June 17, 2024


Food never sleeps.

100 Quick And Easy Meals You Can Make In 30 Minutes Or Less

11 min read

Weeknight dinner dreams are made of these.

Cooking a delicious meal doesn’t have to require hours in the kitchen. Whether you’re making something special for a date night or whipping up a big batch recipe for a family, these 30-minute meals will come in handy.

Busy Budgeter / Via busybudgeter.com

Pick your favorite pasta shape, add cherry tomatoes, diced bacon, lettuce, and plenty of shredded cheese. Mix it all up with ranch dressing and dig in.

Recipe: 15-Minute BLT Pasta Salad

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Whip up this lunch or dinner with naan, hummus, whatever veggies are in your fridge, and chicken breasts. If you want to make things even easier, use a store bought rotisserie chicken.

Recipe: Chicken Hummus Naan Wraps

The Almond Eater / Via thealmondeater.com

This sweet and sticky glaze tastes amazing on just about any protein, but you’ll love it on salmon with a side of your favorite veggie.

Recipe: Honey Soy Salmon

Salt and Lavender / Via saltandlavender.com

Fancy shrimp dinner in 30 minutes? No problem. This shrimp is simmered in cream sauce with spinach and sun-dried tomatoes. Garnish with some fresh herbs, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a bit of Parmesan.

Recipe: Creamy Tuscan Shrimp

Spend With Pennies / Via spendwithpennies.com

Tired of the same old baked salmon recipe? Give this one a try. Salmon is topped with a mixture of panko bread crumbs, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and plenty of fresh herbs. Then it’s baked until crispy on the outside but moist and flaky on the inside.

Recipe: Herb-Crusted Baked Salmon

Tasty / Via tasty.co

Say goodbye to boring salmon and hello to this version topped with rich and zesty avocado, red onion, cilantro, and lime salsa.

Recipe: Avocado Lime Salmon

Hannah Loewentheil

A Caesar salad kit and grilled or leftover chicken are tossed into wraps or tortillas for an easy lunch or dinner when you just don’t feel like cooking.

Recipe: Chicken Caesar Salad Wraps

Garnished Plate / Via garnishedplate.com

This filling meal comes together with just a handful of affordable ingredients: ground beef, jalapeño pepper, cream cheese, tortillas, enchilada sauce, and shredded Mexican cheese.

Recipe: Easy Beef Enchiladas

Savory Nothings / Via savorynothings.com

Never underestimate the combination of chickpeas and pasta. You can keep both ingredients right in your pantry for lazy nights when you’re low on groceries and whip them up into a cozy meal. Add your favorite greens, garlic, lemon, and Parmesan, and call it dinner.

Recipe: Broccoli Rabe Pasta With Smoky Chickpeas

My Food Story / Via myfoodstory.com

If store-bought teriyaki sauce is all you’ve got, by all means go for it. But you’ll never regret whipping up this sweet and spicy homemade version from scratch with soy sauce, honey, garlic, ginger, and chili flakes.

Recipe: Teriyaki Shrimp With Broccoli

Life Made Simple Bakes / Via lifemadesimplebakes.com

Diced chicken, celery, chestnuts, mushrooms, and garlic are tossed in ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, oyster sauce, and chili paste. Serve the chicken in butter lettuce cups sprinkled with cashews, carrots, and scallions.

Recipe: Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Damn Delicious / Via damndelicious.net

Take the frozen shrimp that’s hiding in your freezer, and toss it with spaghetti in a simple white wine, lemon, and garlic sauce for a dinner that tastes restaurant quality.

Recipe: Shrimp Scampi

Averie Cooks / Via averiecooks.com

Cool nights call for big bowls of chili. This recipe, made with white beans and shredded chicken, will warm you right up and keep you feeling full.

Recipe: White Chicken Chili

Kim’s Cravings / Via kimscravings.com

Start with any flaky white fish (or even salmon will do) and dredge the fillets in a mixture of Parmesan cheese, paprika, and parsley. Bake in the oven until golden brown.

Recipe: Parmesan Crusted Cod

How Sweet Eats / Via howsweeteats.com

These salmon skewers call for simple ingredients, but the Thai flavors are incredible. Drizzle the cooked skewers with sesame oil, cilantro, sesame seeds, and Thai chili if you like a little kick.

Recipe: Sweet Thai Chili Salmon Skewers

Diethood / Via diethood.com

Those $2 instant ramen packages can actually go a long way toward a gourmet meal. Stir-fry the boiled noodles with some juicy garlic shrimp and voilà.

Recipe: Garlic Shrimp Ramen

The Girl on Bloor / Via thegirlonbloor.com

You can make these Korean-inspired rice bowls with pretty much whatever protein or veggies you have in your fridge. Or keep it totally vegetarian and top your bowl with a runny fried egg.

Recipe: Beef Bibimbap

White on Rice Couple / Via whiteonricecouple.com

If you’ve never baked an egg in an avocado before, it’s going to change your life. This version is sprinkled with crispy bacon, and it tastes incredible when it’s spread on crusty bread or your favorite toast.

Recipe: Baked Eggs With Avocado

Gimme Some Oven / Via gimmesomeoven.com

There’s nothing like this creamy, umami-packed stroganoff sauce, which is made with butter, onion, garlic, white wine, beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, flour, and either sour cream or plain Greek yogurt.

Recipe: 30-Minute Beef Stroganoff

Simpe Veganista / Via simple-veganista.com

Not only is this recipe quick and easy, but it’s also the perfect way to add more plant-based meals into your dinner rotation.

Recipe: Chana Masala

Carlsbad Cravings / Via carlsbadcravings.com

If you’re even the tiniest bit intimidated by the idea of cooking fish at home, this easy yet oh-so-flavorful mahi mahi will change your mind. You can use any firm fish in its place like swordfish, halibut, or even tuna.

Recipe: Mahi Mahi in Lemon Garlic Cream Sauce

Modern Honey / Via modernhoney.com

What could be more satisfying than tender chicken breast nestled in juicy tomato sauce beneath a layer of bubbly, melty cheese?

Recipe: Baked Chicken Caprese

Hannah Loewentheil

Don’t scoff at cheap-flavored ramen noodles. Instead, turn them into a gourmet meal with just a few extra ingredients like firm tofu and soft-boiled egg.

Recipe: Vegetarian Ramen With Tofu

Chef de Home / Via chefdehome.com

If you can get your hands on tuna steaks, this medium-rare seared tuna tastes incredible. But you can always opt for something more accessible and affordable like canned tuna fish or salmon.

Recipe: Tuna Niçoise

Hannah Loewentheil

Toss thawed shrimp, tortillas, and veggies (like this super-convenient fire-roasted peppers and onion medley) on a sheet pan, and assemble your fajitas with some sour cream, guacamole, or pico de gallo for good measure.

Recipe: Sheet-Pan Shrimp Fajitas

Choosing Chia / Via choosingchia.com

This recipe calls for tofu, but you can use anything from shrimp to chicken in this creamy green curry and coconut milk–based dish.

Recipe: Thai Green Curry Tofu

Darn Good Veggies / Via darngoodveggies.com

There’s no marinating required in this super-simple sheet pan supper. Just toss cubes of tofu, diced veggies, and cashews in the coconut and soy sauce, and then let it bake for 20–25 minutes.

Recipe: Sheet Pan Chinese Tofu

Diethood / Via diethood.com

Classic ratatouille is delicious, but every now and then you might crave something a bit more filling. Enter: this riff on the French classic, which is made with lots of fresh veggies and chicken breasts in a single skillet.

Recipe: Chicken Ratatouille

Mae Bells / Via maebells.com

What happens when you combine cheesy mac ‘n’ cheese with meaty chili? Well, it’s one of the best comfort food mash-ups of all time.

Recipe: Easy Taco Mac

Baker By Nature / Via bakerbynature.com

This stir-fry is tossed in a tangy and sweet mixture of brown sugar, soy sauce, Sriracha, ginger, and sesame oil. Load it up with whatever noodles, veggies, and protein you like best.

Recipe: Sriracha Shrimp and Zucchini Lo Mein

Pinch of Yum / Via pinchofyum.com

No meat, no problem. These vegetarian balls are made with cauliflower, quinoa, or brown rice, flour, eggs, and spices. You can pan-fry them or bake them in the oven until golden, then serve with veggies, pasta, or your favorite grain.

Recipe: Vegetarian Meatballs

Joyful Healthy Eats / Via joyfulhealthyeats.com

Cooking steak for dinner doesn’t have to be a huge to-do. Take these tacos, for example. Sliced fillet is grilled for about four minutes per side, and then it’s served in corn tortillas with your favorite taco toppings.

Recipe: Grilled Steak Street Tacos

Hannah Loewentheil

Use the Trader Joe’s ingredients pictured above, or grab fish sticks, tortillas, and a crunchy salad kit from your favorite market. Just warm up the tortillas, toss the salad, cook the fish sticks, and assemble your tacos.

Hannah Loewentheil

This family-friendly, four-ingredient meal feeds a crowd. Cook the orzo according to package directions, and thaw the shrimp. Then place everything in a baking dish topped with diced tomatoes and feta (or Trader Joe’s antipasto mixture). Bake for about 10 minutes until everything is warm and the cheese is melted.

Recipe: Baked Greek Shrimp and Orzo

Baker By Nature / Via bakerbynature.com

This is one of those recipes you can whip up with just a handful of simple ingredients, yet it tastes totally impressive. If you don’t love quinoa, grab your favorite grain or pasta as the base.

Recipe: Chicken Bruschetta Quinoa Salad

iFood Real / Via ifoodreal.com

If you don’t have chicken, go ahead and improvise. You can use any ground meat for this skillet meal or just load it with lots of vegetables. Together with black beans and melted cheese, whatever ingredients you use will taste so satisfying.

Recipe: Tex Mex Chicken and Zucchini Skillet

Gimme Some Oven / Via gimmesomeoven.com

This homemade creamy tomato and basil blend is so incredibly easy. Top your bowl with anything from fresh herbs and grated Parmesan to pine nuts and croutons.

Recipe: 20-Minute Tomato Soup

Dash of Sanity / Via dashofsanity.com

This comforting soup calls for just six ingredients: chicken broth, ranch dressing, shredded chicken, diced tomatoes with green chiles, taco seasoning, and frozen corn.

Recipe: Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup

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Sometimes you just want something simple and satisfying. These rice bowls are topped with salmon and drizzled with soy sauce and sesame oil, and they can be garnished with any of your favorite ingredients, like soft-boiled egg, crispy seaweed, scallions, etc.

Recipe: 15-Minute Salmon and Avocado Rice Bowl

Tastes Lovely / Via tasteslovely.com

Tired of the same boring old salads? Shake things up with this crunchy, creamy chicken and cabbage medley, which gets a flavor boost from canned mandarin orange, almonds, cilantro, and scallion.

Recipe: Chinese Chicken Salad

Damn Delicious / Via damndelicious.net

Coconut milk and red curry paste make this Thai-inspired soup so decadent, you won’t believe there’s no cream involved. Go ahead and add any of your favorite vegetables like mushrooms, sweet potato, or bamboo shoots.

Recipe: Easy Thai Shrimp Soup

Platings and Pairings / Via platingsandpairings.com

Most picatta recipes call for chicken, but this one uses pork chops, which are pounded thinly, dredged in flour, and then pan-fried and served in a delightfully zesty garlic, wine, lemon, and caper sauce.

Recipe: Pork Piccata

Hannah Loewentheil

This soup starts with miso, vegetable, or chicken broth. Add frozen gyoza or wontons and steamed greens to turn it into a filling meal, plus a spoonful of chili oil for a little spice. 

Recipe: Spicy Miso Soup With Gyoza and Bok Choy

Half Baked Harvest / Via halfbakedharvest.com

This fancy ramen started with those $1 noodles. Discard the seasoning packet, and jazz it up with bacon, basil, corn, eggs, and plenty of Parmesan cheese. 

Recipe: Ramen Carbonara

The Girl on Bloor / Via thegirlonbloor.com

How can you make lasagna even cozier? Turn it into soup, of course, and top it with a big dollop of ricotta cheese and some fresh, torn basil.

Recipe: One-Pot Lasagna Soup

Half Baked Harvest / Via halfbakedharvest.com

Scallops seem totally fancy, but in reality they are one of the easiest and quickest ingredients to prepare. Sear them for about two minutes per side, and they’ll be perfectly cooked.

Recipe: Garlic Butter Scallops

Hannah Loewentheil

If you don’t live near a Trader Joe’s, just buy any soba noodles and stir-fry them with some vegetables like broccoli, snap peas, edamame, and cabbage. Top with soy-marinated salmon.

Recipe: Salmon Soba Bowls With Broccolini

Hannah Loewentheil

Talk about the ultimate comfort food: Turn store-bought tomato soup into a next-level meal with grilled cheese croutons. You can whip this bowl up in about 10 minutes flat.

Recipe: Tomato Soup With Grilled Cheese Croutons

Real and Vibrant / Via realandvibrant.com

This vegetarian-friendly recipe comes together with mostly pantry staples, so it’s a great one to bookmark for nights when your fridge is feeling bare.

Recipe: Coconut Chickpea Curry

Hannah Loewentheil

Just heat up sweet potato gnocchi (or any store-bought gnocchi), fry some pancetta, and sauté sliced mushrooms. Toss it all together and garnish with whatever’s in your fridge like good olive oil, Parmesan, and red pepper flakes.

Recipe: Sweet Potato Gnocchi With Mushrooms and Pancetta

Platings and Pairings / Via platingsandpairings.com

The greatest thing about these pizza boats is that just like a pizza pie, you don’t need to follow a recipe: Just top it with your favorite ingredients, and pop it into the oven until the cheese is melty and golden brown.

 Recipe: Zucchini Pizza Boats

Bowl of Delicious / Via bowlofdelicious.com

This lightened-up Alfredo sauce starts with butternut squash. The squash is boiled in chicken broth with browned butter, rosemary, and onions, then combined with milk and pulsed in a blender until rich and creamy.

Recipe: Butternut Squash Fettuccini Alfredo

Hannah Loewentheil

Keep a bag of frozen naan on hand for easy, feel-good flatbreads that take just minutes to whip up. This version is topped with Trader Joe’s cucumber tzatziki and pre-cooked gyro slices, but you can use whatever ingredients you’re in the mood for.

Recipe: Naan Flatbread With Tzatziki and Gyro

Carlsbad Cravings / Via carlsbadcravings.com

The best thing about curry is that you can swap in pretty much whatever ingredients are in your fridge. Simmered in a blend of coconut milk, lime juice, ginger, fish sauce, Thai chili sauce, and sugar, you can’t go wrong.

Recipe: Thai Red Chicken Curry With Vegetables

Hannah Loewentheil

This chicken Parmesan comes together almost entirely on the stove top. You can pop the skillet into the oven for a few minutes when you’re just about done cooking to get the cheese extra golden brown and crispy. 

Recipe: 20-Minute Skillet Chicken and Spinach Parmesan

Cookie and Kate / Via cookieandkate.com

This vegetarian quesadilla is stuffed with melted cheese, black beans, bell pepper, onion, and jalapeño, but of course, you can use whatever’s in your kitchen.

Recipe: 10-Minute Quesadillas

Foodie Crush / Via foodiecrush.com

It’s time to stop considered toast a breakfast food. A fancy open-faced sandwich is perfectly appropriate any time of day. This version is topped with sliced avocado, mozzarella or cottage cheese, and juicy tomatoes.

Recipe: Caprese Avocado Toast

Dishing Out Health / Via dishingouthealth.com

This Greek-inspired recipe features farro (or your favorite grain), shrimp, veggies like bell pepper and onion, and an easy lemon and yogurt sauce for garnishing.

Recipe: Greek Shrimp Grain Bowls

Gimme Some Oven / Via gimmesomeoven.com

Start with a bag of coleslaw to cut back on the time it would take to chop up all that cabbage and carrots. Toss it into a skillet with sliced shiitake mushrooms, and thinly sliced pork or chicken marinated in oyster and hoisin sauce.

Recipe: Quick Moo Shu Pork

Minimalist Baker / Via minimalistbaker.com

Make the pesto while the cherry tomatoes roast in the oven…or if you want to save even more time, just grab a jar of your favorite store-bought stuff.

Recipe: Penne Pasta Salad