It’s Back-to-School season, and maybe Back-to-Work season too. You’re up early, going full-steam all day, and suddenly it’s 6pm and the people who live in your house are hungry (every night!). But I’m here to save you with some deliciously easy last-minute dinner ideas. You can make all of these recipes in 30 minutes or less. And, many recipes require minimal ingredients (or, even better, pantry ingredients!).
Pesto Tortellini Salad with Chicken
Pesto Tortellini Salad with Chicken features cheese tortellini tossed in a creamy pesto sauce with sun-dried tomatoes and chunks of rotisserie chicken.
Easy Chicken Parmesan Meatballs
Easy chicken parmesan meatballs are healthy and delicious. Chicken meatballs are baked and then broiled with marinara sauce and fresh mozzarella cheese. Serve on garlic bread or pasta!
Chicken Burrito Skillet Dinner
This chicken burrito skillet dinner comes together in one pan to make a quick, easy, and healthy dinner the whole family will love! This simple recipe has everything you love in a burrito but is made in a skillet!
Baked Chicken Florentine Pasta
Pasta, chicken, spinach, and sun-dried tomatoes baked together in a creamy cheese sauce—the ultimate comfort food for any night of the week. Baked Chicken Florentine Pasta is made all in one pan and filled with herb-y, garlic deliciousness.
Bruschetta Chicken Recipe
This Bruschetta Chicken Recipe is made with tender, juicy chicken breasts seasoned with Italian herbs and spices and topped with a fresh tomato and basil bruschetta topping. Ready in just 30 minutes, enjoy this low-calorie, low-carb, and gluten-free weeknight dinner with a side of sautéed zucchini zoodles and a drizzle of balsamic glaze.
Easy BBQ Chicken Flatbread Pizza
This delicious thin crust BBQ chicken flatbread pizza makes the perfect busy weekday lunch or dinner made with boneless chicken breasts and sharp cheddar cheese and ready in under 15 minutes!
Buffalo Chicken Cobb Salad
Craving a big, hearty salad that's packed with protein? Fix this quick & easy buffalo chicken cobb salad. It's layered with crisp lettuce, tender chicken, tangy buffalo sauce, crumbled blue cheese, creamy avocado, juicy tomatoes, crunchy cucumber, salty bacon, and more!
Zucchini Stir-Fry with Tofu
This Zucchini Stir-Fry combines sautéed zucchini, red bell pepper, and tofu in a savory sauce enhanced by garlic and ginger. Vegetarian and gluten-free!
Spinach Frittata with Mushrooms and Feta
This spinach frittata is packed with mushrooms, onions, and creamy feta cheese. Perfect for an easy dinner, along with a bowl of soup or salad!
Quinoa Chickpea Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
This quinoa chickpea salad features quinoa tossed with spinach, chickpeas, and cucumber in a lemony vinaigrette and topped with cubes of creamy Brie cheese. Use premade quinoa to make this extra fast!
Creamy Pumpkin Pasta Sauce with Sage Breadcrumbs
This creamy pumpkin pasta sauce with sage breadcrumbs is a perfect and easy fall dinner recipe. Smooth pumpkin cooked with plenty of garlic and shallots, swirled with heavy cream, and served with pasta, all topped with toasty sage breadcrumbs.
Crispy Vegan Tofu Tacos
Delicious and filling tacos made with crispy tofu and topped with sliced red cabbage, green onions, salsa, lime juice, and cilantro. Packed with protein, fiber and flavor! It comes together in 30 minutes, perfect for taco night or meal prep!
Buttery Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Spinach
One of my favorite recipes with sweet potato gnocchi from Trader Joes (or wherever)! This super quick dinner recipe is perfect for any greens + gnocchi you have and comes together in just 20 minutes or so. Butter, sage, and garlic make a quick sauce, and dinner is on the table ready to be eaten in half an hour!
Black beans & corn quesadilla
Black bean and corn quesadillas make a quick and delicious meal for busy weeknights. They are ready in 20-minutes and can be easily made gluten-free by using gluten-free tortillas.
Panko Crusted Salmon Fillets
Panko Crusted Salmon Fillets have a creamy mustardy sauce and a crispy topping. They require just a few ingredients and are on the table in 30 minutes!
Spicy Scallop Scampi
Spicy Scallop Scampi is an impressive dish that comes together in under 20 minutes. Seared scallops topped in a garlic, lemon, white wine, and butter sauce!
Sheet Pan Shrimp and Asparagus in Garlic Lemon Butter
Succulent shrimp and tender crisp asparagus in a garlic lemon butter? Yes please! This sheet pan meal is a fast, easy and flavor packed. Best part – the whole thing is ready to eat in just 20 minutes!
Creamy Hot Smoked Salmon Pasta
This creamy hot smoked salmon pasta is a light but super tasty dish infused with lemon and dill flavours. The sauce is made with creme fraiche instead of heavy cream for a meal that's lower in calories but still extra creamy.
Shrimp Fried Rice (Better than takeout)
This Shrimp Fried Rice is stir fried with rice, vegetables, juicy pieces of shrimp, eggs, and plenty of Asian flavor! This rice is better than takeout and takes less than 30 minutes to make!
Cheesy Pancetta Frittata with Corn and Leeks
Versatile pancetta frittata recipe featuring leeks, corn, and fontina cheese—cheesy and delicious. Perfect for dinner, breakfast, or brunch!
Sausage Green Bean and Potato Skillet
This Sausage Green Bean and Potato Skillet is a delicious one pan dinner that you can have on the table in 30 minutes. This dish combines hearty smoked sausage, creamy potatoes, peppers, onions, and just the right amount of spice for a filling, flavorful meal.
Asian Steak Bites and Potatoes
This Asian Steak Bites and Potatoes features seared beef cubes and potatoes in a garlicky butter and soy-based sauce. It comes together in under 30 minutes and everything is cooked in just one pan.
Easy Pasta with Ricotta Recipe (One Pot) • State of Dinner -15 Minute Meal
This easy Pasta with Ricotta recipe is made in one pot and takes just 20 minutes from start to finish! It has the flavor of stuffed pasta shells without all of the work, making this a crowd-pleasing weeknight dinner.
Creamy Cajun-Style Pasta with Andouille Sausage
This Cajun-Style Andouille Sausage Pasta recipe is a quick and delicious solution for easy weeknight dinners! Smoky andouille sausage is cooked with Cajun inspired vegetables and spices and tossed with pasta in a spicy tomato cream sauce. It's a simple skillet meal loaded with a ton of bold flavor.
Sticky Beef, Broccoli, and Rice
This Sticky Beef, Broccoli, and Rice is a superfast and delicious meal that you can make any night of the week and tastes just like takeout! It only takes about 30 minutes to cook from start to finish and dinner will be done in no time.
Mary Madigan-Cassidy says
Hey Molly! I tried the chicken bruschetta with zucchini noodles. You know I am not a great cook but I really liked the chicken bruschetta and was pleased with how it turned out! I cheated and used the prepared balsamic glaze and also packaged zucchini noodles. I don’t love zucchini so I think I would substitute with gluten-free pasta next time. But the balsamic glaze made the dish! Thanks for all these great recipes. Happy fall!
Chef Molly says
So glad you enjoyed the chicken bruschetta recipe--that balsamic glaze is awesome!
Oh wow, Molly, so many good choices on this list - it was hard to know which link to click on first! And I have to say, if I hadn't just eaten lunch, I'd be heading for the kitchen right about now to see which of these I could make with the ingredients I have in the house. I am loving the look of the zucchini stir fry especially - yummm!
Chef Molly says
Mmm, yes, love that zucchini stir-fry! But all of these are delicious, and so easy!
I love all of these super easy dinner ideas! Thanks for sharing this amazing post, I can't wait to try a few of these recipes out 🙂
Chef Molly says
Thanks Kathryn! We are all in need of some easy dinner wins!