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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Thursday Night Dinner Ideas: 30 Easy Recipes

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When Thursday night rolls around, the idea of making another meal is daunting! That’s why easy recipes are my go to on these busy evenings! These 25 Thursday Night Dinner Ideas are quick, simple, satisfying, and healthy! When you think you just can’t make one more meal, these recipes will come to the rescue!

30 Thursday night dinner ideas with image of stir-fry, panini, pizza, and pitta

Thursdays are an interesting day of the week! It’s only one more day until the weekend, and yet it’s still a weeknight.

If you have kids, you’re likely still shuffling them around from one practice or another, or finishing up homework. The weekend looks so close, yet still seems so far away!

While you may be tempted to get take-out, your might want to save your pennies for going out on the weekend!

My Thursday Night Dinner Tradition

When I lived close to my dad, Thursdays were the night my husband and I went to his house for a relaxing evening. He always prepared us an amazing home-cooked Indian meal. It was such a nice end to the week. 

We used to spend a few hours eating together, chatting, catching up on the week, and sometimes watching a movie or whatever happened to be on TV.

It was seriously one of my favorite parts of the week. It was totally relaxing because my dad like the most relaxed, calming person on the planet, and we have an amazing relationship which I am so grateful for! Plus it was nice not to have to cook for a night after a long week of work!

Now that we don’t have the luxury of spending our Thursday evenings with my dad because we live in another state, we have a different sort of tradition!

I prepare an ultra simple meal for the family, and when we’re done, we give my dad a call or do FaceTime to catch up! It’s not quite the same, but it’s still nice to see his face every Thursday night!

If you’re looking for a few super simple recipes to prepare to take you through the end of the week, I’ve got you covered! Some of these recipes are even ones that my dad would prepare for my husband and I!

Top Tips for Easy and Quick Thursday Night Dinner Ideas

  • Prepare easy recipes you already know and love! This isn’t the day to try a complicated new recipe!
  • Choose recipes with simple ingredients! The fewer the ingredients, the less daunting it will feel to prepare.
  • Use spice mixes! Instead of pulling out 10 different spices for a dish, use a simple spice mix like Italian Seasoning, Curry Powder, or Chili Powder, plus some salt and pepper!
  • Use quick cooking methods. For example Instant Pot recipes, or stove-top recipes will be much quicker to prepare than oven baked recipes that take 30-40 minutes.
  • Use up the fresh produce you have from earlier in the week. This a great night to prepare a simple stir-fry using up all those extra veggies you didn’t get to use during the earlier part of the week.

What are the best recipes to prepare for busy Thursday nights?

  • Pasta dishes: With a simple sauce, and some boiling water to prepare the pasta, you have a super simple meal.
  • Breakfast for dinner: Everyone loves having breakfast for dinner! Scramble some eggs, and make some pancakes! It just might be the family’s favorite meal of the week!
  • Stir-Fries: As mentioned above, use up the extra food from the week to prepare a stir-fry with a simple sauce.
  • Pizza: I know we think of pizza for take-out, but making your own pizza at home, is fast, easy, and takes no time at all!
  • Hearty Salads: Prepare a simple and hearty salad, top with your favorite protein and serve with warm whole wheat bread.
  • Sandwiches: Quick and easy, sandwiches can be made to feel more like a dinner when you pack in some special ingredients such as a fancy cheese, or fresh veggies.

25 Easy Thursday Night Dinner Ideas

Healthy Pasta Recipes

These quick and easy healthy pasta recipes come together in less than 30 minutes, and use simple pantry ingredients. The fresh veggies added can be easily substituted for frozen, or use the veggies you have in your fridge!

Easy vegan pasta primavera served on a white plate.
Vegan Pasta Primavera
Delicious vegan pasta primavera will knock your socks off with its incredible flavors. Tender pasta is combined with loads of fresh veggies, tossed in a rich marinara sauce, and is seasoned to perfection. The best part: you can whip up this family-friendly meal in just 25 minutes!
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tofu and broccoli stir fry with sesame noodles on a white plate
Tofu Broccoli with Sesame Noodles
Lean protein from the tofu, healthy fats from the sauce, and green veggies make this a winning dish, served with sweet sesame buckwheat noodles.
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Red lentil pasta served on a white plate with superfood marinara sauce.
Red Lentil Pasta Recipe
This lentil pasta recipe is the ultimate easy vegetarian meal that is filled with protein and ready within minutes! Red marinara sauce is mixed with tender nutritious vegetables and superfoods for a wholesome balanced meal that is bold in flavor.
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vegetarian pesto pasta with spinach and herbs, served on a white plate
Vegetarian Pesto with Linguine
This Vegetarian Pesto Pasta made with spinach, herbs and whole wheat linguine is a quick and easy dinner recipe that comes together in 30 minutes. Every bite is bursting with flavor!
whole wheat pasta recipe topped with spinach, pasta sauce, parmesan cheese on a white plate, with a fork
Homemade Whole Wheat Pasta Recipe
This homemade whole wheat pasta recipe is a healthy twist on your regular pasta. Made with whole wheat flour, this pasta not only tastes great but also packs a nutritional punch.
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Breakfast for Dinner

Why not make breakfast for dinner? Breakfast options like pancakes, waffles, eggs, or frittatas are simple to make, and often we don’t get to enjoy them on a weekday morning! Try switching things up, and making one of these super simple recipes for dinner!

Healthy Pancakes stacked on a white plate with oatmeal and bananas and nuts and syrup
Healthy Pancakes with Oats and Sprouted Wheat
These healthy pancakes made with oats and sprouted wheat are light, fluffy, slightly sweet, and so good for you! The combination of the two whole grain flours helps keep you full much longer than white flour thanks to their fiber and protein. Kid-friendly and parent-approved!
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tofu scramble recipe topped with tomatoes, salsa, green onions in a blue bowl
Southwestern Tofu Scramble
This incredible Tofu Scramble is loaded with lots of healthy veggies, beans, warm spices, and cheese. It's the perfect 30-minute breakfast, brunch or dinner idea that the whole family will love. If you're looking for a vegan friendly alternative to scrambled eggs, this easy tofu scramble is for you! 
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Stack of oat flour pancakes topped with chocolate chips, banana slices and maple syrup on a white plate.
Oat Flour Pancakes
These tasty, easy oat flour pancakes make the best breakfast, brunch, or even breakfast for dinner. They're packed with hearty whole grains and a secret ingredient that makes them a little fluffy and cakey at the same time. Made with a blender batter, this healthy pancake recipe is slightly sweet, gluten-free and is the perfect way to start your day!
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A serving of sweet potato breakfast hash with a piece of toast on a plate with a fork.
Healthy Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash
Sweet potato breakfast hash is packed with flavor, and makes a great breakfast, side dish, or main meal! Full of veggies, spices, and plant-based protein, this is a versatile one skillet vegetarian dish that’s easy to make and family friendly too!
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Quick Vegetable Stir-Fry Recipes

They key to making a quick vegetable stir-fry is to use a rice cooker to prepare the rice for serving. Or my trick is to use the frozen bags of brown rice that only take 3 minutes to heat in the microwave. Preparing the vegetables and a simple sauce takes no time at all! You can have dinner ready in 20 minutes!

healthy vegetable stir fry recipe served in a white bowl with chopsticks
Frozen Vegetable Stir Fry
This frozen vegetable stir fry recipe is the ultimate Asian dinner made with tofu, vegetables, soy sauce, and red curry sauce! Ready in just 20 minutes, you'll love this healthy and tasty meal that tastes way better than takeout!
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Lemon-Ginger Vegetable Stir Fry Sauce
This healthy vegetable stir fry sauce tossed with fresh veggies, tofu and quinoa is a quick and easy vegan weeknight meal. It's loaded with flavor from lemon and ginger, and is ready in just 15 minutes!
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Vegan sweet and sour tofu, served on a white plate with chopsticks.
Sweet And Sour Tofu
This flavorful sweet and sour tofu packed with lots of yummy vegetables is the perfect family-friendly meal. Fragrant garlic, sweet pineapple, crunchy bell pepper, hearty broccoli, crispy tofu pieces and brown rice are tossed in a homemade sweet and sour sauce, making this simple recipe taste even better than takeout!
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Tofu fried rice served in a large pan.
Tofu Fried Rice
Makeover takeout at home with this healthy vegan tofu fried rice! This one-pot meal is super satisfying, flavorful, and ready in just 20 minutes. It’s family-friendly, packed with nutrients, and a real crowd-pleaser!
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Easy vegan Thai green curry recipe served with quinoa in a black bowl.
Vegan Thai Green Curry
This delicious vegan Thai green curry with chickpeas and fresh vegetables is so simple to make at home! It’s satisfying, comforting and nourishing – great for weeknight dinners, and tastes even better as leftovers the next day.
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Easy Homemade Pizza Recipes

Who doesn’t love making their own homemade pizza? This is a great way to get the family involved in the kitchen and take some of the work off of yourself. Have your family chop fresh veggies for their pizza, then give them each their own crust, so they can add their sauce, cheese and toppings! Or try one of these super simple homemade pizza recipes that are on the healthier side too!

Veggie supreme pizza, cut into slices, on a cutting board lined with parchment paper.
Veggie Supreme Pizza
This veggie supreme pizza is as easy as it gets! Made with gooey mozzarella, fresh basil, and tasty vegetables like green bell pepper, roma tomatoes, and kalamata olives, this savory pizza will instantly become your new favorite recipe. The best part? In just 30 minutes, you can have the most delicious pizza to serve as an appetizer or for hosting pizza night!
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BBQ Flatbread (Black Bean Pizza)
This healthy, flavorful BBQ Flatbread pizza with corn, black beans and red peppers is easy to make at home and is low in calories. Loaded with fresh veggies, this black bean pizza recipe is a fun twist on traditional pizza and keeps in the fridge for up to 4 days!
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zucchini flatbread - corn flatbread on a white plate
Vegetarian Flatbread with Zucchini and Fresh Corn
This corn and zucchini vegan flatbread is fresh, flavorful, and super easy to make! Whole wheat pita is crisped in the oven, then topped with sweet corn, crisp zucchini and Italian herbs and spices. It's a super family friendly meal that even picky kids will love!
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closeup of Mushroom Flatbread with Roasted Vegetables
Mushroom Flatbread Pizza Recipe
A crispy whole wheat crust is topped with melty mozzarella and fresh pesto to create this mushroom flatbread pizza that makes for a family friendly meal any day of the week! It's a truly authentic artisan flatbread pizza, that rivals anything you'd order in a restaurant!
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Grilled cheese pita sandwiches on a white platter.
Cheese Pita
This grilled cheese pita sandwich is like everything you love about a traditional grilled cheese, with a Mediterranean twist! Whole wheat pita bread is stuffed with fresh veggies and gooey cheese, then grilled to perfection for a comfort food classic the whole family will love! The best part – they're ready in under 30 minutes!
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Yeast free vegan flatbread stacked on a cutting board.
Vegan Flatbread
This vegan flatbread recipe is soft and fluffy, simple to make, and versatile too! With just five ingredients and no yeast, it's made with pantry staples and dairy-free milk. Enjoy it as the base for pizza, to mop up stews and curries, or as a satisfying snack.
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Healthy and Hearty Salads

A great way to get in your veggies for the day, these healthy and hearty salads are quick to make, and also are a very balanced meal. Made with tons of fresh ingredients, plus lean protein, these salads make for a super filling dinner!

Roasted pumpkin quinoa salad on a white serving platter.
Roasted Pumpkin Salad
This roasted pumpkin salad is flavorful, comforting, and super healthy! It's made with wholesome ingredients like pumpkin, quinoa, kale, and arugula that come together in the most delicious way! It's perfect as a side dish but hearty enough to be a main meal too. And, it is naturally gluten-free and vegan friendly!
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roasted cauliflower salad with spinach and chickpeas and kalamata olives, served on a white plate
Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Spinach and Chickpeas
This recipe makes cauliflower the star, roasted to perfection and tossed with a warm dressing, along with some chickpeas for protein, spinach for some greens, and kalamata olives for a nice tangy bite.
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feta salad with lentils, cucumbers, tomatoes, corn in a bowl
Simple and Fast Lentil and Feta Salad
This simple and quick Lentil and Feta Salad is made with cucumbers, juicy grape tomatoes, red onion, corn, and bell pepper for a high protein, nutrient-packed salad hearty enough to make a meal!
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Copycat Chick-Fil-A kale salad served in a white salad bowl, garnished with almonds, top view.
Chick-Fil-A Kale Salad (Copycat Recipe!)
This copycat Chick-Fil-A kale salad recipe will quickly become one of your new favorite salads! It is made with a blend of kale and cabbage, and tossed in a homemade apple dijon vinaigrette for the perfect combination of tangy and sweet. If you are looking for healthy options for lunch or dinner, give this simple recipe a try! 
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Protein Rich Sandwiches That Are Ready in a Jiffy

One of my favorite go-to dinners when I have absolutely no energy, is a simple sandwich! These easy and quick to make sandwiches bring a gourmet feel to your Thursday evening.

Greek pita sandwiches stuffed with veggies, feta, and chickpeas on a white cutting board.
Greek Pita Sandwich
Healthy eating just got a whole lot tastier with this easy Greek pita sandwich recipe! Whole wheat pitas are filled with creamy hummus, crunchy cucumbers, juicy tomatoes, and salty feta for a tangy, refreshing lunch or dinner. The best part? This can easily be made gluten free and vegan, too!
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Sourdough grilled cheese sandwich with apple and brie cut and stacked on a plate with fresh herbs.
Sourdough Grilled Cheese
This irresistibly delicious sourdough grilled cheese is ready in just 10 minutes. Melted brie, thinly sliced apple, and honey are layered between two slices of sourdough, then grilled until golden. This is guaranteed to be the best sourdough sandwich you'll ever eat! 
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Gourmet Banana Peanut Butter Sandwich
Who said that the peanut butter sandwich had to be 1) boring 2) just for kids and 3) the same every time? Sometimes reinventing a classic is just what you need to get out of a rut.
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Kale and Caramelized Onion Veggie Panini Recipe on a white plate
Kale and Caramelized Onion Veggie Panini Recipe
I love sneaking veggies into traditionally “comfort food” type dishes, and this panini is no exception. The fontina cheese oozes out of the sandwich, the bread is warm and crispy, and the sautéed kale and caramelized onions add some much needed lightness to the dish.
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goat cheese grilled cheese with arugula and pear
Goat Cheese Grilled Cheese with Pear and Arugula
This mouth-watering goat cheese grilled cheese sandwich is the perfect lunch or light dinner! Creamy goat cheese is the star of the show, and it goes beautifully with freshly sliced pears and a drizzle of honey. Ready in less than 20 minutes, you can’t help but fall head over heels in love with this sandwich. 
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top view of garlic bread grilled cheese on a wooden cutting board
Gooey Garlic Bread Grilled Cheese Sandwich
This Garlic Bread Grilled Cheese with French Onions is the ultimate gooey cheesy indulgent sandwich with a healthy twist. Packed with flavor and done in minutes, it's comfort food at its best!
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I hope you were able to find some inspiration for your Thursday night dinner slump!

For more helpful tips visit…

14 responses to “Thursday Night Dinner Ideas: 30 Easy Recipes”

  1. Looks like I have my dinner line up menu for the week! Such a great round up; looking forward to giving these a try!5 stars

  2. All of these recipes look so amazing! I’m adding some to my next dinner rotation, especially the pear and goat cheese sandwich with arugula… yum!5 stars

  3. How sweet that you have weekly quality time with your dad and that he cooks for you! Very special indeed.

  4. what a wonderful post! My dad was never the cook that your dad seems to be, but he made awesome potato pancakes with slices of bacon in the middle. I used to show up unannounced on Sunday mornings to hang out with him & my mom, watch some sports and gorge on potato pancakes. So many happy memories! Theresa

  5. How great that you are keeping ties strong with this great tradition. We used to eat with my in-laws every 1st Sunday of the month when we lived by them (for about 18 years!). Now that we are far away, we haven’t settled into any other traditions.

  6. The tradition of having dinner with your dad once per week is adorable! We do take those things for granted! I see my parents once per year so I’m kind of jealous right now 🙂 Enjoy your Thursday nights for me!

    • @Island Vittles @Kristen @Sara – thanks so much for your comments! It’s so great hearing about your own family traditions – hope you all have a great holiday season and are able to see some of your family members that live farther away from you!

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