Oct 2, 2020
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If you’re wondering what to make for dinner -again- you’re not alone. Many of us have stood in front of the refrigerator staring into an abyss wondering what is a quick dinner idea the kids will actually eat?
First, check out this quick video with some visuals -think of them as the photos in a restaurant menu.
Quick and Easy Dinner Ideas
If any of those recipes jumped out, hurray! Options. As a mom to 3 kids, I often wonder what I can make that the kids will eat and that I’ll actually want to eat.
Because frozen chicken nuggets are not adult food -unless they are my epic chicken tenders but I digress.
Let’s talk about making super-fast dinners with ingredients that you might have on hand.
15 Minutes or Less
Bell Pepper Pizzas
Bell Pepper Pizza: A fun way to make grain-free pizzas and use up extra veggies in the fridge. Plus, this is a keto-friendly pizza recipe that the whole family can enjoy together.
Buffalo Chickpea Lettuce Cups
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Authentic New Orleans Muffuletta
This step-by-step recipe will show you how to make a delicious New Orleans Muffuletta Sandwich at home! 10 minutes
When you’re craving tacos but you have no time, these baked nachos are for you! 10 minutes
Caprese Salad with Avocado
This Chicken Caprese Salad is another filling salad you can serve for a quick weeknight meal! 5 minutes
Spanish Air Fryer Salmon
Make this Spanish air fryer salmon recipe and have a healthy and delicious meal ready in no time. 13 minutes
30 Minutes or Less
You don’t have to spend an hour in the kitchen to pull off a satisfying and healthy meal. Many quick and easy dinner ideas start with basic ingredients, like pasta or chicken, and then we grab a few others and boom, dinner in less than 30!
Creamy Garlic Chicken Pasta
The flavor of this Creamy Garlic Chicken Pasta proves that simple recipes can taste amazing! Enjoy this easy chicken dish. 20 minutes
Everything you need to know to make your healthy turkey burger come out juicy and full of flavor every time -bun optional. 20 minutes
This healthy jambalaya is made with cauliflower rice, veggies, chicken, and sausage for the ultimate feel-good comfort food! 20 minutes
Shakshuka is a simple meal that yields delicious results. Serve it with rice, roasted potatoes, or warm, crusty bread- you won’t regret anything. 30 minutes
Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole
If you love the classic crispy, au-gratin crusted chicken then you’re going to fall for this baked, cheesy pasta version with a golden, brown crust. Make this a 30-minute meal by using precooked or leftover chicken and storebought or homemade alfredo sauce
Healthy Honey Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Love Asian-inspired dishes but want a healthier version than take-out? These Honey Chicken Recipe served in lettuce cups is one you’ll love! 20 minutes
Chicken Pot Pie Pasta Recipe
A quick and easy comfort food recipe that comes together in one skillet! 25 minutes
Pork and Pineapple Stir-Fry
A little sweet, a little spicy, this Jamaican-inspired dinner is budget-friendly and a fast mid-week meal option. 25 minutes
Butternut Squash and Chorizo Hash
The perfect breakfast-for-dinner option that will fill you up! 20 minutes
Chicken and Broccoli Teriyaki
Enjoy the flavors of take-out at home, in less time than it would take you to pick it up. 30 minutes
Instant Pot Chili Mac
Delicious and hearty, this Instant Pot Chili Mac recipe is a perfect quick and easy mid-week meal! 23 minutes
Creamy Spinach Tortellini in a Skillet
Spinach, tomato, and tortellini with cream sauce, this easy skillet meal is mega-delicious and comes together super fast! 20 minutes
Greek Pizza Recipe
Greek pizza is perfectly cheesy, crispy and has all the Mediterranean flavors you love. 20 minutes
Salsa Verde Chicken Pasta
Salsa Verde Chicken Pasta is a one-skillet meal with a smoky kick from salsa verde. It’s cheesy, delicious, and a family favorite! 25 minutes
Skillet Beef Tacos
When you run out of tortillas but still want tacos, these skillet beef tacos are the perfect solution and involve minimal cleanup! Serve it family-style with tortilla chips or over a bed of lettuce for an epic taco salad. 15 minutes
Chopped Panzanella Salad
An epic chopped salad with croutons loaded with fresh veggies, protein, and a delicious Dijon dressing. 20 minutes
Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas
You know them, you love them, and I’m about to show you how to make restaurant-style shrimp fajitas the easy way at home! 20 minutes
Easy Taco Soup Recipe
Easy taco soup in 30 minutes, and it’s loaded with all our favorite taco flavors and toppings! 30 minutes
Shrimp Pesto Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes
Whether you use homemade pesto or storebought, this simple pasta is easy to pull off and quickly goes from stove to table. 20 minutes
Instant Pot Chicken Taco Soup
Tender chicken and veggies in a taco-seasoned broth and finished off with sour cream and avocado. 28 minutes
Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Pasta
Creamy, sun-dried tomato chicken pasta made in one skillet for a delicious, quick, and EASY weeknight dinner. 30 minutes
Thai Pasta Salad with Chicken and Peanut Dressing
If you love a good pasta salad full of fresh ingredients and homemade dressing, this Thai Chicken Salad is going to blow you away. 30 minutes
Red Chicken Chili Recipe
This Paleo Chicken Chili recipe is bean-free and full of delicious flavors. Hands down a keeper! 30 minutes
Avocado Salmon Bowls with Spicy Mayo
These avocado salmon bowls drizzled with spicy mayo are everything you love about eating out but made healthy at home. 30 minutes
Baked Sausage and Peppers
Make this easy sheet pan recipe for a quick weeknight dinner that’s both healthy and delicious. 30 minutes
Bell Pepper Nachos
Low carb and delish these bell pepper nachos are everything you want from the classic appetizer without the guilt! 30 minutes
Maple Miso Glazed Salmon
A delicious and simple recipe that will get you to eat more salmon! Tastes gourmet, easy to make at home. 30 minutes
Cilantro Lime Chicken with Avocado Salsa
Juicy Cilantro Lime Avocado Chicken is a fresh and simple recipe you’ll be making on repeat with the BEST marinade ever! 30 minutes
Quick Salmon Pesto Pasta
Everyone in the family is going to love the flavor of this easy pasta recipe. 25 minutes
Baked Salmon in Foil
A simple recipe that yields perfectly tender, flaky salmon coated with delicious garlic-herb sauce. 20 minutes
Avocado and Shrimp Salad
Light, refreshing, and a super quick-to-make meal is what you get with this salad! 16 minutes
What is the easiest thing to make for dinner?
These are all realistic ideas for a fast dinner, but the quickest and easiest meal is one that is pre-prepped.
It’s a concept I talk about often, and for a good reason, by pre-chopping ingredients and doing recipe steps ahead of time, you can make incredible meals in less than 30 minutes, even on the busiest of nights!
And if you are just getting started and feeling overwhelmed by trying new recipes or prepping ahead, my dinner meal plans can help you simplify the “what’s for dinner tonight” with family-friendly recipes that can be cooked fast with minimal prep-ahead.
Inside the weekly plan, you’ll find a meal-prep guide to help you save time when it comes to making dinner. I mean, why not chop two onions instead of one and save the second for another meal? It’s as simple as that and my job is to remind you to do that.
Check out how you can conquer mealtimes by downloading a sample family-weekly meal plan.
How Meal Prep Saves Time
While pre-chopping veggies and taking care of small tasks seem insignificant, these steps can go a long way to save you big time on a busy weeknight.
Here’s a quick summary on how to meal plan and prep for the week:
- Create a menu for the week
Start at 2 to 3 recipes to try and move up from there. It’s better to start small than not at all!
- Gather ingredients
And write down the ones you need. Tip: eliminate waste and try to create a menu of ingredients you already have available.
- Grocery shop
The list makes this much easier and more cost-effective.
- Break it down
Break each recipe down into small tasks such as boiling pasta, cooking rice, cleaning, chopping, and marinating your meats. These are all things that can easily be done days ahead and refrigerated for when ready to use.
Optional, but cooking 1 to 2 recipes like soups, chilis, or casseroles entirely ahead of time is a game-changer.
More Easy Dinner Ideas
Once you’ve cooked through these recipes, here are some more quick and easy meals to keep your family excited about dinner each night.
- Chicken Dinner Ideas
- Shrimp Dinner Ideas
- Recipes with Ground Beef
- Family Dinner Ideas
- Healthy Meals for Kids
Want to try a people-please recipe tonight? The skillet beef tacos below are fast to make -even if you decide like right now to pull frozen beef out of the freezer. Let’s do it!
Quick Dinner Ideas for the Whole Family + Easy Skillet Tacos
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion finely chopped
- 1 lb ground beef or turkey
- 2 bell peppers any color, diced
- 3 tablespoons taco seasoning
- 1 ½ cups fresh salsa
- 3 cups baby spinach pre-washed and coarsely chopped
- 1 ½ cup shredded Cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
- ½ cup sliced black olives
- Shredded romaine lettuce
- Corn Tortilla chips
- sour cream
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat warm up oil. Add the chopped onion and sauté for about 3 minutes until soft. Add the ground meat, diced bell peppers and taco seasonig and cook, breaking up the meat as it cooks, for about 5-7 minutes until it’s cooked through.
- Add fresh salsa and spinach, stir to combine, and heat through. Turn off heat, sprinkle shredded cheese and black olives over meat mixture. Cover, and gather remaining garnishing ingredients.
- Create a bed of shredded Romaine lettuce on a plate, scoop a serving of the mixture, top with desired toppings, and serve.
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