25+ Easy Weeknight Dinner Recipes

As we navigate the hustle and bustle of modern life, it’s no secret that finding time for a leisurely weeknight dinner is often a challenge. With work, school, and personal responsibilities piling up, it’s easy to feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the day to fit in a lengthy cooking session.

From hearty comfort foods to international-inspired dishes, this list of 25 easy weeknight dinners offers a diverse range of recipes that are sure to please even the pickiest of eaters.

Sheet Pan Nachos


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Nachos are a staple in our household, particularly on busy weeknights when we crave something comforting and easy to prepare. For a twist on Taco Tuesday, why not surprise your family with a delicious nacho dinner instead? The beauty of nachos lies in their customizability – you can create different variations by using ground beef, beef fajita-style, chicken, or even just melted cheese. To take it to the next level, serve your sheet pan dinner nachos with an array of toppings, including pico de gallo, guacamole, cilantro, jalapeño peppers, and a dollop of sour cream. A clever tip is to use leftover sheet pan chicken fajitas to create these scrumptious sheet pan chicken nachos the following day.

Easy Black Bean Chili


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There’s nothing quite like a hearty bowl of homemade black bean chili to warm up on a chilly day. Our go-to recipe is a vegetarian favorite, but we also love whipping up a batch with ground beef for a satisfying twist. This from-scratch recipe is sure to please even the pickiest eaters, and it’s packed with an array of flavorful ingredients. Cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, sea salt, and black pepper bring a depth of flavor that’s hard to beat. And let’s not forget the veggies – we’re talking garlic, onion, black beans, mild green chilies, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, and fire-roasted tomatoes for added texture and nutrients. Serve it up with a dollop of sour cream, some sliced avocado, chopped green onions, and shredded cheddar cheese for a truly indulgent experience.

Tuscan Ravioli Soup


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If cooking up a pot of soup for dinner is your thing, especially in an Instant Pot, you’re likely to fall head over heels for this hearty Tuscan ravioli soup. The foundation of this Italian-inspired dish starts with the use of Italian sausage – but feel free to get creative and substitute it with ground turkey Italian sausage or even ground beef if needed. What really takes this soup to the next level is its abundance of flavorful vegetables, including sun-dried tomatoes, pungent garlic, sweet yellow onion, and a burst of freshness from baby spinach (or chopped kale).

Chicken Salad


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When seeking a light and easy dinner solution for a busy weekday evening, few options rival the simplicity and satisfaction of chicken salad. This delightful dish is crafted with leftover rotisserie chicken – or its breast or thigh counterparts – and features an array of textures and flavors that will leave you wanting more. The crowning glory is undoubtedly the hot bacon dressing, which perfectly balances sweet and savory notes. Beyond the chicken and crisp spring mix greens, this salad boasts a veritable garden of other vegetables, including the natural sweetness of Medjool dates. With avocado, pickled onions, and corn adding a bounty of nutritious vitamins, and goat cheese and sliced almonds providing an additional protein boost, this meal is at once wholesome and indulgent.

Taco Pie


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Casseroles are often a go-to option for quick weeknight dinners. And when it comes to satisfying your cravings, this taco pie recipe delivers. The best part? You can make it as a fun twist on Taco Tuesday. This hearty dish features seasoned ground beef and refried beans nestled between two large flour tortillas, topped with shredded cheddar cheese and an abundance of fresh veggies. The baking process is similar to making quesadillas, but the end result is a fully cooked meal that’s easy to prepare and packed with flavor.

Easy Italian Grilled Cheese


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An Italian twist on the classic grilled cheese sandwich is just what you need to spice up your weeknight dinner routine. Gone are the days of plain American cheese and ordinary bread – this version elevates the comfort food to new heights. To make it, start with thick slices of olive oil artisan bread as the foundation. Next, melt a blend of creamy Munster and sharp provolone cheese to create a rich and indulgent flavor profile. Add some freshness to the mix with juicy tomato slices, and then get creative with thin pepperoni slices, fresh basil leaves, and baby spinach leaves. If you want to take it up a notch, add a layer of pesto for an extra burst of flavor. You can either whip up your own homemade pesto or opt for a store-bought variety – the choice is yours.

No Peek Chicken


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This one-pot No Peek Chicken recipe is set to become a staple on your family’s table, thanks to its rich flavors and effortless preparation. The addition of Zatarain’s Long Grain and Wild Rice Mix brings an unparalleled depth of flavor to the dish, making it a true crowd-pleaser. With a creamy base created by combining cream of mushroom soup and cream of celery soup, this casserole requires minimal seasoning courtesy of garlic powder and Lipton Onion Soup Mix. The versatility of this recipe allows you to use either chicken breasts or a combination of breasts, thighs, and leg quarters, making it an excellent option for families with varying tastes. Furthermore, the dish can be prepared in both slow cooker and Instant Pot formats, offering flexibility that suits any lifestyle.

Fried Rice Vermicelli


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Whipping up a delicious rice vermicelli stir fry at home is quicker and more flavorful than ordering take-out. This Asian-inspired dish requires just 10-15 minutes of prep time and can be customized with your choice of protein. To make it, gather the following ingredients: vermicelli rice noodles, extra virgin olive oil, shallots or chopped green onions, garlic cloves, minced ginger, a carrot, and cabbage. For added depth, simply season with sea salt, sugar, soy sauce, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Feel free to enhance the dish with chicken, tofu, shrimp, or steak for a protein-packed meal.

Mexican Flatbread


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This collection of recipes features several Mexican dishes and Tex-Mex favorites, but we couldn’t resist adding this indulgent twist on traditional flatbread pizza – a Mexican flatbread that’s sure to satisfy even the most discerning palates.

Maple Sesame Salmon


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When it comes to ending the day with a satisfying dinner, few options are as reliable as a perfectly cooked salmon dish. To take it to the next level, we’re using a rich and savory marinade sauce that’s sure to impress. The key to this glaze is a harmonious blend of flavors, including the sweetness of maple syrup, the depth of soy sauce, the warmth of toasted sesame seeds, and a hint of spice from crushed red pepper flakes. To complete the meal, serve your salmon alongside a comforting side of cauliflower rice, basmati rice, or brown rice, paired with some steamed broccoli or asparagus for a well-rounded and deliciously satisfying dinner.

Toad in the Hole


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Toad in the hole, a beloved English dish, typically consists of pork sausage cooked within Yorkshire pudding and smothered in a rich, creamy gravy. What sets this recipe apart is its ability to serve an entire family with ease. The unconventional name ‘toad in the hole’ has sparked curiosity among food enthusiasts. According to culinary historians, the moniker emerged in the 19th century due to the visual resemblance of the sausages nestled within the Yorkshire pudding.

Asian Weeknight Noodle Bowls


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Meal prep just got a whole lot more exciting! When whipping up Asian noodle bowls, it’s a cinch to make a double or triple batch and set yourself up for the week. The best part? These easy dinner recipes easily morph into tomorrow’s lunch, making mealtime a breeze. The rich sesame sauce is a flavor bomb, and the addition of nutritious veggies like salted edamame, crunchy cucumber bits, and pungent garlic takes these noodle bowls to the next level. Feel free to get creative with your protein of choice – steak, tofu, or even a chopped boiled egg are all fair game. With this recipe, you’ll be well on your way to a stress-free meal routine.

Easy Chicken Tostadas


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There’s no denying the allure of Mexican cuisine, and for a quick and satisfying weeknight dinner, chicken tostadas are an unbeatable choice. This straightforward recipe relies on the convenience of shredded rotisserie chicken (or boneless chicken breasts) paired with a medley of flavorful ingredients, including fresh lime juice, creamy avocado, refried beans, tangy Rotel diced tomatoes, and crunchy romaine lettuce. A trio of spices – ancho chili powder, garlic powder, and cumin – adds depth to the dish. To elevate your meal, have a selection of traditional toppings at the ready, such as zesty pico de gallo, rich sour cream, spicy salsa, and velvety guacamole. What’s more, this recipe serves as a blank canvas for endless Tex-Mex creations, allowing you to experiment with different combinations and make the dish your own.

Steak Fajita Bowls


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The next day after cooking up a storm of chicken or steak fajitas, the leftovers can be repurposed into satisfying steak fajita bowls. These dishes are often served with a flavorful garlic lime rice, although cilantro rice is also a tasty alternative. The secret to this aromatic side dish lies in its combination of fresh lime juice and minced garlic. To elevate these bowls further, feel free to add an array of colorful veggies and accompaniments, including juicy tomatoes, spicy pico de gallo, grilled corn, roasted vegetables, black beans, dollops of sour cream, and a splash of salsa. For added flair, garnish with chopped cilantro for a pop of freshness. This recipe is inspired by the culinary expertise at therecipecritic.com.

Easy Cheeseburger Soup


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This renowned cheeseburger soup recipe has earned its reputation as a crowd-pleaser, and it’s easy to see why. The combination of creamy cheese, tender vegetables, and hearty potatoes makes for a truly satisfying meal. With diced celery, chopped onion, shredded carrots, and diced potatoes all making an appearance, this soup is anything but bland.The recipe calls for either Velveeta cheese or shredded cheddar cheese, providing a level of versatility that’s hard to resist. What’s more, the roux-based thickening process is surprisingly straightforward – simply melt butter and flour together until it reaches a bubbly consistency, taking just 3-5 minutes of your time.Whether you’re cooking for one or feeding a crowd, this cheeseburger soup recipe has got you covered. And with its instant pot-friendly design, it’s an ideal choice for busy weeknights when you need a reliable meal solution.

Cheeseburger Pie


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Indulge your family in the rich flavors of a cheeseburger without sacrificing convenience or flavor. This impossible cheeseburger pie recipe is surprisingly straightforward to prepare, yielding a satisfying meal for all. Ground beef serves as the foundation, though you can substitute it with ground turkey or chicken for a variation. A combination of shredded cheddar cheese, Bisquick, eggs, sautéed onion, milk, and an onion soup mix packet come together to create a delectable dish that’s sure to please even the pickiest eaters. With its simplicity and crowd-pleasing appeal, this recipe is a staple in many households, including budget-friendly ones (as seen on budgetbytes.com).

Muffin Tin Lasagna


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Weeknights just got a whole lot easier with these adorable lasagna cups! The secret to their success lies in using wonton wrappers instead of traditional lasagna noodles. Not only do they cook faster, but they also fit perfectly inside the muffin tin. To get started, you’ll need a rich and tangy marinara sauce – either homemade or store-bought will work wonders. Classico Riserva is a great option if you’re short on time. Once your sauce is ready, it’s time to assemble these bite-sized treats. A mix of creamy ricotta cheese, shredded mozzarella, and parmesan adds the perfect balance of flavors and textures. With a few simple ingredients and some muffin tin magic, you’ll be whipping up these cuteness-filled lasagna bites in no time!

Easy Turkey Burgers


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When it comes to satisfying your burger cravings while watching calories and fat, a turkey burger is an excellent alternative to traditional beef options. The beauty of homemade turkey burgers lies in their simplicity, requiring just a few key ingredients: salt and pepper, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, butter, and olive oil. To take it to the next level, add melted cheese – American, cheddar, provolone, or your favorite variety will do. Finally, top with fresh tomato slices, crisp lettuce, tangy pickle, and crunchy onion for a well-rounded flavor profile.

Chicken Enchiladas


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While enchiladas can be a time-intensive dish, there are numerous easy recipes available to make the process more efficient. Our recipe for chicken enchiladas has become one of our go-to meals for a quick and satisfying weeknight dinner. The best part is that you can easily customize the filling with your preferred ingredients. Additionally, these enchiladas freeze exceptionally well, making them ideal for meal prep or leftovers. Although the recipe calls for homemade red enchilada sauce, using store-bought sauce is also an option if time is of the essence. Our chicken enchiladas feature a flavorful combination of black beans, green chiles, white onion, and Mexican shredded cheese, all wrapped up in a delicious package.

Weeknight Thai Beef


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Discover a new favorite Thai dish that’s ready in just 30 minutes! This effortless recipe combines chiles and basil, making it a staple for busy weeknights. With a flavorful mix of jalapeno peppers, garlic, chicken broth, brown sugar, and scallions, you’ll be hooked from the first bite. Serve your Thai beef over basmati rice, brown rice, or noodles, then add a squeeze of fresh lime juice to take it to the next level.

Summary

Gather around with your loved ones and indulge in these scrumptious recipes. Take a moment to share your thoughts with us!

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