The Best 10 Easy Three-Step Dinners to Make in 20 Minutes or Less

Cooking delicious meals doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. With these easy recipes, you can whip up a satisfying dinner in just three simple steps, all under 20 minutes. Whether you’re a beginner in the kitchen or looking for quick weekday meals, these recipes are perfect for you.

Caprese Chicken Skillet


  • Chicken breasts
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Fresh mozzarella
  • Basil
  • Balsamic glaze


  1. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper, then cook for about 5-6 minutes on each side until cooked through.
  3. Top with sliced mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, and basil. Drizzle with balsamic glaze before serving.

This dish combines the flavors of Italy in a simple and satisfying way. It’s perfect for a quick weeknight dinner.

Garlic Shrimp Pasta


  • Shrimp
  • Linguine pasta
  • Garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese


  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions.
  2. Meanwhile, sauté minced garlic in olive oil until fragrant.
  3. Add shrimp and cook until pink and opaque. Toss with cooked pasta and top with grated Parmesan cheese.

This dish is full of flavor and can be made in just minutes. It’s a favorite for seafood lovers.

Beef Stir-Fry with Vegetables


  • Beef strips
  • Mixed vegetables (bell peppers, broccoli, snap peas)
  • Soy sauce
  • Ginger
  • Rice or noodles


  1. Stir-fry beef in a hot skillet or wok until browned.
  2. Add chopped vegetables and cook until tender-crisp.
  3. Stir in soy sauce and ginger. Serve over rice or noodles.

This stir-fry is quick to make and packed with colorful veggies and savory beef. It’s a healthy and satisfying meal option.

BBQ Chicken Quesadillas


  • Cooked chicken, shredded
  • BBQ sauce
  • Tortillas
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Red onion


  1. Mix shredded chicken with BBQ sauce.
  2. Spread mixture onto half of a tortilla, then top with cheese, sliced red onion, and fold over.
  3. Cook in a skillet until golden brown and cheese is melted. Serve with sour cream or salsa.

These quesadillas are a fun twist on traditional BBQ chicken. They’re perfect for a quick lunch or dinner.

Veggie Fried Rice


  • Cooked rice
  • Mixed vegetables (peas, carrots, corn)
  • Eggs
  • Soy sauce
  • Green onions


  1. Heat a large skillet or wok over medium heat.
  2. Scramble eggs and add mixed vegetables, stir-frying until heated through.
  3. Add cooked rice and soy sauce, tossing until well combined. Garnish with chopped green onions.

This fried rice is a great way to use up leftover rice and vegetables. It’s quick, easy, and full of flavor.

Lemon Garlic Butter Salmon


  • Salmon fillets
  • Lemon
  • Garlic
  • Butter
  • Fresh herbs (parsley or dill)


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Place salmon fillets on a baking sheet. Squeeze lemon juice over them and season with minced garlic, salt, and pepper.
  3. Dot with butter and bake for 12-15 minutes until salmon flakes easily with a fork. Garnish with fresh herbs before serving.

This salmon recipe is elegant yet simple, making it perfect for a quick weeknight dinner or a special occasion.

Taco Salad Bowls


  • Ground beef or turkey
  • Taco seasoning
  • Lettuce
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Avocado
  • Tortilla chips


  1. Cook ground meat with taco seasoning until browned and cooked through.
  2. Arrange lettuce in bowls and top with cooked meat, cherry tomatoes, avocado slices, and crushed tortilla chips.
  3. Serve with salsa or ranch dressing on the side.

These taco salad bowls are a fresh and crunchy dinner option that’s quick to assemble and customize to your taste.

Pesto Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes


  • Pasta (penne or spaghetti)
  • Pesto sauce
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh basil


  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions.
  2. Toss hot pasta with pesto sauce until well coated.
  3. Stir in halved cherry tomatoes and garnish with grated Parmesan cheese and fresh basil leaves.

This pesto pasta is bursting with flavor and can be made in minutes. It’s perfect for a light and satisfying dinner.

One-Pot Chicken and Rice


  • Chicken thighs
  • Rice
  • Chicken broth
  • Mixed vegetables (peas, carrots)
  • Garlic powder


  1. Brown chicken thighs in a large pot or Dutch oven.
  2. Add rice, chicken broth, mixed vegetables, and garlic powder.
  3. Cover and simmer until rice is tender and chicken is cooked through. Serve hot.

This one-pot meal is comforting and easy to make, perfect for a quick family dinner.

Easy Beef Tacos


  • Ground beef
  • Taco seasoning
  • Tortillas
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Shredded cheese
  • Salsa


  1. Cook ground beef with taco seasoning until browned and cooked through.
  2. Heat tortillas in a dry skillet until warm and pliable.
  3. Fill tortillas with cooked beef, shredded lettuce, cheese, and salsa. Fold and serve immediately.

These beef tacos are a classic favorite that’s quick and delicious. They’re perfect for a casual weeknight dinner.


These 10 easy three-step dinners prove that cooking delicious meals doesn’t have to be time-consuming. With simple ingredients and quick preparation, anyone can enjoy homemade dinners even on the busiest of days.


Can I substitute ingredients in these recipes?

Yes, feel free to swap ingredients to suit your taste or dietary preferences.

How can I make these recipes even quicker?

Prepping ingredients ahead of time can significantly reduce cooking time.

Are these recipes suitable for beginners?

Absolutely! These recipes are designed to be simple and easy to follow for cooks of all skill levels.

Can I make these meals ahead of time?

Some of these dishes can be prepared in advance and reheated when needed for added convenience.

Where can I find more quick and easy recipes?

Online recipe websites and cooking blogs often feature a variety of fast meal ideas.

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