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April 25, 2016

20 Simple Weeknight Dinners

20 Simple Weeknight Dinner Ideas on Shutterbean.com!

It’s Monday. There’s a good chance you haven’t even thought about what you’re going to eat this week. It’s cool. I too have no idea. I went through some pictures on my phone this morning to find some inspiration and forgot about some of my family’s favorite dinners.

Let me inspire you with 20 Simple Weeknight Dinner Ideas:

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1. Fancy Ramen

A package of ramen (yes! Top Ramen!) is fortified with a ton of spinach, some seaweed, sesame seeds, sesame oil and an egg! Hot sauce for good measure. You can see more on how I cook the egg in the ramen in this Smoked Salmon Ramen recipe.

20 Simple Weeknight Dinner Ideas on Shutterbean.com!

2. A Big Ass Sandwich

I think the one pictured above is a hot pastrami sandwich with cheddar, beet sauerkraut and mustard. Served with chips!  I almost never eat a sandwich at lunch time, so I make up for it sometimes by throwing together one for dinner.

20 Simple Weeknight Dinner Ideas on Shutterbean.com!

3. Grilled Flatbread Sandwich

I grill a flatbread in my panini press  and topped it with hummus, sliced tomatoes, fresh mint, feta, salt/pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice and a spritz of olive oil.

20 Simple Weeknight Dinner Ideas on Shutterbean.com!

4. Baked Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Really so simple and satisfying. It’s always nice to have pasta leftovers (cold!) the next day.

Find the recipe here

20 Simple Weeknight Dinner Ideas on Shutterbean.com!

5. A Gigantic Chopped Salad

A perfect way to relieve the tension from work- CHOP A BUNCH OF THINGS. I got my aggression out on this Chopped Salad with Spiced Chickpeas a few weeks ago.

20 Simple Weeknight Dinner Ideas on Shutterbean.com!

6. Cheeseburgers and Fries

My family loves this option because (FRIES!). I tried making my own fries once and it was a lot of work. I buy frozen fries and plop them in the oven. I cook our burgers in a cast iron skillet because it helps get a nice crust! On these particular burgers, I had some prosciutto in the fridge to get rid of so I cooked the pieces in the skillet. It was like having bacon cheeseburgers.

20 Simple Weeknight Dinner Ideas on Shutterbean.com!

7. Roasted Sausage, Tomatoes & Asparagus

I put everything on one baking sheet in the oven at 400F for about 30-35 minutes with a little glug of olive oil, salt & pepper.

Serve with rice. The tomatoes get so juicy.

20 Simple Weeknight Dinner Ideas on Shutterbean.com!

8. Roasted Tomato Pasta with Basil

If you have leftover tomatoes, roast them! 400F for 20-30 minutes with olive oil, salt & pepper. Boil pasta/drain/stir in tomatoes, fresh basil, salt/pepper/and a nice spoonful of pesto. Dinner winner.

20 Simple Weeknight Dinner Ideas on Shutterbean.com!

9. Oven Baked Ribs

The second I get home from work, I get ribs going in the oven. This means between 4-6 I can go about my business and finish dinner off around 6:30. This weeknight dinner is Orange Soy Glazed Ribs!

20 Simple Weeknight Dinner Ideas on Shutterbean.com!

10. Fried Rice

I usually have some rice in our fridge for my meal prep so I can make a quick fried rice with it. If I have bacon, it turns into Bacon Fried Rice! 

20 Simple Weeknight Dinner Ideas on Shutterbean.com!

11. Breakfast (for dinner!) Tacos

Eggs + Cheese + Avocado + Hot Sauce = Breakfast Tacos!!

20 Simple Weeknight Dinner Ideas on Shutterbean.com!

12. Soup/Salad/ Grilled Cheese

I always have a few portions of soup tucked away in our freezer. I just defrost and reheat and serve with a grilled cheese sandwich and soup. This particular soup is one of my favorites- Cream of Spinach Soup.

20 Simple Weeknight Dinner Ideas on Shutterbean.com!

13. NACHOS

Need I say more? It’s my go to dinner for Casey and I when he’s super hungry and I have little time. Put it all on a baking sheet and broiler! Or… you can make your own nacho cheese sauce. Check out this Nacho Party situation… 

20 Simple Weeknight Dinner Ideas on Shutterbean.com!

14. Chicken in Lettuce Cups

These are one of the simplest things to make. Just cook ground chicken with red peppers, sauce & cashews and serve them in lettuce cups. My family LOVES this recipe.

20 Simple Weeknight Dinner Ideas on Shutterbean.com!

15. Pigs in Blankets 

All you need is some dough, hot dogs & mustard— OH! And poppy seeds and a little oven time and you are good to go. Here’s how to do it.

20 Simple Weeknight Dinner Ideas on Shutterbean.com!

16. Pesto Pasta & Caesar Salad

If you’re a pesto fan like I am, you’ll want to keep a jar of pesto in your fridge for last minute dinners like this pesto fettucini dish served with a simple Caesar Salad. 

20 Simple Weeknight Dinner Ideas on Shutterbean.com!

17. Roasted Vegetables with Cheese 

Cauliflower or broccoli can be a full on dinner if you roast it and cover it with cheese. The melty/crunchy bits are my favorite part. Sometimes I add it to a baked potato. If you’re all for eating a bunch of vegetables at dinner (some weeks call for it after really indulgent weekends), you’ll like this Roasted Broccoli with Tahini recipe.

20 Simple Weeknight Dinner Ideas on Shutterbean.com!

18. Burrito Bowls

Make a batch of rice. Stir in salsa. Instant spanish rice. Add your favorite meat on top, some beans and all of the burrito fix ins. Chips add a nice crunch…or scoop out your burrito bowl with the chips. No one complains about burrito bowl night around here.

20 Simple Weeknight Dinner Ideas on Shutterbean.com!

19. Charcuterie Platter

Snack dinners are my favorite. I almost always try to add vegetables in there somehow….Gotta balance all of the cured meats!

20 Simple Weeknight Dinner Ideas on Shutterbean.com!

20. Apricot Glazed Chicken

Don’t you just love a recipe that takes little to no effort? All you have to do for the Apricot Glazed Chicken recipe is mix the glaze/bake the chicken and serve with rice. Leftovers are great too.

Now, your turn! What are some of your simple GO-TO weeknight dinners? I’m so curious!

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  • Colleen

    Love the fried rice photo! Amazing composition.

  • Kristen

    My go to dinner is also homemade ramen bowls or sharshuka!

  • sarajane

    Oh THANK YOU for this! I was just working on my meal plan for the week. The Apricot Chicken is in regular rotation at our house – Dee-lish!

  • Rustling up a Full Meal | Pearltrees

    […] 20 Simple Weeknight Dinners – Shutterbean. It’s Monday. There’s a good chance you haven’t even thought about what you’re going to eat this week. It’s cool. I too have no idea. I went through some pictures on my phone this morning to find some inspiration and forgot about some of my family’s favorite dinners. […]

  • Emily

    What a fantastic post!! I basically want to eat all of these right now! My go-to quick dinners also include breakfast tacos, or really anything in taco form! Burgers and fries are always a quick option, as well as chili cheese dogs. I also think stir-fries are great quick weeknight options- a protein, a couple veggies, ginger, garlic, and a quick sauce (such as soy sauce, sambal oeleck (or Sriracha), rice wine vinegar, a little sugar or honey possibly)- I usually always have some kind of stir-fry ingredients on hand. Thanks for the great ideas!

  • Kari

    Fish or chicken cooked simply with some flavored olive oil & balsamic & roasted veggies seem to make an appearance on our dinner table most weeknights! Simple, easy, and healthy!
    kari
    http://www.sweetteasweetie.com

  • India

    Such a great round-up. We have at least 4 Shutterbean meals in our monthly rotation – last week I introduced the apricot chicken and it was a hit.

    One of our favorite easy dinners is to make turkey burgers in batches and freeze them. They’re a perfect for “we need a meal now”. Whenever I make tacos, my husband always asks why we don’t have them more often. They’re easy, but never quite the spread like yours.

    Have a good week, Tracy!

  • Sara Ann

    This article is everything. I love this so much.

    And now I’m gonna go grocery shopping.

  • Stella

    We have tacos, burgers (buffalo turkey is awesome!), chicken/bacon sandwhiches (with roasted veggies) and some kind of asian-flavored dish most weeks (thai basil beef from you, or chicken/veggies/soba noodles with smitten kitchen’s peanut sauce). Pasta with storebought marinara, ground meat/sausage, cheese & roasted veggies are also awesome!

  • Katie

    Great list – those chicken lettuce cups are going in my rotation! A favorite easy salad: arugula with prosciutto or salami, Parmesan, a fried egg, and a quick lemon & olive oil dressing. Or I’ll make a big batch of pulled pork or chicken and use it for tacos, salads, or sandwiches.

  • Lindsay

    Awesome list! What sort of bread are you using for that big ass sandwich of yours? I tried that Apricot Glazed Chicken a few weeks ago and it’s going in the rotation! Thanks, Tracy!

  • Carole

    These recipes look fabulous!

    Homemade fries are so easy! Hubby usually makes them, and has it down to a science. I peel (sometimes not) the potatoes, slice, and add to a bowl. He adds a little olive oil and salt, then pops them into the microwave for about five minutes to cook slightly. After that, they go onto a cookie sheet covered in parchment, and into the oven until golden.

    Do try again sometime. There’s nothing like homemade fries. 🙂

    • Tracy

      Baked fries are not so bad. It’s the fried ones that I think are challenging 😉

      • Carole

        Yea, we did those early on in our marriage. Good, but messy to make at best. lol

  • Bethany

    Thank you for this post, Tracy!! It made my meal planning this morning a gazillion times easier!

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