Everyone has those nights when making a home cooked meal can seem like a serious chore. But you don’t always have to choose between ordering takeout or spending hours in the kitchen. In between those is a third door: easy dinner ideas you can whip up in a hurry using 10 ingredients or less.
Not only do these 12 recipes save you time, they’ll also spare you some cash and calories. Check the list of options that are perfect to make in a pinch, all featuring ingredients you probably keep in your kitchen. Bon appétit!
12 Easy Dinner Ideas You Can Make in a Pinch
Toss a slice of bread or two in the toaster and you’re already halfway done making this meal, a twist on your typical avocado toast. The recipe calls for rapini — a bitter green from the turnip family resembling broccoli rabe — but feel free to opt for others, like kale or spinach. Cook until wilted alongside garlic, white beans and a touch of lemon. Then add it to your toast and top it off with a sprinkle of shaved parmesan. Photo and recipe: Kelsey Rostad & Shannon Tien / You Can Eat Now
This recipe is pretty much as simple as it sounds. Chicken, asparagus and lemons all take a turn in the pan before putting them together on your plate. Our tip: Skip the butter to keep this recipe lean and clean. Photo and recipe: Lindsay Ostrom / Pinch of Yum
Here’s a healthy dish hack everyone should know. Breakfast for dinner is always a good idea — and good for you, too. In this recipe, tomatoes, bell peppers and chives team up with cheddar cheese to create a fluffy frittata. Eggs are one of the most easily digestible proteins around, so this dish will satiate and fuel you — no matter when you eat it. Photo and recipe: Phi Kelnhofer / Sweet Phi
The perfect sub in for when you’re craving greasy Chinese food. Dubbed an ‘easy weeknight teriyaki chicken’ option, the flavors keep you full and satisfied. It’s no secret that broccoli and chicken pack nutrients, but the sesame seeds also shine. The nutty seeds contain protein, fiber, iron and magnesium. Photo and recipe: Erin Jensen / The Wooden Skillet
The strawberry-balsamic glaze takes a few extra minutes of prep — but it’s well worth it. Reduce the balsamic vinegar, strawberries and honey in a pan while the pork chops cook in the oven. The result: a tangy-sweet dish that’s filling and protein-packed. Photo and recipe: Marion Myers / Our Life Tastes Good
A hit of protein and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids make up the bulk of the nutrition in this meal. Throw orange juice, maple syrup, mustard and garlic together and whisk before pouring over fish and covering with foil. Then just bake and pair with a side of greens or brown rice for extra staying power. Dinner, served in 25 minutes flat. Photo and recipe: Jessica Fishman Levinson, MS, RDN, CDN / Nutritioulicious
Thanks to the combination of yummy spices, this bowl tastes so much richer than you’d expect for such a quick recipe. Ground turkey offers a great lean protein option, while sweet potatoes provide a hit of vitamin A, B6 and C — plus a touch of sweetness. Photo and recipe: Lindsay Ostrom / Pinch of Yum
Ordering a pizza can be an obvious calorie splurge, so instead, make your own low-cal pie at home. With only a few flavorful ingredients including pesto, tomatoes and cheddar cheese, there’s no grease factor here. Opt for whole-grain dough to make it even more guilt-free. Photo and recipe: Rachel Gurk / Rachel Cooks
A healthy, easy-to-make pasta salad, at your service. Cook noodles to your preference, then combine in a bowl with arugula, roasted red peppers, mozzarella and pesto. Whip up this bright bowl for dinner then pack up the leftovers for dinner or lunch all week. Photo and recipe: Ali Ebright / Gimme Some Oven
Carrot soup might not be an obvious dinner choice, but after downing a bowl of this deliciousness you’ll be singing a different tune. Carrots pack a ton of antioxidants, while ginger aids in digestion. Pro tip: Swap coconut milk for heavy whipping cream to make this bowl totally vegan and extra healthy. Photo and recipe: Kare Raye / Kitchen Treaty
Limiting the number of ingredients in your salad helps keep the calories in check. Here, roasted beets, goat cheese and pecans give this spinach salad a decadent flare without going overboard. The homemade dressing — made of vinegar, dijon mustard and olive oil — keeps the recipe light and fresh. Photo and recipe: Danae Halliday / Recipe Runner
For this dish, you’ll sauté ground turkey, onions, garlic and water chestnuts in a skillet. If you have the time, mix up the four-ingredient sauce, but if you’re keeping it simple, just add a spoon of red chili paste and/or soy sauce to flavor your mix. Then serve with Bibb lettuce for a refreshing crunch. Photo and recipe: Kelly Hunt / Eat Yourself Skinny