19 easy-peasy dinners that’ll make you regret not trying them sooner

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If you’ve ever stared blankly into your fridge and wished dinner would just cook itself, you’re in luck. These easy-peasy dinners are so good, you’ll kick yourself for not trying them sooner. Say hello to a lineup of meals that are as effortless as they are delicious, perfect for those nights when you’d rather be doing anything but cooking.

A casserole dish filled with tater tots, shredded chicken, and corn, topped with melted cheese and green onions.
Chicken Tater Tot Casserole. Photo credit: Real Balanced.

Grilled Hot Honey Chicken

Grilled chicken pieces with a glossy glaze, garnished with chopped herbs, served on a beige plate.
Grilled Hot Honey Chicken. Photo credit: Real Balanced.

Grilled Hot Honey Chicken gives you that ‘I worked hard on dinner’ vibe without actually having to. Marinate the chicken in a tangy, spicy hot honey sauce, grill it up until it’s nicely caramelized, and you have an impressive and effortless dinner. It takes about 45 minutes, but if you prep the sauce in advance, it’s even quicker. It’s the perfect choice for those evenings when you want something special but don’t want to put in the effort. A great pick for showing off without the show-off effort.
Get the Recipe: Grilled Hot Honey Chicken

Fresh Corn Salad

A bowl of fresh salad featuring corn, avocado, cucumber, tomatoes, and crumbled cheese, mixed with herbs.
Fresh Corn Salad. Photo credit: Real Balanced.

Fresh Corn Salad is your quick fix when you’re craving something light but don’t want to work too hard. This dish combines sweet corn, creamy avocado, crisp cucumber, and ripe tomatoes, all tossed up with a refreshing lime dressing. It’s straightforward and gets ready in just 40 minutes. It’s the salad that asks little but gives a lot, perfect for those easy-peasy dinners you wish you tried sooner.
Get the Recipe: Fresh Corn Salad

Garlic Butter Chicken Bites

A plate of garlic butter chicken bites.
Garlic Butter Chicken Bites. Photo credit: Real Balanced.

When time isn’t on your side, Garlic Butter Chicken Bites are. You can whip these up faster than you can say, “What’s for dinner?” Just season, fry, and cook them in a homemade garlic butter sauce. They’re crispy, buttery, and ready in about 20 minutes. Pair them with whatever’s handy — rice, salad, or just your fork. It’s great for those nights when you want something hearty but don’t want to stick around in the kitchen too long. They make quick cooking look so good you’ll wonder why you ever stressed over dinner.
Get the Recipe: Garlic Butter Chicken Bites

Reuben Bowls

A bowl of coleslaw with creamy dressing, garnished with green onions, served in a ceramic bowl with a fork.
Reuben Bowls. Photo credit: Real Balanced.

If you want to enjoy a Reuben without the hassle of actually making one, try the Reuben Bowls. Toss some deli corned beef with coleslaw, sauerkraut, and a sprinkle of Swiss cheese, and you’ve got yourself a deconstructed sandwich in a bowl. It’s comfort food without the effort, ready in 30 minutes, and perfect for a lazy night in. It’s the meal that lets you enjoy gourmet flavors while wearing your comfiest sweatpants. If you’re looking for an easy dinner to make you feel like a kitchen wizard, this is it.
Get the Recipe: Reuben Bowls

Tuna Macaroni Salad

Close-up of a creamy pasta salad sprinkled with paprika and garnished with chopped herbs in a white bowl.
Tuna Macaroni Salad. Photo credit: Real Balanced.

Tuna Macaroni Salad is the workhorse of quick and easy meals. Combine elbow macaroni, canned tuna, hard-boiled eggs, mayo, and sweet pickle relish, and you’ve got a filling salad ready before you know it. It’s the kind of straightforward, no-nonsense dish that saves the day when your to-do list is a mile long. Ready in just 40 minutes, it’s the go-to meal for when you’d rather be doing literally anything else. It’s always ready to step up when you can’t be bothered with anything more complicated.
Get the Recipe: Tuna Macaroni Salad

Loaded Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole

Loaded broccoli cauliflower casserole in a baking dish garnished with green onions.
Loaded Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole. Photo credit: Real Balanced.

If you’re looking for a dinner that screams “I tried” but really didn’t, the Loaded Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole is your new best friend. It’s stuffed with broccoli, cauliflower, and bacon, all swimming in a cheesy, creamy sauce. Using frozen veggies means less prep and clean-up, which is a win in any book. Ready in just 30 minutes, it’s a dish that could convince anyone you’ve got it all together. Perfect for those nights when just the thought of one more task could push you over the edge.
Get the Recipe: Loaded Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole

Baked Ravioli

A close-up of a cheesy baked ravioli garnished with herbs, with a fork lifting a portion to show the melted cheese.
Baked Ravioli. Photo credit: Real Balanced.

If you thought good meals take forever, let Baked Ravioli change your mind. This dish is all about taking it easy, stacking layers of frozen ravioli with marinara sauce and cheese. Pop it in the oven for 40 minutes, and you have a cheesy feast that practically makes itself. It’s a lifesaver on those evenings when the couch is calling your name louder than the kitchen. Really, it’s for those times when you want a solid meal without playing chef for the evening. It’s great for those ‘can’t-even’ nights, making it a top pick for easy-peasy dinners.
Get the Recipe: Baked Ravioli

Chicken Tater Tot Casserole

A casserole dish filled with tater tots, shredded chicken, and corn, topped with melted cheese and green onions.
Chicken Tater Tot Casserole. Photo credit: Real Balanced.

Think of Chicken Tater Tot Casserole as the ultimate lazy evening champion. You toss together tater tots, shredded chicken, corn, and cheese and let the oven do its thing. It’s a hearty dish that’s perfect when you’re practically sleepwalking but still want a great meal. And if you’re really planning ahead, make an extra batch and freeze it for later. You can bake it straight from frozen and have a dinner that serves itself. If you’re after an effortless meal that feels like a treat, this casserole will not disappoint. It’s so easy you might regret not making it sooner.
Get the Recipe: Chicken Tater Tot Casserole

Shake and Bake Pork Chops

Two shake and bake pork chops on a plate.
Shake and Bake Pork Chops. Photo credit: Real Balanced.

Shake and Bake Pork Chops are your weeknight warriors. Add a thin layer of mayo to the chops, toss them in seasoned breadcrumbs, and let the oven do the heavy lifting. In 25 minutes, you’ll be sitting down to a dinner that looks like you put in way more effort than you did. The clean-up? Minimal. This dish is for everyone who thinks about dinner and wants to run the other way. It’s straightforward, quick, and always hits the spot, making your evening a breeze. Trust me, these chops will make you feel like a chef, even on your laziest days.
Get the Recipe: Shake and Bake Pork Chops

Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

A fresh Caesar salad with chicken, croutons, tomatoes, and dressing, served in a large white bowl with a fork.
Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad. Photo credit: Real Balanced.

Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad begs to differ if anyone says you can’t have it all. It’s a mix of pasta, romaine, tomatoes, Parmesan, and chicken, all tossed with Caesar dressing and crowned with croutons. Ready in just 25 minutes, it’s the go-to dish when you’re overrun with tasks and need something filling and refreshing. This salad is like that cool friend who knows how to cheer you up after a long day — laid-back, delicious, and always on point. It’s so easy to whip up that it almost makes itself.
Get the Recipe: Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

Spinach Chicken Bake

A serving spoon serving of creamy spinach chicken bake.
Spinach Chicken Bake. Photo credit: Real Balanced.

If you’re craving something hearty but can’t face the prospect of actual effort, the Spinach Chicken Bake is your hero. Layers of chicken, cream cheese, and spinach are all topped with a gooey cheese layer that melts perfectly in the oven. It’s ready in 30 minutes, about the time it takes to decide (or maybe even faster) what to watch on Netflix. This dish is for those days when you’re nearly defeated by life’s little annoyances and need a win. It’s comforting, filling, and so easy that you’ll feel like dinner made itself.
Get the Recipe: Spinach Chicken Bake

Stuffed Bell Pepper Casserole

Stuffed bell pepper casserole in a pan with a wooden spoon.
Stuffed Bell Pepper Casserole. Photo credit: Real Balanced.

When you can’t deal with stuffing actual peppers but crave the comfort, the Stuffed Bell Pepper Casserole is here to save your sanity. It’s a straightforward throw-together of ground beef, rice, onions, tomatoes, cheese, and bell peppers. Need to clean out the fridge? Throw in those extra veggies. This casserole cooks up golden in less than an hour and hits all the right notes on a hectic weeknight. It’s like finding a twenty in your pocket — unexpectedly awesome and perfectly timed. A true lifesaver for when your energy is waning, but your hunger isn’t.
Get the Recipe: Stuffed Bell Pepper Casserole

Broccoli Casserole

A casserole dish with broccoli and cheese in it.
Broccoli Casserole. Photo credit: Real Balanced.

Broccoli Casserole is what you make when you want to convince others (and maybe yourself) that you’ve got it all figured out. Whip this up in under an hour with steamed broccoli, a creamy soup base, eggs, and a nice heap of cheddar, all crowned with a crispy cracker topping. It’s the kind of dish that fools everyone into thinking you’ve put in more effort than you actually did. It’s perfect for dodging dinner drama on a busy weeknight and perfect when you need a bit of veggie goodness without a big production.
Get the Recipe: Broccoli Casserole

Cheesy Beef Casserole with Cauliflower Rice and Spinach

Cheesy beef casserole with cauliflower rice and spinach being spooned out of a baking dish.
Cheesy Beef Casserole with Cauliflower Rice and Spinach. Photo credit: Real Balanced.

This Cheesy Beef Casserole is a game changer for anyone who thinks fast food is the only quick dinner option. It throws together ground beef, cauliflower rice, spinach, and a generous sprinkle of cheddar in just 30 minutes. It’s the kind of meal perfect when you’re running on empty but still want something that feels home-cooked. Plus, it’s easy to whip up while you’re helping with homework or sorting through the day’s mail — real multitasking at dinner time. Definitely a go-to for easy-peasy dinners that make your night smoother.
Get the Recipe: Cheesy Beef Casserole with Cauliflower Rice and Spinach

Fajita Baked Chicken

Cheesy chicken fajita bake in a baking pan.
Fajita Baked Chicken. Photo credit: Real Balanced.

Fajita Baked Chicken is about as difficult as sending a text message. Season some chicken, throw in cream cheese, mozzarella, and sweet peppers, bake it, and in about 30 minutes, you’ve nailed dinner. It’s that dish you go to when you want to seem like you’ve got everything under control, even if your laundry’s piled up and you can’t remember the last time you watered the plants. Great for keeping things low-key but still eating well. It’s basically the dinner equivalent of a chill pill.
Get the Recipe: Fajita Baked Chicken

Canned Chicken Patties

Chicken patties with broccoli on a plate.
Canned Chicken Patties. Photo credit: Real Balanced.

Canned Chicken Patties are perfect when even microwaving feels like too much work. Just mix canned chicken with eggs, your choice of sunflower seed meal or almond flour, and a bit of Parmesan. They fry up on the stove in no time. Throw some greens next to them, and you have dinner ready in just 20 minutes. Perfect for when you want to trick everyone into thinking you’ve got it all together. Really, it’s just a clever use of pantry staples that make these patties a no-brainer for an easy, delicious meal.
Get the Recipe: Canned Chicken Patties

Ground Beef Skillet with Cauliflower Rice

Creamy ground beef skillet with cauliflower rice with a wooden spoon.
Ground Beef Skillet with Cauliflower Rice. Photo credit: Real Balanced.

Let’s talk about a dinner that’s about as easy as it gets — Ground Beef Skillet with Cauliflower Rice. It’s a mix of ground beef, cauliflower rice, and a whole lot of cheese thrown into a single skillet. You end up with a hearty meal ready in 30 minutes flat. It’s like the universe’s way of giving you a break on the days you need it most. Minimal clean-up means more time to relax — or whatever else you need to do. This dish is about making your evening a bit less hectic and much more delicious.
Get the Recipe: Ground Beef Skillet with Cauliflower Rice

Cabbage and Sausage

A pan of cabbage and sausage garnished with fresh herbs.
Cabbage and Sausage. Photo credit: Real Balanced.

Cabbage and Sausage is your go-to when you need a dinner that’s both easy and will fill you up. It pairs the flavors of sausage with the crisp, sweet taste of cabbage, all cooked in one pan. This dish is ready in less than 30 minutes, which is perfect when you’re too tired to deal with a sink full of dishes. It’s the kind of meal that reassures you that fast food can be good, especially when it’s this easy to throw together. Using only one pan also means minimal clean-up post-dinner.
Get the Recipe: Cabbage and Sausage

Tuscan Garlic Shrimp and Spinach

Tuscan garlic shrimp and spinach with tomatoes in a pan.
Tuscan Garlic Shrimp and Spinach. Photo credit: Real Balanced.

Tuscan Garlic Shrimp and Spinach is what you whip up when you want to impress without the stress. It’s loaded with shrimp, a heap of garlic, smoked paprika, and Italian seasoning — all tossed with grape tomatoes and fresh spinach. This little number is ready in about 25 minutes, which shows you don’t need hours to prepare a meal that tastes like a gourmet feast. It’s the perfect recipe for when you need a quick escape after a long day but still want a touch of elegance on your plate.
Get the Recipe: Tuscan Garlic Shrimp and Spinach

Shawarma Kebabs

A plate of shawarma kebabs with greens and lemon slices.
Shawarma Kebabs. Photo credit: Real Balanced.

Shawarma Kebabs make your dinner feel like a festive little event, minus the stress. Marinate some chicken with olive oil, lemon juice, and a mix of spices, thread them onto skewers, and pop them in the oven. They’re perfect for those evenings when you want something great but don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen. Serving these with tzatziki or feta turns your meal into something a bit fancy without all the fancy footwork. Who knew sticking food on a stick could be so clever and fun?
Get the Recipe: Shawarma Kebabs

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