26 Easy and Quick Weeknight Dinners

A Variety of Delicious Meals on the Table in 30 Minutes or Less

Easy 30-Minute Mexican Enchiladas

The Spruce 

We know weeknights are busy. You still need to eat dinner, though—so why not eat well? These quick and easy weeknight dinner recipes for the entire family will help you fit a hearty, tasty, nutritious dinner into your busy schedule every night. Every recipe included here can be made in 30 minutes or less.

  • 01 of 26

    Tuna Carbonara

    Tuna carbonara

    ​The Spruce 

    This easy and delicious recipe for tuna carbonara is ready to eat in about 20 minutes, start to finish. It also uses ingredients you probably have on hand in your pantry, fridge, and freezer, so it's a great choice when you need to throw a weeknight dinner together at the last minute.

  • 02 of 26

    Quick Shrimp Scampi

    Shrimp Scampi

    The Spruce 

    Are surprise guests dropping in? You'll be glad you have this simple and elegant recipe for quick shrimp scampi on hand. Special enough for entertaining, it takes only about 10 minutes to prepare and makes a fabulous impression served over hot cooked rice.

  • 03 of 26

    Lemon Pasta With Pine Nuts and Broccoli

    Lemon pasta with pine nuts and broccoli

    The Spruce / Emily Hawkes

    Vegan friendly, tasty, and nutritious, this quick and easy lemon pasta with pine nuts and broccoli recipe makes a delicious weeknight dinner. Lemon adds zest to this pasta dish that's sure to become a staple on a busy night when you want to fill up but just don't feel like cooking.

  • 04 of 26

    Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Chicken Breast

    Spinach Artichoke Chicken

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

    Yes, you can make stuffed chicken breasts in 30 minutes. Though these recipes sound complicated, this spinach and artichoke stuffed chicken is surprisingly quick. The chicken breasts are flattened then cut open and filled with a delicious combination of baby spinach, artichoke hearts, and mascarpone. It's cooked in the skillet, then you'll create a quick creamy lemon sauce in the same pan.

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  • 05 of 26

    BLT Pizza

    BLT Pizza

    The Spruce / Anita Schecter 

    If you love the sandwich, you're sure to enjoy a BLT pizza. This recipe is quick, easy, and puts a fresh, delicious meal on the table. Use your favorite pizza dough, cover it with an herbal mayonnaise, and add the mozzarella cheese, romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, and crumbled bacon toppings.

  • 06 of 26

    Classic Fettuccine Alfredo

    Fettuccine Alfredo

    The Spruce

    Creamy and sophisticated, classic fettuccine Alfredo is easy and quick to make for a weeknight dinner when you're really rushed. Whether you're dining alone, serving a family, or want to impress drop-in guests, you can pull off this elegant recipe in 20 minutes—and it's most delicious when served right away.

  • 07 of 26

    Instant Pot Carne Asada

    Instant Pot carne asada street tacos

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Throughout much of Latin America, carne asada is the classic way to enjoy steak. Although beef is traditionally grilled in this method of cooking (the term carne asada translates to "grilled meat"), this recipe uses an Instant Pot, making it ideal for a weeknight or wintertime meal. What's more, you can achieve a satisfying smoky flavor with the use of smoky and woody spices like cumin and oregano, which are called for in this recipe. It comes together in less than 30 minutes, which is perfect for a Tuesday night dinner. Feel free to serve the asada in tacos or, for a more sophisticated presentation, plate the meat elegantly on a carving board, alongside some roasted fingerling potatoes and chimichurri.

  • 08 of 26

    Ground Turkey Stir-Fry

    Ground Turkey Stir-Fry

     The Spruce / Anita Schecter

    For a twist on a traditional Chinese stir-fry, try this recipe using ground turkey. It is reminiscent of the Asian lettuce cup appetizer in terms of flavors and texture, but the added broccoli and peppers make this a nutritious and complete dish, perfect served over cooked rice.

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  • 09 of 26

    Honey Mustard Chicken Thighs

    Honey mustard chicken thighs

    The Spruce

    Mouthwatering honey mustard chicken thighs are ready in less than 30 minutes and pack tons of flavor. The chicken is cut into strips and simmered in a rich, tangy honey mustard sauce along with vegetables to make a healthy, fragrant, and delicious dinner. Your family will love this easy chicken recipe served over couscous, brown rice, or pasta.

  • 10 of 26

    Monte Cristo Sandwiches

    Classic Monte Cristo sandwich

    The Spruce

    Monte Cristo sandwiches are a real weeknight treat. Made with deli meat and two kinds of cheese, these sandwiches are dipped in batter and then dunked in a crushed cereal mixture, before being grilled to crisp perfection.

  • 11 of 26

    Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin

    Instant Pot pork tenderloin with potatoes and kale

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Instant Pot pork tenderloin takes just minutes to cook to the perfect temperature, and the recipe is easy to customize with alternative herbs and spices. This recipe relies on the pressure build and natural release to cook the pork, with no actual high-pressure cooking time. All you have to do is brown the pork, set the timer to 0 (yes, zero), and let the pressure come down naturally for 15 minutes.

  • 12 of 26

    30-Minute Beef Chili

    30-minute beef chili with cornbread

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Yes, you really can make a delicious homemade chili dinner quickly with this 30-minute beef chili recipe. Serve it with hot cooked rice, warm tortillas, or tortilla chips for a filling weeknight dinner that's also perfect for parties or game day

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  • 13 of 26

    Instant Pot Orange Chicken

    Instant Pot orange chicken with sesame seeds

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Rushing to make dinner on weeknights? Skip the Chinese takeout and cook up this simple orange chicken stir-fry that's packed full of flavor and color. Dinner will be on the table in no time thanks to the Instant Pot. Serve it with rice for a complete weeknight meal.

  • 14 of 26

    Air Fryer Pork Chops

    Air fryer pork chops with Brussels sprouts

     The Spruce / Leah Maroney

    The air fryer is a quick and easy way to cook food without the fat from frying. These pork chops are crisp and delicious in under 30 minutes and free up your stove and oven for making side dishes.

  • 15 of 26

    Chicken Quesadillas

    Chicken quesadillas with fresh salsa

    The Spruce

    Want another way to make use of leftover chicken in your fridge? Try making these simple, quick chicken quesadillas. With just four ingredients, this Tex-Mex recipe couldn't be easier to prepare.

  • 16 of 26

    Mushroom Risotto

    Mushroom risotto

    ​The Spruce

    Mushrooms add rich and hearty flavor to this indulgent, Italian mushroom risotto. Arborio rice combines with shallots, mushrooms, white wine, cream, and plenty of Parmesan for a rich, indulgent, meatless weeknight dinner that's fancy enough to serve to guests.

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  • 17 of 26

    Pineapple Chicken Stir-Fry

    Pineapple chicken stir-fry with rice

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney

    Tender chicken breasts are combined with bell pepper, onion, and juicy pineapple for a quick and easy stir-fry. The sweet and salty sauce adds lots of flavor with minimal effort. Serve with white rice and, for an extra special presentation, display in a halved, hollowed-out pineapple.

  • 18 of 26

    Easy Enchiladas


     The Spruce

    Baked, filled, saucy, easy enchiladas are a crowd-pleasing dish, whether you're feeding your family on a weeknight or get invited to a last-minute potluck party. You could prepare them with just cheese, or add some beef or chicken for the meat-eaters at the table. Either way, they're simple to put together in about 10 minutes flat.

  • 19 of 26

    Baked Ziti

    Ziti Bake with ground beef and Italian sausage

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Baked ziti is one of those super-easy recipes that you can easily change to suit your mood, your family's tastes, or the ingredients you have on hand. Make it the vegetarian way, as this recipe describes, or adapt it by adding browned ground beef or roasted chicken to this easy baked ziti pasta dish.

  • 20 of 26

    Pesto Pasta

    Pasta pesto with grated cheese

    The Spruce

    Store-bought pesto sauce makes this three-ingredient Italian pesto pasta recipe an absolute snap to make. This weeknight pasta recipe makes a terrific vegetarian main course, or you could add rotisserie chicken breast and chopped tomatoes.

    Continue to 21 of 26 below.
  • 21 of 26

    Apple Pecan Chicken Salad

    Apple pecan chicken salad


    Kirchherr, Jo / Getty Images

    Here's a great way to use up leftover cooked chicken to make a delicious main dish salad that's hearty enough for dinner. Tender chicken combines with crisp pecans, tart apples and a creamy honey mustard dressing for an elegant no-cook apple pecan chicken salad meal.

  • 22 of 26

    Sweet and Sour Steak Stir-Fry

    Sweet and Sour Steak Stir Fry

    Cameron Whitman / Stocksy

    Strip steak is stir-fried with vegetables in a flavorful, tangy sauce to make this savory and nutritious weeknight dinner that takes only 30 minutes to make. You could also use leftover steak for this simple and satisfying sweet and sour steak stir-fry recipe.

  • 23 of 26

    Pork Chops and Peppers

    Pork Chops and peppers

    Dziggyfoto / Getty Images

    This simple, one-dish dinner delivers a hearty flavor that will fool your family into thinking you cooked for hours. Pork chops and peppers are perfect for a busy weeknight, you can serve this recipe with hot cooked rice or pasta and a green salad for a well-rounded meal.

  • 24 of 26

    Beefy Spaghetti

    Beefy spaghetti


    Carl Tremblay / Getty Images

    Weeknight dinner couldn't get more simple than this hearty, satisfying beefy spaghetti meal. Store-bought spaghetti sauce and ground beef are the secret to this super-simple, rich and filling weeknight dinner that can be made quickly at the last minute.

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  • 25 of 26

    Provençal-Style Fish

    Easy provencal fish recipe

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

    Want to eat healthy on weeknights when you're rushed to get dinner on the table? You can make this nutritious, tasty Provençal-style fish recipe in just 30 minutes. Bell peppers, olives, and tomatoes give a burst of flavor to this fish dinner, which is perfect for serving a family, or for a more intimate dinner.

  • 26 of 26

    Quick Stovetop Beef Fajitas

    Quick Stove-Top Beef Fajitas

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

    Fajita time is the best time of day. Cook up this Tex-Mex quick stovetop beef fajitas dish when you don't have time for grilling. Strips of beef, onion, bell pepper, and tortillas are flavored with your favorite store-bought garnishes for a nourishing, family-pleasing weeknight meal.