You’re tired, hungry and fresh out of dinner ideas for tonight. You need a quick and easy weeknight dinner – more substantial than a sandwich or ordering in another pizza.
With these recipes for pasta, fish & seafood, vegetarian meals or chicken & meat, you can whip up dinner in 30 minutes or less.
My favorite easy dinner ideas? Pad Thai (I make it a lot), creamy salmon pasta and lemon garlic shrimp pasta (rich and decadent!). All delicious and all stand-alone dinners.
Keep in mind that almost all our recipes have shortcuts and substitutes if you need them. We firmly believe in getting from A to B in the quickest way possible and adapting recipes to your taste and what you have on hand.
If I had to choose theultimate ‘quick and easy’recipes,,,here are my go-to’s:
Vegetable wonton soup (use whatever veggies you have on hand),
Vegetarian fajitas (buy the packaged seasoning),
Pink pasta sauce over packaged fresh ravioli
Pastina soup with veggies (pure comfort Italian chicken noodle soup)
Baked trout with lemon, butter and fresh herbs (a snap to make)
PF Change simplified chicken lettuce wraps (surprised? check it out)
Sweet and spicy chicken wings (we use spicy Thai chili sauce to make the glaze)
Easy Pasta Recipes
Most of these pasta dishes are vegetarian recipes but can be tweaked with added proteins if you like.
Best Pad Thai Recipe
Think of the best pad Thai recipe as perfect Asian comfort food. The flavors and textures in this sweet, salty, umami noodle stir fry are simply delicious. Way better than take out. Make it vegetarian or not. 30 minutes
A creamy peanut sauce with sesame, garlic, ginger and some heat plays the starring role in this spicy peanut noodles and vegetables dish. It's the perfect meal for busy nights when you need dinner on the table 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 simpl and decadent Indian style pasta that won't take a lot of time to get on the dinner table.20 minutes
A healthy meal that delivers big flavors with little effort. This Asian-style noodle bowl has it all. A bit of crunch, soft chewy noodles, lots of healthy veggies. Whatever protein you like. And a fabulous spicy- sweet-zesty-earthy sauce. 25 minutes
Bump up your pasta and tomato sauce a notch with this easy mellow, decadent pink sauce pasta recipe with onions, garlic, Parmesan cheese, basil and a splash of heavy cream. The next time you need a last minute meal, this is a good one. 15 minutes
Pillowy gnocchi in this easy gnocchi recipe au gratin is transformed with a rich, velvety white cheese sauce. Serve it as an appetizer, side or main dish with a slice of crusty bread for a meal even your picky eaters will love. 22 minutes
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! 28 minutes.
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. A perfect casual weeknight dinner. 30 minutes
In just a matter of minutes, you can be sitting down to a delicious, satisfying, assemble-your-own vegetarian fajita feast with your favorite toppings. Start with the basics – red peppers, onions, fajita seasonings and flour tortillas – then customize from there. 20 minutes
A simple cast iron pizza is faster than delivery! This delicious easy pizza has a super crispy crust (thick or thin) and no pizza stone is needed. It's a recipe you'll want to keep on regular rotation. 22 minutes
Pastina soup is an Italian chicken noodle soup that's comfort in a bowl. I like to add veggies to bump up the nutrition, but that's up to you. A deliciously satisfying kid-friendly dinner the whole family will love. 22 minutes
This build-your-own Asian-style vegetable wonton soup is super flavorful and versatile. And leftovers are great the next day. If you like healthy meals, quick meal prep and a simple recipe, you’ve landed in the right place. 22 minutes
Make these easy, spicy, sweet Thai chili wings on the grill when the craving hits and nothing else but chicken wings will do. Only 5 ingredients plus salt and pepper. Nothing fancy, just delish. 30 minutes
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. A one pot meal in 20 minutes
We're using light, tender juicy chicken meatballs in this version of Hungarian paprikash chicken. Same delicious (and fairly traditional) paprikash sauce that will have your taste buds singing. 30 minutes
1. Plan and shop ahead: I know this one is not always in the cards, but it does save time if you get your ingredients in advance and don’t find yourself wandering around the grocery store trying to figure out what to make 🙂 It’s best to make a list of quick dinner ideas beforehand.
2. Prep ahead: If you have time the night before or in the morning, chop veggies or make a sauce ahead.
3. Use simple or available ingredients: Opt for recipes that have fewer ingredients or can be adapted to your fridge and pantry staples. Almost all our recipes have substitutes and can be tailored to your needs.
4. Double the recipe: Make enough for leftovers so you can have a quick lunch or dinner the next day. Meatballs, for example, are easy to freeze and use for another meal. So are rice and quinoa.
5. Use convenience foods: I’m a big fan of this as long as they don’t compromise taste. Some great time-savers are frozen veggies, puff pastry, salad kits, pre-cut vegetables like butternut squash, pre-washed baby spinach (I use this a lot!), frozen rice, rotisserie chicken and peeled/deveined frozen shrimp.
6. Employ your quicker appliances: Air fryer and instant pot recipes can definitely save time in the kitchen. Just be aware that with the instant pot, you have to calculate the extra time it takes for the food to come to pressure and, in some case, release pressure.