Oven-Baked Dinners The Whole Family Will Love

Most people don't enjoy spending a busy weeknight huddled over the stovetop making dinner for hours. Trying to decide what to make, dealing with so many pots and pans, and cleaning up the mess that comes afterwards can be overwhelming. On those nights when you're too tired to really cook, your trusty old oven is all you need to get a delicious, hot meal on the table. And Mashed has all the recipes you need to satisfy any appetite. 

From low-key sheet pan dinners that you can assemble in ten minutes or less, to comforting casseroles and simple yet hearty pasta bakes that can be made ahead and go straight from your freezer to the oven, we've rounded up our best oven-baked dinners the whole family will love. Just preheat, pour a glass of wine, and enjoy the glorious aromas that fill up the house as your dinner roasts to perfection.

Baked spaghetti

When you are craving a hearty plate of pasta without any hassle, you can't go wrong with this recipe for baked spaghetti. This semi-homemade pasta bake calls for just seven ingredients, including your favorite store-bought marinara sauce, to keep things as simple as possible. After quickly boiling the noodles and browning your protein of choice (you can leave that part out as well), the pasta gets tossed into a casserole dish and comes together so nicely in the oven. So much deliciousness for so little effort.

Enchilada casserole

Ever get a craving for some hearty enchiladas, but don't feel like putting in the work to make them? Consider preparing this easy recipe for enchilada casserole instead. It consists of all the same ingredients and flavors you love in classic beef enchiladas (with lots of cheese, of course), but the assembly is as simple as layering it all into a dish. You can have it in the oven in just 15 minutes.

Tuna casserole

When you think of the ultimate American comfort food classics, tuna casserole is most likely right at the top of the list. This retro dish is creamy, hearty, and beloved by so many busy moms over the decades. Our version of the classic tuna casserole adds a freshly-toasted panko breadcrumb topping for a gourmet finishing touch. But don't let that fool you. It's a no-frills recipe that calls for less than ten ingredients and a little bit of prep work before it bakes, and your job is done.

Prime rib

You can't have your cake and eat it too, as they say. But you can have a restaurant quality prime rib dinner without ever going to a steakhouse again. This recipe for prime rib with a simple, homemade horseradish sauce makes it easier than you think to whip up a gourmet meal and impress even your toughest foodie critics. You'll need to plan ahead, as this prime rib needs a few hours in the oven, but the prep work ahead of time is minimal, and the results are well worth the time.

Chicken enchiladas

Enchiladas may seem like a tedious dinner to put together, but they can be simpler to prepare than you may think. Our recipe for chicken enchiladas is all the proof you need. The enchilada sauce for the recipe is made from scratch, but a shredded rotisserie chicken cuts out so much extra work. Believe it or not, you can have these enchiladas ready to bake in just ten minutes. It's too easy not to give it a try.

Baked ziti

When you think of Italian comfort food, you probably think of someone's grandmother spending all day working magic in a Tuscan kitchen. But really all you need is a few simple ingredients and less than an hour to prepare this yummy dish. Give this recipe for baked ziti a try, open up some Chianti while it bakes in the oven, and you just might feel transported to Tuscany. This classic dish is filled with cheese goodness, and you may even have leftovers to enjoy later in the week.

Sheet pan surf and turf

A surf and turf dinner hits the spot for so many reasons. It satisfies any craving, land or sea, and feels so fancy despite being a relatively simple dish. While it's not one you might think to whip up at home, you can totally make this gourmet restaurant meal yourself. And with our recipe for sheet pan surf and turf(featuring New York strip steaks and fresh shrimp), you can do it all with one pan in under an hour.

Pistachio-crusted salmon

Oven-roasted salmon is a weeknight dinner champion. It's light, healthy, and flavorful all by itself. But adding just a few simple ingredients can take your next salmon dinner to another level. We suggest this recipe for pistachio-crusted salmon. Honey, Dijon mustard, and fresh herbs are glazed over the salmon that delivers a balanced sweet and tangy flavor with a kick. Then a pistachio crusting adds the perfect crunch to every bite. The best part? This salmon can be ready to eat in about 20 minutes.

Cabbage rolls

It's not totally clear what cuisine cabbage rolls can be classified as — they're a common dish in many cultures across the globe (via Delishably). But what is certain is that cabbage rolls make for a hearty and satisfying meal. Our take on cabbage rolls combines ground beef, cooked rice, plus herbs and spices, all wrapped up in cabbage leaves and smothered in a spiced tomato sauce. This recipe requires a little more prep work before baking, but we promise that the extra effort will be more than rewarded one you take that first bite.

Easy oven-baked chicken thighs

For nights when the bare minimum is all you can muster together in the kitchen, look no further than this simple, straightforward recipe for oven-baked chicken thighs. The meat is lightly seasoned with dried rosemary and thyme, and roasted in the oven along with fingerling potatoes. It's a whole meal made on one sheet pan, and ready to go in a little over a half hour. It doesn't get much more low-key than that.

Easy sheet pan chicken breast

You can truly never have too many one-pan chicken dinners, so we present this sheet pan chicken meal you'll want to come back to again and again. This recipe adds broccoli and carrots as the veggie component, and tosses everything together with simple pantry seasonings and some fresh lemon. The final result is a colorful presentation, and it's as healthy as it is tasty. And here's a pro tip: Line your sheet pan with foil, and you won't have to scrub it after you're done.

Butternut squash stuffed shells

For a super creamy, comforting dish that is actually much healthier for you than it tastes, it's hard to beat this recipe for butternut squash stuffed shells. The noodles are filled with a mixture of soft, sweet roasted squash, spinach, fresh basil, and plenty of cheese. The dish gets smothered in your favorite tomato sauce and even more cheese before baking to bubbly perfection. It's a step up from your basic spaghetti marinara, while still being the ultimate comfort food pasta.

Baked rigatoni

Keep the Italian comfort food classics coming with this recipe for easy baked rigatoni that just might become your family's favorite meal. You just need ten minutes to whip up a simple tomato sauce. Then, toss the sauce with cooked noodles and some fresh cheese, let your oven work its magic, and voilà — dinner is served. And to be totally honest, you could cut this prep time from ten minutes to about two minutes by using store-bought tomato sauce. Preparing dinner doesn't get easier than that.


If what you really want is a classic Italian version of stuffed shells for dinner, then you can't go wrong with this easy recipe for manicotti, loaded up with three different cheeses plus spinach. As the recipe author notes, this dish only takes about 15 minutes to prep, and makes for a great make-ahead dinner entree. Whip this up on Sunday, and you can start the week with some yummy leftovers to look forward to.

Easy tater tot casserole

When life gets hectic, dinner shouldn't be. For those nights when you just can't anymore, lean in to comfort and nostalgia and throw together this easy tater tot casserole. Juicy ground beef, plenty of cheese, and bacon get layered with a pack of the frozen potato nuggets we know and love. The oven does all the work, and it's ready to go in an hour. What's not to love? We were hooked at bacon.

5-ingredient meatball pasta bake

We admit, there are quite a few baked pasta recipes on this list. But seriously, our recipe for this 5-ingredient meatball pasta bake might just be the easiest one of all. Frozen meatballs and store-bought sauce cut the prep work to a matter of minutes, so you can have an indulgent, hearty baked pasta on the dinner table in a half hour. It's so delicious, no one ever has to know the shortcuts.

Spaghetti squash lasagna casserole

There are a whole lot of low-carb lasagna recipes to choose from. But we're pretty sure you won't find one that's tastier or more unique than this recipe for spaghetti squash lasagna casserole. The sweet, stringy squash takes the place of regular noodles in the dish, and ground turkey provides a leaner source of protein, making this lasagna interpretation a little healthier, without sacrificing an ounce of flavor. You may never go back to regular lasagna again.

One-pan honey mustard chicken and veggie bake

Sheet pan dinners can be your very best friend when it comes to hassle-free meal prep. And this recipe for a one-pan honey mustard chicken and veggie bake is a year-round favorite. A simple combination of chicken breast, turkey bacon, sweet potatoes, and Brussels sprouts get tossed in a spiced honey mustard glaze before roasting everything together. It's flavorful, satisfying, and very nutritious. We can guarantee you'll want this sheet pan dinner in your dinner rotation.

Herbed salmon en papillote with grape tomatoes

It's hard to understate the beauty and simplicity of the foil pack dinner. Elevate the concept with this recipe for herbed salmon en papillote with grape tomatoes. The dish sounds much fancier than it actually is, and that's the beauty of it. Fresh salmon gets topped with fresh herbs, wrapped in parchment paper, and roasted to perfection along with grape tomatoes. As the author notes, you can even customize this dish with the fish, herbs, and veggies of your choice. The simple instructions remain the same.

Easy chicken parmesan bake

Would you believe it if we said that you can have delicious chicken parmesan for dinner tonight without leaving the house, and without spending more than 15 minutes in the kitchen? It may sound crazy, but it's true. Our recipe for an easy chicken parmesan bake is as simple as it gets, and comes together in the oven rather than in a frying pan, cutting out the extra mess. Your family will love this classic dish.