20 Quick Sunday Night Dinner Recipes That Soothe and Satisfy

bowls of spaghetti squash and zucchini noodles with zucchini meatballs
Photo: Kate Mathis

When it comes to wrapping up the weekend with a good meal while saving some energy and time for the week to come, keep these easy recipes in your back pocket. Our favorite Sunday night dinners are comforting—and you don't have to cook all day to pull them off. We keep it simple with suppers that come together in an hour or less, but taste like they cooked low and slow. There are no processed foods in these nutritious entrées—unless a can of beans or a bottle of Chinese black bean-garlic sauce count. That's because fresh ingredients are just as quick to cook when you know what to do with them.

End your weekend on a relaxed note with one of these meals that soothe and satisfy. And when Monday morning comes around, you'll be off to a good start.

01 of 20

Turkey-Pesto Meatball Soup

turkey pesto meatballs
Lennart Weibull

Dark meat turkey and pesto give lots of flavor to this bowl of comfort. Whether you've made your own pesto and chicken broth and stored them in the freezer or they're both store-bought, this is a meal we consider convenience food.

02 of 20

Creamy Lemon Chicken with Spinach and Artichokes

creamy lemon chicken with spinach and artichokes
Marcus Nilsson

For those nights when you could use a rich, satisfying meal but you don't have a lot of time to give, there's this comforting meal. You can make in about half an hour, and it all cooks in one skillet.

03 of 20

White-Fish Stew with Dumplings

White-Fish Stew with Dumplings
Chris Simpson

Hearty and comforting but also healthy—that's this easy stew. It starts with filets of cod or halibut, but we think the cornmeal dumplings are the real stars.

04 of 20

Quick Pork Goulash

Quick Pork Goulash recipe
Lennart Weibull

This version of goulash may be quicker to make than the traditional stew, but it doesn't sacrifice the sweet and warming flavors of peppers, carrots, and paprika.

05 of 20

Vegetarian Gumbo

vegetarian gumbo
Sidney Bensimon

Getting a head start on meatless Monday? Try making this comforting dinner on Sunday night (it's also vegan!).

06 of 20

Beef-and-Barley Burgers

beef and barley burgers
Justin Walker

Add cooked barley, grated carrots, and ginger to a burger for their flavors and textures, as well as their health benefits. It doesn't hurt that it makes these burgers an economical dinner, too.

07 of 20

Shrimp Chow Mein

shrimp chow mein
Bryan Gardner

Having a few specialty ingredients and condiments on hand can really help when it comes to pulling together a quick dinner—on Sunday or any other night. The Asian pantry staples needed for this meal can all be found in supermarket aisles, and keeping a bag of shrimp in your freezer is always a good idea.

08 of 20

One-Pot Penne with Spinach, Ricotta, and Pine Nuts

one-pot penne with spinach ricotta and pine nuts
Con Poulos

Stirred into cooked pasta and vegetables at the last minute, ricotta makes a simple, creamy sauce. Adding half a cup or so of the pasta-cooking water to the pot will help melt the ricotta and coat all the ingredients. Don't forget to reserve some water before you drain the pasta.

09 of 20

Lemon-Parsley Fish Cakes


Make this recipe for Sunday supper, but also consider making an extra batch of the fish cakes and storing them in the freezer for the next time you need a quick dinner solution. You could also make a different cod recipe for dinner one night, double the recipe, and save leftover cooked fish to turn into these fish cakes the next.

10 of 20

Buttermilk Chicken


Baking chicken pieces instead of frying them saves time and clean-up; the chicken goes straight from a buttermilk dip to seasoned, crunchy coating before being popped into the oven.

11 of 20

Beef-Zucchini Meatballs

bowls of spaghetti squash and zucchini noodles with zucchini meatballs
Kate Mathis

Meatballs are the comfort food of choice for many of us. Mixing healthy grains and grated zucchini into these meatballs adds not just bulk and flavor, but also makes them a healthy option. Factor in the time to cook your grains or keep some pre-cooked in your freezer.

12 of 20

Black Beans and Sausage


Cook this quick, simple dinner in one skillet and serve it over rice or with flatbread. You can adapt it using a favorite sausage instead of kielbasa or swapping sour cream or grated cheese in for the yogurt.

13 of 20

Clam Chowder

Marcus Nilsson

A creamy pot of chowder is a wonderful excuse to gather around the table. Serve with buttered, toasted rolls or a baguette, make a green salad, and a delicious dinner is done.

14 of 20

Turkey and White-Bean Chili

Turkey and White-Bean Chili

This white chili is seasoned with cumin, jalapeño, cilantro, and just a hint of tomato. Seek out dark-meat turkey instead of white for added richness.

15 of 20

Flounder in Parchment with Asparagus and Shiitakes

Flounder en Papillote with Asparagus and Shiitake Mushrooms on decorative plate
Ryan Liebe

Not only does it result in a quick, restaurant-quality dinner, but this recipe also teaches an essential technique. Once you get the hang of folding parchment into an airtight packet, you'll see that this way of cooking has many advantages; it's healthy, minimizes cleanup, and concentrates flavors.

16 of 20

Healthier Chicken Parmigiana

Healthier Chicken Parmigiana

Here's a lighter, quicker version of the classic Chicken Parm. There's no frying, and a simple tomato-onion purée simmers in the oven with the chicken as it cooks.

17 of 20

Beef-and-Potato Burritos

beef burritos

Oh so versatile, a burrito can be what you want it to be—breakfast, lunch, or dinner. This one's got the meat and the potatoes. We call it a meal in one.

18 of 20

Beef and Broccoli with Black-Bean Garlic Sauce

Beef and Broccoli with Black-Bean Garlic Sauce recipe
Yuki Sugiura

This must-make dinner relies on two ingredients worth keeping on hand: Chinese black bean-garlic sauce and sesame oil. Be sure the sesame oil says toasted on the label, for the distinctive flavor it adds to stir fries and other dishes.

19 of 20

Brick Chicken with Vinegar Peppers

brick chicken with vinegar peppers
Marcus Nilsson

Like dinner at your family's favorite Italian restaurant, this 50-minute entrée features tender chicken with an agrodolce or sweet-and-sour sauce made with peppers, onions, garlic, vinegar, sugar, and capers. The technique of cooking under a skillet (or "brick") promotes crispy, golden skin.

20 of 20

General Tso's Chicken

general tsos chicken in pan
Martyna Szczesna

The key to success with stir-frying is the concept of mise-en-place, the French term for having your ingredients ready to go. Once the ingredients are all lined up at the stove, give your full concentration to the wok and you'll turn out this delicious Chinese restaurant dish easily and in no time at all.

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