15 minute dinner recipes

15 Minute Dinner Recipes Perfect For Busy Weeknight Meals

When you’ve worked all day and the kids have after-school activities, it can be difficult to muster up the energy to cook dinner. These easy 15-minute dinner recipes will help you serve up quick and delicious meals on busy weeknights.

After a long day, the thought of making dinner can be overwhelming. When you are tired from the busy week, cooking for a hungry family can feel so time-consuming. If you have busy kids who have homework assignments and extra-curricular activities, you don’t have free time in the evenings to make an elaborate meal from scratch. Our list of 15-minute dinner recipes will help you solve the dinner dilemma and maximize weekday evenings.

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The most important factor when deciding what to make for dinner is whether or not your family will like the food. The list we’ve put together has options for every palette and diet, so there is something for everyone. We’ve included chicken recipes, comfort foods, seafood and vegetable options. Below are 25 family-friendly dinner recipes that you can make to have dinner ready in only 15 minutes. Keep scrolling to see all of the delicious dinner recipes and inspiration!

15 Minute Chicken Dinner Recipes

Ground Chicken Taco Skillet

15 minute dinner recipes perfect for busy weeknights
Thechowdown / Instagram

This recipe for a ground chicken taco skillet is packed with nutrients that the kids will want to eat. The best part about this recipe is that it’s made with pantry staples: canned diced tomatoes, beans, corn and a packet of taco seasoning. You can buy ground chicken or turkey and have it ready in no time. It’s so satisfying and flexible too – you can add in whatever fresh veggies you have in the fridge.

Sticky Basil Chicken

15 minute dinner recipes perfect for busy weeknights
Averiesunshine / Instagram

This sticky basil chicken promises to taste like your favorite Thai restaurant, but you can make it at home in 15 minutes. It’s spicy, sweet and full of flavor. Bonus points for this recipe because you can make it in one skillet, which means less time cleaning up too. Make some rice ahead of time in a rice cooker and have it in the fridge ready to serve, or use an instant rice side to save time.

Sriracha Chicken Alfredo

15 minute dinner recipes perfect for busy weeknights
Plainchicken / Instagram

Chicken and cheesy pasta with a little kick? Sounds delicious! And if it can be prepared in 15 minutes, it sounds even better. This recipe for Sriracha chicken alfredo is a slight twist on a classic dinner, and it sounds mouthwatering and simple to make. Small pieces of chicken cook fast, and the sauce comes together easily with parmesan cheese, heavy cream and Sriracha seasoning. Keep some of this seasoning on hand – this will be your new favorite item in your spice cabinet!

Lemon Garlic Butter Chicken

15 minute dinner recipes perfect for busy weeknights
Angela_inthemoment / Instagram

Classic flavors are always a crowd-pleaser. Try this recipe for Lemon Garlic Butter Chicken that will be ready fast thanks to thinly sliced chicken breasts. Lemon, garlic and herbs make this dish fresh and bright. Simply dredge each piece and brown it in one pan. For the best crispy chicken, make sure to pat the chicken dry with paper towels before seasoning.

Coconut Chicken Curry

15 minute dinner recipes perfect for busy weeknights
15 Minute Dinner Recipes Perfect For Busy WeeknightsIrenamacri / Instagram

Curry in a hurry? It’s possible thanks to some store-bought ingredients and time-saving tips. This coconut chicken curry recipe is mild so it won’t be too spicy for the kids and is ready in minutes. And this recipe is also gluten-free, paleo and Whole30 friendly if you serve it with a low carb side such as cauliflower rice. If you are eating gluten, serve it with some flatbread for a family-friendly meal.

Chicken Guacamole Quesadillas

15 minute dinner recipes perfect for busy weeknights
Mexplease / Instagram

When you need dinner now, this guacamole quesadilla recipe is the perfect solution. Cook the chicken for 3-5 minutes on each side, and prep your toppings in the meantime. It tastes fresh with very little effort – cut open an avocado for quick guacamole by adding in pico de gallo. You can buy fresh pico de gallo in the grocery store, or make some to have on hand for the week.

15 Minute Comforting Dinner Recipes

Mustard Sauce Pork Chops

15 minute dinner recipes perfect for busy weeknights
Tastesbetterfromscratch / Instagram

Mustard is a wonderful compliment to pork chops, and this warm mustard sauce pork chop recipe only takes 15 minutes to cook. Pan seared pork chops complete cooking in lemon juice, broth, dijon mustard and cream for a comforting sauce. Buying boneless pork chops cuts down on the cooking time too. They easily pair with a salad to have a healthy dinner on the table in minutes.

Garlic Butter Steak Bites

15 minute dinner recipes perfect for busy weeknights
Her.wholesome.kitchen / Instagram

Everyone in your family will love this bite-sized buttery dinner. It’s made in 15 minutes and in one skillet, so it makes for a quick clean up too. Sirloin is the best type of steak to get for this recipe. Make sure you don’t crowd the steak in the pan too much – you can cook in batches if needed. Use a cast-iron skillet similar to this one available from Amazon. It’s pre-seasoned so it’s already non-stick, and 15 inches is the perfect size for family dinner recipes!

Pesto Prosciutto Pasta

15 minute dinner recipes perfect for busy weeknights
Joannakeohane / Instagram

Pasta dishes are a great way to sneak some veggies into dinner. This pesto pasta recipe balances classic flavors of prosciutto and peas with nutrients from vegetables like green beans. The basil in the pesto keeps everything tasting fresh and this beautiful dinner will be ready before your family has time to get hangry.

Mongolian Pepper Steak

15 minute dinner recipes perfect for busy weeknights
Createaplatewithdina / Instagram

A warm, comforting meal for the whole family is quickly accomplished with this recipe for Mongolian pepper steak. Skip the takeout or delivery and you’ll save time and money. If you are really in a crunch at the end of the day, buy already sliced peppers and onions in the refrigerated produce section and save on the prep time too. Cook the peppers and onions, then the steak, then stir in the sauce for a savory dinner you will want to make again and again.

Scrambled Egg and Chorizo Tacos

15 minute dinner recipes perfect for busy weeknights
Missrachelphipps / Instagram

Everyone loves a “breakfast for dinner” night. Instead of pancakes and other carbs that won’t keep you full until morning, make this recipe for scrambled egg and chorizo tacos. These tacos are so quick to make and they are a great way to shake up your standard taco night. The best part is everyone can customize their tacos and add the toppings they like – perfect to please everyone’s palate.

Creamy Lemony Sausage Pasta

15 minute dinner recipes perfect for busy weeknights
Annasfamilykitchen / Instagram

Sausage cooks up so fast and requires very little prep. It’s the perfect protein for this creamy lemony pasta dish recipe. When you get home from work and are so tired, you can make this hearty dish in 15 minutes. It will fill up your family and quickly become one of your favorite dinner recipes. Using sour cream and lemon creates a comforting sauce for the pasta. Add in any green veggies you have on hand. This would work with broccoli or spinach or peppers too.

Rosemary Garlic Beef Skewers

15 minute dinner recipes perfect for busy weeknights
Wrytoasteats / Instagram

Skewers are a fun way to change up dinner, but they also cook super fast! Since the cubes of meat are small, they finish on the grill or in the broiler in minutes. This recipe for rosemary garlic beef skewers is a nice dinner recipe to serve with rice or on pita bread in a sandwich. Top the skewers with a quick-made garlic yogurt sauce, or use a store-bought tzatziki sauce to save even more time.

15 Minute Seafood Dinner Recipes

Miso Glazed Salmon

15 minute dinner recipes perfect for busy weeknights
Simplyfoodbymandy / Instagram

You might not be familiar with miso, but it’s a great way to add a ton of kid-friendly flavor to your family dinner. It’s sweet and has a salty umami flavor that is scrumptious when paired with fish like salmon. This recipe for miso-glazed salmon will be one of your new go-to weeknight meals that is anything but boring. It also uses pantry staples like soy sauce and honey. If you can’t find miso paste at your local grocery store, buy some here on Amazon. This miso tub lasts up to 3 months in the fridge, so you’ll get a lot of mileage out of this ingredient and can use it with other proteins.

Sticky Honey Garlic Shrimp

15 minute dinner recipes perfect for busy weeknights
Mirlandraskitchen / Instagram

Anything that is sweet and sticky is usually a huge hit with the family! This sticky honey garlic shrimp can be made in minutes and tastes better than processed restaurant food. Shrimp cooks in under 2 minutes, so it’s the perfect ingredient for weeknight dinner recipes. Serve this shrimp with rice, broccoli or snow peas for a complete dinner. If you can, don’t skimp on the fresh scallions – they really bring this dinner recipe over the finish line!

Crab, Strawberry and Avocado Tacos

15 minute dinner recipes perfect for busy weeknights
Gemtakesfoodpics / Instagram

Ok – stay with me here! Sweet crab pairs perfectly with strawberries and fatty avocado for a quick weeknight crab strawberry avocado taco dinner recipe. This combination makes for a bright and mouthwatering taco filling that will surprise and delight your family. Hard taco shells are suggested to add some crunch and texture. You can buy already cooked lump crab meat at the store and then simply assemble these tacos after a long day.

Easy Fish Veracruz

15 minute dinner recipes perfect for busy weeknights
Amindfullmom / Instagram

Tilapia is such an inexpensive fish and so versatile. It’s perfect for recipes like fish sticks – these from Jennifer Garner are so tasty – or for this savory fish Veracruz-style recipe. Green olives and fresh lime come together in this tomato-based salsa sauce that packs so much flavor in a short cooking time. Serve this with tortillas or crusty bread for an easy 15-minute weeknight dinner.

Harissa Shrimp with Cauliflower and Broccoli Couscous

15 minute dinner recipes perfect for busy weeknights
Healthfulblondie / Instagram

Healthy and fast sounds too good to be true, but it’s possible with this Harissa shrimp dinner recipe. It’s packed with flavorful protein, and it’s paleo-friendly and gluten-free. It works because the riced veggies are so small, they cook up in no time! And shrimp cooks especially fast once it’s seasoned and ready to go. Get yourself a good food processor, like this one from Amazon, to save time chopping your produce, or buy cauliflower and broccoli from your grocer already riced and ready to cook.

Baked Salmon with Garlic and Cilantro Sauce

15 minute dinner recipes perfect for busy weeknights
Themediterraneandish / Instagram

This isn’t your standard salmon recipe, but it’s anything but complicated. Make this baked salmon with garlic and cilantro sauce and feed the whole family a bright and beautiful dinner that is healthy. Baking salmon is almost fool-proof – it’s difficult to mess it up. You can easily add some fresh herbs and veggies and have a delicious healthy dinner after a long day. Trying pairing this with some baked potatoes made in the microwave for an easy and filling side dish.

15 Minute Veggie Dinner Recipes

Chickpea “Tuna” Melts

15 minute dinner recipes perfect for busy weeknights
Zardyplants / Instagram

If there is “melt” in the dinner recipe name, kids will be more into it! Sandwiches (and especially sandwiches with cheese) are a winning dinner that kids will ask for again and again. This chickpea sandwich melt recipe uses garbanzo beans instead of tuna, but it’s just as tasty as your favorite diner’s tuna melt. Canned chickpeas and mayo make for an easy filling that comes together in minutes. Place that filling on top of your favorite bread and melt slices of cheese for a comforting dinner everyone will love.

Harissa Bean and Feta Stew

15 minute dinner recipes perfect for busy weeknights
Amysheppardfood / Instagram

Stews and soups can be a great way to cook in batches and have meals for days. They can be so warm and comforting, but usually take a few hours to cook. Luckily, this recipe for harissa and bean stew comes together in minutes and tastes like it’s been cooking all day. With ingredients like peppers, beans, feta and tomatoes, this stew doesn’t skimp on flavor. Harissa paste is the key to this stew – if you can’t find it in your local store, order it on Amazon here.

Portobello Pizzas

15 minute dinner recipes perfect for busy weeknights
Jam_jar_kitchen / Instagram

Low carb pizza in 15 minutes? We’re all ears! This seriously easy pizza recipe using portobello mushrooms is a delicious weeknight dinner that comes together quickly. Topping portobello mushrooms with sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni and fresh herbs is a quick way to get dinner on the table and win over the family. If you are on a low-carb diet, this recipe wins extra points for meeting those needs too.

Pinto Pecan Taco Lettuce Boats

15 minute dinner recipes perfect for busy weeknights
Rhubarbariansblog / Instagram

This healthy recipe for pinto pecan taco boats will win over any meat eater. Protein is found in more than just meat – beans and nuts are a great way to add variety to your diet. Pinto beans and pecans are both heart-healthy meat replacements. This recipe is hearty, flavorful and fresh – and you can always customize the toppings to anyone’s tastes. Add avocado, sour cream, hot sauce, jalapenos or salsa.

One-Pot Mac and Cheese

15 minute dinner recipes perfect for busy weeknights
Thecookierookie / Instagram

We didn’t know macaroni and cheese could come together in 15 minutes, but with this recipe, it can! It’s made in one pot, making the clean-up just as quick as the cooking. And it’s mac and cheese, so it’s 100% kid-friendly. You can even top it with meat if you’d like – bacon, ground beef and ham are all great additions that won’t add to the total cooking time.

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Hummus Pita Pizzas

15 minute dinner recipes perfect for busy weeknights
Memorablebites / Instagram

Pita pizzas are a quick and easy dinner. Topping pitas with hummus, veggies and cheese is a fantastic new idea to change up family pizza night! Put out bowls with multiple toppings and let the kids pick what they want on their pitas. You can include different hummus flavors, chopped veggies and crumbled cheeses. Everyone is happy with a custom, make-your-own pizza and the hummus and cheese are great sources of protein.

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