See my guide on how to use an Instant Pot.


I’ve collected 60 of my best easy dinner ideas, all in one place! These dinner recipes are perfect for busy days or anytime you’re wondering what to make for dinner.

Goulash in a Dutch oven pot with a wooden spoon.

Are you tired of eating the same meals over and over? If you’re looking for new dinner ideas that deliver maximum flavor with minimal effort, then you are in the right place!

Why You’ll Love These Easy Dinner Ideas

  • Family-Friendly. These recipes are tried-and-true family favorites. My family of seven enjoys these recipes, and I hope your family will too! (You might also like these Family Dinner Ideas.)
  • Simple Ingredients. These dinner ideas are made with simple ingredients that are easy to find in any grocery store.
  • Fast preparation times. Save time in the kitchen with these quick dinner recipes! A few of the recipes here are slow cooker recipes, but the hands-on prep time is short.

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Delicious Chicken Dinner Ideas

Chicken is a common answer to the “What’s for dinner?” question. These chicken dinner recipes are versatile and will satisfy any kind of craving, from baked chicken to sandwiches, tacos and more.

Chicken stir fry with vegetables and sauce in a large skillet.

Chicken Stir Fry

Whip up this colorful stir fry on a weeknight – it’s quick to make and insanely tasty with the best tangy, gingery, garlicky Stir Fry Sauce.

Baked chicken thighs in baking dish.

Baked Chicken Thighs

With crispy skin, juicy chicken and a mouthwatering blend of seasonings, you’ll want to make these baked chicken thighs a regular in your dinner rotation. Serve with Roasted Potatoes and Sautéed Green Beans.

Tuscan chicken breast with sauce on a spatula held over skillet.

Tuscan Chicken

This creamy Tuscan chicken is a 30 minute skillet recipe that the whole family will love. With chicken breasts, sun-dried tomatoes and spinach in a creamy sauce, this easy dinner idea is big on flavor.

Cajun Chicken Pasta in a black pot with a wooden spoon.

Cajun Chicken Pasta

There’s nothing better than a quick one pot meal for dinner, and this Cajun chicken pasta is one of the best. It’s a stellar weeknight meal that’s creamy, spicy and full of satiating protein.

Lemon chicken served with spaghetti and sautéed zucchini.

Lemon Chicken

Bright, citrusy lemon chicken is a winner of a chicken dinner! It’s easy to see why it’s one of our favorite chicken breast recipes. Serve the chicken with pasta or rice and Sautéed Zucchini, with a sprinkle of Parmesan over the whole plate. Yum!

Two plates of chicken parmesan served with spaghetti.

Chicken Parmesan

This crispy oven baked chicken Parmesan is restaurant-quality, yet easy to prepare with your favorite Marinara Sauce. Serve it with pasta and Garlic Bread

Teriyaki chicken served with white rice, broccoli, sesame seeds and green onions.

Teriyaki Chicken

Sweet and tangy Teriyaki Sauce coats tender bites of chicken in this 30 minute teriyaki chicken recipe. Serve it with white rice or brown rice and broccoli.

Bbq chicken sandwich with instant pot in background.

Instant Pot BBQ Chicken

When you need a really easy dinner idea that the whole family will love, this Instant Pot BBQ pulled chicken always hits the spot. Just toss a handful of ingredients in the Instant Pot and let the pressure cooker do the rest. Serve the chicken on Brioche Buns with Roasted Sweet Potatoes on the side.

Sliced and unsliced baked chicken breast in baking dish.

Baked Chicken Breast

Level-up your baked chicken game with this amazing baked chicken breast recipe. This versatile recipe has all of the best tips to ensure that your baked chicken turns out tender, juicy and full of flavor.

Crockpot chicken and vegetables served on a white plate.

Crockpot Whole Chicken

Get ready to be wowed by this crockpot recipe! It’s never been easier to cook a juicy, seasoned whole chicken with vegetables and gravy. Add in a batch of Homemade Biscuits for the perfect Sunday dinner.

Overhead view of chicken tortilla casserole in a turquoise skillet.

Chicken Tortilla Casserole

There’s so much to love about this chicken tortilla casserole. It has chicken, black beans, salsa, tortilla chips and cheese, all cooked in one skillet! 

Sliced grilled chicken breast served with rice.

Grilled Chicken Breast

A delicious homemade Chicken Marinade gives this grilled chicken irresistible flavor. Serve it with Broccoli Salad, Potato Salad or Macaroni Salad.

Cheesy one pot pasta with sausage in a skillet.

One Pot Pasta

It doesn’t get any easier than this 5 ingredient recipe! The pasta cooks right in the pot with the sauce and chicken sausage, soaking up all the flavors as it simmers.

Mouthwatering Ground Beef Dinners

Ground beef is a staple when it comes to making easy dinner recipes. It’s budget-friendly, kid-friendly, and easy to prepare. These ground beef recipes will keep your taste buds happy!

Side view of sloppy joes served on a burger bun.

Sloppy Joes

These meaty, saucy sandwiches have the best combination of savory and sweet flavors. Serve them with Sweet Potato Fries or Baked French Fries.

Close up of rigatoni pasta bake.

Baked Rigatoni

Is there anything more comforting than a pasta bake? This rigatoni recipe has pasta, ground beef and marinara sauce topped with melty cheese and baked until hot and bubbly. Like this Baked Spaghetti, this rigatoni pasta bake is so quick and easy to make.

Meatballs and gravy served over mashed potatoes.

Swedish Meatballs

Tender meatballs in a creamy gravy, served over Mashed Potatoes? Yes, please! This comforting dish is a family favorite.

Ground beef taco meat served in soft corn tortillas with a variety of toppings.

Taco Recipe

Taco night is always a favorite! This ground beef taco recipe is fast, easy and delivers maximum flavor.

Bowl of chili topped with cheddar cheese, sour cream and green onions with a spoon in the bowl.

Chili Recipe

This homemade chili is thick, hearty and satisfying. Serve it with this fluffy Cornbread and dinner is done! (Instant Pot fans will also love this Instant Pot Chili.)

A serving of taco salad in a salad bowl with skillet of taco meat in the background.

Taco Salad

You can have this healthy taco salad on your table in just 20 minutes. Kids not a fan of salad? There’s an easy solution: just let everyone assemble their own plate just the way they like it.

Goulash in a Dutch oven pot with a wooden spoon.

Goulash

This American goulash recipe checks all the boxes for an easy dinner idea: it’s made in one pot (less dishes to wash), it’s ready in 30 minutes and it’s the epitome of a family-friendly meal.

Bowl of instant pot spaghetti sprinkled with parmesan and fresh basil.

Instant Pot Spaghetti

This Instant Pot spaghetti is one of our go-to recipes for a quick meal that the whole family loves. Everything cooks together in the Instant Pot!

Taco pasta on a serving spoon over a slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Taco Pasta

This slow cooker taco pasta is a fantastic make-ahead meal that’s ideal for extra busy days. Serve it with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of shredded cheddar on top.

More Beef Dinner Ideas

These beef dinner ideas are sure to satisfy! Juicy steak, a slow simmered beef soup and crock pot Italian beef are just a few of the recipes you’ll find below.

Beef stir fry in a cast iron skillet.

Beef Stir Fry

Need a dinner recipe that’s ready in a flash? This beef stir fry is it! All you’ll need to round out the meal is some cooked rice or noodles.

Italian beef served on toasted hoagie rolls with provolone cheese.

Italian Beef

This shredded Italian beef cooks in the crock pot until it’s fall-apart tender, juicy and so flavorful! Serve it on toasted rolls with melty cheese to make the best Italian beef sandwiches.

Beef stroganoff tossed with egg noodles in a bowl.

Beef Stroganoff

This richly flavored dish has thinly sliced steak and a creamy mushroom sauce. Toss it with egg noodles or serve it over mashed potatoes. For a make ahead meal try this Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff.

Grilled steak served with a pat of butter and a side of asparagus.

Grilled Steak

Throwing a few steaks on the grill is one of the easiest ways to make dinner! With this recipe you’ll get all of the tips you need to grill a perfect steak every time. Serve it with Grilled Asparagus and a fluffy Baked Potato.

Ladle full of beef barley soup set in pot of soup.

Beef Barley Soup

The enticing aroma alone is enough reason to make this hearty beef barley soup. Loaded with tender beef, nourishing veggies and barley, this soup is so satisfying.

Full-Flavored Vegetarian Meals

This list of vegetarian dinner ideas has something for everyone. Eating meatless meals has never been so delicious!

Broccoli rice casserole in baking dish.

Broccoli Rice Casserole

You won’t find any canned soup in this homemade broccoli rice casserole. It’s cheesy, perfectly seasoned and so comforting. Want to add chicken? Try this Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole.

Mac and cheese in baking dish with a serving spoon.

Homemade Mac and Cheese Recipe

This homemade mac and cheese is the perfect comfort food. Gooey cheese and noodles star in this indulgent macaroni and cheese recipe. We love it with Roasted Broccoli on the side.

Farro salad with arugula, apple and feta in a serving bowl.

Farro Salad

This farro salad is just delightful! With chewy farro, sweet-tart apple, tangy goat cheese, sweet dried cranberries, crunchy almonds and peppery arugula, this salad is packed with zippy flavors in every bite.

Slice of broccoli cheese quiche on a plate.

Broccoli Cheese Quiche

You’ll be smitten with this 5 ingredient quiche recipe! Serve it with this Arugula Salad or a Kale Salad.

Mexican quinoa with sweet potatoes and black beans in a skillet.

Skillet Mexican Quinoa

This one pot Mexican quinoa is a hearty dinner idea, with plenty of protein thanks to black beans and quinoa. This delicious 30 minute meal also includes sweet potatoes, enchilada sauce and cheese.

Fried rice served in a bowl with chopsticks.

Fried Rice

This simple dish is ready in 20 minutes! This easy fried rice with egg and vegetables is a budget-friendly quick dinner.

Chili mac topped with cheese and green onions in a bowl with a spoon.

Vegetarian Chili Mac

Cheesy chili mac pasta is one of the best comfort food dinners, and this one pot vegetarian chili mac is a meatless version that is so simple to prepare.

Vegetable stir fry served over brown rice.

Vegetable Stir Fry

Tangy stir fry sauce and crisp-tender vegetables are an epic combination in this easy vegetable stir fry. Serve it over rice, noodles or quinoa with a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

Stuffed shell on a spoon resting in the baking dish.

Stuffed Shells

These easy stuffed shells are filled with four kinds of cheese and spinach. This classic pasta dish can be baked right away or frozen for a quick meal later.

Instant pot mac and cheese in a white bowl.

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

Instant Pot mac and cheese is the easiest way to make homemade macaroni and cheese! On the side, serve Steamed Broccoli or Roasted Carrots.

Lentil taco filling served in crunchy taco shells with lettuce, cheese and tomatoes.

Lentil Tacos

Spice up your taco night with these lentil tacos! For your convenience, the lentil taco filling can be made in the slow cooker or Instant Pot.

Vegetarian portobello mushroom fajita with guacamole.

Vegetarian Fajitas

These portobello mushroom fajitas are the best vegetarian fajita recipe! The mushrooms, peppers and onions are coated in a delicious marinade and then sautéed until tender. Serve Black Beans or Pinto Beans on the side.

Soups for Dinner

Soup is an easy, healthy, comforting dinner option. Serve these soup recipes with a salad or bake a batch of fluffy Dinner Rolls.

Close up of minestrone soup in a bowl with a bite on a spoon.

Minestrone Soup

This hearty minestrone is loaded with healthy veggies, pasta and beans in a flavorful broth. Serve it with a loaf of crusty bread for dunking!

Tomato soup in a bowl garnished with fresh basil.

Tomato Soup

Pair this tomato soup with an Air Fryer Grilled Cheese for one of the simplest, coziest meals you can make. This richly flavored tomato soup is quick to make with pantry ingredients.

Pot of chicken noodle soup with soup served in bowls.

Chicken Noodle Soup

This nourishing chicken soup is easy enough to make on a weeknight and the leftovers make delicious lunches.

Bowl of instant pot chicken tortilla soup topped with sour cream, avocado and tortilla chips.

Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

This Instant Pot chicken tortilla soup is a reader favorite! If you don’t have an Instant Pot, this soup recipe can also be made in the slow cooker.

Bowl of broccoli cheddar soup topped with cheese.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

This healthier broccoli cheddar soup gets its creaminess from potatoes rather than cream. There’s nothing better than sitting down to a steaming bowl of this soup on a cold day.

Tortellini soup with kale in red Dutch oven pot.

Tortellini Soup

This tortellini soup is one of the easiest soup recipes, made with cheese tortellini, carrots, kale and Italian seasonings.

White chicken chili in a pot and bowl.

White Chicken Chili

This hearty white chicken chili is a delish excuse to pile on the toppings! It’s a crowd-pleasing meal that’s perfect for a weeknight.

Healthy Dinner Ideas: Fish Recipes

Salmon, shrimp and white fish are healthy options for easy meals. From my favorite simple baked salmon recipe to a succulent shrimp stir fry, you’ll love these easy seafood dinner recipes.

Baked salmon served with broccoli.

Baked Salmon

Our favorite salmon recipe, this oven baked salmon gets rave reviews from everyone who tries it! A simple glaze adds so much flavor.

Four fish tacos with red cabbage, avocado, cilantro and fish taco sauce on a plate.

Fish Tacos

These fish tacos are everything I want in an easy dinner idea – they’re simple to make, fresh, and flavorful. With seasoned white fish, crunchy cabbage, avocado and the best creamy fish taco sauce, this 30 minute recipe is so delish.

Shrimp stir fry served over brown rice with chopsticks.

Shrimp Stir Fry

This healthy stir fry has succulent shrimp and crisp vegetables in the best stir fry sauce.

Four grilled salmon fillets on a plate with lemon wedges.

Grilled Salmon

This easy grilled salmon can be cooked on an outdoor grill or indoors on a grill pan. It’s elegant without being fussy.

Honey garlic salmon with potatoes and green beans on baking sheet.

Honey Garlic Salmon

A sticky honey garlic glaze adds a punch of flavor to this must-make dinner idea. Salmon, potatoes and green beans cook together on one pan for easy prep and easy clean up!

Salmon salad with spinach, avocado, red onion, walnuts and goat cheese.

Salmon Salad

Craving something light and fresh? This flavor-packed salmon salad is a divine combination of greens, succulent salmon, avocado, blueberries and goat cheese, all tossed in a tangy dressing.

Easy Dinner Ideas with Ground Turkey

When you’re looking to lighten up your meals, ground turkey is a delicious option. These ground turkey dinner ideas are big on flavor and sure to join your regular recipe rotation.

Two slices of turkey meatloaf, mashed potatoes and green beans on a plate.

Turkey Meatloaf

What’s lighter than classic Meatloaf but just as tasty? Turkey meatloaf! It’s moist, flavorful and smothered with the best meatloaf sauce.

Turkey chili in a bowl with a spoon, topped with sour cream, cheddar cheese and green onions.

Turkey Chili

You can make this turkey chili on the stove top, in the slow cooker, or in an Instant Pot. With robust flavors, it’s the best healthy chili recipe!

Close up of ground turkey tacos topped with red onion, cilantro and lettuce.

Ground Turkey Tacos

These ground turkey tacos are an economical meal that’s ready in 30 minutes. Black beans, bell peppers and onions add pizzaz to seasoned ground turkey. Wrap it in warm tortillas and devour!

Turkey burger served on a bun with lettuce, guacamole, tomato and red onion.

Turkey Burger Recipe

Say hello to the best juicy, flavorful turkey burgers! Serve them with Sweet Potato Fries or Cajun Fries for a healthy dinner.

Turkey meatballs served over spaghetti with marinara sauce.

Turkey Meatballs

These turkey meatballs are everything you want homemade meatballs to be – they’re tender, moist and so flavorful. Serve them over pasta or add them to a Meatball Sub.

Pork Dinner Recipes

From pork chops to pork tenderloin and pulled pork, these pork dinner ideas are full-flavored and sure to satisfy.

Baked pork chop served with green beans and mashed potatoes.

Baked Pork Chops

With this baked pork chops recipe, you’ll enjoy juicy, flavorful pork chops without a lot of effort. The simple seasoning rub is the best!

Baked pork tenderloin sliced in a cast iron skillet with brussels sprouts.

Baked Pork Tenderloin

Baked pork tenderloin is a family favorite that appeals to even the pickiest of eaters. A simple seasoning rub and scrumptious glaze make this easy baked tenderloin recipe exceptionally dreamy!

BBQ pulled pork sandwich served on a burger bun with extra bbq sauce.

Crock Pot Pulled Pork

This saucy pulled pork is a favorite crowd-pleasing dish that you can prep ahead for an easy dinner. Pile the shredded BBQ pork on top of burger buns and top with Coleslaw or Apple Slaw.

Two pan fried pork chops in a cast iron skillet with a spoon.

Pan Fried Pork Chops

Cooking pork chops in a skillet is a quick and easy way to get a delicious dinner on your table. These pan fried pork chops are moist and juicy with the best flavorful browned crust. Serve them with potatoes and a vegetable for a praise-worthy meal.

Sliced crock pot pork tenderloin on a serving platter garnished with fresh herbs.

Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin

In this easy slow cooker recipe, pork tenderloin is seasoned with a simple mix of spices and then cooked in the crock pot with onions until it’s tender and juicy. Serve it with Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Roasted Brussels Sprouts.

Add These Dinner Recipes to Your Meal Plan

My biggest tip for getting a healthy home-cooked dinner on the table each night is to meal plan. It takes just minutes and saves so much time in the long run.

Grab your calendar (paper or digital), or a notepad and pen, pull up this list of easy dinner recipes, and choose three that you’d like to make during the week ahead. The other nights of the week can be filled in with leftovers, breakfast for dinner, or other favorite easy meals that your family loves.

Once you have your meal plan written down, go through each recipe and make a grocery list. We try to grocery shop once a week and buy everything we’ll need. Avoiding extra trips to the store will save you time and money.

With these recipes, your dinners are covered for at least the next two months. That’s something to get excited about!

If you try one of these recipes, I’d love to hear how you liked it in a comment below. Your review will help other readers!

Goulash in a Dutch oven pot with a wooden spoon.

60 Easy Dinner Ideas

Servings: 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
These dinner ideas are easy, flavorful and family-friendly! This recipe collection includes healthy dinner ideas, chicken dinner recipes, ground beef recipes, vegetarian meals and more. Start with this one pot goulash recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 ½ cups chopped yellow onion
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups low sodium beef broth
  • 30 ounces canned diced tomatoes
  • 15 ounces canned tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
  • 2 cups elbow macaroni pasta, uncooked, 9 ounces by weight
  • 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • chopped fresh parsley, for serving

Instructions
 

  • Heat a Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and cook, crumbling, until browned. Drain grease as needed.
  • Add the onion and bell pepper to the pot. Cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
  • Stir in the beef broth, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  • Add the pasta to the pot and stir it in. Bring to a simmer then reduce the heat to keep the pot at a simmer and cover the pot. Cook, stirring every few minutes to keep the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pot, until pasta is cooked through, about 8-10 minutes. Turn off the heat.
  • Stir in the shredded cheese. Serve, garnished with chopped fresh parsley.
Calories: 472kcal, Carbohydrates: 56g, Protein: 24g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 60mg, Sodium: 898mg, Potassium: 795mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 1101IU, Vitamin C: 47mg, Calcium: 223mg, Iron: 4mg
Nutrition information is an estimate.
Cuisine: American
Course: Main Course
Tried this recipe?Mention @kristines_kitchen on Instagram or tag #kristineskitchenblog.
Collage of eight easy dinner ideas with text overlay.
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