10 Fast Family Dinners: Home-Cooked in 20 Minutes or Less

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. 

10 Fast And Easy Dinner Ideas: Home-Cooked in 20 Minutes or Less

Easy Dinner Ideas

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.

10 Quick Dinner Ideas

Simple dinners-Instant Pot Meatloaf with potatoes and parsley

Instant Pot 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!

Chicken Spinach 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.

Simple Dinner Ideas

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.)

Meatless Monday Dinner Ideas

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.

Special Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

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!

Quick dinner ideas- A fork full of pizza pasta with cheese on the top.

Pizza Pasta Recipe

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.

Bacon Wrapped Burgers

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.

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!

Chicken On A Stick

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.

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.

Want More Great Recipes?

Simple dinner ideas....Easy Crockpot Chili Recipe - shown are two bowls of slow cooker chili with crackers and toppings

Don’t have a lot of time? Need an easy dinner idea? No problem! You’ll love this crockpot chili recipe.

I love this air fryer fried chicken, it is soooo cook and crispy, and doesn’t require a ton of oil!

Want some sides? You’ll love these simple salad ideas then! Can’t forget your veggies.

Don’t like these recipes? No worries! We have over 500 quick and easy dinner ideas for kids.

2 Comments

  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.

  2. Kristen Yard says:

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

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