25 Easy Last Minute Dinner Ideas to Keep Your Sanity Intact

Transform your evenings with these easy last minute dinner ideas. They include salads, rice bowls, pasta, and sandwiches – all quick, tasty, and stress-free!

EASY LAST MINUTE DINNER IDEAS. PHOTO CREDIT: FOOD PLUS WORDS.

Cooking at home, even on those super busy nights, is totally worth it.

It’s healthier because you decide what goes into your food, and it saves you money compared to eating out or ordering takeout.

Moreover, preparing meals offers a great chance to spend quality time with your family or roommates as you all cook and eat together.

Chicken Egg Roll in a Bowl

chicken egg roll in a bowl
CHICKEN EGG ROLL IN A BOWL. PHOTO CREDIT: FOOD PLUS WORDS.

This innovative dish will simplify your dinner routine. It’s a deconstructed version of the beloved appetizer!

Main ingredients include ground chicken, coleslaw mix, carrots, and a tantalizing sauce that ties everything together.

Get The Recipe: Chicken Egg Roll in a Bowl

Shrimp Sushi Bowl

What Is Shrimp Sushi Bowl
SHRIMP SUSHI BOWL. PHOTO CREDIT: FOOD PLUS WORDS.

Here’s a quick and delightful alternative to traditional sushi. It features shrimp, avocado, and cucumbers on a bed of seasoned sushi rice.

Serve it chilled, garnished with sesame seeds and nori strips. You can also pair it with wasabi for a complete sushi experience.

Get The Recipe: Shrimp Sushi Bowl

Baked Salmon With Mayonnaise

What Is Baked Salmon With Mayonnaise
BAKED SALMON WITH MAYONNAISE. PHOTO CREDIT: FOOD PLUS WORDS.

Try this baked salmon for a heart-healthy and fuss-free meal.

The salmon comes out perfectly moist and flaky, thanks to a simple mayonnaise-based topping that enhances its natural flavors. Serve it fresh from the oven with a crisp green salad.

Get The Recipe: Baked Salmon With Mayonnaise

Chicken Teriyaki Pineapple Bowl

What Are The Benefits Of Chicken Pineapple Bowl
CHICKEN TERIYAKI PINEAPPLE BOWL. PHOTO CREDIT: FOOD PLUS WORDS.

This chicken teriyaki pineapple bowl marries the sweet and tangy flavors of pineapple with succulent teriyaki-glazed chicken.

To make it, you’ll need soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, sesame oil, and other simple ingredients. It’s so delicious and refreshing.

Get The Recipe: Chicken Teriyaki Pineapple Bowl

Hot Girl Summer Salad

How To Store TikTok Viral Hot Girl Summer Salad
HOT GIRL SUMMER SALAD. PHOTO CREDIT: FOOD PLUS WORDS.

Embrace the vibrant flavors of summer with this salad. It’s a colorful mix of fruits and veggies drizzled with a zesty dressing.

It also includes cucumbers, sunflower kernels, green bell peppers, red wine vinegar, and hard-boiled eggs.

Get The Recipe: Hot Girl Summer Salad

TikTok Ramen

viral ramen recipe
TIKTOK RAMEN. PHOTO CREDIT: FOOD PLUS WORDS.

Thinking of jumping on the latest food trend? This TikTok ramen elevates the humble noodle packet with added flavors and textures.

The addition of garlic, egg, and butter transforms the dish into a creamy, comforting bowl of goodness.

Get The Recipe: TikTok Ramen

Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs

This Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe is a delicious one-pot meal that the entire family will love. This delicious dinner will be ready in under 30 minutes!
INSTANT POT SPAGHETTI AND MEATBALLS. PHOTO CREDIT: FOOD PLUS WORDS.

Planning to prepare spaghetti? Cut down on cooking time without sacrificing flavor.

This version is a one-pot wonder featuring tender meatballs, perfectly cooked spaghetti, and rich tomato sauce. Serve it with garlic bread for a complete Italian-inspired meal.

Get The Recipe: Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs

Vegan Chicken Salad Sandwiches

easy last minute dinner ideas
VEGAN CHICKEN SALAD SANDWICHES. PHOTO CREDIT: HAPPY FOOD HEALTHY LIFE.

Made with plant-based chicken, this recipe offers a cruelty-free alternative that doesn’t skimp on flavor or texture.

You can do this in just 15 minutes. Serve these sandwiches on whole-grain bread with a side of sweet potato fries for a hearty meal.

Get The Recipe: Vegan Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Summer Cold Green Bean Salad

easy last minute dinner ideas
SUMMER COLD GREEN BEAN SALAD. PHOTO CREDIT: HAPPY FOOD HEALTHY LIFE.

This green bean salad is a fresh and vibrant side dish that pairs perfectly with any meal.

You only need a few simple ingredients such as balsamic vinegar, black-eyed peas, squash, and mixed greens. Feel free to add chickpeas, quinoa, or other protein sources.

Get The Recipe: Summer Cold Green Bean Salad

Stracciatella Soup

easy last minute dinner ideas
STRACCIATELLA SOUP WITH CHICKEN AND SPRING VEGETABLES. PHOTO CREDIT: STYLE AND GRACE.

This dish combines tender chicken, fresh veggies, and egg in a clear broth for a comforting and easy meal.

The soup’s silky texture pairs wonderfully with the crunch of spring veggies. Serve this heartwarming soup with a slice of crusty bread for dipping.

Get The Recipe: Stracciatella Soup with Chicken and Spring Vegetables

Salmon Frittata with Sweet Potatoes

easy last minute dinner ideas
SALMON FRITTATA WITH SWEET POTATOES. PHOTO CREDIT: THE FOOD BLOG.

This dish is perfect for breakfast or dinner!

It showcases the colorful blend of omega-rich salmon and the earthy flavor of sweet potatoes, all encased in a fluffy egg mixture. It’s seasoned with herbs and spices for an extra flavor kick.

Get The Recipe: Salmon Frittata with Sweet Potatoes

Parmesan Chicken Nuggets

easy last minute dinner ideas
PARMESAN CHICKEN NUGGETS. PHOTO CREDIT: KITCHEN CENTS.

Looking for quick, low-carb dinner recipes? These nuggets offer a crispy, cheesy outer layer with tender chicken inside.

They’re a healthier twist on a classic favorite, using grated Parmesan cheese and almond flour for the breading.

Get The Recipe: Parmesan Chicken Nuggets

Old Fashioned Salisbury Steak

easy last minute dinner ideas
OLD FASHIONED SALISBURY STEAK. PHOTO CREDIT: QUICHE MY GRITS.

This classic comfort food features savory beef patties smothered in a rich mushroom gravy.

The beef is tender and flavorful, mixed with breadcrumbs and spices before being pan-fried to perfection. Serve this hearty dish with mashed potatoes.

Get The Recipe: Old Fashioned Salisbury Steak

Fried Fish and Cheese Grits

easy last minute dinner ideas
FRIED FISH AND CHEESE GRITS. PHOTO CREDIT: TYLER’S FISHING ADVENTURES.

Elevate your brunch or dinner with this Southern-inspired dish. It includes lightly breaded and fried fish fillets on a bed of creamy, cheese-infused grits.

Serve the fish atop the grits, garnished with parsley or a squeeze of lemon for an added zing.

Get The Recipe: Fried Fish and Cheese Grits

Puerto Rican Picadillo

easy last minute dinner ideas
PUERTO RICAN PICADILLO. PHOTO CREDIT: A LATIN FLAIR.

Discover the vibrant flavors of Puerto Rico with this classic Picadillo recipe. It’s a savory ground beef dish cooked with tomatoes, olives, capers, and a blend of spices.

Pair it with white rice or use it as a filling for tacos or empanadas.

Get The Recipe: Puerto Rican Picadillo

Steak Quesadillas

easy last minute dinner ideas
STEAK QUESADILLAS. PHOTO CREDIT: FLAVOR MOSAIC.

These savory treats are filled with tender, juicy slices of steak, melted cheese, and a hint of spicy jalapeño, all grilled between tortillas to crispy perfection.

Pair them with sour cream, guacamole, and salsa for dipping.

Get The Recipe: Steak Quesadillas

Thai Drunken Noodles

easy last minute dinner ideas
THAI DRUNKEN NOODLES. PHOTO CREDIT: OOH LALA IT’S VEGAN.

Thai dishes are packed with flavor!

This one features stir-fried wide rice noodles with veggies and a choice of protein, all tossed in a savory sauce with just the right amount of heat. The noodles are so chewy and satisfying!

Get The Recipe: Thai Drunken Noodles

Leftover Pulled Pork Macaroni & Cheese Casserole

easy last minute dinner ideas
LEFTOVER PULLED PORK MACARONI & CHEESE CASSEROLE. PHOTO CREDIT: BOX MIX RECIPES.

This macaroni and cheese casserole includes pulled pork, cheddar cheese, bread crumbs, and BBQ sauce.

Just mix the cooked macaroni with the cheese sauce and pulled pork, sprinkle some breadcrumbs on top, and bake until it’s bubbly and golden brown.

Get The Recipe: Leftover Pulled Pork Macaroni & Cheese Casserole

Salmon Cakes

easy last minute dinner ideas
SALMON CAKES. PHOTO CREDIT: OUR GABLED HOME.

These quick and easy salmon cakes are perfect for a wholesome weeknight dinner. They’re made from canned salmon, breadcrumbs, and spices.

They’re pan-fried until the outside is crispy and golden brown, but the inside remains moist and flaky.

Get The Recipe: Salmon Cakes

Focaccia Pizza

easy last minute dinner ideas
FOCACCIA PIZZA. PHOTO CREDIT: CHAMPAGNE TASTES.

Turn your kitchen into an Italian pizzeria with this recipe. It uses fluffy focaccia bread as the base.

Top it with your favorite pizza sauce, mozzarella, and any toppings you love – the thicker crust is perfect for holding a variety of ingredients.

Get The Recipe: Focaccia Pizza

Ground Beef and Cabbage

easy last minute dinner ideas
GROUND BEEF AND CABBAGE. PHOTO CREDIT: THE YUMMY BOWL.

This ground beef and cabbage dish is surprisingly easy to make. It comes together in less than 30 minutes!

It features cabbage and ground beef cooked together in a single skillet. Serve it up hot and season it with your favorite spices.

Get The Recipe: Ground Beef and Cabbage

Buffalo Shrimp

easy last minute dinner ideas
BUFFALO SHRIMP. PHOTO CREDIT: ORGANICALLY ADDISON.

Craving a zesty twist on seafood? Just toss juicy shrimp in tangy buffalo sauce and bake until perfectly tender with a kick of heat.

Serve them atop a crisp salad stuffed into soft tacos or alongside crunchy veggies.

Get The Recipe: Buffalo Shrimp

Ground Pork Stir Fry

easy last minute dinner ideas
GROUND PORK STIR FRY. PHOTO CREDIT: THE SHORT ORDER COOK.

This stir fry dish is sweet, tangy, and a little spicy. The pork gets wonderfully browned and crispy, providing a nice contrast to the crisp veggies.

Start by browning the ground pork, add your favorite stir-fry vegetables and pour over the sauce.

Get The Recipe: Ground Pork Stir Fry

Open Faced Tuna Melt with Bacon

easy last minute dinner ideas
OPEN FACED TUNA MELT WITH BACON. PHOTO CREDIT: ERICA’S RECIPES.

This amazing recipe will transform your tuna melt experience. It layers savory tuna salad and crispy bacon on a slice of toasted bread and then crowned with melted cheese.

Tweak the recipe and add more bacon if you want to.

Get The Recipe: Open Faced Tuna Melt with Bacon

15-Minute Chickpea Tacos

easy last minute dinner ideas
15-MINUTE CHICKPEA TACOS. PHOTO CREDIT: I HEART VEGETABLES.

These chickpea tacos are a quick and nutritious meal perfect for busy evenings.

To whip up this meal, simply cook the chickpeas with your chosen spices until fragrant. Then, load them into tacos and garnish with your favorite toppings.

Get The Recipe: 15-Minute Chickpea Tacos

Simple ingredients can turn into something awesome with just a little effort! Start with basics like pasta, rice, and canned beans.

You can also add some canned tomatoes and various spices to give your dishes that extra zing.

Fresh veggies like spinach, carrots, and bell peppers are great to have, too. It’s all about mixing and matching what you have to create something delicious.

Looking for more mouthwatering recipes? These dishes can end those last-minute dining dilemmas:

  • 25 Delicious Curry Recipes to Spice Up Mealtimes
  • 18 Daniel Fast Recipes for a Delicious Detox
  • 25 Delicious Food Recipes That Celebrate Fresh Flavors
  • Delicious 30-Minute Lunch Recipes for Busy People
  • 21 Best Ground Turkey Recipes For a Satisfying Meal
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