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20 Easy Dinner Ideas For When You're Not Sure What To Make

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Zoë Burnett / BuzzFeed

We recently asked the BuzzFeed Community for their go-to easy dinner ideas — the ones perfect for busy nights where you don't want to spend hours in the kitchen, but still want something more substantial than, say, a PB&J. Here are some of their picks, along with several of our favorites! 🍝

1. Easiest One-Pot Beef with Broccoli

damndelicious.net

Slicing the beef into small pieces first means everything cooks through in about five minutes. Recipe here.

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2. Black Bean–Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

foodwithfeeling.com

It's packed with protein and fiber, and you can add toppings — like avocado or sour cream — depending on what's in your fridge. Recipe here.

3. Bowties & Broccoli

budgetbytes.com

The trinity of weeknight dinners: fast, cheap, and easy. Recipe here.

4. Sheet Pan Sausage & Veggies

chelseasmessyapron.com

Line the sheet pan with parchment or foil for the quickest cleanup — then serve over rice, stuffed into a pita, or on its own. Recipe here.

5. Upgraded Ramen

Taylor Miller / BuzzFeed

It takes all of five minutes to fry some bacon + an egg. (Plus some green onions if you're feelin' fancy.) Recipe here.

6. Vegan Chickpea Shakshuka

minimalistbaker.com

This vegan-friendly version swaps eggs for protein-packed chickpeas, and makes enough for four. Recipe here.

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7. Pesto Chicken Bake

simplysissom.com

Doesn't get much easier than this, TBH. Recipe here.

8. Ground Turkey Skillet with Green Beans

primaverakitchen.com

This recipe uses lean ground turkey as the base — but you could also swap in ground beef or chicken, tofu, or mushrooms. Recipe here.

9. Loaded Sheet Pan Nachos

budgetbytes.com

These are super customizable — depending on your time or budget. Either stick to the inexpensive base: tortilla chips, black beans, canned tomatoes, and cheese. Or upgrade with the works: jalapeños, pickled onions, sour cream, and anything else you might want. Recipe here.

10. 10-Minute Lemon Garlic Salmon & Asparagus

gimmedelicious.com

Not an asparagus fan? The simple lemon and garlic sauce would work with whatever greens are in your fridge — like spinach, broccoli florets, or zucchini. Recipe here.

11. Tuna & Avocado Wrap

eatyourselfskinny.com

Canned tuna gets a quick upgrade with hot sauce, Dijon, and green onions — piled into whole wheat tortillas. (You could also swap in bread, pita pockets, or just eat them as lettuce wraps.) Recipe here.

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12. BBQ Meatloaf & Veggie Dinner

budgetbytes.com

Perfect for meal preppers. Recipe here.

13. Scrambled Egg, Parmesan, and Asparagus Toast

wellplated.com

Breakfast for dinner = always a good idea. Recipe here.

14. White Pizza with Pesto

budgetbytes.com

The whole thing is ready in less time than it takes for delivery to arrive. Recipe here.

15. Stuffed Bell Pepper Boats

skinnyms.com

These go from prep to plate in about 20 minutes. Keep the peppers whole, or slice them into bites (or "boats") to turn them into kid-friendly finger food. Recipe here.

16. Mac 'n' Cheese with Chicken and Broccoli

lovegrowswild.com

To save even more time, use store-bought rotisserie chicken. Recipe here.

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17. Chicken & Veggie Meal Prep Bowls

pinchofyum.com

Cubing the chicken first means that everything cooks through really quickly. You can also make a double batch and have plenty of leftovers for the week ahead. Recipe here.

18. Roasted Veggie & Black Bean Tacos

cookingclassy.com

This budget-friendly version takes pantry staples — like black beans and canned corn — and roasts everything on a sheet pan. Recipe here.

19. Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken

familyfreshmeals.com

Heads up that this one does have to cook for a few hours, so you'll need to plan accordingly. But it's a true drop-and-go dinner — and basically makes itself. Recipe here.

20. 15-Minute Lo Mein

pinchofyum.com

Better than takeout — and better for you, too. For extra protein and fiber, swap in soba noodles. Recipe here.

What's your go-to easy dinner? Tell us in the comments below!

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