20 Minutes or Less: 8 Must-Try Easy Dinner Ideas for Two

Easy Dinner Ideas for Two: Couple cooking meal

What's for dinner? It's a common question that hardly has an easy answer. That's because most nights you're too exhausted to even think about making a meal, let alone actually doing it.

The good news is that you don't have to rely on unhealthy fast food, frozen dinners, or pricey meals out night after night. There are plenty of convenient, flavorful, and affordable weeknight dinners that you can create right at home.

Don't believe it? Take a look at these 8 easy dinner ideas for two that will not only tantalize your taste buds in 20 minutes or less, but they also won't break the bank.

15-Minute Chicken Pasta

Easy Dinner Ideas for Two: Chicken pasta
Image: Gimme Delicious

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

This cheesy chicken pasta dish is an easy recipe for two if ever there was one. A convenient take on classic Italian comfort food, all you need is pasta, chicken breast, spaghetti sauce, and oh yes, plenty of cheese. While this chicken recipe doesn't call for any veggies, don't hesitate to sauté zucchini, yellow squash, bell peppers, garlic, onion, or any other vegetable for added nutrition, color, texture, and taste. You'll get four servings out of this dish, which is perfect if you and your partner are extra hungry or want leftovers. (You will.)

Skinny Bell Pepper Nacho Boats

Easy Dinner Ideas for Two: Bell pepper boats
Image: SkinnyMs.

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Who says simple has to be boring? Certainly not these deliciously nutritious nightshades. Taking just about 20 minutes from start to finish, this sheet pan recipe for skinny bell pepper nacho boats offers a fun, low-calorie twist on the popular Mexican dish. All you need are bell peppers, lean ground turkey, any salsa of your choice, reduced-fat shredded cheese, and a few spices. If you're not a fan of turkey, you can opt for lean ground beef or tofu for a plant-based version.

Honey-Garlic Glazed Salmon

Easy Dinner Ideas for Two: Glazed salmon
Image: Delish

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Get ready for a full-on gourmet situation with this honey-garlic glazed salmon that sounds super fancy yet won't leave you stressed or confused. Using ingredients you probably already have in your pantry — honey, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, garlic, lemon — this healthy dinner gives the perfect combo of sweet, salty, spicy, and just a hint of tang. Serve with sauteed spinach or French green beans and a nice bottle of wine for a romantic dinner on Valentine's Day or any special occasion.

Easy Beef and Broccoli

Easy Dinner Ideas for Two: Beef and Broccoli
Image: Damn Delicious

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

There's no reason to order takeout when you can whip up a home-cooked beef & broccoli meal for two that costs less time, money, and effort than pick-up or delivery. This beef recipe pairs thinly sliced flank steak with broccoli florets in a savory sauce that can be easily enhanced with a side of precooked jasmine rice, or even Spanish rice for fun cross-cultural fusion. You could also make this Chinese favorite in a slow cooker, but why bother when you can get it done in 15 minutes with just as much flavor?

20-Minute Vegetable Stir-Fry

Easy Dinner Ideas for Two: Vegetable stir-fry
Image: Table for Two

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

It might sound too easy to be true, but this sensational stir-fry will amp up your weeknight dinner plans in no time at all. (Well, in 20 minutes if you want to get technical.) Rainbow bell peppers, sliced mushrooms, and snap peas are the core of this meal while soy sauce and a handful of other ingredients give it a flavorful Asian kick. You could also add cubed sweet potato, butternut squash, or any other veggies you happen to have in the fridge. It's an ideal dinner recipe for vegans, but it would also work with chicken or shrimp.

Tuscan Butter Shrimp

Easy Dinner Ideas for Two: Tuscan butter shrimp
Image: Delish

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

When you're short on time but don't want to skimp on flavor, this buttery garlic shrimp dish is surprisingly simple. (And it makes a great date night meal, too.) While butter and heavy cream make it rather decadent, you could easily sub those richer ingredients with olive oil and half-and-half or soy creamer for a lower-calorie alternative. Also, don't be afraid to double up on the spinach to make sure you get your fill of nutrient-rich greens.

Quick Basic Chopped Salad

Easy Dinner Ideas for Two: Chopped salad
Image: Table for Two

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

If you thought salads were just for lunch, think again. This healthy, filling, and flavorful quick chopped salad might seem fairly basic, but it's far from boring. All you need are some fresh mixed greens, a few of your favorite ingredients, any protein of choice, and boom: You've got yourself one of the easiest dinner ideas for two. Throw in some Kalamata olives, pine nuts, and feta cheese for a delicious Greek twist or toss with a Dijon mustard vinaigrette for instant French flair. Whatever you do, it's bound to be a winning combination.

Easy Chicken Fajitas

Easy Dinner Ideas for Two: Chicken Fajitas
Image: Spend With Pennies

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

For an ultra-easy weeknight dinner that is as tasty as it is healthy, you can't go wrong with chicken breast fajitas. This skillet dinner means you only need one frying pan or cast iron skillet to make it all happen and it'll take you less time than watching that latest episode on Netflix. The recipe yields four servings, so you'll have lunch ready to go the next day. Top with guacamole and pico de gallo for a traditional Mexican finish and serve with flour or gluten-free corn tortillas.

Easy Does It

Easy Dinner Ideas for Two: Person about to cook a meal in Tovala Oven

The next time you're having a dinnertime dilemma, just remember that it is possible to enjoy a homemade meal that doesn't require years of culinary school or even an hour of your time. After all, you’ve got enough on your plate as it is. At the end of the day, you and your spouse, roommate, best friend, or significant other deserve a delicious, nutritious, and fuss-free meal in the comfort of your own home.  

To truly enjoy a gourmet meal in no time at all, you can't go wrong with Tovala Meals, which require just one minute of active prep time. (Yes, you read that right. Just one minute.) Most meal kits take at least 45 minutes of prep and cooking, but Tovala Meals give you a chef-driven dining experience that's unlike any other — it's truly as easy as the scan of a barcode.