Don't get stuck in the same old, boring routine… eating the same. old. meals. Mix it up with these quick and easy dinner recipes that will have the entire family wanting more!

chicken and rice on a plate, from Shelf Cooking

It happens to the best of us… We find a few recipes we love, and before we know it, we're making the same things on repeat, week after week! You may not even know where to begin searching for new recipes that will fit into your quick and easy lifestyle. Well, it's time to look past those oven-baked tacos and open your eyes to a whole new world of recipes!

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These quick and easy dinner recipes will help you add versatility to your dinner routine all while keeping it simple. Using minimal and affordable ingredients, these recipes will be a hit for you and the family. Make room for seconds!


creamy chicken over rice, from Shelf Cooking

There is nothing better than a delicious home-cooked meal that only took minutes to cook and just a few ingredients! Get excited about dinner again with one of these quick and easy dinner recipes. You'll be amazed how delicious a simple recipe can be. These are some of the cheapest and easiest dinners we make ALL. THE. TIME.

  • Italian Cream Cheese Chicken – Even the pickiest eater will love this one!
  • Easy Chicken Tacos – Pre-make a bunch of shredded chicken in the Instant Pot to always have on hand for easy recipes like this! You can even make your own taco seasoning, so you never have to worry about running out.
  • Crock Pot Chili – You can feed the masses with this easy recipe.
  • Salsa Chicken – Just add chicken breasts and a jar of salsa to a slow cooker and watch the magic happen!
  • Quesadillas – Take pretty much any leftover meat or one of those lone pieces of meat that's been sitting in your freezer for a while and give it a purpose! Or skip the meat and stick with cheese, refried beans, veggies, avocado, or anything else you have that needs to be used up.
  • Smoked Salmon Bagel – You want a quick and easy dinner recipe? You've got it! This one doesn't disappoint, and is the perfect meal for any time of the day.
  • Breakfast Burrito – Breakfast for dinner is the best! Make these fresh or pull them out of the freezer for those busy nights. They're delicious either way.

Is your mouth watering yet? We're just getting started!!!


steak fajita rice bowl, from Shelf Cooking

Rice is cheap, super filling, and easy to make fresh in 10-15 minutes! It can stretch your meat and sauces for days… We keep a lot of rice dishes on our quick and easy dinner recipes list and plug one in whenever we need a good dish. We almost always have what we need on hand for these!

  • Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Rice Bowl – If you love Cafe Rio, then this will not disappoint! You can turn the leftovers into tacos, burritos, salads, quesadillas, nachos…
  • Delicious Fried Rice – Make your favorite fried rice recipe and throw whatever meat you have in! It's always a crowd-pleaser and is so filling.
  • Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole – This is one the whole family can get behind! The leftovers are out of this world and it's easy to double and freeze one for later.
  • Hawaiian Chicken and Rice – Bust out the trusty Instant Pot for this one. It'll be ready in a snap and you'll free up your time for bigger and better things.
  • Steak Fajita Rice Bowl – Steaks are one of the most expensive cuts of meat, but this is a great way to stretch it and make a little go a long way!
  • Chicken and Mushroom Rice Casserole – Chicken, mushrooms, cream of mushroom soup, onion soup mix, rice… Throw it all together and you'll love it every single time.

Whether you're craving comfort food or something a little lighter, we've got you covered! Also, don't forget that there are a lot of rice substitutes out there for when you're almost out or you're trying to eat healthier.


Lasagna roll ups on a plate, from Shelf Cooking

Pasta night is one of our favorites around here! It's so versatile since you can basically throw anything together and it'll taste fantastic. You can either build your own or stick to the basics, it's good either way!

  • Cheesy Lasagna Roll Ups – These are so versatile, they can pretty much be made with whatever you have on hand!
  • Alfredo – Shrimp, chicken, or just plain old cheesy Alfredo is always a winner! You can also make chicken Alfredo in the Instant Pot!
  • Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole – Really, need we say more?!
  • Stuffed Shells – This is always fun to do! Stuff them with whatever cheese and meat you have, cover with sauce, and bake until they're nice and gooey. (P.S. Did you know you can substitute cottage cheese for ricotta cheese? Perfect for those times when you run out.)
  • Spaghetti and Meatballs – Talk about a classic. But don't forget, you can switch out the pasta to use anything that you have on hand!
  • Chicken Parmesan – Bread your chicken using egg, bread crumbs, and parmesan cheese and bake until golden and crispy. Serve it over whatever pasta you have and top it with your favorite pasta sauce.
  • Easy Pasta Bake – This one is so easy to throw together! We like to double and freeze one for later.
  • Baked Pasta – Grab your pasta, sauce, and anything else that you have and turn it into a casserole! No matter what ingredients you use, it'll turn out delicious every time.

Pair these quick and easy dinner ideas with a salad, some fruit and cheesy garlic bread and you'll have a delicious meal that took you hardly any time at all. #Winning


Broccoli cheddar soup in a bowl, from Shelf Cooking

Soup is a crowd-pleaser any day of the week and it's one of the easiest dinners to shelf cook (check out how to make almost any kind of soup from scratch here!). We love soup season, but soup is great any time of year! These quick and easy dinner recipes will not disappoint!

  • Broccoli Cheddar Soup – Fail-proof and ready in 30 minutes. Bonus—it tastes AH-MA-ZING!
  • Chicken Noodle Soup – Don't forget the classic! It's so easy to make from scratch. Once you learn how you'll never go back to buying the canned kind again.
  • Butternut Squash Soup – Not just a fall staple, this one is good all year round!
  • Taco Soup – You had us a taco! This is a great recipe to shelf cook because no matter what you throw into the pot, it's going to turn out delicious.
  • Creamy Chicken Soup – It's soup-er easy and soup-er delicious!
  • Loaded Baked Potato Soup – Talk about a family favorite, this is the perfect meal to make extra and freeze. It reheats perfectly every. single. time. You can also make potato soup in the crockpot!
  • Chicken and Rice Soup – Chicken, rice, everything but the kitchen sink… This is one that you'll love making because of how versatile it is!
  • Tomato Soup – Whip some up and serve it with your best grilled cheese sandwich. It'll be a family favorite every time.

These soup dishes are so easy, they'll be on the table in no time, allowing you to focus on what's really important—family!


BBQ chicken wraps on a plate, from Shelf Cooking

Here are a few more quick and easy dinner recipes we love!

  • Baked Smothered Tilapia – Feel healthy while eating this delish dinner idea! You can throw it together fast and the whole family will love it.
  • Sliced Steak Salad – This restaurant copycat recipe is easy and the BOMB.
  • Baked Chicken Thighs – Chicken thighs are so affordable and cook quickly! Pair them with your favorite oven-roasted veggies and some fruit and you've got a wholesome meal that didn't take long at all.
  • Mason Jar Salads – Add whatever leftover meat you have, even lunchmeat, and you have a quick and easy meal that's on the healthier side of life!
  • BBQ Chicken Wrap – This Red Robin copycat does not disappoint! Personalize it to use what you have on hand and the whole family will love it.
  • Egg Muffin Cups – Sometimes it's fun to switch things up from the normal and make something new! Let the oven do the work for you and cook your eggs in fun and easy-to-hold cups.

The hardest part for you? Deciding which recipe you want to start with first! Yes, we know, these all look delicious and probably have your mouth watering. But remember, make your meal plan based off what you already have, not what sounds good but makes you have to go buy every ingredient in the recipe! #ShelfCooking


Homemade pizza on a plate, from Shelf Cooking

These dinner ideas will please the whole family… even the kids! (We all know they can be picky.) They are so easy to make, even the kids can jump in and help cook!

  • Homemade Pizza – Let the kids make their own! They'll have so much fun and it'll take some of the work off of you.
  • Beefy Mac N Cheese – Take your favorite macaroni and cheese recipe and give ‘er a little something extra! This is the perfect dish to hide some pureed veggies in… Your family will never even know!
  • Sloppy Joes – This is one that pretty much every kid loves! Plus, you can use whatever type of bread you have on hand, so you won't have to run to the store just for hamburger buns.
  • Easy Meatball Subs – Use this tasty meatball recipe for a sweet twist.
  • Pizza Quesadillas – Fill your tortillas with cheese and pizza toppings and dip in marinara.
  • French Bread Pizza – A great way to use up that homemade French bread you don't want to go to waste!
  • Stuffed Crescent Rolls – Almost like homemade hot pockets… but better!
  • Tater Tot Casserole – Grab some tater tots, cheese, meat, (the kitchen sink…), and anything else you need to eat and make it into your new favorite meal.

Switch things up and make dinner time fun with these quick and easy dinner ideas. They are so simple, they'll give you more time to do the things that matter most… like dinnertime conversations! Check out this Slow Cooker post for even MORE quick and easy dinner dishes in the slow cooker!

What are some of your favorite quick and easy dinner recipes? Share with us in the comments below!

Image with text that reads "40 quick and easy dinners" from Shelf Cooking

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Happy eating!