31 Quick Dinners for Your December Meal Plan

Getting dinner on the table has never been easier thanks to these quick dinner recipes! Check out this meal plan that includes 31 main and side dishes that are ready in 30 minutes or less.

1 / 31

Day 1: Turkey Biscuit Skillet

My mother always made this while I was growing up. Now I make it for my husband and kids. I cut the biscuits into smaller pieces so they will brown nicely on top. I also sometimes add mushrooms to this recipe because my family likes them so much. —Keri Boffeli, Monticello, Iowa

Go to Recipe

Goes Great with: Swiss Cheese Bread

2 / 31

Day 2: Easy Sweet and Spicy Chicken

Tangy pineapple and peppers, tender chicken and sweet marmalade make a delicious combo. The chili powder and picante sauce add zip. —Cassandra Corridon, Frederick, Maryland

Goes Great with: Mom’s Fried Rice

3 / 31

Day 3: Chickpea Tortilla Soup

This vegan tortilla soup recipe is healthy, filling and family-friendly! We love how hearty and flavorful it is. We like to play around with the different toppings we add each time it's served. —Julie Peterson, Crofton, Maryland

Goes Great with: Quick Buttermilk Corn Bread

4 / 31

Day 4: Smoky Spanish Chicken

After enjoying a similar dish at a Spanish tapas restaurant, my husband and I were eager to make our own version of this saucy chicken at home. If I want to make it extra healthy, I remove the skin from the chicken after browning. —Ryan Haley, San Diego, California

Goes Great with: Colorful Couscous

5 / 31

Day 5: Bavarian Apple-Sausage Hash

This awesome recipe reflects my German roots. In the cooler months, nothing is as comforting as a hearty hash. Serve this versatile recipe as a side dish at a holiday meal or as a brunch entree over cheddar grits or topped with a fried egg. —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, CO

Goes Great with: Braised Dill Potatoes

6 / 31

Day 6: 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
7 / 31

Day 7: Chicken Pesto Meatballs

These tender, pesto-stuffed meatballs get gobbled up in our house. They're short on ingredients, but packed with flavor. I always make a double batch, freezing the other half for a busy night. —Ally Billhorn, Wilton, Iowa

Goes Great with: Sweet Potato Panzanella

8 / 31

Day 8: Beef Barley Skillet

This versatile dish goes together fast since it's made with quick-cooking barley. You can make it with ground turkey or chicken and any color bell pepper that you have on hand. —Irene Tetreault, South Hadley, Massachusetts

Goes Great with: No-Fuss Rolls

9 / 31

Day 9: Salmon with Tomato-Goat Cheese Couscous

Rich with goat cheese and tomato, this recipe works for a weeknight supper or an elegant company dinner—and is adjustable for number of people. —Toni Roberts, La Canada, California

Goes Great with: Mediterranean Cauliflower

10 / 31

Day 10: Sausage and Swiss Chard Pasta

I whipped up lunch with fresh produce from the farmers market and the result was amazing. —Kate Stiltner, Rockford, Michigan

Goes Great with: Shredded Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad

11 / 31

Chicken & Spanish Cauliflower "Rice"

I learned about the paleo diet from some friends who now have tons of energy and are super fit. Since then, I’ve changed my eating habits, too. Everyone from my dad to my little nephew loves this chicken in Spanish cauliflower rice. —Megan Schmoldt, Westminster, Colorado

Goes Great with: Arugula Salad with Shaved Parmesan

12 / 31

Day 12: Sausage-Topped White Pizza

I love cooking, and I learned from Nana and Mom. Pizza is easily one of my favorite dishes to prepare. I switched up this recipe to make it my own. —Tracy Brown, River Edge, New Jersey

Goes Great with: Garlic Bread

13 / 31

Day 13: Cheesy Fiesta Beef Casserole

Over the years I’ve tweaked this recipe to end up with a delicious, quick weeknight meal. Feel free to spice it up with jalapenos if you prefer a little heat. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas

Goes Great with: Homemade Guacamole

14 / 31

Day 14: Gnocchi with Spinach and Chicken Sausage

Dinner is easy when I can use ingredients typically found in my fridge and pantry. —Laura Miller, Lake Ann, Michigan

Goes Great with: Balsamic Zucchini Saute

15 / 31

Day 15: Turkey Sandwich with Raspberry-Mustard Spread

My hearty sandwich has different yet complementary flavors and textures. It's filled with flavor and nutrients, without all the unhealthy fats, sodium and added sugar that many other sandwiches have. And it’s absolutely delicious! —Sarah Savage, Buena Vista, Virginia

Goes Great with: Homemade Barbecue Potato Chips

16 / 31

Day 16: Garlic Tilapia with Mushroom Risotto

Boxed risotto makes it quick; mushrooms, shallots and cheese make it tasty. Serve the risotto alongside seasoned fish for a weeknight supper in a hurry. —Lynn Moretti, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin

Goes Great with: Roasted Carrots with Thyme

17 / 31

Day 17: Hearty Turkey 'n' Rice Soup

Goes Great with: Best-Ever Breadsticks

18 / 31

Day 18: Fig-Glazed Pork Tenderloin

I like to experiment with unique flavors and try to make the food look photo-worthy, too. But for my husband, the dish just has to taste good. Here's a supper that made us both happy. —Jean Gottfried, Upper Sandusky, Ohio

Goes Great with: Tarragon Asparagus

19 / 31

Day 19: Spinach and Feta Stuffed Chicken

My chicken bundles are simple, clean and comforting. Serve them with wild rice and green beans for one of our favorite meals. —Jim Knepper, Mount Holly Springs, Pennsylvania

Goes Great with: Orzo Vegetable Salad

20 / 31

Day 20: Chorizo Spaghetti Squash Skillet

Get your noodle fix minus the pasta with this spicy one-dish meal. It's a fill-you-up dinner that's low in calories—which makes it a weeknight winner in my book! —Sherrill Oake, Springfield, Massachusetts

Goes Great with: Green Beans with Shallots

21 / 31

Day 21: Spicy Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet

I created this easy skillet dish to use up the boil-in-a-bag rice in my cabinet. The result packs a lot of flavor. —Sonali Ruder, New York, New York

Goes Great with: Broccoli Cauliflower Combo

22 / 31

Day 22: Ground Beef Veggie Stew

This is a wonderful, hearty stew to help use up all the late-summer veggies in your garden. I like that it's filling enough to make a meal, and it's good for you too! —Courtney Stultz, Weir, Kansas

Goes Great with: Round Cheese Bread

23 / 31

Day 23: Quick Moroccan Shrimp Skillet

When my niece was attending West Point, she was sent to Morocco for five months. I threw her a going-away party complete with Moroccan decorations, costumes and cuisine, including this saucy shrimp dish. Whenever I make it now, I think of her and smile. —Barbara Lento, Houston, Pennsylvania

Goes Great with: Spiced Green Beans

24 / 31

Day 24: Hash Brown-Topped Steak

My husband and I enjoy cooking together. One night we were craving grilled steak and cheese-stuffed baked potatoes but were feeling a little impatient. Here's the quicker meal-in-one idea we invented. —Judy Armstrong, Prairieville, Louisiana

Goes Great with: Brussels Sprouts and Grapes au Gratin

25 / 31

Day 25: Spiced Salmon

This delicious, moist fish is very quick and easy to prepare. It gets a little sweetness from brown sugar, but overall the seasonings are mild and give this dish broad appeal. It's a wonderful way to enjoy healthy salmon.—Donna Reynolds, Innisfail, Alberta

Goes Great with: Pretty Duchess Potatoes

26 / 31

Day 26: Pork Chops 'n' Pierogies

The Polish dumplings are traditionally served as a meal, with applesauce or sour cream. This meal in one is a different way to use pierogi. —Greta Igl, Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin.

Goes Great with: Dill & Chive Peas

27 / 31

Day 27: Turkey a La King

This is a smart way to use up leftover turkey. You might want to make a double batch! —Mary Gaylord, Balsam Lake, Wisconsin

Goes Great with: Spicy Zucchini Corn Medley

28 / 31

Day 28: Easy Stuffed Poblanos

My partner adores these saucy stuffed peppers—and I love how quickly they come together. Top with low-fat sour cream and your favorite salsa. —Jean Erhardt, Portland, Oregon

Goes Great with: Spicy Refried Beans

29 / 31

Day 29: Italian Sausage Veggie Skillet

We love Italian sausage sandwiches, but because the bread isn't diet-friendly for me, I created this recipe to satisfy my craving. If you like some heat, use hot peppers in place of the sweet peppers. —Tina Howells, Salem, Ohio

Goes Great with: Broccoli-Pasta Side Dish

30 / 31

Day 30: Jalapeno-Swiss Turkey Burgers

These easy turkey burgers are extra juicy and loaded with flavor. I think the spicy jalapenos give it just the right level of heat, but feel free to adjust the amount to amp it up or tone it down. —Wanda Allende, Orlando, Florida

Goes Great with: Eggplant Fries

31 / 31

Day 31: Crab Egg Foo Yong

Enjoy a classic Chinese takeout without leaving your home. This makes a quick dinner and is as delicious as what you would get in any restaurant. —Beverly Preston, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin

Goes Great with: Bok Choy and Radishes

Caroline Stanko
Caroline has been with Taste of Home for the past seven years, working in both print and digital. After starting as an intern for the magazine and special interest publication teams, Caroline was hired as the third-ever digital editor for Taste of Home. Since then, she has researched, written and edited content on just about every topic the site covers, including cooking techniques, buzzy food news, gift guides and many, many recipe collections. Caroline also acts as the editorial lead for video, working with the Test Kitchen, videographers and social media team to produce videos from start to finish. When she’s not tip-tapping on a keyboard, Caroline is probably mixing up a killer cocktail, reading a dog-eared library book or cooking up a multi-course feast (sometimes all at once). Though she technically lives in Milwaukee, there is a 50/50 chance Caroline is in Chicago or southwest Michigan visiting her close-knit family.