Fast & Easy Dinner Ideas

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!

Mushroom pasta | Goat cheese pasta

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!

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. 

Luckily, 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 our sweet spot. We love tinkering to get the perfect balance of speed and deliciousness. Here are some of our favorite concepts for quick & easy dinner ideas: 

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!

And now…our top fast & easy dinner recipes!

These fast and easy dinner ideas take 30 minutes or less to make. And that’s not achieved using shortcuts or processed foods! These recipes are loaded with vegetables and made using whole foods. Because most of the time, easy dinner ideas are simply about finding creative concepts that fit your tastes!

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
Pretty Simple Cooking

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.

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Garlic butter shrimp

Garlic Shrimp & More Easy Dinner Ideas


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (492 votes, average: 3.07 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 minutes
  • Total Time: 8 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

This garlic shrimp has HUGE flavor in under 10 minutes! A fast and easy dinner for weeknights or entertaining, it will become your go-to.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 pound large shrimp, deveined (peeled or unpeeled)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 lemon wedges
  • Fresh cilantro or parsley, for garnish

Instructions

  1. If frozen, thaw the shrimp.
  2. Mince the garlic.
  3. Pat the shrimp dry. In a medium bowl, mix the shrimp with the garlic and salt.
  4. In a large skillet, heat the butter on medium high heat. Cook the shrimp for 1 to 2 minutes per side until opaque and cooked through, turning them with tongs.
  5. Spritz with juice of the lemon wedges and serve immediately.
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Seafood

Keywords: Easy Dinner Ideas, Fast Dinner Ideas, Easy Recipes, Quick Recipes, Dinner Recipes

Looking for more easy dinner ideas?

Last updated: March 2020

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

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

Cookbook Author and photographer

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.

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