Super-fast dinners that you can have on the table in just ten minutes, with no prep!

No time for chit chat. Ready to get cooking? Here are 10 last-minute dinner ideas for you.

The meals on this list have to meet two criteria. First, they’ve gotta be fast. REALLY fast. Second, they have to be meals with ingredients I keep in my pantry and freezer. I always have frozen veggies. I always have pasta, I always have potatoes, and tortillas, etc.

So, here they are, straight from my notecards: our favorite 10 Minute Dinners!

#1 Whole Wheat Pasta & Veggies

spaghetti with vegetables and cheese on a white plate

This is our #1 favorite last-minute meal. We generally make this dish 90% of the time.

  • 1 package whole wheat noodles (I love whole wheat angel hair- only 5 minutes to boil it!)
  • 1 bag of frozen veggies.

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Include the veggies while you cook the pasta in the pasta water for the entire cooking time.  Drain pasta and veggies.  Then add:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4-1/2 cup shredded or grated parmesan cheese (fresh is best, but we use whatever we have)
  • Optional: If we have any leftover meat from previous dinners, I’ll heat up the meat (usually chicken) and then throw this in after the noodles are drained.

There are so many things I like about this meal, but mostly, that my kids NEVER complain when we eat it. In fact, most nights they will ask for this meal.  They usually ask for it by saying, “Can we have angel hairs tonight?” But this is the meal they are referring to.  Any noodles with broccoli and parmesan cheese, they will eat!

#2 Tacos

crunchy chicken tacos on a square plate served with strawberries


  • Any meat (ground beef, chicken, fish)
  • Any bean (black beans, pinto beans, refried beans, black eyed peas)
  • Any veggies (tomatoes, avocado, lettuce, peppers, salsa, etc)

#3 Burritos

tortilla topped with cheese, beans, and ground turkey on a blue plate

Similar to tacos, but you definitely want a tortilla here. We generally use this recipe for burritos, but it can be super flexible. We’ll add:

  • Beans,
  • Veggies,
  • Meat (optional)
  • and sometimes rice

If we want to spend a few extra minutes, I’ll wrap up the tortillas with the filling myself, and do quick pan-fry of the tortilla to seal the edge, and make the outside a bit crispy!

#4 Anything Breakfast

pancakes topped with butter, blueberries, and syrup on a white plate with a blue napkin

I have yet to meet a kid complain about breakfast for dinner!   Whether your kids like waffles, pancakes, or egg dishes, 90% of our breakfasts take less than 10 minutes to make!  The only thing you need on hand to make this happen is baking supplies (like flour, milk, salt, etc.) and eggs!

#5 Sloppy Joes

sloppy joes on a whole wheat bun served with carrot and celery sticks

We stock up on ground beef and ground turkey, so we always have the ingredients to make these sloppy joes. This recipe is fast and only takes one pan.

#6 Spaghetti

noodles with sauce and cheese with a decorative napkin served with kiwi

Good old, go-to, always popular spaghetti!  The way we make this a 10 minute dish, is this:

  • First, start your water boiling and cook your pasta.  (Again- Whole wheat angel hair is the fastest cooking pasta!)
  • Second, chop any veggies you have on hand like bell peppers, mushrooms, or onions!
  • Third, once veggies have just begun to wilt (about 3-5 minutes), heat up your spaghetti sauce in the same skillet. (you can jar your own or freeze your own to control the ingredients, or check labels to choose one low in sugar and sodium.  Trader Joe’s has a pasta sauce that we keep on hand for emergencies like 10 minute meals!)

#7 Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

grilled cheese on a white square plate served with oranges, tomatoes and carrots

These CAN be healthy!  We do grilled cheese with whole wheat bread, and we add spinach leaves. To make it even extra healthy and filling, we also add tomato soup for dipping (only if we have some in the freezer.  Any time I make tomato soup, we double it and store half in the freezer for busy nights!)

grilled quesadillas topped with salsa and served with peaches on a yellow plate

We make quesadillas simply with veggies, beans, tortillas, and cheese!  All items we have on hand.  Check out our recipe for this one here.

#9 Egg Frittatas with greens

asparagus and cheese frittata cut into wedges on a white plate

This breakfast for dinner is very filling and very fast!  Cooking for the whole family in one skillet is also fast clean up! We like both.  Our Asparagus Frittata (pictured) is the one we make the most often.  Recipe here!

#10 Personal Pizza

french bread pizza topped with tomatoes, broccoli and bell peppers and served with grapes

Another dish that is so versatile, you can use what’s in your fridge.   For a personal pizza, we use:

  • Whole wheat pitas
  • French bread
  • English muffins
  • Flat bread
  • Portabella mushrooms
  • Or even zucchini!

More Last Minute Dinner Ideas


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