14 Quick Dinner Ideas for Busy Weeknights

Who needs fast-food when you can make it healthier from your own kitchen!

Slow Cooker Everything Beef

In our modern world of dual-income homes, busy working parents, and so many extracurricular activities for the kids, the tradition of sitting down and enjoying a dinner together has fallen to the wayside. It’s not that we don’t desire to feed our children healthy, home-cooked meals; we simply think that we don’t have the time. But really, we do! That’s why we wanted to compile a list of quick dinner ideas for busy weeknights.

These recipes will show you that you only need a few ingredients and 30 minutes to create a wholesome, delicious meal. You can find a half hour to feed your family if it means giving them a nutritious meal, right? It takes a little preparation and foresight, but you don’t have to eat fast food from a drive-through every night. You can make it better, healthier, and more economically from your own kitchen!

1. Curry Chicken Casserole

This casserole is so easy to throw together and takes just 20 minutes to bake in the oven. You can even make it ahead of time and just pop in the oven when you get home. That means zero prep after work and you’ll have dinner on the table in less than a half hour. Finish off the meal with some warm pita bread to soak up all that delicious sauce!

2. Ground Turkey and Sweet Potato Skillet

Ground turkey, veggies, and sweet potatoes cook together in one skillet in less than 30 minutes in this quick dinner recipe! To make it even quicker, you can chop your veggies and sweet potatoes ahead of time and store them in the fridge in an airtight container. The only thing you might consider adding would be a light salad for some green veggies.

3. 5-Minute Prep Tex-Mex Casserole

Yes, you read that correctly! Just five minutes to prep this simple casserole. If you want (and have the extra time), you could also add a pound of either ground turkey or beef to bolster the protein content of this meal. It might add five more minutes to your cook time, but it will create a heartier and more satisfying dinner!

4. One-Skillet Chicken and Broccoli Dinner

Chicken and broccoli come together with a delicious sauce in this one-skillet wonder! All of the simple, clean ingredients cook up super fast, so this dish is a must for any list of quick dinner ideas for busy weeknights. Serve the dish over brown rice or cauliflower rice for a more complete and filling meal!

5. Tuna Zucchini Noodle Bake

This lightened-up version of a tuna noodle casserole is packed with protein and nutrients. It tastes surprisingly delicious! The great thing about zucchini noodles is that they cook so much faster than regular noodles, so this dish is done in no time! You can even buy pre-spiralized zucchini if your need for convenience outweighs your budget.

6. One-Skillet Taco Turkey & Rice

Skillet meals are perfect for busy weeknights. They’re quick to cook, and the clean-up is even easier! This taco turkey dinner skillet is no exception. It has all of the flavors of a taco dinner: ground turkey, taco seasoning, cheese, beans, and rice, all in one delicious and easy skillet meal.

7. Chicken, Broccoli, and Asparagus Stir-Fry

Stir-fry dishes are made to be quick and easy. All of the fresh ingredients are flash-cooked in a thin-bottomed wok or skillet to minimize cooking time. Prep all of the veggies for this stir-fry dish the night before to cut down on preparation time even more!

8. Crock Pot Low-Fat Beef Stew Recipe

Crock Pots and slow cookers are the best tools to getting wholesome food on the table without slaving over a stove all day. Just put your ingredients into the bowl in the morning, adjust to the proper setting, walk away, and come home to a hot meal! This low-fat beef stew simmers all day in the Crock Pot and results in a hearty stew filled with tender beef and healthy veggies.

9. Baked Lemon Salmon and Asparagus Foil Pack

Fish is a great choice for a busy nights because it cooks so quickly. These foil packs are stuffed with asparagus and lemony salmon before being baked for just 15 minutes. While the fish and asparagus are in the oven, you could easily cook up some brown rice or cauliflower rice to serve it over.

10. Turkey Sausage Egg Roll Bowl

Sure, you could order Chinese take-out to get your egg roll fix. Or, you could have a complete egg roll-inspired dinner ready and in your belly before you could drive to get them! This egg roll bowl perfectly mimics the flavors and textures of an egg roll without the fried wrapper and associated guilt. Best of all, it’s quick and easy to prepare, making it perfect for a busy weeknight!

11. Slow Cooker Texas Chili

This chili will make your house smell wonderful as it simmers away in the slow cooker. It will require a little prep time in the morning before you leave it, but you’ll get to walk away and come home to a hearty bowl of Texas chili. You could use this chili to top a hot dog, make Frito pie, or serve it with our Old-Fashioned Cornbread.

12. One-Pan Smoked Sausage and Rice

Smoked sausage, veggies, and rice come together quickly and easily in this one-pan meal. It’s not a fancy dish, but it is wholesome and filling. It’s a SkinnyMs favorite, so we just had to include this recipe on our list of quick dinner ideas for busy weeknights!

13. Southwest Chicken Casserole

This casserole is super simple to make and it tastes great with its jazzed-up, Southwestern flavors and spices. It takes about 45 minutes from start to finish before this tasty dish is on your plate and in your mouth.

14. Slow Cooker Everything Beef

This recipe gets its name from being so dang versatile! You can seriously use this beef in just about anything! The beef is tender and juicy from being slow cooked all day and just falls apart with a fork. It could probably count as two or three different quick dinner ideas for busy weeknights! Serve it on a bun with BBQ sauce, or wrap it up in a tortilla with some cheese and salsa. We even like it over rice with some gravy. You could make a big batch of it early in the week and reheat it again another day, serving it in a completely different way!

SkinnyMs. has a ton of quick dinner ideas for busy weeknights! You might also want to check out:

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Chef Heather

Heather is a trained chef and writer from Houston, TX. She has a degree in culinary arts, and is married to her culinary school sweetheart who is also a chef. Heather has a passion for creating healthy meals that don't sacrifice on flavor. She loves Crossfit and is always looking for ways to make healthier versions of her favorite meals. Heather believes the secret to sticking with any healthy meal plan is to include foods that you really enjoy!

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