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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.
“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
- Chickpea Chorizo Sausage Stew: One of our favorite one-dish recipes full of healthful greens, chickpeas and spice! You can also sub the pork sausage with vegetarian chorizo.
- Broiled Salmon with Gochujang Glaze: Totally delicious and SIMPLE recipe for glazed broiled salmon and asparagus with a sweet-spicy Korean-style glaze.
- Curry Coconut Chicken with Cauliflower: Creamy and delicious curry-spiced, one-pot chicken stew packed with cauliflower, chickpeas and healthy greens is easy to make in your pressure cooker or slow cooker.
- Mediterranean Chicken Kabobs: Grilled chicken kabobs with a Greek flair. The skewers are loaded up with chunks of chicken, vegetables and halloumi cheese and a side of yogurt tahini sauce.
- Parchment Baked Cod with Tomatoes and Fennel: Cooking cod in parchment paper in the oven is the best, foolproof way to prepare flaky white fish and the clean up is so easy!
Best Simple Dinners, Family Style
- Sriracha Chicken and Broccoli: A quick, super-tasty chicken and broccoli stir-fry recipe with green broccoli florets and tender chicken in a spicy sesame sauce.
- Weeknight Chicken Sausage Stew: A savory stew made with a jar of marinara sauce, chicken sausage, white beans and kale. The secret crunch are the tasty breadcrumbs on top!
- Baked Boneless Chicken Thighs with Dijon: Quick, one-dish chicken recipe full of juicy sauce and roasted shallots.
- Turkey Meatloaf with Basil and Sun Dried Tomatoes: Every home needs a go-to meatloaf recipe. This one has been my family’s favorite for years!
- Grandma’s Chicken Noodle Soup: This is the chicken soup recipe we all crave, full of lemony broth, noodles and tender chicken. Make it on the stovetop or in your pressure cooker.
Easy Vegetarian Dinners
- Thai Coconut Red Lentil Soup: A spicy (but not too hot) vegan red lentil soup with Thai red curry paste, coconut milk and lime. Simple and soul-satisfying!
- Perfect Black Bean Burgers: Vegan black bean burgers tested to perfection! These hearty burgers are DELICIOUS and they don’t fall apart or need to chill before cooking.
- Roast Vegetable Salad: An easy, colorful and incredibly tasty roast vegetable salad packed full of Mediterranean vegetables tossed with pesto sauce, chickpeas and greens.
- Sweet and Spicy Banh Mi Rice Bowl: A healthful vegetarian salad with fresh vegetables and a sweet, tangy spicy dressing.
- Roasted Harissa Cauliflower with Chickpeas: Roasted cauliflower salad with spicy harissa and chickpeas makes a hearty vegetarian main dish.
Best 30-Minute Dinner Recipes
- Garlic Butter Shrimp Pasta: A 20-minute recipe for the best garlic butter shrimp pasta. This incredibly tasty dinner has sauteed shrimp in a spicy garlic butter sauce with tomatoes and fresh herbs.
- Vegetable Stir-Fry with Sesame Ginger Sauce: A mix of healthful veggies in a tasty sesame sauce – make it easy with frozen vegetables or add some chicken, pork or tofu.
- Sweet Ginger Sweet Chicken Thighs: Incredibe sweet and spicy Asian chicken thighs, grilled and glazed with a gingery sauce with peanuts.
- Ramen Noodle Stir Fry with Chicken and Vegetables: A quick and tasty ramen noodle stir-fry that packs in layers of flavor.
- Spicy Peanut Lime Steak Salad: A grilled steak salad with rice noodles, packed with Southeast Asian flavors like lime, chili and mint.
Pasta for Dinner Recipes
- Pasta with Sheet Pan Tomato Sauce: Easy, elegant pasta recipe with a spicy tomato sauce made on a sheet pan.
- Pappardelle Pasta al Limone: Make this super-simple, no-cook creamy lemon sauce for any long pasta shape. A fan favorite.
- Mushroom Spinach Pasta: Noodles tossed with a delicious chunky mushroom spinach sauce. A quick and easy restaurant-quality recipe.
- Burst Cherry Tomato Pasta with Ricotta: A quick roasted cherry tomato sauce for pasta. The sauce cooks in minutes under your broiler!
- Gnocchi with Mushrooms and Blue Cheese: Delicious potato gnocchi in a creamy cheese sauce and hearty mushrooms. Cooks in one pan in 30 minutes.
25 Simple Dinners, Including Weeknight Chicken Sausage Stew
- 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
- ⅓ cup (30 g) grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- 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.
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.