16 Sunday Dinner Ideas That Are Anything But Stressful

Because Sunday dinner doesn't have to be complicated to be comforting!

chicken thighs with couscous and Olives
Photo: Antonis Achilleos

There's nothing like a cozy dinner with friends and family to soothe a case of the Sunday scaries, but nobody wants to spend the last moments of the weekend bogged down with dinner prep and dishes.

Lucky for you, we've rounded up 16 easy Sunday dinner ideas to prepare for you and your loved ones without leaving your kitchen a mess. There's something for everyone in here, from a cheesy pasta, to a sheet pan salmon dish and a tofu stir fry. The common thread? All 16 recipes are easy to whip up and execute, and won't leave you with a pile of pots, pans, and dishes to clean once the meal is over.

01 of 16

Skillet Polenta in Creamy Tomato Sauce

Skillet Polenta in Tomato Sauce
Caitlin Bensel

Grab a tube of plain polenta at the store to make this inventive, comforting recipe—perfect for a chilly evening. Nestle polenta slices and white beans in a rich tomato sauce with Italian spices, and you've got a complete vegetarian meal.

02 of 16

Free-Form Enchilada Verde

Use a jar of store-bought salsa verde to create this delicious Free-Form Enchilada Verde.
Marcus Nilsson

Enchiladas are a great way to feed a crowd, and these free-form ones come together in a single baking dish—no mess involved. Filled with butternut squash, salsa, beans, and cheese, these enchiladas are hearty and packed with flavor.

03 of 16

Chicken Thighs with Couscous and Olives

Chicken Thighs with Couscous and Olives
Antonis Achilleos

This one-skillet meal comes together in no time, and the combination of crispy chicken skin and tender couscous is irresistible. Shower with fresh cilantro and pomegranate seeds to make each plate look like a party.

04 of 16

Peanut Butter Ramen

Peanut Butter Ramen Recipe
Antonis Achilleos

Made with peanut butter, soy sauce, chili sauce, and sesame oil, you're going to want to eat the sauce on its own! This recipe breathes new life into instant ramen noodles, and only takes a few minutes to prepare.

05 of 16

Mushroom White Pizza

Mushroom White Pizza
White pizza is the kind of thing that feels totally restaurant-fancy, but is actually quite easy to make at home. To make the base, simply stir together ricotta and shredded mozzarella with garlic and oil. Top with sautéed mushrooms and you’ve got something worthy of date night at home. This pizza is cooked grandma-style, stretched out into one family-style serving on a baking sheet. Serve with an arugula or romaine salad on the side. Get the recipeMushroom White Pizza. Greg DuPree

The trick to pulling off pizza night without a big fuss? Store-bought dough! We love this elegant pizza, topped with ricotta, mushrooms, and fresh parsley.

06 of 16

Slow-Cooker Chicken Taco Soup

Slow-Cooker Chicken Taco Soup
Jennifer Causey

We're big fans of the slow cooker when it comes to entertaining; this recipe only requires 10 minutes of hands-on time and leaves you with a vibrant, party-ready soup. Set out some shredded cheese, sour cream, and hot sauce for your guests to dress up their bowls.

07 of 16

Quick Spring Lamb and Vegetable Stew

Easy Supper Ideas: Quick One-Pot Spring Lamb and Vegetable Stew Recipe
Quentin Bacon

This freezer-friendly stew is hearty and rich--exactly what you want to tuck into after a long day. Plus, it only uses one pot! Sprinkle with fresh parsley before serving for a little brightness.

RELATED: 20 Simple, Healthy Soup Recipes for Every Season

08 of 16

Shrimp Lo Mein

Shrimp Lo Mein
Lo mein—a Chinese dish that means stirred noodles—is a standard takeout order for many Americans, but making it at home is an opportunity to not only expand your culinary repertoire, but to cut down on expensive delivery. Lo mein noodles are stirred into a sauce—in this case, a mixture of soy, lime, sugar, Sriracha, ginger, garlic, and sesame oil. What’s not to like? You’ll also fold in shrimp and sautéed vegetables like bell peppers, scallions, and mushrooms, plus fresh baby bok choy. Get the recipe: Shrimp Lo Mein. Greg DuPree

This untraditional lo mein incorporates a whole assortment of veggies, including shiitake mushrooms, bok choy, and bell pepper. From start to finish, this noodle dish takes only 25 minutes to prepare.

09 of 16

Summer Nachos

Summer Nachos
Greg DuPree

You may not think of nachos as health food, but these vegetarian nachos are covered in good-for-you ingredients: corn, red cabbage, and zucchini, to name a few. This recipe only uses a bowl, a sheet pan, and a blender or food processor to whip up a creamy avocado-yogurt sauce that's well worth the extra dirty dish.

10 of 16

Cheesy Pasta With Sausage and Brussels Sprouts

Cheesy sausage pasta in a serving bowl.
Caitlin Bensel

Something feels so right about a big baked pasta for Sunday dinner. This one includes bites of sweet Italian pork sausage and charred Brussels sprouts, all coated with a Worcestershire-spiked cheese sauce. It's decadent, comforting, and easy to scale up to feed a big group.

11 of 16

Sheet Pan Salmon With Potatoes and Broccolini

Sheet Pan Salmon With Potatoes and Broccolini
Victor Protasio

Keep things simple with this nourishing weeknight meal. A quick vinaigrette with lemon, shallot, and mustard gets drizzled on top of the salmon and vegetables at the end for brightness and flavor.

12 of 16

Steak With Gnocchi and Green Beans

steak-gnocchi-0419din
Victor Protasio

This easy steak recipe only calls for a few dishes and a handful of ingredients, and the gnocchi-green bean side comes together in just a few minutes. Serve with crusty bread to sop up every last bit.

13 of 16

Fettuccine With Asparagus, Leeks, and Mint

Fettuccine With Asparagus, Leeks, and Mint
Victor Protasio

Perfect for a spring dinner, this lemony pasta is full of verdant, springy produce, which not only tastes delicious, but also looks beautiful on the plate. Shave some Parmesan and sprinkle some crushed red pepper flakes on top for a little pizzazz.

14 of 16

Sweet-and-Sour Tofu

Sweet-and-Sour Tofu Recipe
Alison Miksch

All you need is a large non-stick skillet to make this sticky, sweet-and-sour tofu, which has ketchup in the sauce for sweet tomato flavor. Throw some broccoli florets in the pan, and dinner is done!

RELATED: This Is the Secret to Cooking Perfectly Crispy Tofu Every Time

15 of 16

Chickpea-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Chickpea-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Caitlin Bensel

Filling and deeply satisfying, these chickpea-stuffed sweet potatoes are seasoned with cinnamon and cumin, and topped with a dollop of spiced yogurt. It's highly possible that you already have everything (or almost everything) you need to make this recipe already in your kitchen.

16 of 16

Lemony Fish With Orzotto

Lemony Fish and Orzotto
Antonis Achilleos

This recipe is a lesson in pan-searing fish until its skin is golden and crisp, with a supple, tender interior. Place the filets on top of creamy, lemony orzo "risotto," dotted with sweet peas and dinner is ready.

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