Simple Dinner Recipes That Are Easy To Memorize

Dinner happens every single night and, though we all surely like to eat good food, the repetition can get pretty tedious. Yes, you have to eat every single night for the rest of your life. It's a lot to take on, plus you might be feeding family and friends, too. You could go out to eat or hit the drive-thru when you don't feel like cooking, but eating at home is often healthier and more financially feasible. 

Some nights you might crave adventure (and have extra time) and try out a complicated new dinner recipe. Other nights, you might be phoning it in with a basic grilled cheese or some prepared food. But the nights in between — when you want something nice to eat but don't necessarily have the time or energy to launch a full-scale kitchen adventure — call for dinner standbys that you can make easily over and over again. 

These simple recipes feature ingredients that are easy to keep on hand in your fridge or pantry. They also boast easy prep and cooking steps that, over time, you can come to know by heart. They're uncomplicated and quick to crank out. Nearly all of them take 30 minutes or less to get from ingredients to table. Try these simple dinner recipes that you can memorize and make on nights when you want something impressive, but accessible.

Subway Meatball Marinara sub copycat

If you're looking for simple, but tasty, you've come to the right place. Just five ingredients make up this meatball marinara sub. This copycat Subway Meatball Marinara sub is easy to make and delicious to eat whether you frequent the sub shop or not. It's filling, straightforward, and friendly to picky eaters.

There's not much you need to do in order to pull this dinner together. Simply heat the meatballs in a frying pan, warm up the sauce, then assemble the ingredients. You'll place the meatballs in the sub, then top with marinara and cheese, and enjoy. You can serve this sandwich with fruit, a salad, or other simple sides to round out the meal.

Simple lemon chicken

This lemon chicken recipe is full of bright colors and fresh flavors, but it comes together with simple ingredients you may already have at home: chicken breasts, egg, milk, flour, oil, butter, lemons, cheese, herbs, and spices. Making this simple lemon chicken recipe takes about an hour from start to finish, but your hands-on time is just 20 minutes. 

Essentially, you're simply frying chicken breasts and creating a lemon butter sauce. Once you've memorized the herbs and spices to include, this is an elegant and impressive dinner you can make over and over again.

Pesto zoodles

Whether you're watching your carb intake or just want to pump up your veggie intake, zoodles are an appealing option. Spiralized and colorful, they're a great stand-in for traditional pasta. And making these pesto zoodles over and over again couldn't be more simple and easy to remember. 

You'll need a spiralizer to turn zucchini into zoodles. After that, all you need to do is sauté the zoodles, mix it with your sauce of choice and add cheese and tomatoes. All in, you're looking at a 20-minute dinner that's packed with healthy choices and serious flavor. Want to make it even more simple? Quite a few grocery stores now carry pre-packaged zoodles in the freezer or deli. Though, if you spring for a spiralizer, you'll like be turning a variety of fruits and veggies into noodles after your first try.

Quick grilled shrimp

Shrimp on the barbie are versatile and quick to cook up. With this grilled shrimp recipe, you can keep shrimp in on hand and be ready to grill and eat them in less than 20 minutes. The grilled flavor means you can keep your shrimp easy and uncomplicated. 

To grill these shrimp, first, soak the wood skewers in water so they won't burn during the cooking process. Then, start your grill, and prep your shrimp, deveining them if necessary and then placing them on the skewers. Top with a lemon, butter, and garlic sauce, then grill for about six minutes. Looking for a shortcut? You can buy shrimp already cleaned and deveined, so you can skip that step and just put shrimp straight on the skewers. 

These shrimp are great as a main course for dinner along another easy side, or as a component of pasta, tacos, or salad.

Quick cabbage and noodles

This cabbage and noodles recipe is a quick and satisfying dinner that calls for just seven ingredients that are also pretty easy on your wallet. You'll use egg noodles, cabbage, onions, butter, and pepper to make this dish. It's vegetarian, but you could add bacon or sausage if you prefer.

Even the most novice cooks will find this recipe very accessible indeed. If you can remember how to boil egg noodles and chop veggies, you can have this dinner pasta recipe memorized in a snap. You'll caramelize cabbage and onions, boil egg noodles, then combine with butter and pepper and you're all set.

Instant Pot beef stew

Beef stew is traditionally an all-day commitment that demands you simmer the stew for hours, carefully tending the liquid levels and ingredients as the day goes on. But if you use an Instant Pot, you can get a beef stew dinner on the table in less than 45 minutes. This one-pot dinner features uncomplicated ingredients and simple prep, so it's easy to remember and make a weeknight staple.

This Instant Pot beef stew recipe starts with sautéing beef stew meat in the Instant Pot. You'll lightly brown some flour in oil, adding broth and scraping pieces off the bottom. Stir to combine the beef and broth, add vegetables, and add more broth if needed to cover the solids. The stew cooks on high pressure for 15 minutes, meaning dinner is ready in a snap.

3-bean vegetarian chili

This vegetarian bean-based chili is easy to put together on a weeknight. It's easy to keep the ingredients on hand in your pantry whenever the mood strikes for this meal. In fact, you might already have them on hand at this very moment. You'll bring together beans, tomato sauce, spices, onion, and salsa as the core ingredients for this easy dish.

A meatless recipe means most of the ingredients don't need to be cooked, but just heated up. The most time-intensive part of this chili prep is dicing a yellow onion and cooking it for about five minutes. Then just add the rest of the ingredients to warm them through and let the flavors come together. Serve with cornbread and top with traditional chili toppings like sour cream, shredded cheese, and cilantro.

Simple chicken Marsala

Chicken Marsala is one of those dishes that looks impressive and complicated, but is actually pretty simple to make. It's ready in just about half an hour and is packed with flavor in addition to the visual punch as you serve it for dinner. You just don't need to tell anyone that you put it together in about the time it takes to watch an episode of your favorite sitcom.

To make this chicken Marsala recipe, you'll first prep and then lightly fry chicken breasts, sauté mushrooms, then make a Marsala wine reduction sauce with cream. Add the chicken to the sauce, garnish, and it's ready to eat. This meal is especially great served with pasta, side salad, or crusty garlic bread.

3-ingredient Crock Pot pork chops

Using a slow cooker makes it extremely simple to make pork chops, though you may think that they're notoriously hard to cook and get just right. Not so here. In this Crock Pot pork chops recipe, you just dump ingredients, cook on low for 8 hours, and come home to pork chops ready to eat. 

Crock Pot pork chops call for just three ingredients: bone-in pork chops, ranch seasoning, and a jar of chicken gravy. You'll sprinkle the pork chops with ranch seasoning, coat the chops in gravy, and let it all cook until the pork chops are tender. To get them just right, you'll need to cook these chops for about 6 to 8 hours, but remember that all that time is completely off your hands. These are great served with mashed potatoes or applesauce.

20-minute fish tacos

Give your Taco Tuesday an upgrade with salmon fish tacos that take just 20 minutes to make. Essentially, you'll just season and bake the fish, then quick pickle some jalapenos in red wine vinegar. You'll also make a supremely easy avocado crema and a mayonnaise and vinegar-based sauce, which you'll spoon over the finished tacos. You'll also briefly toast the shells, an easy step to really bring the flavors of this easy meal out. 

The most intensive part of this fish taco recipe is the crema and sauce. You'll combine avocados, garlic, and lime juice to make the avocado crema. Then for the sauce, combine mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, and sugar. Once the fish is done baking, you can assemble your tacos and enjoy.

30-minute coconut shrimp

Coconut shrimp can be a quick and easy dinner without a long list of ingredients. Even better, they look visually appealing, looking great on the dish as you serve it up at dinnertime. You just need shrimp, shredded coconut, eggs, and pantry staples to pull them together. Prep time is 15 minutes and they'll cook up in a further 10, meaning that this recipe clocks in at under half an hour. With such an easy ingredients list and speedy time, no wonder you'll let this recipe enter into your regular dinner rotation.

To make this coconut shrimp recipe, you'll coat peeled and deveined tail-on shrimp in an egg, flour mixture, and coconut and bread crumbs, then pan. Serve them up garnished with cilantro and a sweet chili dipping sauce.

3-ingredient teriyaki chicken

Teriyaki chicken is easier to make than you might think. This three-ingredient teriyaki chicken calls for chopped chicken breast, brown sugar, and soy sauce — and that's all, seriously.

You'll make this classic and quick chicken dinner dish by browning the chicken. Then, you'll make a sauce in the same pan out of the brown sugar and soy sauce that you'll cook just until it thickens. Coat the chicken in the sauce, then garnish with optional green onions and sesame seeds for some additional color, flavor, and texture. Serve with rice and stir fry vegetables to make it a full meal that everyone at home will love.

20-minute egg roll in a bowl

A batch of fried egg rolls might be a little too much to take on during a busy weeknight, but an egg roll in a bowl offers a simpler way to get the same flavors. This recipe will even help those of you who want to cut out some carbs and fats, since it skips the wrapper and doesn't bother with frying oil at all.

This egg roll in a bowl recipe takes just 20 minutes to make, including prep time. You can make it even simpler by skipping the step of shredding cabbage and carrots and using a bag of prepared coleslaw mix in its place, which you can often find in your grocery store's deli section. For the meat, ground pork is preferred, but any ground meat or even vegetarian options like tofu or mushrooms would work fine. The sauce, meanwhile, is a simple combination of soy sauce, oyster sauce, chili paste, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic.

20-minute chicken picatta

Want a restaurant-quality meal without leaving home or putting in a whole lot of effort? This chicken piccata recipe only takes 20 minutes to make and features capers, lemon, and butter for lots of flavor without much time investment.

Make this chicken piccata recipe by prepping and lightly pan-frying chicken breasts, then removing the chicken and deglazing the pan with wine and capers, adding butter to create a luxurious sauce. Bring the chicken back to the pan with lemon juice and simmer for about two more minutes, then it's ready to eat. You can serve it with a starchy side like noodles, rice, or potatoes, or a side salad.