Simple dinner ideas can often save your dinner plans on a weekday.
Sometimes we come home and we don’t even want to take one look at the kitchen, that’s how tired we are.
But it doesn’t mean we aren’t still hungry. Of course we want to eat our yummy fill of dinner! But what exactly do we make? …Or is take out the better option? And that’s when it starts getting expensive.
You can learn to create simple dinner ideas in your kitchen with the ingredients you already have without having it be a big hassle.
Related: 61 Cheap Dinner Ideas To Stay Within Your Budget
Even better is when you can meal plan ahead of time (but that’s another story for another day).
Usually, when we’re trying to find something good to eat and are looking through the fridge, these are the two top questions that’ll pop up:
What’s easy to make for dinner?
When you think of easy the best way to start is working your dinner around one staple ingredient that is easy to cook. That might mean beans, rice, or even diced chicken. When I think of ‘easy and simple dinner ideas’ that aren’t going to take too long, I usually try to recall 3-ingredient recipes. They’re the easiest to put together and you don’t have to find or dirty a million things to create them.
To make your dinners as easy as possible then you NEED to invest in a reliable crock pot. It’s a complete game changes when it comes to creating dinners that taste good that you don’t have to toil in the kitchen for hours to make.
What can I make for dinner that’s cheap?
Depending on what your diet needs are and what your budget is, cheap dinner ideas looks slightly different for everyone. Cheap dinner ideas might mean sticking to eating meat only once a week and having that be chicken or turkey (those are generally some of the lower priced meats).
One great way to get good quality meat for your dinner planning and recipes is to sign up for a monthly meat subscription.
With Butcher Box, you get a monthly box shipped free to your home filled with your favorite meats. The best part of it is their meat is certified hormone and antibiotic free, grass fed, and free range. And the average cost of a meal through their subscription program is about $6!
It can be a great way to afford fresh meat that isn’t filled with nonsense that can be great for your dinner recipes.
To get you out of a rut, and so you don’t go to sleep hungry, here are 23 simple dinner ideas for tonight if you’ve had a busy day!
Related: 53 Quick And Easy Meal Ideas That Are Perfect For Weeknights
3- Ingredient Pizzadillas
Recipe Via Fountain Avenue Kitchen
Have you heard of a cross between a quesadilla and a pizzadilla? Well, now you have! If you’re wanting a quick and filling simple dinner recipe then try this 3-ingredient quesadilla with mozzarella, pepperoni, and marinara sauce. Not so messy to create and very satisfying.
Creamy Lemon Chicken With Garlic
Recipe Via That Low Card Life
Sometimes you want something a little more hearty to dinner, so why not try a creamy lemon chicken recipe? If you have some thawed chicken breast lying around you can create this simple dinner recipe in no time!
Slow Cooker Beef On Rice
Recipe Via Creme De La Crumb
A beef and rice combination is always good no matter if you have it for lunch or dinner. And it can also be easier to fix than you might think. Creme De La Crumb tells you exactly how to fix this delicious dish. If you’re into meal prepping, it makes a great make ahead dinner.
Ground Turkey & Veggie Brown Rice Bowl
Recipe Via Life Is But A Dish
A healthier option is this turkey over brown rice pairing. Turkey is a much more affordable meat option and can be just as good if you season it well. A simple dinner idea that’s worth a try, especially if you have some extra broccoli lying around you need to get rid of.
Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup
Recipe Via Add A Pinch
If you’re feeling like its a soup kind of day, try this minestrone soup! It’s filled with healthy ingredients like green beans, carrots, and diced tomatoes. It’s a great dump-and-forget it easy dinner recipe that can take you out of a dinner dilemma in no time.
Chicken Broccoli Stuffed Baked Potato
Recipe Via Jessica Gavin
Not only does this baked potato look good it also tastes just as good. As an easy dinner idea it’s a winner in my book. No fancy frying or basting. Just baking your potato and adding your favorite ingredients.
Adult Habanero Jack Grilled Cheese
Recipe Via Cooking With Books
Ditch the traditional grilled cheese and tomato soup and go for the adult recipe over at Cooking With Books. It can be a heart warming sandwich that you can add to your dinner favorites once you get a bite out of how simple it is to create.
Easy Sausage And Peppers
Recipe Via Cooking With Mamma C
This nice quick and simple dinner idea is brought to you by Cooking With Mamma C. Easy sausage and peppers can go great with some simple white rice and your favorite sauce. How’s that for a simple dinner recipe?
Easy Tater Tot Hot Dish
Via I Am Baker
Aren’t tater tots so tasty? If you’ve got some tater tots lying around try creating a tater tot casserole. It really doesn’t get any simpler than layering your ingredients and popping it in the over for a simple dinner idea filled with cheesy goodness.
Crock Pot Ham And Bean Soup
Recipe Via Spend With Pennies
Ham and bean soup can be SO delicious and its great for just about any day of the week. Pair it with some cornbread and you’ve got yourself a winning simple dinner idea that is also pretty affordable! Check out the full recipe over at Spend With Pennies.
Buffalo Chicken Tender Salad
Recipe Via Baked By Rachel
A buffalo chicken tender salad can be great for when you want to eat but aren’t really that hungry. Adding the meat component can make it a more filling idea. I personally love adding blue cheese to top it all off with extra flavor.
Creamy Parmesan One Pot Chicken And Rice
Recipe Via The Salty Marshmallow
Parmesan one pot chicken and rice is yet another delicious dinner idea that doesn’t require too much hassle in the kitchen at all. And if you meal prep then this is makes a great make ahead meal for the week. That way you can just come home and start cooking it till its done and ready!
3-Ingredient Crock Pot Meatballs
Recipe Via Suburban Simplicity
Crock pot meatballs are super easy and doesn’t require you to be a kitchen expert. Meatballs are fun because you can pair them with lots of things, not just pasta. They also make great make-ahead meals so you have another dinner option for another night. Best of all this recipe only requires three little ingredients to make! How easy is that? Get the full recipe over at Suburban Simplicity.
Slow Cooker Chicken Salsa Verde Tortilla Soup
This is one of my favorites to make, maybe not because of how simple it is to cook, but how delicious it turns out to be. There is no reason not to try this simple dinner idea that you can add some corn tortilla chips too. Great for a rainy day!
Simple Corn Flake Chicken
Recipe Via Tastes Of Flizzyt
If you’ve got some corn flakes and you’ve got some chicken, then you’ve got a simple dinner idea at your finger tips. This simple corn flake chicken recipe can leave you licking your plate clean if you check out and follow the recipe.
Quick And Tasty Pan Fried Tilapia
Recipe Via Culinary Hill
Tilapia is an easy fish to prepare. You can add just about any spice to it (along with salt) and its almost always guaranteed to taste good. If you’re a seafood lover this can be a quick and easy dinner idea that you can create in about 30 minutes.
Pineapple Fried Rice
Recipe Via Healthy Nibbles And Bits
This rice looks absolutely yummy! While it looks complicated to make, it only takes about 30 minutes to prepare. If you have some canned pineapple slices lying around then you can make this rice tonight. Get the recipe over at Healthy Nibbles And Bits.
Tater Tot And Bacon Breakfast Burrito
Recipe Via Joanie Simon
Who says you can’t eat breakfast for dinner? A simple tater tot breakfast burrito might just do the trick if you’re at a loss for what to make for dinner.
Chicken Pasta With Creamy Cilantro Lime Alfredo Sauce
Recipe Via Julia’s Album
Cilantro lime pasta is a personal favorite and an easy dinner idea for anyone that loves pasta. If you add some chicken you can make it extra filling and yummy. Though it doesn’t look like it, it only takes 30 minutes to make!
Potato Wedge Nachos
Recipe Via Lauren Caris Cooks
Forget nacho chips, try these easy potato nachos with sour cream, avocados and lime. This is great if you have a few potatoes lying around. And it doesn’t take much to prepare at all. If you’re craving Chipotle, ditch that and try making this at home instead.
Quick And Easy Egg Drop Soup
Recipe Via Cook The Story
Try something a little different and create an egg drop soup right at home. You can garnish it with all kinds of things like bean sprouts and jalapenos. You can use leftover chicken to make this soup, which makes it extra easy!
Easy Instant Pot Beef And Broccoli
Recipe Via Mommy’s Home Cooking
Try making an instant pot beef and broccoli. You don’t have to order take out or go to any Asian restaurant once you learn to create this at home. And it only takes about 30 minutes to prepare and cook.
Ground Turkey Mexican Vegetable Skillet
Recipe Via Six Sisters Stuff
This simple dinner idea mixes the best of several worlds. You’ve got turkey, which is a cheaper meat option, you’ve got the mexican flavor (can you beat that?), and you’ve got your veggies all in a Mexican skillet mix. You’ve got to try this easy meal idea and see how much you like it! Best of all it only takes about 30 minutes to make!
Crock Pot Chicken And Gravy
Recipe Via The Country Cook
Good old chicken and gravy never hurt anyone, especially as a simple dinner option that you can create with your crock pot. A crock pot is good for making virtually an infinite amount of recipes that you won’t get tired of eating. It’s definitely a good affordable investment in the long run.
Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole
Recipe Via Damn Delicious
This chicken bacon ranch casserole looks amazing! It gives a nice twist to your usual pasta casserole recipe and its probably something you wouldn’t mind having as leftovers. You can even take some to work the next day! That’s a win-win for a dinner recipe.
Easy Dinner Ideas Are Worth Making
Simple dinner ideas are a great way to make sure you aren’t overwhelmed in the kitchen when you don’t have anything prepared to eat.
The secret is in keeping the recipes simple, or even learning some by heart and using the ingredients that are already in your fridge. Eating a yummy yet simple dinner can take some planning ahead too, if that’s how you work best. It’s all about setting your dinner time up for success!
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