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30 Quick 15-Minute Dinner Recipes For Busy Weeknights

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Enjoying a delicious and satisfying meal after a long and tedious day, is the one thing every single one of us desires.

But often times, the amount of time and energy it takes to prepare said meal, can make anyone rethink their cooking decision, or simply settle for takeout.

Except of course, it doesn’t always have to be that way. In situations like this, having quick, easy and yummy dinners that can be whipped up in a jiffy is definitely a lifesaver.

If you’re looking to get dinner done faster, or simply want super quick meals you can make in just a few minutes, then you’ve come to the right place.

In this post, you’ll discover 30 incredible dinner recipes that can be made in 15 minutes, or less. That’s less than 15 total minutes, from start to finish.

These simple and easy 15-minute dinners will save you a ton of time and stress, and will satisfy your cravings easily too.

Let’s get right into it.

Tips To Help You Prepare Dinner Faster

Before we get to the yummy stuff, here are some useful tips that can help you get your meals ready in less time.

After a long day, the last thing you want is to spend hours in the kitchen preparing dinner.

Fortunately, there are several time-saving strategies and techniques that can help you whip up a delicious meal in no time.

In this guide, we’ll explore a range of tips and tricks to streamline your dinner preparation process, from smart planning to efficient cooking methods.

1. Plan Your Meals in Advance

Meal planning is the foundation of efficient dinner preparation. Here’s how to get started:

Create a Weekly Menu: Plan your dinners for the week ahead. This helps you know exactly what you’ll be making and ensures you have all the necessary ingredients on hand.

Consider Leftovers: Plan for leftovers and incorporate them into future meals. For example, roast extra vegetables for salads or sandwiches the next day.

Prep Ingredients in Advance: Chop vegetables, marinate proteins, and prepare sauces or dressings in advance. Having these components ready can cut down on cooking time.

2. Embrace Quick Cooking Methods

Choosing the right cooking techniques can significantly reduce your dinner prep time:

Stir-Frying: Stir-frying allows you to cook vegetables and proteins quickly over high heat. Invest in a good-quality wok or skillet for efficient stir-fry dinners.

Grilling: Grilling is not only a healthy cooking method but also a speedy one. Whether it’s chicken, fish, or vegetables, grilling imparts a delicious smoky flavor and cooks food rapidly.

Sheet Pan Dinners: Roasting everything on a single sheet pan is a time-saving marvel. Toss your choice of protein and vegetables with seasonings and roast in the oven for a hassle-free meal.

One-Pot Meals: Prepare dishes like pasta, risotto, or chili in one pot or pan to minimize cleanup and save time.

3. Stock Your Pantry and Freezer

Having a well-stocked pantry and freezer can be a game-changer:

Pantry Staples: Keep essentials like canned tomatoes, beans, pasta, rice, and spices in your pantry. These items serve as the foundation for many quick and easy meals.

Frozen Vegetables: Frozen vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh ones and require minimal prep. Keep a variety of frozen veggies on hand for quick additions to your dinners.

Proteins: Stock your freezer with proteins like chicken breasts, ground beef, or fish fillets. Thaw them as needed for speedy meal prep.

4. Learn to Multitask

Efficiently juggling multiple tasks in the kitchen can significantly reduce your dinner preparation time:

Set Up a Prep Station: Before you start cooking, gather all your ingredients and equipment. This prevents you from running around the kitchen looking for items while something is cooking.

Simultaneous Cooking: If you have multiple burners or cooking surfaces, utilize them. For example, while pasta is boiling, sauté vegetables on another burner.

Clean as You Go: As you cook, wash dishes, utensils, and cutting boards you no longer need. A clean kitchen is a more efficient one.

5. Optimize Your Tools and Equipment

The right kitchen tools can make a world of difference in speeding up your dinner preparation:

Sharp Knives: Sharp knives make chopping and slicing quicker and safer. Invest in a good set of knives and keep them well-maintained.

Food Processor: A food processor can significantly speed up tasks like chopping, slicing, and even making sauces or dips.

Slow Cooker or Instant Pot: These appliances are fantastic for set-and-forget dinners. Prepare ingredients in the morning, and your meal will be ready when you are.

Microwave Oven: Don’t underestimate the convenience of a microwave for quick defrosting or reheating leftovers.

6. Opt for Simple Recipes

Choose recipes that are straightforward and don’t require extensive preparation or complex techniques:

Minimal Ingredient Recipes: Some dishes require only a handful of ingredients but pack a ton of flavor. Explore cuisines like Italian or Japanese for simple yet delicious recipes.

One-Pot Wonders: One-pot meals, such as casseroles or soups, often require little hands-on time and result in hearty, satisfying dinners.

7. Delegate and Get the Family Involved

Don’t be afraid to enlist help from family members:

Assign Tasks: Divide dinner prep tasks among family members. While one person chops vegetables, another can set the table or help with cleanup.

Cook Together: Cooking can be a fun family activity. Involve your kids in age-appropriate tasks, from stirring sauces to assembling sandwiches.

Share Responsibility: Make cooking a collaborative effort. If someone else is cooking, take on responsibilities like setting the table or doing the dishes.

By implementing these time-saving tips, you’ll be well on your way to efficient dinner preparation. With some planning, the right tools, and smart cooking techniques, you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying delicious meals with your loved ones.

30 Delicious 15-Minute Dinners

1) 15-minute Chicken Pasta

15-minute Chicken Pasta
Via: Gimme Delicious

When it comes to quick meals, pasta is one option you can always count on. And this creamy chicken pasta, is about to become your go-to weeknight favorite.

It features juicy chicken and ziti, cooked to perfection in the best tomato sauce, and topped with a double cheese combo. It doesn’t really get much better than this.

It takes less than 15 minutes to get this ready from start to finish, and the fact that it’s all made in one pan makes it even better.

Get the recipe at – Gimme Delicious

2) 15-Minute Carbonara

15-Minute Carbonara
Via: Girl Gone Gourmet

Speaking of quick and tasty pasta meals, this simple carbonara recipe is another yummy delight to enjoy. It takes as little as 5 basic ingredients to get this done, and it packs in a ton of flavor too.

Get the recipe at – Girl Gone Gourmet

3) Easy Korean Beef Rice Bowls

Easy Korean Beef Rice Bowls
Via: The Busy Baker

Forget takeout. These beef rice bowls come together in less time than it’d take your favorite restaurant to prepare your order and bring it to you.

With juicy and perfectly-seasoned beef, combined with tasty veggies and served over a bed of rice, these beef bowls are sure to get anyone drooling.

Get the recipe at – The Busy Baker

4) Thai Basil Chicken

Thai Basil Chicken
Via: Host The Toast

This Asian delight is bursting with flavor, and comes together in less time than it’d take you to say “Jack Robinson”. Serve over a bed of rice, or caulirice and enjoy.

To make things even faster, you can make your rice ahead of time, or pop it in your instant pot while you prepare the chicken.

Get the recipe at – Host The Toast

5) Ham and Bean Soup

Ham and Bean Soup
Via: Cafe Delites

Beans are another amazing food group that come together in a short period of time. This simple ham and white bean soup combined with tasty veggies like carrots, celery and onions, and cooked to perfection is definitely a must try.

It’s super easy to make ahead, but also comes together in under 15 minutes from scratch. You’re welcome.

Get the recipe at – Cafe Delites

Also See: 30 Comforting Soup Recipes That’ll Satisfy Your Cravings

6) 15-Minute Chicken Broccoli

15-Minute Chicken Broccoli
Via: Jo Cooks

You can never go wrong with some good old chicken and broccoli. Simple, nutritious, and super tasty too. This recipe also adds in some tasty sun-dried tomatoes, and tops it all off with gracious amounts of cheddar.

Once you try this creamy chicken and broccoli, you’ll want to be having it on repeat. And it all comes together in under 15 minutes.

Get the recipe at – Jo Cooks

7) Turkey Stir Fry

Turkey Stir Fry
Via: Savvy Bites

Stir fries are another amazing option when it comes to quick weeknight dinners. This one combines delicious minced turkey and chopped nuts, alongside healthy veggies like broccoli, in the best homemade teriyaki sriracha sauce.

It only takes 10 simple ingredients and less than 15 minutes to bring this to life from scratch. And it packs a ton of flavor. You’ll certainly be going back for more.

Get the recipe at – Savvy Bites

8) Pork Fried Rice

Pork Fried Rice
Via: Omnivore’s Cookbook

This simple and delicious pork fried rice will give its restaurant counterpart a run for its money. It’s super easy to make, with only a handful of ingredients, full of flavor, and easy to customize to your specific preferences.

And the fact that you can whip it up so quickly is the metaphorical icing on the cake. Bon appetit.

Get the recipe at – Omnivore’s Cookbook

9) Healthy Pasta With Green Pesto

Healthy Pasta With Green Pesto
Via: Fit Foodie Nutter

My dear vegans aren’t left out of this compilation. There are lots of delicious vegan dinners you can whip up in under 15 minutes too.

This yummy fettucine delight, combined with tasty nuts, juicy tomatoes and a nice green pesto is a good example. Quick, simple, delicious and satisfying.

Get the recipe at – Fit Foodie Nutter

10) Garlic Shrimp Zucchini Pasta

Garlic Shrimp Zucchini Pasta
Via: Damn Delicious

Compared to other protein sources, shrimp is one option you can always count on, if you’re craving a quick and yummy dinner. This is because shrimp cooks relatively fast, in only about 5 minutes.

This yummy delight features juicy shrimp, combined with zucchini noodles, seasoned to perfection and topped with some tasty parmesan. Simple, delicious, and healthy.

Get the recipe at – Damn Delicious

Also See: 30 Delicious Zucchini Recipes That’ll Leave You Drooling

11) One Pan Creamy Sun-dried Tomato and Basil Gnocchi

One Pan Creamy Sun-dried Tomato and Basil Gnocchi
Via: Salt And Lavender

What better way to unwind after a long day, than with a nice, warm and creamy bowl of gnocchi, tomatoes, and basil. This one pan delight is as easy to make as is it delicious. You’ll certainly be having this more than once.

Get the recipe at – Salt And Lavender

12) 15-Minute Chicken Burritos

15-Minute Chicken Burritos
Via: My Nourished Home

These chicken burritos are the perfect idea for taco nights. With its nice chicken, corn, salsa and cheesy filling, there’s no way anyone could resist this.

Plus, these burritos are super easy to make ahead too. Simply make a batch of these ahead of time, grab when ready, reheat, and enjoy.

Get the recipe at – My Nourished Home

13) Sesame Noodle Bowls

Sesame Noodle Bowls
Via: Pinch Of Yum

The perfect healthy dinner to make ahead of time, or easily whip up in just a few short minutes. It combines perfectly crispy chicken bites, with tasty cucumber, edamame, and pasta noodles, all blessed with the perfect homemade garlic sesame sauce.

You only need a handful of ingredients for this, but it comes out amazing. And in just 15 minutes from scratch too.

Get the recipe at – Pinch Of Yum

14) BLT Pasta Salad

BLT Pasta Salad
Via: Busy Budgeter

With all the flavors of your favorite BLT sandwich, but in salad form. This BLT pasta salad is everything you’ve been praying for. Creamy, delicious, and ready in under 14 minutes.

Get the recipe at – Busy Budgeter

15) Garlic Butter Chicken Bites

Garlic Butter Chicken Bites
Via: Cooking Classy

Fun fact: cutting chicken into smaller sizes helps it to cook faster, since the surface area is increased. That being said, these garlic butter chicken bites are a must-try.

They’re simple, tasty, and full of flavor. Save even more time by purchasing pre-chopped chicken, or simply cutting them up beforehand.

Get the recipe at – Cooking Classy

Also See: 30 Cheap And Healthy Dinner Recipes You Need To Try

16) 15-Minute Chana Masala

15-Minute Chana Masala
Via: Lucy And Lentils

Here’s another quick, easy and delicious plant-based dinner for my vegans to enjoy. This one features chickpeas, cooked alongside tasty veggies in the perfect creamy tomato sauce.

As with most other Indian delights, this one packs a ton of flavor too. And luckily, it takes just 15 minutes tops to put together.

Get the recipe at – Lucy And Lentils

17) Air Fryer chicken Parm

Air Fryer chicken Parm
Via: Family Food On The Table

I present to you, the new and improved version of the chicken parmesan. Thanks to the air fryer, this recipe cooks way more quickly and easily, and it still comes out with that perfect crispy goodness that you love.

Who wouldn’t want this every single night? Serve over a bed of pasta, or with your favorite veggies and enjoy.

Get the recipe at – Family Food On The Table

18) Spicy Fish Tacos

Spicy Fish Tacos
Via: A Sassy Spoon

If you love fish, or are simply looking to try something a bit different from the traditional beef tacos, then you’re absolutely going to love these.

The soft and tender nature of the fish here makes them a perfect candidate for these tacos. They’re properly seasoned, combined with tasty veggies, and topped with the best homemade chipotle mayo sauce.

And for something that comes together in under 15 minutes, it’s truly difficult to complain.

Get the recipe at – A Sassy Spoon

19) Date Night Bourbon Peach Glazed Salmon

Date Night Bourbon Peach Glazed Salmon
Via: Marisa Moore

Speaking of delicious seafood recipes to make in just a few minutes, this honey, bourbon and peach-glazed salmon is well on its way to becoming one of your favorites.

It’s one of the easiest things to whip up, and it’ll no doubt leave you drooling for more.

Get the recipe at – Marisa Moore

20) Tuscan White Bean Soup with Kale

Tuscan White Bean Soup with Kale
Via: Bites Of Wellness

The perfect 15-minute soup recipe for chilly weeknights. With white beans, kale, tomatoes pesto and a blend of exciting spices, this soup is as nutritious as it is tasty.

Get the recipe at – Bites Of Wellness

Also See: 30 Low Carb Dinner Recipes Ready In 30 Minutes Or Less

21) Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Avocado Crema

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Avocado Crema
Via: Averie Cooks

Stuffed veggies are an absolute lifesaver when it comes to effortless weeknight meals. They’re easy to make, healthy, nutritious and require minimal cleanup.

This one features sweet potatoes, stuffed with black beans, corn, and enough cheesy goodness, and topped with a nice avocado crema. It’s enough to get anyone drooling, and it comes together in under 15 minutes from scratch.

Get the recipe at – Averie Cooks

22) Sesame Lettuce Wraps

Sesame Lettuce Wraps
Via: Sincerely Katerina

Lettuce wraps are another amazing meal idea you can either make ahead of time, or prepare on short notice. Here’s something else you would’ve never guessed. These lettuce wraps are also 100% vegan-friendly.

They use extra firm tofu in place of regular chicken, combined with tasty veggies like carrots, mushrooms and onions, and topped with the perfect Asian Sesame sauce, and all in under 15 minutes too.

Get the recipe at – Sincerely Katerina

23) 15-Minute Italian Pasta Salad

15-Minute Italian Pasta Salad
Via: Baker By Nature

The perfect effortless pasta salad for your busy summer weeknights, or just any other occasion. With salami, provolone, juicy tomatoes and other tasty veggies, topped with the best Italian salad dressing, there’s no way anyone could resist this.

Get the recipe at – Baker By Nature

24) Sausage Dogs

Sausage Dogs
Via: Call Me PMC

These sausage dogs are as simple as simple can get. And they’re every bit as delicious. They feature tasty sausages, grilled to perfection, and topped with the perfect BBQ sauce, some delicious cheese and green onions.

They’re pretty easy to put together, and they’ll sure leave you satisfied.

Get the recipe at – Call Me PMC

25) Chickpea Burgers

Chickpea Burgers
Via: Wow It’s Veggie

If you’re looking for the perfect burger that’ll make even the meat-lovers jealous, then look no further. These chickpea burgers are packed with good flavor, and come out with a nice texture too.

Whip these up easily in just a few minutes, and throw on your favorite burger toppings and enjoy. You’re welcome.

Get the recipe at – Wow It’s Veggie

Also See: 20 Mouthwatering Vegan Dinners You’re Going To Love

26) 15-Minute Chicken Curry

15-Minute Chicken Curry
Via: Irena Macri

This creamy Indian delight is bursting with flavor, and comes together way quicker than you’d expect. You’ll be having this over takeout.

Get the recipe at – Irena Macri

27) Quinoa and Korean Beef Bowl

Quinoa and Korean Beef Bowl
Via: Smile Sandwich

For when you need a simple and healthy dinner recipe in just a few short minutes, this tasty Korean beef bowl is the perfect thing to whip up. It features juicy ground beef, seasoned to perfection and served over a bed of quinoa, and all in under 15 minutes from scratch.

Get the recipe at – Smile Sandwich

28) One Pan Shrimp and Rice

One Pan Shrimp and Rice
Via: Gimme Delicious

Here’s another shrimp-inspired recipe that’s sure to be a hit at the dinner table. And it takes only a handful of ingredients to pull this off. Juicy shrimp is cooked to perfection with some rice, and topped with some tasty parmesan. Simple, easy and delicious.

Get the recipe at – Gimme Delicious

29) Easy Margherita Flatbread Pizza

Easy Margherita Flatbread Pizza
Via: Let The Baking Begin

Pizza in less than 15 minutes? You’re absolutely right. This delicious Margherita pizza is about to become your new favorite thing.

It features a nice naan bread base, topped with tasty Mozzarella, tomatoes, basil and the best homemade garlic sauce. Simple, easy, and super delicious. Feel free to also add in your favorite pizza toppings.

Get the recipe at – Let The Baking Begin

30) Garlic Scallops

Garlic Scallops
Via: Rasa Malaysia

Scallops are another amazing seafood option you can prepare easily, and in just a few short minutes too. These garlic scallops come together in under 15 minutes from start to finish, and are loaded with good flavor. Pair with your favorite sides and enjoy.

Get the recipe at – Rasa Malaysia

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