Looking for fast, easy, delicious meals at the end of a long day? Check out these 45 Best Family-Friendly 30-Minute Meals for Busy Weeknights!
We all have those crazy busy nights. Maybe there are dueling kids' sports practices or games. Work is running late and you're up against a tight deadline. When you have just 30 to 45 minutes MAX to pull together dinner for the whole family, what do you do?
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Getting a full, home-cooked dinner on the table at the end of a long work day can be quite the challenge. Even working from home, I often find myself scrambling at dinner time. The dreaded "what should we have for dinner?" question is asked and answered with a head scratch and a sigh all too often.
Fast Family-Friendly 30-Minute Meals to the rescue
Thanks to some of my fellow food blogger friends, I've compiled a list of recipes to help us all answer the dreaded "what's for dinner?" dilemma.
And for those of us with kids, that dilemma can be extra challenging. There are additional individual tastes, whims, intolerances, and allergies to consider.
To me, family-friendly recipes are recipes that can be done in less than an hour (these are all 30 minutes or less!). They are recipes that include common ingredients that you might already have in your fridge, freezer, or pantry. And, they are recipes that don't cost an arm and a leg.
I broke these fast, family-friendly recipes up into categories to make it easier to find what you're looking for on any particular night. Feel free to click on the link below to jump ahead to a specific recipe category.
Search recipes by category
- Beef and Pork Recipes
- Chicken Recipes
- Seafood Recipes
- Pasta Recipes
- Instant Pot Recipes
- Soups, Risotto, and Fried Rice Recipes
- Asian Noodles
- Vegetarian Recipes
Beef is a hearty and delicious meat protein source. It's also an awesome source of Vitamin B, iron, zinc, selenium, and niacin.
- Garlic Butter Brazilian Steak from Whisk It Real Gud
- Cheesy Ground Beef Quesadillas from Girl Heart Food
- Carne Asada Burrito from Pinch and Swirl
- Asian Steak Bites and Potatoes from Delightful Plate
- Sheet Pan Pork Tenderloin and Vegetables from Good Life Eats
- Sausage Tortellini Soup from Urban Bliss Life
Pizza Pinwheels from Ruffles and Rainboots
Other cuts of beef you might enjoy: brisket,
Chicken is one of the most popular sources of meat protein around the world. These fast and easy chicken recipes show you just how versatile and tasty chicken dinners can be!
One of my favorite cuts of meat is boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Wallet-friendly and oh so versatile. The recipes use a variety of cuts of chicken, from chicken thighs to drumsticks to chicken breasts.
- Easy Chicken Tacos from Midwest Foodie Blog
- Chicken Piccata with Baby Arugula from The Organic Kitchen
- Thai Peanut Curry from Urban Bliss Life
- Air Fryer Chicken Tenders from Little Sunny Kitchen
- Baked Honey Mustard Chicken from Good Life Eats
- Hawaiian Pineapple Chicken from Whiskey and Sunshine
- Easy 30-Minute Chicken Marsala from Home and Plate
- 30-Minute Chicken Green Curry from The Roasted Root
- Salmon and Vegetables Foil Packets from Savory Nothings
- Easy Shrimp Scampi from The Gay Globetrotter
- Tuna Tomato Pasta from Neil's Healthy Meals
- Easy Shrimp and Broccoli Pasta from Salt and Lavender
When I'm in a pinch, I can always count on a pasta recipe for a fast, easy, delicious family-friendly 30-minute meal.
- One Pot Chili Mac and Cheese from Sugar and Soul
- Bucatini Cacio e Pepe with Prosciutto from Hostess at Heart
- Rigatoni with Italian Sausage from Urban Bliss Life
- Simple Pasta with Peas from Veggie Desserts
- Taco Pasta Salad from Smells Like Home
- Cheesy Sausage Gnocchi from Joy Food Sunshine
- Pepperoni Pizza Hamburger Helper from Pumpkin N Spice
- Healthy Instant Pot Moroccan Chicken from Urban Bliss Life
- Instant Pot Orange Chicken from Sustainable Cooks
- Instant Pot Tuscan Chicken Pasta from Urban Bliss Life
- Pasta Fagioli (Instant Pot) from Spice Cravings
Find my latest Ninja Foodi recipes and Instant Pot recipes here.
Soups, Risotto, and Fried Rice Recipes
- Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili from Shane and Simple
- "Instant" Miso Ramen with Poached Eggs from My Kitchen Love
- Barley Risotto with Italian Sausage and Peppers from A Communal Table
- One Pot Chicken Taco Rice from Organized Island
- Meal Prep: Shrimp Fried Rice from Mom Advice
- Filipino Bacon Fried Rice from Urban Bliss Life
- Simple Pork Cauliflower Rice from The Fit Cookie
- Pan Fried Garlic Prawns from Greedy Gourmet
- Fresh Sushi Spring Rolls from Vibrant Plate
Noodles are always reliable for quick and yummy meals. Here are some better-than-takeout recipes!
- Quick and Easy Pad Thai from Play Party Plan
- Shrimp Lo Mein from Urban Bliss Life
- Stir Fry Noodles from Contentedness Cooking
- Instant Kimchi Noodle Soup from Spa Bettie
- Vegetarian Fajitas from Cadry's Kitchen
- Simple and Delicious Corn Fritters from Goodie Goodie Lunch Box
Which if these are your favorite family-friendly 30-minute meals?