Here are all the best Friday night dinner ideas to cure the end-of-the-week blues! These recipes are quick, easy and comforting.
It’s Friday night, and you’re all out of cooking energy. What’s for dinner? We know the feeling! Once we get to the end of the week, we’re grasping for ideas on a quick, simple meal to ride out the week in style. So here are all our best Friday night dinner ideas that are low on effort and big on flavor! Each recipe is fast, crowd-pleasing, and requires minimal effort to pull together into a meal. There are ideas for classic comfort food and heathier, lighter ideas as well. Let’s get to it!
What to make on a Friday night? Try this Broccoli Mac and Cheese, big on flavor and loaded with nutrient-dense broccoli! It's a bit lighter than most mac and cheese recipes but you'd never know it: it tastes bold and cheesy.
Craving a good old, classic Friday night dinner idea? Try the classic tuna melt: it’s the stuff dreams are made of! Between crusty bread is sandwiched a creamy, savory mess of tuna and crunchy veggies so perfectly seasoned that you won’t be able to stop taking bites.
It's simple to whip up a salmon Caesar salad on a Friday night -- especially if you use canned or smoked salmon! Throw together salmon, croutons, Caesar dressing and Parmesan shavings, and it's a tasty meal for the entire family.
This riff on the classic Italian salad from Capri layers the classic ingredients as a sandwich filling, with an irresistibly creamy, pesto aioli that adds a pop of savory brightness to each bite. It's so simple to whip up and requires no cooking: perfect for Friday nights! (Just make sure to find juicy, ripe tomatoes: high quality sliced cherry tomatoes can work in the off season.)
What's a better Friday night dinner than the Italian classic: Cacio e Pepe? This famous Roman pasta that’s blown up in world-wide popularity. There’s something intoxicating about this shallow bowl of steaming pasta covered in salty, creamy sauce, black pepper and fluffy bits of Pecorino Cheese: and it takes minutes to make.
Craving pizza but don’t want to wrangle pizza dough? Make French bread pizza! This fun shortcut swaps French bread for pizza dough and tastes like a combination between garlic bread and pizza. The crust is perfectly crisp on the outside and fluffy when you take a bite.
Hello and welcome to the best healthy easy dinner: the Hummus Bowl! At it’s base, this simple concept requires no cooking at all: layer a dollop of hummus with crunchy veggies and serve with pita wedges. It’s easily customizable and you can make it super basic or fancier with easy additions of ingredients. Perfect for Friday night dinner!
Blackened tilapia comes together in just 15 minutes: perfect for a quick, no think Friday night dinner! This Cajun technique for cooking seafood and meat makes it taste restaurant-style in minutes. Blackened seasoning has a savory intrigue and makes a crispy darkened crust on the outside of the fish.
Here’s a dinner idea for when you’re not sure what to cook: Chickpea Tacos! This plant based recipe does heavy lifting with a short cook time and big flavors. Chickpeas make a flavorful filling coated in cumin, chili powder, and smoked paprika, punched up with a hit of zesty lime.
Here’s a quick and simple pasta recipe that’s the perfect shortcut for Friday night: Lemon Ricotta Pasta! Mixing ricotta cheese with olive oil, Parmesan and a little pasta water makes a makeshift white sauce that’s ideal for coating on long noodles (who knew!)
Need a simple meal that’s restaurant quality? Try a Tuna Steak! It might sound fancy, but tuna steaks are high protein and cook up in a flash: just 2 to 4 minutes! The flavor is melt-in-your-mouth meaty: with a salty, seasoned exterior and a buttery, raw interior.
Quesadillas are quick and easy for Friday nights, and this one comes together in 15 minutes. Scrambled eggs, black beans and melty cheddar cheese sandwiched between toasted tortillas and dipped into in guacamole? It’s basic in all the right ways, and at the same time a revelation in each bite.
This one the ultimate quick Friday night dinner idea that comes together in 20 minutes flat. Meet this soba noodle bowl! It’s filled with stir fried broccoli, red pepper and onion, mix with a savory sauce with creamy peanut butter.
There’s nothing like the sweet savory combination of honey garlic glaze and juicy shrimp. The best part?It takes 10 minutes to make. This one is hits all the comforting, satisfying dinner notes with a lightning fast prep speed.
Growing up, we ate egg sandwiches on Friday nights when my parents were too tired to "cook". And really, there's nothing better than a great fried egg sandwich. This one is our ultimate: gooey, messy, requiring lots of napkins, and slathered with smoky mayo.
Here's an easy weeknight dinner ideal for Fridays: chickpea curry! It takes only about 20 minutes to make! Warm spices and coconut milk make it one the most tastiest things you can make in that short time window—hands down.
Want a quick and healthy Friday night dinner idea? Try this Smoked Salmon Salad! It’s healthy, fresh, and requires no cooking at all! Imagine: savory smoked salmon, fresh greens, fluffy goat cheese dollops and a tangy shallot vinaigrette.
This Avocado Club sandwich is full of flavor and perfect as a "no-think" Friday night dinner idea. The combination of smoky, rich, hearty, crunchy and savory flavors is so irresistible…you’ll want to eat it all over again once it’s gone.
Throw rice, veggies, and burrito fillings in a bowl and call it meal! Here’s the thing: a good burrito bowl can actually take a while to make at home with all the components. Want a burrito bowl that’s lightening fast to make? You can make this one 15 minutes (using pre-cooked rice packets!)
Last up in our Friday night dinner ideas...instead of the classic tuna salad, try Salmon Salad! A unique spin on the classic tuna version, it’s irresistibly creamy and savory: a tasty spread that comes together in minutes.
More dinner inspiration
Looking for more dinner ideas? Here are a few more recipes to spark your imagination:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook just until al dente, (about 8 minutes; start tasting a few minutes before your package instructions indicate).
Cut the broccoli into very small florets. In a large saucepan, add a drizzle of olive oil and heat on medium high. Add the broccoli and cook for 4 minutes until tender, then add a splash of water and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt. Cook 2 minutes more until bright green and tender. Remove the broccoli from the pan (and wipe it out if necessary).
In the same pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the flour to create a paste for 1 minute. Gradually add the milk and whisk until smooth. Increase the heat to medium and continue whisking until the sauce starts to thicken, about 2 minutes. Stir in the shredded mozzarella, cheddar and Pecorino Romano cheese and continue stirring until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. Add the ½ teaspoon salt. (If the sauce is too sticky, you can add ¼ cup more milk to get a creamier texture.)
Add the pasta and broccoli to the sauce, stirring to combine, and heat just until the pasta is warmed through. Taste and add the remaining ¼ teaspoon kosher salt. If desired, sprinkle with Italian panko and serve.
*This is the secret flavor maker. Pecorino Romano is an aged cheese similar to Parmesan, but saltier and more savory. If you can’t find it, use Parmesan cheese and a few more pinches of salt.
Keywords: Friday night dinner, Friday night dinner ideas