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30 Easy Friday Night Dinner Ideas

These Friday night dinner ideas are the perfect way to end the week!

After all, there’s nothing quite like the anticipation of a relaxing and delicious dinner to kickstart the weekend.

And whether you’re in the mood for something light and refreshing or a hearty, comforting dish, I have you covered.

Homemade Tater Tot Casserole with Beef and Cheese
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These dinner ideas are guaranteed to bring joy, flavor, and a touch of adventure to your table.

Get ready to explore an array of tantalizing recipes perfect for sharing with your friends and family.

You can’t go wrong with any of these dishes!

Bruschetta pasta with tomatoes, garlic, spinach, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil served on a round plate with a saucer of fresh basil leaves on the side

1. Bruschetta Chicken Pasta

If you love ordering bruschetta as an appetizer, you’ll flip for this chicken dish.

It’s full of tomatoes, garlic, spinach, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. It’s the perfect contrast of sweet and savory.

It takes about 20 minutes of prep and 25 minutes of cooking time. It’s such an easy dinner recipe.

Spoon pouring oil on a salmon with asparagus, broccoli and tomatoes

2. Air Fryer Salmon

I love salmon because it has a beautiful flavor all on its own, but it also takes on other flavors so well. Not to mention, it cooks in minutes, especially in the air fryer!

It comes out flaky and delicious every single time. Seasoned with butter and garlic powder, the flavor pairs perfectly with so many delicious sides.

Slices of Sloppy Joe Pizza with fresh tomatoes and basil leaves

3. Sloppy Joe Pizza

Sloppy Joe pizza might sound a little messy, which it can be if you add enough toppings! But it makes so much sense when you think about it. 

Seasoned ground beef on top of tomato sauce and light pizza dough? Oh, and a lot of grated cheese? Yes, please!

Pulled Pork Sliders with sauce dripping on a tray with parchment paper

4. Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork

The slow cooker was basically made for pulled pork. It’s a fool-proof way of cooking pork until it’s fork-tender and perfect.

But adding extra flavor just got easier. Cooking meat in soda is tried and true. When you use Dr. Pepper, you’re guaranteed sweet and spicy in one dish. 

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Casserole with ground beef, mushroom, tomato sauce and lots of cheddar cheese on top, garnished with chopped spring onions

5. Dorito Casserole

If you grew up noshing on Doritos, you won’t be able to resist this recipe!

It’s loaded with crushed Doritos, ground beef, a creamy mushroom and tomato sauce, and plenty of cheddar cheese.

It might not be the healthiest meal on the planet, but it’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser!

Glazed chicken wings served on a wooden board

6. Coca Cola Chicken

Remember what I said about cooking meat in soda? Well, here we are again, but with something fun and new.

Not only will the cola add a sweet and sticky coating to the chicken, but it will also soak in, adding flavor and moisture.

All you have to do is add everything to a baking dish and cook.

Two pieces of enchiladas topped with chopped parsley served on a plate with fork
Source: Cookieandkate.com

7. Veggie Black Bean Enchiladas

As much as I love tacos, sometimes I crave something with a bit more heartiness. That’s what’s so great about enchiladas.

You’ll get lots of cheese and sauce along with all that great filling.

To make these veggie-friendly, you can use any combination you prefer. Anything goes here, from mushrooms to squash!

Sliced pepperoni pizza with mushrooms and cheese on a wooden cutting board.

8. Detroit-Style Pizza

Move over, New York and Chicago-style, Detroit pizza just upped the ante!

While it’s also a deep-dish pizza, it does things a little backward. The sauce is layered on top of the cheese instead of the other way around.

It’s light, airy, crispy, and crunchy all at the same time. You’ll love it!

Toasted garlic buns filled with homemade meatballs covered in tomato sauce topped with mozzarella cheese
Source: Spendwithpennies.com

9. Meatball Sub

I’ve mentioned before that when I make meatballs, I always double up the recipe to freeze some for later.

One of my favorite quick meals to use them up is meatball subs. 

I like to use a soft roll for mine since they’re pretty hefty, which I always brush with a touch of garlic butter.

Use your favorite marinara sauce, and don’t be shy with the cheese.

Beef Stew with carrots and potatoes on cast iron, garnished with cilantro leaves

10. Old-Fashioned Beef Stew

Beef stew is such a satisfying dish. The only reason it’s not on my table more is that beef isn’t cheap!

But when you can find the right cut for the right price, this is a must-make.

Keep it classic with potatoes and the holy trinity (onions, carrots, and celery). Or try butternut squash, mushrooms, or even lentils. 

Grilled Mahi Mahi seasoned with Cajun mix  with green beans and sweet potato served on a plate with fork
Source: Fromvalerieskitchen.com

11. Blackened Mahi Mahi

Mahi Mahi is a mild white fish with a lovely, delicate, buttery flavor. Best of all, it has a nice firm texture, which makes cooking with it a dream.

To make this blackened fish, pat dry your fillets and cover them in the spice mix. Cook them in butter, and don’t move the fish!

Some of the spices will seep into the butter, which you can pour over the fish as you serve it.

Sliced Meatloaf with ketchup on a parchment paper garnished with chopped parsley

12. Lipton Onion Soup Meatloaf

Who knew that adding something as simple as a dry soup mix could make meatloaf so amazing?!

I love this recipe. The loaf is super moist and tender, and the flavors from the soup mix make it something really special.

I also like to use half the amount of ketchup and add in some BBQ sauce, too.

Pie with creamy mashed potatoes on top of  ground beef, mix peas, carrots and corn kernels
Source: Thewholesomedish.com

13. The Best Classic Shepherd’s Pie

From the smell to the taste, shepherd’s pie is so comforting. The creamy mashed potatoes on top of the meat and vegetable mix are one of my favorite winter warmers. 

As much as I love the ground beef mix, I’ve been known to use leftover beef stew. The shredded meat chunks make such a nice change to this classic dish.

Pie with ground beef garnished with celery leaves served on a wooden cutting board

14. Bisquick Cheeseburger Pie

This is one of those recipes you have to try to believe.

The magic of baking lets the Bisquick mix sink and bake into a cheesy, quiche-like filling along with a tender, buttery crust.

Ground beef works especially well to get that great cheeseburger flavor, but I also like to use sausage meat or bacon.

Chicken curry with rice in a bowl on a wooden cutting board garnished with chopped parsley

15. Chicken Curry

Don’t get me wrong, I like a lot of the curry sauces you can find in a jar, but the homemade stuff is always better.

The chicken is cooked in a tomato-based stew and features curry powder, paprika, cinnamon, and ginger. It’s a flavor explosion that’ll have you craving more.

Skip Indian takeout and try this easy recipe at home!

Taco nachos with ground beef, olives, salsa, chopped green onions and cheese

16. Sheet Pan Nachos

Nachos are a crowd-pleaser any night of the week. But they make Friday evenings even easier!

This recipe is loaded with beef, taco seasoning, beans, cheese, and sour cream. But feel free to add any toppings you like.

Since they’re done on a sheet pan, every chip gets covered. You just can’t beat this family dinner!

Sausages covered with baked pudding batter and garnished with chopped parsley serve on a casserole

17. Toad in the Hole Recipe

Toad in the hole is a classic British dish that a lot of people struggle with.

The truth is, plenty of Brits struggle to make Yorkshire puddings, too, so don’t feel bad if it doesn’t work out perfectly the first time. 

The trick to getting lovely light Yorkshire is to let the batter rest.

Tater Tot Casserole with Ground Beef and topped with lots of cheddar cheese, garnished with chopped parsley served on a casserole

18. Tater Tot Casserole

This casserole brings back many fond memories of having a family dinner at with pizza and tots. This recipe is a little more grown-up.

If you don’t want to use ground beef, shredded chicken would make a great alternative. You could also swap out those green beans for corn or broccoli.

Bake Lasagna Soup with ground beef, tomato sauce and cheese served in a round casserole on a wooden board

19. Crockpot Lasagna Soup

This recipe takes everything you love about lasagna and adds it to the Crockpot for a delicious soup.

From the noodles to the sauce and tasty cheese, it’s comfort food at its finest. And since the slow cooker does all the work, you can put your feet up and take a break.

Don’t forget the side of garlic bread for dipping!  

Stuffed bell peppers made with rice, ground beef with tomato sauce topped with melted cheese and parsley

20. Stuffed Bell Peppers Recipe

Stuffed peppers are a tasty, filling, and inexpensive weeknight dinner recipe that’s always a hit.

These are satisfying enough to serve as a main course, but they also work well as a side to everything from pork chops to roasted chicken. 

Falafel burgers with lettuce, tomatoes, onions stacked on top of each other with mayo dressing dripping on the side
Source: Minimalistbaker.com

21. Baked Falafel Burgers

I’ve had good falafel and bad falafel. It’s easy to make these and have them come out dry. But I promise, with this recipe, you’ll have tender burgers every time. 

I like to add some tahini to mine, to ensure flavor and moisture, but so long as you don’t overcook them, they will be perfect.

Tender ribeye steak, melted gooey provolone, and caramelized onions hugged by a toasted garlic butter hoagie roll with fries and French dip on the side
Source: Natashaskitchen.com

22. Philly Cheesesteak

There’s no denying the irresistibility of a Philly cheesesteak.

Short of making monthly trips to the City of Brotherly Love, mastering this recipe at home is going to change your weekly dinner routine. 

For the absolute BEST cheesesteak, you have to splurge and get some ribeye. Trust me, it’s worth the extra pennies for the end result.

Sautéed bell peppers, chicken and onions served on a sizzling plate

23. Chicken Fajitas

Fajitas are my go-to order whenever we go out for Mexican. There’s something about that sizzling skillet arriving I can’t resist!

And believe it or not, they’re so easy to make at home! Turn Taco Tuesday into a feast to remember with this easy fajitas recipe.

Bowl of macaroni pasta in tomato sauce and ground beef served on a bowl with wooden spoon

24. Easy One-Pot American Goulash

I love the simplicity of this dish. It has everything you want out of a pasta dish, and then some. Plus, it’s so easy to modify.

I like to throw in some zucchini instead of bell peppers, and I like to add some chili flakes for heat. You can also roast the garlic before adding it for a kick of flavor. 

Tortillas with chicken, bell peppers and cheese filling, stacked on top of each other on a wooden board

25. Taco Bell Chicken Quesadilla

Calling all Taco Bell lovers! Recreating their famous quesadillas at home is easier than you think.

All you need is 30 minutes, a skillet, chicken, cheese, and your favorite fillings.

What really takes this recipe over the top is the copycat special sauce. You’ll swear these quesadillas came straight from the drive-thru!

Stir fried tender beef stripes with carrots, bell pepper, cauliflower, garnished with chopped green onions and sesame seeds on a cast iron pan
Source: Eatingonadime.com

26. Beef Stir-Fry

Craving Asian takeout? Make this savory stir-fry at home instead!

This combination of broccoli, peppers, beef, garlic, soy sauce, and ginger is just as good as the real deal.

Plus, you can whip it up in just minutes, which is a welcome relief on Friday nights.

Serve it over brown rice for a hearty, nutritious meal.

Bunch of shrimp with lemon and garlic butter sauce served on a bowl and garnished with chopped parsley

27. Shrimp Scampi

Shrimp scampi is a classic Italian dish no one can possibly resist. The garlic butter sauce combined with shrimp and pasta is the ultimate indulgence.

This easy version comes together in just 15 minutes. It’s a restaurant quality meal requiring little to no effort on your party.

I love eating the leftovers throughout the weekend.

Chicken wings glazed in pineapple juice and soy sauce with celery stalks and ketchup served on a brown plate

28. Baked Teriyaki Chicken Wings

Almost nobody can say no to chicken wings! Instead of buffalo sauce, try this teriyaki version for a change.

You won’t even believe how delicious the sauce is. Made with pineapple juice, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger, it’s tangy and irresistible.

After just one hour, you’ll have the most tender, perfectly addictive wings!

Pan-fried chipotle-seasoned salmon burgers sandwiched between toasted brioche buns with diced lettuce and creamy, spicy-sweet chipotle mayo
Source: Halfbakedharvest.com

29. Chipotle Salmon Burgers

These salmon burgers are hearty, delicious, and full of flavor!

They’re pan-fried on the stove and finished off with a tasty chipotle mayo.

To make the patties, mix salmon, Panko bread crumbs, eggs, chipotle in adobo sauce, tamari, honey, garlic, and chili powder. For a shortcut, use canned salmon!

Open-faced sandwiches with saucy ground beef filling with onion and bell peppers topped with American cheese served on a wooden cutting board with parchment paper

30. Texas Toast Sloppy Joes

You won’t want to miss this recipe if you grew up on Sloppy Joes. Serving them on Texas toast instead of buns is genius!

They come out hot, crispy, and delicious every time. And since you’ll want to eat these with a knife and fork, they take the “sloppiness” out of the mix.

Any Texan would be proud to eat this recipe.

30 Easy Friday Night Dinner Ideas

Course: dinnerCuisine: American


Prep time


Cooking time





This tater tot casserole brings a heartwarming twist to your table, promising satisfaction in every spoonful. It’s the best way to start the weekend!


  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 (10.75-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup

  • 1 cup sour cream

  • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables

  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

  • 1 (16-ounce) package frozen tater tots

  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  • In a large skillet, saute the beef over medium heat until browned. Drain excess grease.
  • Add the onion and garlic and saute for 4 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.
  • Stir in the mushroom soup, sour cream, and mixed vegetables. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Spread the beef and vegetable mixture evenly into the bottom of the greased baking dish. Arrange the tater tots in a single layer over the mixture. Sprinkle cheese on top.
  • Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until the tater tots are golden brown and crispy.
  • Let the casserole sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.
  • Enjoy!


  • For a healthier version, try using ground turkey or chicken instead of beef.
  • Sprinkle some paprika or cayenne pepper over the tater tots for a spicy kick.


  • Calories: 300kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 19g
  • Protein: 15g
  • Fat: 19g
  • Saturated Fat: 8g
  • Cholesterol: 52mg
  • Sodium: 417mg
  • Potassium: 494mg
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Calcium: 138mg
  • Iron: 4mg
Friday Night Dinner Ideas

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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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