Jan 11, 2022

30 Easy Weeknight Meals

I’m rounding up some of my favorite quick and easy meals to make for dinner when I don’t have much time to cook during the week.

30 Easy Weeknight Meals

Struggling to figure out what to make? Is your New Year’s resolution not to order so much takeout from Seamless and Doordash? Not all delicious recipes have to take hours to make (plus these 30 easy weeknight meals can be on the table before your delivery would arrive).

These recipes can be made fairly quickly for delicious meals to feed the family – from soups and pastas to chicken and steak. I also like to keep these recipes in rotation to keep my meals fresh. I’ve also included time-saving tips and money-saving ideas for the recipes.

Pasta and Noodle Weeknight Dinners

Chilled Soba Noodle Salad with Crispy Shiitake Mushrooms - 30 Easy Weeknight Meals

Chilled Soba Noodle Salad with Crispy Shiitake Mushrooms

This meal comes together quickly for a meatless dinner or can be paired with a protein like ground pork, chicken or shrimp.

Bucatini Carbonara - 30 Easy Weeknight Meals

Bucatini Carbonara

This version of the Italian classic carbonara recipe is made using peas, green onions, bacon ends though pancetta or guiancale can also be used for a more Southern-inspired twist.

Salmon and Zucchini Pasta - 30 Easy Weeknight Meals

20-Minute Salmon and Zucchini Pasta

This simple pasta comes together quickly with only a few ingredients including flakes of salmon, sautéed zucchini, mushrooms, olive oil and parmesan.

Orecchiette with Collard Greens - 30 Easy Weeknight Meals

Orecchiette with Collard Greens, Sausage and Mixed Mushrooms

I make this recipe every other week. It’s a flexible recipe and I typically keep a pack of hot Italian sausage in my freezer and pasta in the pantry for times when I don’t want to head to the grocery store. Swap collard greens for kale or another leafy green in a pinch.

Cacio e Pep - 30 Easy Weeknight Meals

Cacio e Pepe

Cacio e pepe is essentially a grown up version of mac and cheese that is acceptable to order at a nice Italian restaurant and still seem like an adult. Eat on its own or pair with roast chicken and sautéed vegetables for a well rounded dinner.

Chicken Weeknight Dinners

Roast Chicken Legs - 30 Easy Weeknight Meals

Roast Chicken Legs with Braised Kale and White Beans

Whole chicken legs are a cheap cut but they’re extremely flavorful. Adding butter under the skin also makes it crispy! Serve over kale and cannellini beans with lemon for a quick healthy-ish dinner.

Filipino Chicken Adobo - 30 Easy Weeknight Meals

Filipino Chicken Adobo

This recipe comes together with minimal ingredients that can be found in your pantry. Chicken adobo or adobong manok is in fact, one of the most well-known Filipino dishes.

Chicken Florentine - 30 Easy Weeknight Meals

Chicken Florentine

Give me a creamy sauce and I’m all in – like lick-the-plate-clean status. In this dish seared chicken thighs with crispy skin are topped with a creamy garlic spinach mornay sauce (made with a roux, milk and cheese). In addition, the spinach makes it a more well-rounded dinner. Eat on it’s own, over rice or over roasted potatoes.

Seafood Weeknight Dinners

Baked Salmon with Lemon Dill Sauce - 30 Easy Weeknight Meals

Baked Salmon with Lemon Dill Sauce

Creamy lemon dill sauce is served ladled over baked Atlantic salmon. The lemon adds just a bit of acidity to the rich, creamy sauce. I also love pairing it with rice and green beans.

Spicy Shrimp Bowl with Crispy Rice and Kale - 30 Easy Weeknight Meals

Spicy Shrimp Bowl with Crispy Rice and Kale

This is one of the recipes I make most often. These bowls are similar to poké, and since they include cooked crispy shrimp, they are the perfect alternative if you don’t have access to high-quality sushi-grade fish or if you don’t prefer raw fish (or are pregnant).

Thai Red Curry Shrimp

Thai Red Curry Shrimp

This shrimp dish could be eaten as a soup but I like to make it a more filling meal by adding jasmine rice. The recipe also uses store-bought curry paste for a shortcut.

Roasted Orange Ginger Salmon

Roasted Orange Ginger Salmon

A full fillet of salmon topped with a simple blend of orange zest, grated ginger and red pepper flakes makes for an impressive yet easy entrée for entertaining or for a weeknight dinner. Substitute individual fillets for a half of salmon if needed.

Beef and Pork Weeknight Dinners

Pressed Patty Melt with Sriracha Mayonnaise

Pressed Patty Melt with Sriracha Mayonnaise

A patty melt is a sandwich consisting of a hamburger patty, melted cheese (I use Cheddar), and caramelized onions, all placed in between two slices of bread – it’s essentially a hybrid burger and sandwich.

Pan-Seared Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

Pan-Seared Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

Chimichurri, an acidic herb-based sauce looks similar to pesto and is originally from Argentina. It is traditionally served on top of meat or fish but I love to dip sliced ciabatta bread in the extra chimichurri sauce. In fact, I could easily eat a whole loaf with it. While I use flank steak, easily substitute with another cut of steak.

Sichuan Pan-Fried Green Beans with Ground Pork

Sichuan Pan-Fried Green Beans with Ground Pork

Tender, blanched green beans are pan-fried with an aromatic mix of garlic and ginger combined with ground pork. Serve over steamed white rice or crispy rice for a quick and easy meal with a protein, vegetable and grain all in one.

Jalapeño Popper Burger

Jalapeño Popper Burger

In this recipe, ground beef patties are seasoned simply with salt and pepper, grilled to medium-rare, and then served with a spicy twist of jalapeño cream cheese, strips of bacon and crispy onions piled on a brioche bun.

Issan-Style Pork Larb

Issan-Style Pork Larb

This easy dinner takes under 30 minutes to make! In fact, I make larb and serve it over a bed of jasmine rice with slices of cucumber. Substitute the ground pork with ground chicken instead.

Taco Weeknight Dinners

Mexican Chicken Street Tacos

Mexican Chicken Street Tacos

The seasoned chicken thighs are topped with a simple onion salsa on corn tortillas for a flavorful and quick taco dinner.

Crispy Ground Beef Tacos

Crispy Ground Beef Tacos

These ground beef tacos remind me of the weekly dinners we would have as a kid. I love serving these as a bar so everyone can assemble their taco toppings as they please. Rather than using a store-bought seasoning mix I opt for homemade for more control over the ingredients and flavor.

Fish Tacos with Cilantro Lime Sauce

Fish Tacos with Cilantro Lime Sauce

Fish tacos pair well with Coronas or a margarita, and make for the perfect Taco Tuesday. The fish is coated in seasonings and pan-fried in a pan until cooked through and almost blackened.

Tequila Lime Chicken Fajitas

Tequila Lime Chicken Fajitas

Strips of chicken breasts are marinated in tequila, lime and spices then sautéed and served with onions and peppers on flour tortillas. Swap thighs for chicken breasts or steak in this recipe.

Rice and Polenta Weeknight Dinners

Pepperoni Fried Rice with Scallops and Garlic Aioli

Pepperoni Fried Rice with Scallops and Garlic Aioli

Pan-fried crispy rice served tossed with cubes of spiced pepperoni and herbs, then flavored with tomato paste and topped with garlic aioli and scallops in this easy Italian-American-inspired spin on Spanish paella.

15-Minute Cauliflower and Kimchi Fried Rice

15-Minute Cauliflower and Kimchi Fried Rice

For a quick meal, rice and cauliflower is stir fried in a wok with eggs, kimchi, shrimp and herbs. This recipe is a great way to use up leftover rice.

Spicy Basil Fried Rice with Chicken

Spicy Basil Fried Rice with Chicken

This quick and easy recipe turns the Thai dish grapow gai, spicy basil chicken into fried rice with a simple sweet and spicy sauce. Feel free to add additional vegetables.

Cheesy Rice and Bean Bake with Adobo Chicken

Cheesy Rice and Bean Bake with Adobo Chicken

The combination adds a smoky, spicy kick to the chicken served with the cheesy rice and bean bake. Use shredded rotisserie chicken tossed in the adobo as a shortcut.

Soup Weeknight Dinners

Easy Lasagna Soup

Easy Lasagna Soup

This soup is inspired by a favorite classic – lasagna, deconstructed as a tomato-based soup topped with a cheesy ricotta and mozzarella mixture.

Creamy Tomato Cheddar Soup

Creamy Tomato Cheddar Soup

This soup is like a cross between tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. Cheddar cheese is blended into this creamy soup.

Chickpea Coconut Curry

Chickpea Coconut Curry

In this recipe chickpeas are stewed in a creamy coconut sauce made from a homemade curry paste base. Use canned chickpeas so this recipe comes together quickly.

White Bean & Kale Tomato Soup

White Bean & Kale Tomato Soup

This protein-packed vegetarian soup is great for chilly days and while it’s hands off, it makes the house smell amazing. Because it’s made with mostly canned ingredients it’s a fairly inexpensive option to feed a crowd.

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