Let’s face it, we all live busy lives and with those busy nights come stressful dinner times. If you’re like me, it’s all too often that I get home from work exhausted and the last thing on my mind is cooking a darn meal. We get it, it is exhausting. But what if we could help make those hectic weeknights a little easier?

We have found 20 amazing weeknights meals for you. The best part, they’re all 30 minutes or less! So set up that Ipad, put your favorite Netflix show on and your dinner will be ready before your show even ends! Get ready to have epic meals every night, bye bye fast food!

1. Chicken Fried Rice

Chicken fried rice is a comforting classic that you can’t go wrong with. This specific recipe tastes just your like your favorite Asian takeout dish but maybe even a little better. The best part? You can make and enjoy this in the comfort of your own home!

This chicken fried rice recipe happens to be budget friendly and is exploding with flavor and textures. You’ll experience flavors of jasmine rice, garlic, soy sauce, loaded veggies, and tender chicken bites. Don’t be surprised when the family requests this one again. It may even become one of the staple dishes in your dinner rotation.


Prep time: 10 min, Cook Time: 18 min

2. Skillet Tuscan Tortellini

One pot meals are the best for minimal clean up which in conclusion means less mess, hooray! This skillet tuscan tortellini meal will take just 18 minutes to make, but don’t let the short cook time fool you, this dish is packed with flavor.

Tortellini are fun little pasta bites that offer a surprise in the middle. In this dish, you want to use an irresistible cheese filled tortellini. You’ll combine the tortellini with sausage, several veggies and tons of seasoning. To complete the dish you’ll want to consume all the ingredients in a savory tomato sauce and garnish with parmesan cheese.


Prep time: 10 min, Cook Time: 8 min

3. Creamy Shrimp Fettuccine With Spinach And Tomatoes

Are you craving carbs for dinner tonight? Quench your carb craving by whipping up this delicious shrimp fettuccine meal. The cheesy and creamy sauce tossed with tasty vegetables will have you and the whole family coming back for seconds.

In this dish, you’ll find soft fettuccine noodles, tender shrimp and savory tomatoes and spinach. Your dinner will come together in just 30 minutes and it will taste like Italian cuisine just stepped into our kitchen. It’s a quick and delicious meal that’s perfect for weeknights when you’re in a pinch for time but still want a hearty meal for dinner.

Shutterstock/Elena Shashkina

Prep time: 10 min, Cook Time: 20 min

4. Quick & Easy Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese

You can never go wrong with classic mac and cheese. Both children and adults alike love this cheesy bowl of goodness! While you may be tempted to grab a box of mac and cheese from the grocery store for a quick dinner, we promise using the Instant Pot and our homemade recipe is just as easy (if not easier)!

We found that homemade mac and cheese packs even more flavor and cheesy texture that you and your family are going to love. The best part is that this recipe requires simple and inexpensive ingredients which makes this an excellent weeknight meal.

Prep time: 0 min, Cook Time: 10 min

5. Teriyaki Salmon

Salmon is a great healthy and simple meal to incorporate to your weekly menu. Experience salmon like never before with this delicious teriyaki sauce recipe. The homemade teriyaki sauce is full of sweet and flavorful ingredients and will only take you a few minutes to whip up.

The sauce has hints of bold ginger, zesty lemon, garlic and is sweetened with brown sugar and honey. Depending on how hungry you are, you could eat the salmon on its own or while it cooks in the oven you could cook up a side of rice and steamed veggies of your choice.

Shutterstock/AS Food studio

Prep time: 15 min, Cook Time: 15 min

6. One Pot Chicken Parmesan Pasta

Chicken parmesan is delicious but all the steps it takes to get there isn’t always realistic for a busy weeknight. When your craving for chicken parmesan creeps up you’ll want to give this one-pot recipe a try. It simplifies chicken parm in a streamlined way but still brings all the great flavors of the classic dish that you love.

Not only will this meal flood the flavors of chicken parmesan in your mouth but it also is cooked in just one pot. In just 30 minutes you can enjoy this cheesy flavorful and filling meal that your entire family will love.

Shutterstock/Ezume Images

Prep time: 10 min, Cook Time: 20 min

7. Tuscan Sausage Potato Soup

Some days you just grave a big ol’ bowl of soup. It’s comforting, warm and packs a lot of flavor into just one bowl. This Tuscan sausage and potato soup is definitely not lacking in the flavor department and is definitely full of amazing textures.

You’ll find chunky potatoes, delicious Italian sausage and nutrient-dense kale in this soup. Add a bit of cream to make it extra creamy and you’ll be able to enjoy this in no time. Soups often freeze well too so you might want to make a double batch of this one and have an even quicker meal the next time you want to enjoy it.

Shutterstock/Brent Hofacker

Prep time: 10 min, Cook Time: 20 min

8. Quick & Easy Instant Pot Deconstructed Lasagna

Lasagna is a crowd favorite in my household but unfortunately, it does require quite a bit of work to prep. So we set out to transform a traditionally labor-intensive meal into one that is quick and easy and fit for a busy weeknight.

The solution? Use an Instant Pot and try our deconstructed method! You’re able to indulge in the same savory flavors you know and love but won’t have to spend hours in the kitchen preparing it. It tastes just as delicious and comforting as traditional lasagna without all the intense prep work. You’ll be so impressed with the final result!

Prep time: 0 min, Cook Time: 30 min

9. Steak Fajitas Recipe

If you feel like having a fiesta for dinner you’ll want to bring these steak fajitas to the dinner table. It starts with steak strips and sliced peppers and ends with a soft tortilla and perfect toppings.

To make the steak and veggies even more flavorful you’ll want to whip up a quick marinade and have it sit in the fridge overnight. Then when you’re ready to prepare the meal you’ll cook all the ingredients in one skillet. It only takes 25 minutes so you can fuel the bellies of your family before soccer practice in a hurry. A perfect weeknight meal!

Shutterstock/James Stiles Photography

Prep time: 10 min, Cook Time: 15 min

10. 5-Ingredient Baked Chicken Enchilada Tacos

Tacos, fajitas, and enchiladas might seem similar but what makes them truly different is the filling and often the spices and flavor. Taco night is often a family favorite and you’ll definitely want to give this recipe a try if you’re looking for an easy twist on a classic meal.

To make these chicken baked chicken enchilada tacos, you’ll start by shredding a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken (the inexpensive kind from the grocery store), mixing with enchilada sauce and filling taco shells fitted into a casserole dish. Then top them off with loads of cheese before you bake them to perfection in the oven.

Prep time: 15 min, Cook Time: 10 min

11. One-Pan Cheesy Jalapeno Chicken

If you want to feed your family a protein-packed cheesy dinner then this would be a great fit for you. This is another one pan wonder meal that will make your busy weeknight dinners a breeze.

To get this meal going you’ll want to start with a flavorful chicken rub prior to cooking it in the pan. They’ll start in the pan but finish in the oven to reach a crispy yet tender perfection. While the oven does its magic you’ll get started on the cooking the corn and jalapenos in the same pan used for the chicken. You’ll then add the chicken back into the pan, add a generous amount of cheese and finish with zesty lime juice.

Shutterstock/Ezume Images

Prep time: 10 min, Cook Time: 15 min

12. Instant Pot Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken pot pie is another insanely comforting meal, especially during the cooler months, but it does require some work. Why not make a family-favorite meal effortlessly using your Instant Pot? You’ll never make chicken pot pie the traditional way again after using your Instant Pot to help along the way.

While you can’t exactly bake a pie in the Instant Pot, you can cook the delicious filling of a chicken pot pie. It’s savory, creamy and full of delicious flavors and intriguing textures. To complete the meal, serve a bowl of the chicken pot pie with a warm biscuit! Enjoy!

Prep time: 5 min, Cook Time: 25 min

13. Perogy Kielbasa Skillet

Perogy’s do taste great on their own but once you try them in this skillet dish there might be no turning back. This recipe combines perogies, kielbasa, caramelized onions, and ooey-gooey cheese into one incredible meal.

To save yourself time on those busy weeknights you’ll want to purchase store-bought perogies. The secret to making this dish extra creamy and cheesy is to combine cream cheese, sour cream, and chicken broth. The secret to preventing the sour cream from curdling is to add a bit of flour to the mixture. The best part is this meal takes less than 30 minutes to make.

Shutterstock/Sea Wave

Prep time: 5 min, Cook Time: 15 min

14. Mini Chicken Pot Pies

When it comes to classic family dinners, chicken pot pie often makes the list. The idea of combining vegetables with chicken and a creamy filling all inside a flaky pie crust has stood the test of time. This is mostly because the savory flavor is so wonderful which makes you crave it time and time again.

This recipe takes the idea of chicken pot pies but serves them in adorable single servings, you can thank your muffin tin for that. You can have these mini delights made within 30 minutes and their single servings mean you and the family and eat them on your way out the door.

Shutterstock/Brent Hofacker

Prep time: 10 min, Cook Time: 20min

15. Instant Pot Kung Pao Chicken

Why order takeout when you can make delicious Asian cuisine from the comfort of your own home! Once again the Instant Pot comes in handy to create and cook a delicious meal in the knick of time! Your family will absolutely love this Asian dish.

With one pot and 30 minutes, you can be digging into this sweet and savory kung pao chicken! This dish is loaded with flavor and pairs wonderfully with a side of rice. This recipe is super easy to prep, requires a quick cleanup, and creates a satisfied belly. It doesn’t get any better than that!

Prep time: 5 min, Cook Time: 25 min

16. Creamy Garlic Penne Pasta With Chicken

If you have a hard time prying your kids away from their beloved mac and cheese, then you’ll want to give this garlic penne pasta recipe a try. The creamy texture alone will have them adding this dinner to their favorite list. It brings all the cheese flavors they love in a new form paired with tender chicken and flavorful garlic.

You can easily achieve this creamy garlic sauce by combining chicken broth with milk. Then, add some parmesan cheese to complete this ooey-gooey dish that will be fun for you and for the kids! It takes just 10 minutes to prep and 15 to cook, which is another bonus!

Shutterstock/Elena Shashkina

Prep time: 10 min, Cook Time: 15 min

17. 7 Layer Dip Burritos

Dinners don’t always have to be extravagant to taste wonderful and to fill you up. This 7 layer burrito bowl meal shows how a no-bake recipe can make a delicious meal that the whole family will enjoy.

7 layer dip is often a popular appetizer that makes an appearance at many parties. However, if you combine those lovely layers into a soft tortilla you’ll have a filling and flavorful meal in no time. All you’ll need is 15 minutes of your time and easily accessible store-bought ingredients. From refined beans to creamy guacamole these burritos have all the flavors you’ll ever want.


Prep time: 15 min, Cook Time: 0 min

18. Easy Weeknight Leftover Chicken Quesadillas

Do you have leftover chicken sitting in your fridge? Then you need to whip together this delicious easy weeknight leftover chicken quesadillas! Quesadillas don’t get enough attention and considering they’re so easy to prepare we should make them more often! They’re the perfect meal to use up leftover chicken and not to mention they taste delicious!

All you need to make this recipe is pre-cooked chopped or shredded chicken (we used leftover chicken from our Instant Pot Whole Rotisserie Chicken), salsa, and shredded cheese of your choice! These quesadillas pair great with guacamole, sour cream and our favorite, Copycat Chipotle Burrito Sauce.

Prep time: 10 min, Cook Time: 15-20 min

19. Pepperoni Cheese Pizza Bombs

You might be tempted to grab a pizza on a busy weeknight but when you find out how easy these pizza bombs are to make you’ll surely want to make them on the regular instead. They will be a huge hit with your family!

One of the best parts about this recipe is that you don’t even have to make any complicated pizza dough. Instead, you’ll use store-bought crescent rolls. This will allow you to have a fluffy, flaky delicious pizza crust. By stuffing the crescent rolls with cubed string cheese, pepperoni and pasta sauce you’ll accomplish a savory pizza bomb that will keep everyone wanting more.


Prep time: 2 min, Cook Time: 10 min

20. Chicken In Coconut Mango Verde Sauce

Busy weeknights don’t mean you can’t experiment or try something new when it comes to your meal. If you’re looking to add a little variety to your life when it comes to the food department then you’ll definitely want to try this recipe.

This meal starts with stir-fried chicken and mixed vegetables and then ends with a creamy coconut mango Verde sauce. While the sauce may sound intimidating, it’s actually very simple. To make the sauce, it’s as easy as tossing all the ingredients into the blender and blending until velvety smooth. This meal pairs wonderfully with rice of your choice.

Shutterstock/AS Food studio

Prep time: 20 min, Cook Time: 10 min

21. 30-Minute Instant Pot Orange Chicken Dump Dinner

Our 15-Minute Instant Pot Orange Chicken is so popular that we decided to transform those flavors into a quick and easy one-pot dump dinner! This idea essentially means that you dump all the ingredient into the pot and pressure cook without the need to do any sautéing!

The Instant Pot makes cooking delicious meals so easy and effortless. While you wait you can catch up on your favorite TV shows or more productively, tackle your to-do list! In 30 minutes (or less) you’ll have yourself a delicious dinner, sides and all to enjoy! These citrusy and savory flavors will become a new favorite in your house.

Prep time: 5 min, Cook Time: 25 min

22. Skillet Meatloaf With Pan Gravy

Meatloaf is another family classic that has been making an appearance on the dinner table for many years. It’s savory and comforting but often takes what feels like hours to cook. This game-changing recipe allows you to enjoy the flavor and texture you love about meatloaf but in 20 quick minutes.

The secret in saving time is to make individual sized meatloaf patties instead of just one loaf. To cook, you’ll saute them in a skillet. Then with the drippings that are left over, you’ll make a creamy and irresistible gravy sauce to pour on top. They’re filling enough on their own but if you have some extra time you could even make mashed potatoes to pair.


Prep time: 5 min, Cook Time: 15 min

23. Bang Bang Fish Tacos

If the color of this meal doesn’t make a lasting impression on you, the flavor surely will. Fish tacos are often a restaurant classic but this recipe shows you how easy it is to make them in your own home too.

For convenience and to save yourself some time you’ll want to use store-bought fish sticks. However, the homemade bang bang sauce is what will truly shine in this recipe. If you haven’t had bang bang sauce before, the flavors are the perfect balance of sweet and spicy. This dinner comes together as easy as combing a cabbage slaw, fish sticks, bang bang sauce all on top of a soft tortilla.

Shutterstock/Teri Virbickis

Prep time: 16 min, Cook Time: 14 min

24. Quick & Easy Instant Pot Tuscan Chicken Pasta

This delicious Tuscan chicken pasta recipe is essentially the more sophisticated version of mac and cheese. It’s so creamy and filling that your kids are still going to love it but you’ll be happy to have something a little fancier than good ol’ mac and cheese!

Our Tuscan chicken pasta contains vibrant flavors of sundried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, and is topped with fresh basil. The creamy sauce comes from cream cheese, milk, and parmesan cheese. The Instant Pot makes this recipe incredibly simple to make and allows you to create a homemade dish without an excessive amount of prep.

Prep time: 5 min, Cook Time: 25 min

25. Caesar Salad Wonton Cups

It’s no surprise that encouraging children to enjoy and eat salad can be a difficult task. Although, if you present the salad to them in a fun way they might feel more inclined to eat it. This recipe shows exactly how you can do that.

Caesar salad is delicious on its own. It’s often made of creamy Caesar dressing mixed with crisp romaine lettuce and then topped off with salty bacon bits, crunchy croutons, and cheese. To make it fun for the kids you’ll make edible bowls out of baked wonton papers that they surely won’t be able to resist.

Shutterstock/Brent Hofacker

Prep time: 20 min, Cook Time: 10 min

26. Lemon Chicken And Asparagus Foil Packs

Foil packs are a great way to achieve single servings ready in a hurry. They’re also great because you can grill them or bake them all year round and they’ll turn out perfect either way. We love this lemon chicken and asparagus foil pack meal as an easy weeknight hack.

This recipe combines tender chicken and asparagus with zesty lemon. These foil packs also only take 30 minutes to make so you can have a protein-rich meal ready for the family swiftly. The chicken will come out juicy and the asparagus will be flavorful for an incredible weeknight meal that all will love.

Shutterstock/Ezume Images

Prep time: 10 min, Cook Time: 20 min

27. Easy Weeknight Instant Pot Copycat Hamburger Helper

Much like mac and cheese, hamburger helper is also readily available at the grocery store in a boxed form. While the boxed variety is easy to make so is our homemade version! If you or your family is a big fan of hamburger helper, this recipe will help you elevate the dish to a new level.

Once again the Instant Pot allows us to make homemade versions of our comforting favorites. To replicate a true copycat version of Hamburger Helper you will need ground beef, cream of mushroom soup, egg noodles and just a few other ingredients. Your picky eaters are bound to love this dinner too!

Prep time: 0 min, Cook Time: 26 min

28. Instant Pot Taco Soup

We’ve looked at fajitas and we’ve discovered baked tacos but now it’s time to take those Mexican flavors we love and put them into a soup. Remember that Instant Pot you received as a gift during the holidays? You’ll get to break it out and put it to hard work again.

This soup includes shredded chicken breast, protein-rich black beans, corn kernels and loads of other flavors we love about tacos. To garnish this soup and give it an authentic taco flare you’ll want to add tortilla chips, a dollop of sour cream and a generous handful of shredded cheese.

Shutterstock/from my point of view

Prep time: 5 min, Cook Time: 25 min

29. Better-Than-Takeout Low Carb Egg Roll in a Bowl

While egg rolls are delicious, they tend to be a little unhealthy because they’re usually deep fried! They’re also a lot of work to make from scratch, which isn’t always ideal for a weeknight meal.

If you’re a big fan of egg rolls but don’t want all the work, let us introduce you to our Egg Roll in a Bowl, which is essentially the filling of a traditional egg roll. It’s as delicious as it sounds and it’s quick to make with a little help from your Instant Pot. This recipe is also fairly low carb, which means it’s Keto Diet approved!

Prep time: 2 min, Cook Time: 22 min

Clarissa Vanner

Clarissa loves experimenting with food of all cultures to make unique healthy dishes. When she’s not browsing Pinterest for new recipe inspiration she likes to pick up a DIY project and use her creative hands to make art or crafts. In her down time you can find her watching the latest documentaries on Netflix or going for nature walks.

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