Here’s your ultimate guide for the best easy dinner recipes! From lightning fast recipes to batch cooking on a Sunday, I’ll show you how to plan for a stress-free week filled with tasty yet nourishing meals the whole family will enjoy!
Plan Your Dinner Recipes Ahead
Ever struggle to get a home cooked meal done by dinner time? Or feel uninspired by your weekly rotation? I get it, we’ve all been there. So I’ve rounded up a list of the best dinner ideas that are full of good-for-you ingredients, and most importantly, uncomplicated.
To make the most of this list, it’s really about planning ahead to make dinner a breeze. Here’s a few ways to strategize – no matter how your week pans out:
Make a list of 30 minute recipes to keep on hand. For days where you have one hour to spare for cooking, these will come in handy. Think one pan meals, easy stir fry recipes, and sheet pan dinners that are jam packed with flavor.
Batch cook ingredients to save time throughout the week. If you’ve followed my meal prep guide before, you know just how convenient this plan is. Instead of batch cooking entire recipes, you’ll prep ingredients to create exciting mix and match meals that come together in about 5 minutes.
Rely on freezer-friendly meals for busy months. You can make a scrumptious chicken casserole and pre-cut it into slices for a grab-n-go meal. Or cook up a big pot of beef chili and freeze several portions for later. Just make sure to plan for meals that store well and can be reheated throughout the month. You’ll soon start to appreciate these instant freezer meals!
The Best Quick And Easy Dinner Ideas
These flavorful recipes can be on your table in about 30-40 minutes. They require minimal ingredients and tools – who doesn’t love that?
Those Classic Family-Friendly Dinner Recipes
When it comes to cooking up a meal for the whole family, lean towards comforting classics such as casseroles, pizza, tacos, and fajitas. With a healthy spin of course!
Chicken Fajitas: since children love building things of their own, a fajitas night is always a win.
One Pan Chicken And Rice: Two for one meals are the best, especially when it includes juicy chicken thighs. This one shines bright with Mediterranean flavors and citrusy rice.
Cauliflower Pizza Crust: with this homemade pizza crust, there’s no need to order takeout. Because it’s that much better and sneaks in extra veggies for the kiddos.
Carnitas Tacos: if you’ve got a slow cooker, this carnitas recipe will save you time and it delivers big flavor. Perfect for Taco Tuesday!
Slow Cooker Whole Chicken: this whole chicken becomes insanely juicy with an herbed crispy skin. Bonus – this should cover a few days worth of dinners.
Salads for Dinner That Honestly Keep You Full
Don’t think a salad will keep you full? Think again! These recipes elevate salad from the side dish to the main course.
Ultimate Chicken Salad: not only does this keep well in the fridge, but is as versatile as they come. Eat it by the spoon, add it to a sandwich, or wrap it in butter lettuce leaves.
Salmon Avocado Salad: nothing gets easier than pan seared salmon. But this one’s accompanied by a bed of leafy greens, avocado, tomatoes, and red onions to bulk up this hearty salad.
Broccoli Salad: with just a bit of prep work, this hefty, veggie-loaded salad comes together fast and it’s satiating too.
Zucchini Noodle Caprese: an easy, homemade pesto basil sauce goes far in this salad. Just toss with tomatoes, mozzarella and freshly made zucchini noodles.
Tuna Salad: a protein-packed tuna salad is fast, easy, and filling – yep, it ticks all the boxes.
Make Ground Beef for Dinner Exciting Again
Don’t overlook that pound of ground beef sitting in your freezer. It cooks fast, adds a ton of flavor, and can be stuffed or layered into the most comforting, freezer-friendly meals.
Best Chili Recipe: this savory, spicy, chunky, and comforting one pot meal is a batch cooking favorite. That’s why it’s the best!
Zucchini Lasagna: who says you can’t enjoy a meaty, cheesy lasagna if you’re gluten-free?
Stuffed Peppers: bell pepper halves are stuffed with a savory beef filling and baked to perfection.
Shepherd’s Pie: this is comfort food at its finest – with ground lamb and vegetables simmered in a savory sauce. Then topped with fluffy mashed potatoes. But you can swap the lamb with ground beef instead.
Taco Soup: enjoy the best flavors of a taco, all in one soup! This recipe is hearty, so flavorful, and incredibly easy to make.
Zucchini Noodle Spaghetti Bolognese: made from fresh tomatoes and ground beef, homemade bolognese sauce is the best. And to keep things on the lighter side, zucchini noodles are the perfect match to complete this “pasta” meal.
Fresh And Easy Fish Dinners for a Lighter Meal
While salmon often gets the spotlight, let’s not forget about other fish and seafood options. Think flakey baked cod, juicy scallops, and of course those tasty little shrimp.
Baked Cod: this easy, fool proof method guarantees perfectly flaky fish that’s baked in the best garlic butter herb topping.
Falafel: these delicious balls of chickpea goodness taste amazing in wraps, pitas, sandwiches and even salads – along with a drizzle of tahini sauce.
The Best Dinner Meal Prep
Last but not least, I’m circling back to my my meal prep guide where ingredients themselves become the star of the show. Because nothing makes us feel more on top of our game than prepping grains, proteins, and veggies to create mix and match dinner recipes that come together in under 5 minutes!
You can make macro bowls, wraps, tacos, salads, or a simple combo plate. And don’t forget those sauces and toppings for flavor and freshness! Add a dollop of hummus to a Mediterranean bowl or guacamole and pico de gallo to tacos.
Start With A Base
Add In Protein
Add In Vegetables
Mix And Match Dinner Ideas
With your prepped ingredients, here’s a few ideas on how to combine them into the BEST dinner recipes!