25 Dinner Recipes That Always Work

Italian Sausage Stuffed Shells

Sometimes after a long day, making dinner is the last thing on your mind. That's why it's important to have some easy-to-make options ready in your wheelhouse. These foolproof recipes, like tuna casserole, lasagna, and pot roast, are guaranteed to always turn out — and they'll be meals that everyone will love. Scroll through to find reliable recipes that will take the stress out of dinnertime.

01 of 26

Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe

Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe
Buckwheat Queen

The name may sound fancy, but this five-ingredient dish is simply spaghetti with olive oil, garlic, black pepper, and Pecorino Romano cheese. You can make the sauce thicker or thinner by adding more cheese or more pasta water. Reviewers like to add some red pepper flakes for a little kick.

02 of 26

Easy Swedish Meatball Sauce

Easy Swedish Meatball Sauce

This tasty, creamy sauce is ready in just 20 minutes. And it's made even easier by using frozen meatballs, but you can use homemade if you prefer. Serve the meatballs and a generous amount of sauce over egg noodles or rice.

03 of 26

Chicken Cordon Bleu I

Sliced Chicken Cordon Blue on a dinner plate served with pasta and broccoli
Danielle K.

This classic stuffed chicken is easier to make than you think. Simply pound the chicken until it's thin enough to be rolled and then place ham and cheese inside — reviewers say you don't even need to secure the rolls with toothpicks. Reviewers also like to give the chicken an egg wash so the bread crumbs stick better.

04 of 26

Reuben Sandwich II

Reuben Sandwich II

Reuben sandwiches are packed with flavor and so quick and easy to make. And if not everyone likes corned beef, you can easily swap it for turkey to make a Rachel sandwich instead. To keep the bread from getting soggy, add the dressing and sauerkraut in between the meat and cheese layers.

05 of 26



Dumplings are such an easy comfort food to make. Simply plop these dough balls into your favorite stew — like chicken and noodle — and you'll have a hearty meal in no time.

06 of 26

Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Two grilled cheese sandwiches cut diagonally on a plate with tomato soup in the background
Buckwheat Queen

There's nothing quite like a classic grilled cheese sandwich. This recipe produces a perfectly toasted sandwich with ooey gooey melted cheese in the center. Serve this sandwich with a big bowl of tomato soup for a weeknight meal that brings nostalgia.

07 of 26

Shrimp Scampi with Pasta

pasta with shrimp garnished with parsley on a white plate

"No sense messing with something that on its own is pretty darn good. It's not necessary to measure precisely, just use all ingredients to your heart's and eyes' content. A squeeze of this, a handful of that, and a splash of this — use what looks good to you. I served this with a simple green salad with a lemon vinaigrette," says review naples34102.

08 of 26

Easy Tuna Casserole

Serving of tuna macaroni casserole with peas and a crispy cheesy topping
Melissa Goff

This five-ingredient tuna casserole is so easy to make — and you probably have all the ingredients on hand. Some reviewers like to add a bag of frozen veggies, like peas and carrots, to make this a more well-rounded meal.

09 of 26

Breaded Air Fryer Pork Chops

Breaded Air Fryer Pork Chops
France C

"Perfectly tender and juicy pork chops are what you'll get in just 10 minutes using your air fryer and basic pantry ingredients. Play around with different crouton flavors for variety," says Allrecipes Allstar France C. Some reviewers like to add more Cajun seasoning for an extra kick.

10 of 26

Stir-Fry Chicken and Vegetables

a colorful stir-fry of chicken breast strips, red bell pepper, broccoli florets, and sliced mushrooms on white rice

This stir fry is packed with flavor and loaded with veggies. Reviewers say this recipe is quite versatile and you can use any veggies or meat that you like. Serve the whole mixture over a bed of rice.

11 of 26

Sarah's Easy Shredded Chicken Taco Filling

Sarah's Easy Shredded Chicken Taco Filling

"Definitely easy and not to mention very tasty! I love beef tacos, but chicken is a great alternative. Plus this recipe is perfect for times when you want something simple and quick to put together. Delicious in warm soft or hard shell tacos with all the fix-ins — shredded cheese, chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce, hot sauce, and sour cream," says home cook Jillian.

12 of 26

Stuffed Peppers My Way

Stuffed Peppers My Way

With hundreds of 5-star reviews, these stuffed peppers are sure to be a hit. Roasted green peppers are stuffed with an onion, tomato, rice, and feta cheese mixture for a veggie-packed meal. Reviewers say you can use any color bell pepper you have on hand, and some like to add chicken to the stuffing.

13 of 26

Kim's Lasagna

Kim's Lasagna

This simple, no-fail lasagna is "the best lasagna I have ever made and will be the only way I make it from now on," raves home cook BakerDi. "I was skeptical about putting the noodles in hot water but it turned out awesome."

14 of 26

Easy Meatloaf

Easy Meatloaf on a white plate

With over 6,000 5-star reviews, this meatloaf is no stranger to the dinner spotlight. It's easy to make with just a few ingredients and ready in no time at all. Reviewers like to add Worcestershire sauce to the meat mixture before adding the ketchup, brown sugar, and mustard glaze.

15 of 26

Chicken Parmesan

top-down view of a breaded chicken breast over a bed of pasta
Jonathan Blackmore

Chef John's Chicken Parmesan is extra crispy with just a little bit of tomato sauce. Reviewers say this chicken tastes restaurant-quality and is perfect served with angel hair pasta, a salad, and fresh Italian bread.

16 of 26

Sloppy Joes II

Sloppy Joes II
Photo by Dianne.

"Much better than Manwich and SO easy! The best thing is it's made with ingredients I always have in the house and it's not a hundred ingredients either so it's fast to make. I always make more sauce than it calls for. It's great in the crockpot too," says reviewer AMERETTE.

17 of 26

Mississippi Pot Roast

Mississippi Pot Roast

This five-ingredient pot roast is so easy to make thanks to your slow cooker. Simply dump everything into the pot and eight hours later, you'll have delicious, tender, and juicy meat. The roast is great served on its own or on a roll topped with cheese.

18 of 26

Italian Sausage Stuffed Shells

Italian Sausage Stuffed Shells

If you aren't a fan of ricotta stuffed shells, try these sausage stuffed shells instead. Reviewers like to add fresh spinach to the meat/cheese mixture to balance out the meal. And recipe creator RainbowJewels says if you're trying to sneak in the veggies for picky eaters, just blend the spinach in the food processor first.

19 of 26

Best Hamburger Ever

Best Hamburger Ever

Fire up the grill for hamburgers that are loaded with flavor. The patties are packed with ground beef, onion, cheese, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, egg, onion soup mix, and tons of seasonings. Serve these burgers on a bun with your favorite toppings for the perfect summer barbeque meal.

20 of 26

Chicken Enchiladas I

three chicken enchiladas on a plate topped with red sauce and crema
My Hot Southern Mess

"Very yummy enchiladas! Probably will become a staple in our household. I used the Red Enchilada Sauce from this site to finish it off. Absolutely superb!!!! HELPFUL HINT: this recipe freezes extremely well," says reviewer Crystal S.

21 of 26

Hibachi-Style Fried Rice

Hibachi-Style Fried Rice
Hibachi-Style Fried Rice. bd.weld

In just 20 minutes, you'll have restaurant-quality fried rice thanks to this simple recipe. You can use chicken — or any other protein that you like — to elevate this dish to main course status. Reviewers also like to add a bag of frozen veggies to make the dish a more balanced meal.

22 of 26

The Best Baked Ziti

The Best Baked Ziti
Chef John

Chef John's baked ziti is packed with Italian sausage — you can use hot, mild, or sweet — ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, Pecorino Romano cheese, and tons of seasonings. Chef John uses two jars of prepared marinara sauce, but you can use homemade if you prefer.

23 of 26

Quick and Easy Pizza Crust

closeup of an edge of a homemade pepperoni pizza

"This is a great recipe when you don't want to wait for the dough to rise. You just mix it and allow it to rest for 5 minutes and then it's ready to go!! It yields a soft, chewy crust. For a real treat, I recommend you use bread flour and bake it on a pizza stone, but all-purpose flour works well too," says recipe creator CHEF RIDER.

24 of 26

Tasty Baked Mac n Cheese

Tasty Baked Mac n Cheese
Trusted Brands

This creamy baked macaroni and cheese is made with butter, sour cream, cream cheese, sharp Cheddar cheese, egg yolk, flour, milk, and mild cheddar cheese — but the secret ingredient that elevates this recipe is cayenne pepper. Some reviewers like to cut back on the butter, but it's up to personal preference.

25 of 26

Easy Mexican Casserole

Easy Mexican Casserole

Switch up Taco Tuesday with this Mexican casserole with ground beef, salsa, chili beans, tortilla chips, sour cream, olives, green onion, tomatoes, and Cheddar cheese. Try using Doritos instead of tortilla chips and seasoning the ground beef with a taco packet for more flavor.

26 of 26

More Inspiration

A serving of casserole layered between corn tortillas on a white plate
King Ranch Chicken Casserole. Chef John
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