Skip to Content

The Wait is Finally Over!

Get Our Cookbook

60 Best Easy Dinners

shredded instant pot chicken thighs with marinara over polenta in a bowl

We’ve rounded up our 60 best, easy dinner recipes! From grilled steak to braised chickpeas to allll the sheet pan dinners—we’ve got you covered.

What should I make for dinner tonight that's EASY? What are some good, healthy dinners? Could I just pay someone to come up with an easy dinner idea for me? We’re food bloggers—we literally cook dinner for a living—and these questions still haunt us sometimes. Standing there, staring into the fridge, wondering what you can whip up tonight that everyone will gladly eat and that won’t take a zillion hours—yeah, we’ve been there! For you (and for ourselves!) we’ve put together this list of the 60 BEST, easy dinner recipes we’ve got. They’re all over the map—some are healthy recipes, some are a little more indulgent, some are vegetarian recipes, some are all about a big slab of protein—but they’re unified by their simplicity. So here you have it! Our absolute best, easy dinners—all in one place

Rigatoni pasta with broccoli pesto in a bowl with a spoon
Lemon Chicken breasts baked in a baking dish

Our Best Easy Healthy Dinner Recipes

  • Instant Pot Chicken Marinara With Polenta. Our simple equation for this easy, satisfying dinner goes something like this: chicken thighs + a jar of marinara sauce = dinner’s done. COVER PHOTO (Find the recipe at the end of this post!)
  • Broccoli Pesto Pasta. To make broccoli pesto, broccoli florets are whizzed right into the pesto sauce itself, adding an even more vibrant punch of emerald green to the sauce as well as a seriously healthy boost.
  • Lemon Chicken. This easy recipe shines with a sunny, lemony zing. Garlic and herbs—plus a glug of white wine—mean that juicy, tender chicken breasts are as delicious as they are healthy.
ratatouille baked on a sheet pan with 5 sausage links with a white serving spoon.
salmon in parchment paper pouches opened and topped with lemon and fennel and dill
cheese and avocado sheet pan quesadilla with jalapeño ranch
Instant pot mac and cheese in a bowl with pepper and a spoon

Best, Easy Dinner Recipes For A Family

  • Sheet Pan Olive Bar Chicken. Full of rich flavors, almost NO prep, and using only one pan, this dish is destined to become a new favorite.
  • Five Spice Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner. Chicken thighs and cabbage get a little dose of flavor from Chinese five spice, and a little oven time on a sheet pan and boom! Dinner’s done.
  • Sheet Pan Quesadilla with Jalapeño Ranch. Stuffed with cheese and avocado, this giant, melty, upgraded cheese sheet pan quesadilla is good on its own, but we take it over the top with a side of homemade jalapeño ranch for dipping.
  • Instant Pot Mac and Cheese. What’s easier—and way better—than instant mac and cheese? Rich, creamy, homemade Instant Pot mac and cheese! Why? Because it takes about 5 minutes start-to-finish.
crock pot chicken tacos in a silver pan topped with salsa and limes
Whole30 approved shrimp and sausage sheet pan dinner with asparagus
Hoisin Glazed Pork Chops on a plate with a spoon
Pork Chops With Mushroom Cream Sauce in a pan with thyme and a spoon

Pork & Sausage Make Everything Taste AMAZING.

  • Sausage, Kale and Potato Skillet Dinner. An easy one-pan sausage, kale and potato skillet that pleases everyone, from cook to clean-up crew.
  • Hoisin Glazed Pork Chops. Having a few punchy ingredients on-hand is a great way to make a simple dinner out of just a few ingredients. Hoisin sauce is one of our go-to super-ingredients for easy dinners—just slather it on some pork chops, and you’re well on your way to dinnertime bliss.
  • Pork Chops with Mushroom Cream Sauce. Speaking of pork chops, this version—with a super creamy mushroom sauce—is ready in just 30 minutes.
cauliflower gnocchi with bruschetta sauce and sausage
Sheet pan Italian sausage héros with honey mustard
  • Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Chimichurri. Grilling always makes for an easy dinner, right? It’s so fast, and the clean up is minimal. Sliced up this pork tenderloin and serve it with a bowl of chimichurri—you’ll be hearing raves for days.
  • Cauliflower Gnocchi with Bruschetta Sauce and Sausage. This hearty, low-carb supper that bursts with bright, bold flavors and comes together in under ten minutes. It just doesn’t get easier or healthier than that!
  • Sheet Pan Italian Sausage Heros with Honey Mustard. The brilliant thing about breaking out your sheet pan to make italian sausage sandwiches with peppers is that it makes it so easy to make Italian hoagies for a crowd! Gather the hungry masses and let the feeding begin.
Grilled Ribeye with Salsa Verde on a cutting board
A plate of carne asada with tortillas, limes, avocado and radishes

The Best Dinner Recipes of All Time Involve Steak—We Can All Agree on That, Right?

  • Grilled Rib Eye Steak with Italian Salsa Verde. Easy? Check. Fast? Yup. Almost-no clean up? Uh, yeah, this recipe is perfect.
  • Carne Asada. This easy carne asada recipe is as simple as can be—fire up the grill and you’ll be feasting on juicy carne asada tacos in no time.
  • Chimichurri Steak. For some reason, a perfectly grilled steak never fails to impress people. And it's really easy to do. Grab yourself about ten minutes, fire up the grill, and let’s make a great steak!
  • Grilled Five Spice Flank Steak. A Chinese five spice-hoisin marinade sinks into scored flank steak like nobody's business, and turns a simply grilled flank steak into a total flavor bomb.
5 ingredient chicken tortilla soup in a bowl with cilantro and sour cream
ceramic bowl of creamy tortellini soup with sausage and kale topped with fresh parmesan

Our Go-To Easy Dinner Idea? Soup!

homemade chicken noodle soup in a bowl with a spoon
white bean and bacon soup in a bowl with a spoon
  • Quick and Easy Chicken Noodle Soup. Just what it sounds like! Comfort in a pot.
  • Coconut Curry Ramen. This restaurant-worthy creamy ramen is ready in about 15 minutes and is loaded with healthy veggies—in other words, it’s a weeknight dream.
  • White Bean Soup with Bacon. Creamy and deeply savory, it’s hard to believe that this rich and hearty white bean soup with bacon is made from just five simple ingredients.
bowl of creamy roasted red pepper rigatoni pasta topped with fresh parmesan cheese and basil
baked gnocchi with fresh mozzarella

Oodles of Easy Noodle Recipes

  • Three-Ingredient Tomato Sauce. Olive oil, salt, fresh tomatoes, and a little time are all it takes to create the most vibrant, fresh pasta sauce ever. Basic, easy, dinner perfection.
  • Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta. dinner doesn’t get easier or more delicious than this creamy roasted red pepper rigatoni pasta. If you’ve got ten minutes and can open a jar, you can make this tonight.
  • 4-Ingredient Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese. Easy homemade mac and cheese is just ten minutes (and four ingredients!) away. So what are you waiting for?
  • Baked Gnocchi. A skillet full of melty, bubbly, carb-y comfort is just what the dreary, drizzly weeknights ahead need to perk them up.
cheesy Baked Gnocchi with broccoli in a cast iron skillet
Sesame Garlic Noodles on a plate with garlic chili sauce
Roasted Chicken With taco seasoning over Cabbage in a skillet
Green Chicken Enchiladas with melted cheese and extra sauce

Chicken Dinner Ideas? Ooooohhhh Have We Ever Got Chicken Dinner Ideas!

  • Easy Harissa Chicken. Easy, quick harissa chicken—made with a jar of roasted red peppers, plenty of garlic, and smoked paprika—is a lot more exciting than any chicken recipe has any right to be.
  • Cilantro-Lime Chicken Thighs. A quick marinade of lime, garlic, bright cilantro, and a touch of honey transforms boneless, skinless chicken thighs into just the juicy, tender surge of sunshine that you crave.
  • Skillet Roasted Chicken with Cabbage. Easy delicious dinners win every time in our book. This one-pan whole roasted chicken falls into that easy category.
  • Green Chicken Enchiladas. Our easy green chicken enchilada recipe is weeknight ready and all but guaranteed to please everyone from starving spouses to picky toddlers.
cast iron skillet with whole roasted chicken topped with butter and lemon pan sauce
easy chicken piccata recipe with lemons and capers in a cast iron pan
baked orange chicken on white rice topped with sesame seeds and green onions
thai basil beef over white rice in a large white bowl

Stir-Fries: The OG Quick, Easy Dinner

  • Easy Orange Chicken. Our easy orange chicken recipe puts a healthy spin on the sweet-savory favorite.
  • Kung Pao Chicken. Step away from the takeout menu. Step towards the stove and make this easy chicken instead!
  • Thai Basil Beef. A speedy, savory Thai beef basil stir fry that’s just a bit spicy and really hits the spot.
  • Crispy Chicken Stir Fry. Cornstarch and high heat mean super-crispy chicken every time. Toss in some green beans, and you’ve got an easy, healthy dinner in about 10 minutes.
  • Gingery Ground Beef (Soboro Donburi). Five ingredients, a few minutes and a hot skillet, and you’ll be digging into a delicious soboro donburi.
3 eggs baked in salsa verde with radishes and lime and cilantro
braised chickpeas in tomato sauce with chard shown in a ceramic bowl with sourdough bread and a wooden handled spoon.

Easy, Fast Vegetarian Dinner Ideas

  • Salsa Verde Baked Eggs. A jar of salsa verde makes this elegant egg dish incredibly speedy. Yeah, it sounds brunchy, but trust us—try it for dinner!
  • Braised Chickpeas with Chard. Rich, filling and healthy, this dinner is as fast and delicious as any we could imagine. Easy on the budget, too!
  • Portobello Mushroom Fajitas. Just as good as their chicken or steak-filled counterparts, and just as fast, too.
  • Huevos Rancheros. Runny, fried eggs over a bed of seasoned beans, atop a layer of warm corn tortillas, add a few condiments and voila—breakfast for dinner takes on a whole new meaning.
  • Soft-Scrambled Eggs. Don’t knock it—scrambled eggs make a perfect dinner in our book. Add a little salad if you want to round it out, and dinner will still be ready in about 10 minutes.
vegan Portobello Mushroom Fajitas on a sheet pan with tortillas
Soft Scrambled Eggs on a plate with chives and toasted bread

If you make ANY of these 60 BEST Easy Dinners, we want to hear about it! Be sure to tag us on instagram using @themodernproper or #themodernproper if you do!

60 Best Easy Dinners

Ingredients

  • 8 Boneless, skinless chicken thighs, about 2 pounds
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 (24 oz) Jar marinara sauce
  • 4 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 1 cup stone ground polenta or yellow cornmeal

Method

  1. Sprinkle the chicken thighs with 1 teaspoon salt and add them along with the tomato sauce to your pressure cooker, giving it a quick stir to combine.

  2. Cover with the lid. Turn to manual, pressure cook mode. Cook on high (full pressure) for 5 minutes.

  3. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes. Then do a quick release for any remaining pressure.

  4. While the chicken is cooking, bring the chicken stock to a boil in a medium sized pot, set over high heat. Whisk in polenta and cook, while stirring, until polenta has absorbed all the liquid, about 12-14 minutes. Stir in remaining 1 teaspoon salt and remove from heat. Cover with a lid until ready to serve.

  5. Use two forks to shred the thighs in the tomato sauce. Serve over polenta and enjoy!

*Note: If polenta thickens too much while cooling, return to heat and add in water, ½ cup at a time. Stir until desired consistency returns.
**Note: This chicken is equally delicious over a bowl of pasta.

60 Best Easy Dinners

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

or
  • skehen

    delicious dinners for my husband

    Glad we could help!

  • Charity Thompson

    Are there more macaroni and cheese ideas??

    Hi Charity, if you search macaroni and cheese on our blog, we have 4 recipes. Classic Baked Macaroni and cheese, 4 ingredient stove top macaroni and cheese, Jalapeño popper Mac and cheese and instant pot Mac and cheese. Hope you like them!

  • Erica T

    What is the recipe pictured on the top? Looks like eggs? Help! Lol

    It's our Instant Pot Marinara with Polenta!

    https://themodernproper.com/instant-pot-chicken-marinara-with-polenta

  • Aiyanna

    we NEED FOODDDDDDD!!!!!! all of this looks so delicious.

    Thank you! Hope you make some of these delicious recipes!

  • Terri

    These recipes look amazing! I'm saving the page so I can try lots of them later. But, I looked up "easy dinner recipes " and I wouldn't describe most of these as fast and easy.

    They are definitely more challenging than a "5 ingredient" throw it all in one pot style dinner, but I can assure you that they are all beginner level recipes. Hope you try and love some of them!

  • Brandee

    Thank you! I have felt burnt out on the meal planning. I am used to making everything from scratch, and it's just so time consuming. I can't wait to try several of these!!
    We can't have egg or dairy (other than butter and cheddar cheese) so I look forward to trying some of my normal modifications to these. I think they will swap well.
    FYI for any other lactose intolerant people out there, Follow Your Heart makes a great vegan parmesan . Kite Hill makes the best vegan sour cream (I've even been able to think it a bit with almond or oat milk and it is still great) and Follow Your Heart makes a wonderful Mayonnaise. It's in the refrigerated section. I limit gluten as well, and in my opinion Jovial Organic Brown Rice Pasta is the best. They are bronze pressed in Italy.
    Anyway, Thank you again for the many recipes!

    Thanks Brandee, we are so glad we could help! We hope you enjoy a lot of these ideas!

  • Anna Leigh Swably

    It was great!! Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta best food I've ever tasted.

    Thank you Anna, so happy you loved it so much!

  • Anna Leigh Swably

    I want to recommend Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta. It tasted great and it was very easy to attend to.

    Thanks so much Anna, glad you loved it!

  • carson sanders

    5*

    Thank you Carson!

  • Elina Hamamoto

    Hi, the picture at the top of the website looks amazing! What is it called?

    Hi Elina, This is our Instant Pot Chicken Marinara with Polenta!