65 Easy Dinner Ideas Your Family Will Love

Updated: May 15, 2024

Look through our easy dinner ideas to answer the age-old question of "What's for dinner?" Each dish calls for simple ingredients and preps in 30 minutes or less. We threw in some super easy slow-cooker recipes, too!

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Quick Tater Tot Bake

Tater Tot casserole—aka hotdish to Minnesotans—has its roots in the Midwest, but this six-ingredient casserole’s popularity has spread all over the country.

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Easy Pad Thai

Our easy pad Thai recipe is ready in less than 30 minutes, and it tastes just as good as takeout. It’s the perfect quick-cooking meal for an easy weeknight dinner, and making it won’t break the bank, either.
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Though still debated, Tucson is generally credited as the original home of chimichangas (fried “burros”, as we call them, stuffed with meat, onions and chiles). I’ve combined several recipes into this one, and it’s fairly authentic. —Laura Towns, Glendale, Arizona
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Easy Crockpot Pot Roast

This pot roast is rich and flavorful, with ultra-tender shreds of meat that basically melt in your mouth. Bonus: Our Crockpot pot roast recipe is super simple to make and lets you come home to the incredible aroma of a ready-to-eat dinner.
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Cowboy Stew

This Dutch oven stew has only five ingredients, and is prepped, cooked and on the table in less than 15 minutes. And it’s an easy dinner recipe to riff on—add some heat by using a spicy sausage, such as chorizo or andouille; toss in pickled jalapenos or chipotle peppers; or mix in frozen or canned corn or green beans.

If you loved this stew, then don’t forget to check out this hearty cowboy soup recipe.

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Cube Steak and Gravy

This is a hearty homestyle dinner your family will love after a busy day. The slow-cooked beef is wonderful served over mashed potatoes or noodles.
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Easy Chicken Tenders

Chicken tenders are the ultimate comfort food. Golden, crunchy and ideal for dipping, they’re a great choice for dinner, especially if you have picky eaters. Homemade chicken tenders are tastier and better for you than fast food, and are easier to make than you might think.

Also, for dinner tonight, whip up one of our quick and delicious chicken tenderloin recipes. You’ll have a meal on the table in no time!

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Lasagna isn’t the easiest of dishes to pull off on a weeknight. This simple dinner idea has all the flavor of lasagna, but without the work of layering the ingredients.
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Quick Coq au Vin

Usually coq au vin takes hours, but to make this red wine-braised chicken recipe weeknight friendly, our recipe uses boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of a bone-in bird.
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Baked Feta Pasta

There’s a reason this TikTok recipe went viral! Baked feta pasta is simple to throw together, takes less than an hour to cook, and is incredibly creamy and delicious.
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Easy Fish Tacos

Looking for a quick, family-friendly way to add more seafood to your diet? What better way to introduce your kids to mild, flaky whitefish than when it’s seasoned with familiar spices and wrapped in a warm corn tortilla?
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Quick Apricot Chicken

When looking for simple dinner ideas, don’t forget that your microwave’s here to help. For another variation on this easy weeknight recipe, try using pork instead of chicken, and add other ingredients like pineapple, mandarin oranges, snow peas and broccoli—whatever you have on hand.
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Sausage Potato Skillet

Sausage pairs well with other veggies, like zucchini, tomatoes and broccoli, so feel free to toss some extra vegetables into your skillet.
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Cornflake Chicken

This simple chicken dinner idea can be made even faster if you opt for boneless chicken breasts and thighs instead of bone-in chicken. Looking for more? Here’s our collection of crockpot chicken breast recipes.
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Shrimp Quesadilla

It takes less than 10 minutes to cook up these spicy, cheesy shrimp quesadillas. To save even more time, use cooked shrimp instead of raw.
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Creamy Spinach Chicken

This quick and easy pasta dinner idea uses a can of cream of mushroom soup to add lots of flavor while saving lots of time.
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Mexican-Style Pizza

Loaded with beans, veggies and cheese, this easy pizza recipe will be the saving grace of any busy vegetarian looking for simple dinner ideas.
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Chicken and Gravy

This recipe calls for four boneless skinless chicken breast halves, but you can also use chicken thighs, which will yield a slightly juicier, more tender final product.
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Steak and Shrimp Kabobs

In this simple dinner, cubes of marinated steak are skewered with shrimp and veggies, then grilled. It’s easy to swap out the ingredients for kabobs, as long as they hold up well on the grill. Try using zucchini, asparagus, yellow squash—even pineapple!
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Slow-Cooker Pork Loin

Three hours in the slow cooker turns this spice-coated pork loin into a tender, juicy, succulent dinner with minimal effort. Serve over perfectly cooked rice.
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Ground Turkey Vegetable Soup

Because this soup is dairy-free, it’s simple to freeze. Make a big batch for tonight’s dinner, then freeze the rest for the next time you’re too tired to cook!
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Chicken Parmesan Spaghetti

To make this easy weeknight dinner lighter (and a little bit faster), cook the chicken without breading. Simply coat the chicken with salt and pepper, as well as the dried herbs, before cooking in a skillet.
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Tender Spareribs

You don’t need to know anything about cooking to make delicious spare ribs at home. Simply put all the ingredients in this recipe into a slow cooker, set the heat to low, and in 5 to 6 hours, dinner is served.
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Instant Pot Whole Chicken

Rotisserie chicken may be the easiest of easy dinner ideas, but with the power of the Instant Pot, it’s as simple to make a whole chicken at home as it is to make a stop at your local supermarket.
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Rosemary Salmon and Veggies

This easy sheet pan dinner idea is perfect for nights that you want something that’s home-cooked and healthy—but not a lot of work. If you don’t have rosemary, use another fresh herb, like thyme or oregano, instead.
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Prosciutto Pasta Toss

Pasta with prosciutto and peas is a classic combination in Italian restaurants. It’s also one of the easiest dinner ideas you can think of.
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Lemon Shrimp Orzo

This easy orzo dish featuring peppery arugula, tangy lemon, savory shrimp and salty feta can be enjoyed hot or cold. Double the recipe, and enjoy it again for lunch the next day.
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Easy Chicken Casserole

You need only six ingredients to make this classic stick-to-your-ribs chicken casserole, which is topped with buttery Ritz crackers for a satisfying crunch.
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Quick Beef and Noodles

It takes hours to cook roast beef for beef Stroganoff. This quick and easy version hacks the original recipe, using sliced deli roast beef to get this Stroganoff-inspired noodle dish on the table in almost no time at all.
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Hawaiian Pork Chops

A little sweet plus a little sour always makes pork chops magical. In this recipe, the sweetness of pineapple and ketchup is balanced out by the tartness of apple cider vinegar, making a delicious glaze for boneless pork loin chops.
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Corn Dogs

Making these sweet-and-salty corn dogs at home is cheaper, faster and easier than driving out to the county fair.
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Quick Ham and Bean Soup

This simple soup may skimp on the dishes—you only need one pot to make it—but not on the flavor. With a batch big enough to save for leftovers, it’ll leave everyone at the table fully satisfied and ready for more.
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Baked Chimichangas

We’re always looking for great dinner ideas that use rotisserie chicken, and these easy baked chimichangas are perfect! Serve with lettuce, tomato and homemade guacamole.
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Fast Baked Fish

Tilapia, halibut, cod, bass, grouper, haddock, catfish and snapper are all good choices to use in this easy fish dinner recipe.
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Slow-Cooker Beef Burgundy

This bistro classic takes 8 hours to cook in the slow cooker. To make it weeknight friendly, prepare it the night before, put it in the crock before work, and come home to a house that smells like tender cubes of beef braised in a Burgundy wine sauce with savory vegetables.
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Taco Noodle Casserole

Try something a little different on your next Taco Tuesday and whip up this easy taco casserole instead. You can even make it ahead and pop it in the oven after a busy day.
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Chicken with Florentine Sauce

A creamy spinach sauce is the star of this dish! It’s typically made with wine, cream and butter, but this version includes some fun additions like pimentos and green onions.
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Kielbasa Cabbage Stew

It takes less an hour to make this comforting German-inspired stew with caraway seeds, smoky kielbasa, tender potatoes and shredded cabbage.
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Chili Dog Casserole

Crispy cheese topping, warm corn bread crust, hot dogs, chili… What’s not to love?
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Greek Chicken & Rice

This stovetop supper is full of big flavor thanks to marinated artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, sweet sun-dried tomatoes and salty Greek olives.
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Penne alla Vodka

If you’ve never made pasta with vodka sauce at home, you might be surprised at how simple this restaurant dish is to make. Serve with penne or another sauce-friendly pasta shape.
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Grilled Huli Huli Chicken

This Hawaiian chicken recipe sizzles with the flavors of brown sugar, ginger and soy sauce. The sweet and savory glaze is fantastic on pork chops, too.
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Smoked Sausage with Pasta

Loaded with sausage, mushrooms, tomatoes and basil, this quick recipe makes its way from the stove to the table in less than 15 minutes.
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Lemon Mushroom Chicken

Boneless skinless chicken breasts become downright delicious with a bright pop of lemon juice and rich, savory mushrooms.
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Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole

This easy slow-cooker casserole takes two things kids of all ages love—saucy sloppy joes and crispy tots—and turns them into something even better.
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Chicken Creole

By way of Louisiana, this easy dinner is a one-pot wonder you’ll want to keep in regular rotation. Serve with fluffy white rice and plenty of hot sauce.
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Pork Chops with Parmesan Sauce

These moist and tender pork chops are dressed with a smooth, creamy sauce seasoned with Parmesan, onion and hints of nutmeg, parsley and thyme.
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Shrimp ‘n’ Noodle Bowls

Cooked shrimp, bagged slaw and bottled dressing will help put a takeout-style dinner on your table in minutes.
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Turkey Scallopini

If you can’t find turkey breast cutlets for this quick-cooking dinner, boneless skinless chicken breasts will also work nicely.
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Italian Beef and Shells

A splash of red wine lends an extra touch of flavor to this veggie-packed pasta sauce. Beef makes it extra hearty.
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Apples ‘n’ Onion Topped Chops

Think of this easy dinner idea as a more grown-up version of pork chops and applesauce.
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Chicken with Couscous

This simple chicken dinner is irresistibly bright and delicious, using fresh veggies to punch up packaged roasted garlic couscous.
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Weeknight Ravioli Lasagna

Making lasagna from scratch takes a long, long time. Using frozen ravioli instead creates a lasagna-like casserole that’s perfect for weeknight dinners.
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Skillet Nachos

Dress these easy skillet nachos with all kinds of toppings, like sour cream, tomatoes, jalapeno and red onion. Serve with a variety of jarred salsas or premade guacamole from the supermarket.
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Sweet Chili & Orange Chicken

The sweet chili in this simple chicken dinner adds just the right amount of heat to the bright, citrusy sauce. It’s good with rice noodles, too.
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Quick and Easy Stromboli

Sandwich fixings get rolled up in refrigerated pizza dough to make this easy weeknight dinner. Use any combo of cheese, deli meat and veggies that you like—or whatever you have on hand.
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Beer-Braised Pulled Ham

Serve this tender slow-cooked ham with heaps of good pickles and your favorite style of mustard. (These are our Test Kitchen’s favorite pickle brands.)
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White Cheddar Mac & Cheese

Using conchiglie pasta (aka shells) in this easy weeknight dinner recipe allows more melted cheese to pool inside each piece of pasta.
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Family-Favorite Italian Beef Sandwiches

It’s a snap to throw together this Chicago-style classic with just a few ingredients. Start the slow cooker in the morning before you leave for work, and by the time you come home, dinner is ready.
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Italian Sausage and Zucchini Soup

This zesty veggie-packed soup is almost hearty enough to be a stew, and is ready to eat in under 30 minutes.
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Country Ribs Dinner

Slow-braised pork ribs with carrots, celery, onions and red potatoes are the epitome of comfort food. Thanks to the slow cooker, you don’t have to wait for the weekend.
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Mom’s Spanish Rice

Punch up this easy beef and rice dish with a little fresh lime juice and extra chili powder. (Psst: The leftovers are fabulous.)
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Salsa Verde Chicken Casserole

If you can’t decide on a single Tex-Mex dinner idea, this recipe blends several regional favorites into a casserole that’s ready in only half an hour!
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Broiled Chicken & Artichokes

This restaurant-quality recipe is simple and affordable, delicious and healthy. With only four ingredients, it’s perfect chicken dinner idea for busy weeknights.
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Easy Ground Beef Taco Salad

Make this dinner in advance by prepping and storing the cooked beef, torn lettuce, shredded cheese and salad dressing in the fridge. When ready to assemble, toss the items together with the broken tortilla chips. If you like, heat the taco meat in the microwave before adding to the salad.
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Salmon with Spinach & White Beans

This salmon with garlicky beans and spinach goes from the kitchen to the table in less than 10 minutes.
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Parmesan Bow Tie Pasta with Chicken

Add as much Parmesan cheese as you please to this simple dinner packed with white meat chicken and yellow squash.