Check out our list of 29 last minute dinner ideas that are quick and easy to make. From simple pasta dishes to one-pot wonders, we’ve got you covered.
I always seem to be in a bind when it comes to dinner. I either don’t have anything planned, or I’m so tired from work that I don’t feel like cooking.
Trying to come up with dinner ideas is tough enough, but it’s even harder when you’re short on time. Not to mention, you probably don’t want to eat another frozen pizza or take-out meal.
Here are 29 easy and delicious last-minute dinner ideas that are perfect for when you’re in a pinch. From simple pasta dishes to skillet meals, these recipes will help you get an easy dinner on the table without stress or fuss.
29+ Quick And Easy Last-Minute Dinner Ideas
A good last-minute dinner idea is a simple one-pot dish that can be made with pantry staples. This type of dish is hearty, nutritious, and relatively easy to make.
Last Minute Dinner Ideas With Chicken
1. Quick Teriyaki Chicken Rice Bowls
This Asian chicken dinner idea is our weekly rotation! Sweet, garlicky meat with broccoli and soy sauce rice can be ready in just 20 minutes. I’m so glad I finally found a healthy takeout alternative that my whole family loves!
You won’t regret this easy recipe for family dinner nights (or weekends).
2. Juicy Stove Top Chicken Breasts
This is a great chicken recipe for those who want an easy way to make juicy, flavorful meat. The pan-seared breasts are cooked on the stovetop and will be tender without much effort!
Save your leftover chicken for easy chicken sandwiches the next day!
3. Baked Tuscan Chicken Breasts
The best last-minute meal you’ll ever try! Packed with flavor, this Baked Tuscan Chicken Breast is an easy dish that’ll have your family asking for seconds.
Bake the chicken breasts in their own fat then simply add some creamy sauce and chopped veggies on top of each serving, what could be easier?
4. Oven Baked Chicken Bites
Tired of dry, boring cooked chicken? Put an end to your craving with this easy oven-baked recipe that only takes a few minutes.
The tender bites are moist and flavorful thanks to the garlic butter sauce.
5. Baked Ranch Chicken Breasts
The easiest, most delicious chicken dinner you will ever make! It only takes just a few ingredients to create a crispy baked ranch king of a party in just over 30 minutes.
Soaking up that flavor has never been easier than with this easy recipe for quick and yummy weeknight meals.
6. Quick Chicken Marsala
If you love Chicken Marsala as much as I do, then this recipe is just for YOU! It’s a restaurant-quality dish that can be made in your own kitchen.
The juicy pan-fried chicken topped with an amazing sauce will have everyone coming back for more. You won’t have any leftovers after making it yourself either.
7. Chicken Stir Fry Noodles
This quick and easy stir-fry recipe is full of nutritious veggies, which you can easily put together in just 15 minutes. With plenty of flavor from the chicken breast fillets that are cooked right along with them!
Even my pickiest eater loves this delicious meal. You can even swap out the chicken breasts for rotisserie chicken if you are in a pinch!
8. Oven Baked Chicken Thighs
The combination of the tangy honey and parmesan cheese with this Oven Baked Chicken Thighs recipe makes for an incredible dish that you won’t want to miss out on!
With only five ingredients, it’s easy enough to make at home at a moment’s notice.
9. Easy One Pot Chicken Sausage and Rice Skillet
This easy one-pot chicken sausage recipe uses simple ingredients that you probably already have in your cabinet. You can make this healthy and fast dinner for any busy weeknight, so it’s perfect when time gets away from us!
10. Easy Baked Chicken Nuggets
Tired of fried food? These homemade chicken nuggets are crispy on the outside and tender inwards. They’re easy (a 30-minute recipe) and freezer friendly for those busy weeknights!
Baked rather than deep-fried means you can enjoy this healthier alternative without sacrificing flavor or health benefits
Last Minute Dinner Ideas With Ground Beef
11. Easy Cheesy Ground Beef Quesadillas
The quesadillas are always a hit when I make them, especially with friends and family. They’re so easy and quick to prepare!
The filling has just enough spice from fresh cayenne pepper while still being juicy like soft taco meat without any added fat or cholesterol, what’s not love about that?
12. Ground Beef And Broccoli
The best way to get your family excited about broccoli may be in the form of a delicious 30-minute meal. This Ground Beef and Broccoli recipe features ingredients that take only minutes, but pack tons of flavor!
13. Easy Creamy Ground Beef Pasta
Ground beef pasta is a delicious and quick dinner idea that you can make in just 30 minutes! The flavor of this dish tastes like it’s been cooked low-and-slow, but all the ingredients come together quickly so your busy weeknights won’t feel as bad anymore.
14. Ground Beef and Mushroom Skillet
The beef and mushrooms in this 30-minute Ground Beef Skillet go hand in glove to make a healthy dinner that will always satisfy you. Change up the flavors however desired for an easy, quick fix any night of the week!
15. Easy Beef Taco Skillet
This one-pan taco skillet recipe is the perfect quick and easy dinner. It’s ready in about 30 minutes, making it great for those busy nights when you don’t feel like cooking but still need something nutritious!
16. Ground Beef Stroganoff
Ground beef stroganoff is a delicious little spin on an old classic. In under 30 minutes, you will have a rich and creamy mushroom sauce that’s packed with savory flavors. Just the way I like it!
17. Ground Beef Enchiladas
Ground Beef Enchiladas are such a delicious and easy dish to make, you won’t want any other brand of canned sauce ever again! Corn tortillas filled with flavorful ground beef that’s topped off by melty mozzarella cheese.
The homemade red enchilada sauce is nothing short of amazing. Don’t forget to top them with sour cream!
Last Minute Dinner Ideas With Pork
18. Easy Pork Chop Sheet Pan Dinner
Tired of complicated recipes that take hours to make? This Easy Pork Chop Sheet Pan Dinner is the perfect weeknight meal idea for busy families.
This is the perfect recipe for football Sunday dinner at our house!!
19. Quick And Easy Pork Fried Rice
This recipe is so quick and easy, you’ll have it on your menu again in no time! This yummy pork fried rice can be made with ingredients that are usually already stocked at home.
Try using brown rice for a slightly healthier version.
20. Pork Carnitas Tacos
The delicious smell of lemon juice and spices fill the kitchen. The juicy pork is seasoned with a unique blend of spices to create ultra-flavorful pulled Mexican-style BBQ or carne asada!
This easy dish can be made into tacos, burritos bowls, lettuce wraps, and more.
Last Minute Dinner Ideas (Carbs)
21. Easy Creamy Tomato Pasta
The best thing about this recipe is how easy it makes it to come up with new, tasty dishes. You can whip one of these creamy tomato pasta in no time flat and they’re perfect for those days when you don’t feel like spending too much effort cooking!
22. Cream Cheese Pasta With Corn And Spinach
Creamy and rich, this comforting pasta dish is perfect for any time of year. Made with only a few pantry staples that you probably already have in your cabinet. The quick, easy dish will make your family happy anytime!
23. Pasta Pomodoro
The best comfort food is pasta made with tomatoes, garlic, and extra virgin olive oil. I love the way it tastes on a cold day or as an appetizer before dinner!
The Pomodoro technique makes this dish simple yet impressive. Just 25 minutes for all of those ingredients to come together into one mouthwatering meal!
24. Easy Homemade Mac & Cheese
How would you like to make a batch of cheesy, pasta-y goodness in less than 30 minutes? This one-pot stovetop mac and cheese is the answer!
Topped with shredded cheddar cheese, it’s made with just six ingredients that are all easily found at your local grocery store.
Last Minute Dinner Ideas With Veggies
25. Easy Vegetable Stir Fry
What could be simpler than a stir-fry made up of simple vegetables and topped with parmesan cheese? This dish is so quick and easy, you’ll want to make it weekly!
The ingredients are inexpensive too; less than 30 minutes for the whole thing from start to finish. You can even use frozen veggies like green beans if that’s what’s in your freezer.
26. Black Bean Quinoa Bowls
These Southwest Black Bean Quinoa Bowls are a light and healthy vegetarian dinner that takes just 10 minutes to make! They’re topped with the most delicious dressing, perfect for your next weeknight meal.
27. Sheet Pan with Peanut Sauce Tofu & Veggies
Made with a 30-minute meal, Sheet Pan Peanut Sauce Tofu & Veggies is both nutty and sweet. It’s also spicy when you add in some red pepper flakes for extra spice!
This dish has an array of vegetables that make this sauce shine, it’ll impress even your most demanding food critics.
28. Vegan Pad Thai
The best vegan pad Thai noodles are made easy in under 30 minutes! One of my absolute favorite meals to eat at home.
It’s so satisfying and totally tasty, you won’t regret this decision like I did when searching for new recipes before making it again.
Bonus Last Minute Dessert Recipe
29. Pumpkin Pie Bars
Pumpkin Pie Bars are the perfect treat for any occasion! Canned pumpkin pie filling and an easy homemade crust make them come together quickly.
You’ll want to savor every bite of these tasty bars, so don’t forget that topping either it’s irresistible cinnamon crumb goodness mixed with sweetened condensed milk… yum!!
With a little bit of planning, you can have easy dinner ideas on the table in no time. We’ve put together a list of 29 last-minute dinner ideas that are both easy and delicious.
So next time you find yourself in a bind, don’t stress – just check out our list!
Check out our list of 29 last minute dinner ideas that are quick and easy to make.
29 Last Minute Dinner Ideas
Check out our list of 29 last minute dinner ideas that are quick and easy to make.