Home Recipe Roundup 25 Quick Thursday Night Dinner Ideas

25 Quick Thursday Night Dinner Ideas

When it comes to Thursday night dinner ideas, I’m always in two minds when I step into the kitchen.

On the one hand, it’s almost the end of the week, and I just want something easy. I’m tired, and takeout seems like the best plan.

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But then I also want to celebrate the almost-weekend and save the splurge for when we can actually go out to eat. 

Chicken Piccata with Lemons and Sauce

Whether you’re looking for something snappy or something a little more indulgent, I’m sure you’ll find it on this list of 25 Thursday night dinner recipes.

1. Easy Chicken Stir-Fry

I love every word in that title. Stir-fries are some of my favorite fast meals, and chicken is always a safe bet. If it’s easy, you know I’m in!

This one-pot wonder cooks everything together, making cleanup a breeze.

The sauce is super simple to throw together, but you can always use something from the store to make this even faster. 

Melt in Your Mouth Chicken Served with Mashed Potato and Arugula

2. Melt In Your Mouth Chicken

We all know those picky eaters that will only eat chicken breast, right? Normally, I don’t get it, but with this recipe, I’m a believer!

It may not be the healthiest – cooking the chicken in mayo and parmesan cheese – but you can’t deny the results.

3. Huevos Rancheros

This is a fan-fave in my house. Spicy refried beans with seasoned chicken, guacamole, salsa, and a runny fried egg on top? How does it get any better?

If you don’t like canned refried beans, it’s so easy to make your own with a can of black beans.

Just add in some water and seasonings and let it soften. I like to press mine with a spatula, so they’re nice and chunky. 

Homemade Chicken Piccata

4. Chicken Piccata (Easy Recipe)

This is a meal you’ll serve when you want to show off a little. It looks and tastes restaurant quality, but it’s secretly insanely easy to throw together. 

The sauce is a simple mix of butter, lemon juice, white wine, and capers, which pair perfectly with the lightly fried, crisp chicken.

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5. Pumpkin Pasta Sauce with Penne

Looking for a way to get more veggies into your diet? How about making a pasta sauce using pumpkin?

Using pumpkin puree instead of tomatoes will give it a gorgeous orange hue, and the flavor is so warm and comforting.

I like the tang you’ll get from using Greek yogurt, but you can swap that out for cream if you prefer. 

Stuffed Bell Peppers with Ground Beef Rice and Tomato Sauce

6. Stuffed Bell Peppers Recipe

Stuffed peppers are a fantastic recipe to make ahead and are so easy to modify. I love the beef version, but you could change it for chicken or sausage in a snap.

I like the pepper to have a bite, but if you like them softer, feel free to pre-bake for a few minutes. 

7. 10-Minute Quesadillas

Quesadillas will always be a hit, and you can make them into a full meal with meat and rice and lots of guacamole, or keep it light with a simple salad. 

In my opinion, the only way to make a quesadilla is in a skillet.

Keep it on medium heat, and don’t rush the cheese. It will melt in time, and the tortilla will turn golden and slightly crunchy.

8. Easy Tuna Casserole

The base of this casserole is so quick and is made with mushroom soup, frozen vegetables, cheese, and pasta.

Tuna is a great way to get some extra protein in, but it’s just as good as a pescetarian-friendly dinner. 

Another great option is to use leftover chicken or even canned salmon. 

Homemade Wendy's Chili

9. Wendy’s Chili Recipe

I don’t know about you, but I always look forward to fall. It means cooler days, falling leaves, and lots of chili!

This recipe is particularly tasty, using plenty of beans and just enough spice to keep you nice and warm.

10. French Bread Pizza

You can turn almost any bread into pizza if you try hard enough, but this French bread version is at the top of the list. 

If you prefer your pizza thin, this might not be for you. For those of us that devour the crust first, this thick, crusty pizza is pretty darn perfect.

Homemade Irish Mashed Potatoes Calcannon

11. Irish Mashed Potatoes (Colcannon)

As much as I love regular mashed potatoes, this Irish dish takes it to another level.

By adding cabbage and/or leeks to the mix, you’ll get a fantastic onion undertone in every bite. 

Not to mention the copious amount of butter! Because who wants dry mashed potatoes?

12. Parmesan & Garlic Linguine Pasta

There’s nothing wrong with a good jar of sauce. They’re easy, fast, and no-hassle. But sometimes, they’re not quite right.

So why not make your own when it only takes a few minutes?

This sauce is as easy as melting butter with cream and cheese over some pasta.

The heat from the pasta will bring it all together, and you can adjust the seasoning to your taste.

This whole dish takes just 15 minutes, including cooking the pasta.

13. Easy Homemade Calzone Recipe

Calzones are not for those looking to cut their carbs. This little pizza pocket is like a hand-pie made using pizza dough instead of pastry.

I know it’s hard, but try not to overfill these babies. As much as we all want lots of fillings, they will burst as they cook and make a big old mess. 

One trick I’ve learned is to not add any sauce inside the calzone. Just add your cheese and extras, and then serve the marinara like a dipping sauce. 

Homemade Pulled Pork Sandwich With Barbecue Sauce

14. Slow Cooker Texas Pulled Pork

I don’t think anything can top a Crockpot full of tender, melt-in-your-mouth pulled pork. It’s tangy, sweet, and super versatile. 

I like to get a big cut of pork shoulder and use it for everything from pulled pork burgers and tacos to nachos and pizza.

15. Easy Shrimp and Broccoli Stir Fry

If you’re nervous about cooking shrimp – we’ve all had them rubbery and overcooked at some point – just remember that they only need a few minutes in the pan.

Once they turn pink on both sides, you’re good to go!

The meaty shrimp work great in this next to the crunchy broccoli, and I also like to add in some spinach and corn for a little bit of color.

Homemade Breaded Chicken

16. Ritz Cracker Chicken

Using Ritz crackers to coat your chicken is quite possibly the only recipe you’ll ever need!

The buttery crackers make this chicken juicy, crispy, and borderline dangerous.

When cooking crispy chicken, always be sure that you’re working with even pieces.

If one is too thick, it won’t cook evenly, and you might end up with a dry dinner. 

17. Pizza Oatmeal

Wait… what?! This can’t be real, right?!

Wrong! Pizza oats are a new way of making something classic and simple. Oatmeal is usually served for breakfast, but who says it has to be sweet?

By adding chopped tomatoes into the oats, you’ll end up with a crazy-good bowl of filling goodness.

Top with the right spices and some cheese, and it’s one unique Thursday night dinner.

American Goulash

18. Easy One-Pot American Goulash

This pasta is rich, savory, and so satisfying. The kids will love this just as much as the adults, and it’s great with some crunchy garlic bread on the side!

For me, it just has to be ground beef. You can’t beat that deep flavor! But the seasoning works wonders if you want to make it leaner with pork or turkey.

19. 15-Minute Easy Margherita Flatbread Pizza

I have to admit, after the first time I used naan bread for a pizza base, it’s been my go-to on busy nights. 

The beauty is, you can buy them plain, or flavored with garlic, coconut, and even raisins. This makes such a great change and is one of my favorite shortcuts.

Chicken Fried Rice

20. Easy Chicken Fried Rice

Ever wondered why your fried rice turns to mush? The trick is to use cold rice – cooked and cold, that is. 

Not only that, but you should be cooking your eggs alone and then adding them to the mix at the end.

Trust me; you’ll see the difference right away.

21. Best Easy Healthy Baked Salmon

Salmon is full of all the stuff we should be eating, from protein and omega 3 to vitamin B, calcium, potassium, and antioxidants.

It’s not always the cheapest, but it’s such a healthy and filling meal.

Baking it in the oven is probably the easiest method, and it’s pretty easy to season.

Just sprinkle with some salt and pepper, and squeeze a lemon before cooking. That’s it!

Scalloped Potatoes in a Plate

22. Scalloped Potatoes Recipe

I must’ve mentioned my love for potatoes a thousand times, and nothing has changed. They’re hands-down THE most versatile vegetables out there.

But I just keep coming back to this recipe. Between the tender potatoes, onions, and indulgent creamy sauce, I could eat a whole tray to myself!

23. Chili Cornbread Casserole

Whenever I make chili, I have to have a piece of cornbread on the side. So why not combine the two from the get-go?

For something extra special, try this cheesy jalapeño cornbread.

Beef Broccoli and Rice

24. Beef and Broccoli

Beef and broccoli is a classic takeout dish that is almost always in my order. I love the crunchy and colors, and the sauce is always a hit.

But if you’re looking to save a little, making it at home couldn’t be easier.

The key is to not let the beef overcook. It only needs about 5 minutes to be tender. 

25. Pasta Pomodoro

I swear this dish will blow your mind. Who knew you could make such a delicious pasta sauce with nothing but tomatoes, olive oil, basil, and parmesan cheese?

You’ll want good quality tomatoes for this since they’re the start of the show, and please, always buy your parmesan in blocks and grate it yourself.

You won’t believe the difference it makes!

25 Quick Thursday Night Dinner Ideas

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Thursday Night Dinner Ideas

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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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