Easy 20-Minute Dinner Ideas


There’s no need to spend your whole evening in the kitchen to serve up a homemade dinner for your family. These quick and easy dinner recipes can be made in just 20 minutes, start to finish. Even though they come together quickly, they still deliver plenty of flavor. Plus, a 20-minute cook time means these recipes can be on the table even quicker than takeout.

From salads to sheet pan suppers to soups, and more, read on for our favorite 20-minute dinner ideas that will save suppertime on your busiest days. Some of these recipes lean on convenience items like rotisserie chicken, microwaveable rice, and refrigerated pasta for a quick dinner solution. They may even fool your family into thinking you spent all day in the kitchen—and your secret is safe with us.


Crispy-Shrimp Salad with Avocado Dressing

Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners

Recipe: Crispy-Shrimp Salad with Avocado Dressing

Homemade avocado dressing not only takes this shrimp salad to the next level, but leftovers can be used as a spread for sandwiches, dip for veggies, and more.



Grilled Cajun Shrimp Kabobs with Sausage

Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Lydia Pursell; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer

Recipe: Grilled Cajun Shrimp Kabobs with Sausage

Serve these cajun kabobs alongside rice or grits for a complete meal.



Crispy Chicken-and-Broccoli Salad

Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kathleen Varner; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Crispy Chicken-and-Broccoli Salad

Turn deli chicken tenders into a salad that will have every member of the family enjoying their broccoli.



Burrito Bowls

Photo: Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Mary Clayton Carl; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Burrito Bowls

Serve up restaurant-quality burrito bowls in just 10 minutes.



Shrimp Salad Rolls

Photographer Victor Protasio, Food Stylist Ruth Blackburn, Prop Stylist Christine Keely

Recipe: Shrimp Salad Rolls

For a taste of the coast wherever you are, whip up these shrimp rolls in just 10 minutes. Any hot dog or top-sliced ​​bun would work, but we love the texture and delicate sweetness of potato rolls.



Chicken Noodle Bowl with Peanut-Ginger Sauce

Greg DuPree

Recipe: Chicken Noodle Bowl with Peanut-Ginger Sauce

Shredded rotisserie chicken helps these bowl come together without you having to turn on the oven or stovetop.



Chicken Bell Pepper Tacos

Johnny Autry; Prop and Food Styling: Charlotte L. Autry

Recipe: Chicken Bell Pepper Tacos

Give your classic ground beef taco recipe a night off and opt for this chicken version that gets plenty of flavor from onion, tomatillos, a serrano chile, and red bell pepper.



Sheet Pan Fajitas

Photography and Styling: Karen Rankin

Recipe: Sheet Pan Fajitas

A sheet pan will allow you to cook the chicken and veggies at the same time. Not only is it quick, but cleanup is also a breeze.



Easy Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry

Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kathleen Varner; Food Styling: Maggie Ruggiero

Recipe: Easy Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry

Spreading beef into a thin layer that covers the bottom of the skillet will help it cook evenly.



Chipotle Shrimp Tacos

Photographer Victor Protasio, Food Stylist Ruth Blackburn, Prop Stylist Christine Keely

Recipe: Chipotle Shrimp Tacos

Salad-size shrimp quickly cook while you’re whipping up the fresh and tangy slaw. Having the bite-size shrimp for these tacos also means you get more seafood in each bite of this easy dinner idea.



Green Chile-Chicken Soup

Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Recipe: Green Chile-Chicken Soup

Not only does this soup come together in just 20 minutes, but it also can be kept in the freezer for up to six months.



Buttermilk Alfredo Chicken Spinach Pasta

Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Claire Spollen; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Buttermilk Alfredo Chicken Spinach Pasta

Chicken and pasta are always a winning combination.



Chicken Salad-Stuffed Tomatoes

Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kathleen Varner; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Chicken Salad-Stuffed Tomatoes

Turn homemade chicken salad into a dinner-worthy meal by serving it up in a fresh summer tomato and serving with a side salad.



Chicken Stir-Fry

Greg Dupree

Recipe: Chicken Stir-Fry

Yes, it’s possible to pull together this veggie-filled dinner in just 10 minutes.



Mediterranean Shrimp and Couscous Salad

Photographer Victor Protasio, Food Stylist Ruth Blackburn, Prop Stylist Christine Keely

Recipe: Mediterranean Shrimp and Couscous Salad

To make this grain salad fast and easy, we use Israeli couscous, a petite grain that cooks quickly but remains chewy and bouncy. Have leftovers? This easy dinner idea makes an excellent leftover lunch.



Pulled Pork Nachos

Antonis Achilleos

Recipe: Pulled Pork Nachos

You can also used shredded chicken instead of pork for these sheet pan nachos if you prefer.



Blackened Shrimp Rice Bowls

Photographer Victor Protasio, Food Stylist Ruth Blackburn, Prop Stylist Christine Keely

Recipe: Blackened Shrimp Rice Bowls

Rice bowls are an easy dinner idea when you have a lot of pieces in the fridge or pantry and want to bring them all together in one dish. Use this shrimp rice bowl as inspiration, but feel free to personalize to what you like or have on hand.



Easy Grilled Salmon

Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Melissa Gray; Prop Styling: Mission Neville Crawford

Recipe: Easy Grilled Salmon

Not only is the lemony-herby vinaigrette just the finishing touch grilled salmon needs, but it makes enough to cover some greens for a side salad.



Chicken-and-Prosciutto Tortellini Soup

Photo: Alison Miksch

Recipe: Chicken-and-Prosciutto Tortellini Soup

This one-dish dinner gets plenty of flavor from onions, peppers, and celery accompanied by chicken-and-prosciutto tortelloni.





Tropical Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Photo: Jennifer Causey; Prop Styling: Christine Keely; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Tropical Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Butter lettuce serves as a pretty base for a sweet and slightly spicy chicken mixture.



Chicken Caprese Pasta

Linda Pugliese; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Chicken Caprese Pasta

Make sure to reserve some of the pasta waster after cooking the noodles. You’ll need it later in the recipe.



Tuscan Pasta With Tomato-Basil Cream

Ralph Anderson; Styling: Rose Nguyen

Recipe: Tuscan Pasta With Tomato-Basil Cream

Refrigerated ravioli and jarred sauce lend a helping had to help dinner come together in just 15 minutes.



Pan-Seared Flat Iron Steak

Beth Dreiling Hontzas; Prop Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller; Food Styling: Marian Cooper Cairns

Recipe: Pan-Seared Flat Iron Steak

The secret to searing the perfect steak at home is starting with a very hot skillet. In addition to the steak, you just need a couple of spices and some oil for this recipe.


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