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40 Easy Friday Night Dinner Ideas You Should Make Instead Of Frozen Pizza

Are you tired of eating frozen pizza every Friday night? Check out these 40 easy Friday night dinner ideas and have a delicious home-cooked meal in no time! From simple pasta to quick sheet pan recipes, we have plenty of yummy ideas for you!
40 Easy Friday Night Dinner Ideas You Should Make Instead Of Frozen Pizza
40 Easy Friday Night Dinner Ideas You Should Make Instead Of Frozen Pizza
Anna at SideChef
Bitten by curiosity bug. Obsessed with words. Fuelled by coffee. Powered by Google. Love cheese, chocolate, and cherries. Don’t judge your taco by its price.
Love This Recipe?
Anna at SideChef
Bitten by curiosity bug. Obsessed with words. Fuelled by coffee. Powered by Google. Love cheese, chocolate, and cherries. Don’t judge your taco by its price.

Friday nights are often a time for take-out or frozen pizza. When we are tired from a busy week and don't feel like cooking, sometimes all we need is a good Friday night dinner idea that is quick and easy.

Cooking a delicious meal at home is always better than ordering take-out or relying on frozen foods. When you cook at home, you know what is going into your food, and you can customize it to your liking. You also don't have to worry about hidden sodium or unhealthy ingredients when you cook your meal.

In addition to being healthier, cooking at home is often much cheaper than ordering take-out. You can save money by buying groceries in bulk or taking advantage of weekly sales at your local supermarket. And, if you use leftovers from a previous night's dinner, there's no extra cost involved!

Finally, cooking at home is a great way to spend time with friends and family. Friday nights are the perfect time to gather around the kitchen table and enjoy a home-cooked meal together.

So next time you think about ordering take-out or reaching for the freezer, make one of these forty easy Friday night dinners instead.

1. Easy Shrimp Pasta

PASTAPOPULAR

Cajun Parmesan Shrimp Pasta

SideChef

Creamy pasta dish for an easy Friday night dinner that is ready in 15 minutes? Yes, please!

The delicious aroma of this cajun shrimp pasta will make you want to dive into the bowl immediately. The spiciness level is just enough without being overwhelming, and each bite offers a flavor richly textured from both spices in cajun seasoning and parmesan cheese!

2. Pea and Mushroom Risotto

DINNERMAIN DISH

Pea and Mushroom Risotto

SideChef

This hearty vegetarian meal takes less than an hour to make! The key to making a perfect risotto is carefully stirring in the stock and folding in the cheese.

3. TikTok Famous Baked Feta Pasta

PASTADINNER

Tik Tok's Baked Feta Pasta

Tina Sawasdee at SideChef

This quick and easy recipe will change any skepticism you might have had about viral recipes from TikTok and celebrities. It's low-effort and super delicious - perfect for a satisfying Friday night dinner.

4. Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry

LUNCHDINNER

Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry

SideChef

Why order take-out if it’s easier and tastier to make on your own? Beef and broccoli stir fry is one of the classic Chinese take-out dishes that always hits the spot. This homemade version is juicy, crunchy, and ready in 30 minutes or less.

5. Grilled Eggplant Burger with Halloumi Cheese

HEALTHYMAIN DISH

Grilled Eggplant Burger with Halloumi

SideChef

If you want to add flair and creativity to a veggie burger, try this recipe featuring eggplant and halloumi cheese. No need to grill outside; you can quickly grill the eggplant on the stovetop and enjoy this simple dinner any day of the week.

6. Baked Cod with Garlic Butter Sauce

MAIN DISHQUICK AND EASY

Baked Cod with Garlic Butter Sauce

SideChef

Cod is a mild and light white fish, making it the perfect match with garlic butter sauce. Seasoning cod with salt and some cajun spice mix at the start lets the fish absorb the flavor, which is then intensified by the garlic butter. The lemon flavor gives you a refreshing fragrance, and you get the kick from cajun seasoning! More importantly, you can cook it in the oven in under 15 minutes.

7. Sesame Chili Noodles

LUNCHDINNER

Sesame Chili Noodles

Symmetry Breakfast

This flavorful Asian-style dish can be on the table in no time and is perfect for those nights when you're short on time but still want a delicious meal. Made with sesame seeds and spicy chili flakes, these noodles are sure to make an impression on your taste buds. And, because they're so easy to make, you'll want to keep this recipe handy when you need a quick fix.

8. Shrimp Fried Rice

LUNCHDINNER

Shrimp Fried Rice

Wok & Skillet

Make this Shrimp Fried Rice in less time than it takes to get take-out. It is super simple and tastes much better too! This fried rice features juicy shrimp, sweet green peas, crunchy carrots, scrambled eggs, and lots of fresh scallions.

20-Minute Black Bean Soup

POPULARSOUP

20-Minute Black Bean Soup

SideChef

When you don’t feel like cooking, this is the recipe for you. You can get a warm, filling, perfectly-spiced bowl of soup on the table in 20 minutes, one pot, and with minimal effort. A little garlic and an onion, some tomato paste, broth, and ground cumin are all you need to turn a few cans of black beans into your new comforting Friday night dinner.

10. Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas

POPULARLUNCH

Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas

SideChef

Make this Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas recipe when you crave some Mexican flavors but don’t have much time to cook! Chicken fajitas are ready to be served in only 30 minutes! Chop the vegetables you already have, throw them on a baking sheet, and put them in the oven. Grab your tortillas, squeeze the lime, and enjoy!

11. Kung Pao Shrimp

LUNCHDINNER

15-Minute Kung Pao Shrimp

SideChef

This Kung Pao shrimp only takes 15 minutes to be done. You only need to prep your veggies and use the premade Kung Pao sauce you prefer.

12. Stir Fry Pork with Ginger and Scallion

LUNCHDINNER

Stir Fry Pork with Ginger and Scallion

Scarlett Wang at SideChef

An Asian-style stir fry is a great Friday night dinner idea that always works. This simple and quick Stir Fry Pork with Ginger and Scallion dish is perfect with a bowl of plain rice.

13. Cajun Chicken with Sweet Mashed Potatoes

DINNERMAIN DISH

Cajun Chicken with Sweet Potato Mash

SideChef

This one-plate Cajun Chicken with Sweet Potato Mash meal is full of textures and flavors. This dish will soon become your new favorite fall go-to dinner, sweet, hearty, and with a little kick. Everything comes together in just 30 minutes, and all three components can be prepped ahead of time.

14. Loaded Potato Corn Chowder

LUNCHDINNER

Loaded Potato Corn Chowder

SideChef

Nothing is better at the end of a busy week than a big bowl of thick veggie-loaded chowder. This delicious combination of celery, potato, corn, and onion is rich and full of good stuff! It also reheats well, making it perfect for busy weeks, hectic schedules, and meal preppers.

15. Air-Fryer Hamburgers with Chili-Lime Mayo

SANDWICHLUNCH

Air-Fryer Hamburgers with Chili-Lime Mayo

Lauren Holdcroft at SideChef

Greasy mess no more with these Air-Fryer Hamburgers that are a cinch to make! Juicy, moist, and full of flavor, plus an added punch from the mouthwatering Chili Lime Mayo, these air-fryer hamburgers will be your new weeknight staple.

16. Pumpkin and Rice Stew

HEALTHYLUNCH

Pumpkin and Rice Stew

The Fit Mediterranean

Light and creamy rice stew with pumpkin and a poached egg on top. Can you believe this fancy meal is ready in under 30 minutes?

17. Garlic Tagliatelle with Mushrooms and Asparagus

PASTAHEALTHY

Garlic Tagliatelle with Mushrooms and Asparagus

K33 Kitchen

A garlicky tagliatelle pasta dish cooked with mixed mushrooms, asparagus, fresh parsley, and white wine - a fancy-sounding Friday night dinner that is surprisingly easy to make.

18. Apricot Glazed Mahi Mahi Bowl with Quinoa

DINNERMAIN DISH

Apricot Glazed Mahi Mahi Bowl with Quinoa

Chef'd

Healthy and delicious, this dish takes just minutes to prepare but has everything going for it - it's full of flavor, nutrient-packed quinoa, fresh veggies, and crunchy pine nuts.

19. Weeknight Carbonara

PASTAMAIN DISH

The Weeknight Carbonara

SideChef

This Weeknight Carbonara recipe is excellent if you have some extra eggs since you technically need 7 of them. Eggs, pork fat, and parmesan cheese make up the base of this rich and silky pasta. An easy-to-make dinner that the whole family will love!

20. Gochujang Chicken Stir Fry with Veggies

LUNCHDINNER

Gochujang Chicken Stir Fry with Veggies

Tina Sawasdee at SideChef

Gochujang is a sweet-spicy Korean chili paste. We think the sweet heat is perfect for a quick stir fry - and pairs great with the sweetness of carrots and onions. This dish gets even more flavor by using chicken thighs, and using a cast iron lets us turn up the heat and cook everything in a flash. Serve alone for a low-carb or lighter option, or with some fluffy steamed rice for a complete meal.

21. Speedy Sausage Rigatoni

PASTADINNER

Speedy Sausage Rigatoni

Campbell's Kitchen

Just four ingredients combine for a simple skillet dish loaded with fabulous flavor. Sautéed sweet Italian sausage and sliced zucchini combined with portobello mushroom soup and cooked pasta for a delicious meal that’s an absolute winner idea for a Friday night.

Weeknight Chicken Teriyaki22.

DINNERMAIN DISH

Weeknight Chicken Teriyaki

SideChef

Super-fast chicken dinner recipe your family will love. Served with rice and green beans, it's a healthy, hearty meal ready in less than 30 minutes.

23. Salsa Chicken Casserole

DINNERMAIN DISH

Salsa Chicken Casserole

SideChef

Salsa Chicken Casserole will take dinner to a whole new level. With a quick stir-fry, this casserole can be on the table in under 30 minutes. Perfect on top of leftover white rice but works perfectly on brown rice or quinoa.

24. Tortellini with Brown Butter and Kabocha Squash

PASTALUNCH

Tortellini with Brown Butter and Kabocha Squash

SideChef

This delicious meal is like a warm fuzzy hug to wrap up your busy week.

25. Air Fryer Salmon

HEALTHYDINNER

Air Fryer Salmon

Scarlett Wang at SideChef

Let the Air Fryer handle the work with this quick and easy salmon that will leave you delighted! Using a seasoning mixture similar to blackened seasoning, you'll get a tender and delicious fillet of salmon packed with flavor. This low-carb, high-protein recipe takes less than 20 minutes to finish and is just as good as salmon ordered in a restaurant.

26. Easy Pork Tenderloin Stroganoff

LUNCHDINNER

Easy Pork Tenderloin Stroganoff

Tina Sawasdee at SideChef

This Pork Tenderloin Stroganoff is full of rich, savory flavor without being too heavy- perfect for cold nights when you need a warm, comforting dinner that comes together in 30 minutes.

27. Cheeseburger Casserole

DINNERMAIN DISH

Cheeseburger Deluxe Casserole

SideChef

Picture a bunless cheeseburger: Delicious, cheesy, and full of juicy flavor. Now multiply that by an entire baking dish, add some eggs, heavy cream, and a whole pound of bacon, and you’ve got yourself a keto-friendly Cheeseburger Deluxe Casserole! That’s just basic burger math.

28. Air Fryer Baked Potatoes

SIDE DISHSIDE DISH

Air Fryer Baked Potatoes

Lauren Holdcroft at SideChef

These air fryer baked potatoes will change your life with their crispy skins and hands-off cooking. In summer, they save you from the heat of the oven. In winter, they free up your range for a tasty main dish while your potatoes cook. Top them with anything you like - but we’re partial to a spud loaded with sour cream, cheese, scallions, and bacon!

29. Sheet Pan Chicken with Roasted Vegetables

DINNERDINNER

Lemon Butter Sheet Pan Chicken with Roasted Vegetables

SideChef

The flavors of a classic roast chicken, but in half the time, on a single sheet pan. Quick and easy enough for a Friday night dinner and guaranteed to satisfy even the pickiest eaters.

30. Southwestern Chicken Bowl with Corn and Avocado

LUNCHDINNER

Southwestern Chicken Bowl with Corn and Avocado

Chef'd

A healthy and flavorful meal you can throw together in no time.

31. Chicken Tomato Stew

DINNERMAIN DISH

Chicken Tomato Stew

Jonny Tang at SideChef

A simple Chicken Tomato Stew with flavorful and tender shimeji mushrooms. Goes great with udon noodles, rice noodles, or rice for a hearty dinner.

32. Spinach-Stuffed Chicken Breast

DINNERMAIN DISH

Spinach-Stuffed Chicken Breast

Mama Gourmand

Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breast combines spinach, artichokes, and cream cheese in a cheesy chicken breast filling. This baked stuffed chicken recipe is easy to assemble and cooks in minutes for a quick weeknight dinner!

33. Skirt Steak with Roasted Vegetables

DINNERMAIN DISH

Skirt Steak with Roasted Vegetables

joshneedles

Easy one pan wonder recipe for a delicious and hearty Friday night dinner!

34. Chicken Parmesan Pie

LUNCHDINNER

Chicken Parmesan Pie

Drizzle Me Skinny

It's a super easy recipe to help you keep things simple any night of the week. This parmesan pie is also perfect for the next day's lunch.

35. Blackened Swordfish with Sriracha Slaw

MAIN DISHMEALS FOR TWO

Blackened Swordfish with Sriracha Slaw

SideChef

The tender, smoky swordfish sits atop a bed of spicy sriracha slaw like a king atop his throne. Alone, this recipe is excellent for a light dinner - but we wouldn’t want to discourage you from throwing it all into a tortilla with a squeeze of lime over the top for some excellent fish tacos.

36. Mom's Spaghetti and Meatballs

PASTADINNER

Mom's Spaghetti and Meatballs

SideChef

This is the comfort food from your childhood memories. The saucy al dente pasta with a bite covered in tangy marinara and the fluffy and tender meatballs are the perfect pair. The secret to a tender meatball is breadcrumb and a combination of different meat. With this secret, you’ll have the perfect meatballs every time! What’s even better? It’s the perfect easy recipe for a busy weeknight to make the whole family happy.

37. Chipotle Chicken Tacos with Honey-Lime Slaw

DINNERCHICKEN

Chipotle Chicken Tacos with Honey-Lime Slaw

SideChef

Taco night every night! This is a healthy yet delightful chipotle chicken recipe with a crisp, sweet, and tangy slaw, the ultimate go-to easy dinner. Tender, crunchy, and incredibly satisfying, this take on a chicken taco will be ready in 20 minutes! It will take even less time to eat them all. So make extra!

38. Spicy Sausage Pasta Shells

PASTADINNER

Spicy Sausage Pasta Shells

SideChef

This super creamy pasta is the epitome of comfort food. With a Mediterranean flare with a bit of a kick, it’s on the table in under 30 minutes- the perfect end-of-the-week treat.

39. Rainbow Veggie Stir Fry

HEALTHYLUNCH

Rainbow Veggie Stir Fry

Joyous Health

True to its name, this recipe is packed with colorful veggies from purple cabbage to sweet red pepper and a hit of green, plus a good crunch from sugar snap peas. The sauce ties it all together!

40. Penne Alla Vodka

PASTADINNER

Penne alla Vodka

SideChef

You don't need to go to a restaurant to enjoy delicious Penne Alla Vodka! Using tomato paste instead of canned tomatoes gives this sauce a richer, more concentrated umami flavor - we sure aren't complaining. Enjoy it on your next date night or easy weeknight dinner!

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