These simple recipes are perfect for getting food on the table…fast! They’ve got short ingredient lists and easy cooking techniques. Let’s get cooking!
Need to simplify? The thing we hear most from readers: Where are your simple recipes? How can I get food onto the table…fast? There are loads of creative ideas for fast and easy meals. But if you’re like us, it’s hard to find them when you need them most!
With that in mind: here are our best simple recipes for getting food on the table! They’re fresh, healthy, and made with real food ingredients: and we hope you’ll find something for everyone in this list. From quick chili made in 25 minutes to juicy pesto shrimp, they’re made with easy techniques and shortcut the time from zero to meal. Ready to get started?
Here’s an idea that has weeknight simple recipes written all over it: pesto shrimp! Turns out this bright green, garlicky sauce is the perfect pairing for this succulent shellfish. The two flavors go hand-in-hand, just like famous duos like tomatoes and basil. There’s no better use for a big patch of pesto than a pile of shrimp. Add noodles or rice to make it a meal.
Here’s the ultimate in simple recipes: this Quick Chili! In just 25 minutes you have a fast and easy dinner recipe. 25 minutes! And most of that time is hands off. All you have to do is cut one onion: otherwise it’s dump and stir. Even better: the flavor is fantastic! There’s nothing about it that tastes like a short cut. This one will be a staple in your kitchen for years to come.
This 20-minute creamy goat cheese pasta is so tangy and creamy, sweet from the tomatoes and lightly peppery from the fresh basil. The secret to the creaminess is that goat cheese, which brings a body to the sauce that’s almost like a vodka sauce. Combined with chewy penne, it’s out of this world! And best of all, you barely have to think to make it: the ultimate in simple recipes.
This chickpea curry hits all the checkboxes for simple dinner recipe perfection. It’s full of plant based protein, so it will keep you full for hours. It’s full of nutrients, and it takes only 20 minutes to make. Twenty minutes! That’s speed demon dinner, right there. And then the flavor of this vegan chickpea curry hits it out of the park. Really, every person who thinks plant based eating is bland should make this STAT.
Here’s a healthy simple recipe to spice up your routine: avocado tuna salad! This spin swaps out the classic mayonnaise for nutrient-rich avocado. The flavor is so fresh and delicious, you may give up the mayo version altogether. Alex and I might like this even better than classic tuna salad (except our recipe is really the very best so it’s a hard call). It takes only a handful of ingredients and 10 minutes to put together.
Here's the top simple recipe on this website: 5-minute bean dip! Beans, salsa, and cheese come together into the creamiest, gooiest piping hot mess. Dunk in crunchy chips and it tastes remarkably like the queso from your favorite Mexican joint. With just 3 ingredients, the flavor is more irresistibly complex than you’d imagine. Combine it with guacamole for a snack-style dinner, or use it as a side for tacos.
One of the most simple recipes for salmon: broil it! Do away with your old baked salmon recipes. With broiled salmon, you don’t even need to preheat your oven! Let it come to room temp, then broil it for 7 to 10 minutes until cooked through. Easy as that! While it broils, we highly recommend making up our lemon caper sauce. It makes the fish sing with tangy and briny flavor.
Bowl meals are popular because it’s one of the simplest ways to a healthy dinner! A good grain bowl plays up contrasts in color, texture and flavor. It’s got to have enough protein to keep you full, and a great sauce to bring it all together. This one's a Greek-style grain bowl with chickpeas and quinoa, a simple recipe in 30 minutes.
Is a 5-minute dinner recipe possible? Well, we think we’ve nailed it with this simple recipe. Of course, you’ll need to be the judge! The star is “chorizo-style eggs”: eggs whisked with spices that magically turn meaty. Top with salsa fresca, red onion, cilantro and well: WOW. You’ve got to try these.
Last up in our simple recipes: this soba noodle bowl! This one the ultimate quick weeknight meal, a filling vegetarian dinner that comes together in 20 minutes flat. It’s filled with stir fried broccoli, red pepper and onion, mix with a savory sauce with creamy peanut butter. Even better: eggs are scrambled right into the mix (like fried rice, but with noodles!).
More easy ideas
Still need inspiration? There are lots more easy ideas for making mealtimes delicious:
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.