30 Last-Minute Dinner Ideas For The Whole Family

30 Last-Minute Dinner Ideas For The Whole Family

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When you are quick on time and components, these 30 Last Minute Dinner Ideas will aid you get a healthier, hearty meal on the table in 30 minutes or significantly less!

pantry meals, whole wheat pasta, chili, tikka masala, stir fry, quesadilla, black bean burger

If you are something like me, often you may discover oneself with an empty fridge and a hungry household to feed. For these occasions when you haven’t been in a position to make a trip to the grocery shop, or you are attempting to stretch the components you currently have on hand, these final-minute dinner tips will come in handy.

What Are Last Minute Dinner Ideas?

When I’m quick on time, and components, I turn to my pantry to prepare a fast meal in beneath 30 minutes for the complete household.

Having a go-to list of simple recipes is a terrific way to assure you never ever really feel like you are also overwhelmed to get dinner on the table. Shelf-steady vegetables are also handy such as onions, potatoes, and squash that can keep fresh for an extended period of time.

These kinds of final-minute dinners are recipes that you can pull with each other employing a handful of staple canned components as properly as products such as pasta, rice, and quinoa.

Prepare these simple dinner recipes with minimal work, or you can also take into consideration slow cooker recipes so you do not have to do any work when you get property!

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I advocate stocking up on a handful of uncomplicated components to get a healthier meal on the dinner table in a hurry. The following products are important to stock up on so that even when you haven’t produced a trip to the grocery shop, you can nonetheless pull with each other an simple and scrumptious meal.

You do not want to have all of these on hand at all occasions, but if you have a very good quantity from every single category beneath you will be in a position to make any of the meals on this list!

Canned Or Jarred Foods

Keeping a choice of organic canned or jarred foods suggests that you will not have to run to the shop to produce a healthier and scrumptious meal in a hurry.

  • Tomatoes and Bell Peppers: These come in handy to make chilis, soups, pasta sauces, and stir-fries.
  • Beans: These are terrific for simple final minute dinners, due to the fact they are so versatile. Add to your chilis, soups, tacos, salads, nachos, or love as a side dish.
  • Fruit (with no sugar added): This tends to make a uncomplicated dessert on its personal, or creates a bake, crumble, or oatmeal.
  • Vegetables like pumpkin puree, butternut squash puree, entire green beans, or peas (no sugar added): These can make sauces or soups in a hurry.
  • Pasta Sauce: A must for these nights when you do not have considerably but some pasta and sauce!
  • Salsa: Adds flavor to your salads, tacos, and nachos, and tends to make a uncomplicated snack with chips.
  • Coconut Milk: Added to curries, soups, or used to produce dairy-no cost desserts.
  • Soy Sauce: Great for stir-fries and curries.

Grains And Dry Items

These grains and dried goods have a lengthy shelf life to produce an simple meal. They will fill out your healthier recipes and give them the added bulk they want to fill you up and really feel happy.

  • Dried Beans: Much significantly less high-priced than canned beans, dried beans are a terrific supply of affordable protein and added nutrients. Make a massive batch and use it all through the week.
  • Dried Lentils: High in plant protein and fast cooking, lentils can be added to soups, stews, curries, on leading salads, pasta sauces, and so considerably more!
  • Quinoa: A grain that is a very good supply of protein. It is also fast-cooking, so excellent to use in spot of rice.
  • Farro or Barley: Both are grains that have a chewy texture. Make salads, soups, or produce a uncomplicated side dish.
  • Rice (any type – brown rice, wild, white, and so on): Having rice on hand is important. Pairs properly with your stir-fries and curries.
  • Oats: Used to make oatmeal in the morning, but also can be made use of in savory dishes.
  • Whole grain pasta (or even legume-primarily based pasta are terrific for further protein): A choice of healthier pasta is essential to have in hand to produce fast meals your household will appreciate.

Shelf Stable Items

  • Vegetable Stock: Can be made use of for soups, stews, chilis, and curries, and can be made use of in spot of oil to sauté vegetables.
  • Nuts & Seeds: Add nuts to your salads and meals for further crunch, healthier fats, and added protein.
  • Nut Butters: Create fast sandwiches, and add creaminess to some of your coconut-primarily based sauces with peanut butter, and other nut butter.
  • Spices: Essential for added flavor in all your favourite dishes. While fresh herbs such as fresh basil are good to have, dried herbs final a lengthy time, so you will usually have them on hand when you want to add flavor.
  • Olive Oil, Coconut Oil: These are the healthiest oils to use in your cooking. Use them sparingly to sauté vegetables, and produce dessert recipes.

Long-Lasting Produce

Having lengthy-lasting shelf-steady generate suggests you do not have to be concerned about your vegetables going poor also rapid. This generate can be added to your soups and stews, produce stir-fries, make a pasta sauce, and so considerably more.

  • Potatoes or Sweet Potatoes: Baked, steamed, mashed, or stuffed potatoes and sweet potatoes can make a meal when you add some fresh vegetables, and plant protein.
  • Winter Squash: Will final very a though when kept in a cool dark spot. You can roast your squash, and stuff it with added components. Or serve as a side dish, make it into a soup.
  • Cabbage: Make cabbage rolls, add to soup, braise.
  • Root Veggies (carrots, parsnips, and so on.): These are great for developing a wealthy flavor in soups and stews, but also taste terrific when roasted.
  • Peppers: Stuff them with rice and beans, chop them up to add to your sauces, stir-fries, and soups. Cut them into consider slices and love them fresh as a snack.
  • Onions: I use onions in practically each savory dish. They add such flavor, and are very good for you also!
  • Garlic: Another staple, to add wealthy flavor.
  • Lemons/Limes: Will maintain a bit longer and add a touch of required acidity to quite a few final minute throw with each other dinners.

Easy Frozen Items

Frozen vegetables and fruits can be as nutritious, if not more so, than fresh!

  • Vegetables: Broccoli, mixed vegetables, cauliflower, spinach, beans, corn, peas, and edamame.
  • Fruit operates terrific in smoothies: frozen berries, bananas, mango, peaches, cherries, and pineapple. You can also get fruit fresh and freeze it.
  • Bread and tortillas freeze completely – so get them fresh and place them in your freezer!


Dairy-primarily based products like cheddar cheese, cream cheese yogurt, cottage cheese, sour cream, and eggs will all maintain for ~3 weeks in the fridge. They are not necessarily pantry “staples” but you can stock up almost certainly after each handful of weeks and get away with employing these products for a though!

What If I Don’t Have All The Ingredients?

The terrific factor about these creating these final-minute meals is that they are adaptable and demand fundamental components. If you do not have fresh veggies, use frozen or canned. Or, if you do not have a single ingredient, merely leave it out. If you do not have a single kind of veggie substitute it for a single you do have. Or if the recipe calls for quinoa and you only have rice, use that as an alternative!

What Are Some Easy Last Minute Dinner Ideas I Can Make With Food In My Pantry?

When you are quick on time, but have a stocked pantry, you can make a fast dinner in no time at all. These are my go-to meals employing pantry components.

  • Whole wheat pasta with marinara sauce and fresh spinach
  • Vegetable soup employing vegetable stock, canned tomatoes, and shelf steady generate.
  • Chili, employing beans, peppers, onion, canned tomatoes and spices.
  • Stuffed peppers, with rice, cheese and beans.
  • Stuffed baked potatoes, either russet or sweet potatoes.
  • Sheet pan nachos with black beans, salsa, and what ever fresh generate I have in the fridge.
  • Rice and beans, with mixed vegetables.
  • Stir-fries with rice and frozen vegetables. I add tofu, or tempeh for added protein.
  • Breakfast for dinner! Make pancakes, oatmeal with fruit, or a tofu scramble!

30 Pantry Meals You Can Make In 30 Minutes!

Here is a list of some of my favourite pantry meals. From soups, to pasta recipes, to salads, and pizzas, I’ve got you covered with inspiring tips for mealtime. All of these are final minute dinner tips with out meat, but you can quickly add some shredded chicken or ground beef to most of these recipes if you’d like!

Lebanese Lentil Soup

Soups are a single of the easiest final minute healthier dinner tips you can make, due to the fact you can throw a bunch of components into a pot and it generally tastes quite very good! This wealthy and flavorful Lebanese Lentil Soup is cooked more than higher heat, adds spinach for some greens, and is served with a dollop of cool yogurt and cilantro. It’s a hearty, healthier, and simple dish to pull with each other for a weeknight meal.

closeup of moroccan chickpea soup served in a white bowl with cilantro garnish

Vegetarian White Bean Soup with Pumpkin

This Vegetarian White Bean Soup with Pumpkin is a favourite recipe amongst my youngsters! It’s healthier, scrumptious and genuinely simple to make! The white beans give the soup a creamy taste and the pumpkin delivers a wealthy warmth that’ll have you coming back for more! It’s a scrumptious weeknight dinner for the entire household.

spoonful of vegetarian white bean soup with pumpkin, served in white bowls, topped with pumpkin seeds

Instant Pot Tomato Soup with Cumin

This Instant Pot Tomato Soup is creamy and scrumptious with the excellent quantity of subtle spice. Less than 75 calories per serving it is a healthier, hearty and simple to make classic recipe. It’s a single of these simple final minute meals that you can pair with just about any side dish and it’ll taste terrific!

instant pot tomato soup pictured in a white bowl against a wooden background with a grilled cheese sandwich on the side

Spicy Potato Corn Chowder

This spicy potato corn chowder is packed complete of fresh components and a blend of scrumptious spices. Dairy-no cost, and low in calories it is a decadent soup to be enjoyed with out the guilt!

potato corn chowder - spicy, dairy-free, served in a blue bowl with fresh corn, tomatoes, and a corn chip as garnishes with a spoon in the bowl

Creamy Cucumber Gazpacho

This cucumber gazpacho is light, refreshing, and so simple to make! With a mixture of cucumber, honeydew, and fresh mint it is cool, slightly sweet, gluten-no cost, vegan, and tends to make for the excellent appetizer or uncomplicated side!

cucumber gazpacho served in a white bowl, garnished with cucumber slices

Whole Wheat Pasta Recipe

This simple, tasty, healthier Whole Wheat Pasta Recipe is simple to make when you want a final-minute dinner concept! Full of flavor and loaded with veggies, this household friendly supper will be a positive fire hit!

whole wheat pasta recipe topped with spinach, pasta sauce, parmesan cheese on a white plate, top view

Pasta with Sun-dried Tomato Pesto and Feta

This entire wheat pasta dish is produced with a scrumptious sun-dried tomato pesto and topped with crumbled feta. Packed with flavor, and simple and fast to make for a healthier weeknight meal.

pasta with sun-dried tomato pesto pantry meal

Vegan Hamburger Helper

Enjoy this childhood favourite with all the nostalgia, but none of the meat. Vegan hamburger helper is an simple a single-pot dish that whips up in 25 minutes! It’s a single of those last minute supper tips that youngsters will appreciate also!

healthy low calorie meatless vegan hamburger helper recipe on a white plate

Vegetarian Pesto Pasta

This healthier vegetarian pesto recipe is simple to make and will grow to be a single of your staple final minute meal tips. Ricotta offers this sauce a creamy texture and the added pine nuts offers it a good crunch!


Red Lentil Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes

This healthier red lentil pasta recipe is the ultimate simple vegetarian meal that is filled with protein and prepared in just 30 minutes! It’s a single of my favourite final minute dinner recipes!


Butternut Squash Ravioli

A uncomplicated 15-minute recipe, this Trader Joe’s Butternut squash ravioli has a uncomplicated, homemade, creamy and cheesy sauce. It’s a fast weeknight dinner that tastes like a gourmet meal!


Rustic Pizza with Garlic and Mushrooms

Homemade pizza gets a rustic makeover with caramelized onions, mushrooms, and lots of cheese! This rustic mushroom and garlic pizza tends to make for a scrumptious dinner that is prepared to consume in significantly less than 30 minutes.


Florentine Pizza

This scrumptious Florentine Pizza has bold flavors of garlic, a blend of cheeses, and is topped with spinach — all on leading of an simple no-rise entire wheat crust.

florentine pizza on white surface

Veggie Pizza Recipe

This veggie pizza recipe is each enticing and healthier! Made with melted gooey cheese and tender fresh vegetables such as red onion and green bell pepper, this savory and yummy pizza is excellent for the summer time or any other time of the year when you are hunting for some thing fast, simple, and prepared in 30 minutes!

Top view of veggie pizza recipe on white plate

Healthy Pita Pizza

This Healthy Pita Pizza with Goat Cheese and Tomatoes is prepared in only 15 minutes and is a single of my favourite, easiest meal tips! These individual pizzas are loaded with veggies for a properly-balanced meal.

healthy pita pizza with goat cheese and tomatoes, served on a white plate, garnished with basil

Cheesy Quinoa and Black Bean Casserole

A lightened-up, healthier quinoa bake that you can love totally guilt-no cost. Reminiscent of enchiladas, slightly spicy and super satisfying, complete of black beans, veggies, and cheesy goodness.

pantry meal cheesy quinoa and black bean casserole

Spicy Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash

How about breakfast for dinner? This sweet potato breakfast hash is packed complete of flavor, and tends to make a terrific brunch, side dish or even key meal! Packed complete of veggies and plant protein this is a a single pan meal that is simple to make.

A bowl of sweet potato hash with a fork in it

Vegan Tikka Masala with Tofu

This vegan tikka masala with tofu is fast, healthier, simple and oh so tasty! Packed complete of scrumptious Indian spices, this recipe is a excellent alternative for a weeknight meal. Made with coconut milk, this mild curry will be a hit with the entire household!

vegan tikka masala with tofu pantry meal

Vegan Chana Masala

This Vegan Chana Masala tastes like some thing you’d order from a amazing Indian restaurant. It’s healthier, gluten-no cost, naturally vegan, however nonetheless wealthy and flavorful with the excellent quantity of heat. One of my go-to final-minute dinner tips!

vegan chana masala pantry meal

Instant Pot Pinto Beans Vegan Posole

This simple Instant Pot Pinto Beans Vegan Posole is a scrumptious Mexican stew that is packed complete of flavor. Ready in just 30 minutes, with wealthy spices, crunchy veggies, and chewy hominy – this healthier soup is excellent for a fast a single-pot meal when you are hunting for a healthier dinner recipe.

instant pot pinto beans pantry meal

Vegetarian Quesadillas with Cumin and Lentils

These Vegetarian Quesadillas with Cumin and Lentils is a uncomplicated weeknight meal you can pull with each other in 30 minutes or significantly less. Tortillas are stuffed with toasted cumin seeds, lentils, corn, cheese, then topped with fresh pico de gallo. It’s a kid-friendly meal your household will appreciate!

lentil quesadilla pantry meal on of the last minute dinner ideas.

Veggie Burrito Bowl

This healthier and simple Vegetarian Burrito Bowl with black beans is packed with goodness and great flavors! It’s a single of these simple final-minute dinner recipes you can come back to once again and once again, and adjust it up with what ever you have on hand!

vegetarian burrito bowl with black beans, tortilla chips, corn, cheese and lime

Sweet Potato Tacos

These hearty sweet potato tacos are loaded with refried black beans, and veggies, and topped with a spicy Greek Yogurt taco sauce.

sweet potato tacos with black beans and a spicy yogurt sauce served on a wooden cutting board

Veggie Quesadilla Recipe

This simple, healthier veggie quesadilla recipe is packed with gooey cheese, black beans, and crunchy veggies. Done in significantly less than 30 minutes they make a terrific weeknight meal!

pantry meals pin — Health, Kids

High Protein Veggie Burger

You ought to absolutely have veggie burgers in your rotation of pantry meal recipes – due to the fact they are super simple to make! And this high-protein veggie burger recipe with black beans and vegetables is scrumptious! These burgers are hearty, healthier, terrific for creating final minute meals, and the excellent comfort meals.

pumpkin burgers on a white plate - black bean pumpkin burgers topped with spinach, tomato, cheese, onions, ketchup

Black Bean Quinoa Cakes

These crispy quinoa patties are a single of my favourite, fast final minute dinner tips! Combine the creaminess of feta cheese with a distinct Mexican flair for the excellent blend of flavor and texture. Have leftover quinoa? This is a tasty, nutrient-dense way to reimagine it!

Last-minute dinner ideas: Black Bean Quinoa Cakes topped with salsa, served on a white plate

Garlic Bread Grilled Cheese

Grilled cheese is a single of these rapid dinner tips that is a total crowd pleaser. And this Garlic Bread Grilled Cheese with French Onions is the ultimate gooey cheesy indulgent sandwich with a healthier twist. Packed with flavor and accomplished in minutes, it is comfort meals at its ideal!

garlic bread grilled cheese

Vegetable Stir Fry Sauce with Lemon and Ginger

This healthier vegetable stir fry sauce tossed with fresh or frozen veggies, tofu and quinoa is a fast and simple vegan weeknight meal. The ideal aspect? You can actually throw something in it and it will taste terrific. It’s loaded with flavor from lemon and ginger, and is prepared in just 15 minutes!

vegetable stir fry on gray plate with quinoa

Mexican Taco Casserole

This healthier a single pot meal is a single of my go-to uncomplicated dinner tips when you want to get dinner on the table in a hurry! Make a huge batch and save half for dinner later in the week – it tastes even far better the next day!

mexican taco casserole in pan pantry meal

Budget Friendly Black Bean Burgers

These vegetarian black bean burgers are simple and fast to make, so they are excellent for a healthier weeknight meal.

Last Minute Dinner Ideas: Homemade vegetarian black bean burger on whole wheat bun, topped with baby spinach, tomato, onion and served with home fries on the side

More Helpful Recipe Round-Ups!

If you have attempted any of these final minute weeknight dinners, or any other recipe on my weblog, then please price it and let me know how it turned out in the comments beneath! You can also Stick to ME on FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more scrumptious, healthier, household-friendly meals!

Originally published in pickyeaterblog.com