30 Minute Dinner Ideas

There might be some rogue nights when we’re willing to take on a cooking project, like red-wine-braised short ribs or fresh semolina pasta. But most of the time we’re looking for speedy mealtime solutions (yes, we BA editors are just like you).

These 30-minute dinner ideas are the ones we turn to time and time again—the faithful hits for when it’s 7 p.m. and we’re already starving. Make no mistake, though, quick is by no means synonymous with boring: Our favorite fast dinners include tangy kimchi quesadillasspicy sausage patty melts, and sunny saffron butter pappardelle.

All of these easy dinner ideas take a total time of 30 minutes or less, and a few come together in as little as 5 minutes. Less time spent cooking means more time spent doing…literally anything else. With all that time you saved, you might even have some energy to make an extra-easy dessert.

  • overhead view of Green Shrimp in a pan and Grilled Bread to the side in a bowlPhotograph By Isa Zapata, Prop Styling By Christina Allen, Food Styling By Thu Buser1/41Gorgeous Green ShrimpMany of our best 30-minute dinner ideas lean on quick-cooking proteins, like shrimp, to get dinner done fast. In this recipe, the little crustaceans bathe in a gorgeous green sauce, made with cilantro, scallions, and jalapeño. Don’t forget the broiled baguette to sop it all up.VIEW RECIPE
  • Ravioli and mushroom skillet topped with breadcrumbs with some removed and placed on a side platePhotograph By Isa Zapata, Food Styling By Sean Dooley, Prop Styling By Beth Pakradooni2/41Ravioli and Mushroom SkilletIf store-bought ravioli is a staple in your fridge or freezer, we have a feeling this cheesy skillet dinner—complete with a creamy mushroom sauce and crispy onion topping—will become a household mainstay.VIEW RECIPE

WATCHBrad Makes Kimchi

  • Sheet Pan Gnocchi RecipePhoto By Emma Fishman, Food Styling By Susie Theodorou, Prop Styling By Elizabeth Jaime3/41Sheet-Pan GnocchiShelf-stable gnocchi is our ultimate pantry superhero. But please, for the love of potatoes, don’t boil them. Instead, take a cue from former senior cooking editor Sarah Jampel: Let the potato puffs get nice and crispy on a sheet pan, then top with arugula and drizzle with a simple lemon dressing.VIEW RECIPE
  • Cut face of a sandwich on beige background.Photograph By Isa Zapata, Food Styling By Thu Buser, Prop Styling By Paola Andrea4/41Spicy Chorizo Patty MeltAssociate food editor Kendra Vaculin is giving the humble patty melt a makeover in this recipe. Step one: Swap ground beef for a fattier, more flavorful meat, like chorizo. But don’t stop there. For a truly special dinner, pile the sandwiches high with smoky poblanos, pickled jalapeños, and melty Oaxaca cheese.VIEW RECIPE
  • Green bowl of salmon and spinach.Photograph By Isa Zapata, Food Styling By Thu Buser, Prop Styling By Stephanie De Luca5/41Salmon Rice Bowl With Green Curry Creamed SpinachCreamed spinach? We could live without it. But green curry creamed spinach, brightened with lime juice and topped with seared salmon? That’s a recipe worth keeping around.VIEW RECIPE
  • Decorative bowl of tomato pasta on a red striped tablecloth.Photograph By Isa Zapata, Food Styling By Sean Dooley, Prop Styling By Marina Bevilacqua6/41Grated Tomato and Miso-Butter PastaWhen you’ve got juicy summer tomatoes at your disposal, there’s no need to spend hours stewing them into a pot of marinara—save that approach for the winter. For a low-cook dinner, grate fresh tomatoes into a skillet, give them a kiss of heat, and toss with al dente pasta.VIEW RECIPE
  • Plate of three fish tacos on a lime green table.Photograph By Isa Zapata, Food Styling By Taneka Morris, Prop Styling By Catherine Campbell Pearson7/41Easy Fish Tacos With Spicy SauceNeed dinner on the table in 20 minutes? Turn to these easy, speedy fish tacos, with a cooling cabbage slaw and three-ingredient spicy sauce.VIEW RECIPE
  • Bowl of kimchi miso ramen with mushrooms topped with scallions and sesame seedsPhotograph By Isa Zapata, Food Styling By Pearl Jones, Prop Styling By Tim Ferro8/41Almost-Instant Miso Ramen With KimchiThis almost-instant ramen recipe is full of smart upgrades. Miso, kimchi, and black bean paste bring big, funky flavor, while a garnish of scallions and sesame seeds earns extra presentation points.VIEW RECIPE
  • Three pieces of a kimchi quesadilla on a plate with lime wedges next to a jar of kimchi and a bowl of kimchisour cream...Photograph By Isa Zapata, Food Styling By Judy Kim, Prop Styling By Nicole Louie9/41Kimchi QuesadillasWondering what your quesadilla has been missing all this time? It’s kimchi. The fermented cabbage adds a tangy dimension to cheesy quesadillas, ideal for a last-minute fridge clean-out.VIEW RECIPE
  • A Cheddar Dutch Baby served in a castiron skillet with green sauce.Photograph By Isa Zapata, Food Styling By Liberty Fennell, Prop Styling By Suzie Myers10/41Cheesy Dutch Baby With Green SauceYour blender pulls double-duty in this recipe. Use it to make a quick Dutch baby batter, then whip up an herby green sauce.VIEW RECIPE
  • Masala Skillet Scramble served in a skillet with side of tortillas.Photograph By Isa Zapata, Food Styling By Pearl Jones, Prop Styling By Gözde Eker15/41Masala Skillet ScrambleWhen we’re short on time, it’s breakfast for dinner. We’d happily enjoy this spiced skillet scramble, loaded with garlic, ginger, and cumin, any time of day.VIEW RECIPE
  • Shrimp and Salami PastaPhotograph By Julian Cousins, Food Styling By Adriana Paschen16/41Shrimp and Salami PastaThis seafood-and-salami pasta was inspired by food editor Shilpa Uskokovic’s trip to Portugal. Make it for yourself and pretend you’re at an al fresco cafe, the sea breezes wafting in with each bite.VIEW RECIPE
  • Saffron Butter Pasta in a white bowl on a marble surfacePhotograph By Isa Zapata, Prop Styling By Suzie Meyers, Food Styling By Taneka Morris17/41Sunny Saffron Butter PastaLooking for an easy way to make a bowl of pasta feel special? Just add saffron. The vivid crimson threads give the creamy butter sauce a sunny hue.VIEW RECIPE
  • Plate of pasta with preserved lemon sauce topped with cheese and black pepper with some pasta twirled around a fork.Photograph By Isa Zapata, Food Styling By Emilie Fosnocht, Prop Styling By Paola Andrea18/41Pasta al Preserved LimoneThat jar of preserved lemons that’s been hanging out in your pantry? Use it up in this salty-tangy riff on pasta al limone.VIEW RECIPE
  • Image may contain Plant Food Vegetable and EggplantPhoto By Emma Fishman, Food Styling By Tami Hardeman19/41Open-Face Eggplant Sandwiches With Ricotta and Pickled OnionsWith ricotta, pickled onions, and big rounds of roasted eggplant, this sandwich is hearty enough to eat for dinner. While you’re at it, make an extra to pack for lunch tomorrow.VIEW RECIPE
  • Bowl of Udon With StirFried Peppers and OnionsPhotograph By Isa Zapata, Food Styling By Sean Dooley, Prop Styling By Gerri K Williams20/41Udon With Stir-Fried Peppers and OnionsRather than wait for a pot of rice to cook, toss thick, chewy udon noodles in with your stir-fry. Garnish with scallions and toasted sesame seeds for a full dinner in one pan.VIEW RECIPE
  • A bowl of spaghetti tangles with various types of mushrooms and topped with shredded Parmesan and chopped herbs.Photo By Marcus Nilsson, Food Styling By Frances Boswell, Prop Styling By Amy Wilson23/41Creamy Mushroom PastaThis vegetarian pasta dish gains heft from flash-seared mushrooms, tossed in a silky, creamy sauce.VIEW RECIPE
  • LemonChile White Fish With Chickpeas served on a platter with large spoonPhotograph By Doaa Elkady, Food Styling By Pearl Jones, Prop Styling By Gözde Eker24/41Lemon-Chile White Fish With ChickpeasNo need to preheat the oven—this dish cooks entirely in one pan on the stove. A honey-butter sauce glosses the fish and chickpeas, uniting them in the holiest of unions.VIEW RECIPE
  • Supremely Easy Chicken Teriyaki served with white rice on a platePhotograph By Isa Zapata, Food Styling By Rosanna Anil, Prop Styling By Paola Andrea27/41Supremely Easy Teriyaki ChickenSkip the jarred sauce and make your own teriyaki glaze. It’s very easy and very worth it.VIEW RECIPE
  • Photograph By Isa Zapata, Food Styling By Emilie Fosnocht, Prop Styling By Emma Ringness28/41Fiery Red Curry Chicken SaladA jar of red curry paste can elevate countless dishes, from a rice cake stir-fry to a creamy pasta. Here, it brings dynamic, fiery flavor to a simple chicken salad, made with rotisserie chicken for ultimate ease. Any leftovers make a great lunch the next day.VIEW RECIPE
  • Cheesy chickpea salad toast partially sliced into with ridged potato chips on the sidePhotograph By Isa Zapata, Food Styling By Sean Dooley, Prop Styling By Beth Pakradooni29/41Cheesy Chickpea Salad ToastWith crunchy celery, sharp cheddar, and briny cornichons, this chickpea salad can hold its own as a side dish. Or pile it on sourdough toasts and pop it under the broiler for a melty, satisfying dinner.VIEW RECIPE
  • A plate of LemonOregano Shrimp and Tiny PotatoesPhotograph By Isa Zapata, Food Styling By Rosanna Anil, Prop Styling By Paola Andrea30/41Lemon-Oregano Shrimp and Tiny PotatoesIf we need dinner in a hurry, shrimp is our default protein. Here, shrimp partners up with tiny potatoes for a fast, yet impressive dinner.VIEW RECIPE
  • Photograph By Isa Zapata, Food Styling By Judy Kim, Prop Styling By Gözde Eker31/41Vegan Tomato Soup With Cashew CreamYou don’t even need to turn on the stove to make this creamy tomato soup—a high-powered blender does all the work for you. Oh, and it also happens to be vegan.VIEW RECIPE
  • Image may contain Food Food Presentation Plate Dish Meal and PlatterPhotograph By Isa Zapata, Food Styling By Taneka Morris32/41Garlicky Buttery ScallopsTurn any ordinary dinner into a special occasion meal with quick-cooking scallops, swimming in garlic butter.VIEW RECIPE
  • A platter of Bangladeshi Shrimp and Green Bean StirFry served with rice and lemon wedgesPhotograph By Isa Zapata, Food Styling By Jesse Szewczyk, Prop Styling By Dayna Seman33/41Bangladeshi Spiced Shrimp and Green Bean Stir-FryAll you need is a bowl of basmati rice to make this Bangladeshi stir-fry—spiced with Kashmiri chile powder, coriander, and turmeric—a full meal.VIEW RECIPE
  • A Halal Cart Chicken Salad on a beige plate with water glass and pepper mill off to the sidePhotograph By Isa Zapata, Food Styling By Emilie Fosnocht, Prop Styling By Gerri Williams34/41Halal Cart Chicken SaladTransform a rotisserie chicken into the Halal-cart-inspired chicken salad of your dreams, with spice-oil-tossed chicken, crisp iceberg lettuce, and a rich yogurt dressing.VIEW RECIPE
  • Migas plated on a oval shaped plate with a green backgroundPhotograph By Isa Zapata, Food Styling By Thu Buser, Prop Styling By Christina Allen35/41MigasStale tortillas lingering in the bread drawer? Slice them into strips, fry until golden, and toss with soft-scrambled eggs. Serve with refried beans and a sliced avocado.VIEW RECIPE
  • Plate of Kale Salad With Roasted Tempeh and MushroomsPhotograph By Isa Zapata, Food Styling By Pearl Jones, Prop Styling By Gözde Eker36/41Kale Salad With Roasted Tempeh and MushroomsThis dinner-worthy kale salad gains heft from roasted mushrooms and tempeh, dunked in a miso-soy mixture that caramelizes in the oven.VIEW RECIPE
  • Plate of Crispy Salmon and FennelDate Salad served over tahiniyogurt saucePhotograph By Isa Zapata, Food Styling By Pearl Jones, Prop Styling By Gözde Eker37/41Crispy Salmon With Fennel-Date SaladThe secret to the crispiest salmon skin? Start it in a cold cast-iron skillet. Just don’t move it around too much, which would cause the fish to stick.VIEW RECIPE
  • A plate of udon noodles coated in peanut butter sauce and tossed with rounds of cucumber and chopped peanuts drizzled...Photo By Laura Murray, Food Styling By Susie Theodorou38/41Peanut Butter Noodles With CucumbersDon’t recycle that almost-empty jar of peanut butter just yet. Use the dregs to make a quick peanut sauce, ideal for coating instant ramen or udon noodles. Since this dish is great hot or cold, it can hang out in your fridge until you’re ready to eat.VIEW RECIPE
  • Rice cakes and corn on white platePhotograph By Vanessa Granda, Food Styling By Pearl Jones, Prop Styling By Marina Bevilacqua39/41Miso-Brown-Butter Rice Cakes With Corn“Rice cakes can go almost anywhere pasta lives,” writes food editor Shilpa Uskokovic. Coat them in marinara, spicy vodka sauce, or a silky miso-brown-butter sauce, as in this recipe.VIEW RECIPE
  • Lamb Keema Tacos RecipePhoto By Emma Fishman, Food Styling By Rebecca Jurkevich40/41Lamb Keema TacosIn these keema-inspired tacos, the ground lamb filling is full of fragrant spices, like cumin, coriander, and garam masala. You can make the keema a day in advance and save any leftovers to spread between buns for a sloppy Joe–style sandwich.VIEW RECIPE
  • Cajun Chicken With Peach Salsa on pink fabricPhotograph By Isa Zapata, Food Styling By Sean Dooley, Prop Styling By Marina Bevilacqua41/41Cajun Chicken With Peach SalsaSpicy Cajun chicken thighs meet sweet peach salsa in this dynamic 30-minute dinner.VIEW RECIPE

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