30-Minute Dinner Ideas for When You're Already Starving

Chicken Scallopini
Photo: Photography: Caitlin Bensel, Prop Styling: Audrey Davis, Food Styling: Rishon Hanners

There are few things more torturous than trying to figure out what to eat when you're already hungry—second only to the torture of grocery shopping while hungry. Sometimes the temptation of the snack aisle is just too much. With situations such as these in mind, we created a collection of 30-minute dinner ideas that'll help you get a delicious, home-cooked meal on the table in a flash. So, skip the drive-through and take a spin through these quick and easy recipes the next time you find yourself scrambling to get dinner ready on time. From one-pot options to salads and even a casserole or two, there's something for everyone in this tasty roundup. Pasta lovers will adore our Creamy Kale and Pasta Bake. If you're looking for a lighter option, try our Garlic Shrimp and Herbed Couscous Salad. Fire up the grill for Grilled Chicken Kebabs with Arugula Pesto if the weather is nice. If comfort is what you crave, our Tortellini, White Bean, and Turnip Greens Soup can't be beat.

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Garlic Shrimp and Herbed Couscous Salad

Garlic Shrimp and Herbed Couscous Salad
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Ready in 27 minutes

Recipe: Garlic Shrimp and Herbed Couscous Salad

This light dinner recipe shows off fresh ingredients like lemon, oregano, thyme, parsley, and cucumber.

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Skillet-Toasted Gnocchi with Peas

Skillet-Toasted Gnocchi with Peas
Victor Protasio

Ready in 30 minutes

Recipe: Skillet-Toasted Gnocchi with Peas

Frozen sweet peas and a package of potato gnocchi are the power players in this quick dinnertime recipe.

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Winter Vegetables and Gnocchi

Winter Vegetables and Gnocchi
Greg DuPree

Ready in 30 minutes

Recipe: Winter Vegetables and Gnocchi

This savory dish is hearty and flavorful. You can customize the recipe with your favorite in-season veggies.

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Chicken Bog

Chicken Bog
Greg DuPree

Ready in 30 minutes

Recipe: Chicken Bog

It only takes a few bite for this Lowcountry favorite to become your family's new favorite one-dish chicken dinner.

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Lemony White Bean Salad with Broccoli

Lemony White Bean Salad with Broccoli
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Ruth Blackburn; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Recipe: Lemony White Bean Salad with Broccoli

Want a 30-minute meal that happens to be healthy, too? This salad doubles up on greens—with broccoli and baby arugula—and it's all brought together with a bright and briny lemon-honey dressing.

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Cabbage, Mushroom, and Bacon Pasta

Simple Suppers Challenge: Cabbage, Mushroom, and Bacon Pasta
Greg DuPree

Ready in 25 minutes

Recipe: Cabbage, Mushroom, and Bacon Pasta

A creamy sauce, crunchy savoy cabbage, and earthy Portobello mushrooms make an absolutely craveable combination.

07 of 40

Fried Pork Chops with Peas and Potatoes

Fried Pork Chops with Peas and Potatoes
Greg DuPree

Ready in 30 minutes

Recipe: Fried Pork Chops with Peas and Potatoes

We bet you didn't know you could make a meal this company-worthy in just 30 minutes. The prep is a bit more intensive than some of our other recipes, so be prepared to be on your feet until this one is on the table.

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Sheet Pan Nachos

Sheet Pan Nachos
Greg DuPree

Ready in 30 minutes

Recipe: Sheet Pan Nachos

We used ground chuck and piled on the toppings to create a sheet pan supper that your family will ask for time and time again.

09 of 40

Quick and Easy Spaghetti Bolognese

Quick and Easy Spaghetti Bolognese
Greg DuPree

Ready in 25 minutes

Recipe: Quick and Easy Spaghetti Bolognese

Fake a slow-simmering Bolognese by using store-bought tomato sauce such as Barilla or Classico.

10 of 40

Shrimp and Burst Cherry Tomato Pasta

Shrimp and Burst Cherry Tomato Pasta
Photographer Victor Protasio, Food Stylist Ruth Blackburn, Prop Stylist Christine Keely

Ready in 25 minutes

Recipe: Shrimp and Burst Cherry Tomato Pasta

Heating cherry tomatoes in a hot pan will break the delicate skins, releasing the juicy middle. That happens to be the best base for a quick and easy pasta sauce.

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Grilled Cajun Shrimp Kabobs with Sausage

Grilled Cajun Shrimp Kabobs with Sausage
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Lydia Pursell; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer

Ready in 20 minutes

Recipe: Grilled Cajun Shrimp Kabobs with Sausage

Now you can enjoy the taste of New Orleans, straight from your grill.

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One-Pan Pasta with Chicken Sausage, Mushrooms, and Collards

One-Pan Pasta with Chicken Sausage, Mushrooms, and Collards
Greg DuPree

Ready in 28 minutes

Recipe: One-Pan Pasta with Chicken Sausage, Mushrooms, and Collards

If you can't get your hands on collards, substitute your favorite spring veggies into this easy-as-can-be one-pan pasta recipe.

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Mini Black Bean and Cheese Enchiladas

Mini Black Bean and Cheese Enchiladas
Stephen DeVries

Ready in 30 minutes

Recipe: Mini Black Bean and Cheese Enchiladas

Make it a party and set out the toppings so everyone can build their own.

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Skillet Shrimp Chilaquiles

Skillet Shrimp Chilaquiles
Stephen DeVries

Ready in 30 minutes

Recipe: Skillet Shrimp Chilaquiles

This tasty skillet recipe is the perfect base for plenty of toppings. We added diced avocado, crumbled queso fresco, and chopped fresh cilantro, but feel free to use whatever toppings you like.

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Fried Brussels Sprout Tacos

Fried Brussels Sprout Tacos
Greg DuPree

Ready in 30 minutes

Recipe: Fried Brussels Sprouts Tacos

Fried Brussels sprouts are all the rage, but we bet you've never had them in tacos.

16 of 40

Chopped Kale and Bacon Salad

Chopped Kale and Bacon Salad
Photo: Greg DuPree

Ready in 20 minutes

Recipe: Chopped Kale and Bacon Salad

This light and fresh salad is dressed in a simple Buttermilk Dressing that's so good you'll want to keep a jar stocked in your refrigerator.

17 of 40

Charred Summer Vegetable Salad

Charred Summer Vegetable Salad
Greg DuPree

Ready in 30 minutes

Recipe: Charred Summer Vegetable Salad

Charred baby heirloom tomatoes, okra, and corn are the stars in this hearty salad.

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Spaghetti with Marinated Tomatoes and Mozzarella

Spaghetti with Marinated Tomatoes and Mozzarella
Alison Miksch

Ready in 20 minutes

Recipe: Spaghetti with Marinated Tomatoes and Mozzarella

This spaghetti recipe is bursting with fresh flavor thanks to mouthwatering marinated tomatoes and mozzarella.

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Open-Faced Tomato Sandwiches with Creamy Cucumber Spread

Open-Faced Tomato Sandwiches with Creamy Cucumber Spread
Alison Miksch

Ready in 20 minutes

Recipe: Open-Faced Tomato Sandwiches with Creamy Cucumber Spread

If you're looking for a light and fresh summer dinner recipe, you've found it. The creamy cucumber spread is a refreshing addition to these sandwiches.

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BLT Salad

BLT Salad
Alison Miksch

Ready in 20 minutes

Recipe: BLT Salad

We deconstructed everyone's favorite sandwich and created a one-dish-wonder of a salad.

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Creamy Kale and Pasta Bake

Creamy Kale and Pasta Bake
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Ready in 30 minutes

Recipe: Creamy Kale and Pasta Bake

Use pre-shredded Monterey Jack cheese and a package of chopped fresh kale to cut down on prep time.

22 of 40

Chicken and Fontina Panini

Chicken and Fontina Panini
Greg DuPree

Ready in 10 minutes

Recipe: Chicken and Fontina Panini

Warm, melty, and crunchy—what else could you want in a 10 minute dinner recipe?

23 of 40

Cheeseburger Casserole

Cheeseburger Casserole
Photography: Alison Miksch, Prop Styling: Sarah Elizabeth Cleveland, Food Styling: Melissa Gray

Recipe: Cheeseburger Casserole

The kids won't beg for the drive through when you bake their fast food favorite at home with a twist.

24 of 40

Chicken and White Bean Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

Chicken and White Bean Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette
Greg DuPree

Ready in 20 minutes

Recipe: Chicken and White Bean Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

If you already know you'll be strapped for time in the evening, make this recipe ahead of time—it won't wilt when dressed.

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Southwest Chicken Tortillas

Southwest Chicken Tortillas
Greg DuPree

Ready in 30 minutes

Recipe: Southwest Chicken Tortillas

Use microwaveable basmati rice, pre-shredded Mexican cheese, and rotisserie chicken to make these chicken tortillas in a flash.

26 of 40

Chicken Noodle Bowl with Peanut-Ginger Sauce

Chicken Noodle Bowl with Peanut-Ginger Sauce
Greg DuPree

Ready in 20 minutes

Recipe: Chicken Noodle Bowl with Peanut-Ginger Sauce

Your family won't believe this came together in just 20 minutes. Simply blend the first nine ingredients in a blender or food processor to create the tasty Peanut-Ginger Sauce.

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Sloppy Joe Casserole with Dinner Rolls

Sloppy Joe Casserole with Dinner Rolls
Photographer Victor Protasio, Food Stylist Rishon Hanners, Prop Stylist Heather Chadduck

Ready in 30 minutes

Recipe: Sloppy Joe Casserole with Dinner Rolls

Just trust us: This easy skillet dinner will be a weeknight hit.

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Chicken-Bell Pepper Tacos

Shrimp-Tomatillo Tacos, Black Bean-Corn Tacos, and Chicken-Bell Pepper Tacos
Johnny Autry; Prop and Food Styling: Charlotte L. Autry

Ready in 20 minutes

Recipe: Chicken-Bell Pepper Tacos

Bell peppers make all the difference in this not-so-typical taco night meal.

29 of 40

Instant Pot Chili Mac

Instant Pot Chili Mac
Photography and Styling: Caitlin Bensel

Ready in 30 minutes

Recipe: Instant Pot Chili Mac

Who needs the canned version of this comfort food dish when you can have it on the table homemade in half an hour?

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Sheet Pan Fajitas

Sheet Pan Fajitas
Photography and Styling: Karen Rankin

Ready in 20 minutes

Recipe: Sheet Pan Fajitas

This recipe will be ready faster than it'd take you to pick up your favorite Tex-Mex takeout.

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Chicken-and-Broccoli Skillet Pasta

Chicken-and-Broccoli Skillet Pasta
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Christine Keely; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Ready in 30 minutes

Recipe: Chicken-and-Broccoli Skillet Pasta

You can always turn to a skillet dinner for a quick weeknight recipe.

32 of 40

Baked Ziti with Meatballs

Baked Ziti and Meatballs
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Christine Keely; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Ready in 30 minutes

Recipe: Baked Ziti with Meatballs

Store-bought sauce and frozen meatballs make this recipe a breeze to throw together.

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Supreme Pizza

Supreme Pizza
Photographer Victor Protasio, Food Stylist Rishon Hanners, Prop Stylist Sarah Elizabeth Cleveland

Ready in 30 minutes

Recipe: Supreme Pizza

Our Test Kitchen calls this "an old-school supreme pizza [like] one at a Pizza Hut, Shaky's, or a classic pizzeria."

34 of 40

Easy Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry

Easy Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kathleen Varner; Food Styling: Maggie Ruggiero

Ready in 20 minutes

Recipe: Easy Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry

Ground chuck has more fat than ground sirloin, making it an ideal stir fry option that won't dry out while cooking.

35 of 40

Honey-Mustard Baked Salmon with Vegetables

honey mustard baked salmon vegetables
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Christine Keely; Food Styling: Tina Bell Stamos

Ready in 30 minutes

Recipe: Honey-Mustard Baked Salmon with Vegetables

For this recipe, be sure to choose salmon filets that are roughly the same size so they cook evenly on the pan.

36 of 40

Sheet Pan Shrimp and Vegetables with Rice

Sheet Pan Shrimp and Vegetables with Rice
Photo: Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Mary Clayton Carl; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Ready in 25 minutes

Recipe: Sheet Pan Shrimp and Vegetables with Rice

Sheet pan recipes are miracle workers for getting dinner on the table quickly and reducing the after-meal clean up.

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Fresh Salmon Cakes with Buttermilk Dressing

Fresh Salmon Cakes with Buttermilk Dressing
Photo: Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Missie Neville Crawford; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Ready in 30 minutes

Recipe: Fresh Salmon Cakes with Buttermilk Dressing

After a day out on the water, you'll be thankful for this quick, light, and summery meal.

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Shrimp Cobb Salad with Bacon Dressing

Shrimp Cobb Salad with Bacon Dressing
Photo: Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Missie Neville Crawford; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Ready in 25 minutes

Recipe: Shrimp Cobb Salad with Bacon Dressing

We went an extra step with this salad by adding bacon drippings to the light and tangy vinaigrette.

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Honey-Soy-Glazed Salmon with Veggies and Oranges

Honey-Soy-Glazed Salmon with Veggies and Oranges
Alison Miksch

Ready in 25 minutes

Recipe: Honey-Soy-Glazed Salmon with Veggies and Oranges

This flavorful weeknight supper will help you fall in love with salmon all over again.

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Chicken Scallopini

Chicken Scallopini
Photography: Caitlin Bensel, Prop Styling: Audrey Davis, Food Styling: Rishon Hanners

Ready in 30 minutes

Recipe: Chicken Scallopini

You can plate this dish over any noodle that you have in your pantry.

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