Making delicious and healthy dinners doesn’t have to take all day. Here are our best fast and easy dinner ideas — all made in 30 minutes or less!
Cooking takes time. But making delicious and healthy recipes doesn’t have to take all day! After over 10 years in the kitchen together, Alex and I have learned this: the best easy dinner ideas balance big flavor and quick cooking methods. So here, we’re sharing fast dinner ideas you can make in 30 minutes or less. From tacos to pasta to salads to soups, there are easy dinner ideas for everyone! Keep reading for the recipes.
Looking for fast and easy dinner ideas?
The question Alex and I asked most often is, “What are your favorite fast and easy dinner ideas?” And we get it. Life is busy. There are 101 things to do, and adding cooking to that list can be stressful.
When we started cooking, we mainly chose dinner ideas that were 30 minutes or less. Why spend longer, when our day was already crammed full?
Since those early days, we’ve learned the value of spending time in the kitchen. Some recipes just need time to develop great flavor. Today, we’re more willing to spend 45 minutes to 1 hour making dinner if we know the flavor will be excellent.
Keeping things easy…dinner concepts
At the same time, there are plenty of fast and easy dinner ideas that can be made in less than 30 minutes with big flavor. These are recipes with fresh, high quality flavor that’s achieved without using cheap shortcuts. Creating this type of fast and easy dinner ideas has become somewhat of a niche for us. We love tinkering with flavors and methods to get the perfect balance of speed and deliciousness.
Here are some of our favorite concepts for quick & easy dinner ideas:
- Simple pasta is a go to for quick dinner ideas: be it pasta salad or our speed demon 15-minute gnocchi with Romesco
- Quesadillas are always quick: like our loaded veggie quesadilla or avocado quesadilla
- Sandwiches are the ultimate simple dinner ideas, like our 5 minute sandwich (for brinner!) or our vegan bahn mi
- Tacos are all about speed, like our BBQ bean tacos or quinoa tacos
- Pita pizzas are perfect for “no think” dinners, like these umami bomb pita pizzas
With all the recipes in our arsenal, we’ve got you covered for those weeknights where you have less than 30 minutes to spare. In many cases, making one of our easy dinner ideas is even faster than takeout!
What people are saying…
Does this sound too good to be true: recipes that are easy AND taste good? Well let us assure you, it’s absolutely possible! Here are a few recent testimonials from readers who have emailed us about the easy dinner recipes they’ve been trying:
- “My husband has a heart condition and I have borderline high cholesterol. My son bought me your cookbook and I am continuing to try new recipes from your book and website. While we still eat meat, we have cut back considerably. I have managed to lose about twenty pounds and my cholesterol has improved. This week I made your teriyaki stir fry and mushroom and goat cheese pasta. Both were TERRIFIC!” –Debbie
- “My husband and I decided to take our family down the vegetarian road about 9 months ago. I used to LOVE cooking, but have been in a slump since we went vegetarian. Often I find vegetarian/vegan recipes try to do too much with too many ingredients. Well, tonight, the tides have turned! I made FOUR of the five sandwich recipes I got from your blog and every single one was a winner! I have not felt this satisfied in the kitchen in such a long time! ” –Terra-Leigh
Our cookbook: full of easy dinner ideas
Alex and I literally wrote the book on easy dinner ideas! Everyone asks us how to make healthy home cooking easy and accessible. Pretty Simple Cooking is all about solving that problem! That was the reason that we started this website, and that is why we keep doing what we do today.
Ok, now let’s get to the recipes!
These egg tacos are the easiest dinner idea you can make! Dinner will be on the table in 5 minutes.
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
4 taco sized tortillas or 8 mini tortillas
Purchased salsa fresca or pico de gallo
1 handful thinly sliced red onion
Torn cilantro leaves
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the 4 eggs. Add the chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, and kosher salt, and whisk until combined.
- In a skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the eggs and cook over medium low heat, scraping as the eggs solidify, about 3 to 4 minutes total. As you scrape, they’ll start to form together into a meat-like texture. Don’t scrape too much or you’ll make too small of pieces: just enough for that it comes together!
- If time, warm and char the tortillas by placing them on an open gas flame on medium for a few seconds per side, flipping with tongs, until they are slightly blackened and warm. (See How to Warm Tortillas.)
- Top with salsa fresca (drain extra liquid before serving), thin sliced red onions, torn cilantro leaves, and hot sauce.
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: Stove
- Cuisine: Mexican
Keywords: easy, quick, dinner, idea, recipes, tacos, simple eggs, vegetarian
Looking for more easy dinner ideas?
- Easy Dinner Recipes for Beginners
- 12 Quick Dinner Recipes
- Easy Dinner Recipes for Busy Lives
- Easy Dinner Recipes for Family
- What Should I Make for Dinner?
- Easy Dinner Recipes for Two
- Easy Healthy Dinner Recipes
- 10 Favorite Weeknight Dinners
- Easy Weeknight Dinner Recipes
- 50 Quick and Easy Dinner Recipes
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.