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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!

vegan pasta primavera served on a white plate
Vegan Pasta Primavera
Delicious Vegan Pasta Primavera will knock your socks off with its incredible flavors. Filled with fresh, tender vegetables, tossed in a rich marinara sauce, and seasoned to perfection, 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 with Superfood Marinara Sauce!
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 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!
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whole wheat pasta recipe topped with spinach, pasta sauce, parmesan cheese on a white plate, with a fork
Whole Wheat Pasta Recipe
This easy, tasty, healthy Whole Wheat Pasta Recipe is easy to make when you're in a hurry! Full of flavor and loaded with veggies, this family friendly supper will be a sure fire hit!
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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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oatmeal sunflower pancakes
Oat Flour Pancakes with Sunflower Seeds
These lightened up, oat flour pancakes are guaranteed to please the whole family!
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Sweet potato hash in a bowl on a wooden table
Spicy Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash
This sweet potato breakfast hash is packed full of flavor, and makes a great brunch, side dish or even main meal! Packed full of veggies and plant protein this is a one pan meal that's easy to make.
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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
Asian Vegetable Stir Fry Recipe
This easy Vegetable Stir Fry recipe is the ultimate Asian dish made with tofu, vegetables, soy sauce, red Thai sauce, and so much more! Ready in about 20 minutes for an delicious meal 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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sweet and sour tofu with veggies, served on a white plate with chopsticks
Sweet and Sour Tofu with Vegetables
Sweet and Sour takeout flavors without the excess fat and other ingredients. You won’t miss the price of takeout once you make this healthy tofu version at home.
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vegan tofu fried rice with vegetables, served on a white plate
Vegan Tofu Fried Rice
Vegan Tofu Fried Rice is super satisfying, healthy and flavorful. It's packed with nutrients, and it’s a one-pot meal that can be thrown together in around 20 minutes! Family-friendly and kid-approved!
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Vegan Thai Green Curry
This delicious and hearty Vegan Thai Green Curry with chickpeas is slightly spicy and super filling. It makes great leftovers too!
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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!

Healthy Homemade Pizza (Vegetarian, Kid Friendly)
This healthy homemade pizza is loaded with veggies, made with a whole grain crust, and topped with gooey mozzarella and fresh parmesan. Ready in 30 minutes and guaranteed to please even the pickiest eaters!
Vegetarian 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
Zucchini Flatbread with Fresh Corn
This corn and zucchini flatbread is fresh, flavorful, and super easy to make! Whole wheat naan 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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healthy pita pizza with goat cheese and tomatoes, served on a white plate, garnished with basil
Healthy Pita Pizza with Goat Cheese and Tomatoes
This Healthy Pita Pizza with Goat Cheese and Tomatoes is the perfect option when you have a craving for pizza but you want to keep it healthy! These personal pizzas are loaded with veggies for a well balanced meal.
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healthy vegetarian flatbread topped with fresh veggies, served on a white plate
Easy, Healthy Vegetarian Flatbread
Easy, quick, healthy and tasty – this vegetarian flatbread pizza recipe is great as a main meal for one, or as an appetizer for guests.
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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!

southwestern quinoa salad in a white bowl
Southwestern Quinoa Salad with “Mole” Vinaigrette
Southwestern Quinoa Salad is light, refreshing, sweet, and spicy. Ready in just 20 minutes, it's a great recipe for meal prep or or for a light dinner. Super healthy, packed with protein, totally tasty, 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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superfood salad served in a white bowl with broccoli, blueberries, sweet Fuji apples, cabbage, spinach, dried cherries, pine nuts, and a healthy ranch dressing
Superfood Salad with Healthy Ranch Dressing
This Superfood Salad is going to be your new favorite dish! It’s filled with broccoli, blueberries, sweet Fuji apples, cabbage, spinach, dried cherries, pine nuts, and a healthy, homemade ranch dressing. Ready in just 15 minutes, it's the perfect healthy lunch or light dinner!
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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.

pita sandwich with chickpeas, arugula, tomato, and yogurt sauce served on a wooden cutting board
Greek Pita Sandwiches with Yogurt Sauce
Packed with veggies and chickpeas, this Stuffed Pita Sandwich with Yogurt Sauce is perfect for an easy, plant-based, healthy lunch! This filling dish is made with fresh cucumbers, garlic, mint, whole wheat pitas, chickpeas, arugula, tomatoes, and seasonings that create a vibrant, delicious meal.
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Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Pear
Melted brie and taleggio cheese, sliced pear, arugula, and honey are sandwiched between a whole wheat baguette and pressed to perfection to create this gourmet grilled cheese sandwich. Ready in just 15 minutes and kid-friendly too!
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Gourmet Banana Peanut Butter Sandwich
Who said that peanut butter sandwiches 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…

Posted In…

Quick Meals ·

Delicious, healthy food can be a part of your family’s diet even if you’ve had a busy day. My make-ahead overnight oats and Instant Pot meals are the perfect dishes to make in a hurry.

These meals are fast and easy to make. Get all of the flavor with none of the fuss!

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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