The 15 Easiest Weeknight Dinners Ever (2024)

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Get dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes with these easy recipes.

By

Robin Shreeves

The 15 Easiest Weeknight Dinners Ever (1)

Robin Shreeves

Robin Shreeves is a food and beverage writer.

Learn about Simply Recipes'Editorial Process

Published January 13, 2024

The 15 Easiest Weeknight Dinners Ever (2)

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The 15 Easiest Weeknight Dinners Ever (3)

It's the new year, and if one of your intentions is to cook more and order takeout less, we're here for you. And if time is a barrier to getting a home-cooked meal on the table at night, you're in the right place.

We've scoured our site for these 15 dinners that don't involve too much prep or too many ingredients, yet are still satisfying, delicious, and fun. There's even a Jennifer Garner-inspired recipe that you'll turn to time and time again. You'll have these meals on the dinner table quickly so you can enjoy wholesome food with peace of mind.

  • Salmon with Brown Sugar Glaze

    The 15 Easiest Weeknight Dinners Ever (4)

    This salmon bakes in about 12 minutes and ends up with a crispy caramelized top thanks to the brown sugar glaze spiked with Dijon and honey. Steam broccoli in the microwave while the salmon bakes and you'll have dinner on the table in 25 minutes or less.

  • Chicken Fried Rice

    The 15 Easiest Weeknight Dinners Ever (5)

    This is a delicious dinner to make in a flash if you have leftover rice. Chicken and veggies fry quickly in a wok. An optional sprinkling of Chinese five spice powder kicks up the flavor. This dish rivals takeout in all ways except one: it'll be fresh and hot, whereas takeout will be lukewarm by the time you get it home.

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  • Sheet Pan Gnocchi with Zucchini, Tomatoes, and Bell Peppers

    The 15 Easiest Weeknight Dinners Ever (6)

    Feed (and please) a crowd in 30 minutes with gnocchi roasted with bell pepper, squash, garlic, and tomatoes topped with shredded Parm. You'll need two rimmed baking sheets to hold all the goodness, but they both go in the oven at the same time.

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  • Easy Avocado and Black Bean Quesadillas

    The 15 Easiest Weeknight Dinners Ever (7)

    Mash a ripe avocado. Open a can of black beans. Cook up some onion and bell pepper. Add it all to a tortilla with cheese to create a quick vegetarian quesadilla.

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    Continue to 5 of 16 below.

  • The 15 Easiest Weeknight Dinners Ever (8)

    A copycat of an Olive Garden favorite, this creamy soup takes a few shortcuts that the restaurant doesn't take, yet it's still as delicious. By using store-bought rotisserie chicken and refrigerated gnocchi, you can get this soup on the table in less than half an hour.

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  • Baked Ground Beef Tacos

    The 15 Easiest Weeknight Dinners Ever (9)

    This is the way to make a bunch of perfectly hot and crispy tacos all at once. Cook a ground beef filling and put the filled tacos on a sheet pan, then and bake for four to five minutes a side. The result? Everyone, including you, can start eating at the same time.

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  • Brown Butter and Sage Linguine

    The 15 Easiest Weeknight Dinners Ever (10)

    Dinner inspiration can come from anywhere, including a crime thriller mini-series. Jennifer Garner's character in The Last Thing He Told Me makes this linguine, and on her very real Pretend Cooking Show on YouTube, she recreates it for her fans. Linguine, butter, Parmesan, fresh sage, lemon plus a little salt and pepper are all you need.

  • Italian Beans and Greens

    The 15 Easiest Weeknight Dinners Ever (11)

    This dish tastes like it's been stewing for hours, but in reality, it's ready in a fraction of that. Beans and greens, or scarola e fa*gioli, is simple stew of escarole and canned cannellini beans. The greens stew in chili flakes, garlic, and broth before you add beans and finish it off with Parmesan. Crusty bread for soaking up the stew juices is a must.

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    Continue to 9 of 16 below.

  • Hamburger and Macaroni

    The 15 Easiest Weeknight Dinners Ever (12)

    So many quick dinners start with a pound of ground beef. For this one, brown the meat and make a sauce with canned diced tomatoes, Worcestershire, and seasonings while you boil the water and cook the pasta. You can customize with ground chicken or turkey, extra veggies, or topping with the cheese of your choice.

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  • Noodles With Tofu, Vegetables, and Lahtt Sauce

    The 15 Easiest Weeknight Dinners Ever (13)

    This is a quick, fuss-free, 5-minute meal with simple ingredients: quick-cooking noodles, frozen veggies, tofu, and jarred chili oil from the brandLahtt Sauce that has an umami-rich flavor and is all the seasoning needed for this satisfying bowl.

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  • Chorizo Sloppy Joes

    The 15 Easiest Weeknight Dinners Ever (14)

    Trade in ground beef for fresh Mexican chorizo that you brown and then simmer in store-bought red enchilada sauce. Pile on sandwich buns, add sliced avocado, and top with the surprise crunchy ingredient—Fritos.

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  • Pizza Beans

    The 15 Easiest Weeknight Dinners Ever (15)

    With just three ingredients, these pizza beans are both fast and kid-friendly. Mix two cans of drained cannellini or butter beans with jarred marinara sauce and a cup of cheese. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes until browned and bubbly.

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    Continue to 13 of 16 below.

  • Ronto Wraps

    The 15 Easiest Weeknight Dinners Ever (16)

    If you've been to Disneyland's Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, you may have come across pork sausage wraps at the attraction's café, Ronto Roasters. The wraps are full of sausage, coleslaw, and thinly sliced roasted pork. This copycat version omits the roasted pork and puts sausage, coleslaw, and a snap-to-make peppercorn sauce on pita (or any flatbread on hand) for a quick version of the theme park favorite.

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  • Lemon Pepper Chicken Breasts

    The 15 Easiest Weeknight Dinners Ever (17)

    Pan-fry thin chicken breasts sprinkled with lemon pepper in a lemony broth made with chicken stock. The thin breasts fry up quickly and the pan sauce, thickened with flour and butter, is scrumptious. Serve the chicken with sauce, but save a little of it to drizzle on a side of rice.

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  • Italian Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

    The 15 Easiest Weeknight Dinners Ever (18)

    This gooey sandwich is a mashup of a sub (or hoagie, depending on what you call it) and a grilled cheese sandwich. Add three kinds of Italian deli meat—pepperoni, salami, and prosciutto—and provolone cheese, then grill on the stovetop.

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  • Pizza Salad

    The 15 Easiest Weeknight Dinners Ever (19)

    No cooking here, and there's not even much chopping to do. A quick homemade vinaigrette with oregano and garlic powder meets all of your favorite pizza toppings over crisp lettuce. Bake up frozen breadsticks and you're all set.

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The 15 Easiest Weeknight Dinners Ever (2024)

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