cheesy pasta with colorful vegetables

Dinner in 30 Minutes (or Less)!

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You’re busy and hungry! I get that! Here are ideas to make dinner in 30 minutes or less with simple ingredients that you might already have. These easy dinner ideas are going to save your sanity on weeknights.

Red kitchen timer set to 30 minutes for dinner

With recipes like tortillas pizzas, grilled bruschetta chicken, one-pot taco pasta, and so many more, there is something that everyone will love. Plus with easy clean up you can get back to crossing things off your to-do list!

If you don’t have time to shop and you have a few things in the freezer and pantry, you can make a quick meal!

Do you struggle to come up with dinner ideas every night? I know I do! And who has time to cook anyways? If you don’t have a plan, you overspend at the grocery store and don’t have what you need to make anything anyway? And everyone’s hungry and looking at you!

But when you go out to a restaurant, it doesn’t take that much time to get your food. How do they do it? What can we learn from them? How can we stay on our budget? How can we get our kids to actually eat healthy food? Or our husbands? (Am I right?)

A little preparation ahead of time (I do mine on Sundays) can help a ton. I’ll cut up a lot of raw fruits and veggies and put them in containers for side dishes for the kids for the early part of the week. And I’ll make up muffins, pancakes, and bread for the week.

I’ll also shred and slice up cheese. I like to use blocks of cheese because they are healthier than store-bought shredded cheese that has additives and much less expensive too. Anything I can do to make getting food on the table easier I try to do it. After I watch 7 kids under 4 for 10 hours straight, I don’t want to cook dinner. I’m pooped!

So I need these ideas to keep myself on track. No one is going to feel good if they get taco bell or sonic every night. These are the things I do. And they work for me.

  • Start with recipes that are easy and simple.
  • Use leftovers to create other meals.
  • Make a meal plan ahead of time and use it to make a shopping list.
  • Clean out your fridge and pantry regularly and get rid of clutter like expired and spoiled food.
  • Take inventory of what needs to be used up and plan meals that use that. (Throwing away spoiled food is like throwing cash in the trash.)
  • Keep a list of what’s in the deep freeze.
collage of 30 minute dinner recipes, salmon, pizza, pot pies, and pasta
  • For a digital cookbook full of 30 minute (or less) dinners, that you can print out and have at your fingertips, click here. There are over 30 recipes that are crowd-pleasers. And after caring for nearly 100 children in the past 27 years in my home daycare, I know about picky eating. I know what families like!
tender juicy chicken strips with herbs on the outside

30 minute chicken recipes

With these chicken recipes in hand, a delicious, healthy dinner is just minutes away! We love chicken around here and these 30 minute chicken recipes are some of our favorites.

Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta Linguini pasta tossed in creamy lemon sauce, combined with juicy flavorful chicken. It’s a quick and easy pasta dinner that is so yummy!

creamy lemon and chicken pasta piled up in a white bowl and garnished with parsley

Mini Chicken Pot Pie These Mini-Chicken Pot Pies only need 5-ingredients and they can be ready in just about 30 minutes. Serve them as a delicious bite-sized appetizer or pair them with a small salad for a fun and easy family dinner!

little mini chicken pot pies on a cooling rack, one is spilled open showing the filling

Honey Chipotle Chicken Pasta Honey chipotle chicken pasta is the perfect meal for an easy weekday dinner. A sweet and smoky chipotle cream sauce with chicken and veggies!

honey chipotle chicken pasta in a skillet next to a cutting board. Hot peppers and garnish on top

Grilled Bruschetta Chicken Grilled bruschetta chicken is the perfect 30 minute meal. Great for busy weeknights and always a family favorite.

grilled bruschetta chicken on a plate with melted mozzarella and a slice of tomato on top

This Leftover Chicken Fried Rice can be made with leftover chicken in just a few minutes. I would bet 15 or less.

30 Minute Beef Recipes

Make a tasty, nutritious dinner in just a few minutes with these 30 minute beef recipes that you can make in your air fryer! Beef is easy to cook and is a great source of protein and nutrients to keep you full and healthy.

Don’t forget to check out these super easy 5 ingredient beef enchiladas too! This One Pan Cheeseburger Pasta is another favorite easy dinner idea.

Ground Beef and Refried Bean Tostadas Ready in less than 30 minutes, these Ground Beef and Bean Tostadas are kid approved, use simple ingredients and are also great with ground turkey or chicken!

ground beef and refried bean tostadas on a tray with wedges of lime

30 minute pork recipes

How to cook the best, juiciest pork in under 30 minutes. Pork is my favorite! And these are simple recipes that make yummy pork dinner in 30 minutes (or less).

Pork Tenderloin Casserole in the instant pot is ready in just a few minutes but the flavor tastes like it’s been slow roasted in the oven!

pork tenderloin casserole in a pretty bowl

Easy Pork Tenderloin Marsala is one of those quick and easy dinners you turn to when time is short. Ready for your table in about 30 minutes, these delicious and tender pork medallions are a snap to make yet are elegant enough to serve to guests!

pork tnderloin marsala on a plate with green beans and twisty pasta

30 minute meatless recipes

If you’re doing vegetarian or just looking for a meat-free recipe, these 30 minute meatless recipes are calling your name. It’s easy to get a healthy and flavorful dinner on the table with these recipes. It’ll take you just 30 minutes or less to make the meal. And so delicious you won’t even notice that it’s meatless.

Tortilla Pizzas Tortilla Pizzas with Pesto & Goat Cheese come together with simple ingredients in about 15 minutes. A flour tortilla layered with pesto, sun dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, spinach, goat cheese, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese makes pizza night super easy and extra flavorful.

Tasty one pot recipes

Dinner should be delicious, easy to whip up, and ideally, end with few dishes to wash. But before you order something, give one of these one-pot, 30-minute dinner recipes a try. You’re going to love them!

Creamy Champagne Chicken Cook up this champagne chicken recipe for an easy, but elegant one skillet meal. Juicy, tender chicken breasts cook up in a creamy champagne sauce with mushrooms, onion and garlic. This recipe is certain to be one the whole family will love.

creamy champagne chicken in a pot with a spoon lifting up a chicken breast out of the sauce

Pork Chop and Spinach Skillet Dinner The only thing better than a 30 minute dinner is a one pot 30 minute dinner. This pork chop and skillet dinner comes with spinach and white beans in a delicious Dijon sauce.

Pork chop and spinach skillet dinner on a plate with a fork

One Pot Taco Pasta This delicious One Pot Taco Pasta is an explosion of flavors! And it’s so easy that the pasta cooks in its own sauce!

one pot taco pasta in a bowl garnished with sprinkles of cheese and chopped parsley

Pierogies and Kielbasa Skillet Pierogies and Kielbasa is a classic Polish comfort food and this easy skillet dinner is ready in just 30 minutes! Peppers, onions and a cheesy topping make this one a hit with the entire family.

perogies and kielbasa in a skillet by a tea towel

Creamy Tuscan Salmon Tuscan salmon is tender, flaky, pan-seared salmon filet smothered in a deliciously creamy garlicky and sundried tomato sauce. An easy and impressive dinner idea!

Shrimp and Asparagus Stir Fry This Shrimp and Asparagus Stir Fry Recipe is filled with juicy shrimp and fresh asparagus cooked in a lemon garlic stir-fry sauce. Ready and on your table in less than 30 minutes, this easy, delicious, and healthy shrimp stir fry is guaranteed to be your new go-to meal for busy weeknights.

shrimp and asparagus stir fry in a bowl

Halibut Burgers with Spicy Sriracha Aioli Pan-seared halibut slathered in spicy, sriracha aioli, topped with fresh microgreens and sandwiched between a super-soft brioche bun! You’re going to want to add these quick and easy halibut burgers to your weeknight dinner routine!

spicy halibut burgers on buns with microgreens and sauce

Ginger Garlic Marinated Salmon This moist and flaky Asian inspired Ginger Garlic Marinated Salmon is ready in 30 minutes! Serve with rice and fresh vegetables for a complete meal.

Quick and easy soup recipes

Do you love soup as much as I do? Well, I do love it a lot! And I love it even more when it takes just a few minutes to make. These quick and easy soup recipes will change your mind about what to have tonight.

This chinese minced beef soup is going to be one of your new favorite soups. The flavor is so good and the aroma will intoxicate you! Filled with veggies, it’s healthy too!

chinese inspired beef soup with vegetables and spicy mustard on top

Quick and easy pantry meals

Don’t have time to run to the store or you just don’t want to? These 23 quick and easy pantry meals are made with what you probably already have around. They are super simple, but oh so good!

Crockpot recipes for easy dinners

You’ll want it to make these quick and easy slow-cooker recipes. None of these crockpot recipes require more than 30 minutes of active time, so you can spend more time enjoying your life and less time in the kitchen. I love the set it and forget it nature of the crockpot! And kids are going to love them too!

I want you to be able to enjoy your family, make them a healthy meal, and still have time for you at the end of the day. So I hope you’ll use these tips to help you get there. Because we can all use more ideas for time-saving at home. I’m rooting for you!

collage of dinners that are ready in 30 minutes or less. Pasta, chicken, salmon and more

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