30 Dinner Ideas to Make When There’s No Time to Cook

These 30 quick and easy, tasty dinner ideas are the perfect dinner recipes for even the busiest times of the week.

30 Dinners for September foodiecrush.com #dinner #recipe #quick #easy #fast #healthy #ideas #meals

Easy Dinner Ideas

It’s that time of year where we trade in pool time for school time. As we gear up for shorter yet somehow fuller days that seem to slip right through our busy little fingers, we need quick and healthy, easy dinner recipes we can throw together on the fly.

For each day this month when you find yourself asking, “What should we eat for dinner tonight?”, these good and healthy dinner ideas won’t cramp your week or make you a takeout slave or victim of cereal for dinner. Confession: Sometimes we love cereal for dinner. #yougottadowhatyougottado

These dinner ideas are ready to swoop in and save the day. Some take only require three steps, some are made in the slow cooker or in one pan, and pretty much all of them need 10 minutes of prep or less (yay less dishes)! So let’s slay these busy weeknights and show them who’s boss, eh?

Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Soup from foodiecrush.com on foodiecrush.com


Thanks to minimal prep, you can enjoy dinner ideas like this one without worrying about those dreaded dishes afterwards. Seasonings of red curry, coconut, ginger, and lime are what give this soup mega flavor, and the slow cooker does all the work!

Easy Skillet Chili from rachelschultz.com on foodiecrush.com

Rachel Schultz

You’ve gotta love a meal you can make entirely in one skillet. This chili is everything chili should be: Hearty, comforting, and effortless.

Lime Beef and Basil Stir Fry from sweetpeasandsaffron.com on foodiecrush.com

Sweet Peas and Saffron

30 minutes is all you need to make this flavorful, Thai Stir-Fry sizzle!

Coq au Riesling Pasta from simply-delicious-food.com on foodiecrush.com

Simply Delicious

This French pasta tastes like one of Julia Child’s dinner ideas that’s whipped up in minutes (only on a weeknight, because it comes together in just 30 minutes)—oui oui!

15-Minute Creamy Tomato Garlic Butter Shrimp from cafedelites.com on foodiecrush.com

Cafe Delites

This creamy 4-step pasta dinner is teeming with flavor thanks to lots of garlic, and it only takes 15 minutes!

20 Minute Ground Chicken Tacos with Poblanos from healthyseasonalrecipes.com on foodiecrush.com

Healthy Seasonal Recipes

Tacos make everything better, especially when they’re bursting with flavor, easy to make, and only take 20 minutes of work!

Garlic White Wine Skillet Chicken with Olives & Artichokes from snixykitchen.com on foodiecrush.com

Snixy Kitchen

Perfectly juicy and super crispy chicken is gussied up with briny olives, zesty artichokes, garlic, and white wine, making this one sexy skillet homemade dinner! Though the flavors and presentation are sophisticated, this dish actually requires minimal prep, making it weeknight-friendly.

15 Minute Lo Mein from pinchofyum.com on foodiecrush.com

Pinch of Yum

Ditch the greasy takeout and make these addictive, no-frills noodles instead. They’re a healthier, tasty dinner idea made in one pan, and they’re ready in just 15 minutes!

Smokey Chili Mac Soup from bevcooks.com on foodiecrush.com

Bev Cooks

If this mac and cheese-chili hybrid doesn’t scream “coziness,” then I don’t know what does! Smoked paprika and fire-roasted tomatoes are the magic ingredients that give this one pot chili a major punch of flavor, and leafy kale makes it extra hearty (and a tad virtuous).

Sheet Pan Honey Mustard Chicken and Vegetables from joyfulhealthyeats.com on foodiecrush.com

Joyful Healthy Eats

Sheet pan meals are one of the greatest dinner ideas! This 30-minute sheet pan dinner is everything you want a weeknight meal to be. Loaded up with colorful root veggies and a dijon mustard chicken, it’s easy to make, healthy and filling, and requires minimal cleanup!

Turkey Taco Quinoa Skillet from spoonfulofflavor.com on foodiecrush.com

Spoonful of Flavor

This protein powerhouse is everything you love about a burrito, but without all of the calories. Also, it comes together in just one skillet, and is super healthy and satisfying.

The Best DIY Foil Packet Dinners from foodiecrush.com on foodiecrush.com


These DIY foil packets are like a choose your own adventure dinner. They’re totally customizable with whatever ingredients you have on hand, and there are so many fun directions you can go in as far as flavors are concerned. Not to mention they’re incredibly easy, taking just 30 minutes in the oven or on the grill!

Cajun Chicken Pasta from whiskitrealgud.com on foodiecrush.com

Whisk it Real Gud

A creamy alfredo sauce, spicy cajun chicken breast, and tangles of linguini make this easy, 20-minute pasta dish a decadent weeknight win.

One Pot Chicken and Rice Fajita Soup from carlsbadcravings.com on foodiecrush.com

Carlsbad Cravings

This 30-minute one pot fajita-inspired soup is chockfull of so many wonderful spices and flavors. Just don’t forget all the yummy fixings!

Chicken Snow Pea Green Curry from nutmegnanny.com on foodiecrush.com

Nutmeg Nanny

Lean chicken and tons of fresh veggies make this aromatic, creamy curry healthy and satisfying. Plus, it it all comes together in just 20 minutes!

One Pot Black Bean Enchilada Pasta from savorynothings.com on foodiecrush.com

Savory Nothings

You can never go wrong with a one pot pasta during a busy workweek. This one only has two steps, and can be on your table in 30 minutes! The best part? The only dishes you’ll need to wash are a knife, cutting board, and pot!

Honey Mustard Slow Cooker Pork Loin and Rice from foodfaithfitness.com on foodiecrush.com

Food Faith Fitness

With just 10 ingredients and 10 minutes of prep, you can’t beat this easy weeknight meal that your whole family will love. Melt-in-your-mouth-tender pork and brown rice are brought together in the most irresistible honey-dijon sauce, resulting in the most comforting, yet healthy, and gluten-free dinner!

30-Minute Sesame Chicken Noodle Stir-Fry from Gimme Some Oven on foodiecrush.com #noodles #quick #fast #healthy #sesame #chicken #recipe #easy #stir #fry

Gimme Some Oven

Everyone loves a good stir-fry, and this one features a killer homemade sauce that you’ll want to use on everything! Plus, it’s quick and easy, and customizable with whatever veggies you have in your fridge.

Chicken and Broccoli Shells and Cheese from lovegrowswild.com on foodiecrush.com

Love Grows Wild

We’ll never be too old for some mac and cheese! This dreamy (not too caloric) version only has three steps and you can make it in just minutes. Plus, it’s got some chicken thrown in for protein, and broccoli for good measure, so you get something green! Everybody wins.

Slow Cooker Chipotle Lentil Soup with Avocado from cookincanuck.com on foodiecrush.com

Cookin’ Canuck

This soup may be vegetarian, but it’s wonderfully hearty and filling. Flavors of cumin and adobo lend a nice smokiness to it, and once again, the slow cooker steps in to save the day!

One Pan Balsamic Chicken and Veggies from chelseasmessyapron.com on foodiecrush.com

Chelsea’s Messy Apron

After a mini 2-ingredient marinade (that’s also used as a cooking sauce and dipping sauce) and 10 minutes of prep, you can sit down and relax with a glass of wine while this healthy sheet pan dinner cooks away! All weeknight dinners should be this easy.

One Pot Cheesy Sausage Penne Recipe from Crunchy Creamy Sweet on foodiecrush.com #pasta #italian #sausage #penne #recipe #skillet #cheesy

Crunchy Creamy Sweet

Let’s be real, I’ll always be excited about any homemade dinner idea that involves penne, sausage, cheese and is made in one lil’ old pot.

Easy White Chicken Chili from twopeasandtheirpod.com on foodiecrush.com

Two Peas and Their Pod

A simple store-bought rotisserie chicken makes this comforting chili a breeze. You can prep everything in just 10 minutes, and it only needs 20 minutes to cook.

(Really, Really Good) Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chicken Enchilada Skillet from Iowa Girl Eats on foodiecrush.com

Iowa Girl Eats

This recipe makes a whole lot, so halve it if you’re cooking for one or two or make it part of your weekly meal plan to eat through the week, the leftovers are excellent reheated.

30-Minute Tarragon Chicken Pasta from Gnom Gnom on foodiecrush.com #tarragon #pasta #dinner #chicken #easy #recipe #skillet

Gnom Gnom

The trick to this quick meal is in browning the chicken first, followed by a brief poaching in dry white wine with sautéed shallots that’ll keep the chicken juicy all week long.

Italian Chicken and Vegetable Skillet from reciperunner.com on foodiecrush.com

Recipe Runner

Bright pesto, Italian seasoning, and garlic breathe so much flavor into this light and easy dish. It comes together in just 30 minutes, and you can eat it straight from the skillet, or add to your favorite grain or pasta—mamma mia!

Sheet Pan Thai Glazed Salmon with Vegetables from therecipecritic.com on foodiecrush.com

The Recipe Critic

Flaky salmon and veggies get tossed in the yummiest zesty Thai sauce and then cooked up on a sheet pan in this super easy 30-minute meal! Eat as is, or serve over some rice, then rejoice in the fact that you have practically zero dishes to wash!

Chicken Shawarma Gnocchi Bowls from Climbing Grier Mountain on foodiecrush.com

Climbing Grier Mountain

Simple and quick, herbed baked chicken tops little pillows of heaven, GNOCCHI! for a dinner or lunch that will totally bowl you over.  This yummy dish totally hits the spot.

Crockpot Thai Chicken Curry from theendlessmeal.com on foodiecrush.com

The Endless Meal

Want curry in a hurry?  Let your crockpot do all of the work! This version is super creamy and flavorful, yet light and healthy. It’s naturally paleo and gluten-free.

30-Minute Caprese Chicken from foodiecrush.com on foodiecrush.com


You only need a handful of ingredients to make this beautiful and easy chicken. Serve over pasta, salad, or alongside your favorite veggies, and pretend it’s summer all year-long!

30-Minute Caprese Chicken Recipe

One of our favorite easy dinner ideas made with simple ingredients, you can make this stand out, one-pan chicken tasty dinner recipes in under 30 minutes.


  • 2
    boneless chicken breasts
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1
    extra virgin olive oil
  • 1
  • 1
    6 oz.
    jar DeLallo Traditional Basil Simply Pesto
  • 4-6
    fresh mozzarella or 6 ounces grated mozzarella cheese
  • 8
    cocktail or small tomatoes
  • DeLallo balsamic glaze
  • Fresh basil


  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F.

  2. Use a sharp, thin knife to slice the chicken breasts in half lengthwise. Season both sides with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat a large oven-proof skillet over medium high heat and add the olive oil and butter. Once the butter has melted into the olive oil, add the chicken breasts to the pan, being careful not to crowd. Cook on each side until lightly browned, about 3-4 minutes each.

  3. Slather the tops of each chicken breast with the basil pesto, about 1-2 tablespoons per chicken breast. Top each chicken breast with a slice of mozzarella and a few slices of tomato. Put the skillet in the oven and cook for 10-12 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. F. Remove from the oven and garnish with fresh basil and a drizzle of balsamic glaze.

Nutrition Facts

30-Minute Caprese Chicken Recipe

Amount Per Serving

Calories 232
Calories from Fat 135

% Daily Value*

Fat 15g23%

Saturated Fat 7g44%

Cholesterol 84mg28%

Sodium 262mg11%

Potassium 454mg13%

Carbohydrates 5g2%

Fiber 1g4%

Sugar 4g4%

Protein 18g36%

Vitamin A 1325IU27%

Vitamin C 17mg21%

Calcium 161mg16%

Iron 1mg6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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