Easy weeknight dinner recipes for beginners


Finding the perfect weeknight dinner recipes can be a game-changer for busy individuals and families. We understand the importance of balancing time, nutrition, and flavor. In this guide, we present a curated list of easy, delicious, and nutritious dinner recipes that even beginners can master. These recipes are designed to minimize stress and maximize taste, making your weekday evenings more enjoyable and satisfying.

Quick and Easy Chicken Stir-Fry

Chicken stir-fry is a versatile and flavorful dish that is perfect for a quick weeknight meal. This recipe is not only easy to prepare but also packed with nutrients.


  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups of mixed vegetables (broccoli, bell peppers, carrots, snap peas)
  • 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cooked rice or noodles for serving


  1. Prepare the Chicken and Vegetables: Slice the chicken breasts thinly and set aside. Chop the vegetables into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Cook the Chicken: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the chicken slices and cook until they are no longer pink, about 5-7 minutes. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.
  3. Sauté the Aromatics: In the same skillet, add the minced garlic and ginger. Sauté for about 1 minute until fragrant.
  4. Stir-Fry the Vegetables: Add the mixed vegetables to the skillet. Stir-fry for 5-7 minutes until they are tender-crisp.
  5. Combine and Season: Return the cooked chicken to the skillet. Add the soy sauce, honey, salt, and pepper. Stir well to combine and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  6. Serve: Serve the stir-fry over cooked rice or noodles. Enjoy your quick and easy chicken stir-fry!

Classic Spaghetti Carbonara

Spaghetti Carbonara is a classic Italian dish that is both simple and indulgent. With just a few ingredients, you can create a comforting meal that feels luxurious.


  • 200 grams of spaghetti
  • 100 grams of pancetta or bacon, diced
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley for garnish


  1. Cook the Spaghetti: Boil the spaghetti in salted water according to the package instructions until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water before draining.
  2. Prepare the Pancetta: In a large skillet, cook the diced pancetta over medium heat until crispy. Add the minced garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Make the Sauce: In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and grated Parmesan cheese. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  4. Combine and Toss: Add the cooked spaghetti to the skillet with the pancetta and garlic. Pour the egg and cheese mixture over the pasta, tossing quickly to combine. Add a splash of reserved pasta water to create a creamy sauce.
  5. Serve: Garnish with fresh parsley and additional Parmesan cheese if desired. Serve immediately and savor the rich flavors of Spaghetti Carbonara.

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Plant-based cooking for beginners | Essential Cooking Techniques

Quick and easy weeknight dinners

Hearty Vegetable Soup

A hearty vegetable soup is a comforting and healthy option for a weeknight dinner. This recipe is adaptable to whatever vegetables you have on hand and is perfect for beginners.


  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes (400 grams)
  • 4 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 cup of chopped kale or spinach
  • 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon of dried basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Sauté the Vegetables: Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the diced onion, minced garlic, carrots, and celery. Sauté for 5-7 minutes until the vegetables are softened.
  2. Add Remaining Ingredients: Add the chopped zucchini, diced tomatoes (with their juice), vegetable broth, dried thyme, and dried basil. Stir to combine.
  3. Simmer: Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 20-25 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
  4. Add Greens: Stir in the chopped kale or spinach and let it cook for an additional 5 minutes until wilted.
  5. Season and Serve: Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve the soup hot with a slice of crusty bread for a satisfying meal.

Baked Lemon Herb Salmon

Baked lemon herb salmon is a nutritious and elegant dish that can be prepared with minimal effort. This recipe is perfect for beginners looking to impress.


  • 4 salmon fillets
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Lemon slices for garnish


  1. Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Prepare the Marinade: In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, lemon juice, chopped dill, chopped parsley, and minced garlic.
  3. Marinate the Salmon: Place the salmon fillets on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the fillets with the lemon herb marinade and season with salt and pepper. Let them marinate for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Bake the Salmon: Bake the salmon in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.
  5. Serve: Garnish with lemon slices and additional fresh herbs. Serve with a side of steamed vegetables or a light salad for a complete meal.

Easy Beef Tacos

Beef tacos are a fun and customizable weeknight dinner option. This recipe is quick to prepare and allows for endless variations with your favorite toppings.


  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 8 taco shells or small tortillas
  • 1 cup of shredded lettuce
  • 1 cup of diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of shredded cheese
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream
  • Salsa and guacamole for serving


  1. Cook the Beef: In a large skillet, cook the ground beef over medium heat until browned. Drain any excess fat.
  2. Add Seasoning: Add the taco seasoning and 1/2 cup of water to the skillet. Stir to combine and let it simmer for 5 minutes until the sauce thickens.
  3. Prepare the Toppings: While the beef is cooking, prepare your taco toppings by shredding lettuce, dicing tomatoes, and grating cheese.
  4. Assemble the Tacos: Fill each taco shell or tortilla with a generous portion of seasoned beef. Top with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, shredded cheese, sour cream, salsa, and guacamole.
  5. Serve: Serve the tacos immediately with additional toppings on the side for everyone to customize their own.


We believe these easy weeknight dinner recipes for beginners will help you create delicious and satisfying meals with minimal effort. Whether you’re looking for something quick like a stir-fry, a comforting bowl of soup, or a more indulgent option like spaghetti carbonara, these recipes are designed to make your weeknight dinners stress-free and enjoyable. Happy cooking!

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