Making dinner doesn’t have to be so hard, not with these easy dinner ideas anyway. With four small kids of my own (seriously, the oldest one is five), who insist on eating dinner every single night, I’ve armed myself with a few fast dinner recipes that will always be done just around the time that 22-minute Clifford video starts rolling credits. 

20 minute meals kid-friendly-  Fast And Easy Family Dinner Ideas: pasta, baked ring, quesadillas, panini, one pot pasta- kids activities blog
Let’s get started with the recipes!

Quick and Easy Dinner Ideas for the Family

I have gathered some of my favorite dinners to make. These easy dinners are simple to make, filling, delicious, and healthy! Everything anyone could want in a dinner, plus, each recipe is so different, you’re bound to find something your family will love.

1. Instant Pot Meatloaf Recipe

20 minute meals kid-friendly-  Simple Family dinners-Instant Pot Meatloaf with potatoes and parsley
Look at that meatloaf!

I LOVE my instant pot. It has saved me so much time making dinners. This instant pot meatloaf is delicious and done in about 25 minutes, which is a couple minutes longer, but it is so worth it. Plus, you don’t have to worry about sides as the side of potatoes cooks with the meatloaf!

2. Chicken Spinach Pasta Recipe

20 minute meals kid-friendly-  family dinner of Plate of bowtie pasta with spinach and grilled chicken
Don’t miss this pasta!

Every parent knows nothing is faster than pasta, but this one is a triple threat! Combining chicken, cheese and just enough spinach to add color is perfect. Your kids will love this chicken spinach pasta.

3. Simple Dinner Ideas

20 minute meals kid-friendly-  family dinner of Ham, cheese, and apple melt inside of two tortillas
Look at this ham and cheese melt!

Need some simple dinner ideas? Got leftover pork? Ham lunchmeat? Either one would work for this super-fast meal, one that has a surprisingly crunchy and sweet addition, thanks to the apple slices. (Shh! Don’t tell ’em what’s  inside and see if they can guess.)

4. Meatless Monday Dinner Ideas

20 minute meals kid-friendly-  family dinner of Bowl of fettuccini pasta with mushrooms and spinach
Mushroom and spinach pasta dinner!

Sometimes meatless Monday dinner ideas are needed! We could all use some more veggies in our life. This one combines all the hearty dinner ingredients into one nice pot. Bonus, it’s vegetarian, which will go over well with any little guys who aren’t so into meat right now.

5. Special Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipe

20 minute meals kid-friendly-  family dinner of Plate of two grilled ham and cheese sandwiches that have pear in them
Check out this grilled ham and cheese sandwich!

These aren’t just your average grilled cheese, though that’s an option for anyone who’d prefer the classic version. These special grilled cheese sandwiches are gooey, meaty, and have vegetables, yum!

6. Pizza Pasta Recipe

20 minute meals kid-friendly-   family dinner of Quick dinner ideas- A fork full of pizza pasta with cheese on the top.
Savory and saucy!

Um, who doesn’t love pizza? This pizza pasta recipe is perfect for dinner! It is simple to make and you can dress it up anyway you want! I usually add green peppers and black olives to ours.

7. Bacon Wrapped Burgers Recipe

20 minute meals kid-friendly-  family dinner hand holding half of a bacon-wrapped burger that has onions, lettuce, and cheese
Look at this juicy bacon-wrapped burger!

Truth, nothing is simpler than grilling burgers for dinner. These bacon wrapped burgers have lots of flavorful spices built in, a tasty step which takes all of a few extra seconds to complete.

8. Pork And Peas Pasta Recipe

20 minute meals kid-friendly-  family dinners of bowl of penne pasta with ground pork and peas in it.
We love pork and peas pasta!

Fresh ginger and ground pork are must-haves for this pork and peas pasta, but sugar snap peas can be replaced by any veggie your crowd enjoys. This is one of my favorite easy dinner ideas and it is so tasty!

9. Chicken On A Stick Recipe

20 minute meals kid-friendly-  family dinner of plate with peta bread and grilled chicken on sticks.
Kids love this chicken!

I don’t have to tell you that putting food on a stick means an instant thumbs up from kids. That’s why I love this idea of pairing juicy chicken on a stick alongside your regular rice.

10. Stir Fry Noodles Recipe

20 minute meals kid-friendly-  family dinner of Pot of stir fry noodles that contains carrots, peas, chicken, and more
Look at these delicious stir fry noodles

I once thought my kids didn’t like carrots, until I made this stir-fry. Whole-wheat spaghetti noodles doused in a combination of honey, BBQ and soy sauce with chicken and as many veggies as you can muster, it’s a dinner that looks as wholesome as it really is. Plus, the stir fry noodles are a good change from rice once in a while.

More Quick & Easy Recipes for the whole family from Kids Activities Blog

20 minute meals kid-friendly-  Simple family dinner ideas....Easy Crockpot Chili Recipe - shown are two bowls of slow cooker chili with crackers and toppings
Here are more recipes!

Which super easy dinner recipes are you making tonight?

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  1. Some terrific ideas here! I rely on fast cooking meats as the backbone of many quick meals–chicken cutlets, boneless pork loin chops, thin fish fillets such as tilapia or catfish, frozen peeled shrimp, and beef cube steaks are always fast and delicious. They star whether cooked alone, ie pan seared, sauteed, grilled, or used in stir fries. Simple salads and/or simply steamed veggies, turn fast meats into a meal. Inexpensive ground pork at 93% lean is a standby. Ramen noodle stir fries loaded with veggies and a little scrambled egg and/or ground meat are economical and delicious. Steamed rice on the stovetop only takes 15 minutes, and oven ready frozen french fries can be another fast starch option–start either of these even before prepping and cooking the above fast options. Meatballs are standby for me–I make large batch of small balls, 1″-1.25″, and freeze raw on a sheet pan, then bag in single meal portions, ready to toss into some jarred sauce–or bake alone in a hot oven to be ready in about 15 minutes. Canned beans are another major time saver–top a big salad with drained and rinsed beans for a tasty protein jolt, or add them to canned soups to up the taste and nutrition. Believe me, I rarely spend more than 30 minutes fixing dinner, 15-20 minutes being typical. At least 75% of our meals are fast ones as I’m a very busy person. I spend limited unpressured kitchen time, with big make ahead projects–meat balls, 5-6 dozen potstickers–or more (enlist family and friends to help with these sorts of things–everyone has fun and a batch to take home), big pots of soup–my pressure cooker is my friend. If you make meatloaf, make 2 and freeze one–better yet, shape them in a muffin pan for individual portions. Date everything you put in the freezer so things get used in a timely way.

    1. All great ideas! I usually spend one day a week meal prepping after putting groceries away! It definitely helps during weeknights!