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20 Easy Weeknight Meals

You love to eat a good meal at the end of the day – maybe healthy and definitely tasty. But you’re tired and fresh out of ideas for easy weeknight meals. No worries, we’ve got you covered.

Indian Butter Gnocchi with Spinach in a bowl

We’ve gathered some of our favorite Two Kooks recipes for 20 easy weeknight meals. Problem solved.

Lots are vegetarian. ALL are 30 minutes or less. Choose the cooking method you’re most comfortable with – skillet/stove top; on the grill; or in the oven. Some of the grill recipes also have instructions for the oven.

If one of these recipes sparks your interest, we’d love you to leave us a comment at the end of the recipe to let us know what you think.

Skillet/Stove Top Easy Weeknight Meals


Indian Butter Gnocchi (20 minutes): This recipe is so easy with a good bottled tomato sauce and pre-made fresh gnocchi. The baby spinach makes this a complete meal. Serve with Naan for dipping or a salad.

Easy Gnocchi Recipe Indian-Style

Indian style gnocchi in bowl f
In 20 minutes with a few store-bought items, this easy gnocchi recipe delivers deep, rich Indian flavors with a creamy tomato-based sauce. Soak it up with Naan for a simple, but decadent Indian style pasta.
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Fresh Vegetable Pasta (30 minutes): Use whatever veggies you have on hand. Add leftover chicken, cooked sausage or shrimp if you like.

Easy Vegetarian Pasta Recipe (for all seasons)

vegetarian pasta on plate with wine
This is one of my favorite non-meat meals. Its a light, healthy, zesty, Easy Vegetarian Pasta Recipe and perfect for and season.
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Asian Inspired Mac N Cheese (30 minutes): A cool twist on an old favorite. Buy frozen pre-shelled edamame beans for a great shortcut.

Asian-Inspired Mac 'N' Cheese Recipe

Asian Inspired Mac 'N' Cheese
I love the fusion of cultures in Toronto that spills onto the plate. Our Asian-Inspired Mac 'N' Cheese is a twist on the tried-and-true favorite, adding Udon noodles, edamame and seaweed garnish for a delicious Asian flare.
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Parmesan Polenta with Herbed Tomatoes (15 minutes): Summer comfort food! To make this in 15 minutes, use 1-minute quick cooking Polenta (instead of making it from scratch) at a 4:1 ratio of water to Polenta. Both fresh tomatoes and canned San Marzano tomatoes work perfectly.

Creamy Polenta with Tomato Herb Salad

polenta topped with tomato salad on plate
Parmesan Polenta topped with a robust tomato herb salad makes a fabulous lunch or side. Summer comfort food!
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Skillet Pizza (22 minutes): Use a store-bought dough and your favorite toppings. One pan. You need a cast iron skillet or a pan that can withstand a 500F oven temperature.

Easy Cast Iron Pizza (22 minutes)

slices of pizza on cutting board one with dripping cheese
A simple cast iron pizza will take just 22 minutes to make - faster than delivery! This delicious easy pizza has a super crispy crust (thick or thin) and no pizza stone is needed.
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Squash Tomato and Spinach Curry (30 minutes): Wonderful Indian flavors starring butternut squash and spinach. One pan. You’ll need curry powder, curry paste, coconut milk and tomato sauce.

Butternut Squash Curry (30-Minutes)

squash curry over rice in bowl f
With a few good shortcuts, this healthy butternut squash curry can be on the table in 30 minutes. Rich, creamy, spicy deliciousness.
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Chicken and Meat

Chicken Lettuce Wraps (28 minutes): These are PF Chang Style lettuce wraps. One pan. Very tasty. Low calorie. Try our Vegetable Wonton Soup with the wraps.

PF Chang's Chicken Lettuce Wraps (simplified copycat)

Chicken Lettuce Wrap on plate fff
These popular PF Chang's chicken lettuce wraps are a real treat for weeknights or dinner parties. Great flavors. Great textures. And surprisingly easy to make, especially with our simplified version. 
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Peanut Chicken Broccoli Slaw (35 minutes): Using a broccoli slaw adds a healthy and easy shortcut to this stir fry. Even quicker with leftover chicken.

Peanut Chicken Stir Fry

Peanut Chicken Broccoli Slaw Stir Fry
Peanut chicken lovers will appreciate this quick Peanut Chicken Broccoli Slaw Stir Fry. An easy weeknight dinner that also makes great leftovers for lunch. 
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Skillet Pork Chop Dinner (28 minutes): Love this comfort food. Apples add a delicious sweetness. One pan. Even quicker if you skip the sauce.

Cast Iron Skillet Pork Chops (with veggies and apples)

pork chops and veggies in skillet
Cast iron skillet pork chops is an easy and quick weeknight meal made in one pan with apples, veggies, thyme and a light sauce. Simple, yummy comfort food.
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Lemon Shrimp Pasta (30 minutes): Never fails to get huge raves. Buy peeled deveined shrimp for a great shortcut. Definitely company worthy.

Garlic Shrimp Lemon Pasta

lemon garlic shrimp pasta in serving bowl f
This garlic shrimp lemon pasta is out of this world.  Tender shrimp, the lemon shines through, the capers and garlic give it extra oomph and the butter makes it rich and silky. Seriously good!
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Shrimp Piccata (20 minutes): Pretty much the same as Chicken Piccata and just as delicious. One Pan.

20-Minute Shrimp Piccata

Shrimp Piccata over spinach and rice ff
Lemony, garlicky, buttery shrimp piccata is on the table in 20 minutes. Serve over rice or as an appetizer straight from the skillet. A simple and delicious classic.
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Tomato Coconut Curry Poached Salmon (30 minutes): You can use salmon, shrimp or even chicken for this Asian style dish. One pan. Have curry paste, coconut milk and a can of diced tomatoes on hand. Serve over rice or quinoa with Naan or bread for dipping.

Coconut Curry Salmon

Coconut Curry Salmon over rice in a bowl ff
Salmon gets an Asian flare in this coconut curry salmon recipe. Spicy with lots of flavor. It makes a simple weeknight or company meal in just 30 minutes. 
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Grilled Easy Weeknight Meals


Easy Eggplant Parmesan (30 minutes): This is my new favorite vegetarian meal. Lower calorie (and gluten free). We make it on the grill but you can also bake it (instructions provided). Canned or fresh tomatoes are fine. Even tomato sauce.

Easy Eggplant Parmesan (30 minutes)

piece of eggplant parmesan on plate
This easy Eggplant Parmesan recipe has no breading, no frying and no pre-salting. It's unfussy, healthy and simply delicious. Good shortcuts cut the time down to 30 minutes.
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Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms (36 minutes): Stuffed with lots of healthy veggies and cheese. Oven instructions included if you don’t have a grill. One pan. (We know this recipe is more than 30 minutes, but it’s great)

Veggie Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

portobello mushroom on cutting board
A delicious main or side dish, these veggie stuffed portobello mushrooms, filled with fresh vegetables, herbs and cheese, are a wonderful change of pace. When I talk about 'stuffed' in this recipe, I mean STUFFED!
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Chicken, Fish/Seafood

Grilled Shrimp Tacos with Coconut Lime Chili Sauce (30 minutes): Wickedly good. And messy. Buy peeled deveined shrimp for a good shortcut. No pans! Just skewers. Use soft (less messy) or hard taco shells.

Grilled Shrimp Tacos with Coconut Chili Sauce

2 grilled shrimp tacos all dressed with plate of shrimp and sauce beside them
If you're looking for a casual meal with plump marinated shrimp, crispy shells, slaw, creamy avocados and a bit of heat, check out these grilled shrimp tacos with spicy coconut lime chili sauce.
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Canadian Maple Planked Salmon (25 minutes): To die for. Thin wood planks (1/4 inch) need to be pre-soaked for just 10 minutes. One pan.

Canadian Maple Cedar Plank Salmon

cooked glazed salmon on plank f
This rich, mildly smoky Canadian Maple Cedar Plank Salmon is glazed with maple syrup, balsamic, grainy mustard, butter & garlic.  Easy and mouthwatering!
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Grilled Chicken Burgers with Mango Avocado Salsa (22 minutes): These are not your dry tasteless chicken burgers. One pan (to carry stuff to the BBQ). Any toppings will do, but the mango avocado salsa is great. Serve with our Herb Potato Salad.

Juicy Chicken Burger Recipe with Mango Salsa

Chicken Burger on bun with Mango-Avocado Salsa on a plate with fries
I've recently become a convert from beef to chicken for my burgers because I found a way to make them moist and flavorful. This juicy chicken burger recipe with mango salsa is great BBQ or weeknight family fare.
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Roasted/Baked Easy Weeknight Meals

Maple Balsamic Rainbow Trout (20 minutes): This is our most popular recipe, viewed almost 100 times a day. Only 6 ingredients. One pan. Add some chopped veggies to the pan like broccoli, cauliflower or bok choy to complete the dinner. Or serve with Mushroom Spinach Couscous.

Maple Balsamic Rainbow Trout

Maple Balsamic Rainbow Trout on plate with roasted cauliflower F
This moist, flaky, flavorful maple balsamic rainbow trout is a perfect weeknight meal, ready in 20 minutes. Just six ingredients. Simple and delicious.
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Salmon Stuffed With Lemon Ricotta (25 minutes): Also only 6 ingredients. So pretty and easy to make. One pan. Serve with Chinese Stir Fried Green Beans. Or roast some green beans tossed with oil, salt and pepper on the same pan.

Stuffed Salmon With Lemon Ricotta

glazed stuffed salmon with ricotta on plate with beans.
Stuffed salmon with lemon ricotta is elegant comfort food with a kick. Delicious moist salmon with a creamy, lemony filling and a spicy sweet chili drizzle in 30 minutes.
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Light Kale Hazelnut Charred Onion Slaw with Chicken (30 minutes): The slaw perks up the chicken breasts beautifully. Low calorie. Great buffet dish.

Kale Slaw Recipe With Hazelnuts and Charred Onions

hazelnut slaw on a sliced chicken breast
Try this fresh, light kale slaw recipe with hazelnuts and charred onions over a simple chicken breast for a healthy, low-cal and tasty meal. Or toss it with ravioli for a vegetarian version.
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