10 Fast Dinner Ideas (20-Minutes or Less!)

Fast Dinner Ideas - SavvyMom

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I just don’t have the time to make meals that take more than 20 minutes to make. There are just too many other things vying for our time and attention right now. And admittedly I’d much rather do most of them then stand by the stove slaving over a dinner my four-year-old may or may not eat. Fortunately, I have an arsenal of fast dinner ideas!

Each meal is simple in execution and essentially seasonless, meaning the ingredients are easily found in my pantry, fridge, and/or freezer. I also like to take a page out of my mother-in-law’s book and serve the same thing on the same night each week until we tire of them. You can be sure we’ll be eating Blackened Fish Tacos each Tuesday, and French Bread Pizzas next Monday night (and the one after that, too).

Hopefully, you’ll find some easy dinner inspiration here for the weeks to come. We can do it!

10 Fast Dinner Ideas (Done in 20-minutes or less!)

French Bread Pizza:

Baguette + Jar of Marinara + Ball of Mozzarella = a dinner the whole family will love. Feel free to embellish with whatever other ingredients you find in the fridge (just don’t cook anything). Serve with a quick salad or veggies and dip.

Breakfast Burritos:

Warm large whole wheat tortillas in a 300°F oven. As they warm, prepare your favourite fillings: scrambled eggs, black beans, avocado slices (or guacamole), shredded cheddar, salsa, sour cream, cilantro, pickled jalapenos. Customize each burrito to each eater, wrap up and serve.


This holy trinity of ingredients is almost always crowd-pleasing. Simply cook a pot of pasta and while you’re doing so, sauté chopped chicken breast or thighs in a few dollops of pesto (a major flavour bomb since it contains oil, herbs, and garlic. Also, it requires no chopping). Add 6 large handfuls of spinach and stir, cooking until wilted. Drain pasta, add to skillet, toss and garnish with parmesan. Swap sausage for the chicken and peas for the spinach for another dinner that’s just as easy to make.

Gnocchi with Tomatoes, Basil and Bocconcini Cheese:

Many sheet pan meals are meat and veggie-heavy and take up to an hour to cook, but this dinner I’ve created is vegetarian and can be on the table in 20-minutes. I like to serve it with a large side salad or even some sausages for my teenage sons (when cut into thirds they can cook in the same amount of time as the gnocchi).
Full recipe here.

Chicken, White Bean & Leek Soup:

A rotisserie chicken is your best friend when it comes to fast dinner ideas, and here we’ve removed the chicken to make a soup that looks gourmet but is legitimately on the table in minutes. When serving the soup to babies and toddlers, transfer some of the soup mixture to a bowl or glass measuring cup and blitz with an immersion blender until it reaches the desired consistency.
Full recipe here.

Udon Noodles:

These noodles cook quickly. Toss with butter, soy sauce, sliced green onions, and toasted sesame oil. Serve with cut-up veggies and/or chicken on the side. Again, a great use for a rotisserie chicken.

Muffin Pan Tuna Melts:

If you mix up the tuna on the weekend these are a 10-minute weeknight dinner that can be served with a can of soup.
Full recipe here.

Quick Curry:

Open a jar of curry and combine in a pot with a can of coconut milk. Add chickpeas or another quick-cooking protein, plus veggies. Make rice. Done.

Salmon, Veg & Couscous:

Broiled salmon takes about 8 to 10 minutes. Season with olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon or use equal parts maple syrup and soy sauce to make a simple marinade. Couscous only requires 5 minutes to cooko when covered with boiling water. Add lemon zest, salt and butter. And whatever veg you feel like cooking.

Blackened Fish Tacos Recipe - SavvyMom

Blackened Fish Tacos:

This is one of my personal favourite quick-cooking dinners. The fish takes 8 minutes to broil, and while it’s cooking you can mix the slaw, crumble the cheese, and slice the green onions. I like to make the spice blend on the weekend so it’s ready when I need it.
Full recipe here


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