12 Quick and Easy Family Dinner Recipes You Can Make in Under an Hour

Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas
Photo: ANTONIS ACHILLEOS

If you're cooking for a family, you're almost always looking for easy dinner recipes that every member of your crew will enjoy. And while it's easy enough to make a pot of mac and cheese or whip up a batch of DIY chicken tenders, sometimes you're in the mood for something a bit more elevated.

Luckily, we've curated a list of quick and simple family dinner recipes that are ready in under an hour. Aside from being easy to make, which is a huge plus no matter who you are cooking for, these dishes are balanced, tasty, and bound to be a hit with even the pickiest eaters. That's because, for the most part, these meals take ingredients most kids know and love and make them palatable for adults too. Take the Grandma Pie With Pepperoni and Pink Sauce, for example. On the surface, this easy meal seems like any other pizza, but it actually takes things up a notch thanks to its thin crust, rich pink sauce, and crispy pepperoni.

What's more? Since all of these dishes are filling and nutritious enough in their own right, you don't need to worry about making a bevy of sides to go with 'em.

If you're running low on recipes the whole family enjoys and are at a loss regarding what to make for dinner this week, keep reading for some easy meals you and your brood will love. Trust us, you'll want to add many of these to your weekly dinner rotation ASAP!

01 of 12

Chicken Spaghetti Casserole

Easy pasta recipes - Chicken Spaghetti Casserole
Greg DuPree

If you're tired of buttered noodles, give this hearty pasta dinner a try. It's packed with spaghetti (obviously), Asiago cheese, and shredded rotisserie chicken, which is an easy addition that just so happens to be a good source of protein. Since this savory casserole is reminiscent of traditional fettuccine alfredo, your little ones will (most likely) gobble it up.

02 of 12

Chicken-Pesto Flatbread Sandwiches

Chicken-Pesto Flatbread Sandwiches
Caitlin Bensel

Rotisserie chicken strikes again in these flatbread sandwiches, which are also stuffed with mozzarella, baby arugula, and pesto. And if you don't have the time to make the pesto yourself, the jarred stuff works just as well. Thanks to these shortcuts, plus some store-bought pizza dough, this meal is ready in just 40 minutes.

03 of 12

Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas

Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas
ANTONIS ACHILLEOS

What's better than a quick meal? A quick meal you can make on one baking sheet. This colorful meal calls for shrimp, bell peppers, and red onion, which gets a flavorful boost from some tasty taco seasoning. To serve, simply wrap the shrimp and veggies in warm tortillas, and bring out all the fixings.

04 of 12

Cauliflower Fried "Rice" With Ginger and Soy

Cauliflower Fried “Rice” with Ginger and Soy
David Malosh

If you're on a desperate quest to get your kids to eat more vegetables, try this cauliflower fried rice recipe. While it's obviously made with a healthier rice alternative, it will still taste familiar to discerning eaters thanks to the inclusion of ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and other zesty flavorings like lime juice. Additional veggies, such as carrots and red onion, make this a protein-rich meal, as do the scrambled eggs, which are often the highlight of a typical fried rice recipe. If your family isn't big on spice, just go easy on (or omit) the sambal oelek.

05 of 12

Crispy Chicken Cutlets

crispy chicken cutlets recipes plate blue
Jennifer Causey

There's no denying that this 40-minute meal is a major step up from chicken fingers, while still being familiar enough that everyone will like it. Here, chicken breasts are coated with eggs and panko breadcrumbs, which helps ensure maximum crispiness. Eat these cutlets solo, or serve them with a fresh side salad or an easy rice dish.

06 of 12

Turkey Burgers With Lime Mayo and Crispy Oven Fries

Turkey Burgers With Lime Mayo and Avocado
Greg DuPree

Sure, turkey burgers in their own might not be the most exciting dinner, but here, the weeknight staple gets a little help from spices blended with the turkey meat, as well as a tangy lime mayo and thick oven-roasted fries. Top the burgers with sliced avocado to give the meal a creamy texture and a nutrient boost.

07 of 12

Grandma Pie With Pepperoni and Pink Sauce

grandma-pepperoni-pizza-0519foo
Greg DuPree

If you're not familiar with a grandma pie, think of it as a thin-crust pizza that can be made in a standard baking sheet instead of a dedicated pizza oven. This easy version is topped with a rich pink sauce, melted mozzarella, crispy coins of pepperoni, and rounds of red onion, but feel free to customize the toppings to your liking.

08 of 12

Orange Chicken Stir-Fry With Rice Noodles

orange-chicken-rice-noodle-0219din
Victor Protasio

This stir-fry tastes exactly like takeout, which means it's (literally) a recipe for success. The "orange" part of this dish comes from orange marmalade, which adds the citrus flavor as well as a welcome bitter note to balance the sweet and salty elements. The recipe calls for veggies such as snow peas and a red bell pepper, but feel free to swap in some of your faves instead. And if you aren't a fan of rice noodles, white or brown rice will work well too.

09 of 12

Sheet Pan Chicken and Sweet Potatoes

Sheet Pan Chicken and Sweet Potatoes
Greg DuPree

This sheet pan meal requires next to zero cleanup and is ready in 30 minutes. It's also balanced thanks to chicken, healthy sweet potatoes, and watercress, and gets an irresistibly flavorful boost courtesy of crisp, salty bacon.

10 of 12

Wild Mushroom and Spinach Stuffed Shells

This baked pasta dish (an elevated take on the classic stuffed shells) is hearty and satisfying, thanks to creamy, rich ricotta and meaty wild mushrooms. Get the recipe for Wild Mushroom and Spinach Stuffed Shells
Greg DuPree

Trick your kids into eating more vegetables with these stuffed shells, which are packed with ricotta as well as mushrooms, which stand in for the ground meat filling often found in some stuffed shell recipes, and sautéed spinach. The best part about this recipe is that you'll likely have plenty of leftovers, which will make your week even easier.

11 of 12

Hummus, Tomato, and Feta Pita Pizzas With Arugula Salad

Simple Recipe: Hummus, Tomato, and Feta Pita Pizzas With Arugula Salad
Johnny Miller

Believe it or not, this 20-minute meal requires almost no cooking, save for toasting the pita bread. Hummus takes the place of tomato sauce, while halved cherry tomatoes and feta cheese make a practically perfect sweet and savory topping combo.

12 of 12

Spaghetti Pasta Salad With Avocado-Basil Dressing

Spaghetti Salad With Avocado and Basil
Victor Protasio

For nights when it's too hot to turn on the oven, try this refreshing pasta salad. While you do need to boil water in order to cook the pasta, the noodles are meant to be served at room temperature with a healthy, savory dressing made with Greek yogurt, basil, vinegar, honey, and avocados. Chopped toasted almonds add a satisfying crunch, while fresh cherry tomatoes bring bursts of bright acidity. As an added bonus, whatever you don't eat for dinner makes for one delicious lunch the following day.

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