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The Best Weeknight Dinners of 2021

Make your day a little easier and whip up one of our best weeknight dinners of 2021. We have delightful ideas for chicken, beef, pasta and more.

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Chicken with Florentine Sauce

Here is my very favorite chicken Florentine recipe. A creamy topping and pretty presentation make it elegant enough for company, but it’s also fast to fix on busy weeknights! —Julie Fitzgerald, St Louis, Missouri

Go to Recipe

For a tasty breakfast-for-dinner idea, try our 2021 Recipe of the Year.

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Hamburger Steaks With Mushroom Gravy Exps Cimz18 47843 E09 07 1b 3

Hamburger Steaks with Mushroom Gravy

Here’s a meat-and-potatoes meal that no one will want to miss. It makes for a hearty dish the whole family will cozy up to in no time! —Denise Wheeler, Newaygo, Michigan
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Jezebel Chicken Thighs Exps Sdfm17 154129 B10 07 2b 5

Jezebel Chicken Thighs

This easy-to-prepare, sweet and spicy chicken dish is a quick favorite that we make throughout the year. Tender and moist, it’s a filling dish for busy weeknights. —Judy Armstrong, Prairieville, Louisana
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Weeknight Lazy Lasagna Exps Sddj18 110233 B08 08 3b 15

Weeknight Lazy Lasagna

On hectic nights, no one has time to stack several layers of lasagna. My version combines a few steps to cut down on prep, but keeps all the cheesy, saucy, noodle-y goodness that makes lasagna an all-time favorite. —Nancy Foust, Stoneboro, Pennsylvania
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Chicken Enchiladas for Four

These chicken enchiladas put a little zip into any menu. The rolled tortillas are filled with a hearty mixture of cheese, chicken and green chiles, and then topped with a creamy sauce and more cheese. I sometimes use leftover turkey instead of chicken. —Karen Bourne, Magrath, Alberta
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Korean Beef and Rice

A friend raved about Korean bulgogi, which is beef cooked in soy sauce and ginger, so I tried it. It’s delicious! You’ll dazzle the table with this tasty version of Korean beef and rice. —Elizabeth King, Duluth, Minnesota
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Weeknight Ravioli Lasagna

My husband and I love lasagna, but it’s time-consuming to build and we always end up with too much. Using frozen ravioli solves everything. —Pamela Nicholson, Festus, Missouri
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Easy Chicken Corn Chowder

When I haven’t planned for dinner, I often play around with ingredients in my pantry instead of running to the store. This recipe was a happy experiment. Cut some fat by omitting the bacon—it’s still tasty. —Barbara Banski, Fenton, Michigan
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Southwestern Goulash Exps Sddj17 39880 16 C08 03 3b 7

Southwestern Goulash

I had some extra cilantro in the fridge and didn’t want to throw it away. Instead, I came up with this delightful and filling family recipe. Everyone just loved it! —Vikki Rebholz, West Chester, Ohio

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Contest Winning Peanut Chicken Stir Fry Exps Ft20 49618 F 0107 1 20

Contest-Winning Peanut Chicken Stir-Fry

Here’s a colorful and comforting peanut chicken stir-fry with just a touch of heat from crushed red pepper. If you want even more color, add frozen stir-fry veggies. —Lisa Erickson, Ripon, Wisconsin
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Broiled Chicken & Artichokes

My wife and I first made this chicken entree as newlyweds, and we have been hooked on it ever since. We make it almost weekly now. It’s so simple and affordable, yet delicious and healthy. Can’t beat that! —Chris Koon, Midlothian, Virginia
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Weeknight Taco Soup

This soup turned out delicious on the first try, when I was working without a recipe. You could also add cooked ground beef or cubed stew meat dredged in seasoned flour and browned for a heartier meal. —Amanda Swartz, Goderich, Ontario
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Tzatziki Chicken Exps Sdam18 207435 D12 07 2b 18

Tzatziki Chicken

I like to make classic chicken recipes for my family but the real fun is trying a fresh new twist. —Krisen Heigl, Staten Island, New York
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Hamburger Stroganoff

Hamburger Stroganoff

This easy ground beef Stroganoff makes a quick weeknight dinner. I like to serve with a side salad for a complete meal. —Deb Helmer, Lynden, Washington
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Tasty Onion Chicken

The secret to this French onion chicken is the yummy, crunchy coating that keeps the meat juicy and tender. Round out your meal with green beans and buttermilk biscuits. —Jennifer Hoeft, Thorndale, Texas
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Weeknight Turkey Tortilla Soup Exps Sdon18 55924 C06 19 1b 2

Weeknight Turkey Tortilla Soup

This is now my family’s most requested soup—so much so that they will make sure I have leftover turkey. You can spice up this soup and make it more hearty by adding smoked sausage or andouille and some Cajun seasoning to taste. —Gail Lucas, Olive Branch, Mississippi
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Tex Mex Sloppy Joes Exps162735 Th2379807a11 01 5bc Rms 2

Tex-Mex Sloppy Joes

Sloppy joes are a favorite of adults and kids. I deviated from the traditional recipe by adding a little Southwestern spiciness. —Geraldine Saucier, Albuquerque, New Mexico
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Quick Apricot Chicken Exps Ft20 31475 F 0424 1 Home 17

Quick Apricot Chicken

This simple apricot chicken is one of my favorite dishes. Everybody just loves it and leftovers are always just as good the next day. For variation, I’ve used pork instead of chicken and added additional ingredients like pineapple, mandarin oranges, snow peas and broccoli. –Vicki Ruiz, Twin Falls, Idaho
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Best Ever Potato Soup Exps Mrrmz16 9739 C09 01 2b 56

Best Ever Potato Soup

You’ll be surprised at the taste of this rich and cheesy easy potato soup. It really is the best potato soup recipe, ever. I came up with it after enjoying baked potato soup at one of our favorite restaurants. I added bacon, and we think that makes it even better. —Coleen Morrissey, Sweet Valley, Pennsylvania
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Pierogi Chicken Supper

Chicken, cheese and onion combine with frozen pierogi to give dinner a change of pace. Best part is, it takes just 30 minutes to get this satisfying skillet supper on the table. —Barbara Scott, Walkersville, Maryland
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Mongolian Beef Exps Sdon18 24888 C06 15 7b 3

Mongolian Beef

My family—including my husband, who is truly a meat-and-potatoes guy—just loves this meal-in-one option. The dish uses inexpensive ingredients to offer big flavor in a small amount of time. —Heather Blum, Coleman, Wisconsin
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Smothered Chicken Breasts Exps Sdon17 32248 B07 06 2b 4

Smothered Chicken Breasts

After trying a similar chicken dish in a restaurant, I decided to re-create it at home. Topped with bacon, caramelized onions and shredded cheese, this savory dish comes together in no time, and uses ingredients that I usually have on hand. And since it cooks in one skillet, it’s a cinch to clean up! —Brenda Carpenter, Warrensburg, Missouri
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Crescent Beef Casserole Exps Ft20 25067 F 0114 1 14

Crescent Beef Casserole

This flavorful meal-in-one dish is all you need to serve a satisfying and quick weeknight dinner. It’s on the table in just 30 minutes. Us leftover puree for sauce for the rest of the week. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Weeknight Goulash Exps Cf2bz20 245719 E12 11 3b 5

Weeknight Goulash

With this recipe, you can put in a full day’s work, run some errands and still get dinner on the table in hardly any time. Make it extra-special by serving the meat sauce over spaetzle. —Cyndy Gerken, Naples, Florida
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Herb Chicken With Honey Butter Exps Ft20 46023 F 0131 1 14

Herb Chicken with Honey Butter

When the whole family could use a heartwarming meal, this one fits the bill! You’ll love how the honey’s sweetness mixes perfectly with the herbs’ salty flavor. It’s a wonderful combination! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Company Mac and Cheese

This is by far the creamiest, tastiest and most special macaroni and cheese I have ever tried. I’m not usually a fan of the homemade kind, but when a friend served this mac and cheese with cream cheese, I had to have the recipe. Since it’s so little fuss and well received, it’s a terrific potluck dish. —Catherine Odgen, Middlegrove, New York
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Quick Chicken and Dumplings

Using precooked chicken and ready-made biscuits, this hearty dish is comfort food made simple. It’s the perfect way to warm up on chilly nights. —Lakeya Astwood, Schenectady, New York
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Sloppy Ottos

My version of sloppy joes comes from an old family recipe. Make these sandwiches even more German by stacking everything on a pretzel bun. —Jason Koren, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Shrimp Monterey

For a special occasion or when company’s coming, this delicious seafood dish makes a lasting impression. You’ll be surprised at how fast you can prepare it. A mild, fresh-tasting sauce and the Monterey Jack cheese nicely complement the shrimp, I serve it over pasta or rice. —Jane Birch
Edison, New Jersey
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Margarita Chicken Exps Ft20 48807 F 0729 1 2

Margarita Chicken

Marinated in flavors of garlic and lime, this tangy margarita chicken is ready to go whenever the coals are hot! Serve with roasted corn on the cob and lemonade. —Kelly Bruneman, Cedar Park, Texas
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Tasty Burritos

My cousin is of Mexican heritage, and I’ve watched her make this crunchy beef burrito recipe for years. The very first time I made them for my own family, they instantly became a favorite meal. They’re even better warmed up the next day in the microwave. —Debi Lane, Chattanooga, Tennessee
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Barbecue Pork And Penne Skillet Exps Ft19 42610 Set F05 29 1 22

Barbecue Pork and Penne Skillet

I’m the proud mother of wonderful and active children. Simple, delicious and quick meals like this BBQ pork skillet are perfect for us to enjoy together after school activities, especially if I have leftover pulled pork. —Judy Armstrong, Prairieville, Louisiana
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Smothered Chicken Exps Sddj18 19167 D08 01 4b 5

Smothered Chicken

You can’t go wrong when serving this speedy skillet creation. Top tender chicken breasts with mushrooms, bacon, green onions and cheese for a swift and savory sensation that’s sure to become a family favorite. —Penny Walton, Westerville, Ohio
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Sausage Pasta With Vegetables Exps Sdam18 58342 D12 06 6b 3

Sausage Pasta with Vegetables

I made this for our pastor one night. He loved it so much we nicknamed it “Jason’s Pasta.” It’s a sneaky way to get our kids to eat more veggies. —Suzie Foutty Mansfield, Ohio
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Swiss Mushroom Chicken Exps Sdam19 19029 C12 11 4b 16

Swiss Mushroom Chicken

Everyone enjoys these golden chicken breasts topped with ham, melted Swiss cheese and fresh mushrooms. The entree is easy to prepare but looks and tastes special enough for company. —Jan Baxter, Humarock, Massachusetts
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Blushing Penne Pasta Exps Sdfm17 34895 B10 06 9b 7

Blushing Penne Pasta

I reworked this recipe from an original that called for vodka and heavy whipping cream. My friends and family had a hard time believing a sauce this rich, flavorful and creamy could be light. —Margaret Wilson, Hemet, California
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Taco Pizza Squares Exps Bfbz19 17840 E01 18 2b 4

Taco Pizza Squares

Everyone will come running the minute you take this fun twist on pizza out of the oven. I top convenient refrigerated pizza dough with leftover taco meat, tomatoes and cheese, bringing a full-flavored fiesta to the table in under half an hour. —Sarah Vovos, Middleton, Wisconsin.
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One Pan Chicken Rice Curry Exps Sddj17 194862 B08 04 5b 7

One-Pan Chicken Rice Curry

I’ve been loving the subtle spice from curry lately, so I incorporated it into this saucy chicken and rice dish. It’s a one-pan meal that’s become a go-to dinnertime favorite. —Mary Lou Timpson, Colorado City, Arizona
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Chimichangas Exps Tohfm21 3277 E09 22 10b 43

Chimichangas

Though still debated, Tucson is generally credited as the original home of the chimichanga (fried “burro”, as we call them, stuffed with meat, onions and chiles). I’ve combined several recipes into this one, and it’s fairly authentic. —Laura Towns, Glendale, Arizona
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Cola Burgers

A friend who’s an excellent cook shared this hamburger recipe with me, and it has since become a family favorite. The unusual combination of cola and French salad dressing added to the ground beef gives it fabulous flavor. The mixture is also used as a basting sauce on the moist burgers.
-Melva Baumer, Millmont, Pennsylvania
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Chicken Rice Bowl Exps Dydap21 25774 B04 06 1b

Chicken Rice Bowl

This chicken rice bowl recipe is so easy to toss together on a busy weeknight, and I usually have the ingredients already on hand. I start sauteing the onion and pepper first, then I prepare the instant rice. If you like, top it with some shredded sharp cheddar cheese. —Tammy Daniels, Batavia, Ohio
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Sausage And Asparagus Pasta With Cajun Cream Sauce Exps Tohescodr20 242483 E03 17 1b 17

Sausage Pasta with Cajun Cream Sauce

I needed to use up some ingredients in my refrigerator, so I threw together this dish with a cajun cream sauce. It’s delicious and everyone loves it. —Angela Lively, Conroe, Texas
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Mom’s Spanish Rice

My mom is famous for her Spanish rice recipe, the ultimate comfort food. When I want a taste of home, I whip up this dish. Punch up the flavor with a little lime and extra chili powder. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Grecian Chicken Exps Thjj17 186712 B02 07 5b 12

Grecian Chicken

The caper, tomato and olive flavors will whisk you away to the Greek isles. This easy skillet dish is perfect for hectic weeknights. —Jan Marler, Murchison, Texas
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Cheesy Bow Tie Chicken Exps122743 Sd143205d01 31 6bc Rms 2

Cheesy Bow Tie Chicken

Here’s a super-simple dish that tastes like it’s straight from a nice Italian restaurant. Spinach-artichoke dip is usually available in supermarket delis. It comes frozen, too. Just make sure to thaw it according to the package directions before dinnertime. —Sally Sibthorpe, Shelby Township, Michigan
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Potato Kielbasa Skillet Exps Sdon17 41361 C06 23 7b 33

Potato Kielbasa Skillet

No need to hunt through kielbasa and potato recipes, this smoky take steals the show as a hearty home-style, all-in-one meal. It’s especially perfect on those cold late fall and early winter nights. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Steak Mushroom Stroganoff Exps Sddj17 195331 16 C08 03 5b 5

Steak & Mushroom Stroganoff

This homey recipe of steak and egg noodles in a creamy sauce is just like what we had at my gran’s house when we visited. It’s one of my favorite “memory meals,” as I call them. —Janelle Shank, Omaha, Nebraska
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Asian Glazed Chicken Thighs

Everyone goes for this super moist, garlicky chicken, including my fussy kids. For your holiday buffet or family gathering, serve it with rice or noodles. —Carole Lotito, Hillsdale, New Jersey
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No Fuss Pork Chops Exps Sdfm18 10549 C10 04 1b 4

No-Fuss Pork Chops

These tender chops taste like sweet-and-sour pork but require little attention or time. I prepare them year-round, whenever I’m on a tight schedule but still want something scrumptious. —Sally Jones, Lancaster, New Hampshire
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Haystack Supper

Served as the main dish at our family reunion buffet, this flavorful layered taco-style dish was a true crowd-pleaser. Folks were pleasantly surprised to find a rice layer, and everyone enjoys the creamy cheese sauce. —Jill Steiner, Hancock, Minnesota

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Caroline Stanko
As Editor, Caroline writes and edits all things food-related and helps produce videos for Taste of Home. When she’s not at her desk, you can probably find Caroline cooking up a feast, planning her next trip abroad or daydreaming about her golden retriever, Mac.
Katie Bandurski
As Senior Shopping Editor, Katie connects Taste of Home readers with the best gifts, deals and home products on the market. An avid foodie and a holiday enthusiast, Katie is an expert at cultivating meaningful moments. When she’s out of the office, you’ll find her exploring Wisconsin, trying out new vegetarian recipes and watching Christmas movies.