Quick & hearty dinner recipes for cold winter nights

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Hey! What’s for dinner tonight?

Every single night dinner has to be made. Every single day that question comes up, and more often than not, the answer is, “I don’t know!” If you have ever not know what’s for dinner tonight, then read on!

It is always a struggle to come up with dinner ideas for the family when you’re tired and hungry. So, I have put together a list of easy dinner recipes that are quick, simple, and kid-friendly. So try a few recipes and add them to a dinner rotation so that the words “what’s for dinner tonight?” can be met with an answer and not a feeling of dread!

Quick Tip: If you find that one of these easy dinner recipes is perfect for your family, make sure you always have its ingredients in the house. Every time you make it, restock all the ingredients necessary and make sure they are always available. That way, there is always an easy dinner recipe that you can make without going to the store.

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1. One-Pot Vegan Pasta with Tomato Sauce

This incredibly simple, outrageously delicious and fast-as-lightning one-pot vegan pasta will be your new go-to meal to feed the family.

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2. One-Pot Hummus Pasta with Basil (Vegan)

This one-pot hummus pasta uses creamy hummus, fresh-squeezed lemon and herbaceous basil for a flavorful dish with minimal ingredients in 30 minutes!

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3. Hearty Mushroom Stew with Potatoes

Who says hearty has to mean heavy? This mushroom stew is hearty and filling but not too heavy. It’s meatless, earthy and absolutely bursting with flavor!

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4. Hearty Lentil Bolognese with Spaghetti

This vegan red lentil bolognese is a firm favorite for a healthy weeknight meal for a family!

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5. Mushroom Carbonara With Pancetta

Have a restaurant-quality meal in under an hour with this homemade mushroom carbonara with pancetta. This quick pasta recipe will surely become a family favorite.

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6. Paleo Turkey Meatballs

These gluten-free paleo turkey meatballs are moist, tender and delicious! Plus, they’re easy to make and ready in just 10 minutes. Making them a great low-carb snack or dinner recipe!

Image Credit: Vladimir Mironov/ iStock.

7. Albondigas Soup with Frozen Meatballs

Authentic albondigas are made with raw meatballs from scratch, but if you’re in a hurry, you can quickly use frozen meatballs instead. It’s a quick budget and a kid-friendly recipe for meatball soup.

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8. Tastiest Ever One Pot Beef Stroganoff

Quick and easy to make, this delicious beef stroganoff is a family favorite. It’s full of veggies and flavor!

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9. Chicken Taco Rice

One pot and deliciously simple, this chicken taco rice makes taco night fun, yummy and healthier! It’s the perfect weeknight family meal.

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10. Baked Vegan Mac & Cheese

This super-easy homemade baked vegan mac & cheese is a gluten-free and allergy-free recipe that will blow your mind! This healthy and dairy-free version of the classic is still ultra-creamy but secretly veggie-packed, kid-friendly and contains no nuts or soy! Comfort food that’s quick enough for any weeknight dinner

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11. Lemon Chickpea and Rice Casserole

A super easy dump-and-bake meatless meal for the family! This lemon chickpea and rice casserole is a healthy, hearty, vegan, gluten-free and allergy-free dinner idea! Dairy-free, creamy and zesty, you can make this casserole recipe ahead of time, is freezer-friendly and is a comforting weeknight meal everyone will love.

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12. Vegan Butter Chicken

This easy recipe for vegan butter chicken is a plant-based version of the classic Indian dish that’s completely dairy-free and made with chickpeas. These healthy Indian butter chickpeas are gluten-free, allergy-free, marinated in creamy yogurt and fragrant spices, finished in a single skillet with a tomato-based sauce in just 10 minutes!

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13. Quinoa ‘Mac’ & Cheese

Don’t be fooled; just because quinoa is swapped for traditional pasta, this is the creamy, incredibly cheesy mac and cheese of your childhood dreams. It is sure to be a crowd-pleaser!

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14. Skillet Butter Bean Recipe with Pizza Cheese & Spinach

This pizza is an easy, fast dinner made from canned butter beans, pizza cheese, baby spinach and a garlicky tomato sauce.

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15. Easy Beef Stroganoff

Simple beef stroganoff is one of the best family dinners. Made with fresh ingredients, this meal is filling and delicious.

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16. Mushroom Aglio Olio

This mushroom aglio olio is a quick, easy and budget-friendly dinner with just six ingredients. It’s on the table in twenty minutes.

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17. Easy Sheet Pan Chicken and Veggies

This sheet pan chicken and veggies recipe make the perfect weeknight dinner for busy moms! It’s an easy-to-make meal that’s so full of flavor that it’ll have your whole family begging for seconds!

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18. Easy Cola Chicken

With just four ingredients, this simple cola chicken recipecouldn’t be easier. Served with rice, it makes an economical, hearty meal for a family.

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19. Homemade Dirty Fries

Dirty fries are a tasty dinner recipe perfect for the whole family. Chips loaded with cheese and more are so easy to make and taste so good.

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20. Vegetarian Stroganoff

This delicious vegetarian mushroom stroganoff is a quick and easy dinner, perfect for meatless Monday!

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21. The Best Sloppy Joe Sliders

Whether you’re cooking for a crowd or a large family, these Sloppy Joe sliders cook fast and assemble easily to satisfy even the pickiest of cravings. Made to resemble your favorite sandwich as a kid but bite-size and brushed with the flavors adults expect, you’ll love these little sandwiches.

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22. Skillet Chicken & Biscuits

This is an easy dinner that the whole family loves. You can use a 1/2 a rotisserie chicken in this dish (and freeze the other half of the chicken in a Ziploc bag for next time!) You know I love meals that You can put in the freezer for later!

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23. One Pan Mexican Quinoa

This one pan Mexican quinoa is a hearty flavor-packed meal, and it’s a breeze to make. It’s a total weeknight winner that takes about 30 minutes on the stove, and you’ll only have to clean one pan!

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24. Vegan Tortilla Soup

This vegan tortilla soup is a hearty, Mexican-inspired meal that the whole family will love. It’s full of flavor and can be customized with an array of delicious toppings. It takes just 15 minutes to prep and 30 minutes on the stove!

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25. Sheet Pan Italian Sausage and Potatoes

For an easy weeknight meal, try this tasty Italian sausage and potatoes. Sweet Italian sausage, baby yellow potatoes, sweet bell peppers, and red onions are cooked all together on a sheet pan for easy prep and easy clean-up.

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26. Chicken Leg Quarters

You only need five ingredients and five minutes to put these chicken leg quarters together. This recipe is ridiculously easy, and the result is way more flavorful and delicious than you would imagine.

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27. 30 Minute Mexican Quinoa Skillet

Make a delicious twist on Mexican food, even if you have minimal ingredients in your fridge and pantry! This dish only takes 30 minutes and is definitely a crowd-pleaser!

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28. Pizza Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

This pizza grilled cheese is a super easy recipe that the kids can make themselves! This recipe serves six and costs $5.12 to make. That’s just 85 cents per serving!

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29. Tomato Basil Pasta

This tomato basil pasta recipe is great for busy weeknights. The heat from the pasta warms the rest of the dish. 15 minutes is all you need, folks. Now, who doesn’t love that?!

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30. Crockpot Shredded Chicken Tacos

These crockpot shredded chicken tacos are my go-to weeknight dinner. They’re juicy, flavorful and so easy to make.

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31. Homemade Sloppy Joes

Homemade Sloppy Joes is a classic dinner recipe that is easy to make and economical too! It takes less than 30 minutes to make and costs just $9.34 for six servings! So that’s just $1.56 per serving!

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32. Open-Faced Tuna Melt

These quick and easy open-faced tuna melts are made with cream cheese, no mayo, a little kick from the jalapenos and are the perfect last-minute dinner or lunch. But, of course, you can make them ahead and reheat them, so they’re also perfect for the lunch bag!

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33. Chicken Sweet Potato Bake

Chicken sweet potato bake is a rich, flavorful sheet pan dinner. Cooked with apples and rosemary, it’s fragrant, juicy, and delicious. This is an easy recipe with simple ingredients. Get dinner on the table fast with this one-pan meal.

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34. Udon Noodle Stir Fry

This udon noodle stir fry recipe is quick, easy and delicious! Made with fresh veggies, thinly sliced beef and a homemade stir fry sauce that is sure to become a household favorite.

Image Credit: Tatiana Volgutova / iStock.

35. Spicy Moroccan Ground Beef and Potato Pie

Moroccan ground beef and potato pie features ground beef and hash brown potatoes seasoned with a Moroccan-inspired spice blend. Add a homemade pie crust for a dinner your family will love!

Image Credit: Rimma_Bondarenko /iStock.

36. Baked Spaghetti Casserole

Baked spaghetti casserole is the easiest (not to mention the neatest) way to serve spaghetti to the table! It’s made up of spaghetti noodles coated in parmesan and butter, and easy marinara meat sauce, savory cottage cheese and a topping of stretchy mozzarella.

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37. Chicken Chow Mein

Your favorite Chinese restaurant is going to miss you. But, with this easy chicken chow mein recipe, you’ll be making dinner in far less time than it takes to get take-out delivered to your doorstep.

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38. Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas

These Mexican chicken fajitas are so fun to make! It’s a healthy meal for the whole family that you can quickly assemble.

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39. Greek Sheet Pan Chicken Dinner

With just these four ingredients,  you’ll have dinner ready. These chicken thighs are roasted to perfection!

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40. Baked Spiced Salmon Fillet

Spiced salmon fillets are rich in flavor. It’s a healthy dish and easy to prepare in minutes!

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41. Creamy Spinach Pasta

This spinach pasta recipe has a creamy garlic Parmesan sauce with simple seasonings and a hint of lemon juice. It’s an easy 30-minute meal that you can make with any kind of noodles!

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42. Egg Roll Bowls

Egg roll bowls are a scrumptiously simple way to get a balanced, colorful and flavorful meal on the table for the whole family. You can prepare it more quickly than you can get Chinese food delivered! And your family will ask for this easy meal over and over again.

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43. Easy Shepherds Pie

Easy shepherds pie is a delicious way to use up your leftovers or “holdovers” for a simple weeknight meal. It’s also comfort food and a great way to add lots of vegetables to your meal all in one dish.

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44. One Pan Mexican Pasta

This quick and easy one-pan dinner is a perfect healthy comfort food meal, loaded with vegetables and protein! It’s a healthy, family-friendly recipe that’s ready in just 30 minutes with minimal cleanup.

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Easy Dinner Hacks

Croc-pots, Instant Pots and Air Fryers are busy person’s best friends! If you are out of the house all day, then using slow cookers to cook a hot meal while you are gone is the dream. Coming home to a yummy-smelling house after a long day at work is the ultimate life hack.

Since I know many people don’t have these appliances, I put these recipes in a separate section.

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Croc-Pot Easy Dinner Recipes for Your Family

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45. Slow Cooker Chicken Teriyaki Freezer Meal

This chicken teriyaki recipe can be prepped and frozen ahead of time. Then, when you’re ready to cook, just thaw and throw in the slow cooker!

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46. Crockpot Chicken Tinga

This crockpot chicken tinga is so easy to make. It is loaded with smoky and savory flavors- throw it all into the croc-pot and enjoy the smell all day.

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47. Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken cacciatore is an easy slow cooker recipe that is hearty, tasty, and perfect for a weeknight dinner. This Crockpot cacciatore recipe is so easy and results in a rich tomato sauce packed with vegetables, chicken and flavor.

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Air Fryer Easy Dinner Recipes for Your Family

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48. Air Fryer Pizza

Epic delicious food couldn’t get any easier with this Air Fryer pizza, making any night a pizza night! Load it up with anything you like, throw it in the air fryer, and in 10-12 minutes, you’ve got delicious homemade pizza.

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49. Frozen Burgers in Air Fryer

Frozen burgers in the air fryer are one of the easiest ways to make a delicious and juicy burger! No need to defrost and easy cleanup. The best easy weeknight dinner that your family will love

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50. Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Thighs

Did you ever forget to thaw the chicken in time for dinner? No worries! With this easy air fryer frozen chicken thighs recipe, dinner will be on the table fast, even if the chicken is frozen in a solid block.

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51. Air Fryer Taco Meat

Psst … Did you know you can air fry ground beef in five minutes?!? This is a super hack for easy tacos and burrito bowls on busy weeknights.

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Instant Pot Easy Dinner Recipes for Your Family

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52. Easy Instant Pot Whole Chicken

Wondering how to cook a whole chicken in an Instant Pot? This easy Instant Pot whole chicken recipe is so easy to follow and such a game-changer for meals!

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53. Instant Pot Taco Pasta

One of the most popular Instant Pot pasta recipes you can make in less than 10 minutes. A kid-friendly one-pot meal that tastes great!

Image Credit: EzumeImages / iStock.

54. Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

When I said easy dinners for your family, I meant easy and quick dinners to feed your family! This takes only 12 minutes to make! A vegetarian meal featuring three types of cheese and plenty of taste. Make it in only 12 minutes using your Instant Pot and serve with parsley on top.

Image Credit: Sara Seaberry / iStock.

55. Instant Pot Spaghetti And Meat Sauce

This Instant Pot spaghetti and meat sauce recipe is one of the easiest weeknight or weekend dinner ideas.

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56. Instant Pot Ground Beef Stroganoff

Instant Pot ground beef stroganoff is my favorite hamburger helper recipe. An easy recipe that is done in 30 minutes and is perfect for a busy weeknight. An all-in-one dish that’s full of flavor, budget-conscious and kid-friendly!

Image Credit: CerebroCreative / iStock.

57. Instant Pot Chana Dal Split Chickpeas

Chana Dal served with rice or Indian bread, makes a hearty meal. It is quick and easy to make.

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