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45+ Easy Dinner Ideas

Over 45+ of the best of my easy dinner ideas. From chicken to steak, to sheet pan meals or dinners that pair with rice, this list has you covered!

A collage of photos of easy dinner ideas.
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The Best Easy Recipes for Dinner

If you have ever walked in the door after a long day and been faced with the age old question “what’s for dinner?”, this list is here to help you! With flavorful ingredients and simple directions, dinner time is saved and everyone is happy.

Whether it’s a comforting pasta recipe, a healthy sheet pan meal or a vegetarian main there is a recipe to curb any craving or mood. You might even find a few new meals to add to your regular menu rotation!

Keep this list of easy dinner ideas handy whenever you are not sure what to make. It has came to my rescue time and time again and I hope it does the same for your family. Easy dinners for the win!

Dinner Ideas Everyone Will Love

While the dinner ideas below are perfect when you need something quick and easy, sometimes you need just one part of the meal to build upon! That is why I love these family dinner ideas for simple proteins, grains or sauces.

Sometimes I even use them to make a DIY nacho bar or potato bar!

  • Taco meat: Use in tacos, nachos, quesadillas or salad.
  • Cooked quinoa: A plant based protein perfect for adding to any salad.
  • Marinara sauce: Just add your favorite pasta and enjoy!
  • Shredded beef: Transform your shredded beef into a sandwich, use in burritos or add to stroganoff just to name a few.
  • Shredded chicken: Toss with BBQ sauce, add to a salad, use on a pizza, add to pasta, there are so many ways to use shredded chicken.

FAQs

What is the easiest thing to cook for dinner?

When you are not sure what to make using a store bought item as the base of the meal can help kickstart the process a little faster! I often make this French bread pizza or meatball subs (using frozen meatballs) to get things on the table faster.

What dinner can I make for $5?

No one ever turns down a simple grilled cheese with a bowl of tomato soup, it’s a comforting cheap and easy dinner idea.

What to have for dinner when I am too tired to cook?

Avocado toast with egg is quick, easy and perfect for when you are just too tired to cook! I also love pairing a grocery store rotisserie chicken with sheet pan veggies or a chopped salad.

What can I cook in 10 minutes?

Spinach pesto pizza to the rescue! With naan bread, pesto, mozzarella and spinach this dinner covers all the bases and is delicious, too!

Quick and Easy Dinner Ideas

Flavorful and quick these easy dinner recipes come together in 30 minutes and are perfect for any weeknight!

Parmesan crusted chicken sliced with rice and broccoli.
  • Parmesan Crusted Chicken. Made on the stovetop and ready in less than 20 minutes, it will be new family favorite.
  • Easy 3-Ingredient Chili. The easiest chili recipe you ever met! All you need is ground beef, chili beans and chili ready tomatoes for this hearty dinner.
  • Bean and Cheese Burritos. Ready in only 15 minutes, no one ever turns down one of these burritos!
  • Sheet Pan Gnocchi. Crispy gnocchi and roasted vegetables all come together on one pan in only 30 minutes.
  • Roasted Pork Tenderloin. A simple stove-to-oven method means this is ready in less than 30 minutes with a beautiful sear outside and tender juicy meat inside.
  • Parmesan Ranch Chicken. With only 5 ingredients, this crispy Parmesan breadcrumb coated chicken is a favorite!

Easy Healthy Dinner Ideas

Healthy never tasted so good and these easy dinner ideas don’t skimp on taste! Everyone in your family will love these familiar foods that are just a bit better for them.

Salmon, potatoes and asparagus on sheet pan.
  • Baked Tilapia Recipe. Oven baked with crispy, flaky results make this tender white fish a favorite.
  • Sheet Pan Salmon. An all in one meal with salmon, potatoes and asparagus and a baking time of only 30 minutes!
  • Healthy Turkey Chili. Prep this in 15 minutes then simmer on the stovetop for a hearty meal. No one will miss the beef!
  • Healthy Pizza. Loaded with veggies, lean chicken and cheese on a whole wheat crust, this meal is ready in only 20 minutes.
  • Spaghetti Pesto. Fresh bold flavors, familiar spaghetti noodles and a vegan pesto will make this a new favorite.
  • Lemon chicken. Only 7 ingredients are needed for this delicious one pan lemon butter chicken that’s ready in 30 minutes.

Easy Family Dinner Ideas

Tried and true family favorites are not only great for kids but adults, too! Make these easy dinner ideas when you need a proven winner that everyone will enjoy.

Sheet pan sausage and veggies on a sheet pan with a spoon..

Easy Recipes for Dinner with Steak

Quick and easy dinners that are carnivore approved, yes please! For all the steak lovers out there, these dinner recipes are simple enough to pull off on a weeknight.

Steak and potatoes close up
  • Steak and Potatoes. Hearty, comforting and sure to satisfy, crispy potatoes with tender bites of steak will be a hit.
  • Steak Tacos. After a short marinade time, these tacos come together in 12 minutes!
  • Steak Fajitas. Sizzling fajitas will bring a smile to everyone at the table; serve with all the toppings for an easy feast.
  • How to Cook Steak in the Oven. No matter the weather outside, this steak turns out perfectly cooked inside!
  • Chimichurri Steak. With a flavorful sauce, your classic grilled flank steak just got a simple yet flavorful upgrade.

Easy Chicken Dinner Ideas

Winner, winner chicken dinner may be cliche, but it’s true! These easy dinner ideas with chicken are versatile, simple and will become staples on your dinner menu.

Chicken fettuccine alfredo in a white skillet.

Easy Dinners to Serve with Rice

Faster than takeout, these stir fry recipes with an Asian flair are easy dinner ideas to make at home and full of delicious flavor!

Panda Express Kung Pao Chicken in a black skillet.
  • Panda Express Kung Pao Chicken. Quicker and better for you than takeout, this chicken and vegetable stir fry can be spicy or mild, your choice.
  • Chicken Stir Fry. A simple stir fry always hits the spot and this one will be a new favorite!
  • Honey Sesame Chicken. Your family will lick their plate clean when you serve this tender chicken in a sweet sauce.
  • Korean Ground Beef Bowl. This dinner idea is budget friendly and ready in 15 minutes!
  • PF Changs Mongolian Beef. Skip the high dining out prices and make this copycat recipe at home. It’s flavor, tender and so good.
  • Egg Roll in a Bowl. No time to roll? Just put it in a bowl! That’s the method behind this egg roll and everyone will rave about it.
  • Orange Chicken. This homemade version tastes like the real thing but better!

Easy Soup Dinner Ideas

Just add crusty dutch oven bread or homemade french bread and these easy dinner ideas are served! Hearty, warm and satisfying a good bowl of soup can make any meal feel special.

Lasagna soup in a white bowl.
  • Easy Lasagna Soup. All the taste, no layering required. Top with ricotta to seal the deal and enjoy this easy soup for dinner!
  • Chicken Tortilla Soup. A loaded soup that is a crowd pleaser! Serve with all your favorite toppings and let everyone customize their bowl to taste.
  • Taco Soup. A family favorite and for good reason! Full of meat, beans and colorful veggies it tastes like a taco but is a comforting soup.
  • Sausage Tortellini Soup. Full of Italian flavor, this soup is husband approved!
  • Chicken Noodle Soup. A classic for a reason! Serve this bowl of delicious soup on any day that you need a little boost of comfort.
  • Broccoli and Cheese Soup. Better than any takeout from your favorite cafe, this soup is creamy, cheesy and the perfect easy dinner idea.

Easy Vegetarian Dinner Recipes

Perfect for those nights when you want something a little lighter, these easy dinner ideas that contain no meat are healthy, satisfying and make mealtime a colorful affair.

Three cheese manicotti on a white plate.
  • Three Cheese Manicotti. Impressive yet simple with a bake time of only 25 minutes!
  • Buddha Bowls. Customizable bowls of goodness, these will make you feel good from the inside out.
  • Pizza Caprese. Easy to make but in only one bite you will feel like you are dining out at an Italian cafe!
  • Scrambled Eggs. There is never a wrong time to have scrambled eggs and it’s the perfect protein to serve at dinner with a slice of toast and fresh fruit.
  • Black Bean and Sweet Potato Taquitos. Flavorful, nutritious and satisfying with roasted sweet potatoes and creamy black beans, these are sure to be a dinnertime win.
  • Mushroom Gnocchi. Simple to put together but elegant in presentation, this dinner makes an easy weeknight dinner seem fancy.

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A collage of photos of easy dinner ideas.

Easy Dinner Ideas + French Bread Pizza

5 from 17 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
This homemade garlic french bread pizza is so simple and delicious! Easy to customize with all your favorite toppings. The perfect easy dinner idea!
Prep Time: 7 minutes
Cook Time: 13 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients 

  • 1 loaf French bread , sliced in half horizontally
  • 3-4 Tablespoons salted butter , softened
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ cup pizza sauce
  • 1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese , more if desired

Optional toppings: Pepperoni, Sliced veggies, Tomatoes, Basil, etc.

    Instructions

    • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
    • Spread the butter over each french bread half and sprinkle with garlic powder. Bake for 4 minutes, or until lightly toasted.
    • Spread the sauce evenly over the top of each slice. Top with cheese and any desired toppings.
    • Bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Let cool for a few minutes and then slice when ready to serve.

    Notes

    Variations: 
    • Caprese: Pizza sauce, cheese, tomatoes, basil, and balsamic glaze
    • Alfredo: Alfredo sauce, cheese, and chicken
    • Pesto: Pesto sauce, cheese, and other toppings like chicken, tomatoes, or spinach
    • BBQ chicken: BBQ sauce, cheese, chicken, and sliced red onions.
    • Ham & pineapple: Pizza sauce, cheese, ham, and pineapple
    • Veggie: Pizza sauce, cheese, and any of your favorite veggies
    Storage: Leftover slices will keep in an airtight container in the fridge up to 3 days. Reheat in a warm oven or in a toaster oven until warm.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 311kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 676mg | Potassium: 158mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 451IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 134mg | Iron: 3mg

    Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

    Course: Main Dish
    Cuisine: Italian

    Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

    The Full List of Easy Dinner Ideas

    Click on the links below to find the recipes for all of the delicious easy dinner ideas mentioned above.

    Parmesan Crusted Chicken
    Crispy parmesan crusted chicken is made with chicken cutlets dredged in a freshly grated Parmesan coating then pan fried until chicken breasts are tender, juicy and golden brown.
    Total Time: 18 minutes
    Read more
    chili in a white bowl with tortilla chips and cheese
    Easy Chili Recipe
    This 3-ingredient chili recipe is made in 30 minutes or less! Thick, hearty and filled with flavor. This is the perfect easy soup recipe for fall! 
    Total Time: 35 minutes
    Read more
    Bean and cheese burritos stacked on top of a white plate.
    Bean and Cheese Burritos
    These bean and cheese burritos are a classic filled with flavorful, seasoned refried beans and melty cheese.
    Total Time: 15 minutes
    Read more
    spoonful on gnocchi
    Sheet Pan Gnocchi
    This sheet pan gnocchi is perfect for a last minute dinner or side dish. The gnocchi becomes crispy and the vegetables are roasted to perfection.
    Total Time: 30 minutes
    Read more
    sliced pork tenderloin on a plate with green beans
    Roasted Pork Tenderloin
    Only 5 simple ingredients and done in less than 30 minutes. Tender and juicy on the inside, with a flavorful seared outside.
    Total Time: 27 minutes
    Read more
    Baked tilapia on a baking pan with two forks.
    Baked Tilapia Recipe
    This baked tilapia recipe is an easy 30 minute dinner that delivers big flavor without much effort. Seasoned fillets are drizzled with butter, baked until flaky then finished with a squeeze of fresh lemon!
    Total Time: 30 minutes
    Read more
    Salmon, potatoes and asparagus on sheet pan.
    Sheet Pan Salmon Dinner
    This sheet pan salmon dinner is an ENTIRE meal made in under 1 hour with the easiest cleanup. It's complete with juicy salmon, tender-crispy asparagus, and perfectly seasoned potatoes. Sheet pan dinners are the best types of meals for busy weekdays!
    Total Time: 40 minutes
    Read more
    Bowl of the best turkey chili.
    Healthy Turkey Chili
    This healthy turkey chili recipe is hearty and delicious with plenty of flavor, plus it is easily made on the stove top or slow cooker. Perfect for a cozy dinner.
    Total Time: 1 hour
    Read more
    Healthy Pizza
    The BEST healthy pizza topped with fresh veggies, mozzarella, chicken, arugula and a balsamic glaze. Ready in just 20 minutes and perfectly crispy and delicious! 
    Total Time: 20 minutes
    Read more
    spaghetti pesto with fork on plate
    Spaghetti Pesto
    Tender spaghetti noodles coated in a flavorful basil pesto sauce and topped with a rich lemon ricotta cream. This spaghetti pesto is the perfect way to enjoy a quick and easy dinner with fresh bold flavors!
    Total Time: 30 minutes
    Read more
    lemon chicken
    Baked Lemon Chicken
    Tender baked lemon chicken coated in a flavorful lemon butter sauce. An easy 30-minute meal that requires only 7 simple ingredients!
    Total Time: 30 minutes
    Read more
    Sheet pan quesadilla on a metal baking sheet.
    Sheet Pan Quesadillas
    This sheet pan quesadillas recipe is made with chicken, black beans, rice, taco seasoning and cheese then baked in the oven. It's easy to make, flavorful and crowd-pleasing!
    Total Time: 40 minutes
    Read more
    Wooden spoon getting some burrito bowl out of pot.
    Burrito Bowl Recipe
    Easy and delicious Mexican burrito bowls made in just one pot in 30 minutes…making clean up a breeze. Perfect for busy week nights!
    Total Time: 35 minutes
    Read more
    spoonful of mac and cheese
    Homemade Mac and Cheese
    This homemade macaroni is creamy, rich and the ultimate comfort food! It's made with simple ingredients in just 25 minutes from start to finish.
    Total Time: 25 minutes
    Read more
    chicken and vegetables on sheet pan
    Sheet Pan Chicken Thighs
    Need an easy, healthy, and scrumptious dinner idea in a hurry? Sheet pan chicken thighs are exactly what you're looking for. A complete meal that is done on one sheet is ready in 30 minutes!
    Total Time: 30 minutes
    Read more
    roasted sausage and veggies on a wooden spoon
    Sheet Pan Sausage and Veggies
    Quick and easy this sheet pan sausage and veggies is loaded with flavor from vegetables, sausage and simple seasonings. It's healthy, nutritious and made on one pan for easy cleanup!
    Total Time: 30 minutes
    Read more
    egg skillet on counter
    Egg Skillet
    An easy 20-minute egg skillet made with crispy red potatoes, bacon, sautéed onions and peppers with over easy eggs on top. Perfect for breakfast, brunch or even dinner!
    Total Time: 20 minutes
    Read more
    steak and potatoes close up
    Steak and Potatoes
    This garlic butter steak and potatoes recipe is made in the skillet for an easy 30 minute weeknight dinner. Juicy tender steak with crispy potatoes is a family favorite!
    Total Time: 25 minutes
    Read more
    steak tacos on white plate
    Steak Taco Recipe
    Taco night just got better with steak tacos! Easy to make with a flavorful marinade then pan seared or grilled to perfection and layered on tortillas with all your favorite toppings.
    Total Time: 52 minutes
    Read more
    steak fajitas in pan
    Steak Fajitas
    These mouthwatering steak fajitas are made with marinated strips of juicy steak, sautéed onions and peppers, and filled to the brim with all of your favorite zesty toppings! 
    Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
    Read more
    Cooking steak in the oven in a white skillet.
    How to Cook Steak in the Oven
    Make the perfect steak in the oven that's caramelized, juicy and tender. It's quick and easy to prepare by first pan-searing the steak and then finishing it in the oven.
    Total Time: 20 minutes
    Read more
    Chimichurri Steak
    Chimichurri steak is made with tender strips of classic grilled flank steak topped with the popular South American sauce made with fresh herbs, garlic, oil, and vinegar!
    Total Time: 22 minutes
    Read more
    Greek meatballs on top of a salad in a bowl.
    Greek Chicken Meatballs
    Baked to golden perfection and packed with flavor these Greek chicken meatballs are amazing alongside a zesty Greek salad and a dollop of tzatziki sauce. Using fresh ingredients like lean ground chicken, dill, lemon zest, cumin, and oregano, makes it impossible to stop eating them!
    Total Time: 35 minutes
    Read more
    Chicken fettuccine alfredo in a white skillet.
    Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo
    Tender fettuccine noodles covered in a creamy homemade alfredo sauce and then topped with seasoned chicken. This chicken fettuccine alfredo is easily made in under 30 minutes and is loaded with Italian flavor! 
    Total Time: 25 minutes
    Read more
    chicken taquitos recipe
    Chicken Taquitos
    These homemade baked chicken taquitos are easy to make with a creamy, cheesy chicken filling, rolled up in flour tortillas then baked until crispy. They are a family favorite!
    Total Time: 30 minutes
    Read more
    Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas
    These sheet pan chicken fajitas are easy to make with seasoned sliced chicken and bell peppers. Serve this one pan dinner with warm tortillas and your favorite toppings!
    Total Time: 30 minutes
    Read more
    bbq chicken tacos on plate
    BBQ Chicken Tacos
    Warm corn tortillas loaded with tangy BBQ chicken, black beans salsa, fresh cilantro and a drizzle of cilantro lime dressing. These easy BBQ chicken tacos are made in just 15 minutes and are the perfect dinner to serve your family on Taco Tuesday! 
    Total Time: 15 minutes
    Read more
    Panda Express Kung Pao Chicken in a black skillet.
    Kung Pao Chicken
    Kung Pao Chicken is a one-skillet dish made of stir fry chicken, veggies, peanuts, and a flavorful heat. It's coated in a delicious sweet and spicy sauce that gives us every reason to skip the line at Panda Express. Make an even better, quick, and budget-friendly version at home!
    Total Time: 35 minutes
    Read more
    Chick stir fry in a white bowl.
    Chicken Stir Fry
    This chicken stir fry is loaded with fresh veggies and coated in a flavorful stir-fry sauce. It's an easy 30-minute meal better than takeout and perfect for weeknights!
    Total Time: 30 minutes
    Read more
    Honey sesame chicken cooking in a pot.
    Honey Sesame Chicken
    Crispy golden chicken bites coated in a glossy sweet and savory sauce made with honey, sesame oil, sesame seeds, and a tangy sauce. This honey sesame chicken comes together quickly any night of the week for a delicious family-friendly meal worth skipping takeout for!
    Total Time: 30 minutes
    Read more
    korean ground beef over rice in bowl
    Korean Ground Beef Bowl
    This Korean ground beef bowl is a simple ground beef recipe with a flavorful sauce served over rice. It's ready in 15 minutes for a quick and easy weeknight meal!
    Total Time: 15 minutes
    Read more
    mongolian beef and rice in bowl
    PF Chang’s Mongolian Beef Recipe
    This copycat PF Chang's Mongolian beef is made with tender pieces of beef coated in a sweet and savory sticky sauce. It's an easy recipe that rivals any takeout dish!
    Total Time: 30 minutes
    Read more
    cooking egg roll filling in a skillet
    Egg Roll in a Bowl Recipe
    This egg roll in a bowl recipe is an easy low carb alternative to egg rolls! Made with ground turkey and veggies tossed in a flavorful sauce of choice and ready in 20 minutes.
    Total Time: 20 minutes
    Read more
    Lasagna soup in a white bowl.
    Lasagna Soup Recipe
    This easy lasagna soup recipe simmers in one pot with tender noodles, sausage, garlic, onion, an Italian seasoned marinara sauce, mozzarella, Parmesan and creamy ricotta.
    Total Time: 40 minutes
    Read more
    bowl of chicken tortilla soup with sliced avocado and crushed tortilla chips
    Chicken Tortilla Soup
    This chicken tortilla soup recipe is made in ONE pot in 30 minutes. Always a crowd pleaser and tastes great loaded with cheese, avocado and tortilla chips. 
    Total Time: 30 minutes
    Read more
    Bowl of taco soup with toppings.
    Taco Soup Recipe
    This easy taco soup recipe is hearty with the best Mexican-inspired taco flavors! Simple to prep in one pot in only 10 minutes.
    Total Time: 30 minutes
    Read more
    sausage tortellini soup
    Sausage Tortellini Soup
    This sausage tortellini soup is easy to make with Italian sausage, vegetables, tortellini and a savory tomato-based broth. It's the perfect comfort soup for cold days
    Total Time: 30 minutes
    Read more
    bowl of chicken noodle soup
    Chicken Noodle Soup
    Chicken noodle soup is the perfect comfort soup on a chilly day. Simple to make and full of delicious flavor. It will become an instant favorite!
    Total Time: 45 minutes
    Read more
    Broccoli Cheese Soup
    Creamy and delicious broccoli and cheese soup that's ready to go in just 30 minutes! An easy Panera copycat recipe that tastes amazing served in a homemade bread bowl. 
    Total Time: 30 minutes
    Read more
    Three cheese manicotti on a white plate.
    Cheese Manicotti
    Your new favorite dish comes with manicotti noodles stuffed with 3 kinds of cheese then covered in marinara sauce and more cheese! Baked until bubbly, this easy Italian-inspired casserole is ready in under 1 hour!
    Total Time: 45 minutes
    Read more
    Sliced caprese pizza drizzled with balsamic glaze on pizza peel.
    Pizza Caprese
    This easy pizza Caprese is made with a crispy golden crust topped with pesto, mozzarella, tomatoes and fresh basil leaves then drizzled with balsamic glaze.
    Total Time: 22 minutes
    Read more
    scrambled eggs on white plate with toast
    Scrambled Eggs
    Follow these tips to learn how to make scrambled eggs that come out soft, creamy and fluffy.
    Total Time: 10 minutes
    Read more
    black bean taquitos on white plate
    Black Bean and Sweet Potato Taquitos
    Crispy baked black bean taquitos filled with seasoned black beans, roasted sweet potatoes and finished off with a drizzle of creamy avocado lime sauce. You won't even miss the meat in this vegetarian appetizer or main!
    Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
    Read more
    spoonful of mushrooms and gnocchi
    Mushroom Gnocchi
    This easy creamy mushroom gnocchi is a family pleaser and comforting for a chilly winter night. It's simple to put together with store-bought helpers like sliced mushrooms and packaged gnocchi, but tastes like date night out!
    Total Time: 30 minutes
    Read more

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