15 Quick Dinners For Busy Weeknights

Weeknights are always a dinner struggle. Getting home after a long day of work or school does not usually inspire the need to cook in the kitchen for hours—quite the opposite. But let’s face it, the drive-through gets old really fast, not to mention expensive night after night. So instead, invest in some groceries and make any one of these fifteen quick dinners. They are simple, delicious meals that do double duty as comfort food at the end of a long day.

1. Air Fryer Tuna Melt

Air Fryer Toasted Tuna Melt Sandwich Ready to Eat on a white plate.
Photo Credit: Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock.

This air fryer tuna melt recipe is perfect for a quick weeknight meal straight from your air fryer. It’s totally delicious, and cleanup is minimal. The air fryer cooks it in mere minutes, and you can pair it with anything from French fries to a green salad.

2. Sheet Pan Hawaiian Salmon

A piece of salmon with pineapple chunks and fresh herbs sprinkled on top sit on a white plate.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

If you want to spruce up your salmon, this delicious sheet pan Hawaiian salmon is just what you need. Perfect with heart-healthy salmon, the pineapple chunks have a sweet, fruity flavor that everyone truly loves.

3. Nacho Fries

Nacho fries on a wood cutting board.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

These nacho fries take your ordinary fries to a whole new level. This deliciousness is perfect for Friday night dinners, movie nights, or just sharing with friends. Top them with any of your favorite toppings and loads of delicious cheese.

4. Supreme Pizza

Looking down on a Supreme Pizza laying on a cutting board.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Supreme pizza is delicious stuff, and you don’t even need to spend a ton of time making dough. This recipe uses pita bread for a fast and delicious meal.

5. Sheet Pan Nachos

Homemade Loaded Sheet Pan Nachos with Cilantro Lime Tomato and Onion
Photo Credit: Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock.

Sheet pan nachos are a mouthwatering, easy meal that brings together the bold flavors of classic nachos with the convenience of a simple sheet pan dinner. Prep this dish in minutes and pop it in the oven. Sheet pan nachos offer a group snacking experience, making them a crowd-pleasing favorite for casual gatherings, game nights, or satisfying indulgence at home.

6. Cucumber Sandwich

A finished cucumber sandwich cut in half.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

These easy cucumber sandwiches are a fast and simple dinner that keeps your kitchen cool. They pair well with a side of chips or a green salad, and you can choose whether you want to add meat or not.

7. Veggie Pizza

Fresh basil leaves sprinkled over a cooked veggie pizza.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

This veggie pizza comes together in minutes when you use pre-cooked pizza dough or a package of pita bread. Just add your favorite toppings, pop it in the oven, and you have a simple, quick, and delicious pizza for one (or for as many as you want to make).

8. Loaded Sheet Pan Quesadillas

A portion of loaded sheet pan quesadilla sitting on a white plate, garnished with fresh cilantro.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Loaded sheet pan quesadillas are an irresistible twist on a beloved classic. Imagine a sheet pan lined with golden, crispy tortillas generously filled with a tantalizing combination of flavors. Baked to perfection, these loaded sheet pan quesadillas are a feast for both the eyes and the palate, promising an unforgettable dining experience that will leave you craving more.

9. Barbecue Chicken Casserole

Barbecue Chicken Casserole served on a white plate.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

This hearty dish brings together the smoky flavors of barbecue sauce, chicken, rice, and cheese in a comforting casserole. This barbecue chicken casserole is a delicious delight that will warm your soul as well as your tummy.

10. Baked Turkey Burgers

A baked turkey burger with the top bun half way off and to the right side.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

These juicy patties are a healthier twist on a classic burger without sacrificing any flavor. Add some fresh toppings like crisp lettuce, ripe tomatoes, and zesty red onions, and you’ll never miss the beef. Whether you’re looking for a lighter alternative or simply craving a mouthwatering burger, these baked turkey burgers are a delicious choice.

11. Tuna Pasta Salad

A white bowl holds a serving of tuna pasta salad and is garnished with fresh greens.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Whether you enjoy it as a light lunch, a side dish, or a satisfying main course, this tuna pasta salad is a delicious dish that will have you asking for seconds. It comes together in the time it takes you to boil and drain the pasta. The rest just gets stirred into the pasta with a wooden spoon. Simple, easy, delicious.

12. Pizzadillas

A cut pizzadilla laying on a cutting board.
Photo Credit: George Dolgikh/Shutterstock.

Picture a golden, crispy tortilla generously filled with layers of gooey melted cheese, tangy marinara sauce, and a combination of your favorite pizza toppings. Served with a side of marinara dipping sauce for an extra burst of flavor, these pizzadillas are perfect as a fun appetizer, a quick snack, or a crowd-pleasing meal.

13. Sheet Pan Garlic Butter Shrimp

Sheet pan garlic shrimp laying on a baking pan smothered in butter and parsley.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

As they roast in the oven on a sheet pan, the shrimp become tender and perfectly cooked, soaking up all the flavors of the butter and garlic in this sheet pan garlic butter shrimp recipe. Add a medley of perfectly roasted vegetables to create an unforgettable meal.

14. Pesto Pita Pizza

A pita sits on a small round cutting board covered in pesto sauce, fresh tomato slices and melted cheese.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

This twist on regular pizza combines the convenience of ready-made pita bread with the aromatic flavors of pesto. This pesto pita pizza is a quick, easy, and delicious meal that is perfect as a light lunch, savory snack, or an easy dinner.

15. Stuffed Mexican Quesadillas

Stuffed Mexican Quesadillas stacked on a cutting board.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Each tortilla is generously filled with a tempting combination of Mexican-inspired ingredients, creating a burst of flavor in every bite. Served hot off the griddle, these stuffed Mexican quesadillas are perfectly crispy on the outside and oozing with flavor on the inside. Top them with some zesty salsa, creamy guacamole, and tangy sour cream to truly round out the meal.

16. Easy Tuna Wraps

A cut and stacked tuna wrap on a wood cutting board.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

These easy tuna wraps are a perfect example of simple, tasty flavors you’ll enjoy again and again. Whether you enjoy them at home, in the office, or on a picnic, they are a delicious choice for a satisfying and fuss-free meal.

More From The Gracious Pantry

A dutch oven with a cooked whole chicken topped with rosemary twigs.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Need more dinner ideas? These can help. Chicken and turkey are very versatile foods that can be used to create an unlimited number of dinners. Here are 118 ideas to get you started.

Author: Tiffany McCauley

Title: Food and Travel Journalist

Expertise: Food, cooking, travel


Tiffany McCauley is a nationally syndicated journalist and an award-winning cookbook author and food blogger. She has been featured on MSN, Huffington Post, Country Living Magazine, HealthLine, Redbook, and many more. Her food specialty is healthy comfort food recipes.

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