Food

14 fast, delicious weeknight dinner ideas that'll make your life easier

Let's be honest, school nights can be tough. Between picking up the kids from activities, making sure homework is done, making lunches for the next day and getting through bath time, it almost seems like there isn't enough time to prep a meal. TODAY Food is here to the rescue with 14 fast and easy weeknight dinner recipes to try.

RELATED: The surprising meal professional cooks eat when they're too tired to cook

Chicken and Vegetable Lo Mein
Chicken and vegetable lo mein recipe
Nathan Congleton / TODAY
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One way to cut down the dinner-time stress is to cut down the time in the kitchen. You can make this meal with store-bought chicken and pre-chopped veggies.

Spaghetti pie

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Spaghetti pie recipe: Adam Richman bakes a 'family dinner dream'

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Spaghetti pie recipe: Adam Richman bakes a 'family dinner dream'

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A favorite of TODAY's Matt Lauer, this one is also kid-tested AND approved. It's a great way to turn leftover pasta into a whole new meal.

Broiled steak and asparagus with feta cream sauce

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Make broiled steak and asparagus for dinner in 25 minutes

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Make broiled steak and asparagus for dinner in 25 minutes

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No one will ever know you whipped up this steak dinner in 25 minutes.

Easy make-ahead chicken marinade recipes

Casey Barber
5 great chicken marinade recipes: Thai Coconut Marinade; Classic Italian Marinade; Provencal Herb Marinade; Mojo Citrus Marinade; Teriyaki Marinade

Prep these flavorful marinades in plastic bags in advance for ultimate time-saving. You can put the chicken in the marinade bags and freeze it until you are ready to cook it. When you defrost it, it'll already be pre-marinated, so all you'll have to do is throw it in the oven.

No-cook squash tagliatelle with raw alfredo pesto

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Leave the oven off for squash tagliatelle with creamy pesto

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Leave the oven off for squash tagliatelle with creamy pesto

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You don't always need an oven to get dinner ready. Spiralized squash is a healthy stand-in for pasta and is extra delicious with a fast and creamy basil pesto.

RELATED: Easy and healthy back-to-school lunches that kids will love

Lemon-Garlic Salmon with Asparagus
Lemon garlic salmon with asparagus
Cook Smarts
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You only need seven ingredients to make this delicious dinner...and you probably have most of them in your kitchen already.

Chicken and Broccoli Casserole
Samantha Okazaki / TODAY
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Make the chicken-broccoli mixture on a Sunday afternoon, refrigerate and then just throw it in the broiler on Monday evening.

Pork cutlets with apple romaine salad

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Make tasty pork cutlets with an apple romaine salad in 5 minutes

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Make tasty pork cutlets with an apple romaine salad in 5 minutes

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Get this incredible meal on the table in only 5 minutes!

RELATED: Healthier after-school snacks to recharge your kids

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Broil the ingredients instead of pan-frying them. It's healthier and the tomatoes are so much juicier and tastier when they are slightly roasted.

Zucchini boats, cake and fries

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Zucchini fries, pizza boats, and more recipes to use those veggies

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Zucchini fries, pizza boats, and more recipes to use those veggies

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You won't even believe what you can make with zucchini! Whip up this main, side and dessert with your surplus squash.

Ziti with Crispy Cauliflower, Cherry Tomatoes and Lemon
Ziti with Crispy Cauliflower, Cherry Tomatoes and Lemon
Casey Barber / Casey Barber
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Need more veggies in your life? This fast and tasty pasta has got you covered.

RELATED: Healthy back-to-school breakfast recipes to start the day off right!

Clean Green Spinach-Mushroom Lasagna
Healthy lasagna recipe
Clean Green Eats / Evi Abeler Photography
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No-boil lasagna noodles speed up this comfort food favorite. There are endless ways to customize this casserole with different ingredients so that even the pickiest eater will love it.

Easy Ginger-Sesame Grilled Chicken Breasts
5-Ingredient Ginger-Sesame Grilled Chicken Breasts
Grace Parisi / TODAY
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These chicken breasts are packed with flavor and require only a handful of ingredients. Wrap them up in crispy lettuce leaves with slivers of cucumbers, thinly sliced scallions and a drizzle of hoisin sauce.

RELATED: Weeknight wonders: Healthy, speedy meals

Ramen Stir-fry
Camila Alves shares her 5 ingredients under $5 Ramen Stir-fry
Anthony Quintano / TODAY
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Frozen shrimp, frozen veggies are your friends! Use 'em for this $5 ramen noodle dish.

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