30 Last Minute Dinner Ideas to Rescue Your Evenings

Late, and don’t know what to cook for dinner? Rest easy, these last minute dinner ideas are here to rescue you from your anguish. They are super easy to make and will put a smile on everyone’s faces!

It’s always a hassle to come up with dinner plans that your family will love.

And that becomes even more daunting, especially on busy working days.

The last thing you want is a mammoth task like cooking, and are constantly looking to make your evenings a little stress-free!

This list of easy last minute dinners has got you!

From scrumptious vegan meals to wholesome paneer recipes, these delicacies will have you wanting more and more.

Don’t forget chicken too!

And just to put it in mind, they can all be made in under 30 minutes!

30 Last Minute Dinner Ideas

Here are some of my treasured last minute meals, perfect if you want to keep up your feet after a hectic day, and don’t want to spend an eternity in the kitchen.


1. Chapati Pizza / Roti Pizza

Ready in: 30 Mins

I adore chapati pizza!

The leftover chapatis provide a perfect firm base, and the onions, tomatoes, sweet corn, and capsicum make it a wholesome last minute dinner.

And as always the pizza sauce and cheese are the real magic!

The best part of it all is that you don’t need an oven, it can be made using a pan.

Recipe: trippingonearth.com

2. Roasted Garlic Tomato Spaghettini with Garlic Parmesan Bread Crumbs

Ready in: 25 mins

Keep your last minute meals effortless with this simple and quick pasta recipe.

The fresh tomatoes and garlic roasted in olive oil add a ton of flavor!

And topped with toasted parmesan and garlic bread crumbs gives a perfect balance of crunch and saltiness.

Whip up this summer delicacy as an entree or a side dish!

Recipe: thissavoryvegan.com

3. Vegetarian Chili Mac

Ready in: 30 mins

This one-pot wonder is an excellent way to save up your time and energy after a tiresome day!

While the black beans and kidney beans make it a protein-rich meal, the onions, bell peppers, and carrots give it a healthy hit.

And the aromatic base of garlic and seasonings, topped with melted cheese is the best feeling ever!

Recipe: kristineskitchenblog.com

4. Vegetarian Chili

Ready in: 30 mins

Looking for a healthy, hearty, and quick last minute dinner?

This vegetarian chili is the ultimate comfort food!

What makes it such a wholesome meal is the sheer volume of veggies seasoned with homemade spice mixture.

Plus, it can be easily stored in the fridge for up to a week!

Recipe: joyfoodsunshine.com

5. Rasta Pasta With Jerk Shrimp

Ready in: 30 mins

Transport yourself straight to Jamaica with this rasta pasta with jerk shrimp!

The garlic and scallions make things super fresh, and the jerk sauce gives it a herby and spicy twist.

If you don’t have shrimp at your disposal, you can add chicken, or if you wanna keep things on the veg side, simple peppers should be just fine!

Recipe: simshomekitchen.com

6. Kidney Bean Curry

Ready in: 30 mins

This is one of my favorite last minute meals, as it is rich in plant-based protein, and does not contain any fats.

This recipe is completely plant-based, so rest easy vegan lovers!

Serve it with white rice or naan bread to get the most out of it!

Recipe: littlesunnykitchen.com

7. Macaroni Masala

Ready in: 25 mins

I think I’ve mentioned it many times, but I absolutely love pasta!

This is an Indian-style pasta that is loaded with fresh and wholesome veggies.

It’s a great appetizer to have at parties, or it’s a lazy way out to make an excellent dinner on busy weeknights.

Recipe: trippingonearth.com

8. Chicken Chow-Mein

Ready in: 30 mins

Ah! Good-ol’ noodles are still one of the best last minute dinner ideas that are both flavorsome and hearty.

This dish is filled with crispy chicken and a ton of green veggies!

But the selling point is the sauces, which make this meal so-so yummy!

Skip out adding chicken for the vegetarian alternative.

Recipe: christieathome.com

9. One-Pot Chickpea Curry

Ready in: 30 mins

I am very fond of this chickpea curry, as it is full of protein, fiber, and healthy carbs.

Incorporating onions, ginger garlic, basic Indian spices, and tomatoes, this curry is filled with tantalizing flavors!

Plus, it is vegan and gluten-free.

What more could you ask for?!

Recipe: theflavorsofkitchen.com

10. Spicy Peanut Chicken

Ready in: 25 mins

Refine your palate with this one-of-a-kind last minute dinner, which is spicy peanut chicken!

The star of the dish is peanut butter which brims this meal with its nuttiness, while the umami flavors of soy sauce and garlic make it irresistible!

Garnish it with chopped peanuts and green onions to give this dish a whole different look.

Recipe: tablefortwoblog.com

11. Smoky Tomato and Halloumi Bake

Ready in: 35 mins

This recipe combines the baked moist halloumi with the smoky flavors of Spanish tomato sauce.

And all you need is a pot to make this extremely easy weeknight meal.

Did I mention the endless amount of serving options you get from this dish?!

Recipe: happyveggiekitchen.com

12. Creamy Sausage Rigatoni

Ready in: 30 mins

Bring Italy to your dinner table with this creamy sausage rigatoni.

The crumbled sausage cooked with chicken broth, minced garlic, and fresh Italian herbs is sure to taste like a dream.

Top it with grated parmesan, chili flakes, fresh herbs, and you’ll literally go, chef’s kiss!

It’s one of my go-to easy last minute dinners.

Recipe: juliasalbum.com

13. Soy Butter Corn Ramen

Ready in: 30 mins

This delightful soy butter corn ramen is made with easily accessible ingredients.

It’s the combination of onions, garlic, sweet corn, and butter that gives its sweet and pungentness to the dish.

But it’s the umami flavor of soy sauce that adds wonders to the ramen.

Try it now!

Recipe: trippingonearth.com

14. Maggi White Sauce Pasta

Pulled out straight from the power of the internet, it is a unique and exciting take on the OG bechamel!

It has the right balance between the creaminess of white sauce and the tanginess of maggi masala.

Go for any other instant noodles to mix things up a bit.

Recipe: trippingonearth.com

15. Mongolian Beef

Ready in: 30 mins

When it comes to last minute dinner ideas, nothing is off the table.

With this Mongolian beef, you’ll be hitting your 5-a-day in no time!

Thinly sliced beef seared till it’s crispy like carrots, white bell peppers, and green onions in a sweet and spicy sauce adds so much flavor to it.

Mouth salivating yet?!

Recipe: natashaskitchen.com

16. Creamy Tomato Gnocchi with Burrata

Ready in: 30 mins

Busy weeknight dinners have never been more easy than this scrumptious recipe which takes only 7 ingredients to make.

Just by combining cherry tomatoes, cream, lots of garlic, and gnocchi, you’ll have an Italian signature dish at your table.

You can also add meatballs, or sauteed shrimp to add more protein to the mix.

Recipe: dishingouthealth.com

17. Sesame Chicken Bowls

Ready in: 15 mins

On a hunt for a sweet, tangy, and savory dish to lift up your mood?

This super saucy meal incorporates crisp-tender chicken with freshly squeezed orange juice in chicken broth.

And the green broccoli florets prove to be a necessary balancer adding some munch!

Add more veggies for a more wholesome meal.

Recipe: damndelicious.net

18. 10-Minute Garlic Chili Oil Noodles

Ready in: 10 mins

Nothing beats this garlic chili oil noodles when it comes to making a lightning-fast meal.

This quick last minute dinner recipe calls for the umami flavors of soy sauce, the spiciness of chili flakes, and the freshness of green onions and cilantro.

Use thick knife-cut noodles for the maximum flavor!

Recipe: cookerru.com

19. Taco Pasta

Ready in: 30 mins

This meal would make your Taco Tuesdays a breeze!

Boil the pasta, cook the beef, add the seasonings, and combine them together.

That’s it!

Trust me, your family will fall head over heels for this.

Recipe: sweetandsavorymeals.com

20. Veg Cheese Grilled Sandwich

Ready in: 25 mins

What could be more easy than a grilled sandwich for a last minute dinner?

All you need are some slices of bread, cheese, black pepper, salt, and mayonnaise for some serious punch of flavors!

If you want to go the extra mile, stuff some greens between the slices.

Recipe: trippingonearth.com

21. Mango Chicken Curry

Ready in: 30 mins

Ready for some authentic Indian meal that’s gonna rock your world?!

I’ve made this curry countless times, and I still ain’t tired of it.

The mango is definitely the star here, it adds a perfect amount of sweetness and loads of flavor.

Plus it stores really well. Hello, meal prep!

Recipe: theendlessmeal.com

22. Creamy Eggplant Curry With Chickpeas

Ready in: 25 mins

This creamy eggplant curry is the ultimate comfort food after a long hustling day.

It’s packed with nutrient-rich chickpeas and eggplant, whereas the coconut milk and curry powder elevate the flavor to a whole another level.

Feel free to bulk it up with potatoes, and cauliflower for a more filling meal.

Recipe: elavegan.com

23. Jeera Aloo (Cumin Potatoes)

Ready in: 10 mins

What makes ideal last minute meals is that they are time-efficient, but pack a succulent punch.

This recipe doesn’t even need an overbearing amount of ingredients, just potatoes, cumin, and basic Indian spices.

And a meal prepared in just under 10 minutes is always a plus point!

Recipe: trippingonearth.com

24. Creamy Spinach and Mushroom Gnocchi

Ready in: 20 mins

This mushroom gnocchi has been one of the best last minute dinner ideas I’ve ever come across!

This easy, quick, and filling dish is gonna make your meatless Mondays a breeze.

The simplicity of the recipe makes it an ideal choice for busy weeknights.

Recipe: juliasalbum.com

25. 30-Minute Prawn Rice

Ready in: 30 minutes

This Spanish-style dinner is filled with juicy prawns, ripe tomatoes, and sweet peppers.

But the rice cooked in tomato sauce is what sets it apart!

It is a simple dish yet fancy enough to impress your partner on a date night.

Recipe: savvybites.co.uk

26. One-Pan Spanish Chicken and Rice

Ready in: 30 mins

This one-pan chicken recipe is made with simple Spanish seasonings that is oh-so-good!

The chicken broth is the one doing heavy lifting here.

But the lemon and smoked paprika complement this dish with zesty, bold flavors!

Recipe: lecremedelacrumb.com

27. Paneer Bhurji

Rady in: 20 mins

There are things that only this succulent paneer recipe can do!

I mean the subtle milky taste and the crumbly texture of it just feels good in the mouth.

You just have to throw together some onions, tomatoes, spices, and crumbled paneer to make an appetizing last minute dinner.

Recipe: trippingonearth.com

28. Baked Honey Sriracha Chicken

Ready in: 30 mins

This crispy quick last minute dinner is going to lift up your mood at the first bite!

The perfect balance of sweet and savory between soy sauce and honey, while the sriracha adds fire to the dish is the real trick!

Whip up the sauce while baking the chicken for an efficient cook.

Recipe: chefsavvy.com

29. Vegetarian Quesadillas with Black Beans and Sweet Potatoes

Ready in: 25 mins

This healthy dinner recipe is a great way to sneak in veggies that both kids and adults will thoroughly enjoy.

The tortillas are filled with fresh avocados, nourishing veggies, shredded cheese, and taco seasonings.

Top it with salsa or sour cream for an extra burst of flavor!

Recipe: erhardtseat.com

30. Mediterranean Flatbread Pizza

Ready in: 25 mins

A crispy base topped with spinach pesto, mozzarella, feta, grape tomatoes, red onions, black olives, and artichokes, makes for an amazing Mediterranean fiesta!

What makes it different from chapati pizza is the method of cooking and the ingredients involved.

I just loved it so much that I had to include this one!

Recipe: midwestfoodieblog.com

What do You Think

These last minute dinner ideas have made my days peaceful, and surprisingly fun! I can dedicate my time to work and other necessities without worrying much about dinner plans. You should give these easy last minute meals a try too, and see for yourself what they can do for you.

How many of these recipes have you made, and share your last minute dinner recipes in the comments sections below!

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