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26 weeknight dinner ideas that are doable and delicious

With less than 60 minutes of prep work, you can get dinner on the table in a flash.
Courtesy Roze Traore

Coming up with a week’s worth of dinners can be a slog — but it doesn’t have to be this way! Even the tiniest bit of planning can streamline your suppers.

Let this list do most of the legwork to help you gather weeknight dinner ideas. We’ve rounded up more than 25 recipes to help switch up the Monday through Friday monotony.

Want to kick off the week on a healthy note? Load up on veggies with this sheet pan favorite, or lean into Mediterranean cuisine and make Greek-inspired shrimp. Need a bit of comfort mid-week? We get it. Try Pasta Queen Lidia Bastianich’s speedy skillet lasagna, or save a little time with a biscuit potpie, which uses just six shortcut ingredients so all you need to do is assemble it . How about something (mostly) hands off? Break out your air fryer, gather just four (yes four!) ingredients and make a super simple salmon glazed with honey, soy and garlic.

Perhaps the best part of all these weeknight dinner ideas is that they’re incredibly easy. Introducing new recipes to your repertoire doesn’t need to feel overwhelming, so we made sure to highlight recipes that either take about 30 minutes, require minimal prep or are cooked in one pot or pan. Now you can cook, eat and repeat with a whole new outlook.

Stir-fries are usually loaded with tons of sugar (you knew there was a reason you couldn’t get enough teriyaki sauce!), but this version omits it altogether. The result is more savory but still supremely saucy, thanks to a combination of chicken broth, soy sauce, cornstarch (or arrowroot powder) and ginger.

There’s a reason this chain restaurant dish is a fan-favorite—it’s sweet, salty, sour and crunchy. Added bonus when you make copycat recipes: they’re usually cheaper and healthier than ordering from the menu!

Baked Broken Lasagna Pasta with Spinach

Lasagna during the week? This recipe makes it 100-percent do-able. It’s about as low-maintenance as this Italian classic can be — the noodles don’t require boiling and there’s no layering! What’s not to love?

Cashew Chicken and Asparagus

A flavorful stir-fry ready in less time than takeout arrives at your front step? You bet! Savory soy, sesame oil, sharp vinegar and sweet agave nectar pair with chicken, asparagus and cashews for a dinner that takes only 30 minutes.

Rotisserie chicken is one of the greatest cheats of easy weeknight dinners. Use it here with some leftover rice and you’ll end up with what just might be the fastest meal you’ve cooked.

Satisfy your weeknight burger craving and benefit from some omega-3s all in one juicy bite! Cheddar and jalapeño are added to the salmon mixture for extra oomph. Serve with avocado (more omega-3s!), tomato and lettuce on top.

Chicken and Vegetable Lo Mein

Mushrooms give this takeout classic a meatiness that both carnivores and vegetarians will appreciate. The recipe calls for napa cabbage and carrots, but feel free to add odds and ends from your crisper, like bell peppers or snow peas.

This easy weeknight dinner showcases the versatility of zucchini (half is blended into a creamy pesto and the remaining is scattered over the finished pasta). It’s also the perfect way to use up the summer squash bounty.

Store-bought harissa paste is the workhorse of this weeknight dinner, flavoring everything with a smoky heat. Combine that with virtually no prep work (yay for baby carrots and pre-cut cauliflower!) and you have yourself a simple supper packed with flavor.

The hardest part of this dish is deciding how to serve it. Stuff it into taco shells? Serve it over grits or mashed potatoes? Assemble a juicy sandwich? The world is your oyster.

For a lightened-up version of this classic comfort meal, swap the beef with chicken, the sour cream with Greek yogurt and introduce whole wheat noodles. Don’t let these good-for-you substitutes fool you — the creamy mushroom dish is still rich and satisfying.

This super easy dinner is a prime example of less is more. The sauce — a combo of soy, Dijon, honey and sesame oil — has just a few ingredients but packs a punch. Paired with salmon, sweet potatoes and broccoli, it’s sure to become a family favorite.

Chicken pot pie is the epitome of comfort food, but it’s a time-consuming dish that’s not exactly weeknight-friendly. With the help of rotisserie chicken, condensed soup, frozen veggies and refrigerated biscuits, you’ll get dinner on the table in no time.

Sheet-Pan Clambake

No matter where you are or what time of year it is, you can bring the beach vibes indoors with this oven-friendly clambake. Fill two baking sheets with all the usual suspects — clams, shrimp, sausage, corn and potatoes — and douse them in a decadent mixture of butter, wine, Old Bay and smoked paprika.

Skillet Lasagna

Celebrity chef Lidia Bastianich found a way to make this notoriously labor-intensive dish do-able for a weeknight. No-boil noodles are broken into pieces to fit into a skillet and layered with marinara, ricotta, peas and cheese. Bake it until it’s bubbly and golden — and you’re golden, too.

What’s better than a make-ahead meal? A make-ahead meal that’s mac ‘n’ cheese! Prep the dish by simply mixing par-boiled noodles with cream and cheese, then pop it in the fridge. When you’re ready for dinnertime, just bake and it’s ready in 20 minutes. Serve with a big salad for your daily dose of greens and you’re set.

Use cherry tomatoes instead of crushed for this elevated easy weeknight dinner. Simmer them whole with ground beef, wine and lots of garlic until they burst and coat the rigatoni for a fresh take on ragu.

Pizza-Stuffed Peppers

Craving pizza mid-week? These sweet bell peppers come fully loaded with all the fixins’ of your favorite pie (Ground beef! Pepperoni! Mozzarella!) but in a healthier format. A supreme choice, indeed.

Easiest-Ever Beef Enchiladas

There may be no dish that’s as crowd pleasing as enchiladas. These are filled with ground beef, but you can easily swap in ground turkey, pork or chicken for a leaner dish. Also customizable are the toppings — arrange a little taco bar-like spread (don’t forget the guac!) and everyone can build their own.

Crunchy slaw and spicy mayo take these blackened fish tacos to the next level. Minimize veggie prep by using the food processor for an even speedier result. If your grocery store doesn’t have sea bass, cod is a great sub.

Think of this dish as summer in a skillet. Cherry tomatoes and corn are simmered with chicken breasts in a rich cream sauce for a family-friendly dinner. Stir in fresh basil at the very end for a final flair.

4-Ingredient Air Fryer Salmon

Air fryers are known for taking a few ingredients and making them as crispy as a deep-fryer would without all of the extra fat. This super easy meal is no exception: the beloved kitchen appliance transforms honey-soy glazed salmon in just 20 minutes.

Rotisserie Chicken Stuffed Shells

Stuffed shells are one of those dishes that most home cooks avoid making at home because it seems like too much work for a weeknight. With the help of rotisserie chicken, these cheesy stuffed shells will make you believe otherwise.

Every home cook loves a sheet pan meal for its easy prep and even easier clean-up. For a simple Greek-inspired feast, serve this mix of classic Mediterranean ingredients with some warm pita and prepared tzatziki.

When searching for an elegant weeknight meal option, look no further than scallops. The key to achieving an even, golden brown crust is to pat the scallops dry on both sides before cooking them over high heat. Follow this guide and you’ll serve perfectly seared scallops every time.

A sheet pan meal is a great way to cook a bunch of veggies all at once. Here, mounds of eggplant, tomato and broccoli roast together under nuggets of mozzarella. To round out the meal, top a bowl of the veggies with a runny egg or serve them over whole grains.