Weeknight Warrior: Easy Dinner Recipes for Two in 30 Minutes or Less

Easy dinner recipes for two: a plate of linguini

Dreaming of a delicious weeknight meal that won't take much time, cost a fortune, or require multiple trips to the market in search of hard-to-find ingredients? We got you.

These easy recipes include a variety of one-pan and sheet-pan meals, stir-fry dinner ideas, and simple ingredients you probably already have stocked in your kitchen. Plus, each meal takes no more than 30 minutes to complete so you can make the most of your time-crunched weeknights.

Speaking of which, if you're really too busy to cook, you can't go wrong with Tovala Meals—you'll spend less than a minute for meal prep and have a complete, chef-crafted dinner in 20 minutes or less. Now that's a recipe for success any way you slice it.

Beef Tenderloin in Mushroom Sauce

Easy dinner recipes for two: Beef Tenderloin in Mushroom Sauce
Image: Taste of Home

Prep and Cooking Time: 25 minutes

Weeknight date night? Why not! This recipe for beef tenderloin in mushroom sauce might look like a fancy feast that took hours to make, but you'll have it prepped and cooked in less than half an hour. All you need is one skillet, two beef steaks (choose cube steak if tenderloin is too pricey), and a few simple ingredients.

Serve it with store-bought mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts, green beans, or whatever veggies you might have on hand for a classic meal that doubles as a romantic dinner for two.  

Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo

Easy dinner recipes for two: Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo
Image: Delish

Prep and Cooking Time: 25 minutes

A comfort food classic that always hits the spot, this easy recipe for shrimp fettuccine alfredo proves it doesn't take much fuss to fix a special meal for two. Once you have the essentials—peeled shrimp, heavy cream, and plenty of garlic, butter, and Parmesan cheese—you're well on your way to a deliciously decadent evening.

Sure, this might not be your nightly go-to if you're counting calories. But don't just save it for special occasions either because when you dig into a meal like this, that is the special occasion.

Pan-Seared Pork Chops With Roasted Fennel and Tomatoes  

Easy dinner recipes for two: Pan-Seared Pork Chops With Roasted Fennel and Tomatoes
Image: My Recipes

Prep and Cooking Time: 30 minutes

When you're tired, hungry, and not sure what to do with those pork chops in the fridge, look no further than this fuss-free single-skillet dinner. Simply sear the pork chops in a cast iron skillet, throw in some fennel and tomatoes, and within 30 minutes you’ll have an easy meal for two that tastes as gourmet as it looks.

Don't have fennel? No worries. You can just as easily swap it out with asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, zucchini, bell peppers, or any other veggies you have on hand.

Sheet Pan Cashew Chicken

Easy dinner recipes for two: Sheet Pan Cashew Chicken
Image: I Heart Eating

Prep and Cooking Time: 30 minutes

When it comes to easy dinner recipes, this 30-minute cashew chicken is about as uncomplicated as it gets. Low-carb, dairy-free, and packed with flavor, this dish requires just one sheet pan, cubed chicken breasts, broccoli, bell peppers, cashews, and a handful of ingredients for a DIY Asian sauce. Helpful tip: Although the recipe accounts for the time it takes to make the sauce, you can speed things up even more by using store-bought teriyaki sauce.

Orange Glazed Salmon With Rosemary

Easy dinner recipes for two: Orange Glazed Salmon With Rosemary
Image: Cooking Classy

Prep and Cooking Time: 20 minutes

You've seen dozens of recipes for salmon in lemon butter, but this orange-glazed salmon gives you a different citrus twist. Using fresh juice and zest from oranges, this simple one-skillet supper is at once healthy, flavorful, and pretty as a picture. And let's not forget the aromatics—from the flaky fish to the sweet oranges and fragrant rosemary, your whole kitchen will smell sublime. Serve with steamed asparagus, rice, couscous, or just about any side you can imagine.

Chicken-and-Black Bean Chimichangas

Easy dinner recipes for two: Chicken-and-Black Bean Chimichangas
Image: My Recipes

Prep and Cooking Time: 20 minutes

If you're feeling a little "been there, done that" with those basic burritos you've been having lately, you'll love these tasty chimichangas that amp up the experience with virtually no effort. All you need is some shredded chicken, black beans, and a few other simple ingredients to roll into the flour tortillas before crisping them on a skillet.

Top with shredded cheese, guacamole, sour cream, pico de gallo, or just a few shakes of hot sauce, and you'll have a new Mexican favorite that’s sure to become a regular on your weeknight menu.

Weeknight Vegetable Stir-Fry

Easy dinner recipes for two: Weeknight Vegetable Stir-Fry
Image: Kitchn

Prep and Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Looking for a meat-free meal idea that doesn't skimp on flavor or texture? This one-pan veggie stir-fry will become a household staple thanks to the endless combinations and incredibly easy preparation.

The key is making a sauce that suits your taste—don't worry, it's just whisking a handful of ingredients together—and combining it with whatever vegetables are in season or lingering in your fridge. Mushrooms, broccoli, snow peas, red bell peppers, and peanuts are great, but feel free to experiment. Want added protein? Toss in some tofu or tempeh. Serve it alone or with rice or noodles.

Greek-Style Ravioli

Easy dinner recipes for two: Greek-Style Ravioli
Image: Taste of Home

Prep and Cooking Time: 25 minutes

Send your taste buds on an unexpected journey with this tasty Greek spin on an Italian classic. Simple yet sophisticated, this ravioli recipe requires just a few quick steps and just six ingredients—frozen ravioli, lean ground beef, a can of diced tomatoes, fresh baby spinach, sliced olives, and feta cheese.

If you're cutting down on red meat, you can just as easily prepare the dish with ground turkey or chicken. However you choose to mix it up, in less than half an hour, you'll have a delectable meal made for two.

Table for Two

Easy dinner recipes for two: a Tovala meal being prepared in the Tovala Steam Oven

Even if you're a novice in the kitchen, with the right recipes at the ready, it doesn't take much to turn your weeknight dinner woes into a delicious weeknight dinner win. And don't forget: Using the Tovala Oven will allow you to enjoy a tasty dining experience without the hassle or cost of dining out. (Plus, it’s a healthy way to cook.)

Whether you're making a Tovala Meal, a recipe from the Tovala App (iOS or Android), or one of the recipes on this list, you’ll be able to cook with the precision of a pro. After all, Tovala is here to simplify your life so you can spend more time enjoying a meal with your special someone and less time worrying about how you're going to make it happen.