28 Quick Dinners (in 30 Minutes or Less!)

All it takes is half an hour and dinner's ready
Published October 1, 2021

Busy days and nights can make it tempting to reach for takeout or just a mishmash of random snacks in lieu of a home-cooked meal (anyone else ever have hummus for dinner? *raises hand*), but this collection of 30-minute dinners has your back.

Whipping up a nourishing, delicious meal doesn't have to be a drag. With the help of some simple 30-minute recipes, a few smart tricks up your sleeve, and a well-stocked pantry, you can be a weeknight dinner warrior and leave the hummus for snack time.

5 simple tips for getting a 30-minute meal on the table:

  1. Multi-task: Try to have a couple of things going/happening at the same time (but don't drive yourself nuts). Make sure your oven is preheating or that your pot of water is heating on the stovetop while you do your prep work. If you're planning on roasting veggies as a side, make sure those are in the oven while you sear your protein on the cooktop. Efficiency is key.
  2. Keep it simple: Try to riff on familiar favorites so you know exactly what to expect as you're putting together the meal. Save the experimental recipes for nights when you have a little more time to concentrate.
  3. Be prepared: Gather up all the ingredients and equipment/special tools you'll need before starting the recipe so you're not scrambling as things are cooking and so that you know if you're missing anything and have to improvise.
  4. Know what's coming up: In that same vein, if you are using a new recipe or one you don't have memorized by heart, read it through a couple of times to make sure you understand the order of the steps and what to expect. It'll also help reduce the number of times you need to stop what you're doing to consult the recipe.
  5. Stay organized and tidy: Place dirty tools in the dishwasher or sink as soon as you're done with them to get them our of your way and put ingredients back in the pantry or fridge once you've taken what you need. The less cluttered your countertops, the quicker you'll be able to navigate your kitchen and keep things moving along.

Sherry Rujikarn is the Food Director at WW, where she oversees cookbooks and recipe content. She has spent her career developing and testing recipes, identifying and exploring food trends, and teaching home cooks about all things food-related.