a work-at-home job, or work hard at home every day managing your home and family, finding dinner meal ideas for the week that are also easy weekday meals is essential.

Weeknight dinner ideas are all over the internet, but are there any fun, easy recipes or creative dinner ideas that are tried and true as weeknight meals? Absolutely!

The 25 easy weeknight dinners on this list of easy dinner recipes will give you and your family plenty of variety so that you never get bored with dinner.

Are you ready to make dinner exciting (and easy!) again? Let’s go straight to these easy weeknight dinners.

Source: damndelicious.net

1. Sheet Pan Nachos

Nachos are one of our favorite easy weeknight meals.

You can surprise your family on Taco Tuesday by serving nachos for dinner instead.

The best thing about nachos is that they’re completely customizable. You can serve ground beef nachos, beef fajita nachos, chicken naches, or even just plain cheese nachos.

Serve your sheet pan dinner nachos with all of the fixings, including pico de gallo, guacamole, cilantro, jalapeno peppers, and sour cream.

Here’s a tip. If you make sheet pan chicken fajitas, save the leftovers to make these yummy sheet pan chicken nachos the next day.

Source: saltandlavender.com

2. Easy Black Bean Chili

One of our favorite ways to make chili is a vegetarian black bean chili or white bean chili, but when you want chili with ground beef, this recipe will hit the spot.

This is a genuine homemade from scratch black bean chili recipe, and it will not disappoint your guests or family.

The spices in this black bean chili are cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, sea salt, and black pepper.

This black bean chili is loaded with veggies, including garlic, onion, black beans, mild green chilis, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, and fire-roasted tomatoes.

Serve this chili with sour cream, avocado, chopped green onions, and shredded cheddar cheese.

Source: theendlessmeal.com

3. Shrimp and Pineapple Stir-Fry

We love a good shrimp weeknight dinner recipe, so this shrimp and pineapple stir fry recipe is ideal.

Most of us could benefit from eating a lighter meal, and stir fry is the perfect light meal and healthy dinner.

This shrimp stir fry dish is loaded with veggies such as sugar snap peas and red bell pepper, and the sesame seeds and chopped pineapple add interest, crunch, and flavor.

Feel free to add whatever other veggies you love, including carrots, asparagus, bok choy, baby corn, and mushrooms.

The delicious pineapple stir fry sauce is made from pineapple juice, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, minced ginger, garlic, sea salt, and sriracha sauce.

Source: wholeandheavenlyoven.com

4. Tuscan Ravioli Soup

Do you love cooking soup in your Instant Pot for dinner? If so, you’re going to love this savory Tuscan ravioli soup.

To make this Italian soup, you need Italian sausage. Alternatively, you can use ground turkey Italian sausage, or even ground beef if you’re in a bind.

This soup is loaded with delicious veggies, including sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, yellow onion, and baby spinach (or chopped kale).

Source: howsweeteats.com

5. Chicken Salad

When you want an easy dinner that is light, chicken salad is one of the best weekday dinner ideas.

This easy green salad is made with leftover rotisserie chicken (you can also use chicken breasts or chicken thighs) and it’s loaded with delicious crunch and flavor.

The hot bacon dressing is to die for, and the combination of sweet and savory is out of this world.

Besides the chicken and spring mix salad greens, this salad has tons of other veggies and even some Medjool dates.

With avocado, pickled onions, and corn, this chicken salad is full of nutritious vitamins.

Goat cheese and sliced almonds add an additional boost of protein to this meal.

Source: ourlifetastesgood.com

6. Taco Pie

When it comes to easy weeknight dinner recipes, it’s hard to beat a good casserole.

This taco pie recipe will satisfy all of your cravings, and you can even make it for Taco Tuesday to mix things up a bit.

For this taco pie recipe, seasoned ground beef and refried beans are baked between two giant flour tortillas.

The tortillas are topped with shredded cheddar cheese (or Mexican cheese) and plenty of fresh veggies.

This Mexican food dish is so easy to make, and putting it together is similar to making quesadillas except that you bake the finished dish.

Source: norinesnest.com

7. Easy Italian Grilled Cheese

A grilled cheese sandwich is a quick and easy weeknight dinner (and it’s comfort food), but why not change things up with this Italian grilled cheese?

To make this yummy weeknight dinner, you need thick slices of olive oil artisan bread, melted Munster cheese and provolone cheese, fresh juicy tomato slices, pesto, fresh basil leaves, baby spinach leaves, and thin pepperoni slices.

That’s a little more exciting than a plain old grilled cheese made with American cheese, right?

You can use homemade pesto or buy a store-bought pesto.

Source: halfscratched.com

8. No Peek Chicken

No peek chicken is a one pot recipe and is guaranteed to become a new favorite for your family’s table.

We love that this recipe calls for Zatarain’s Long Grain and Wild Rice Mix because this rice mix has tons of flavor.

Cream of mushroom soup and cream of celery soup make this casserole super creamy, and the only seasoning you need comes from garlic powder and a box of Lipton Onion Soup Mix.

You can make no peek chicken with chicken breasts or use a combination of chicken breasts and chicken thighs (or leg quarters).

You can make this in your slow cooker or Instant Pot.

Source: cilantroandcitronella.com

9. Fried Rice Vermicelli

Instead of opting for take-out for dinner, you can quickly whip up this tasty rice vermicelli stir fry in less than 15 minutes.

To make this Asian dish, you need vermicelli rice noodles, extra virgin olive oil, a shallot (or chopped green onions), garlic cloves, minced ginger, a carrot, and cabbage.

For seasoning this Asian noodle dish, all you need is sea salt, sugar, soy sauce, and a pinch of red pepper flakes.

If you want to add some protein to this recipe, you can use chicken, tofu, shrimp, or steak.

Source: midwestfoodieblog.com

10. Mexican Flatbread

This list has a few Mexican food and Tex-Mex recipes, but we couldn’t resist adding this decadent Mexican flatbread pizza.

To make this Mexican flatbread, you need a homemade flatbread crust (or you can use a store-bought crust), refried beans, black beans, taco sauce (or tomato sauce), delicious veggies, and gobs of cheddar cheese.

All you have to do is top this delicious Mexican flatbread pizza with tortilla strips and avocado, and you have a yummy vegetarian weeknight dinner.

Source: spendwithpennies.com

11. Beef Stir-Fry

When you’re planning a stir fry recipe, it’s easy if you stay focused on the basic stir fry formula: protein, vegetables, starch, and sauce.

For example, if you go to a restaurant that cooks Mongolian-style food (think Genghis Grill), rice bowls or pasta bowls are made when you choose your meat, veggies, sauce, and starch.

For veggies, try zucchini, yellow squash, broccoli, carrots, green onions (scallions), red bell pepper, green bell pepper, and more.

Starches can include white rice, brown rice, or noodles.

The sauce for this beef stir fry recipe has minced ginger, fresh orange juice, garlic cloves, low sodium soy sauce, sesame oil, and brown sugar.

This beef stir fry recipe with sauce can easily be modified to use shrimp, scallops, or chicken. Just be sure you adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Source: cupcakesandkalechips.com

12. Maple Sesame Salmon

Anytime we can bring salmon to the table, you know it’s going to be the perfect dinner to end the day.

This salmon dish is made using a savory marinade sauce.

For the glaze for your salmon, you need maple syrup, soy sauce, dry powdered ginger, chives, and toasted sesame seeds. Crushed red pepper flakes in the fish give this seafood dish a nice kick.

Serve your finished salmon with cauliflower rice, basmati rice, or brown rice. Add a side of broccoli or asparagus to complete this delicious salmon meal.

Source: mybakingaddiction.com

13. Fettuccine Alfredo

Are there people who don’t love an easy dinner such as fettuccini Alfredo? Seriously, this is such an indulgent meal and it’s comfort food at its finest.

The secret to a good fettucini Alfredo is to use some of the pasta water to make your Alfredo sauce.

This easy Alfredo sauce uses parmesan cheese, heavy cream, unsalted butter, and Italian seasoning.

It’s super easy to make this pasta recipe a hearty meal. All you need to do is add strips of grilled chicken breast or plump grilled shrimp.

Serve with garlic bread and a green salad and you’re ready to feed royalty!

Source: thespruceeats.com

14. Toad in the Hole

A classic English dish, toad in the hole is made with pork sausage that is cooked in Yorkshire pudding and topped with rich, creamy gravy.

We love this recipe because it serves an entire family and it’s super easy to pull it all together.

How did this recipe get its unusual name? Most food experts believe that the name came about in the 1800s because of the way the sausages look in the pan.

Source: cookingclassy.com

15. Taco Soup

Taco soup is an easy dinner that can feed a huge family or be a go-to on your list of easy weeknight dinners for two.

We love this particular taco soup recipe because it’s incredibly hearty.

Do you need another reason to love this taco soup recipe? How about this: you can use canned or frozen veggies to make this zesty soup.

This taco soup recipe has both black beans and pinto beans, as well as corn, jalapeno pepper, garlic, yellow onion, diced tomatoes with green chiles, and beef broth.

Spices used are smoked paprika, chili powder, dried oregano, cumin, and a packet of dry ranch dressing mix.

You can use ground beef, ground turkey, or ground chicken to make this taco soup.

Consider this recipe for your Instant Pot or slow cooker.

Source: pinchofyum.com

16. Asian Weeknight Noodle Bowls

When you make Asian noodle bowls, it’s easy to make a double (or triple!) batch and do meal prep for the week.

Easy weeknight dinners and easy dinner recipes can easily double as the next day’s lunch, too.

The creamy sesame sauce is packed with tons of flavor and these sesame noodle bowls are perfect for meal prep.

The chicken is perfectly browned, and these noodle bowls are loaded with nutritious veggies like salted edamame, cool and crispy cucumber bits, and garlic.

Feel free to customize these noodle bowls with the protein you like. Try steak, tofu, and even a chopped boiled egg.

Source: cookingclassy.com

17. Easy Chicken Tostadas

Mexican food is always welcome, and chicken tostadas are an easy treat to make for a busy weeknight dinner.

This recipe for tostadas calls for shredded rotisserie chicken (or chicken breasts), fresh lime juice, ripe avocado, refried beans, Rotel diced tomatoes, and shredded romaine lettuce.

Spices for this recipe are ancho chili powder, garlic powder, and cumin.

Be sure to have the favorites like pico de gallo, sour cream, salsa, and guacamole ready to serve.

Tostadas are incredibly versatile, so you can use this recipe to create an endless variety of Tex-Mex meals.

Source: littlespicejar.com

18. Steak Fajita Bowls

The day after you make chicken fajitas or steak fajitas, you can use the leftovers to make these delicious steak fajita bowls.

This recipe is served with garlic lime rice, but you can also make cilantro rice if you prefer that flavor.

The garlic lime rice is made with fresh lime juice and minced garlic.

Feel free to load these bowls up with delicious veggies and side dishes, including tomatoes, pico de gallo, grilled corn, grilled veggies, black beans, sour cream, and salsa.

Serve these yummy little steak fajita bowls with chopped cilantro if you like cilantro.

Source: therecipecritic.com

19. Easy Cheeseburger Soup

This easy dinner recipe for cheeseburger soup has won an award and it’s no wonder. This easy recipe is remarkably delicious.

Although it’s loaded with creamy cheese, this soup also has plenty of veggies, including diced celery, chopped onion, shredded carrots, and diced potatoes.

As it’s written, this recipe calls for either Velveeta cheese or shredded cheddar cheese.

You will need to make a roux for this soup, but don’t let that intimidate you. A roux is just butter and flour that you cook until bubbly, about 3-5 minutes. This soup would be perfect for the Instant Pot.

Source: simplystacie.net

20. Cheeseburger Pie

When you’re craving a cheeseburger but want to feed the entire family, this impossible cheeseburger pie recipe will help you save dinner.

For such a delicious and indulgent dish, this version of cheeseburger pie is deceptively simple to make.

You need ground beef to make this cheeseburger pie, or you can use ground turkey or ground chicken.

The recipe also calls for shredded cheddar cheese, Bisquick, eggs, onion, milk, and a packet of onion soup mix.

Source: budgetbytes.com

21. Skillet Sausage and Rice

Do you love Cajun flavors? If so, this quick and easy Cajun sausage and rice skillet may become a new family favorite recipe.

To make this skillet weeknight dinner, try to find some Andouille sausage, which is the sausage used most commonly in Louisiana cooking.

In terms of spiciness, you can use mild, medium, or spicy hot Andouille sausage.

For a mild dish, skip the cayenne pepper listed in this recipe.

You can use brown rice to make this recipe, but keep in mind that brown rice takes longer to cook.

Feel free to add some juicy shrimp (or grilled shrimp) to make this almost a jambalaya!

Source: justataste.com

22. Muffin Tin Lasagna

Easy weeknight recipes that are fun to eat are always welcome. These little muffin tin lasagna cups are as cute as they are delicious.

The secret to making the perfect muffin tin lasagna bites is to use wonton wrappers instead of lasagna noodles.

The wonton wrappers cook more quickly than pasta and they fit down perfectly inside the muffin tins.

To create these whimsical little lasagna bites, you need a good marinara sauce. You can make your own homemade marinara sauce or use a high-quality store-bought marinara sauce such as Classico Riserva.

With parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese, and shredded mozzarella cheese, these lasagna bites will be gobbled up quickly.

Source: mountainmamacooks.com

23. Easy Turkey Burgers

If you’re craving a hamburger or cheeseburger but you’re watching calories and fat, opt for an easy turkey burger instead.

When it comes to the perfect turkey burger, simplicity rules the day.

These homemade turkey burgers are created with salt and pepper, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, butter, and olive oil.

To make this turkey burger a cheeseburger, you can use American cheese, cheddar cheese, provolone cheese, or whatever other types of cheese you love.

Garnish with tomato slices, lettuce, pickle, and onion.

Source: gimmesomeoven.com

24. Chicken Enchiladas

When it comes to enchiladas, they can be quite time-consuming.

Fortunately, there are lots of easy recipes out there and this recipe makes chicken enchiladas one of our favorite easy weeknight dinners.

When you use this recipe, you can easily customize your enchilada fillings however you like.

Also, these chicken enchiladas freeze well and they’re excellent for meal prepping.

The recipe calls for a homemade red enchilada sauce, but you can also use a store-bought enchilada sauce if it’s easier for you.

These chicken enchiladas with red sauce have black beans, green chiles, white onion, and Mexican shredded cheese.

Source: platingsandpairings.com

25. Weeknight Thai Beef

Most people have at least one favorite Thai food dish, and your new favorite Thai food may become this easy Thai beef that is ready in just 30 minutes.

Seasoned with chiles and basil, this is one of the easy weeknight dinners that your family will request again and again.

This recipe has jalapeno peppers, garlic, chicken broth (you can also use vegetable broth), brown sugar, and scallions (green onions).

Serve your Thai beef over basmati rice, brown rice, or noodles. Garnish with a lime wedge so that you can squeeze fresh lime juice onto your finished dish.

Do you want some bonus easy weeknight dinners for family or easy dinner ideas? These 15-minute quick weeknight meals in the video below are some fun easy recipes that may change your life.

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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
Cassie Marshall
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