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18 Weeknight Dinner Ideas For People With Literally No Time

Quick, easy, and on the table in no time.

After a long day of work, the last thing you want to do is spend hours cooking an elaborate dinner.

So we rounded up 16 simple dinner ideas you can make in just 15 minutes — from comforting pastas to hearty rice bowls.

1. 15-Minute Chicken Noodle Wonton Soup

Chicken noodle wonton soup

This makes use of smart staples — frozen wontons, mixed veggies — and combines them in the most delicious way.

Get the recipe15-Minute Chicken Noodle Wonton Soup

2. Easiest Garlic Bread Pizza

Garlic bread pizza

This uses thick garlic toast as the base but you could also easily swap in French bread or anything similar.

Get the recipeEasiest Garlic Bread Pizza

3. Veggie Fried Rice

Fried rice

Fried rice is the OG easy dinner — and this veggie-forward version removes the most time-consuming aspect: cooking the protein. 

Get the recipeVeggie Fried Rice

4. Thai Basil Chicken

If you can't find Thai basil in your grocery store, regular Italian basil will work just fine.

Get the recipe: Thai Basil Chicken

5. Pasta Carbonara

Quick, easy, and made with ingredients you probably already have on hand.

Get the recipe: Pasta Carbonara

6. Thai Red Curry Ramen

Red curry paste can be found in the international section of most grocery stores in either cans or jars — but if you can't find it, you can also make your own.

Get the recipe: Thai Red Curry Ramen

Gluten-free, low-carb, and insanely easy to make. Feel free to use regular rice if cauliflower rice isn't your thing, or omit it altogether.

Get the recipe: Garlic Butter Chicken With Parmesan Cauliflower Rice

Not only is this recipe fast, it also takes only four ingredients to make: gnocchi, chicken sausage, tomatoes, and fresh basil.

Get the recipe: Gnocchi Skillet With Chicken Sausage and Tomatoes

9. Sheet Pan Lemon Pepper Chicken

Serve this chicken over rice, quinoa, or all by itself for a quick dinner that requires practically no clean up.

Get the recipe: Sheet Pan Lemon Pepper Chicken

10. Easy Korean Beef Rice Bowls

This flavorful beef is made entirely in one pan and takes no time at all. Serve it over cooked rice, quinoa, or cauliflower rice.

Get the recipe: Easy Korean Beef Rice Bowls

11. Garlic Shrimp Zucchini Pasta

Zucchini noodles can be found in the produce section of most well-stocked grocery stores. If unavailable, just slice your zucchini into planks and cut into thin matchsticks.

Get the recipe: Garlic Shrimp Zucchini Pasta

12. Chicken Cucumber Avocado Salad

Using store-bought rotisserie chicken instead of cooking your own helps this summery salad come together in just 10 minutes.

Get the recipe: Chicken Cucumber Avocado Salad

13. Spicy Peanut Udon Noodles

These slightly spicy noodles can be made in less time than it would take to place an order for delivery.

Get the recipe: Spicy Peanut Udon Noodles

14. Pepperoni Pizza Quesadillas

Load these quesadillas up with your favorite pizza toppings for the ultimate last-minute dinner.

Get the recipe: Pepperoni Pizza Quesadillas

15. Ham and Bean Soup

Feel free to add additional veggies such as kale, spinach, bok choy, or cabbage to bulk this soup up.

Get the recipe: Ham and Bean Soup

16. Sautéed Honey Mustard Pork Chops

Serve these pork chops over fresh greens, rice, or quinoa for a hearty dinner that comes together in no time.

Get the recipe: Sautéed Honey Mustard Pork Chops

17. Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

Feel free to prepare this salad ahead of time and stash it in the fridge — just make sure to give it a good toss to redistribute the dressing before serving.

Get the recipe: Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

18. Pineapple Chicken Salad

Pineapple, red onions, and a generous amount of lemon juice gives this chicken salad a bright summery flavor.

Get the recipe: Pineapple Chicken Salad