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60 Weeknight Dinners You Haven’t Tried Yet

These change-of-pace meals make busy evenings a snap. Best of all, they're ready in 30 minutes!

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Spicy Chicken and Bacon MacTaste of Home

Spicy Chicken and Bacon Mac

I've been working to perfect a creamy, spicy mac and cheese for years. After adding smoky bacon, chicken, jalapenos and spicy cheese, this is the ultimate! I use rotisserie chicken and precooked bacon when I'm pressed for time. —Sarah Gilbert, Aloha, Oregon

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Quick Apricot ChickenTaste of Home

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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Chili-Topped Cornbread WafflesTaste of Home

Chili-Topped Cornbread Waffles

My daughter inspired this cornbread waffles recipe. Everyone in my family loves chili except her, so we had an idea—cornbread waffles topped with chili and all the fixings! It was a hit. —Courtney Stultz, Weir, Kansas

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Pulled Pork ParfaitTaste of Home

Pulled Pork Parfait

I tried a version of this meaty parfait at Miller Park, home of my favorite baseball team, the Brewers. I take it up a notch by layering in corn and creamy mac and cheese, so it truly is a full barbecue meal you can take on the go. —Rachel Seis, Senior Editor, Taste of Home Magazine

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Salsa Steak Garlic ToastsTaste of Home

Salsa Steak Garlic Toasts

These open-faced steak sandwiches play up the popular combo of steak and garlic bread. The salsa, sour cream and garnish elevate it into a quick, satisfying meal. Substitute chopped green onions or chives for the cilantro if desired. —Arlene Erlbach, Morton Grove, Illinois

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Po'Boy TacosTaste of Home

Po'Boy Tacos

I intended to make tostadas, but I misread a couple of ingredients and had to use what I had on hand. I put my own twist on a po'boy recipe and ended up with something even better. —Cynthia Nelson, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

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Cheeseburger QuesadillasTaste of Home

Cheeseburger Quesadillas

I created these fun cheeseburger quesadilla mashups in honor of my family's two favorite foods. They are so yummy and easy to make! —Jennifer Stowell, Deep River, Iowa

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Bratwurst Burgers with Braised OnionsTaste of Home

Bratwurst Burgers with Braised Onions

This burger is a fun mashup of a bratwurst with onion and peppers, chicken-fried steak and a beef burger. The best of three dishes, bratwurst burgers are guaranteed to be family-pleasing. —Priscilla Yee, Concord, California

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Vietnamese Chicken Banh Mi SandwichesTaste of Home

Vietnamese Chicken Banh Mi Sandwiches

My version of the classic Vietnamese sandwich combines the satisfying flavor of chicken sausage with tangy vegetables pickled in rice vinegar. Stuff the ingredients in a hoagie bun and lunch is ready to go! —Angela Spengler, Niceville, Florida

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Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato PizzaTaste of Home

Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Pizza

I bring together two all-time favorites with this recipe: pizza and BLT sandwiches. I brought this fun mashup to a ladies lunch and was met with "oohs" and "ahhs." —Bonnie Hawkins, Elkhorn, Wisconsin

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Mushroom and Brown Rice Hash with Poached EggsTaste of Home

Mushroom and Brown Rice Hash with Poached Eggs

I made my mother's famous roast beef hash healthier by using cremini mushrooms instead of beef, and brown rice instead of potatoes. It's ideal for a light main dish. —Lily Julow, Lawrenceville, Georgia

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Asian Salmon TacosTaste of Home

Asian Salmon Tacos

This Asian/Mexican fusion dish is ready in minutes—perfect for an on-the-run-meal! If the salmon begins to stick, add 2-3 tablespoons of water and continue cooking through. —Marisa Raponi, Vaughan, Ontario

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Vegetable, Steak and EggsTaste of Home

Vegetable, Steak and Eggs

Low-carb doesn't have to be skimpy with this lighter take on steak and eggs. I love cooking with squash, but feel free to toss in any vegetable combination you like. —Robert Deskin, Plantation, Florida

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Stir-Fried ScallopsTaste of Home

Stir-Fried Scallops

Scallops meet mild tomato in this sublime stovetop supper. Try serving the saucy mixture over rice or angel hair pasta, and garnish with cilantro if you like. —Stephany Gocobacki, San Rafael, California

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Tequila Lime Shrimp ZoodlesTaste of Home

Tequila Lime Shrimp Zoodles

This tangy shrimp is a smart way to cut carbs without sacrificing flavor. If you don't have a spiralizer, use thinly julienned zucchini to get a similar effect. —Brigette Schroeder, Yorkville, Illinois

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Moroccan FlatbreadsTaste of Home

Moroccan Flatbreads

My family loves these tacos with Middle Eastern seasoning lots of vegetables. Ground turkey or beef may be substituted for the lamb. —Arlene Erlbach, Morton Grove, Illinois

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Cumin Quinoa PattiesTaste of Home

Cumin Quinoa Patties

These easy burgers taste amazing, and the quinoa gives them a hearty texture. They’re a delicious vegetarian option that you really have to try. Pan frying them adds a perfect crunch that takes them to the next level. You can make the mixture ahead of time. It freezes very well. Enjoy! —Beth Klein, Arlington, Virginia

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Pork Veggie Stir-FryTaste of Home

Pork Veggie Stir-Fry

Even kids find this colorful combo of vegetables, pork strips, seasonings and peanuts very appealing. Serve it over rice for a main dish that needs no sides. —Laurel Reisinger, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

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Tex-Mex Chicken StripsTaste of Home

Tex-Mex Chicken Strips

I was looking for a way to amp up the flavor of regular chicken strips so I crushed up some leftover corn chips to create a crispy, flavorful coating. —Cynthia Gerken, Naples, Florida

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Meat Loaf MuffinsTaste of Home

Meat Loaf Muffins

Serve these tangy meat loaf muffins for dinner or slice them up for a take-along sandwich lunch. They're just as flavorful after freezing. —Cheryl Norwood, Canton, Georgia

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Lemon-Batter FishTaste of Home

Lemon-Batter Fish

My husband ranks this battered, fried fish recipe as one of his favorites. A lot of fishing takes place in our area, which makes this a good choice for a regional recipe. —Jackie Hannahs, Cedar Springs, Michigan

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Lemony Scallops with Angel Hair PastaTaste of Home

Lemony Scallops with Angel Hair Pasta

This delicate dish tastes so bright with a touch of lemon and tender sauteed scallops. Serve with crusty whole grain bread, and you have an impressive dinner that comes together in a flash. —Thomas Faglon, Somerset, New Jersey

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Pressure-Cooker Carolina-Style Vinegar BBQ ChickenTaste of Home

Pressure-Cooker Carolina-Style Vinegar BBQ Chicken

I live in Georgia but I appreciate the tangy, sweet and slightly spicy taste of Carolina vinegar chicken. —Ramona Parris, Acworth, Georgia

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Bavarian Apple-Sausage HashTaste of Home

Bavarian Apple-Sausage Hash

This awesome recipe reflects my German roots. In the cooler months, nothing is as comforting as a hearty hash. Serve this versatile recipe as a side dish at a holiday meal or as a brunch entree over cheddar grits or topped with a fried egg. —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, CO

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Chicken with Peach-Cucumber SalsaTaste of Home

Chicken with Peach-Cucumber Salsa

To keep our kitchen cool, we grill chicken outdoors and serve it with a minty peach salsa that can easily be made ahead. —Janie Colle, Hutchinson, Kansas

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Zucchini & Sausage Stovetop CasseroleTaste of Home

Zucchini & Sausage Stovetop Casserole

Gather zucchini from your garden or farm stand and start cooking. My family goes wild for this wholesome casserole. We like our zucchini grated, not sliced. —LeAnn Gray, Taylorsville, Utah

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Hearty Vegetable Beef RaguTaste of Home

Hearty Vegetable Beef Ragu

This recipe is healthy yet satisfying, quick yet delicious. It's on the table in less than 30 minutes—and one that my children will gobble up! If you are not fond of kale, stir in baby spinach or chopped broccoli instead. —Kim Van Dunk, Caldwell, New Jersey

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Turkey-Cranberry Monte CristoTaste of Home

Turkey-Cranberry Monte Cristo

Every year, my husband and I look forward to Thanksgiving leftovers just so we can make this sandwich. Once you try it, I'm sure you will agree that this is the best turkey sandwich ever! —Cleo Gonske, Redding, California

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Skillet NachosTaste of Home

Skillet Nachos

My mom gave me a fundraiser cookbook, and this is the recipe I’ve used most. My whole family is on board. For toppings, think sour cream, tomatoes, jalapeno and red onion. —Judy Hughes, Waverly, Kansas

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Turkey and Broccoli Pastry BraidTaste of Home

Turkey and Broccoli Pastry Braid

This meal in one is an easy way to get kids—and adults—to eat broccoli. The puff pastry that wraps up turkey, cheese and veggies is pure, flaky goodness. —Jenelle Fender, Steinbach, Manitoba

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Zucchini Beef SkilletTaste of Home

Zucchini Beef Skillet

This is a speedy summer recipe that uses up those abundant garden goodies: Zucchini, tomatoes and green peppers. —Becky Calder, Kingston, Missouri

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Stovetop Turkey TetrazziniTaste of Home

Stovetop Turkey Tetrazzini

A very special aunt shared this fun spin on creamy tetrazzini. We think it’s even better the next day. —Tasia Cox, Niceville, Florida

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Ham & Swiss StromboliTaste of Home

Ham & Swiss Stromboli

This is a treat to take to someone for dinner. It's also easy to change up the recipe with your favorite meats or cheeses. —Tricia Bibb, Hartselle, Alabama

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Pierogi QuesadillasTaste of Home

Pierogi Quesadillas

When I had hungry children in the kitchen and nothing but leftovers, I invented these quesadillas. Now it's how we always use up our potatoes, meats and sometimes veggies. —Andrea Dibble, Solon, Iowa

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Blue Cheese-Crusted Sirloin SteaksTaste of Home

Blue Cheese-Crusted Sirloin Steaks

My wife adores this steak—and me when I fix it for her. She thinks it’s the ideal dish for Friday night after a long workweek. —Michael Rouse, Minot, North Dakota

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Feta-Dill Chicken BurgersTaste of Home

Feta-Dill Chicken Burgers

I found fresh ground chicken at the butcher and gave it a whirl on our new grill. The result is these saucy burgers. Everybody went nuts—including my sister-in-law, an amazing cook! —Wendy Boughton, Victoria, British Columbia

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Easy Beef PiesTaste of Home

Easy Beef Pies

We make a lot of French dips and always have leftover roast beef. Here's how I put it to good use. For these pies, use any vegetables you like. They're extra awesome drenched in cheese sauce. —Jennie Weber, Palmer, Alaska

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Simple Sausage Pasta TossTaste of Home

Simple Sausage Pasta Toss

For a flash of tasty inspiration, grab a skillet and stir up turkey sausage with tomatoes, garlic and olives. Toss everything with spaghetti, and sprinkle with Parmesan. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Stuffed Peppers for FourTaste of Home

Stuffed Peppers for Four

Truly a meal in one, this quick supper has it all: Veggies, meat, pasta and sauce, packed into tender peppers. It’ll look so pretty on your table. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Roast Beef Pasta SkilletTaste of Home

Roast Beef Pasta Skillet

Leftover beef is the star in a skillet dinner that's perfect for two. Chopped tomatoes and Parmesan cheese add color and flavor to this no-fuss dish. —Bill Hilbrich, St. Cloud, Minnesota

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Veggie TacosTaste of Home

Veggie Tacos

These vegetarian tacos are stuffed with a blend of sauteed cabbage, peppers and black beans so filling, you won't miss the meat. Top with avocado, cheese or a dollop of sour cream. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Pork Tenderloin FajitasTaste of Home

Pork Tenderloin Fajitas

These easy slow cooker pork fajitas offer loads of taste appeal. Sizzling tenderloin and veggies are tossed with a bold cilantro sauce and tucked into tortillas for a fun take on taco night. —Rachel Hozey, Pensacola, Florida

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Chicken Pesto with PastaTaste of Home

Chicken Pesto with Pasta

Prepared sauce accents this warm chicken pesto pasta. Keep pesto in the freezer for the next time you have leftover chicken. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Quick Chili MacTaste of Home

Quick Chili Mac

This combines chili with one of my favorite pasta dishes. I often serve it for company or potlucks and occasionally add taco seasoning or use beanless chili and add black beans. —Lee Steinmetz, Lansing, Michigan

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Artichoke Chicken Pesto PizzaTaste of Home

Artichoke Chicken Pesto Pizza

Make pizza night an upscale affair with this fun twist on the traditional pie. A prebaked crust and prepared pesto keep things quick and easy. —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho

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Tenderloin with Herb SauceTaste of Home

Tenderloin with Herb Sauce

Tender pork is treated to a rich and creamy sauce with a slight kick, thanks to red pepper flakes. This hearty dish is very simple to prepare and always a dinnertime winner. —Monica Shipley, Tulare, California

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Cobb Salad WrapsTaste of Home

Cobb Salad Wraps

A homemade dressing lightens up these refreshing tortilla wraps. The avocado, bacon, blue cheese and tomato deliver the flavors I enjoy most while keeping me on my healthy eating plan. -Lynne Van Wagenen of Salt Lake City, Utah

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Caramelized Pork SlicesTaste of Home

Caramelized Pork Slices

This easy treatment for pork caught my eye when I saw the word "caramelized." The slightly sweet glaze is yummy. I like to serve this over noodles or rice...or with mashed potatoes. —Elisa Lochridge, Beaverton, Oregon.

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Triple Cheese TwistsTaste of Home

Triple Cheese Twists

Our stovetop macaroni and cheese is extra special, thanks to the buttery crumb topping. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Herbed Lemon Pork ChopsTaste of Home

Herbed Lemon Pork Chops

Expect to get plenty of compliments on these fast, flavor-packed chops. They're tender and juicy. —Billi Jo Sylvester, New Smyrna Beach, Florida

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Crab-Topped Fish FilletsTaste of Home

Crab-Topped Fish Fillets

These fillets are elegant enough for company but truly no trouble to make. Fish is abundant here in South Florida, and we like to get together with friends in the afternoon, so I often need to whip up a quick dinner when we get home. This special dish is one of my husband's favorites. —Mary Tuthill, Fort Myers Beach, Florida

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Asparagus Ham DinnerTaste of Home

Asparagus Ham Dinner

I've been making this low-fat ham dinner for my family for years, and we always look forward to it. With asparagus, tomato, pasta and chunks of ham, it's a tempting blend of tastes and textures. —Rhonda Zavodny, David City, Nebraska

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Ham and Scalloped PotatoesTaste of Home

Ham and Scalloped Potatoes

"I fix this saucy skillet dish often, especially when I'm running late, because it takes so little time to prepare," reports Emma Magielda from Amsterdam, New York. "The recipe won first prize in our local paper some years back."

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Steak FajitasTaste of Home

Steak Fajitas

Zesty salsa and tender strips of steak make these traditional fajitas extra special. —Rebecca Baird, Salt Lake City, Utah

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Quick CarbonaraTaste of Home

Quick Carbonara

Carbonara is a dinnertime classic, but my version cuts down on the time it takes to make. Loaded with ham, bacon, olives, garlic and Parmesan, it certainly doesn't skimp on flavor. —Carole Martin, Tallahassee, Florida

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Classic Crab CakesTaste of Home

Classic Crab Cakes

Our region is known for good seafood, and crab cakes are a traditional favorite. I learned to make them from a chef in a restaurant where they were a best-seller. The crabmeat's sweet and mild flavor is sparked by the blend of other ingredients. —Debbie Terenzini, Lusby, Maryland

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Broccoli Beef BraidsTaste of Home

Broccoli Beef Braids

Each slice of this fast-to-fix, golden bread is like a hot sandwich packed with beef, broccoli and mozzarella. —Penny Lapp, North Royalton, Ohio

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Chicken Veggie PacketsTaste of Home

Chicken Veggie Packets

People think I went to a lot of trouble when I serve these packets. Individual aluminum foil pouches hold the juices in during baking to keep the herbed chicken moist and tender. The foil saves time and makes cleanup a breeze. —Edna Shaffer, Beulah, Michigan

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Apple-Topped Ham SteakTaste of Home

Apple-Topped Ham Steak

Sweet apples combine nicely with tangy mustard in this dish to create a luscious topping for skillet-fried ham steak. I especially like to serve this to guests in fall. —Eleanor Chore, Athena, Oregon

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Skillet Chicken FajitasTaste of Home

Skillet Chicken Fajitas

Fresh flavor with a flair describes this quick and easy recipe. Fajitas are just right for hot summer evenings when you want to serve something fun and tasty, yet keep cooking to a minimum. Try topping them with sour cream, guacamole or both. —Lindsay St. John, Plainfield, Indiana

Annamarie Higley
Annamarie Higley is an Associate Print Editor for Taste of Home magazine, as well as the brand's special issue publications. A midwestern transplant originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, she enjoys hiking, trivia-ing, and—you guessed it!—all things cooking and baking.
Mark Hagen
The former owner of his own catering business, Mark’s been part of the Taste of Home team for the past 20 years. His work has also appeared in Quick Cooking, Light & Tasty and Country Woman magazines as well as in various Pillsbury and Betty Crocker cookbooks. When he’s not spending time in the kitchen with his Westie, Rocco, he’s working in his yard, doing stand-up comedy or devouring a platter of nachos. (Most likely the latter.)

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