Short on time? We’ve rounded up our best quick dinner ideas; easy recipes that will save you time and effort, specifically designed for dinnertime on busy weeknights.
Learn how to cook smart and simple! These easy dinner ideas include tasty vegetarian meals, speedy stir-fries, timesaving sheet-pan dinners, taco night recipes, quick and nourishing soups, tasty chicken dinners, comforting pasta dishes, cozy one-pan skillet meals, and a few lifesaving instant pot dinners!
Table of Contents
- Meatless meals, Fast!
- More Easy Dinner Ideas for Vegetarians & Vegans
- Speedy Stir Fry!
- Quick & Easy Pasta Recipes
- Dinner Ideas for Taco Night!
- More Favorite Taco Dinners!
- Quick Soups and Stews!
- More Speedy Soups!
- Life-Saving Instant Pot Recipes!
- Quick and Easy Fish Dinners
- Chicken Dinners Ideas- we’ve got you covered!
- Sylvia’s Expert Tips for Easy Dinners!
- 65 Easy Dinner Recipes: Easy Lo Mein
Meatless meals, Fast!
Meatless meals don’t get any simpler than this! Full of healthy veggies, these nourishing vegetarian and vegan meals come together quickly and easily.
These Quick and Easy Soba Noodles are loaded with vegetables, ginger, garlic and delicious Asian flavor. Keep it vegan or add your favorite protein.
A quick and easy dinner idea, Baked Enchilada Beans are made with homemade, 5-minute enchilada sauce and Mexican cheese, and baked in the oven until warm and melty. Turn them into burrito bowls with yellow rice, pickled onions, tomatoes, and avocado for a delicious, healthy dinner!
This cozy Creamy Polenta with Wild Mushrooms, garlic, and sage is a lifesaver! A simple, easy meal that can be made in under 30 minutes.
Crispy BBQ Tofu Sandwich topped with cool and creamy cilantro cabbage slaw, that can be made in under 30 minutes – plus it is vegan!
An easy Enchilada Casserole with layered tortillas, roasted corn, cheese, black beans and our 5-minute blender enchilada sauce. Keep it vegetarian or add chicken! An easy dinner idea that takes very little hands-on time!
Easy Italian Baked Beans
These Italian Baked Beans are a godsend in our house! A one-pan meal- just assemble and bake! Made with cannellini beans, kale, marinara sauce and melty cheese with just 10 minutes of hands-on time before baking in the oven until golden and bubbling. Serve with bread and dinner is ready!
Easy Lo Mein! On the table in under 20 minutes! Loaded up with healthy veggies, this VEGAN dinner recipe is fast and easy, perfect for busy weeknights!
More Easy Dinner Ideas for Vegetarians & Vegans
- Spaghetti with Quick Tomato Sauce
- Cabbage Steaks
- Roasted Cauliflower Pasta with Toasted Walnuts, Parsley, Garlic & Lemon zest
- Caprese Pizza
- Black Bean Burgers (in under 30 mins!)
Speedy Stir Fry!
We love a good stir fry when short on time- think seasonal veggies plus a protein of choice. These easy stir-fry ideas never lack flavor!
Thai Basil Chicken is simple, fast and flavorful! Made with ground chicken (or ground turkey) it’s ready to serve in under 30 minutes.
Black Pepper Tofu with Bok Choy – a simple tasty vegan meal that can be made in under 30 minutes!
Need dinner in a hurry? Here’s a super tasty recipe for Veggie Kimchi Noodles, stir-fried with lots of healthy veggies you probably have on hand. Keep it vegan, add an egg, chicken or shrimp! Crispy tofu is also a delicious option here! A fast and easy dinner recipe!
This Thai Green Bean Fry is full of crunch and flavor. Crunchy green beans and crispy tofu are spiced up with red curry paste, shallots, ginger and lemongrass for a quick, savory Thai-inspired meal. Vegan and GF.
Here’s a quick and easy recipe for Lemongrass Chicken that comes together in under 20 minutes, a flavorful Vietnamese-inspired dinner, perfect for busy weeknights. Sub tofu for the chicken!
Veggie Fried Rice is a quick easy dinner! Leftover rice is turned into a healthy dinner in no time flat! Made healthy with seasonal veggies and edamame, this Vegetable Fried Rice is highly adaptable recipe that can be made vegan, vegetarian or add chicken or shrimp- perfect for busy weeknight meals.
Need a quick, healthy dinner? Stir fry to the rescue! This flavorful Broccoli Stir fry can be kept vegan with Tofu (or substitute shrimp, chicken or beef). A fast and easy dinner idea that can be on the table in under 30 minutes. Healthy and nourishing!
Singapore Noodles are one of our favorites! Stir-fried rice noodles with curry, tofu and vegetables—a Chinese take-out menu classic – easy recipe, vegetarian and full of authentic flavor!
Full of healthy veggies and this dinner recipe can be made in under 30 minutes. Vegetarian, Gluten-free and Vegan adaptable, it is a fast and easy weeknight meal- great for using up leftover rice and veggies in the fridge.
This adaptable Pad Thai can be made with tofu, chicken breast or shrimp. No hard-to-find ingredients, this recipe is stripped down to the basics. Once you have the ingredients gathered, this tasty weeknight dinner cooks in under 15 minutes!
- Cabbage Stir Fry
- Shrimp Stir fry
- Asparagus Mushroom Stir-Fry
- Stir-fry Tofu, Brussels Sprouts & Mushroom Bowl
Quick & Easy Pasta Recipes
Store-bought gnocchi to the rescue! Baked Gnocchi with tomato sauce, kale, Italian sausage and melty mozzarella cheese – a delicious, easy one-pan dinner that can be made in 30 minutes!
This can be made in one pan and requires no pre-boiling of pasta. 15 minutes of hands-on time before baking! Perfect for weeknight dinners! Vegan-adaptable!
This No-Boil, Baked Rigatoni with Butternut Squash, Kale, Sage and Pecans can be made in one pan, with 30 minutes of hands-on time before baking in the oven. A cozy vegetarian dinner, perfect for fall.
This easy meal is a “go-to” around here! Cacio e Pepe is a fast, flavorful four-ingredient pasta recipe made with pantry staples that can be topped with your favorite seasonal veggie (or protein!). We love it loaded up with broccoli (cooked right in the pasta water!). A quick dinner that can be made in under 30 minutes!
Here’s a quick and simple recipe for Easy Zucchini Pasta. Grated zucchini melts into a flavorful succulent sauce, perfect for cradling linguini or your favorite pasta! Enhanced with lemon, black pepper, parmesan and garlic you’ll have dinner on the table in 30 minutes!
Caramelized fennel, sautéed mushrooms and wilted spinach combine perfectly with pan-seared potato gnocchi and topped with creamy goat cheese. Savory rich flavors, yet simple to put together using store-bought gnocchi!
Dinner Ideas for Taco Night!
Wondering what to make for dinner tonight? We think every night could be taco night. Here are a few of our favorite taco recipes that whip up quick and easy.
EASY Baked Tacos!
Kid-approved, these are for those of you who have hungry mouths to feed and need to get something on the table ASAP. Not only are they simple and quick to put together, but they are also really adaptable. Keep them vegetarian and affordable by using organic refried beans as the protein, or if so inclined, add left-over rotisserie chicken, or browned, seasoned ground beef.
Our “go-to” healthy weeknight dinner, Fish Tacos can be made in 30 minutes flat. These can be grilled or roasted and feel free to sub tofu for a vegan option!
These Vegetarian Rajas Tacos are made with strips of poblano peppers, onions, and corn in most delicious sauce! Fast and easy!
Middle Eastern Salad Tacos with spiced chickpeas, hummus and a mound of lemony salad, topped with fresh herbs and scallions. Vegan & sooooo Delicious!
More Favorite Taco Dinners!
- Korean Tacos
- Salmon Tacos
- Cauliflower Tacos with Mole Sauce (Vegan!)
- The Ultimate Vegan Breakfast Tacos or these Healthy Delicious Breakfast Tacos! ( we love these for dinner!)
- Chipotle Portobello Mushroom Tacos (made on a sheet pan!)
Quick Soups and Stews!
Soups and stews are a godsend when it comes to timesaving meals- the leftovers can be repurposed into lunch!
This 15-minute wonton Soup is made with a flavorful ginger broth loaded with wontons and healthy bok choy – a fast and easy weeknight dinner!
Heart-warming Poblano Corn Chowder is creamy, vegan and full of late summer flavor. Corn, potatoes, and poblano peppers with Mexican spices, in a creamy vegan base. Easy to make and deliciously addicting.
Heart-warming Poblano Corn Chowder is creamy, vegan and full of summertime flavor. Corn, potatoes, and poblano peppers with Mexican spices, in a creamy vegan base. Easy to make and deliciously addicting.
This Chicken tortilla soup is full of flavor and loaded up with healthy veggies and topped with optional homemade tortilla chips. A fast and easy dinner that can be made on the stovetop or in your instant pot.
More Speedy Soups!
- Best Homemade Tomato Soup
- Tortellini Soup
- Potato Leek Soup
- Feel Better Chicken Soup
- Miso Soup with Mushrooms and Tofu
- Hot and Sour Cabbage Soup
- White Chicken Chili
Life-Saving Instant Pot Recipes!
Cozy up with a comforting bowl of Butternut Squash Risotto with Leeks and Spinach made with very little fuss, in your Instant Pot pressure cooker. Vegan-adaptable and Gluten-free.
Full of healthy veggies and vegan and gluten-free adaptable! Cooks on your stovetop or in an instant pot! A healthy, vegan weeknight dinner the whole family will love!
Instant Pot Mushroom Stroganoff – a simple, easy vegetarian weeknight dinner that is creamy, hearty and full of delicious depth and flavor! Vegan Adaptable!
This Instant Pot Mac and Cheese is so creamy and delicious and couldn’t be any easier! Your kids will love it!
This coconut Lentil Curry can be made in an Instant Pot or on the stovetop. Infused with fragrant Indian spices, this recipe is not only delicious, it is is vegan and gluten-free!
Quick and Easy Fish Dinners
Quick and easy, Air Fryer Salmon Bites are served with a miso ginger dipping sauce and ready in about 15 minutes! Perfect for bowls, salads, and snacks! Gluten-free.
This quick and easy Seared Tuna with Sesame Crustis crispy golden on the outside and rare on the inside in just 10 minutes flat! Serve it with our Asian cucumber Salad.
A simple pantry recipe made with canned salmon, that can be whipped up in 20 minutes, perfect for midweek meals! Serve with a side of Crunchy Asian Slaw!
A simple meal with Tomatoes, Basil, Garlic Lemon- a fast and easy weeknight dinner that is healthy and delicious!
Delicious and healthy Greek Salmon Bowl with rice, greens, olives, tomatoes, cucumber, tzatziki and greek dressing.
Shrimp Stir Fry with broccoli florets in a flavorful, fresh orange ginger sauce. Healthy and easy, this dish will be on your dinner table in under 30 minutes!
Chicken Dinners Ideas- we’ve got you covered!
Perfect for an easy weeknight dinner these Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas are simple and quick. Chicken strips are rubbed in a flavorful marinade then roasted in the oven with peppers and onions until juicy and lightly charred.
Baked Chicken Shawarma can made with either chicken or tofu (or both!). Turn them into healthy Shawarma Bowls or Shawarma Wraps… your choice!
This can be made in a pressure cooker or on the stovetop! A simple, delicious one-pot meal that can be made in 25 minutes! Paleo and GF adaptable, this delicious weeknight dinner can be prepped ahead, or cooked ahead for the busy work week!
Mediterranean Chicken with chicken thighs or chicken breast, healthy veggies, chickpeas, olives and herbs. A delicious sheet pan dinner that is easy to make and easy to clean up!
One Skillet Creamy Orzo Chicken with Bone-in chicken thighs and artichoke hearts- a deliciously cozy dinner, made with simple pantry ingredients, perfect for busy weeknights.
This Thai Chicken Curry recipe is bursting with authentic Thai flavor and can be made in 30 minutes on the stove or in your Instant Pot! A quick and easy dinner recipe the whole family will love. Serve it with jasmine rice and save the amazing leftovers for lunch! Vegetarian-adaptable.
Make this with chicken, fish or tofu (or some of each for mixed households) and load it up with healthy veggies. Just 15-20 minutes of hands-on time. So easy and full of soul-satisfying Indian flavors, this weeknight dinner is perfect for all.
Sylvia’s Expert Tips for Easy Dinners!
- Batch cook a soup! On the weekend, make a pot of soup for the week that you can have on hand for quick nourishing meals.
- Comb through your pantry! If you are like me, you probably have a lot of dry beans or grains that need using up. I try to pick one bean and one grain each week and batch-cook them on Sunday for the week to make bowls- adding fresh veggies.
- Make a sauce or dressing! Whether it’s our flavorful peanut sauce, Szechuan sauce or a homemade salad dressing
- Prep your veggies! On Sunday, put on some music or a podcast and prep your veggies so they are ready for you to use! You could even roast veggies ahead!
- Batch cook a salad. I love having healthy salads on the ready for hunger emergencies! Here’s our collection of vegan, make-ahead salads that hold up well in the fridge!
Hope you enjoy these Easy Dinner ideas…please leave your favorites in the comments below!
Short on time? We’ve rounded up 65 Easy Dinner Ideas designed for busy weeknights. These healthy meals include recipes for quick healthy pasta, taco night, veggie-loaded stir-fries, one-pan skillet meals, sheet pan dinners and much more: Lo Mein!
- 4–5 ounces dry lo mein noodles – typically thin egg noodles, but sub any noodle you like- soba, GF noodles, whole wheat linguini, etc. If using fresh noodles, weight will be different, basically use enough for two servings.
Lo Mein Sauce:
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce (GF Braggs)
- 2 tablespoons Chinese cooking wine (or mirin, or sub 1 1/2 tablespoons water mixed with 1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon honey)
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup, sugar or honey
- 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/2– 1 teaspoon sriracha ( or chili paste)
Lo Mein Stir Fry:
- 2 tablespoons wok oil, peanut oil or coconut oil
- 1/2 onion, thinly sliced ( 1 cup)
- 2 cups sliced mushrooms
- 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
- 1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 cup matchstick carrots
- 1 cup shredded cabbage
- 1 cup snow peas or green beans
Garnish: scallions, sliced
Optional Additions: Crispy Tofu , chicken breast, shrimp, thinly sliced beef…etc.
- Set water to boil and cook the noodles according to the directions on the package.
- Stir together the Lo mein Sauce ingredients in a small bowl (see notes)
- Prep any and all veggies and set near the stove.
- In a wok or large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and mushrooms and saute 3-4 minutes, stirring continuously. Turn heat to medium, add the garlic and ginger and saute 2 minutes. Add the bell pepper, carrots, cabbage and snow peas and stir often, just letting them get tender, but still crisp, 3-4 minutes.
- Add the noodles and give a good stir and toss a few times to incorporate.
- Add the Lo Mein Sauce and stir and toss continuously 2 minutes. If it gets too dry add a little splash of water to loosen.
- Serve in two bowls, garnish with green onion.
Lo Mein will keep up to 4 days in the fridge!
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 464
- Sugar: 14.4 g
- Sodium: 717.6 mg
- Fat: 16.6 g
- Saturated Fat: 2.4 g
- Carbohydrates: 67.8 g
- Fiber: 7.2 g
- Protein: 13.8 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg