pasta with broccoli
iStock

Do you ever feel like you're stuck in a drive-thru or delivery dinner run at the end of a long workday or after shuttling your kids back and forth to after-school activities? These days, my kids have activities four days a week and my job as a freelance writer keeps me busy most days, even though I'm home, so I totally get the appeal of just picking up some takeout at the end of the day. I definitely indulge occasionally--everyone needs a break sometimes--but most days I do try to cook at home. Quick meals with just handful of ingredients are definitely a must.

More from MamásLatinas: 40 Terrific taco recipes you have to try

Believe it or not, there really are a lot of delicious recipes out there that you can either set and forget or whip up in 20 to 30 minutes. One of the most important things to keep in mind though, is that for many of these easy weeknight meals to work, you have to have a well-stocked pantry and freezer.

Having staple items--like spices and seasonings, oils, grains, and pastas--on-hand at all times is essential when it comes to quick and easy dinner prep. It's totally worth it to take a few minutes to do a food inventory before you hit the grocery store each week or at a minimum once a month, so that you never run out of the essentials. Once you do, you'll be ready to get cooking any night of the week. Keep reading to find weeknight dinner recipes that you can make with just four ingredients (not including seasonings and oils).

Basic chicken fajitas are versatile. 1

Basic chicken fajitas are versatile.

iStock

Basic chicken fajitas are made with just bell peppers, onions, chicken, and the seasonings of your choice, and they cook up super quickly. You can serve the chicken and veggies with tortillas, rice, or even as a salad over a bed of lettuce.

Get the recipe from Spend With Pennies.

Advertisement

This classic Italian dish is kid-friendly. 2

This classic Italian dish is kid-friendly.

iStock

Pastina with egg and cheese is a classic Italian comfort food that is a favorite among children. You'll need just tiny pasta, like stars or alphabet noodles, an egg, Parmesan cheese, and butter to make the dish. Add a veggie side, like broccoli, and you've got a well-balanced meal in a flash.

Get the full recipe from Framed Cooks.

Advertisement

This sausage and potato sheet pan dinner is tasty and fast. 3

This sausage and potato sheet pan dinner is tasty and fast.

iStock

To make a sausage and potato sheet pan dinner you really just need your favorite sausage, potatoes, and some onions, but you could also throw on any other veggies and seasonings you like.

Get the full recipe from Yellow Bliss Road.

There's almost nothing simpler than eggs. 4

There's almost nothing simpler than eggs.

iStock

Instead of the standard quickie scrambled or fried egg dinner-in-a-pinch, you can up the ante by making an easy kale and Parmesan frittata.

Get the full recipe from 100 Days of Real Food.

Advertisement

Quesadillas are a go-to fast food. 5

Quesadillas are a go-to fast food.

iStock

Quesadillas are pretty much always a quick meal to throw together, but using refried beans makes them even quicker and easier. Top with avocado or salsa and you're good to go.

Get the full recipe from Making Thyme for Health.

Advertisement

Quiche sounds fancy, but it's totally not. 6

Quiche sounds fancy, but it's totally not.

iStock

Quiche may sound like a fancy brunch dish, but it's actually really simple to prepare and perfectly well-balanced for an evening meal. You can mix it up, but ham and cheese quiche is a great place to start.

Get the full recipe from Des Moines Register.

 

Advertisement

Enchilada casserole is surprisingly easy to make. 7

Enchilada casserole is surprisingly easy to make.

iStock

Store-bought enchilada sauce and tortillas make this chicken enchilada casserole incredibly easy to throw together and it's definitely a crowd-pleaser.

Get the full recipe from Jo Cooks.

This chicken Parmesan is shockingly easy to make. 8

This chicken Parmesan is shockingly easy to make.

iStock

When you skip the frying and get a little help from jarred marinara and pesto, chicken Parmesan is totally easy to make in 30 minutes or less. Serve alongside any starch or a simple green salad.

Get the full recipe from Iowa Girl Eats.

Advertisement

Make use of that jarred sauce again with this pizza casserole. 9

Make use of that jarred sauce again with this pizza casserole.

iStock

This yummy pizza casserole is made with jarred sauce, ground beef, lots of cheese, and refrigerated biscuit dough. It can be thrown together in about half an hour.

Get the recipe from Better Homes & Gardens.

If you like chili mac, you're gonna love enchilada mac. 10

If you like chili mac, you're gonna love enchilada mac.

iStock

This enchilada macaroni and cheese recipe is definitely a step up from that boxed chili mac you get at the grocery store, but it's so easy! Just combine enchilada sauce with cooked macaroni and ground beef and top with cheddar cheese.

Get the full recipe from The How-to Mom.

Advertisement

This simple ranch chicken is a real winner. 11

This simple ranch chicken is a real winner.

iStock

The use of ranch dressing gives simple breaded and baked chicken tons of kid-friendly flavor. Serve alongside some steamed veggies and your favorite starch.

Get the full recipe from Chef in Training.

Upgrade the standard can of soup. 12

Upgrade the standard can of soup.

iStock

Who knew you could turn that standard can of cream of chicken soup into everybody's favorite broccoli cheese soup? All you have to do is add fresh broccoli, some milk, and plenty of cheddar cheese. Yum!

Get the full recipe from Mrs Happy Homemaker.

Advertisement

This tortellini chicken soup is warm and comforting. 13

This tortellini chicken soup is warm and comforting.

iStock

Chicken tortellini soup is incredibly quick and easy to make when you use store-bought chicken broth and rotisserie chicken. Just add a squeeze of lemon juice to brighten up the flavors.

Get the full recipe from Sweet C's.

Tortellini tomato soup is another delicious option. 14

Tortellini tomato soup is another delicious option.

iStock

Grab some chicken broth, a can of flavorful fire-roasted tomatoes, and a bag of fresh tortellini and you've got a complete meal ready to eat in minutes. Add some crusty bread to sop it all up.

Get the full recipe from Honey and Birch.

Advertisement

This four-ingredient shredded chicken is a perfect taco filling. 15

This four-ingredient shredded chicken is a perfect taco filling.

iStock

Simple slow-cooked chicken breasts flavored with taco seasoning and tomatoes is perfect to stuff into a tortilla or serve over rice or salad for a yummy and filling dinner.

Get the full recipe from The Kittchen.

Buffalo chicken sliders come together in a flash. 16

Buffalo chicken sliders come together in a flash.

iStock

Buffalo chicken sliders are another perfect slow cooker recipe with just four ingredients. You just throw some chicken breasts in the cooker with ranch mix and buffalo sauce then shred up and serve on soft buns when you're ready to eat.

Get the full recipe from Somewhat Simple.

Advertisement

Yummy pizza burgers are perfect for busy nights. 17

These burgers are served open faced on an English muffin and topped with marinara and melted mozzarella cheese. How could you go wrong?

Get the full recipe from The Taylor House.

This four-ingredient chicken dinner is perfection. 18

This four-ingredient chicken dinner is perfection.

iStock

Yes, you can make a complete chicken dinner with just four ingredients. Simply roasting food makes it taste pretty amazing, so this dinner of roasted chicken thighs, potatoes, and carrots is ultra-satisfying.

Get the full recipe from Yuli Cooks.

Advertisement

Chicken and rice cook together in this easy casserole. 19

Onion soup mix and cream of mushroom soup give this American classic of chicken and rice casserole plenty of flavor. It's an entire meal in one pan that bakes up in a little over an hour, but takes just a few minutes of prep work.

Get the full recipe from Spend with Pennies.

Baked pastas are always a good meal. 20

Baked pastas are always a good meal.

iStock

You can use leftover chicken in this savory baked pasta dish that comes together super fast. Just combine the chicken with cooked pasta, jarred pasta sauce, and mozzarella cheese and bake until bubbly and hot.

Get the full recipe from Gimme Delicious.

Advertisement

Who doesn't love a crispy taquito for dinner? 21

Who doesn't love a crispy taquito for dinner?

iStock

Mix some chopped chicken, taco sauce or salsa, and shredded cheese together to create an easy taquito filling for dinner any night of the week. Roll the filling up in tortillas and cook until nice and crispy. Yum, yum!

Get the full recipe from The Seasoned Mom.

This white pizza looks so good! 22

This white pizza looks so good!

iStock

It's hard to believe you can make pizza with just three ingredients, but you totally can. This three-ingredient white pizza uses store-bought pizza dough or flatbread, alfredo sauce, and mozzarella cheese. Just bake until crispy and melty. Add some spinach or broccoli if you have it on hand.

Get the full recipe from Mama Loves Food.

Advertisement

Ready-made ravioli is the perfect lasagna shortcut. 23

Ready-made ravioli is the perfect lasagna shortcut.

iStock

When you use ready-made ravioli and jarred sauce to make lasagna, you can skip all the mixing and layering. You'll get all the flavor without all the hassle.

Get the full recipe from Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice.

Yes, you can make chili with just three ingredients. 24

Yes, you can make chili with just three ingredients.

iStock

Homemade chili might seem like a big undertaking, but only if you're super fussy eater. You can whip up a delicous batch using just ground beef, canned beans, and canned tomatoes. Top with cheese and sour cream or anything else you like.

Get the full recipe from I Heart Naptime.

Advertisement

This cheesy chicken and broccoli is a one-pan dinner. 25

This cheesy chicken and broccoli is a one-pan dinner.

iStock

All you need to make this amazing cheesy casserole are chicken breasts, frozen broccoli with cheese sauce, and refrigerated biscuit dough. So simple, but so good.

Get the full recipe from Life in the Lofthouse.

These pork chops are perfect if you're tired of chicken. 26

These pork chops are perfect if you're tired of chicken.

iStock

These easy baked pork chops are jazzed up with delicious apples, butter, and some brown sugar. They would be excellent with salad and dinner rolls.

Get the full recipe from The Spruce Eats.

Advertisement

This quinoa and bean salad is a complete meal. 27

This quinoa and bean salad is a complete meal.

iStock

Quinoa acts as both a complete protein and a grain, so pair it with just about anything and you've got a quick, complete, and filling meal. In this recipe you toss the quinoa with black beans and store-bought salad dressing.

Get the full recipe from Spark People.

You can also make quinoa stir-fry. 28

You can also make quinoa stir-fry.

iStock

You can make a quick and healthy dinner with some cooked quinoa and a bag of frozen vegetables. You can use any kind of quinoa and any variety of frozen veggies to customize this dinner to your liking.

Get the full recipe from Clean Eating Veggie Girl.

Advertisement

This chickpea burger is another healthy option. 29

This chickpea burger is another healthy option.

iStock

You can make a basic but tasty chickpea burger with just a can of chickpeas, some hummus, and some oats. Add any seasoning and toppings you like and serve on a bun or over salad.

Get the full recipe from Allrecipes.

Burgers are a good, quick option for meat-eaters as well. 30

Burgers are a good, quick option for meat-eaters as well.

iStock

Even if you prefer your burgers be made of meat, it's an easy and quick dinner to prepare. This recipe uses stuffing mix and barbecue sauce to mix things up a bit without too much extra effort or lots of ingredients.

Get the full recipe from The Project Pile.