What should I make for dinner tonight? This might just be the number one question that we ask ourselves almost daily over here. So today, we have rounded up over 60 of the best easy dinner ideas that we have shared over the years including convenient sheet pan dinners, easy pasta recipes, quick chicken dinners, hearty soups for dinner, better than takeout recipes (and faster too!), ground beef recipes (meatballs, anyone?), seafood recipes, vegetarian dinners, and more dinner ideas!
So if you are asking yourself what to make for dinner tonight, then you have come to the right place. Plus, there is such a variety of flavours in these dinner recipes, so you are sure to find something for you. The best part? Most of these dinner ideas are quick and easy ones made especially for busy weeknights.
Best Quick and Easy Dinner Ideas
- Creamy Garlic Shrimp. Creamy garlic shrimp is a delicious, quick and easy 15-minute meal (including prep!) that you need to include in your weeknight dinner meal plan.
- Pesto Penne Pasta. Quick and easy pesto penne pasta with fresh tomatoes is a simple and light Italian pasta dish made with just five ingredients in under 15 minutes. The easiest dinner using pasta from your pantry.
- Creamy Lemon Chicken Piccata. Quick and easy, creamy lemon chicken piccata is a simple and delicious 30-minute meal made with tender chicken breast in a light lemon sauce with capers.
- Homemade Hamburger Helper. Homemade hamburger helper is a family favorite but you can make a cheaper, healthier, and way tastier version at home, ready in just 30 minutes.
- Honey Garlic Glazed Salmon. Sticky and sweet, easy honey garlic glazed salmon is one of the best salmon recipes to add to your weeknight dinner rotation. Ready in under 25 minutes.
- One Pan Garlic Roasted Chicken and Baby Potatoes. One pan garlic roasted chicken and baby potatoes is an easy to make, delicious, and wholesome meal for the entire family. Prep this sheet pan in 10 minutes.
- Glazed Honey Balsamic Pork Chops. Quick and easy, glazed honey balsamic pork chops are tender and juicy, seared in thyme and coated with a honey balsamic sauce. Make it in under 30 minutes.
- Creamy Tuscan Chicken. Creamy Tuscan chicken with sun-dried tomatoes and spinach is a quick and easy 30 minute Italian chicken dinner that is delicious, flavorful, and comforting.
Easy Family-Friendly Dinners
- Italian Meatballs. Quick, easy homemade Italian meatballs are juicy, flavourful, and delicious, simmered in a rich and savoury tomato sauce. Make them in just 30 minutes.
- Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas. Sizzling and hot sheet pan chicken fajitas are on the table in less than 30 minutes, loaded with chicken and red peppers. The best part is that you just throw everything into one sheet pan. Make it a total fiesta with some pico de gallo and guacamole.
- Pasta Bake with Sausage (Baked Ziti). Pasta bake with sausage (baked ziti) is a lazy day lasagna with layers of pasta tossed in a rich meat sauce, layered with mozzarella, and baked.
- Fish Tacos with Lime Crema. Flavourful, easy fish tacos with lime crema is made with seasoned white fish, cabbage slaw, avocado, and lime sauce. It takes less than 25 minutes to prep and serve.
- Chicken Penne Pasta. Chicken penne pasta is a quick and easy dinner that is delicious, rich, creamy, and flavorful. It’s a family favorite that’s ready in under 30 minutes.
- Stovetop Mac and Cheese with White Cheddar. Quick and easy, creamy stovetop mac and cheese with white cheddar is a delicious and comforting one pot 20-minute meal packed with three types of cheese. Try this Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese in the fall.
- Chicken Enchiladas. Easy baked chicken enchiladas brings the taste of authentic Mexican food into your kitchen -- saucy, spicy, and savoury. Perfect for a Mexican fiesta.
- Creamy White Chicken and Spinach Lasagna. Creamy white chicken and spinach lasagna with tender shredded chicken is the most comforting creamiest cheesiest white lasagna. Easy to make ahead & freeze.
- Dutch Oven Whole Roast Chicken. Easy Dutch oven whole roast chicken with the crispiest golden skin is juicy, tender and succulent and packed with flavour. Just takes 15 minutes to prep. Serve with creamy potatoes au gratin on the side. For an easy instant pot option, try Instant Pot Whole Chicken.
Sheet Pan Dinner Ideas
- Sheet Pan Curry Chicken and Vegetables. These sheet pan curry chicken and vegetables (including potatoes or sweet potatoes) with tender chicken thighs marinated in a delicious flavourful curry marinade is a complete one pan dinner. Serve with easy coconut rice or plain Basmati rice on the side.
- Sheet Pan Lamb Chops. Sheet pan lamb chops with vegetables are healthy and delicious, easy to make, and easier to clean up. Perfect for busy weeknights or a holiday dinner.
- Tandoori Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner. In under 30 minutes, create intensely flavourful tandoori chicken sheet pan dinner loaded with vegetables, any night of the week. Good-bye takeout. Serve over easy coconut rice or plain Basmati rice.
- Roasted Balsamic Chicken with Cranberries. If you’re scrambling to figure out dinner with less than 30 minutes on hand, this sweet and tangy roasted balsamic chicken with cranberries will save the day. Serve with some creamy mashed potatoes or garlic mashed cauliflower.
- Baked Curried Chicken Drumsticks. Baked curried chicken drumsticks are an easy to make dinner with quick prep and minimal dishes. They're tender, delicious, and packed with flavour.
- Sheet Pan Soy-Glazed Chicken Thighs. Sheet pan soy-glazed chicken thighs is the perfect weeknight meal -- 30 minutes in the marinade and 20 minutes in the oven. Easier and healthier than take-out. Serve with steamed rice and a vegetable stir fry.
Easy Pasta Dinner Ideas
- Spaghetti Carbonara. Creamy spaghetti carbonara (Spaghetti a la Carbonara) is a simple classic Italian pasta with pancetta that's quick and easy to make in minutes.
- Spaghetti Bolognese. Quick easy spaghetti bolognese with a rich, thick, delicious and flavourful meat sauce is a family favourite ready in 30 minutes. Best weeknight dinner.
- Cacio e Pepe. Cacio e pepe is a simple, authentic Italian pasta dish made with just four ingredients in 20 minutes. It's delicious, flavourful and easy to make.
- Cheesy Tortellini and Sausage Bake. Quick and easy, cheesy tortellini and sausage bake is a delicious 30-minute dinner packed with flavour. A family-favourite comfort food for busy weeknights.
- Fettuccine Alfredo. Fettuccine alfredo is a classic Italian pasta dish that is rich, creamy, and delicious. Plus, it comes together in less than 15 minutes!
- Spaghetti and Meatballs. Quick and easy spaghetti and meatballs is delicious, rich, comforting with tender beef meatballs simmered in a savoury tomato sauce. Make it in 30 minutes.
- Turkey Tetrazzini with Spinach. Creamy turkey tetrazzini with spinach is a simple, easy and delicious pasta recipe that is comforting, creamy and cheesy. The recipe uses turkey, but you can also substitute it with leftover chicken or a store-bought rotisserie chicken instead.
- Spring Pesto Pasta with Asparagus. Spring pesto pasta with asparagus and chives is light and made with simple ingredients in under 20 minutes. Serve it hot for dinner or cold as pasta salad.
- Farfalle Pasta with Light Creamy Mushroom Rose Sauce. This heavenly combination of farfalle pasta, mushrooms and creamy rosé sauce makes up the best and creamiest Italian comfort food.
Winner Winner Chicken Dinner Ideas
- Easy Chicken Parmesan (Parmigiana). Easy chicken parmesan (parmigiana) with crispy breaded chicken, tomato sauce, and melted mozzarella and parmesan cheese. The best comfort chicken dinner.
- Chicken Marsala. Chicken marsala in creamy mushroom sauce is a quick and easy 30-minute chicken dinner that is pure comfort food goals. A total crowd favourite.
- Roasted Spatchcock Chicken (Butterflied Chicken). Quick and easy roasted spatchcock chicken (butterflied chicken) seasoned with garlic and thyme is juicy, tender, delicious and flavourful with minimal prep. Serve with some creamy mashed potatoes and garlic green beans.
- One Pot Spanish Chicken and Rice. Packed with flavour, real ingredients and vibrant colours, one pot Spanish chicken and rice is the perfect no fuss, no clean up weeknight meal.
- Parmesan Crusted Chicken. Baked parmesan crusted chicken is breaded in a herby parmesan breadcrumb mixture and baked until crispy perfection. So flavourful and delicious.
- Apple Dijon Braised Chicken Thighs. Tender and juicy apple dijon braised chicken thighs with potatoes is juicy, tender and so succulent that it falls off the bone, yet so crispy outside. Serve with some bread to soak up all that juice. Try homemade ciabatta rolls or green onion dinner rolls.
- Skillet Chicken with Lemon Garlic Sauce. Delicious creamy skillet chicken with lemon garlic sauce is a one-skillet meal that is ready in 30 minutes. It's garlicky, saucy, creamy, and so flavourful. Bread is a must to dip into this delicious sauce. Try pull apart garlic bread or easy no yeast biscuits.
- Indian Butter Chicken. Better than takeout, make easy Indian butter chicken in just 30 minutes, with a creamy tomato-based sauce, charred chicken, and incredible spice + flavour. Serve with homemade garlic naan bread.
- Creamy Lemon Parmesan Chicken. Creamy lemon parmesan chicken is a simple, quick and easy 30-minute meal that is packed with flavour. The most comforting and easiest weeknight dinner.
- Skillet Chicken Thighs and Potatoes. Tender, juicy, and crispy one pan skillet chicken thighs and potatoes and carrots is an easy weeknight dinner on your dinner table in less than 45 minutes. Serve with a Mediterranean chickpea wedge salad on the side.
- Pan-Fried Lemongrass Chicken. Aromatic Asian pan-fried lemongrass chicken is healthy, gluten-free, and takes less than 25 minutes to prep and cook. Now that's what I call the perfect weeknight meal. Use any leftovers in a lemongrass chicken banh mi sandwich.
- One Pot Coconut Curry Chicken and Rice. Creamy, delicious and flavourful, Thai-inspired one pot coconut curry chicken and rice is a 30-minute weeknight meal made with red curry and coconut milk.
Hearty Filling Soups for Dinner
- Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup. Smooth, hearty and light, one pot lemon chicken orzo soup is pure comfort in a bowl. This family favourite is like chicken noodle soup with a major upgrade.
- Creamy Tortellini Soup with Sausage. Hearty and creamy tortellini soup with sausage, spinach and kale is total comfort food in a bowl. Make this flavourful one pot meal in under 30 minutes.
- Chicken Tortilla Soup. Hearty chicken tortilla soup is a delicious, wholesome and filling soup that you can make in about 30 minutes, packed with classic Mexican flavours including black beans and corn.
- Healthy Miso Ramen with Chicken. It doesn't get any more cozier than a healthy miso ramen soup with chicken from the comfort of your own home. The vegan miso broth is what this ramen is all about. Seriously, weeknight dinners have never been tastier!
- Vegetarian Mushroom Barley Soup. Wholesome hearty vegetarian mushroom barley soup is healthy, filling, and so delicious. This one pot meal is easy to make with just 10 minutes of prep.
- Vegetarian Peanut Miso Ramen. Vegetarian peanut miso ramen with a creamy vegan soup base, is topped with noodles, vegetables, and a perfect soft-boiled egg. Make it in just 20 minutes.
- Creamy Turkey Orzo Soup. Warm and cozy, creamy turkey orzo soup is wholesome, hearty, filling, and flavourful. Make this delicious one pot meal using leftover turkey or a rotisserie chicken instead in just 30 minutes.
- Thai Red Curry Noodle Soup. This gluten-free, one pot Thai red curry noodle soup is so flavourful and packed with shrimp, vermicelli rice noodles, fresh herbs, lime juice, and fish sauce.
- Creamy Ham and Potato Soup. Creamy ham and potato soup is hearty, filling, and so flavourful. This warm and cozy one pot meal is the easiest weeknight meal to make in just 25 minutes.
- Turkey Wild Rice Soup. Wholesome hearty one pot leftover turkey wild rice soup can be adapted easily for chicken instead of turkey as well. It's the most comforting way to use any leftover roast chicken or a store-bought rotisserie chicken.
Better than Takeout Dinner Ideas
- Healthy Lemon Chicken. Better than takeout, healthy lemon chicken is a delicious, sticky chicken stir fry coated in a flavourful, sweet and tangy sauce. The best weeknight dinner.
- 15-Minute Lo Mein. Say goodbye to takeout and make easy 15-minute lo mein at home using fresh and healthy ingredients.
- Vegetarian Chow Mein. Better than takeout, quick easy stir-fried vegetarian chow mein is packed with vegetables and coated in a delicious savoury sauce. Make it in 15 minutes.
- Teriyaki Chicken. Teriyaki chicken is a quick easy chicken stir fry that is delicious, flavorful, healthy, and better and faster than takeout. Perfect for busy weeknights. One of my favorite stir-fries that can also be made in the instant pot!
- Kung Pao Chicken. Kung Pao chicken is a Chinese chicken dish that is stir-fried with crisp vegetables and tossed in a delicious Asian sauce packed with flavour.
- Vegetarian Fried Rice. Make flavourful, Chinese restaurant-style vegetarian fried rice at home in 10 minutes, with fully customizable ingredients, and say good-bye to take-out!
- General Tso's Chicken. Baked General Tso's Chicken is a saucy, savoury, sweet, spicy Chinese-American takeout favourite made healthier with baked chicken, not fried.
- Seafood Fried Rice. Quick and easy, one-pan, 10-minute seafood fried rice with tiger prawns is so much healthier, tastier and better than takeout. It's the easiest weeknight meal.
- 10-Minute Chicken Pad Thai. No more takeout when you can make flavourful, restaurant-style, authentic chicken Pad Thai at home in just 10 minutes. It's sweet, savoury, sour and nutty.
- Baked Sesame Chicken. Better than takeout, baked sesame chicken with vegetables is delicious, flavourful, sticky and saucy. This healthier Chinese dish is quick and easy to make.
- Shanghai Style Fried Noodles. Better than take-out, flavourful and authentic Shanghai fried noodles with chicken, mushrooms, and bok choy is made in just 10 minutes - the easiest dinner!
- Curry Chicken Fried Rice. Flavourful curry chicken fried rice with chicken, mushrooms, peas, rice, and curry flavours is so easy to make in less than 10 minutes on busy weeknights. Serve with a fresh Chinese garlic cucumber salad on the side.
- Sweet Chili Chicken Bites. Sticky crispy baked sweet chili chicken bites is better than takeout and so easy to make healthier at home. An easy dinner or game day appy.
- Coconut Lamb Curry. Hearty coconut lamb curry is an easy one pot meal that is packed with flavour. Make it on the stovetop or in the slow cooker and freeze leftovers for later.
Quick Ground Beef Dinner Ideas
- Swedish Meatballs. Delicious, comforting homemade Swedish meatballs are seared and smothered in a creamy gravy sauce and taste so much better than IKEA meatballs.
- Easy Meat Lasagna. Classic easy meat lasagna is the ultimate Italian comfort food with layers of tender lasagna, meaty tomato sauce, cheese filling and melted cheese on top.
- Slow Cooker Beef Chili. Hearty slow cooker beef chili is an easy, comforting, low-maintenance dinner in fall and winter months. It's a family favourite crockpot chili.
- Sticky Honey Garlic Meatballs. Sticky honey garlic meatballs are a delicious and flavourful 30-minute meal to add to your weekly dinner rotation. A total crowd pleaser.
- Ground Beef Stuffed Peppers. Ground beef stuffed peppers are delicious, healthy, and filling. Stuffed with beef rice and veggies, they're easy to make ahead and freezer-friendly.
- Skillet Shepherd's Pie. Skillet shepherd's pie is a savoury and hearty traditional comfort food. With flavourful beef and fluffy potatoes, this cozy meal it will warm you up.
- Sheet Pan Nachos. Oven-baked loaded sheet pan nachos are a crowd pleaser for an easy weeknight dinner or a crave-worthy appetizer to serve on game day.
Seafood Dinner Ideas
- Miso Salmon. Baked miso salmon brings traditional Japanese flavours to the forefront, with a healthy and delicious meal that’s easy to make on busy weeknights.
- Seared Scallops. Garlicky, buttery, and perfectly seared scallops take less than 10 minutes to prep and cook. It's the easiest fancy, restaurant-grade meal to make at home.
- Steamed Mussels in Tomato Sauce. Steamed mussels in tomato sauce is an impressive restaurant-quality dish that is so quick and easy to make at home in less than 25 minutes.
- Teriyaki Salmon. Quick easy teriyaki salmon is tender, flaky, and flavorful, with bold flavors from the delicious teriyaki marinade. Great for dinner or meal prep lunches.
- Creamy Garlic Salmon. Creamy garlic salmon is a quick easy one-pan meal ready in under 30 minutes, with seared flaky tender salmon tossed in a delicious creamy garlic sauce.
- Baked Maple Salmon. Quick and easy baked maple salmon is so delicious, flaky and flavourful with the perfect balance between sweet and savoury. The best weeknight dinner.
- Pistachio-Crusted Salmon. Pistachio-crusted salmon is a gourmet dinner without the gourmet skills! Prepare this with a handful of ingredients in less than 20 minutes!
- Tigers Prawns in Garlic Ginger Soy Sauce. 10-minute tiger prawns in garlic ginger soy sauce is juicy, tender and immersed in incredible Asian flavours. It's the perfect weeknight meal.
- Garlic Butter Salmon. Tender, flaky, flavorful garlic butter salmon is well-seasoned, seared to perfection, and basted until juicy. Quick and easy to make in 20 minutes.
- Almond-Crusted Halibut. You won't believe how easy it is to make fresh, flavourful and delicious almond-crusted halibut with lemon garlic butter this season.
- Shrimp Scampi with Zucchini Noodles. Shrimp scampi with zucchini noodles is a low-carb, keto, and gluten-free version of a classic pasta dish. It is healthy, garlicky, flavorful, and delicious.
Vegetarian Dinner Ideas
- Spinach and Feta Quiche with Cauliflower Crust. Spinach and feta quiche is healthy and gluten-free with a keto cauliflower crust and savoury vegetarian filling. Serve for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
- 20-Minute One Pot Lentils. Easy 20-minute one pot lentils is vegan, gluten-free, and packed with protein. It's immune boosting properties makes it the perfect healthy meal.
- Vegan Stuffed Bell Peppers. Easy vegan stuffed bell peppers are filled with brown rice, mushrooms, veggies, and seasonings, then baked for 40 minutes. It's a perfect weeknight dinner.
- Vegetarian Chili. Easy one pot vegetarian chili is the perfect warm and cozy comfort meal — it’s hearty, filling, wholesome, flavorful, delicious, and loaded with protein.
- Spinach and Tomato Vegetarian Lasagna. Take comfort food to another level with the best creamy spinach and tomato vegetarian lasagna. You won't even miss the meat!
- Falafel. Homemade falafel are delicious, golden brown and crispy on the outside, fluffy tender and soft inside. Plus, they're vegan, loaded with plant-based protein.
- Potato Galette with Arugula and Crème Fraîche. Looking for a life-changing recipe? One that you can have for breakfast, lunch, or dinner? This potato galette with arugula and crème fraîche is a total crowd pleaser that brings light, spring flavours to life!
- Vegetarian Meatballs. Quinoa, Cauliflower and Chickpea Vegetarian Meatballs with Tahini Sauce: Vegetarian meatballs are easy to make with a combination of quinoa, cauliflower, chickpeas and an assortment of spices and herbs, drizzled with a homemade tahini sauce.
- Caprese Frittata. This 15-minute caprese frittata is the recipe you’ve been waiting for! A go-to breakfast for entertaining or an easy dinner for busy weeknights.
- Tomato and Mozzarella Tart. Looking for the perfect appetizer or light lunch? Try a tomato and mozzarella tart topped with basil and a drizzle of pomegranate molasses!
Tips for Quick and Easy Dinners
- Make ahead and freezer-friendly. You can make many of these easy dinners ahead of time and store in the refrigerator for a few days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Prep in advance. You can also make things easy by prepping the ingredients in advance and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Check the individual recipes for full make ahead and storing instructions.
- How to reheat. Most of the leftovers can be reheated either in the air fryer or the oven at 300F for 10-15 minutes until warmed through, on the stovetop over medium to low heat for about 5-10 minutes until warmed through, or in the microwave in 20-second increments until warmed through. If heating from frozen, let it thaw first and then reheat.
More Dinner Ideas
- 60+ Fall Dinner Ideas
- 60+ Summer Dinner Ideas
- 60 Chinese Takeout Recipes
- 30 Best Mexican Recipes
- 40 Best Pasta Recipes
- 60 Best Chicken Recipes
- 25 Best Ground Beef Recipes
- 30 Best Shrimp Recipes
Did You Make Any of These Easy Dinner Recipes?
Please leave a comment and rating below, and let me know what you thought of this round up of these easy dinner ideas. Be sure to snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @aheadofthyme or share it on the Pinterest pin so that I can follow along.Print
Over 60 best easy dinner ideas: sheet pan dinners, easy pasta, chicken dinner, hearty soup, takeout recipes, ground beef, seafood, vegetarian, and more. One of my favorites is this homemade hamburger helper, ready in just 30 minutes.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 + ½ cups milk
- 1 cup beef broth or water
- 2 cups elbow macaroni pasta, uncooked
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- fresh parsley, chopped (optional, for serving)
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the oil is sizzling hot, about 1 minute. Add ground beef and cook until browned on all sides, about 6-8 minutes. Break up beef into small pieces to help even browning.
- Add onion and garlic and sauté until tender, about 2 minutes.
- Add tomato paste and mix until well incorporated and season with salt, pepper and paprika.
- Add milk, beef broth, and uncooked macaroni. Stir well and bring to a boil. Cover the lid and simmer over medium heat for 8-10 minutes until the pasta is tender. Make sure to stir occasionally to prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Add cheddar cheese and stir until melted and well combined. Sprinkle parsley on top and serve immediately.
Make ahead and store: You can make many of these easy dinners ahead of time and store in the refrigerator for a few days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. You can also make things easy by prepping the ingredients in advance and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Check the individual recipes for full make ahead and storing instructions.
How to reheat: Most of these leftovers can be reheated either in the air fryer or the oven at 300F for 10-15 minutes until warmed through, on the stovetop over medium to low heat for about 5-10 minutes until warmed through, or in the microwave in 20-second increments until warmed through. If heating from frozen, let it thaw first and then reheat.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: 60+ easy dinner ideas, easy dinner ideas, best dinner ideas, easy dinner recipes, easy dinners, best easy dinners, what to make for dinner