10 Quickest Dinners You Can Make in Less Than 20 Minutes

Quickest Dinners

In today’s fast-paced world, whipping up a delicious and nutritious dinner in a hurry is a skill we all wish we had. Whether you’re a busy professional, a parent on the go, or just someone looking for quick and easy dinner ideas, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll be sharing 10 lightning-fast dinner recipes that can be prepared in less than 20 minutes. Say goodbye to the take-out menu and hello to satisfying meals that will have you sitting down at the table in no time.

Exploring Fast Dinner Ideas

Quickest Dinners

Sometimes, we need quicker solutions to our mealtime dilemmas. When the clock is ticking and the family gathers around the table, fast dinner ideas become a lifesaver. Dive into these innovative recipes that take the concept of quickest dinners to the next level. From vegetarian options that satisfy even the littlest of taste buds to high-protein solutions that keep your health goals on track, these recipes offer a plethora of options to keep everyone’s cravings at bay.

1. Creamy Garlic Parmesan Pasta

When the clock is ticking, pasta comes to the rescue! Our Creamy Garlic Parmesan Pasta is a simple yet comforting dinner option that’s perfect for those busy weeknights. In just under 20 minutes, you can have a plate of perfectly cooked pasta smothered in a rich, creamy garlic Parmesan sauce.


  • 8 oz pasta of your choice
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped parsley for garnish


  1. Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and sauté until fragrant.
  3. Pour in the heavy cream and bring to a simmer.
  4. Stir in the grated Parmesan cheese until the sauce is smooth and creamy.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Toss the cooked pasta in the creamy sauce until well coated.
  7. Serve hot, garnished with chopped parsley.

2. Speedy Stir-Fry with Veggies and Tofu/Chicken

Vegetable Dish

Stir-fries are the unsung heroes of quick cooking. With their vibrant colors and bold flavors, they’re a great way to get a balanced meal on the table in minutes. Try this Speedy Stir-Fry with Veggies and Tofu or Chicken for a satisfying and nutritious dinner.


  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 8 oz firm tofu or boneless chicken breast, cubed
  • 2 cups mixed vegetables (bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, snap peas)
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Sesame seeds for garnish


  1. Heat oil in a skillet or wok over high heat.
  2. Add tofu or chicken and cook until golden brown or cooked through. Remove from the pan.
  3. In the same pan, add a bit more oil if needed and stir-fry the mixed vegetables until crisp-tender.
  4. Return the tofu or chicken to the pan.
  5. In a bowl, whisk together soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, minced ginger, and minced garlic.
  6. Pour the sauce over the stir-fry and toss to coat.
  7. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve over rice or noodles.

3. Caprese Salad with Grilled Chicken

Sometimes, a light and refreshing salad is all you need for a quick dinner fix. Our Caprese Salad with Grilled Chicken combines the flavors of juicy tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil, and perfectly grilled chicken for a delightful meal that’s ready in minutes.


  • 2 boneless chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 large tomatoes, sliced
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Balsamic glaze for drizzling


  1. Preheat a grill or stovetop grill pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Season the chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and olive oil.
  3. Grill the chicken for about 4-5 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.
  4. Assemble the salad by layering tomato slices, mozzarella slices, and fresh basil leaves on a plate.
  5. Place the grilled chicken on top of the salad.
  6. Drizzle with balsamic glaze and serve.

4. One-Pan Veggie Quesadillas

One-pan meals are a lifesaver when it comes to quick dinners. These One-Pan Veggie Quesadillas are loaded with colorful vegetables and gooey melted cheese, all cooked in a single skillet.


  • 4 large flour tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup mixed vegetables (bell peppers, onions, corn, spinach)
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional toppings: sour cream, salsa, guacamole


  1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the mixed vegetables and sauté until they are tender. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Remove the vegetables from the skillet and set aside.
  4. Place a tortilla in the skillet and sprinkle half of the shredded cheese on one side.
  5. Top with sautéed vegetables and the remaining cheese.
  6. Fold the tortilla in half and cook until the cheese is melted and the tortilla is golden brown on both sides.
  7. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and fillings.
  8. Cut the quesadillas into wedges and serve with your favorite toppings.

5. Mediterranean Chickpea Wrap

Chickpea Wrap

Wraps are a fantastic way to get a variety of flavors and textures in one convenient package. This Mediterranean Chickpea Wrap is filled with protein-rich chickpeas, fresh veggies, and tangy yogurt sauce.


  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 whole wheat wraps or tortillas
  • Mixed greens
  • Sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions
  • Yogurt sauce (Greek yogurt, minced garlic, lemon juice, chopped dill)
  • Crumbled feta cheese


  1. In a bowl, mix chickpeas with olive oil, lemon juice, dried oregano, salt, and pepper.
  2. Warm the wraps or tortillas according to package instructions.
  3. Assemble the wraps by layering mixed greens, sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, and red onions.
  4. Add a scoop of the seasoned chickpeas.
  5. Drizzle with yogurt sauce and sprinkle crumbled feta cheese.
  6. Fold in the sides of the wrap and roll it up tightly.

6. Quick and Tasty Fried Rice

Leftover rice and a handful of ingredients can quickly turn into a flavorful and satisfying dinner. This Quick and Tasty Fried Rice recipe is not only a great way to use up leftover rice but also a fantastic canvas for adding in your favorite veggies and proteins.


  • 2 cups cooked rice (preferably chilled)
  • 1 cup cooked protein (chicken, shrimp, tofu, etc.), diced
  • 1 cup mixed vegetables (peas, carrots, bell peppers, etc.)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Green onions for garnish
  • Optional: sesame seeds, Sriracha sauce


  1. Heat oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat.
  2. Add minced garlic and sauté until fragrant.
  3. Push the garlic to the side of the pan and pour in the beaten eggs. Scramble until cooked.
  4. Add mixed vegetables and cooked protein to the pan. Stir-fry until the vegetables are tender.
  5. Add the chilled cooked rice to the pan, breaking up any clumps.
  6. Pour soy sauce over the rice and stir-fry for a few minutes until everything is well combined and heated through.
  7. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Garnish with chopped green onions and sesame seeds if desired.
  9. Serve with a drizzle of Sriracha sauce for extra kick.

7. 10-Minute Margherita Flatbread Pizza

Craving pizza but don’t have time to wait for delivery? This 10-Minute Margherita Flatbread Pizza is the answer. Using pre-made flatbread as the base, you can have a satisfying pizza topped with fresh ingredients in no time.


  • 2 pre-made flatbreads
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Sliced tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
  2. Place the flatbreads on a baking sheet.
  3. Spread tomato sauce over the flatbreads, leaving a border around the edges.
  4. Sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese over the sauce.
  5. Arrange sliced tomatoes on top of the cheese.
  6. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for about 8-10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  8. Remove from the oven and top with fresh basil leaves.
  9. Slice and serve.

8. Speedy Black Bean Tacos

vegetable salad on white ceramic plate

Tacos are a fantastic dinner option for busy nights. These Speedy Black Bean Tacos are not only quick to prepare but also loaded with protein and fiber from the black beans.


  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 small taco-sized flour tortillas
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Sliced avocado
  • Shredded cheese
  • Salsa
  • Lime wedges


  1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add black beans, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Cook for a few minutes until heated through and well seasoned.
  3. Warm the tortillas according to package instructions.
  4. Assemble the tacos by placing a spoonful of black beans in each tortilla.
  5. Top with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, sliced avocado, shredded cheese, and salsa.
  6. Squeeze a lime wedge over each taco for an extra burst of flavor.

9. Quick and Healthy Turkey and Avocado Wraps

Looking for a protein-packed dinner that’s also healthy and delicious? These Quick and Healthy Turkey and Avocado Wraps are the perfect solution. They’re packed with lean turkey, creamy avocado, and crisp veggies for a well-rounded meal.


  • 8 oz sliced turkey breast
  • 2 large whole wheat wraps or tortillas
  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced
  • Mixed greens
  • Sliced cucumbers
  • Sliced red onions
  • Greek yogurt or light mayo
  • Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a small bowl, mix Greek yogurt or light mayo with Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper to taste. This will be your dressing.
  2. Lay out the wraps or tortillas on a flat surface.
  3. Spread a thin layer of the dressing over each wrap.
  4. Layer sliced turkey, avocado, mixed greens, sliced cucumbers, and sliced red onions on each wrap.
  5. Roll up the wraps tightly, folding in the sides as you go.
  6. Slice in half and serve.

10. Instant Noodle Stir-Fry

Instant Noodle Stir-Fry

Instant noodles aren’t just for dorm rooms – they can be transformed into a gourmet dinner in minutes. This Instant Noodle Stir-Fry takes a humble package of noodles and turns it into a flavorful and satisfying dish.


  • 2 packs instant noodles (discard the seasoning packets)
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 cup cooked protein (shrimp, chicken, tofu, etc.)
  • 1 cup mixed vegetables (bell peppers, carrots, peas, etc.)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Optional: chopped green onions, sesame seeds


  1. Cook the instant noodles according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a skillet or wok over medium-high heat.
  3. Add cooked protein and mixed vegetables to the skillet. Stir-fry until heated through.
  4. Add the cooked instant noodles to the skillet.
  5. In a bowl, whisk together soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sesame oil.
  6. Pour the sauce over the noodles and stir-fry for a few minutes, ensuring everything is well coated.
  7. Serve hot, garnished with chopped green onions and sesame seeds if desired.

Express Dinner Delights

In fast and delicious dinners, few things beat the convenience of stovetop wonders. Picture this: sizzling pans, the aroma of savory spices, and a wholesome meal ready in no time. Stovetop magic isn’t just reserved for the culinary elite; it’s an art anyone can master. From succulent salmon fillets seared to perfection to a vibrant spinach-infused pasta, these recipes redefine the essence of express cooking. Within the hustle and bustle of daily life, these stovetop gems promise not just a meal but a culinary experience that’s easy on time and budget.

Let’s delve into the realm of express dinners further with a focus on budget-friendly options. When you’re in a pinch and counting your pennies, fear not! Crafting a delightful dinner can be both fast and economical. From pocket-friendly chicken stir-fries to easy pasta recipes that won’t break the bank, these budget-conscious dinner ideas showcase that you can whip up a delicious meal without sacrificing flavor or financial prudence. So, let’s explore the budget-friendly side of express dinners, where every bite is a testament to the fact that good meals don’t have to come with a hefty price tag.

Speedy Meal Solutions

a woman stirring a pot with a wooden spoon

The demand for speedy meal solutions has never been more palpable. It’s not just about putting a meal on the table; it’s about crafting a culinary masterpiece in the blink of an eye. For those craving a touch of elegance in their quick dinners, imagine a symphony of flavors in a lemon-infused chicken piccata. This speedy recipe transcends the ordinary, offering a gourmet experience without the lengthy preparation. Fast doesn’t mean compromising on taste; it means unlocking the potential to create restaurant-worthy meals in the comfort of your kitchen.

Let’s shift our focus to the versatility of quick and easy meals. The beauty of speedy meal solutions lies in their adaptability. Whether you’re a carnivore or a devoted follower of the plant-based movement, there’s a swift and satisfying meal waiting for you. These recipes showcase the art of fast cooking with options like a spinach and feta stuffed chicken or a lightning-fast spinach and chickpea pasta. Speedy meal solutions are not just about the minutes on the clock; they’re about the variety and vibrancy you can infuse into your daily meals, proving that fast can indeed be fabulous.

Quick and Satisfying Dinners

The essence of these recipes lies not just in the speed of preparation but in the harmonious blend of flavors that dance on your palate. Imagine a world where a one-pan salmon and vegetable medley becomes your go-to recipe for a wholesome dinner. Quick doesn’t mean compromising on nutrition; it means embracing the efficiency of cooking while delivering a meal that nourishes and delights.

Now, let’s explore the ease of incorporating these quick and satisfying dinners into your weekly meal plans. With recipes that can be easily integrated into your cooking routine, the concept of fast meals evolves into a sustainable and enjoyable habit. Consider the simplicity of a make-ahead pasta salad with a medley of fresh vegetables or a grilled chicken and quinoa bowl that effortlessly transitions from dinner to lunch the next day. Quick and satisfying dinners become a lifestyle, a testament to the joy of cooking without the fuss.

Conclusion: Quickest Dinners

Dinner doesn’t have to be a time-consuming endeavor. With these 10 quickest dinner recipes, you can whip up a delicious and satisfying meal in less than 20 minutes. From creamy pasta to protein-packed wraps, there’s something for everyone on the table. Say goodbye to the take-out menu and embrace the joy of preparing fast, flavorful, and budget-friendly dinners that the whole family will love. So, the next time you find yourself short on time but craving something delicious, turn to these dinner ideas and make cooking a breeze. Your taste buds and your schedule will thank you!

More healthy meals for you…

10 Healthy and Creative Vegetable Pasta Dishes for Meatless Mondays

8 Summer Recipes for Vegetarians

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