Easy Last-Minute Dinners the Whole Family Will Love

We’ve all had those days — the ones that fly by in the blink of an eye, and before you know it, it’s time to put dinner on the table. You’re exhausted, and you just know you don’t have it in you to spend hours preparing a big meal. When you’re low on time and energy (and let’s face it, when aren’t we these days?), you want to whip up something quick and easy that the whole family will still love.

Because let’s be real — on those days, you really don’t want to deal with the added hassle of making individual meals for each kid or trying to placate your picky eaters. You need a recipe that will be a hit with everyone, not to mention something you feel good about serving to your favorite people.

Fortunately, we live in a day and age when food bloggers have made life a little easier for the rest of us by sharing their favorite no-fuss recipes. We combed the internet to find 11 last-minute recipes that are ready in around half an hour and are sure to please every palate in your household.

A version of this article was originally published in July 2018.

Crack Chicken Noodle Soup

Plain Chicken’s Stephanie Parker gushes that this soup “should come with a warning label” — it’s that addictive. Think of it as classic chicken noodle soup kissed by the cheese and bacon gods.

Chicken & Preserved Lemon Salad

This bright and flavorful salad from Leite’s Culinaria will add some much-needed variety to your weeknight meal rotation. Chances are you already have most of (if not all) the ingredients you need in your kitchen, and your kids won’t even realize they’re being tricked into eating something healthy.

Turkey-Avocado BLT Croissant Sandwich

How could this recipe not be a hit? It combines BLTs and croissants, two things with a practically universal appeal. Plus, you could always adjust the ingredients depending on what you already have in your fridge. 

Summer Skillet Gnocchi

With grilled corn, mini-gnocchi and plenty of Parm, this summery dish will remind your kids of comforting corn chowder while giving you a bit of refinement. 

Last-Minute Chicken

Chicken is always a hit, right? This recipe keeps it short, simple and focused on flavor with skinless chicken thighs tossed in tasty seasoning and then baked or grilled. 

Beef Stroganoff Soup

What do you get when you combine classic beef stroganoff with the comfort of soup? This dreamy one-pot, 30-minute recipe packed with flavor. 

Crispy Baked Breaded Pork Chops

This dish boasts some pretty impressive stats considering it consists of only four ingredients and takes less than 30 minutes to serve. Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, it's the healthier yet equally tasty version of guilty indulgence fried pork chops. 

Pineapple-Ham Sheet Pan

When you're in a pinch, you can't go wrong with a sheet pan meal! This version includes kid-friendly favorites like carrots, potatoes, ham and turkey — not to mention it's Whole30- and paleo-friendly. 

Garlic Butter Turkey Meatballs With Lemon Zucchini Noodles

Kids scarf down spaghetti and meatballs, and this tasty skillet dish is close enough to the original to pique their interest. Bonus? It's light and healthy fare with enough sophistication to make your grown-up palate happy.

One-Pot Taco Mac

C'mon — it's creamy mac 'n' cheese loaded with taco fixin's. You know your kids are going to ask for seconds (and thirds) of this genius one-pot meal. 

P.F. Chang’s-Style Mongolian Beef

Even the pickiest eater won't be able to resist this Mongolian beef drenched in sticky sauce, ideal for pairing with rice or noodles. Best part? The stir-fry only takes 15 minutes to make!

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