Easy Meals for Two: 10 Time-Friendly Ideas for Lunch and Dinner

Easy meals for two: Woman taking a bite from partner's plate

When it comes to mealtime, trying to decide what you're going to make can often be the most exhausting part of the process. Then you ask your spouse, partner, roommate, or significant other what he or she wants and the uncertainty reaches next-level status: "I don't care, you decide!"

Add to that the time it takes to buy the ingredients and prepare the meal, and it's no wonder why takeout and delivery have become increasingly appealing options. But hold on. Enjoying easy meals for two doesn't have to be a headache, cost a fortune, or take a lot of time.

Whether you're looking for tasty lunchtime fare or a full-on feast for dinner, creating a flavorful meal is easier than you think. To prove it, here are 10 can't-miss easy recipes that ensure a nutritious and delicious meal for two in one hour or less.

Crispy Lemon Pepper Chicken

Easy meals for two: Crispy lemon pepper chicken
Image: Life Made Simple

Cooking & Prep Time: 30 minutes

This simple skillet recipe for crispy lemon pepper chicken is a delectable dinner idea that proves you don't need a culinary background or hours of free time to create a restaurant-worthy dish. All you need are some lemons, a couple chicken breasts, olive oil, panko breadcrumbs, and a few seasonings and spices. Serve with rice, potatoes, veggies, or linguine to make it a chicken pasta dish that even the pickiest eater will love.

Thai Salmon in Foil

Easy meals for two: Thai salmon
Image: Damn Delicious

Cooking & Prep Time: 30 minutes

A complete meal in 30 minutes with no cleanup? Yes, please! This Thai salmon in foil recipe calls for soy sauce and sweet chili sauce to give it a distinctive Asian twist that is sure to please. Simply wrap the salmon in foil, season with spices and chopped peanuts, place on a baking sheet, and boom — you have the juiciest fish sealed with all the flavors...and no post-meal cleaning required. Serve as the main dish with brown rice or veggies for a healthy dinner or Instagrammable lunch.

Ground Turkey Skillet With Green Beans

Easy meals for two: Ground turkey skillet
Image: Primavera Kitchen

Cooking & Prep Time: 25 minutes

Low-carb, gluten-free, and oh-so-tasty, this ground turkey skillet dish is one of the simplest weeknight dinners you can make over and over again. Everything is cooked in a cast iron skillet and you just need a few ingredients — lean ground turkey, green beans, tomato sauce, and whatever seasonings and add-ons you prefer. (You can easily swap out the ground turkey for ground beef as well.) What's more, it's kid-friendly so if you have any little ones coming by, they'll like it as much as you do.

Stuffed Pork Chops

Easy meals for two: Stuffed pork chops
Image: Dinner at the Zoo

Cooking & Prep Time: 30 minutes

This tempting stuffed pork chop recipe might seem too easy to be true, but don't let the fancy appearance fool you. All you need are some boneless pork chops, spinach, sun dried tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese. Offering an Italian twist on basic chops, you can serve this as a meal in itself or add a side of green beans, Brussels sprouts, or broccoli for a dish that's good enough for a romantic dinner or special occasion.

Ancho Coffee Chicken Breast

Easy meals for two: Ancho coffee chicken

Cooking & Prep Time: 20 minutes

You can't go wrong with this gourmet chicken dish featuring an ancho chile and ground coffee rub. Served with Southwest grains and cumin-spiced carrots, this high-protein meal promises to wake up your weekday eating routine in less than half an hour. Just pop this dish into your Tovala Oven for 20 minutes, garnish with queso fresco and pesto sauce, and dinner is served. Part of the Tovala meal plan, you can get this recipe for free by downloading the Tovala App for iOS or Android.

Spicy Baked Black Bean Nachos

Easy meals for two: Spicy baked black bean nachos
Image: Budget by Tes

Cooking & Prep Time: 35 minutes

When you've had a long day or simply want a quick weekend lunch, look no further than these spicy baked black bean nachos. Simple, savory, and spicy, this sheet pan meal lets your imagination run wild as you add whatever toppings you prefer to your tortilla chips. While cheddar cheese or shredded Mexican cheese blends are the obvious choice, try Monterey Jack, American cheese, or even mozzarella. Add pico de gallo, pickled red onions, jalapenos, and sour cream for some serious south-of-the-border comfort food.

Scrambled Egg Toast With Roasted Asparagus

Easy meals for two: Scrambled egg toast
Image: Well Plated

Cooking & Prep Time: 35 minutes

Breakfast for dinner? Why not! Although this dish could easily make an ideal weekend brunch, it's always fun to enjoy a little breakfast food after dark. This bright, protein-packed meal tastes like springtime in California with fresh asparagus, cherry tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, chives, and of course, eggs. With a just a few main ingredients and a couple of seasonings, it's a palate-pleasing finish — or start — to your day.

Loaded Vegan Chili

Easy meals for two: Vegan chili
Image: Food with Feeling

Cooking & Prep Time: 30 minutes

This healthy and hearty protein-packed "one and done" meal can be handled in a single pot. . Aside from the different beans and veggies, what makes this loaded vegan chili so great is the secret ingredient of cocoa powder. (Yes, as in that chocolatey powder you've only been using for hot cocoa up until now.) This tasty dish yields eight servings, so you know what that means — leftovers!

You can also try this meal in a Crock-Pot if you want to start cooking in the morning and come home to a hot meal.

Baked Shrimp Scampi

Easy meals for two: Baked shrimp scampi
Image: Delish

Cooking & Prep Time: 30 minutes

A baked take on the classic seafood-and-pasta dish, this baked shrimp scampi dinner recipe is just the ticket when you and your plus-one want to whisk away your taste buds on an Italian vacation. It takes just 10 minutes of prep with about 20 minutes of baking. The recipe suggests serving atop angel hair pasta, but you can forgo the pasta or swap it out with veggies for a low-carb, gluten-free experience. Even better, this dish makes an excellent date night meal and only takes half an hour from start to finish.

Black Bean Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Easy meals for two: Black bean stuffed sweet potatoes
Image: Food With Feeling

Cooking & Prep Time: 60 minutes

This nutritious and delicious recipe for black bean stuffed sweet potatoes is vegan and gluten-free, but you could use non-vegan sour cream or cheese sauce if you like. Allowing enough time for the sweet potatoes to bake is the most time-consuming part, so keep in mind you're only working for about 15 minutes. Simply sauté onions (you can also throw in bell peppers) and add a can of black beans and seasonings. Garnish with chopped avocado and cilantro for a savory lunch or easy dinner without breaking a sweat.

Dinner Done Right

Easy meals for two people

One of the best gifts you can give yourself is eliminating mealtime stress. Thinking about what you have to make and how you're going to do it is half the battle, but with some helpful recipe ideas at the ready, you can turn a trying situation into a tasty triumph.

To help you along even further, consider Tovala Meals, which require just one minute of active prep time. (Yes, it's true. It takes just 60 seconds.) Offering chef-driven meals with just the scan of a barcode, this convenient option promises the easiest meals for two in practically no time at all.