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50 Easy Friday Night Dinners (That Aren’t Frozen Pizza)

It's time to kick pizza to the curb! Wrap up the work week with one of these easy-peasy dinner recipes, from tacos and soups to savory pies and sandwiches.

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Quick Tater Tot Bake

I like to make this cheesy tater tot casserole when time before supper is short. It serves two to three people, but if we have unexpected company I double the ingredients and use a 9-in. x 13-in. pan. The I call it my “Please Stay Casserole”! —Jean Ferguson, Elverta, California

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Quinoa Unstuffed PeppersTaste of Home

Quinoa Unstuffed Peppers

This deconstructed stuffed pepper dish packs a wallop of flavor. I truly make it all the time, and I make sure my freezer's stocked with single-serve portions to take to work. —Rebecca Ende, Phoenix, New York

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Po'Boy TacosTaste of Home

Po'Boy Tacos

I intended to make tostadas, but I misread a couple of ingredients and had to use what I had on hand. I put my own twist on a po'boy recipe and ended up with something even better. —Cynthia Nelson, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

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Everything Bagel Chicken StripsTaste of Home

Everything Bagel Chicken Strips

I love the flavor profile of everything bagels, so I re-created it with traditional breaded chicken fingers. Serve them with your favorite chicken finger dip. —Cynthia Gerken, Naples, Florida

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Open-Faced Turkey SandwichTaste of Home

Open-Faced Turkey Sandwich

It doesn't get much cozier than these delightful suppertime sandwiches. They're an easy way to use up leftover turkey, and I love the way the thick toast soaks up that creamy sauce. —Carol Hull, Hermiston, Oregon

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Caesar Chicken with FetaTaste of Home

Caesar Chicken with Feta

My tomatoey chicken is the perfect answer on those crazy days when supper has to be on the table in 30 minutes, tops (doesn't hurt that it's delicious, too). —Denise Chelpka, Phoenix, Arizona

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Breaded Mustard & Sage Pork CutletsTaste of Home

Breaded Mustard & Sage Pork Cutlets

After attending my daughter's back to school night and receiving a complimentary package of instant potatoes, I had to make something with them. I created these pork cutlets and they were fantastic. —Carrie Farias, Oak Ridge, New Jersey

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Lemon Cream ChickenTaste of Home

Lemon Cream Chicken

If you want an entree that's quick, easy and elegant, you can't beat this one. The lemon cream sauce is what makes it irresistible. It goes so nicely with the chicken and mushrooms. —Mary Anne McWhirter, Pearland, Texas

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Whole Grain Chow MeinTaste of Home

Whole Grain Chow Mein

My kids are picky eaters, but teriyaki and hoisin sauces work wonders with them. They love the meatballs, and I swap the noodles for whole grain pasta. —Kelly Shippey, Orange, California

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Chicken Taco PocketsTaste of Home

Chicken Taco Pockets

We love these easy taco-flavored sandwiches made with crescent dough. Paired with a bowl of soup or a crisp salad, they make a quick and easy lunch or supper. I also like to cut them into smaller servings for parties. —Donna Gribbins, Shelbyville, Kentucky

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Salsa Steak Garlic ToastsTaste of Home

Salsa Steak Garlic Toasts

These open-faced steak sandwiches play up the popular combo of steak and garlic bread. The salsa, sour cream and garnish elevate it into quick, satisfying meal. Substitute chopped green onions or chives for the cilantro if desired. —Arlene Erlbach, Morton Grove, Illinois

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Nacho PieTaste of Home

Nacho Pie

In place of the ground beef and mozzarella cheese, consider topping this zesty pie with lean ground sausage and cheddar cheese. It tastes just as good.—LaVerna Mjones, Moorhead, Minnesota

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Vegetable Meat LoafTaste of Home

Vegetable Meat Loaf

I'm not big on leftovers, so I've pared down my recipes to serve two. This meat loaf is simple and quick to prepare, plus it helps you eat your veggies. It's great served with cheddar-topped baked potatoes. —Judi Brinegar, Liberty, North Carolina

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Turkey Sausage with PastaTaste of Home

Turkey Sausage with Pasta

If you're looking for recipes with turkey sausage, stop here. This has the perfect blend of meaty, veggie and cheesy goodness. You'll be craving what's good for you when this pasta dish is on the menu. —Mary Tallman, Arbor Vitae, Wisconsin

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Tasty Lentil TacosTaste of Home

Tasty Lentil Tacos

When my husband's cholesterol numbers rose, I quickly lowered the fat in our family's diet. Finding dishes that were healthy for him and yummy for our five children was a challenge, but this fun taco recipe was a huge hit with everyone. —Michelle Thomas, Bangor, Maine

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Parmesan Chicken SandwichesTaste of Home

Parmesan Chicken Sandwiches

Coat tender chicken breasts with seasoned bread crumbs and smother in marinara sauce. Served on a hoagie, it’s a real treat! —Sue Bosek, Whittier, California

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Easy Sweet-and-Sour MeatballsTaste of Home

Easy Sweet-and-Sour Meatballs

The already prepared meatballs make this a very easy and quick supper. You can use your own homemade meatballs or store-bought if you're in a pinch. —Ruth Andrewson, Leavenworth, Washington

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Steak Sandwich KabobsTaste of Home

Steak Sandwich Kabobs

Skewers with seasoned steak, bread and veggies are grilled and topped with provolone cheese for a fantastic meal. Coleslaw, spruced up with chopped walnuts, is a great side for the kabobs. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Cheddar Bean BurritosTaste of Home

Cheddar Bean Burritos

My family goes meatless several nights a week, and this recipe is one of our favorites. I usually puree a can or two of chipotles in adobo and freeze in ice cube trays so I can use a small amount when I need it. —Amy Bravo, Ames, Iowa

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Veggie Steak SaladTaste of Home

Veggie Steak Salad

This salad just explodes with flavors. It's easy and quick to prepare, tastes delicious, and is a healthy dinner all on one plate. —Tiffany Martinez, Aliso Viejo, California

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Curry Chicken and RiceTaste of Home

Curry Chicken and Rice

I updated this chicken and rice dish by adding veggies and cashews to give it fresh and crunchy appeal. The green chilies in the tomatoes give it just the right little kick, but if you really like spice, add fresh, diced jalapeño. —Denise Klibert, Shreveport, Louisiana

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Smoked Pork Chops & Pierogi DinnerTaste of Home

Smoked Pork Chops & Pierogi Dinner

My husband often lobbies for smoked pork chops with pierogi. Balsamic vinegar gives it a sweet and sour touch, which works for ham steak, too. —Barbara Peabody, Green Valley, Arizona

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Wisconsin Butter-Basted BurgersTaste of Home

Wisconsin Butter-Basted Burgers

It’s no secret that Wisconsinites love their dairy—so much that they sometimes top their burgers with a generous pat of butter. My recipe is a lot like the butter burgers you’ll find in popular restaurants all over the state. —Becky Carver, North Royalton, Ohio —Becky Carver, North Royalton, Ohio

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Pork Banh Mi WrapsTaste of Home

Pork Banh Mi Wraps

Crunchy veggies and Asian flavors make this a great wrap for summer. You can substitute a baguette for the wrap, or switch up the meat for five-spice chicken or spicy beef. Even lemongrass shrimp would be delicious! —Nicole Hood, Leesville, Lousiana

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Pineapple-Ginger Chicken Stir-FryTaste of Home

Pineapple-Ginger Chicken Stir-Fry

I found the original recipe on a can of pineapple slices in the 1980s. After making it for a number of years, I lightened up the ingredients and adapted it to a quick skillet meal. My family gave it a big thumbs-up, and we've enjoyed it this way ever since! —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin

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Mexican Leek SoupTaste of Home

Mexican Leek Soup

This soup is so satisfying. You can substitute other beans, use kale instead of spinach, or add leftover corn. For brunch, I add a fried egg on top and for dinner, my husband adds lots of hot sauce! —Donna Ahnert, Scotia, New York

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Steak & Mushroom StroganoffTaste of Home

Steak & Mushroom Stroganoff

This homey recipe of steak and egg noodles in a creamy sauce is just like what we had at my gran's house when we visited. It's one of my favorite "memory meals," as I call them. —Janelle Shank, Omaha, Nebraska

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Sliced Ham with Roasted Vegetables

Sliced Ham with Roasted Vegetables

To prepare this colorful, zesty oven meal, I "shop" in my backyard for the fresh garden vegetables and oranges (we have our own tree!) that spark the ham's hearty flavor. It's my family's favorite main dish. —Margaret Pache, Mesa, Arizona

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Pretzel-Crusted CatfishTaste of Home

Pretzel-Crusted Catfish

I'm not a big fish lover, so any concoction that has me loving fish is a "keeper" in my books. This combination of flavors just works for me. It's wonderful served with a nice buttery herb rice pilaf and corn muffins with butter and honey! —Kelly Williams, Forked River, New Jersey

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Tacos on a StickTaste of Home

Tacos on a Stick

Teens like assembling these creative kabobs almost as much as they like devouring them. The whole family is sure to love the sensational southwestern flavor of this twist on beef shish kabobs. —Dixie Terry, Goreville, Illinois

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Ravioli with Apple Chicken SausageTaste of Home

Ravioli with Apple Chicken Sausage

I wanted the perfect sauce for squash ravioli. The wait is over. Here’s what works: spinach, sausage, maple syrup and pumpkin pie spice in one happy saucepan. —Mary Brodeur, Millbury, Massachusetts

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Cuban Pork WrapsTaste of Home

Cuban Pork Wraps

Hot and juicy pork in tortillas may remind you of a Cuban sandwich with ham and cheese. We always include the pickles, of course. —Aimee Bachmann, Bellevue, WA

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Chicken Reuben Roll-UpsTaste of Home

Chicken Reuben Roll-Ups

My Nebraska-native husband loves Reuben sandwiches and anything with chicken, so I combined his two favorites in a fun roll-up. —Ashli Kottwitz, Hermitage, Tennessee

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Chicken Pasta Caesar SaladTaste of Home

Chicken Pasta Caesar Salad

My colleagues and I made a pact to eat healthier, and we took turns sharing dishes. I'm happy to report that, thanks to recipes like this crisp and tangy salad, we all trimmed down. —Teresa Jordan, Springville, Utah

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Jambalaya Rice SaladTaste of Home

Jambalaya Rice Salad

My cold rice salad has a hint of spice for a classic jambalaya-style kick. Shrimp, tomatoes, ham and peppers give it bright colors and a delightful texture. —Karen Rahn, Hixon, Tennessee

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Feta-Dill Chicken BurgersTaste of Home

Feta-Dill Chicken Burgers

I found fresh ground chicken at the butcher and gave it a whirl on our new grill. The result is these saucy burgers. Everybody went nuts—including my sister-in-law, an amazing cook! —Wendy Boughton, Victoria, British Columbia

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Spaghetti & Meatball Skillet SupperTaste of Home

Spaghetti & Meatball Skillet Supper

I developed this one-skillet spaghetti and meatball dish to cut down on cooking time for busy nights. The beans, artichokes and tomatoes bump up the nutrition factor, while the lemon and parsley make it pop with brightness. —Roxanne Chan, Albany, California

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Steak FajitasTaste of Home

Steak Fajitas

Zesty salsa and tender strips of steak make these traditional fajitas extra special. —Rebecca Baird, Salt Lake City, Utah

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Oven-Fried Green Tomato BLTTaste of Home

Oven-Fried Green Tomato BLT

For years I have used this same idea to cook eggplant slices, and recently I decided to try it on green tomatoes. It worked! Now my family loves them in BLTs. —Jolene Martinelli, Fremont, New Hampshire

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Creamy Chicken Corn ChowderTaste of Home

Creamy Chicken Corn Chowder

My 10-year-old son and I devised the recipe for this rich and comforting soup. Now it's a family favorite. —Terrie Sowders, Carthage, Indiana

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Sheet-Pan Chicken ParmesanTaste of Home

Sheet-Pan Chicken Parmesan

Saucy chicken, melty mozzarella and crisp-tender broccoli—all in one pan. What could be better? —Becky Hardin, St. Peters, Missouri

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Quick & Easy Turkey Sloppy JoesTaste of Home

Quick & Easy Turkey Sloppy Joes

When we were first married and poor college students, I found this sloppy joe recipe and tweaked it. The fresh bell peppers give it a wonderful flavor. —Kallee Twiner, Maryville, Tennessee

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Buffalo Chicken TendersTaste of Home

Buffalo Chicken Tenders

These buffalo chicken tenders get a spicy kick thanks to homemade sauce. They taste like they're from a restaurant, but are so easy to make at home. Blue cheese dipping sauce takes them over the top. —Dahlia Abrams, Detroit, Michigan

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Cauliflower SoupTaste of Home

Cauliflower Soup

Every other cauliflower soup recipe I tried lacked flavor, but this cheesy recipe packs a tasty punch! We like it with hot pepper sauce for a little extra kick. —Debbie Ohlhausen, Chilliwack, British Columbia

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Super Quick Chicken Fried RiceTaste of Home

Super Quick Chicken Fried Rice

After my first child was born, I needed meals that were satisfying and fast. This fried rice is now part of our regular dinner rotation. — Alicia Gower, Auburn, New York

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Honey-Mustard BratsTaste of Home

Honey-Mustard Brats

Our honey mustard glaze gives every bite of these brats a sweet and punchy flavor. Everyone who tries them agrees they're delicious. —Lily Julow, Lawrenceville, Georgia

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Cheddar French Dip SandwichesTaste of Home

Cheddar French Dip Sandwiches

The idea for this roast beef and cheddar sandwich came from a restaurant that serves theirs on garlic bread. It takes no time at all to put together. — Holly Szwej, Bridgeport, New York

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Easy Hamburger SoupTaste of Home

Easy Hamburger Soup

Lunches on the run will be a little tastier with this hot and hearty beef and barley soup. The recipe is very simple to prepare. —Mary Prior, Rush City, Minnesota

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Grilled Bacon-Tomato SandwichesTaste of Home

Grilled Bacon-Tomato Sandwiches

My family loves these sandwiches and they are very easy to prepare. Fresh basil, tangy Italian dressing and melted cheese meld perfectly together in this simple sandwich. —Betty Snoddy, Franklin, Missouri

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Meat and Potato PattiesTaste of Home

Meat and Potato Patties

During World War II, when meat was rationed and had to be purchased with tokens, this recipe went a long way in feeding a family. To this day, I still reach for it whenever I want something different from regular hamburgers. By the way, children really like these (just as I did when I was a child!).— Gladys Klein, Burlington Wisconsin

Caroline Stanko
As an Associate Digital Editor, Caroline writes and edits all things food-related and helps produce videos for Taste of Home. When she’s not at her desk, you can probably find Caroline cooking up a feast, planning her next trip abroad or daydreaming about her golden retriever, Mac.