Quick Dinner Ideas Ready in 20 Minutes or Less

Looking for quick dinner ideas for when life gets busy? I’ve gathered up a bunch of easy dinners for you to try! All of these recipes are ready in 20 minutes or less – perfect for those nights when there’s barely time to cook.

pinterest photo collage

overhead photo of three chicken gryos

Easy Chicken Gyros

A rotisserie chicken makes these chicken gyros a simple assembly operation instead of a cooking project. The soft pitas are filled with tender chicken, fresh tomatoes, cucumber, and creamy-cool tzatziki.

santa fe salad in a serving dish.

Santa Fe Salad

This easy salad is loaded with flavor and so easy to make! If you love Southwest flavors like avocado, black beans, and pico de gallo with chicken and a zesty dressing, you will love this recipe.

close-up shot of the final dish in a skillet.

Bucatini all’Amatriciana

This is a quick and easy pasta dish with simple ingredients and a little kick of heat from some crushed red pepper flakes. Bring the pasta water to a boil while you prep the ingredients for the sauce and, once you add the pasta to cook, the sauce comes together by the time the pasta is tender.

close-up photo of a stack of two italian sliders

Italian Sandwich Sliders

These Italian slider sandwiches are a great combination of salty/sweet with a tangy kick from banana peppers.

buffalo chicken lettuce wraps.

Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Quick and easy buffalo chicken lettuce wraps made with chicken, a spicy buffalo sauce, and crisp lettuce leaves. This is an easy dinner that’s ready in 20 minutes!

overhead photo of a avocado shrimp salad

Avocado Shrimp Salad

Quick and easy avocado shrimp salad with a zingy cilantro-lime dressing, bell pepper, corn, and lots of creamy avocado. It’s a no-cook, 20-minute recipe you can make on repeat all summer long.

meatball soup

Short-Cut Italian Meatball Soup

This Italian meatball soup is cozy, comforting, and ridiculously easy to make. You only need six ingredients and 15 minutes to make it.

cajun shrimp pasta

Cajun Shrimp Pasta

This Cajun shrimp pasta is a quick 20-minute dinner and perfect for busy weeknights. 

overhead photo of the salad on a white plate.

Chickpea Tuna Salad

Chickpea Tuna Salad is a fresh and flavorful salad with a tangy Dijon dressing and crisp veggies. It’s great as a side dish just as it is, add lettuce to make it a main dish salad, or use it as a filling for sandwiches and wraps.

a bowl of parsley pesto spaghetti.

Spinach Parsley Pesto

This Parsley Pesto is a quick and easy sauce that is full of fresh flavors. Spinach adds a healthy kick, and pine nuts and Asiago cheese add delicious flavor and texture. Toss it with hot pasta for an easy meal, or use it as a spread for sandwiches, toast, or bagels. It’s also delicious with grilled meat or as a sauce for vegetables.

cooked salmon on a grey plate with broccoli florets.

Panko Crusted Salmon

This easy Panko Crusted Salmon recipe is ready in 20 minutes! Delicious salmon with mayo sauce and panko is a simple and healthy-ish dinner when you’re craving something light.

pasta with olive oil and garlic

Easy Pasta with Olive Oil and Garlic

This easy pasta recipe is my go-to dinner when there’s no time to cook. In Italy, it’s known as pasta aglio e olio, which means pasta with olive oil and garlic. A few simple ingredients like spaghetti, olive oil, garlic, and Parmesan are all you need!

A stack of three hot roast beef sandwiches with cheddar cheese sauce

Hot Roast Beef Sandwiches with Cheddar Cheese Sauce

These hot roast beef sandwiches are quick and easy, thanks to a simple cheddar cheese sauce that’s made in the microwave.

gnocchi alla sorrentina

Gnocchi alla Sorrentina

Gnocchi alla sorrentina is a simple dish made with potato gnocchi, tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella and basil. It’s hearty and fresh at the same time and very easy to make. With a few shortcuts, this version is on the table in 20-minutes.

close-up shot of the final dish.

15-Minute Mediterranean Pasta

It doesn’t get any easier than this Mediterranean-inspired pasta. With just a few simple pantry ingredients, a couple of fresh ingredients, and 15 minutes this easy dinner is ready to serve.

pizza sandwich.

Loaded Pizza Sandwiches

Loaded pizza sandwiches with salami, pepperoni, provolone, and mozzarella cheese, olives, green peppers, and fresh herbs. Everything is optional or trade them out for your favorite pizza toppings.

Ravioli with Asparagus and Mushrooms

Cheese ravioli, asparagus, and mushrooms tossed together in a lightly buttery lemon sauce. Thanks to store-bought ravioli, It takes only 20 minutes to make, which is perfect for those busy weeknights.

a stack of cucumber avocado wraps on a plate.

Cucumber Avocado Wraps

These fresh and crisp cucumber avocado wraps with fresh greens are sort of like those little cucumber sandwiches served at tea parties, but a lot less fussy and more amped up thanks to a pesto-spiked cream cheese spread. They’re an easy no-cook recipe.

overhead photo of orzo zucchini dish

Zucchini Orzo with Chickpeas

This zucchini orzo is a quick 20-minute pasta recipe! It’s loaded with fresh herbs, zucchini, and a short-cut sauce. It’s perfect for those nights when you want something fast and easy.

honey mustard salmon in foil on a sheet pan.

Honey Mustard Salmon

This baked salmon dish takes about five minutes to prep and less than 15 minutes to cook. The salmon bakes in a flavorful honey mustard sauce made with simple pantry ingredients and some fresh dill.

close-up shot of a bowl of lemon ricotta pasta.

Lemon Ricotta Pasta

Lemon Ricotta Pasta is a quick 20-minute pasta recipe! Creamy ricotta combined with Parmesan, herbs, and lemon makes a really delicious sauce.

balsamic chicken in a pan.

Balsamic Glazed Chicken

Balsamic Glazed Chicken is a simple way to make chicken for salads, pasta, or as a main dish all on its own! All you need is a few pantry ingredients, and you can cook the chicken on the stove or on the grill for an easy dinner. 

pesto pasta

Creamy Pesto Pasta

You only need a handful of simple ingredients for this creamy pesto sauce, and it’s ready in about 20 minutes. It’s perfect for a quick dinner when you’re craving pasta.

I hope you’ve found some new quick dinner recipes to try!

Happy Easy Cooking!


More Dinner Ideas

Post updated from the archives. First published in March 2018.

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  1. What a great round-up, April! I cannot wait to try the creamy gnocchi with sun-dried tomatoes. And that garlic butter shrimp pasta does look like a giant hug! Thank you for including the mustard salmon and creamy Tuscan chicken, as well — they are definitely two of my personal favorites. Cheers!

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