Food

14 fast and delicious weeknight dinner ideas that'll make 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 real meal.

TODAY Food is here to the rescue with 14 fast and easy weeknight dinner recipes to try. From crowd-pleasing classics, to healthy entrees loaded with veggies, there's something in here for everyone!

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

Adam Richman's Spaghetti Pie
Adam Richman's recipe for spaghetti pie
Samantha Okazaki / TODAY
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A favorite of the whole TODAY family, this recipe is also kid-tested and approved. Plus, it's a great way to turn leftover pasta (you can use penne, linguine or even macaroni) 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 just 25 minutes. The feta cream sauce is a deliciously salty topping, too.

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 the ultimate time-saving trick. You can put the chicken in the marinade bags and freeze it until you're ready to cook it. When you defrost it, it'll already be full of flavor, so all you'll have to do is throw it in the oven or put it on the grill.

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 or zucchini is a healthy stand-in for pasta and it's extra delicious with a fast and creamy basil pesto sauce.

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 it and then just throw it in the broiler on Monday evening for delicious and healthy meal.

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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Making pork nice and juicy can be difficult. But this recipe is super simple and fast. You'll be able to get this incredible dish on the table in only five 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.

California Grilled Chicken
California Grilled Chicken
Nathan Congleton / TODAY
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This West Coast-inspired chicken takes a dip in a savory balsamic marinade before hitting the grill. Then it gets topped with melty mozzarella cheese, creamy avocado and fresh tomatoes.

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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6
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No-boil lasagna noodles speed up the cooking time with 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 all for this $5 ramen noodle dish.

This article was originally published on August 22, 2016.

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