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25 Simple Dinners

5 from 11 votes

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Looking for ideas for what to make for dinner tonight? I’ve gathered my 25 best simple dinners to share with you all in one place. In this guide you’ll find everything from meaty to vegetarian meals, every one a family favorite made with healthful ingredients.

An image of a serving of grilled glazed chicken thighs with cucumber and rice, in a white bowl with a fork.

“What the heck should I make for dinner?”

Surprise! You’re definitely not the only one who asks that question, almost every single day. Let’s be real: It takes work to think about cooking dinner, never mind planning and shopping for it.

Even I feel challenged sometimes, and I’m someone who cooks professionally AND creates this food blog! First is that daily question, followed by searching through the pantry and refrigerator for inspiration. Because dinner needs to be done and it needs to be simple!

It’s a good thing I also wrote a cookbook — Family Style: Shared Plates for Casual Feasts — on busy days I search through it to get dinner on the table without too much thinking.

This handy list has a month’s worth of weeknight dinners. Bookmark this page and share with a friend who needs more simple dinner ideas — I hope it’s a helpful resource!

Best Healthy Dinner Recipes:

One-Bowl Chorizo Chickpea Stew with Greens

30-Minute Chorizo Chickpea Stew

With tasty chunks of chorizo (or vegan chorizo), red peppers, leafy greens and spices this stew is an incredibly satisfying one-bowl meal that you can make in 30 minutes flat.
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Coconut Curry Chicken with Chickpeas and Cauliflower {Slow Cooker or Instant Pot}

Creamy and delicious curry-spiced, one-pot chicken stew packed with cauliflower, chickpeas and healthy greens is so easy to make in your pressure cooker or slow cooker. Make-ahead and freezer-friendly. Serve with basmati rice or warm naan on the side to make a complete meal. 
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Glazed salmon on a white platter with asparagus spears and chopped green onion.

Broiled Salmon with Sweet Gochujang Glaze

Totally delicious and SIMPLE 20-minute recipe for glazed broiled salmon and asparagus with a sweet-spicy glaze.
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Mediterranean Chicken Kabobs with Yogurt Sauce

Juicy grilled chicken kabobs with a Greek flair — these magically delicious skewers are loaded up with chunks of chicken, vegetables and halloumi cheese and a side of yogurt tahini sauce.
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Parchment Baked Cod with Tomatoes with Fennel, Thyme and Tomatoes

Simple and elegant Mediterranean-style parchment cooked cod recipe is the best, foolproof way to cook flaky white fish and clean up is so easy!
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Best Simple Dinners, Family Style:

Spicy Sriracha Chicken and Broccoli

A quick, super-tasty chicken and broccoli stir-fry full of green broccoli and tender chicken chunks in a spicy sesame sauce.
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Weeknight Chicken Sausage Stew

Weeknight Chicken Sausage Stew

A savory one-dish stew with cannellini beans, leafy greens, chicken sausage and marinara sauce, all topped with cheesy bread crumbs.
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Baked Dijon Chicken Thighs with Shallots

Quick and delicious baked boneless, skinless chicken thighs with mustard and shallots. A 30-minute recipe to add to your weeknight rotation!
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Turkey Meatloaf with Basil and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Our favorite recipe for moist and juicy turkey meatloaf, seasoned with sun-dried tomatoes and basil for lots of flavor.It's the best comfort food dish!
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A gray bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup, full of chicken, chunky carrots and wide pasta noodles.

Grandma’s Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

A classic homemade chicken noodle soup recipe straight from my Italian grandmother's kitchen. This recipe makes a tasty, nourishing soup loaded with tender chunks of chicken, vegetables and wide noodles to catch all the delicious broth. Easy to cook on the stovetop or in a pressure cooker.
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Easy Vegetarian Dinners:

Thai Coconut Red Lentil Soup

Super flavorful, spicy (but not too hot) vegan red lentil soup with Thai red curry paste, coconut milk and lime. Simple and soul-satisfying!
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Perfect Black Bean Burgers with Lime Mayo

Vegan Black Bean Burgers tested to perfection! These hearty burgers are DELICIOUS and they don't fall apart or need to chill before cooking.
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Roasted Vegetable Salad

An easy, colorful and incredibly tasty roast vegetable salad packed full of Mediterranean vegetables tossed with pesto sauce, chickpeas and greens.
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Sweet and Spicy Banh Mi Rice Bowl

Easy, flavor-packed brown rice banh mi salad recipe full of umami! A healthful vegetarian salad with fresh vegetables and a sweet, tangy spicy dressing.
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Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Harissa Chickpeas

The incredibly tasty roasted cauliflower salad with spicy harissa and chickpeas makes a hearty vegetarian main dish. 
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Best 30-Minute Dinner Recipes:

Garlic Butter Shrimp Pasta

Garlic Butter Shrimp Pasta

20-minute recipe for the best garlic butter shrimp pasta. This incredibly tasty "scampi" is made with sauteed shrimp in a spicy garlic butter sauce with tomatoes and fresh herbs.
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Stir-Fried Frozen Vegetables in Sesame Ginger Sauce

Stir-fry frozen vegetables in a savory sauce with ginger and sesame. Make this healthful super-tasty meal in about 15 minutes!
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Sweet Ginger Sticky Chicken Thighs

Incredibly tasty sweet and spicy Asian chicken thighs, grilled and glazed with a gingery sauce with peanuts. Serve with seasoned cucumbers, rice and a squeeze of lime.
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Ramen Stir-Fry with Chicken and Vegetables

A quick and tasty ramen noodle stir-fry that packs in layers of flavor. Use frozen vegetables and ground chicken (or meat or vegetarian protein) for the ultimate easy pantry meal.
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Thai Steak Salad with Rice Noodles

30-minute Thai Steak Salad packed with Southeast Asian flavors like lime, chili and mint. This salad is quick, healthy and incredibly delicious!
Get the Recipe

Pasta for Dinner Recipes:

Bucatini with Sheet Pan Tomato Sauce

Make a restaurant-worthy dish at home with this easy and elegant homemade pasta sauce made entirely on a sheet pan, with roasted cherry tomatoes, basil and ricotta.
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Creamy Lemon Pasta (al Limone)

Pappardelle al Limone is an easy and QUICK creamy lemon pasta recipe you'll make again and again: Wide pappardelle pasta noodles in a no-cook lemon Parmesan cream sauce.
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Mushroom Pasta with Spinach

This simply delicious pasta is tossed with a savory mushroom spinach sauce. You can make this delicious dish at home in less than 30 minutes!
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Burst Cherry Tomato Pasta with Ricotta

Burst Cherry Tomato Pasta Sauce

The quickest burst cherry tomato sauce made under your broiler! This juicy fresh pasta sauce is ready in 15 minutes or less. Serve with creamy ricotta or mozzarella for an incredible Italian-style dinner.
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Mushroom Gnocchi with Blue Cheese Sauce

Stay in for dinner tonight! Make this restaurant-worthy gnocchi in a creamy blue cheese mushroom sauce. Cooks all in one pan in 30 minutes.
Get the Recipe

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Weeknight Chicken Sausage Stew

25 Simple Dinners, Including Weeknight Chicken Sausage Stew

Karen Tedesco
One of our top easy dinner recipes! This savory one-dish stew has cannellini beans, leafy greens, chicken sausage and marinara sauce, all topped with cheesy, crunchy bread crumbs.
Print Pin
5 from 11 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Chicken
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (108 g) fresh bread crumbs, homemade or prepared, *see note below for making breadcrumbs
  • 4 tablespoons (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup (160 g) chopped yellow onion
  • 1 pound (450 g) uncooked chicken sausage, sliced into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  • ½ – 1 teaspoon crushed red chili
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 15-ounce (850 g) cans cannellini beans, drained
  • ½ cup (125 ml) chicken stock or water
  • 2 cups (500 ml) prepared marinara or pasta sauce, or homemade marinara
  • 2 cups (60 g) baby spinach or kale greens
  • cup (30 g) grated Pecorino Romano cheese

Instructions 

  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the breadcrumbs and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until the crumbs are crisp and golden brown. Set aside
  • Put the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet (12-inches) that has a lid. Place over medium heat and add the onion. Cook until the onion is softened and translucent, 3-5 minutes.
  • Turn up the heat to medium-high and add the sausage. Cook the sausage until it begins to brown, stirring it around the pan so it doesn’t stick.
  • Stir in the garlic, rosemary, chili and salt to taste. Cook about 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the beans, stock and Roasted Garlic Sauce and bring to a simmer.
  • Lower the heat, cover the pan and cook 10 minutes. Uncover the pan and simmer 5 more minutes to thicken the sauce. Remove from the heat and stir in the spinach.
  • Sprinkle the bread crumbs and cheese over the top and serve.

Karen’s Notes and Tips

To make your own breadcrumbs, lightly toast 4 slices of crusty bread. Cut into chunks (you can leave the crusts on) and pulse in a mini food processor to make coarse crumbs.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 567kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Sodium: 2170mg | Potassium: 727mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 4549IU | Vitamin C: 54mg | Calcium: 213mg | Iron: 4mg
Did you make this recipe? Mention @Familystylefood or tag #familystylefood on Instagram

Hey, I’m Karen

Creator of Familystyle Food

I’m a food obsessed super-taster and professionally trained cook ALL about making cooking fun and doable, with easy to follow tested recipes and incredibly tasty food! Read more about me here.

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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Yum, Karen! All your recipes make my mouth water and I plan to just work my way through the list. Love your new website, too!

  2. So many fantastic dinner ideas to choose from! I’m definitely making the pasta al limone and spicy peanut lime steak salad first though! Thanks for the inspo and new ideas!