What Should I Cook For Dinner Tonight


What should I cook for dinner? When we ask this question, we don’t really care about the recipe. We want to eat something, and we need help choosing whether to make a spaghetti carbonerra or a creamy quinoa (both of these options more than sound legit to me, but I know that some people think that’s not true).

You’ve been home for at least three hours. And you still haven’t showered yet, let alone had dinner. And everyone’s hungry. What should you cook for dinner?

Best Easy Dinners

shredded instant pot chicken thighs with marinara over polenta in a bowl

What should I make for dinner tonight that’s EASY? What are some good, healthy dinners? Could I just pay someone to come up with an easy dinner idea for me? We’re food bloggers—we literally cook dinner for a living—and these questions still haunt us sometimes. Standing there, staring into the fridge, wondering what you can whip up tonight that everyone will gladly eat and that won’t take a zillion hours—yeah, we’ve been there! For you (and for ourselves!) we’ve put together this list of the 60 BEST, easy dinner recipes we’ve got. They’re all over the map—some are healthy recipes, some are a little more indulgent, some are vegetarian recipes, some are all about a big slab of protein—but they’re unified by their simplicity. So here you have it! Our absolute best, easy dinners—all in one place

Rigatoni pasta with broccoli pesto in a bowl with a spoon
Lemon Chicken breasts baked in a baking dish

Our Best Easy Healthy Dinner Recipes

  • Instant Pot Chicken Marinara With Polenta. Our simple equation for this easy, satisfying dinner goes something like this: chicken thighs + a jar of marinara sauce = dinner’s done. COVER PHOTO (Find the recipe at the end of this post!)
  • Broccoli Pesto Pasta. To make broccoli pesto, broccoli florets are whizzed right into the pesto sauce itself, adding an even more vibrant punch of emerald green to the sauce as well as a seriously healthy boost.
  • Lemon Chicken. This easy recipe shines with a sunny, lemony zing. Garlic and herbs—plus a glug of white wine—mean that juicy, tender chicken breasts are as delicious as they are healthy.
ratatouille baked on a sheet pan with 5 sausage links with a white serving spoon.
salmon in parchment paper pouches opened and topped with lemon and fennel and dill
  • Ratatouille Sheet Pan Dinner With Sausage. While ratatouille is delicious served all on its own, we’ve added sausage to the mix to take this healthy sheet pan dinner to new heights.
  • Salmon en Papillote. Who knew that such an elegant meal could be so very easy.
  • Baked Salmon with Grapefruit Salad. Moist, flaky, melt-in-your-mouth salmon perfection. This is the easy salmon recipe you’ve been waiting for. Oh, and did we mention it cooks in just 15 minutes?
cheese and avocado sheet pan quesadilla with jalapeño ranch
Instant pot mac and cheese in a bowl with pepper and a spoon

Best, Easy Dinner Recipes For A Family

  • Sheet Pan Olive Bar Chicken. Full of rich flavors, almost NO prep, and using only one pan, this dish is destined to become a new favorite.
  • Five Spice Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner. Chicken thighs and cabbage get a little dose of flavor from Chinese five spice, and a little oven time on a sheet pan and boom! Dinner’s done.
  • Sheet Pan Quesadilla with Jalapeño Ranch. Stuffed with cheese and avocado, this giant, melty, upgraded cheese sheet pan quesadilla is good on its own, but we take it over the top with a side of homemade jalapeño ranch for dipping.
  • Instant Pot Mac and Cheese. What’s easier—and way better—than instant mac and cheese? Rich, creamy, homemade Instant Pot mac and cheese! Why? Because it takes about 5 minutes start-to-finish.
crock pot chicken tacos in a silver pan topped with salsa and limes
Whole30 approved shrimp and sausage sheet pan dinner with asparagus
  • Crock-Pot Chicken Taco Meat. Wait wait wait—taco night can be even easier? Yep! Meet our 3-ingredient Crock-Pot chicken taco meat recipe!
  • Mango Chutney Chicken Sheet Pan. A jar of store-bought mango chutney is the secret to this ultra easy dinner.
  • Old Bay Shrimp and Sausage Sheet Pan Dinner. Need we say more? Old Bay makes everything taste good—not that shrimp and sausage need any help.
  • Za’atar Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner. We dressed up basic cauliflower and chicken with our latest favorite spice blend, za’atar.

Dinner Ideas When There’s No Time to Cook

These 50 easy and delicious dinner ideas are the perfect dinner recipes to make any time you ask yourself, “What should I make for dinner tonight?”

Why is it figuring out tonight’s dinner can be one of the biggest challenges of the day? No more! The next time you find yourself limited on time and asking yourself, “What should we eat for dinner tonight?,” just look to this list of dinner ideas.

These all-in-one dinner ideas are ready to swoop in and save the day. Some are cooked on a sheet pan, made in the slow cooker or Instant Pot, or made in just one pot or skillet. And most all of these dinner ideas require 10 minutes of prep (yay less dishes) and are ready in 40 minutes or less!

This dinner ideas recipe list provides the time Ito bust the boring dinner rut and slay busy weeknights by showing who’s the dinnertime boss now.

Pasta Dinner Ideas

Spaghetti alla Carbonara recipe | foodiecrush.com

1. Spaghetti alla Carbonara

The simplicity in this creamy sauced spaghetti pasta is thanks to just 4 ingredients (that you likely already have on hand), and a hearty dose of black pepper. Bonus? You can whip it up in just 20 minutes.

Homemade Hamburger Helper Cheeseburger Macaroni | foodiecrush.com

2. Homemade Hamburger Helper Cheeseburger Macaroni

Call it what you want — cheeseburger macaroni, homemade Hamburger Helper, or hamburger mac and cheese. Whatever this recipe is, forget the box and make it from scratch, because it’s delicious and it can be on your table in 30 minutes flat.

Chicken Piccata Pasta | foodiecrush.com #chicken #pasta #dinner #piccata #capers #healthy

3. Chicken Piccata Pasta

This chicken piccata pasta’s lemony white wine, butter and caper sauce makes a light and snappy coating for linguine with tomato bursts and mushrooms for an easy pasta dinner that won’t weigh you down.

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4. Pasta with Turkey Sausage and Peas

This healthy recipe for pasta with turkey sausage and peas makes a fast Italian skillet dinner for any night of the week.

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5. Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo (or Stovetop)

This kid-friendly, comfort food classic is a super convenient, one-pot meal made even faster in the pressure cooker (or on the stovetop).

Pasta Puttanesca | foodiecrush.com

6. Pasta Puttanesca

Puttanesca is an Italian classic that takes basic pantry staples and transforms them into a light but full-bodied sauce over spaghetti or penne in mere minutes.

One-Pot Penne Pasta with Turkey and Spinach | foodiecrush.com #recipes #pasta #penne #healthy #onepot #turkey

7. One-Pot Penne Pasta with Ground Turkey and Spinach

Looking for an easy ground turkey recipe? This one-pot pasta comes together in just 30 minutes and is packed with good-for-you ingredients like spinach, tomatoes, and ground turkey.

Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Whole Wheat Pasta on foodiecrush.com

8. Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli with Whole Wheat Pasta

A hint of stone ground mustard gives a bit of unexpected tanginess to creamy melted cheese mixed into whole wheat pasta, broccoli florets, and shredded chicken.

Gnocchi With Pomodoro Sauce | foodiecrush.com

9. Gnocchi with Pomodoro Sauce

This simple tomato sauce gets tons of flavor from herbs steeped in olive oil that lusciously coats potato pillows of gnocchi, topped with fresh balls of mozzarella.

Soup Dinner Ideas

Easy Taco Soup (Stove Top or Crock Pot) | foodiecrush.com #soup #dinner #taco

10. Easy Taco Soup

This easy taco soup recipe can be made in 30 minutes on the stove top, Instant Pot, or slow cooked in the Crock Pot for a healthy Mexican-inspired, make-ahead, one-bowl meal.

Delicious Dinner Ideas for Tonight

Do you need some fast supper dinner ideas for tonight? These simple supper dishes, ranging from casseroles to stews, will soon become your new favorites.

1. Cottage Pie

Comfort food is a dinnertime staple, and cottage pie is an excellent option.

A wonderful gravy coats mashed potatoes, green peas, and ground meat.

Slice up this delicious pie, and you’ll have satisfied everyone’s taste buds in one fell swoop. This healthy dinner combines a little bit of everything into one delectable meal.

This is ideal for chilly winter evenings or for spoiling your family in the summer. You can’t go wrong with this dish.


2. Beef Stew

Beef stew is a dinnertime staple for good reason. A nice stew goes a long way with flavorful veggies and tender meat pieces.


Make this your go-to during cold winter evenings. After a hard day of sledding, imagine how happy your family will be to cuddle up with a bowl of beef stew.

The instant pot version is perfect for hectic weekdays when you need something fast!


3. Chili

Chili isn’t only for tailgate parties! It’s a warm and hearty soup that works well as supper as well as a snack on game day.

Spicy chili beans with simmering bell peppers and ground beef are the ideal comfort meal combination.

Make a pot of chili and ask yourself the question, “Do noodles belong in chili?”



4. Cheese and Ham Filled Pockets

Hot pockets are a popular frozen snack item, but you must try this homemade version!

After tasting this easy-to-make, easy-to-eat ham and cheese pockets dish, you’ll never want to eat microwave supper again.


You’ll have a great dinner in minutes and even quicker, these pockets use bread instead of dough.


5. Pork Posole

If you’re in the mood for comfort cuisine, serve up a big bowl of delicious pork posole tonight. It may be difficult to say, but it is simple to eat.

In this spicy meal, the fall-apart pork takes the spotlight. Take a look!


6. Pork Chops with a Glaze

This glazed pork chop dish will take your nightly pork chops to the next level! This sweetened pork is coated in a candy-like covering and has a flavorful core.

Brown sugar turns standard chops into restaurant-quality slices of meat.

7. Pizza on French Bread

When it comes to easy dinner recipes this is as easy as it gets. Start with delicious French bread! Eat it with butter or spice it up with this recipe.


Homemade pizza is wonderful, but it can be very messy. This method eliminates the need for dough preparation, leaving just delicious toppings and sauce.

This easy dinner idea means your guests can go wild with their own toppings.


8. Fish Topped with Paremesan

Do you want to go all out? Why not make fish for dinner? This Parmesan cheese crumbed fish recipe is beautiful and restaurant-worthy. It’s also very low in calories.

Fortunately, it’s very easy to create so what not treat yourself to this delectable supper meal.

This is the sort of meal for which you may light two candles and turn out the lights.


9. Cioppino (Fisherman’s Stew)

This cioppino dish comes from tiny Italian fishing towns and is full of the rustic taste of these small communities.

This fish stew is similar to beef stew in that it is warm and substantial, making it ideal for eating after a long day on the water.

With a bowl of this delectable stew, you can taste the countryside.



10. Pizza Quesadilla

Quesadillas are excellent for when you’re in a hurry.


If you’re bored with conventional chicken and cheese quesadillas, try these pizza quesadillas.

A crispy tortilla is filled with savory marinara sauce and melting cheese, as well as your favorite pizza toppings.

Do you put pineapple on your pizza? What about your favorite quesadillas fillings?


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