When it comes to trying to be creative in the kitchen these days, 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 quick meal ideas 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.
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.
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.
Perfect Banana Mini Muffins
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
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.
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
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.
Taco Hot Dogs
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
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
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
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.
Sweetie Pie Quesadilla
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.
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.
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.
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.
Honey Garlic Slow Cooker Chicken
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
Salmon with Chili-Lime Sauce
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
Crock Pot Chicken Teriyaki
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.
Featured image: Heather Schwartz via Unsplash