Home Dinner 40 Dinner Ideas for Tonight (+ Easy Recipes)

40 Dinner Ideas for Tonight (+ Easy Recipes)

Looking for some easy dinner ideas for tonight? From casseroles to stews, these easy dinner recipes will quickly become your new favorites.

And with 40 options to choose from, you won’t run out of ideas. 

So stop wondering what’s for dinner tonight and try one of these tasty recipes! 

Chili Mac
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Easy Dinner Ideas For Tonight

Do you have plenty of time to prepare a culinary feast? Or only a few minutes for a one-pot recipe?

Either way, the list below has something for every time frame and budget.

And be sure to check out the Tuscan Chicken recipe at the bottom of the post. Trust me, you don’t want to miss this crowd-pleaser.

Homemade Tater Tot Casserole with Ground Beef

 1. Tater Tot Casserole

Whenever I ask the family what sounds good for dinner? They say, “tater tot casserole!”

The versatile potato is the perfect backbone for this delicious casserole.

In a pinch, frozen tater tots become a delicious meal that your whole family will love. Cheese, onion, and ham are the perfect toppings for crispy taters.

So serve up something scrumptious tonight with this one-dish wonder of a recipe.

Chicken and Potato Casserole

2. Chicken and Potato Casserole

You can never go wrong with chicken and potatoes! It’s the ultimate comfort food.

It pairs tender chunks of chicken and potatoes with a cheesy topping and vibrant herbs.

If that wasn’t enough to sell you on this recipe, it’s also topped with crispy bacon bits!

Pizza Grilled Cheese

3. Pizza Grilled Cheese

Why not combine two classics with this pizza grilled cheese recipe? It’s the best of both worlds!

Gooey Mozzarella cheese with a dash of Italian seasoning and pepperoni makes this classic shine.

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The best part? it comes together in under 15 minutes! Just don’t forget the marinara for dipping.

Homemade Ground Beef Meatloaf

4. Meatloaf

Meatloaf has gotten a bad rep over the years, but not with this recipe! Serve up a flavorful, moist loaf and leave the dry cardboard-like texture in the past.

Chopped onions and crushed crackers make for a delicious meatloaf. This recipe is topped with a ketchup glaze that is just the icing on the cake.

Picky eaters will not have a problem gobbling this meatloaf up!

Philly Cheesesteak Pasta

5. Philly Cheesesteak Pasta

Philly cheesesteaks are popular sandwiches, but have you ever thought of pairing the ingredients with pasta?

With this recipe, all of your favorite Philly flavors top hearty noodles for a meal that rocks.

Steak pieces and cheese sauce complement sauteed onions and mushrooms in a pasta toss that pays true homage to the original sandwich.

If you love Philly cheesesteaks, you’ll have to try this Philly cheesesteak pasta recipe!

Crack Chicken Casserole

6. Crack Chicken Casserole

There’s a reason it’s called crack chicken casserole.

With buttery Ritz crackers, ranch seasoning, bacon, and oh-so-much cheese, it’s pretty addictive.

Like any good casserole, it only takes 5 minutes to throw it together, and a quick 30 minutes in the oven.

Join the clean plate club with this delectable casserole.

Comforting Beef Stew with Vegetables and Bread

7. Beef Stew

Beef stew is a dinner classic, and for good reason. With savory vegetables and delicious beef chunks, a good stew goes a long way.

Make this your go-to for snowy nights. Imagine how excited your family will be to curl up with a bowl of beef stew after a long day of sledding.

The instant pot version is great for busy weekdays when you need something quick!

Spoonful of baked ziti from a casserole dish.

8. Baked Ziti

Wondering what to eat tonight?

Cozy up with this comforting Baked Ziti!

Tender pasta, savory ground beef, rich tomato sauce, and three cheeses come together for the ultimate comfort food.

This easy, cheesy casserole is perfect for feeding a crowd or enjoying as leftovers.

Beef Chow Mein

9. Beef Chow Mein

No, this isn’t takeout! The sweet and tangy sauce covers the noodles and thinly sliced beef for a delicious bite every time.

Luckily, this dish is simple to make. You can have it on the table quicker than driving to your local Chinese takeout!

Travel the world tonight with homemade beef chow mein.

Easy No-Peek Chicken with Rice and Herbs

10. No-Peek Chicken

Need an easy chicken recipe for dinner today?

How about a meal you pop in the oven and never think about it again? No-peek chicken is just the thing!

This recipe results in delicious flavorful chicken that compliments any side dish. Scrape up what’s left in your fridge and have a meal you can be proud of.

Once the aroma of this dish is wafting your halls, you will be glad you chose this dish for tonight’s dinner.

Air Fryer Salmon Patties

11. Air Fryer Salmon Patties

How about fish for dinner? This recipe for air fryer salmon patties is an easy restaurant-quality dish.

The salmon patties are light and herbal with a crispy crust thanks to your handy dandy air fryer.

That savory aioli dipping sauce takes the flavor over the edge. Eat them on their own, or make salmon patty burgers!

Applebee's Three Cheese Chicken Penne

12. Applebee’s Three Cheese Chicken Penne

When it comes to easy weeknight dinners, you can’t go wrong with pasta.

So, spice up your life with this Applebee’s 3-cheese chicken penne copycat.

Experience the harmony of Alfredo sauce, grilled chicken, and triple cheese in this tasty dish.

Be careful not to get caught licking the bowl clean!

Homemade Sloppy Joe Pizza with Meat and Cheese in a Pan

13. Sloppy Joe Pizza

Sloppy Joes are a legendary weeknight meal. Now, imagine them on a pizza crust. 

This Sloppy Joe pizza combines the saucy, meaty goodness of sloppy joes with a pizza crust. 

Savory and a bit sweet, and totally satisfying, it’s perfect for when you want something a little different, yet delicious.

Homemade Toad in the Hole with Pork Sausage

14. Toad in the Hole

Did you think the toad in the hole was just for breakfast? Think again! This savory classic can be enjoyed any time of day.

This recipe offers great tips for getting that perfect “hole” effect. No more broken yolks here! Break into a loaf of bunny bread and get cooking.

Spend less time in the kitchen and more time with those you love with this dinner recipe.

Homemade Indian Chicken Curry with Herbs and Rice in a Bowl

15. Chicken Curry

If you’re looking for flavor, look no further than this chicken curry recipe. Curry, cinnamon, and paprika all come together to spice up this creamy curry dish.

This recipe is so versatile; you can add any vegetable you happen to have on hand. All of the ingredients take on the flavor of the sauce.

Serve over Jasmine rice and enjoy!

Honey Mustard Chicken

16. Honey Mustard Chicken

Elevate your chicken game with this honey mustard chicken recipe. It’s equal parts sweet and tangy, and 100 percent delicious.

Even the picky eaters at the table will have a hard time resisting this super simple dinner dish.

Pair it with crisp veggies or serve it over rice, and watch it disappear!

Olive Garden Chicken and Gnocchi Soup

17. Olive Garden Chicken and Gnocchi Soup

Looking for the ultimate comfort food to warm your bones this winter?

This satisfying chicken and gnocchi soup has a little bit of everything. chewy gnocchi, tender chicken, and healthy greens.

Pair it with a slice of crusty bread, and dig in!

Crispy Fried Chicken with Bread Crumbs Served with Fries and Ketchup

18. Fried Chicken

Does this dish need an introduction? Fried chicken is a family favorite that doesn’t just come from drive-thrus.

Make your own with this easy to follow recipe. You are guaranteed crispy, juicy chicken pieces that withstand the test of time.

Hot or cold, fried chicken always takes first place.

Homemade Hearty and Creamy Ham and Potato Casserole

19. Ham, Cheese, and Potato Casserole

This ham, cheese, and potato casserole is comfort food perfection. 

It combines hearty ham, creamy cheese, and soft potatoes into a deliciously warm and comforting dish. 

With its crispy top and savory flavors, it’s a hit for any meal. It’s one of those dinner recipes that satisfies every time!

Old Fashioned Macaroni and Cheese

20. Old-Fashioned Macaroni and Cheese

No one can resist the siren call of macaroni and cheese! This recipe is simple and classic. The best part? It’s super easy!

After a quick bake in the oven, it earns those crispy edges with an gooey center.

Seriously, this recipe for mac and cheese is hard to resist!

Homemade Comforting Chicken Pot Pie

21. Chicken Pot Pie

Marie Callendar makes a good one, but with this recipe, yours will be better.

Chop up delicious chicken and mix in green peas and potatoes for a pot pie delight!

The best part of this recipe is the crust! Learn to make your own and never rely on frozen crusts again. Trust me, homemade is better.

Homemade Scrumptious Marry Me Chicken with Bacon, Angel Hair Pasta and Herbs

22. Marry Me Chicken

Marry Me Chicken is a decadent delight. 

It’s brimming with juicy chicken, crispy bacon, and tangy sun-dried tomatoes, all swimming in a luscious sauce. 

It’s rich and savory, with a hint of tanginess and sweetness. Yum!

Serve it over angel hair pasta for an unforgettable meal.

Corn Dog Casserole with Green Onions

23. Corn Dog Casserole

This corn dog casserole brings the fun of the fair to your dinner table. 

It’s a delightful mix of savory hot dogs and sweet, fluffy cornbread, baked until golden brown.

Crispy outside, moist inside, it’s a comfort food winner. 

Plus, it’s less greasy than deep-fried corn dogs. What a great bonus!

Creamy Mushroom Pasta

24. Creamy Mushroom Pasta

If you like mushrooms, you’ll love this mushroom pasta. There is something so classy about satisfying mushrooms and pasta mixed together.

This ingredients list is full of favorites like butter and cream to make this dish absolutely delectable. 

If you need something scrumptious in a pinch, mushroom pasta is the way to go.

Chili Mac

25. Easy Chili Mac

What’s better than a spicy bowl of chili? Chilli with macaroni noodles, of course!

This easy chili mac recipe is sure to become a weeknight staple. With spicy, meaty chili and tender noodles, what’s not to love?

The best part is it all comes together in one pot, which means less cleanup. Win-win!

Homemade Ravioli Lasagna with Ground Beef and Mozzarella

26. Baked Ravioli Lasagna

This easy ravioli lasagna brings a delightful twist to a classic dish. 

It combines cheesy ravioli with rich tomato sauce and plenty of melted cheese!

It’s a comforting, hearty meal that’s incredibly easy to throw together, making it perfect for busy nights. 

Expect layers of flavor and a satisfied smile with every bite.

Tasty Homemade Ramen Noodles

27. Kylie Jenner Ramen Recipe

The Kylie Jenner ramen recipe transforms ordinary instant noodles into something extraordinary. 

Garlic powder adds a savory kick, butter brings a silky richness, and an egg ties it all together.

Quick, delicious, and far from average, it’s one of the best dinner ideas for tonight.

Skyline Cincinatti Chili in a white bowl, top view

28. Skyline Cincinnati Chili

This copycat recipe for Skyline chili is just as good as the real deal!

Made with a secret blend of spices like cinnamon and cocoa powder, this hearty chili is served over spaghetti and topped with cheddar cheese.

This Midwestern favorite is comfort food at its finest.

Homemade Baked Stuffed Pork Chops with Herbs

29. Stuffed Pork Chops

In this classic dish, juicy pork meets a savory stuffing.

But instead of putting the stuffing inside, we put it on top. This little hack saves time without sacrificing flavor!

In less than an hour, you’ve got a delicious meal that’s sure to impress.

Texas Style Pulled Pork

30. Slow Cooker Texas Pulled Pork

Fire up those crock pots! This slow cooker recipe for Texas-style pulled pork does all the heavy lifting for you.

Load up the slow cooker, and come home to the most fork-tender pork you’ve ever had in your life.

It’s smokey, meaty, and best piled high on a Brioche bun!

Hamburger with Fresh Vegetables, Cheese and Ketchup

31. Burgers

Everyone loves a big, juicy cheeseburger and you can grill up your own with this recipe.

Take the party outside for an outdoor grill or use a skillet right on top of your stove.

Add a slice of cheese and make them into cheeseburgers, or serve up the patties as is.

Either way, you really can’t go wrong!

Homemade Stuffed Bell Peppers with Ground Beef and Cheese

32. Stuffed Peppers 

These stuffed peppers combine rice, ground beef, and savory spices, all nestled in tender bell pepper shells. 

They’re topped off with a rich tomato sauce, creating a perfect blend of tastes and textures. 

It’s a gourmet dish without the fuss and always a hit at the dinner table. Classic comfort food at its best!

Cheesy Taco casserole

33. Easy Taco Casserole 

This easy taco casserole captures the magic of taco night, sans the dishes.

It pairs ground beef with savory additions like salsa, onions, cheese. Yes, there’s even tortilla chips in there, too!

Plus, it only takes 35 minutes to bake to cheesy perfection in the oven.

Homemade Shrimp Scampi Garnished with Lemon Butter Sauce

34. Shrimp Scampi

This shrimp scampi is a quick, easy dish that packs a punch of flavor. 

Plump shrimp meet a garlicky lemon butter sauce, creating a delectable combination. 

It seems fancy, but it’s actually easy to make. It’s perfect for impressing guests or satisfying your seafood cravings on a weeknight. 

Don’t wait for a special occasion; make shrimp scampi tonight!

Chicken Picatta with Sauce, Lemons and Peas

35. Chicken Piccata

Experience Italy at home with this zesty lemon and caper chicken piccata.

The chicken is tender, bathed in a tangy buttery glaze, creating a harmonious dance of flavors.

This classic chicken recipe is impressively easy. It makes any weeknight feel like a special occasion. 

Make chicken piccata tonight and watch it become a new family favorite.

Homemade Chicken Alfredo with Herbs in a Plate

36. Olive Garden Chicken Alfredo

Whip up this copycat Olive Garden Chicken Alfredo for a taste of indulgence. 

This cheesy, creamy delight combines pasta with tender chicken chunks, all swirled in a rich Alfredo sauce.

So, ditch the dinner reservations and enjoy this luscious dish at home. 

It’s so easy, it’s impossible to mess up!

Teriyaki Chicken

37. Teriyaki Chicken

This teriyaki chicken dish boasts sweet, savory, and umami richness without the need for takeout. 

Honey and brown sugar balance the flavors, creating a quick and mouthwatering teriyaki sauce. 

Perfect for busy weeknights, it delivers restaurant-quality taste in your own kitchen.

Homemade Chicken Fajitas with Green and Red Peppers

38. Chicken Fajitas

These chicken fajitas pack a punch with spicy, juicy chicken, sautéed bell peppers, and onions.

They’re a flavorful, vibrant feast that’s as wholesome as it is tasty. 

They’re also a breeze to make. So whether you’re a kitchen newbie or a pro, these fajitas are sure to delight.

Roasted Salmon Fillet with Potatoes

39. Air Fryer Salmon

Whip up a meal that’s as tasty as it is healthy with this air fryer salmon recipe. 

Rich in antioxidants and Omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is a delicious and nutritious protein option.

Forget boring salads; this recipe ensures you don’t sacrifice flavor for nutrition. 

Perfect for anyone wanting a delicious yet healthy option.

Tasty Bruschetta Chicken Pasta with Tomatoes and Herbs

40. Bruschetta Chicken Pasta

This bruschetta chicken pasta is a stellar addition to your dinner recipes. 

Juicy chicken, tangy tomatoes, fresh basil, and perfectly cooked pasta come together in a symphony of taste. 

The zesty bruschetta enhances the chicken and pasta, creating a dish that’s impossible to resist.

Scrumptious, easy, and budget-friendly, this dish is a true delight on any dinner table.

40 Easy Dinner Ideas for Tonight

Course: DinnerCuisine: American
Servings

6

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

30

minutes
Calories

600

kcal

Looking for some quick dinner ideas for tonight? Try this easy chili mac! It all comes together in one pot and is sure to be a big hit at the dinner table.

Ingredients

  • For the Chili
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 bell pepper, diced

  • 1 pound ground beef

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon cumin

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes

  • 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce

  • 1 (14 oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

  • For the Mac
  • 1 cup beef broth

  • 8 ounce uncooked elbow macaroni

  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or Monterey Jack)

  • 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 (4 oz) can diced green chilis, options

Instructions

  • Warm the olive oil over medium heat in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the diced onion and cook until it’s soft. Add the garlic and chopped pepper. Cook until fragrant.
  • Add the ground beef and cook until it’s browned, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Add the chili powder, cumin, and paprika. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Turn the heat to medium-high, mix in the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, kidney beans, and beef broth, and bring to a boil. Then, add the uncooked elbow macaroni, stir, and reduce the heat back to medium, letting it simmer. Cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the pasta is al dente.
  • When the sauce has thickened and the pasta is cooked, take the pot off the heat. Add the chilies, if using, and the shredded cheeses in small handfuls, stirring well between each addition until melted.
  • Season with salt and pepper and serve with extra shredded cheese and sour cream if desired. Enjoy!

Notes

  • For an even cook, ensure the chicken breasts are of uniform thickness; you can gently pound them if needed.
  • If the sauce is too thick, adjust the consistency with a splash of chicken broth or milk to thin it out.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1g
  • Total number of serves: 6
  • Calories: 600kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 51g
  • Protein: 32g
  • Fat: 29g
  • Saturated Fat: 12g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 11g
  • Trans Fat: 1g
  • Cholesterol: 87mg
  • Sodium: 1179mg
  • Potassium: 1068mg
  • Fiber: 7g
  • Sugar: 10g
  • Vitamin A: 523IU
  • Vitamin C: 37mg
  • Calcium: 338mg
  • Iron: 5mg
Dinner Ideas for Tonight

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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