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24 Easy Dinner Ideas For When You're Not Sure What To Make

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Easy Dinner Ideas Graphic Header with images of lo mein, tacos, and pizza
Charlotte Gomez / BuzzFeed

We recently asked the BuzzFeed Community for their go-to easy dinner ideas — the ones perfect for busy nights where you don't want to spend hours in the kitchen, but still want something more substantial than, say, a PB&J. Here are some of their picks, along with several of our favorites! 🍝

1. Chicken & Veggie Stir-fry

Chicken & Veggie Stir-fry

Feel free to change up the protein or vegetables depending on what you have in your fridge. The simple sauce packs a flavor punch that will bring the dish together, no matter what.  Recipe here.

2. Oven-Baked French Bread Pizzas

Pizza night is the best night — especially when everyone gets to build their dream slice. (Or three!) Recipe here.

3. Easy Butter Chicken

Easy Butter Chicken

This simplified version of the Indian classic combines chicken, tomato sauce, and a slew of aromatic spices and herbs — all in one pot, for the simplest cleanup. Recipe here.

4. Upgraded Ramen

It takes all of five minutes to fry some bacon + an egg. (Plus some green onions if you're feelin' fancy.) Recipe here.

5. Easy Chicken Alfredo Penne

Easy Chicken Alfredo Penne

When you combine butter, garlic, flour, milk, and Parmesan in just the right way, you get a sauce that you'll want to put on everything. Recipe here.

6. Meal Prep Pesto Chicken & Veggies

The only thing better than one super easy dinner is being able to make *four* of them at once. This handy meal prep version means you can stash a few away for future Hungry You. Get the recipe.

7. Black Bean–Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

It's packed with protein and fiber, and you can add toppings — like avocado or sour cream — depending on what's in your fridge. Recipe here.

8. Easiest One-Pot Beef with Broccoli

Chopping the beef into small pieces first means everything cooks through in about five minutes. Recipe here.

9. Instant Pot Veggie-Packed Mac 'n' Cheese

The Instant Pot does all the hard work here — and you'll also get a healthy dose of fresh greens! Recipe here.

10. Sheet Pan Sausage & Veggies

Line the sheet pan with parchment or foil for the quickest cleanup — then serve over rice, stuffed into a pita, or on its own. Recipe here.

11. Vegan Chickpea Shakshuka

This vegan-friendly version swaps eggs for protein-packed chickpeas, and makes enough for four. Recipe here.

12. Pesto Chicken Bake

Doesn't get much easier than this, TBH. Recipe here.

13. Loaded Sheet Pan Nachos

These are super customizable — depending on your time or budget. Either stick to the inexpensive base: tortilla chips, black beans, canned tomatoes, and cheese. Or upgrade with the works: jalapeños, pickled onions, sour cream, and anything else you might want. Recipe here.

14. 10-Minute Lemon Garlic Salmon & Asparagus

Not an asparagus fan? The simple lemon and garlic sauce would work with whatever greens are in your fridge — like spinach, broccoli florets, or zucchini. Recipe here.

15. Protein-Packed Veggie Bowl

This may look involved, but after a bit of prep — crisping chickpeas, roasting sweet potatoes — it's mostly just assembly. Recipe here.

16. Tuna & Avocado Wrap

Canned tuna gets a quick upgrade with hot sauce, Dijon, and green onions — piled into whole wheat tortillas. (You could also swap in bread, pita pockets, or just eat them as lettuce wraps.) Recipe here.

17. BBQ Meatloaf & Veggie Dinner

Perfect for meal preppers. Recipe here.

18. Teriyaki Chicken & Veggie Foil Packs

You can make these in the oven or on the grill in just about 20 minutes — and thanks to the foil, cleanup is a total breeze.

Recipe here.

19. Bowties & Broccoli

The trinity of weeknight dinners: fast, cheap, and easy. Recipe here.

20. Stuffed Bell Pepper Boats

These go from prep to plate in about 20 minutes. Keep the peppers whole, or slice them into bites (or "boats") to turn them into kid-friendly finger food. Recipe here.

21. Roasted Veggie & Black Bean Tacos

This budget-friendly version takes pantry staples — like black beans and canned corn — and roasts everything on a sheet pan. Recipe here.

22. Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken

Heads up that this one does have to cook for a few hours, so you'll need to plan accordingly. But it's a true drop-and-go dinner — and basically makes itself. Recipe here.

23. 15-Minute Lo Mein

Better than takeout — and better for you, too. For extra protein and fiber, swap in soba noodles. Recipe here.

24. Instant Pot Cashew Chicken

The easy sauce — which includes soy sauce, garlic, and ginger — comes together quickly and packs a ton of flavor. Recipe here.

What's your go-to easy dinner? Tell us in the comments below!

For even more delicious recipes and meal ideas, download the award-winning Tasty app for iOS and Android! 🍳