UPDATE:This compilation of 30-minute meals has been so popular, I’ve converted it over to an ever-populating list (meaning, every time I post a new 30-minute meal, it will show up automatically). That new, sweet page is HERE! It’s the one you want to bookmark. Trust me.

In honor of the fall school year being in full force and because I know many of you are 100 times busier than I am, here are my favorite quick meals (30-minute meals, if you like that term better). Everyday ingredients for out-of-this-world dinners that won’t take you longer than 30 minutes to prepare. Every single meal you see here makes regular appearances at our dinner table (and will again once we get out of this durn hotel!). I triple-love no-brainer dinners. And here’s 39 of them for your cooking pleasure! (Hover over the picture for the recipe title; click on the picture – or right click and Open in New Tab/Window – to go to the recipe.)

53 Responses to 39 Meals to Make in 30-Minutes or Less

  1. Kim in MD says:

    I LOVE this! What a great idea to post all of your 30 minute or less meals together. Thanks, Mel!

  2. Holly says:

    Thanks for putting all of these quick meals in one spot! Hope your boys had a great first day of school and that you’ll soon be settled in a home of your own.

  3. Lindsay says:

    Perfect! I needed inspiration today!

  4. StephenC says:

    A great and very useful effort.

  5. Elly says:

    I love your blog because you post normal recipes that my husband will actually eat. Thanks!

  6. Liann says:

    I made your chili mac recipe the other night, and my (super picky) girls LOVED it! They kept pausing between bites to give me thumbs ups. LOL :) I even managed to sneak in half a can of the green chilis without them complaining.

    I also made your french bread rolls – my first attempt at any sort of yeast bread – and we all loved them! They turned out great!

    Thanks for everything you do!

  7. Daisy says:

    Bless you.

  8. Emily says:

    Bless you, Mel, you are my *go to source* for delicious and not too complicated meals. I am not kidding around. I’ve been in the worst dinner rut lately, plus I’m back in school and have homework to do in the evenings after work so time is tight. I’m really excited to go through these and pick out some dinners to change things up. I already know a couple on there are major keepers… I make your beef tacos and the skillet pasta with broccoli and sun dried tomatoes all the time. Thank you for all you do!

  9. Allyson says:

    You are my hero (again). I have been thinking for a long time that I needed a list like this in ONE place to refer to. A million thanks to you!!!!!

  10. Christy says:

    I totally went to your site and was going to search “quick” for a quick dinner tonight. Thank you for posting this!

  11. Randee Donovan says:

    Oh, Mel! Thank you! I’m just a little curious though… How did you read my mind?

  12. Cindi says:

    Thank you…thank you…THANK YOU!!

  13. I love quick meals like these!

  14. Stacie Aho says:

    I am so excited about this… especially with a baby due in 3 weeks. I don’t enjoy cooking time consuming meals every night now, and I know I definitely won’t once number 3 is here. Thank you! (PS- i hope you get into your house soon!!)

  15. Em says:

    You are a lifesaver! Now to choose which one to make first!

  16. kdog says:

    You are a wonderful person! Thanks for sharing. Love your site.

  17. Jen T says:

    Oh, Wow! you just saved my life. I have one girl running HS cross country and one girl playing middle school volleyball, plus two younger kids that get dragged everywhere. This is wonderful! Thanks so much!!!

  18. Adrienne says:

    Mmmmm… Those Chipotle Chicken Tacos are my most favorite.

    Every time I make them I think, gosh those are fast. And good!

  19. Beth says:

    My day was INSANE today, so this was a perfect post for me. I am missing the slow days of summer already.

  20. Sandle says:

    Thanks for sharing these fast and yummy recipes Mel! Just what I needed!

  21. Well no longer in school at our house, but my commute coupled with the job keeps me away from home 10 hours a day, these will come in real handy for our dinners. Thanks!

  22. Cammee says:

    There goes Mel, making my life easier again!

  23. Lisa says:

    Thank you so much for posting these quick meals! I have been following your blog for months, but this is the first time I’ve commented. I’ve made many recipes from your blog and my family and I have loved every single one! Thank you for sharing!

  24. Ruth says:

    What a wealth of information and so easy to access. Most of us want yummy meal that are easy and really, really fast. Thank you, Mel!

  25. Kelsey says:

    You are a genius Mel! We love the paprika chicken stroganoff and the bbq chicken pasta. I need to try the chicken zucchini stir fry since I have garden zucchinis coming out my ears! Thanks!!

  26. Robin says:

    I found your blog this summer when I begged someone for a recipe for the caramel brownies they made . . . yours, of course. I’ve made several recipes and all were fabulous successes. Tonight was the garlic tuna pasta with asparagus teamed with a blueberry, bleu cheese, walnut salad and a lovely bread. Delicious. Thank you!

  27. Lisa says:

    Thank you! I am in the throes of morning sickness and was just talking to my children today about how I wanted easy meals to make (or that they can make) because I am pretty much a non-functioning human being at this point. Nothing sounds good (I couldn’t even stomach looking at my favorite food blogs – including yours – until just today! Sad!). I appreciate the list!

  28. Jessica says:

    Thank you! I’ve begun working my way through the list! 3 down, 36 to go. So far they are all awesome!

  29. kristin says:

    I LOVE this post! Thanks so much for posting this!!!! Just out of curiosity, if you had to pick a few favorites off this list what would they be? I’d like to try so many of them but can’t decide!!!!!

  30. Diana says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your great recipes. I found them on Pinterest and many have repinned. Thanks again from all of us!

  31. Lisa says:

    I came here through pinterest and only read 2 recipes so far, but they all sound so delicous and I can’t wait to try them! Love the fact that you also say how much of a spice you use, like 1 teaspoon of Oregano. I just started cooking just about a year ago, because I moved away from my parents ;) and I always wonder how much of a spice I would use on a recipe. Thank you for sharing this!!

  32. Janelle says:

    One of my favorite meals is the Crispy SW Chicken Wraps. I always use red pepper and brown rice, and I mix a little adobo sauce into the sour cream before spreading it on the tortilla. I also grill them in my panini press, and it’s so much faster (plus I don’t have to use the cooking spray). Love those!!

    And I was just thinking earlier today that I might want to try making Sloppy Joes tonight, and then I happened upon this — thanks, Mel!

  33. This is a lifesaver! Thanks Mel! You are the best. Thanks for putting so much work into your blog—if ever I have one of those days where the plan wasn’t made (oops) and the kids are attached to me like super glue (you know, I say “ever”, but well, I have to admit it’s more often than not—where did the planner in me go????), your site is the one I go to and know I will always find something amazing to help those kiddos stomachs to be satisfied :) THANK YOU!

  34. Katie says:

    I just pinned your 39 30-minute meals to my Pinterest, and 5 minutes later, 20 people had already re-pinned it! My most popular pin by far….can’t wait to try some recipes.

  35. Suzy says:

    Thank you, this is awesome! I’m using this as a checklist of new recipes to try :-) Since you’ve posted this, I’ve made the skillet lasagna and skillet chili mac, both fabulous!!!!

  36. Michelle says:

    I have to add my thank you as well. Seriously, I don’t know how you do it, but I’m glad you do. I made 3 of the meals in the last 5 days and all received 2 thumbs up and “worth repeating.” I made the Oven Baked Chimichangas and froze the extras. A couple minutes in the microwave and I have a perfect lunch. Your work is appreciated at our house!

  37. Rosalie says:

    oh my! I just made the Coconut Shrimp Curry for dinner and it was AMAZING!!! this site is wonderful, will make other recipes on here for sure!!! thank you for the inspiration!

  38. […] ~ 39 Meals to make in 30 minutes or less […]

  39. Rachel says:

    Mel, you are my she-ro! I re-pinned this from a friend a few weeks ago thinking ‘sure is pretty – maybe I’ll remember to look at it someday..’ Fast forward through morning sickness, a new job for my husband and a finding of gallstones for me and this post has SAVED me three times in the past two weeks! Even my uber-picky three year old devours your recipes!

  40. Debra says:

    This is a good collection to have. I am saving them all. thank you

  41. […] 39 Meals to Make in 30-Minutes of Less: By the time I get off work, I am too tired for any meal that takes more than 30 minutes to make. I love just being able to glance at these inspirations to choose the perfect weekly menu. […]

  42. […] Mel’s Kitchen – This goes to a specific post from ‘Mel’s Kitchen’ which references […]

  43. rianaco says:

    I realy like pasta so this so good…thank’s

  44. Leisel says:

    I love you! Thank you for taking the time to put this and the meals made ahead of time together!!! I use your blog as my recipe book. LITERALLY! So thank you again and again.

  45. Cora says:

    I want to try so many of these! Thanks for sharing all of them.

  46. karen says:

    You just rescued me.. haha..
    Simple, delicious, quick. I needed this index! Thank you!

  47. […] And, because time is at a premium during the holiday season, Mel’s Kitchen Cafe has 39 Meals to Make in 30 Minutes or Less. […]

  48. Kimberly S. says:

    Thanks! Found this on Pinterest and I just pulled a few of these meals for this weeks menu :)

  49. Emily says:

    I LOVE this list. Thanks for the inspiration! Just an FYI – somewhere around the Paprika Chicken Stroganoff there is a problem with the image links – it seems to be linking to recipe for the image directly above – and does this for the remainder of the page. Thanks again!!

    • Mel says:

      Emily – are you viewing this on a mobile device? The links work fine on my laptop/full-size screen but they might have issues on a smaller mobile device.