12 Simple Dinner Ideas to Help You Conquer Your Busy Week

Simple Dinner Ideas: Grilled Salmon and Salad

There are certain things we have a tendency to over complicate—relationships, projects at work, and what we’re eating for dinner—when, really, the best solutions are usually the most simple: Get in, get the job done, and ignore the extra stuff.

And yes, this 100 percent applies to your next work deadline as well as your dinner tonight.

Life doesn’t have to be complicated. More often than not, the best project plans are those with the smallest amount of steps, and the best recipes are those with the fewest ingredients. While we can’t give you the latest tips on how to streamline your to-do list, we can give you a few recipes to simplify this week’s meal plan.

Even though we’re a food company, simplifying life is what we do best. Come on, breaking down shopping, prepping, cooking, and cleaning into one step? You can’t even TaskRabbit that.

15 Simple Dinner Recipes to Simplify Your Life

Between work, the gym, and trying to steal a few moments for yourself, the last thing you want to worry about is getting dinner ready. To conquer even the most hectic work week, try these simple recipes—each made with minimal ingredients and ready in 30 minutes or less.

Garlic Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry

Simple Dinner Ideas: Garlic Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry
Image: Tipps in the Kitch

On a busy weeknight, a simple stir-fry will become your new BFF. Just toss chopped meat and veggies into a wok or skillet, and you’re ready to go—no fancy assembly required. This easy chicken and broccoli stir fry combines lean chicken breasts and fresh broccoli for a lighter approach to takeout. Lucky for you, it takes just two easy steps and 15 minutes on the stovetop before serving.

Creamy Italian Sausage Pasta

Simple Dinner Ideas: Creamy Italian Sausage Pasta
Image: Foodtasia

Got 30 minutes? Then you have enough time to whip up this deliciously creamy pasta dish. Sausage, onions, garlic, spinach, and whole wheat penne are tossed together then smothered in creamy Parmesan to complete your Italian dinner. In just half an hour, homemade comfort food is served.

One-Skillet Lemon Mediterranean Orzo

Simple Dinner Ideas: One-Skillet Lemon Mediterranean Orzo
Image: Adventure Blooms

We know, we know! You don’t dread cooking, per se. You dread the cleanup. If doing the dishes is your version of cruel and unusual punishment, you have to familiarize yourself with one pot meals. This Greek orzo dish is simple yet flavorful, and will leave you with one dish to clean after you devour your dinner. This vegetarian meal combines chickpeas, vegetables, and orzo to create a complete, one-skillet dinner.

Spicy Black Bean Chicken Enchiladas

Simple Dinner Ideas: Spicy Black Bean Chicken Enchiladas
Image: Whipped It Up

We know what you’re thinking: There’s no way that homemade enchiladas qualify as an easy dinner idea. Here’s what you need to do—simply stop at the grocery store on your way home from work, purchase an already cooked rotisserie chicken, shred it, and fill corn tortillas with the chicken, black beans, cheese, and green chilies.

Pop your loaded casserole dish in the oven and bake for 20 minutes for an easy, Mexican-inspired dinner.

Sheet Pan Garlic Butter Shrimp and Green Beans

Simple Dinner Ideas: Sheet Pan Garlic Butter Shrimp and Green Beans
Image: Hungry By Nature

We said it once, we’ll say it again: The simplest recipes are often the most flavorful. This simple sheet pan dinner takes 10 minutes in the oven and requires just three easy steps. Simply toss shrimp and green beans in a lemon butter sauce, pop it in the oven, and enjoy. And afterwards? You just have one sheet pan to wash, making cleanup a breeze.

20-Minute Honey Garlic Chicken

Simple Dinner Ideas: 20-Minute Honey Garlic Chicken
Image: Our Salty Kitchen

Before you reach for the takeout menu, you simply have to try this recipe. It’s ready in 20 minutes, which is just as long as takeout and less time than delivery. Plus, the gluten-free, garlic sesame sauce is so flavorful it will satisfy all those takeout cravings.

Pair this recipe with white or brown rice to complete the dish, or spare yourself the carbs and serve it over steamed broccoli. This dish even makes great leftovers, simplifying your weekly meal prep.

Juicy Oven-Baked Pork Chops

Simple Dinner Ideas: Juicy Oven-Baked Pork Chops
Image: Inspired Taste

These oven-baked pork chops make for a simple, delicious dinner on a busy weeknight. Simply place pork chops on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt, pepper, thyme, and a little lemon juice to season. Place the entire pan in a preheated oven and roast for 15 minutes. Serve with mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables, or wild rice to complete the meal.

Grilled Chicken With Asparagus and Poached Egg

Simple Dinner Ideas: Grilled Chicken With Asparagus and Poached Egg
Image: Food By Jonister

If you’re looking for an easy dinner idea, things don’t get much simpler than this (or healthier). Two boneless, skinless chicken breasts are seared in olive oil, then served over green asparagus for a complete meal. Looking for a little extra protein? Top it with a poached egg to complete the dish.

Sheet Pan Lemon Chicken With Vegetables

Simple Dinner Ideas: Sheet Pan Lemon Chicken With Vegetables
Image: Sugar Spices Life

This delicious pan chicken dinner is the perfect easy recipe for a busy weeknight meal. Chop up a few chicken breasts, plus potatoes, onions, and asparagus—or any of your favorite veggies—then season with dried herbs. After 30 minutes, you’ll have a complete and balanced meal, and just one dish to clean up.

Brie and Roasted Turkey Sandwich

Simple Dinner Ideas: Brie and Roasted Turkey Sandwich

This is anything but a plain ol' grilled cheese sandwich. Sliced turkey, brie, and apples are smothered in whole grain mustard then placed between two slices of sourdough bread. Toss it in your Tovala Oven for just 7 minutes and dinner is served. Looking for a side dish to pair it with? The Tovala App offers this recipe, plus a variety of recipes for easy side dishes — simply look for the “Ingredients” section on the home dashboard.

Chicken Stuffed Peppers

Simple Dinner Ideas: Chicken Stuffed Peppers
Image: The Little Pine

Don’t think your plating skills are Top Chef worthy? We promise these chicken stuffed bell peppers are much easier to assemble than they appear. So put your culinary skills to the test.

Simply sautée chicken, spinach, and garlic in a skillet. Stuff it inside halved red peppers, and top it with cheddar cheese. Then toss the whole thing in the oven. Cook for 30–35 minutes, and this low carb dinner is ready to enjoy. This recipe can also be easily modified to include ground beef, ground turkey, or whatever protein you have on hand.

Don't Want to Cook at All?

For those extra busy nights, carving out half an hour to cook dinner might be too much to ask. For the times when your calendar doesn't offer much breathing room, trust Tovala to do the cooking for you. Tovala is part kitchen appliance, part home chef—cooking all your dinners for you on autopilot.

With Tovala, you have a choice: We can send you your meals pre-prepped and ready to toss in your oven, or you can do the shopping and we'll supply the recipes. Download the Tovala App for plenty of 10-minute meal ideas you can make at home.