18 Easy 30-Minute Weeknight Dinner Recipes

18 Easy 30-Minute Weeknight Dinner RecipesThis is about the time I start getting panicked emails from mom-friends who are paralyzed like a deer in the school bus headlights, having completely forgotten how to make a weeknight meal with substance that doesn’t require hours slaving in the kitchen to make it.  I befall this same fate, believe me.  The transition to the school year is digital, leaving no transition for kids and moms alike.  We have to spring into action to pack exciting, nutritious lunches AND make evening recipes that fuel and satisfy in a boot camp sort of fashion.

For me personally I like to feature a main recipe that I can easily build around with a simple green salad, steamed or roasted vegetables, fast grains like quinoa or rice.  At this time of year there are many fresh, raw options too of ‘crudité’ (with or without a dip), sliced fruit or a relaxed fruit salad of whatever is in season.  Weeknight dinners for those working, or parents, doesn’t need to be a big to do; it just needs to be filling, taste good and hopefully avail some nutrition in the process.

I’m sharing a little round up of some of my favorite quick recipes, all but a few are done start-to-finish in 30 minutes.  I’m a big fan of marinating meat overnight and have included a few of those too.  To me if I can spend 5 minutes before bed and then just cook the next day for dinner, even if it’s a few minutes over 30 minutes, it’s worth it.

At the risk of being considered a Grill-a-Holic after my summer full of grilling recipes, don’t forget something simple on the grill is a great choice too.  Keeps the kitchen cool, adds great flavor and most simple proteins like burgers, hot dogs, sausages, steaks, and chicken breasts are done in far less than 30 minutes (especially if using a gas grill where you can set the temperature and allow it to heat unattended like an oven).

Baked Coconut-Pecan Chicken Tenders {30 Minute Recipes} - BoulderLocavore.com

Baked Coconut-Pecan Chicken Tenders

Butternut Squash Noodles in Sage Brown Butter - BoulderLocavore.com

Butternut Squash Noodles in Sage Brown Butter

Tarragon Pesto Chicken - BoulderLocavore.com

Tarragon Pesto Chicken Breast with Dressed Greens

Fast and Healthy Orange and Romanesco Stir Fry with Clementines - BoulderLocavore.com

Orange Chicken and Romanesco Stir Fry with Clementimes (broccoli or cauliflower can be substituted if romanesco is not available)

Mini Taco Meatballs {appetizers} - BoulderLocavore.com

Mini Taco Meatballs (originally developed as an appetizer a serving of these along with a taco-themed iceburg lettuce-tomato salad would make a full meal; or add them to your favorite pasta with a simple spiced tomato sauce)

Smoky Ham Cheese Potato Frittata - BoulderLocavore.com

Smoky Ham and Cheese Potato Frittata

Muffin Tin Meatloaf with Mashed Potatoes | BoulderLocavore.com

Muffin Tin Meatloaf with Mashed Potatoes

Hawaiian Chopped Ham Salad | BoulderLocavore.com

Hawaiian Chopped Ham Salad

Jalapeno Ham Hash - BoulderLocavore.com

Jalapeno Ham Hash

Cheesy Ham and Black Bean Nachos | BoulderLocavore.com

Cheesy Ham and Black Bean Nachos (for a more casual one dish meal that is very filling)

Spiced Indian Cauliflower and Potatoes {Aloo Gobi} | BoulderLocavore.com

Spiced Indian Cauliflower and Potatoes Aloo Gobi (this hearty vegetarian dish could be augmented with sausage added into the dish itself or on the side for some more protein)

Spicy Garlic Sriracha Shrimp and Broccoli Stir Fry - BoulderLocavore.com

Spicy Garlic Sriracha Shrimp and Broccoli Stir Fry

Thai Chicken Thigh Basil-Quinoa Bowl. A light, filling dish with fantastic Thai flavors! - BoulderLocavore.com

Thai Chicken Thigh Basil Quinoa Bowls

Lean Turkey Black Bean Quinoa Burrito Bowls - BoulderLocavore.com

Lean Turkey Black Bean Quinoa Chipotle Burrito Bowls

Spicy Southwestern Steak Stir Fry with Cilantro-Lime Rice - BoulderLocavore.com

Spicy Southwestern Steak Stir Fly with Cilantro-Lime Rice

Fast and Fabulous Spicy Pineapple Shrimp Fried Rice. Healthy, fresh ingredients combine for a one skillet dish for busy nights! BoulderLocavore.com

Spicy Pineapple Shrimp Fried Rice

Spicy Cumin-Lime Pork Tenderloin - BoulderLocavore.com.

Spicy Cumin-Lime Pork Tenderloin

Peanut Encrusted Asian Pork Tenderloin BoulderLocavore.com

Peanut Encrusted Asian Pork Tenderloin


  1. Corie Jones says


    I hate cooking so this will make it quick and tasty all at the same time so please feel free to send all your 30 minute recipes our way, because I am sure i am not the only one whi would rather be crafting or playing with the kids instead of cooking ha ha. Thank you for posting this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *