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30 Minute Dinner Ideas

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We've got the best 30-minute dinner ideas for your busy weeknights! These easy recipes will make weeknight cooking a cinch.

If you're like us, you want to eat great food but don't want to spend hours cooking during the week.

We've got loads of ideas for 30-minute meals, including chicken recipes, seafood dishes, pasta recipes, soups, main course salads, and more.

chicken with orzo and lemons in a cast iron skillet.

30-Minute Chicken Recipes

  • Lemon Chicken with Orzo - This lemon chicken with orzo recipe is a delicious weeknight meal. It takes less than 30 minutes to make, a large chunk of which is hands-off time.
  • Baked Caprese Chicken - This delicious baked Caprese chicken recipe combines juicy chicken breasts, mozzarella balls, cherry tomatoes, and pesto for a flavorful meal!
  • Quick & Easy Chicken Tikka Masala - This creamy, delicious chicken tikka masala is ready in about 30 minutes, making it a perfect weeknight meal. Serve it with naan or rice for a delightful meal.
  • Lemon Pepper Chicken Thighs - These lemon pepper chicken thighs are a zesty and delicious weeknight meal. They're so juicy and flavorful while still be really easy to make!

30-Minute Pasta Recipes

  • Roasted Veggie Pasta with Feta - This creamy veggie pasta recipe is made with roasted vegetables, feta, baby arugula, and chunky pasta.
  • Broccoli Pasta Recipe - This wonderful broccoli pasta recipe is made with parmesan, fusilli, and a bunch of broccoli.
  • Lemon Chicken Pasta - This easy lemon chicken pasta is full of flavor! It's a delicious, weeknight meal that you will love. The bright flavor of the lemon, mixed with the subtle leeks, spinach, and parmesan is unbelievably good!
  • Orzo and Chicken Salad Recipe - This orzo salad with shredded chicken, bell peppers, olives, and a wholegrain mustard dressing is such a wonderful lunch recipe!
  • Butternut Squash Pasta - This butternut squash pasta with toasted panko and sage is a creamy, delicious recipe. It's ready in less than 30 minutes, so it's a perfect weeknight meal!
  • Roasted Red Pepper Pasta - This creamy roasted red pepper pasta recipe is made with roasted red peppers, penne, parmesan, onion, and garlic.
A bowl of Mediterranean chickpea salad.

30-Minute Main Course Salad Recipes

  • Mediterranean Chickpea Salad - This 15-minute Mediterranean chickpea salad with feta is a fantastic recipe that's quick to pull together.
  • Green Goddess Cabbage Salad - This delicious green goddess cabbage salad is a wonderful combination of finely diced cabbage, green onions, cucumbers, chives, and a creamy dressing.
  • Chickpea Salad with Cucumber - This easy chickpea cucumber and feta salad is ready in about 15 minutes! It's a great light lunch for two or a side dish for four.
  • Delicious Bean Salad - This easy bean salad recipe is made with white beans, tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, radishes, and more!
  • Mediterranean Salmon Salad - Tender salmon combines with crisp Romaine lettuce, juicy tomatoes and cucumbers, and much more for a delicious Mediterranean salmon salad recipe.
A closeup shot of a bowl of bulgogi ground beef.

30-Minute Ground Beef Recipes

  • Ground Beef Bulgogi - This delicious ground beef bulgogi recipe is ready in only 20 minutes! It's an easy, healthy weeknight meal that's a family favorite.
  • Thai Green Curry Meatballs - These Thai green curry meatballs with carrots are a healthier dinner recipe you're going to love.
dumpling soup in a bowl with chopsticks

30-Minute Soup Recipes

  • Dumpling Soup Recipe - This delicious dumpling soup recipe is made with potstickers, instant dashi, shredded carrots, bok choy, chili oil, sesame seeds, and green onions.
  • White Bean Soup Recipe - This white bean soup recipe is easy to make and ready in less than 30 minutes. It's a fresh, healthy meal that is full of flavor.
  • Mexican Veggie Soup - This awesome Mexican veggie soup is full of healthy, hearty ingredients, like tomatoes, onions, black beans, red bell pepper, corn, and chipotle chilis.
  • Udon Noodle Soup - This udon noodle soup is a wonderful, cozy meal. It's perfect for a night when you want a warm, brothy bowl that's fast.
  • Black Bean Soup - This delicious black bean soup is one of our favorite recipes! It's naturally vegan and gluten-free. It's an awesome weeknight meal.
  • Chickpea Stew Recipe - This fantastic chickpea stew is veggie-heavy with tomatoes, chard, and bell pepper.
Ground pork stir fry in a black skillet.

Comfort Food Meals

  • Ground Pork Stir Fry - This delicious ground pork stir fry recipe is perfect for a weeknight meal. It's so savory and the combination of aromatics, soy sauce, and rice wine vinegar is very satisfying. The best part is, it's ready in less than 30 minutes!
  • Coconut Lentil Curry - This coconut lentil curry recipe is a hearty, vegan recipe. It's got wonderful flavors and spices. It's so easy to make!
  • Corn and Leek Fritters Recipe - This corn and leek fritter recipe is delicious and ready in 30 minutes! These fritters are perfect for lunch or a light dinner.
  • Chickpea Spinach Curry - This chickpea spinach curry is bursting with flavor and is ready in less than 30 minutes. It's going to be your new favorite weeknight meal!

30-Minute Seafood Recipes

  • Coconut Crusted Tilapia - This coconut crusted tilapia recipe is richly flavorful and wonderfully spiced. You can make this recipe with any white fish fillet.
  • Sheet Pan Salmon Recipe - This sheet pan salmon with haricots verts and radishes and a mustardy dressing is an easy weeknight meal.
  • Blackened Tilapia - This spicy blackened tilapia recipe is ready in minutes! The seasoning and sautéing of this dish combine to make a delicious, tender fish.
  • Shrimp Summer Rolls - These tasty shrimp summer rolls are made with crunchy cucumber, rice vermicelli noodles, and lots of fresh herbs. They're fun to make and absolutely delicious.
  • Baked Parmesan Panko Cod Recipe - This delicious crispy baked cod recipe with parmesan and panko is the best way to make cod! It's easy to pull together and results in the tenderest, most flavorful cod.
Yield: 4 servings

30 Minute Dinner Ideas - Chicken and Orzo

30 Minute Dinner Ideas - Chicken and Orzo

Try one of our favorite 30-minute dinner ideas! This delicious lemon chicken orzo recipe is fantastic.

Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 2 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • ½ preserved lemon, diced, seeds removed
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup uncooked orzo
  • ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley


  1. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Sprinkle half the salt and pepper on top of the chicken things. 
  3. Add chicken thighs to the skillet and brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side.
  4. Remove the chicken thighs and add the lemon, tomatoes, chicken stock, orzo, and remaining salt and pepper to the skillet. Stir to combine.
  5. Nestle the chicken back into the orzo mixture and bring to a simmer.
  6. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and test the temperature of the chicken.
  7. Cook, uncovered, until chicken reaches 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer.
  8. Top with the parmesan and parsley and serve. 
  9. The chicken and orzo will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 621Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 230mgSodium: 1282mgCarbohydrates: 51gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gProtein: 54g

Tell us your favorite 30-minute dinners in the comments below!

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