School is in session, sports and activities are up and running, and weeknights are super busy! Do you struggle with finding easy dinner recipes? I know I do. It’s hard to find time for dinner with all of the running to and from activities.

I’ve seen this meme floating around that says something like:

Non-sports families: dinner between 5:30-7:30

Sports Families: dinner at either 4:30 or 9:30. Those are your two choices.

Have you seen that one? Which one is your family?

I feel like the “sports” family option is most families. It doesn’t just apply to sports either. There are all sorts of after-school activities that keep us all busy. It’s a struggle to get dinner done, kids fed, and get them to their (or our) activities.

Easy Dinner Recipes

I’ve pulled together 50+ easy dinner recipes that are perfect for those busy weeknights. Heck, they’re perfect for any night really! And you might just discover some new family favorites. I organized them into different categories to make the search a bit easier.

Let me know in the comments which one(s) you try and if they are hit or miss.

Instant Pot

instant pot dinner ideas


Instant Pot Chili – 5 ingredient Instant Pot chili is cheap and easy to throw together. Takes 10 minutes to cook and feeds a crowd.

Instant Pot Lemon Rosemary Chicken Thighs – These Instant Pot lemon rosemary chicken thighs are such a quick and delicious way to get dinner on the table! They’re great for a busy weeknight dinner. You can use fresh or frozen chicken; no defrosting required.

Instant Pot Pesto Chicken Pasta – This 5 ingredient pasta uses pantry ingredients and leftover chicken to get dinner on the table faster than you can get out of the drive-thru! Don’t have an instant pot? No problem, you can make it almost as fast on the stovetop.

Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs – this recipe is the perfect busy weeknight dinner solution. Seven minutes under pressure, less than $1 per serving, pour it into the Instant Pot and go. Dinner doesn’t get much easier than that.

Instant Pot Tortellini Soup – packed with all of the comforting flavors you would expect in a hearty soup. You’ll fall in love with the hint of spice from the Italian sausage paired with the creaminess of a variety of cheeses that is balanced with a rich tomato flavor.

Instant Pot Mexican Ground Beef – This Mexican Ground Beef Casserole With Rice And Beans is a super family-friendly meal that you’re going to love! Make it quickly and easily in your Instant Pot.

Slow Cooker

Slow Cooker Taco Chicken – The best Slow Cooker Taco Chicken recipe is perfect for tacos, burritos, and even quesadillas! This healthy Mexican shredded chicken is so easy to throw in the Crock-Pot; it’s gluten-free, paleo, and allergy-free! Grab your favorite taco sauce and relax as your weeknight dinner cooks itself to perfection!

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken – The most delicious, moist, and easy slow cooker chicken yet! Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken requires just a few ingredients: your favorite salsa, some spices, and the chicken! The perfect healthy, gluten-free, paleo weeknight dinner to please everyone!

Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos – This 4 Ingredient Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos recipe makes a deliciously easy meal for those busy weeknights. So simple to make with only salsa, cheese, taco seasoning, and chicken that tastes great on any tortilla, added to a quesadilla, or topped on nachos!

Air Fryer

Air Fryer dinner ideas.

Air Fryer Chicken Fajitas – This recipe is extremely flavorful, easy to make, customizable, and takes only 20 minutes to make.

Air Fryer Pretzel Dogs – this air fryer recipe is perfect when you need a fast weeknight dinner and works for on-the-go too. They can be made in the air fryer or oven and are easy to make ahead and reheat.

Air Fryer Frozen Coconut Shrimp – These crispy air fryer frozen coconut shrimp take only 10 minutes to make! Straight from the freezer into the air fryer. They come out with a crunchy, golden brown coating and a tender and juicy inside. Topped with a spritz of lime, and chopped cilantro served with your choice of dipping sauce.

Sheet Pan and One Pot

Sheet pan and one pot dinner ideas.

Roasted Red Pepper Gnocchi – Super easy 2-ingredient meal that WOWs every time. Mix in any cheese or protein to customize it!

Lebanese Beef Pilaf with Chickpeas– When you need an easy, quick meal that’s packed with nutrition, this one-pot meal is the one!

One Pot Sausage Pasta – An irresistible, creamy, one-pot sausage dish! This tomato sausage pasta is a 30-minute weeknight meal recipe that no one can refuse. Naturally dairy-free and made with gluten-free noodles this one-pot meal will become a family favorite!

Sheet Pan Steak Fajitas – No mess and no fuss! These sheet pan steak fajitas make the perfect weeknight dinner recipe. Made with fresh veggies, lean beef, and homemade fajita seasoning, this easy, healthy dinner comes together in under 20 minutes.

Ricotta Pesto Pasta – This creamy ricotta pesto pasta is full of flavor and very family-friendly. Quick and easy to make, it comes together in just 20 minutes.

Sheet Pan Nachos – This tasty recipe is perfect for when you’re craving Mexican food at the end of a hectic day or while watching the big game!

Easy Homemade Beefaroni – This 20-minute meal can be made on the weekend and kept in the fridge for later in the week. It also makes an amazing freezer meal!

Chicken and Green Beans – Stir fry dishes are a go-to for busy evenings! Prepare the vegetables ahead of time and put this dish together in about 20 minutes!

Sweet Potato Burritos – Burritos have become some sort of a universal language. Make sure to try these Sweet Potato Burritos and get ready to fall in love!

Oven and Stove Top

Oven and stove top dinner ideas.

Easy Pepperoni Pizza Muffins – These are great for any time but perfect for on the go. And the kids can even make them.

Doritos Nacho Bake – this is a twist on traditional nachos that your whole family will devour even on the busiest of nights! It’s quick and easy to prepare and especially great for those on a tight budget. Make this portable by tossing the beef & toppings into a snack-size Doritos bag and you’re all set.

Angel Hair Pasta with Chicken – Easy, fast, and delicious, this 15-Minute Angel Hair Pasta Recipe with Chicken is made with vine-ripened tomatoes, and green olives, and needs just 15 minutes to prepare. Loved by the whole family (even those picky eaters!), this easy pasta with chicken uses canned foods to help eliminate waste; save you time in the kitchen; and get your family essentials like protein and vegetables.

Easy Pasta with Chicken and Zucchini – this amazing dish is ready in just 20 minutes. Perfect for a midweek evening with not much time. Also reheatable in the microwave or even as a cold lunch.

Philly Cheesesteak Sliders – These Philly cheesesteak sliders with ground beef are perfect for an on-the-go dinner! Kids will love them.

Taco Salad – This easy taco salad is quick to assemble when the ground beef is cooked ahead of time. It’s also very portable if you have a large covered plastic bowl.

Shrimp and Steak Kabobs – These shrimp and steak kabobs are perfect for that weeknight dinner; they are easy to prep and taste delicious. Whether sitting down for a quick dinner or taking something on the run, the family will love this recipe.

Chicken Enchilada Soup – Perfectly seasoned and full of flavor, Chicken Enchilada Soup is a deliciously quick & easy stovetop dinner for a busy day. Serve with a salad and you have a healthy dinner on the table in 15 minutes.

Mexican Chicken Casserole – an easy and delicious dinner, served in just one bowl! Creamy rotisserie chicken, rotelle, cheese, beans, corn, and tortilla chips are layered and baked in a casserole.

Yaki Udon Stir-Fried Udon Noodles – Yaki udon is an easy stir-fried udon noodle recipe ready in under 20 minutes! Add any vegetables and protein you have on hand for a quick and easy meal!

Chicken Taco Casserole – This chicken taco casserole recipe is a quick, easy, no-fuss dinner solution for when you want the flavors of tacos, but don’t have time to set up a taco bar. It’s made with shredded chicken and black beans, a creamy taco spiced cheese sauce, and all your favorite taco fixings. Simply mix, bake and serve!

Leftover Pulled Pork Tacos – Have some leftover pulled pork? Transform it into taco filling in 10-15 minutes for a super fast, easy dinner- you can even serve them as walking tacos on those extra busy nights!

Creamy Paprika Chicken – This creamy paprika chicken is quick and easy to make in your skillet, coming together in just 30 minutes. Full of flavor, with an indulgent sauce with a hint of spice.

Chicken Alfredo Bacon Penne Pasta – easy to make and the meal to serve after a hectic day. Chances are you already have all of the necessary 5 ingredients to make it.

Southern Chicken Tetrazzini– this chicken tetrazzini is easy, is ready in just 20 minutes, and is budget-friendly, too.

Chicken Quesadillas are a family favorite that is quick and easy to make with a store-bought rotisserie chicken. Add spices and some vegetables and you have a quick, easy, delicious, and healthy meal.

Baked Lemon Chicken Tenders with Tomatoes and Zucchini – These easy Baked Lemon Chicken Tenders are super moist, bright, & delicious! Chicken tenderloin is marinaded in olive oil, honey, lemon zest, & spices for ultimate flavor. It’s then oven baked with tomatoes & zucchini for a healthy sheet tray dinner. Simple, fuss-free, and perfect on a weeknight!

Creamy Lemon Broccoli Pasta with Shrimp – This healthy Creamy Lemon Broccoli Pasta with Shrimp is bright, flavorful, and only takes 30 minutes! Garlic butter shrimp, fresh broccoli, and an easy lemon cream sauce – all it takes is 8 ingredients!

Soya chunks Manchurian – saucy, flavorful, and incredibly hearty. This dry curry is easy to make and ready in 30 minutes!

Easy Teriyaki Soba Noodles – hearty, filling, and packed with colorful veggies! All you need is a few simple ingredients and 30 minutes to make this recipe.

Pasta e Fagioli aka Pasta and Beans – Ready in 15 minutes, this authentic pasta e Fagioli will introduce your family to how simple and easy real Italian cuisine really is! In addition, the pasta and beans will recharge kids and give them lots of energy to continue on their busy day!

Pan Fried Gnocchi – This crispy pan-fried gnocchi is a simple and quick recipe and takes only 20 minutes for an easy weeknight meal. Crispy gnocchi coated in a light sauce made with garlic, herbs, butter, and parmesan.

Gouda Mac and Cheese – This creamy, smoked Gouda mac and cheese is a tasty comfort food pasta dish that can be made in under 30 minutes. This mac n cheese is perfect as a main dish, or as a side dish for the holidays.

Creamy Chicken Pesto Pasta – This easy chicken pesto pasta recipe is made with pantry staples, comes together in 30 minutes, and is sure to become a family favorite!

Honey Soy Baked Chicken Drumsticks – These Oven Baked Chicken Drumsticks are seasoned with a simple honey soy marinade made with pantry staples, then baked until golden perfection.

Ultimate Rotisserie Chicken Quesadillas – Chicken, colorful veggies and plenty of cheese come together in these Ultimate Rotisserie Chicken Quesadillas. It’s a quick and easy dinner that can be made in 30 minutes and your family will love it!

Food Sensitivity Options

Dairy-Free Pizza Chicken Bake – Just 3-ingredients for this easy Dairy-Free Pizza Chicken Bake! A healthy dinner idea that’s gluten-free, allergy-free, low-carb keto, and with paleo options! Kids will love this chicken casserole recipe that can be customized with homemade marinara sauce and any pizza toppings you want!

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili – This easy Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili is a dump-and-go crockpot meal you can set and forget! This healthy three-bean chili is vegan, gluten-free, allergy-free, and full of plant-based protein, veggies, and bold Southwest flavors! A comforting dinner for a crowd or meatless make-ahead and freezer-friendly meal you can meal prep!


Cucumber and Cream Cheese Roll-Ups – Need a quick on-the-go sandwich? Try these cucumber and cream cheese roll-ups and you’ll be delighted to see them disappear! Serve with cut-up fruit or any other healthy side!