When it comes to busy weeknights, it’s always smart to have quick and easy dinner recipes up your sleeve. That’s why we’ve collected 50 dynamite dishes that take very little prep work and guarantee to satisfy the whole fam. Even better? Some of these simple recipes call for the slow cooker! Scroll down to see them all.

Tomato Basil Pasta

You can't go wrong with fresh tomatoes and basil! This pasta is a crowd-pleaser, and you can always add veggies or chicken. Click here for the recipe.

ADVERTISEMENT

Crock Pot Chicken from Heaven

It's right there in the title: this chicken is a little bit of heaven. It's also convenient, delicious and can be adapted for Paleo diets! Grab the recipe by clicking here.

photo: Allison Sutcliffe

Classic Fondue

Hooray for this fondue hack! Simply heat Trader Jacques’ La Fondue (made with three savory kinds of cheese) in the microwave for about five minutes. Et voilà! Learn more here.

Grilled Cheese with Apple & Jam

Give your classic grilled cheese a major upgrade with two ingredients you probably have on hand: apples and jam! Get the tasty recipe here.

photo: Jennifer Causey

Perfect Banana Mini Muffins

For a delish breakfast or snack on the quick, whip up a batch of these minis for your minis. They're the perfect banana-y treat for any day of the week! Score the recipe (courtesy of Siri Dalyhere.

photo: Sara Olsher

Carnitas Salad

Psst! If you toss together pre-cooked carnitas, cheese, avocado, salsa, cilantro salad dressing, sour cream and a bag of romaine lettuce, you'll get a delicious dinner. Learn more here.

Crock Pot Sloppy Joes

For a fuss-free dinner, bookmark this recipe from Dragonfly Home Recipes! All you need to do is brown the meat and have your trusty crock pot on hand. Check out the recipe here.

Tuna Pasta Salad

This pasta salad is simple, quick, and made with just a few ingredients! It's perfect for hot days or whenever you need an ultra-quick meal. Find the Weelicious recipe here.

photo: Allison Sutcliffe

Veggie-ful Mandarin Orange Chicken

This frozen TJ's meal is a guaranteed kid-pleaser and the best part is that it's easy to sneak in some veggies, too. (Think broccoli, peas and green peppers.) Learn more here.

Instant Pot Chili

Love your Instant Pot? You'll love this recipe from The Bearded Hiker! Just sauté your beef, add veggies, beans, and spices and the pressure cooker will do the rest. Click here for the recipe.

photo: Sara Olsher

Pulled Pork Tacos

This adds up: Make Trader Joe’s Pulled Pork in the microwave in three minutes, get a super-tasty taco base. Then just add your favorite toppings and salsa! Learn more here.

Rainbow Wrap

Your kiddos will love this radiant wrap-up from Super Healthy Kids, which is chock-full of red, orange, green, purple and a dollop of cheese. Get the recipe here.

Taco Hot Dogs

Turn dinner into a tailgate with these genius dogs from Mama Gourmand. It's a tasty twist on chili dogs and the perfect weeknight meal. Snag the recipe for yourself here.

photo: Allison Sutcliffe

Individual Pizza Pies

Who knew that Trader Joe’s frozen naan bread makes a fab pizza crust? Let everyone pile on their fave toppings and give it a quick bake and dinner is served. Learn more here.

Butternut Squash Black Bean Wrap

Got a grill or panini press? Take a cue from Pinch of Yum and use it for this pocket of sweet butternut squash, warm black beans, and gooey cheese. For the recipe, click here.

photo: Sara Olsher

Kid-friendly Curry

It's easy to get a taste of Thai with this Trader Joe's hack that uses coconut cream TJ's Thai Red Curry Sauce, pre-cooked all-natural chicken breast and three-minute rice. Don't forget the veggies! Learn more here.

Hawaiian Barbecue Pizza

With BBQ sauce, pineapple and rotisserie chicken, this pizza from Kim's Cravings couldn't be simpler. Get the kids in on the cooking to make dinnertime extra fun! Click here for the recipe.

photo: Anna Doogan

Island Soyaki Rice Bowl with Meatballs

Throw together a tropical-inspired rice bowl with Trader Joe's party-size frozen mini meatballs, Island Soyaki marinade, grilled pineapple chunks and just a few other ingredients. Dinner is served! Learn more here.

Thai Chicken Pasta Salad

This pasta salad from I Wash You Dry calls for ramen noodles and rotisserie chicken—extra easy!—and sports crisp veggies and a flavorful sauce. Get the recipe here.

photo: Sara Olsher

Next Level Ravioli

Trader Joe’s has a great selection of ravioli, and it's easy to change up the usual marinara sauce. Instead, opt for things like spinach, peas and Boursin cheese! Get inspired here.

photo: Jennifer Martine

Sweetie Pie Quesadilla

Sweet potatoes plus melted cheese? You'll love this quesadilla from Best Lunch Box Ever. It can be made ahead of time, and you can always throw in extra veggies! Make your own with this recipe.

 

One-Pot Tomato Basil Pasta

This awesome pasta dish isn't too fancy, sports kid-friendly ingredients, and is sure to be a new dinner fave. Bonus: it only gets one pot dirty! Get the how-to here.

photo: Allison Sutcliffe

Butternut Squash Soup

Trader Joe's butternut squash soup is tasty on its own—but you can make it even better with easy additions like cranberries, goat cheese and more! Get inspired with these ideas.

Pigs in a Blanket

Everyone's fave party app also makes a great dinner-in-a-pinch! And with just two ingredients and four steps, kids can help whip these up! Make your own with these instructions.

Fettuccine Alfredo

Creamy fettuccine Alfredo that's healthy, too? The secret to this recipe from Frou Frou & Frills is sneaking spinach into the sauce and adding pre-cooked chicken. Get the recipe here.

photo: Anna Doogan

Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers

Want a delicious veggie-centric dinner ASAP? How about stuffed peppers with quinoa and feta? Yep, it's as good as it sounds, and a healthy too! Get inspired to make your own here.

Grilled Cheese Rollups

Think outside the grilled cheese! These rollups have the classic taste kids love, with a just a bit of a twist. And they only take 10 minutes to make! Find out how here.

photo: Anna Doogan

Pesto Pasta with Shrimp

Garlicky pesto + shrimp + your fave pasta? It's a match made in easy dinner heaven. For added mmm, throw in fresh basil, tomato and Parmesan! Learn more here.

Eggless Salad

Hey, vegans! This tofu treat from Lunchbox Bunch is the genius is great cold and can be made ahead of time, too! Get the recipe here.

Honey Garlic Slow Cooker Chicken

This chicken recipe from Hello Spoonful is a keeper! It only has a few ingredients, so you can get this into the crock pot in the morning in less than ten minutes! Get the recipe here.

photo: Allison Sutcliffe

Warm "Winter" Salad

Sure, this is billed as a winter salad, but it's so tasty (and healthy!) we don't see any reason you can't enjoy the warm vinaigrette dressing, edamame and beets all year 'round. For more on this recipe, click here.

Brie Apple Cinnamon Quesadillas

For a sweet and savory treat, grab brie and apples! We've laid out the steps for you and the kiddos—it'll be your new fave quesadilla! Make your own with this recipe.

Gong Bao Chicken

This recipe (courtesy of Everyday Secret Restaurant Recipes by Leah Schapira and Victoria Dwek) is uber flavorful but oh-so-easy. There are only a few steps! Get the recipe here.

Salmon with Chili-Lime Sauce

Three cheers for the Instant Pot, which cooks up this salmon from Savory Tooth in just five minutes. Plus, there's a tangy sauce, rice, and a good dose of veggies. Find the recipe here.

Orzo Pasta Salad

With a simple mix of orzo pasta, mozzarella, grape tomatoes and fresh basil, you’ve got a pasta salad that's perfect for picnics and lunchboxes! Get the how-to here.

photo: Allison Sutcliffe

Squash Rice Bowl

Love Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel seasoning? That the star of this rice bowl, along with squash, broccoli, and precooked chicken. Learn how to make yours here.

Cheese Stuffed Meatballs

Try these creative meatballs (from Andi of The Weary Chef) as a quick lunch or pop ’em in a pot of pasta sauce. You can even use string cheese for the tasty middle! Check out the recipe here.

photo: Anna Doogan

Steak Tacos

You can have Taco Tuesday any day of the week with TJ's prepped carne asada. Don't forget the avocado, cheese, sour cream and salsa! Learn more here.

Korean Beef Bowl

Thanks to Ambs Loves Food, you can fulfill your Korean food cravings in 15-20 mins. And you probably have the ingredient list in your pantry! Click here for the recipe.

photo: Anna Doogan

Scallop Rolls

Channel a seaside vacation with an easy weeknight meal! All you need to do is saute Trader Joe's scallops with butter and seasonings, add sandwich fixings and enjoy! Learn more here.

Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf Bites

These meatloaf bites from our friend Catherine McCord of Weelicious are petite versions of your fave comfort food. And you can bet they're perfect for kid taste buds! Find the recipe here.

photo: Anna Doogan

BBQ Pork Sandwiches with Coleslaw

With a few shortcuts, you can serve up BBQ pork sandwiches PDQ! The key is pre-made shredded pork and a quick coleslaw mix. Learn more here.

Crispy Parmesan Crusted Fish

Want to introduce the kiddos to delish fish? Try this mild white fish covered in a crunchy parmesan crust. The ingredients are simple, and the flavors are excellent! Get the recipe here.

photo: Anna Doogan

Chicken Pasta Salad

For an easy weeknight meal, this salad is good served warm or cold. The other magic ingredients include salsa, black beans, chopped chicken and creamy dressing. Learn more here.

Kiddie Cobb Salad

A kid-friendly salad? Hear us out. This quick recipe from Mom’s Kitchen Handbook features delicious add-ons like avocado, smoked turkey and egg. Add it to your menu with this recipe.

photo: Sara Olsher

Easy Vegetarian Soft Tacos

Head's up! These tacos can be thrown together in less than five minutes. It starts with tortillas and refried beans and ends with toppings like salsa, cheese, guac, and greens. Learn more here.

Tricolor Pasta Salad

Why's this recipe, adapted from Melissa d’Arabian, such a winner? The multi-colored noodles don't hurt—neither do the healthy veggies. Get the recipe here.

Crock Pot Chicken Teriyaki

Fact: Kids love teriyaki. Another fact? This recipe from Our Little Acre uses the slow cooker and is super simple to make. Snag the recipe by clicking here.

Slow Cooker Chicken Parm

We bet you can throw all three (yes, three) ingredients for this simple recipe in the crock pot during one commercial break. Then set it and forget it until it's time to dig in. Get the recipe here.

—Abigail Matsumoto

 

RELATED STORIES:

15 New Crock Pot Recipes You Have to Try

30 Days Worth of Quick & Easy Meals

5 Easy Recipes for Every School Night This Week

6 Dinnertime Egg Recipes You Should Try Tonight

50 Simple Recipes That Take 15 Minutes or Less