12 Quick Meals When You Need Dinner ASAP

If you’ve ever had one of those nights where you get home and realize you haven’t planned anything for dinner, this collection of fast recipes is just what you need. Each of these fifteen recipes is designed to get dinner on the table quickly while ensuring everyone enjoys the meal.

1. Skillet Taco Salad

An overhead view of a cast iron skillet holding a skillet taco salad topped with shredded cheese and halved grape tomatoes.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Are you interested in making a dinner nobody complains about? Let them create their own with these individual skillet taco salads. With this recipe, everyone gets what they want for dinner tonight.

2. 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.

Instead of layering your quesadillas one at a time in a skillet, cook them all at once in the oven with this Loaded Sheet Pan Quesadillas recipe. You won’t need to stand over the stovetop flipping quesadillas, plus you’ll have enough to feed the whole family.

3. 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 pita pizza recipe is fast, easy, and delicious with pesto and tomatoes. It cooks up fast, and you can make as few or as many as you need.

4. Sheet Pan Hawaiian Salmon

A Hawaiian salmon filet on a white plate, topped with pineapple chunks and chopped herbs.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

If you love the flavors of the islands, try this Sheet Pan Hawaiian Salmon. It’s healthy and tasty all at the same time. You can’t go wrong with this one.

5. Easy Tuna Wrap

A tuna wrap lays cut in half and stacked so you can see the tuna and lettuce inside.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

This Easy Tuna Wrap is the fastest recipe. Just open a can of tuna, mix in a couple of things, and wrap it all up in a tortilla.

6. Avocado Pasta Salad

A closeup of avocado pasta salad in a bowl.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

If you want quick and easy, this Avocado Pasta Salad is a perfect answer to the “what’s for dinner” question. Serve with a green salad on the side to round out the meal.

7. Bacon Stuffed Chicken Thighs

An overhead view of bacon stuffed chicken thighs on a parchment-lined baking pan.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

These Bacon Stuffed Chicken Thighs are perfect for meal prep. They have lots of delicious bacony flavors and are great on their own or in a sandwich.

8. Margherita Pizza

A sliced Margherita Pizza on a plate. Fresh basil and cherry tomatoes on the stem lay to the right of the plate.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

A Margherita Pizza is the most common pizza you’ll find in Italy, not because it’s basic, but because it’s delicious. Italians (and tourists) love it for a reason.

9. Garlicky Broccolini Pasta

Horizontal shot of this garlicky broccolini pasta recipe served in a white bowl.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

This is one of the fastest and easiest pasta dishes you can make on a busy weeknight. Garlicky broccolini pasta comes together in the time it takes to cook the pasta.

10. Spaghetti Rice With Spinach

A closeup of spaghetti rice in a white bowl.
Photo Credit: foodstck/Shutterstock.

This spaghetti rice with spinach is similar to a tomato risotto, just without all the stirring. It’s a quick and delicious meal that is also nutritious.

11. BLT Wraps

A finished BLT Wrap laying stacked on a piece of parchment.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

This BLT wrap recipe offers a healthier, more convenient alternative to the traditional BLT sandwich. It has bacon, lettuce, tomato, and mayo, just like you’re used to. But instead of putting it on toasted bread, you’ll wrap it all up in your favorite wrap! This makes it super easy to pack and take whatever your day has in store.

12. Italian Chopped Salad

Closeup of an Italian Chopped Salad in a clear bowl.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

A good, Italian chopped salad is a thing of beauty. It can be a complete meal all on its own or make a wonderful side salad for a main Italian meal. Add any meats you like to this salad, or enjoy it as a plant-based meal.

5 Smoothies To Prep With Frozen Ingredients In Less Than 10 Minutes

5 Smoothies in glasses on a wood surface, shown from overhead. Each smoothie is a different color.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

If you want to prep smoothies ahead of time so you don’t have to worry about measurements or combinations on a busy morning, check these out.

5 Easy Chicken Breast Recipes You Can Prep For Your Freezer In 20 Minutes!

A frozen chicken breast on a white plate sits on a wood surface. Two small bowls sit on either side of it, one filled with pineapple chunks and the other with a brown sauce.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Need to prep chicken fast this weekend? It doesn’t get much faster than these 5 easy recipes.

Overnight Oatmeal Packets You Can Prep In Minutes

5 jars sitting in a row on a wood surface filled with Overnight Oatmeal.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Prep your favorite oatmeal ahead of time with these 5 recipes.

Meal Prep Pizza You Can Prep In Minutes

A pita bread with marinara and scrambled eggs lays on a wood surface.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Like the idea of prepping pizzas ahead of time for busy weeks? These 5 solo pizzas are perfect for one busy person.

This originally appeared on The Gracious Pantry.

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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