45 Scrumptious 20-Minute Dinner Ideas For Two

Cooking a meal for just two people can be exceptionally easy and also very difficult at the same time. You’ve come to the right place if you are in the same boat. We will discuss 45 scrumptious 20-minute dinner ideas for two that you can try.

Some 20-minute recipes that are suitable for 2 people are Chipotle Shrimp Tacos, Baked Salmon, Salad Rolls, Ravioli Lasagna, Seafood Pancakes and Ramen Carbonara. 

Most days, when we are short on time, we are guilty of ditching all cooking plans at the last moment and getting some good old takeout. While that is occasionally okay, there are better things to do than getting takeout daily! 

Some of these recipes can be made from scratch in about 20 minutes, while some might need a few pre-preps or even a few hacks. But, it’s all good as eventually, you will get a whole meal on your table in just about 20 minutes! 

So, if you have a particular date planned or are just inviting a friend over for dinner on a weekday, you have a way to impress them with your cooking skills! Try one of these recipes; I can guarantee no one will miss takeout! 

45 Dinner Ideas For Two That Are Ready In 20 Minutes

This section has all the recipes you can prepare in just about 20 minutes, including the prep and cooking time. Some original recipes may have enough quantities or portions for more than two people, but you can easily customize the amount of the ingredients for two people in their recipe cards. So, without further ado, let’s begin! 

1. Shrimp Naan Pizza

Image Credits – Babaganoush

I wanted to start with the most straightforward recipe: shrimp naan pizza. Everyone loves a good old pizza! Generally, pizza is not something that you would expect to be ready in just 20 minutes. 

But this slightly modified version of a regular pizza will be ready before you know it! The key to making a pizza as quickly as this one is to use flatbread, or in this case, naan, instead of leavened pizza dough! 

The thought may sound ridiculous to some of you, especially all the Italians reading this. But, although you may get a different feeling than eating a brick-oven pizza, this shrimp naan pizza is undoubtedly delicious, topped with juicy shrimp, tomatoes, and a lot of gooey mozzarella cheese! 

Get The Recipe From Here: Babaganoush

2. Tuscan Sausage Tortellini

Tuscan Sausage Tortellini
Image Credits – Salt & Lavender

The previously mentioned recipe for naan pizza may have offended at least a few Italians! So, to make up for that and make everyone happy, here is a classic Italian recipe for Tuscan sausage tortellini that can be ready in 20 minutes! 

Tortellini, a type of stuffed pasta, makes for a delicious meal. Moreover, tortellini is versatile and can also be added to soups! This recipe for tortellini, however, is as simple and classic as possible! 

The recipe starts by cooking the sausage meat with garlic and onion, then adding tomatoes and chicken broth. Lastly, tortellini is cooked in the sauce, with fresh spinach leaves and loads of cheese!

Get The Recipe From Here: Salt & Lavender

3. Pulled Pork Nachos

Image Credits – Closet Cooking

When looking for dinner options, nachos may not be the first thing that pops into your mind. But, if you have a movie night planned and want something perfect for two people, along with easy access, these pulled pork nachos are a good option. 

These nachos are loaded with toppings, and I don’t even emphasize enough how loaded they are! Starting with the pulled pork, you can make some beforehand in a slow cooker or buy pork from a deli. 

Once topped with pulled pork, the nachos are topped with refried beans, corn, jalapenos, tomatoes, sour cream, avocados, and some pepper Jack cheese! So, the first bite of these nachos will feel like a carnival of flavors and textures! 

Get The Recipe From Here: Closet Cooking

4. Chicken Stir-Fry

Image Credits – Mom On Timeout

Whenever I get Chinese takeout, one thing that is mandatory in my order is a good stir-fry. Chicken stir fry is a favorite at my home because the chicken tends to get a juicy interior with a light and crispy exterior. 

This chicken stir-fry is much better than you may get at any Chinese takeout restaurant! Firstly, no MSG is added to this recipe, making it much healthier than takeout restaurants. 

The ingredients used are all fresh and fine, making this dish’s flavor irresistible, despite the absence of MSG! Along with the juicy chicken, the stir-fry is also loaded with various vegetables, all flavored with soy sauce and toasted sesame seed oil! 

Get The Recipe From Here: Mom On Timeout

5. Honey Chipotle Shrimp Tacos

Image Credits – Kevin Is Cooking

There is a massive misconception about making homemade tacos: the process may be too complicated or take too long. But this recipe for honey chipotle shrimp tacos proves how simple it can be to make them right at home! 

This is a Mexican treat that a majority of people love. However, most people prefer tacos with beef, fish, or chicken, shrimp works, as it barely takes time to cook. 

Mix the shrimp with some adobo sauce and honey to make these tacos, and cook for just a few minutes. Then, prepare a deliciously tangy and spicy coleslaw with the rest of the ingredients. Once these two components for this taco recipe are ready, you’ll have to assemble the tacos! 

Get The Recipe From Here: Kevin Is Cooking

6. Stuffed Chicken Breast

Stuffed Chicken Breast
Image Credits – Easy Chicken Recipes

I often have days when I want to eat as healthy as possible and fill my belly with some protein. A go-to recipe for me on days like these is some good old stuffed chicken breast. This stuffed chicken breast is not the healthiest, but it is almost there! 

The chicken breast is sliced and stuffed with some delicious flavors and ingredients. The stuffing is made with spinach, some herbs, and a blend of cheese. 

For some extra crunch and flavor, you can add some walnuts to the stuffing, which adds a lovely crunch to the chicken. Pair this with a side salad, and your meal for two is good to go! 

Get The Recipe From Here: Easy Chicken Recipes

7. Mozzarella, Basil, And Zucchini Frittata

Image Credits – EatingWell

Mozzarella, basil, and zucchini Frittata, which is essentially a giant Italian omelet, is something that only some would prefer to have for dinner. Well, many people don’t like eating eggs for dinner, but where I come from, this practice is common! 

So, if you also are okay with having a delicious omelet for dinner, this recipe is perfect. Frittata makes a great dinner meal, as it is packed with protein and can be customized in many ways! 

Moreover, if you are short on time, nothing is easier than whipping up a quick frittata. The basil and mozzarella in this frittata give it a lot of flavors, and the zucchini cooked with onions adds a lovely bite! 

Get The Recipe From Here: EatingWell

8. Grilled Flank Steak

Image Credits – All Ways Delicious

In the mood for some delicious steak for two? Then this recipe for grilled flank steak is worth a try! Flank steak tends to cook much faster than a lot of other cuts of beef, which makes it the perfect choice for a quick meal. 

The flank steak is coated with five ingredients, making the process easier. The contrast of flavors comes together very well in this recipe. The flank steak is cooked with chili paste, which gives it a lovely kick of heat. 

The flank steak is also coated with honey, garlic, and butter, which help tone down the heat. This grilled flank steak can be served alongside a hearty salad or shredded and then turned into sandwiches! 

Get The Recipe From Here: All Ways Delicious

9. Skillet Ravioli Lasagna

Image Credits – EatingWell

I bet you have tried every type of lasagna out there till now, but none of them will even come close to this recipe for skillet ravioli lasagna! Lasagna is one of those recipes that usually takes a lot of time to cook and has many steps to follow. 

I wouldn’t be surprised if most of you found this lasagna recipe to be ready in 20 minutes unbelievable. Well, it is true! But this recipe is also very different from a standard lasagna recipe, as no layering is involved. 

Instead, this recipe starts with cooking the ravioli separately, then cooking some turkey in a skillet with tomatoes and onions. Once the meat sauce is ready, it is topped with cooked ravioli, some mozzarella cheese balls, and broiled, which is about it! 

Get The Recipe From Here: EatingWell

10. Lamb Shawarma Pitas

Image Credits – Lindsey Eats

Middle Eastern food usually takes little time to combine, as long as you finish some pre-preparations beforehand. This lamb shawarma pita recipe does not have pre-preps, but this recipe has a few hacks to save some time. 

Firstly, you can start the recipe off with some cooked lamb. This lamb can be purchased from Deli, or you can make it yourself. The lamb is tossed with some spices, which makes it delicious! 

The pita is topped with hefty amounts of lamb, then a fresh salad, and can be completed with feta cheese. You can also make a quick sauce with some Greek yogurt and tahini to add flavor to the pitas.  

Get The Recipe From Here: Lindsey Eats

11. One Pot Mac And Cheese

Image Credits – Food Dolls

It would be utterly unfair to talk about comforting recipes that are ready in 20 minutes and not include mac and cheese in the list. Mac and cheese have so many variations, and this one is probably the easiest. 

This recipe for mac and cheese is quick, and all the ingredients added to this are probably already present in your pantry. Start by cooking some macaroni in hot, salted water and broccoli. 

Broccoli is a suggestion for adding vegetables, but you can switch that out for any other vegetable you choose. Once the pasta and veggies are cooked, mix them with cheddar cheese, broth, heavy cream, salt, and pepper! 

Get The Recipe From Here: Food Dolls

12. Kimchi Pancake

Kimchi Pancakes
Image Credits – The Woks Of Life

If I have to be completely honest, Asian food, particularly Korean food, is not my favorite. Well, I believe that the sauces and flavors can sometimes be overpowering. But this savory Korean kimchi pancake indeed changed my perception of Korean food. 

This savory pancake is flavored with loads of kimchi, which gives it a very interesting flavor. If you have leftover kimchi from the Korean restaurant you visited last week, there is no better way to use it than adding it to these delicious pancakes. 

These pancakes are made with a simple batter of eggs, flour, vegetable oil, salt, and water. Almost all the flavor in these pancakes comes from the addition of kimchi, along with some salt, scallions, and just a little bit of soy sauce. 

Get The Recipe From Here: The Woks Of Life

13. Smoked Salmon Flatbread

Image Credits – Kathryn’s Kitchen Blog

Somehow, I have always associated salmon with fine dining. So, whenever I eat anything with salmon, I feel like I am enjoying a fancy meal, like with this smoked salmon flatbread. I also know I am not the only one who thinks salmon is delicious and fancy! 

If you are in the same boat as me and want something fancy yet homemade, here is the perfect salmon recipe. Since the salmon is loaded on flatbread, the dish’s overall flavor is complex. 

You can use any sort of store-bought flatbread as the base for this recipe. The flatbread is topped with cream cheese and further with an array of toppings like arugula, capers, and of course, salmon, all of which create a wonderful symphony of flavors. 

Get The Recipe From Here:  Kathryn’s Kitchen Blog

14. Chicken Tikka Salad

Image Credits – Chai & Churros

An Indian delicacy that most people are familiar with is chicken tikka. Chicken tikka salad, if made well, has that perfectly charred surface on the outside, with juicy meat inside and a lovely kick of a delicious blend of spices. 

Now you may have tried different versions of chicken tikka, but you need to try this exciting salad with an Indian flavor twist! This chicken tikka’s marination process is quick and not a hassle. 

You can also use leftover chicken tikka from any restaurant. The salad also consists of spinach, cucumber, spring onions, and chickpeas, all combined with some yogurt and chutney and finally topped with juicy chicken pieces! 

Get The Recipe From Here: Chai & Churros

15. Chicken Fried Rice

Image Credits – Crazy For Crust

Isn’t this one of your go-to orders when getting some Asian takeout? The great thing about chicken fried rice, along with being delicious, is that it goes with just about anything. Chicken fried rice tastes great with all sorts of stir-fried dishes, just as it is! 

But, getting takeout chicken fried rice also means you are getting something that is loaded with MSG. Well, with this chicken fried rice recipe, you can say goodbye to all that MSG. Moreover, this homemade version will also take less time to cook than your order would take to get delivered! 

So, it is an excellent recipe in more than one way! This recipe is straightforward regarding the vegetables and other ingredients used. Just make sure you use leftover rice with the best consistency and cook the chicken to save time. 

Get The Recipe From Here: Crazy For Crust

16. Crispy Shrimp Avocado Salad

Crispy Shrimp Avocado Salad
Image Credits – Gimme Delicious

Shrimp is always a great protein option to go for when you want to prepare a quick meal. If your shrimp are cleaned and deveined, cooking will barely take a few minutes. This is why this crispy shrimp avocado salad makes a great recipe for this list. 

This salad is light and refreshing at the same time. The shrimp is coated with cajun spice and garlic, then cooked. The salad base includes a mix of greens, red onions, avocados, and cucumbers. 

Moreover, the salad dressing is a simple cilantro lemon dressing. Also, add the sauce to the salad right before serving to prevent the greens from wilting, and you will have a jolly time enjoying this summer salad! 

Get The Recipe From Here: Gimme Delicious

17. Smoked Salmon Pasta

Image Credits – The Petite Cook

Yes, I still stand by the fact that I am not the biggest fan of any fish. But then, a few recipes will take away all your notions of a particular ingredient and make you fall in love with it! This recipe for smoked salmon pasta did the same for me with salmon. 

Salmon was never a favorite in my home. So, the thought of smoked salmon in pasta was something that I needed to prepare for. But I also needed to prepare for just how delicious this recipe would be!

The pasta recipe is made with just a few ingredients other than the pasta itself. Packed with the flavors and nutrients of spinach, and crème fraiche, this pasta also has garlic and lemon juice as the base, which makes the taste exceptional! 

Get The Recipe From Here: The Petite Cook

18. Vegan Tacos

Image Credits – A Couple Cooks

For nonvegetarians, vegan tacos may sound utterly ridiculous. But there is a little secret in this taco recipe, which makes these vegan tacos so delicious that even your meat-eating friends will not be able to tell the difference! 

The secret, or not-so-secret ingredient that makes these tacos so delicious and tastes just like beef is tofu, of course! Here, the key is to go for extra-firm tofu since it is consistent with ground beef. 

Tofu is also loaded with protein, making this dish nutritious and delicious. The tofu is packed with everything added to regular tacos, like spices and seasonings, some vegan mayonnaise, and a bunch of toppings to add to the flavor! 

Get The Recipe From Here: A Couple Cooks

19. Spicy Chicken Nuggets

Image Credits – Cookies & Cups

We all love chicken nuggets; they are also a big part of the category of utterly comforting foods. Well, ideally, most of us tend to get takeout when it comes to chicken nuggets. But making homemade spicy chicken nuggets is a great way to impress your guests! 

These chicken nuggets are also more flavorful than what you would get at most fast-food restaurant chains. A big boon with these nuggets is that the chicken is fresh, and the meat is not ultra-processed, which makes a massive difference. 

This recipe is ideally ready in 20 minutes, as far as the preparation and cooking time goes. But, the chicken must marinate for 30 minutes or longer, which is one step you’ll have to plan ahead of time. Rest assured, I can guarantee that these will taste so much better than any other chicken nuggets you may have tried till now! 

Get The Recipe From Here: Cookies & Cups

20. Pork Chops

Image Credits – The Best Keto Recipes

Pork chops often take time to prepare, so I wondered if this recipe could be made in just 20 minutes. However, the broiling process speeds up the cooking of pork chops, and they can be ready in just 20 minutes! 

What makes this recipe for pork chops so special is the homemade rub, of course! The rub is where all the flavor comes from, and it is so simple and absolutely delicious! 

The rub is made with brown sugar, chili powder, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt and pepper. The pork chops can be served alongside a healthy salad since it is also a keto-friendly recipe! 

Get The Recipe From Here: The Best Keto Recipes

21. Ramen Carbonara

Image Credits – Half-Baked Harvest

All types of fusion foods are available out there, where they combine two cuisines that you would never think would work together. This recipe for ramen carbonara is the epitome of fusion cuisines. 

Yes, ramen noodles are pretty tasteless as they are, which is one of the main reasons why this Italian-Asian fusion works. But, the consistency of the ramen noodles initially made me doubtful of this recipe. 

However, this combination works wonders! This recipe is like a regular carbonara pasta recipe, just that there are ramen noodles instead of pasta, and the dish is topped with a fried egg. Lastly, the cream and bacon add a lot to the texture and flavor of this dish. 

Get The Recipe From Here:  Half-Baked Harvest

22. BLT Wraps

Image Credits – Taste Of Home

A classic BLT sandwich can be a go-to for just about any meal of the day. Taking BLT one step further, these BLT wraps take barely any time to prepare and are just as delicious, if not more, than a classic BLT sandwich. 

These wraps call for pre-cooked bacon that later just needs to be heated. However, if you want, you can instead use regular bacon too. The wraps are creamy and delicious, with cream cheese, ranch, and some mayonnaise flavors. 

Along with all these ingredients, the wraps consist of onions, avocados, tomatoes, and salad greens, all wrapped in tortillas. If you want to take this recipe a step further in terms of nutrition, you can add some of your favorite protein! 

Get The Recipe From Here: Taste Of Home

23. Chicken Curry

Image Credits – Veena Azmanov

It would be utterly unfair of me not to add any recipe to this list that makes me stick to my roots. So, here it is, a classic Indian chicken curry recipe that can be made in just about 20 minutes! 

Indian food, since it is loaded with a bunch of spices, may make you think that it will take a long time to cook. But, with a few hacks, as mentioned in this chicken curry recipe, you can make this curry recipe in half the time you would have expected. 

This chicken curry recipe is also made with just a few ingredients, so you would be fine with getting a long list of ingredients. The secret is in the rich coconut milk powder that forms the base of this curry, making it as delicious as it is. Serve with a side of naan or even basmati rice! 

Get The Recipe From Here: Veena Azmanov

24. Chicken Posole

Image Credits – Domesticate Me

Chicken posole, a stew-like thick soup, is a classic from Mexico and the southern United States. Although a posole soup is generally made with pork, this recipe uses chicken instead, which also speeds up the cooking process. 

A posole is the perfect dish to serve when you want to cozy up on a cold night. The soup is packed with almost everything, making it filling and nutritionally dense. A little hack that you will have to consider for this recipe is to use pre-cooked shredded chicken. 

This will save a lot of time. The soup is also packed with salsa, chicken stock, and sherry vinegar, which gives it a lovely flavor. If you want to add some carbohydrate to this recipe, top it with croutons, or serve it with a slice of bread on the side! 

Get The Recipe From Here: Domesticate Me

25. Tuna Fishcakes

Tuna Fish Cakes
Image Credits – Just Easy Recipes

Tuna is a delicacy almost everywhere in the world. It sometimes tends to have a sharp flavor, which may only suit some’s palate and can be an acquired taste. We made some amazing smoked herring fishcakes at home. Read the recipe to replicate the flavors. 

These fishcakes are made with tuna, giving them a one-of-a-kind flavor, which is not necessarily an acquired taste. The fishcakes are also made with some aromatic ingredients.

The fishcakes are made with just a few ingredients, like mayonnaise, parsley, onions, eggs, and tuna. The spices and seasonings added are minimal, and if you want to mask the flavor of tuna even more, you can serve these fishcakes between slices of bread! 

Get The Recipe From Here: Just Easy Recipes

26. Pan Fried Tofu

Image Credits – Allrecipes

If you think about it, there is nothing too new about a pan-fried tofu recipe. But this recipe stands out, as it is completely vegan. Moreover, in case you don’t like some of the vegan ingredients, you can switch them for something else!

This pan-fried tofu recipe is the perfect main dish for dinner and can be served with so many sides that make it taste even better! The key to getting that perfect char on the tofu is to use firm or extra firm.

Any other tofu will probably not work in this recipe and will disintegrate. The tofu is coated with tamari, rice vinegar, maple syrup, miso, grated ginger, and cayenne. But you can also use eggs and panko breadcrumbs if you would like. Serve with a side of a fresh perky salad!

Get The Recipe From Here: Allrecipes

27. Shrimp Salad Rolls

Image Credits – Taste & Tell

Sometimes it’s so hot that you may find it challenging to stand in the kitchen for too long. On days like these, the best thing to do is to prepare a quick dinner that requires minimal cooking, and this recipe for shrimp salad rolls is the perfect example of that! 

The only cooking needed in this recipe is boiling the shrimp! Once the shrimp is ready and boiled, you must make a delicious dressing with mayonnaise, chives, dill, mustard, lemon juice, and celery. 

Then, load some hot dog rolls with your favorite greens, toss the prawns in the dressing, and fill a hearty amount in the rolls! That’s all it takes to make this quick, refreshing dinner meal worth every bite! 

Get The Recipe From Here:  Taste & Tell

28. Dumpling Salad

Image Credits – Marion’s Kitchen

Here’s another quick salad recipe that is filling, satisfying, and requires minimal effort. This recipe for dumpling salad can be made quickly since most ingredients can be store-bought. You can make your dumplings if you have the time!

But using some frozen dumplings is also a pretty great idea! This dumpling salad recipe is the ultimate Asian salad. The recipe starts with pan-frying some frozen dumplings. Although this recipe has not mentioned the type of dumplings, you are free to use whatever you fancy. 

Then, prepare some salad greens, and top them off with a delicious Asian-style dressing. The recipe uses simple veggies and dressing ingredients too. This salad is also nutritionally balanced since it has the right amount of leafy greens, protein, and carbohydrates. 

Get The Recipe From Here: Marion’s Kitchen

29. Chicken Fajitas

Image Credits – The Iron You

Nothing is better than a well-made fajita with all the lovely spices and meat. Although fajitas are often made with skirt steak, chicken fajitas are delicious, too, and worth a try! 

This recipe for chicken fajitas is ready in no time since it is made with boneless chicken, a few spices mixed, and some onions and peppers. The fajita seasoning for this recipe is homemade, consisting of a bunch of regularly used herbs. 

If you want to, you can also use store-bought fajita seasoning for this recipe. Once the chicken is cooked with the peppers, which will take no time, serve it with warm tortillas and all sorts of toppings you like! 

Get The Recipe From Here: The Iron You

30. Polenta With Sausage Ragu

Image Credits – Saveur

This dish is an excellent option if you are looking for an Italian treat, not necessarily limited to pizza or pasta. This polenta with sausage Rahu recipe consists of fresh Italian sausages cooked with onions, which gives the sauce a unique flavor. 

This dish is packed with a lot of flavor. You can use any Italian sausage of your choice to make this dish. This dish is genuinely traditionally Italian in every way possible. The polenta is cooked with parmesan cheese.

In case you need Italian sausages, use anything that you like. Cook the links with some onions and garlic, then add the tomato paste to it, which makes the ragu rich. Serve over a bed of creamy polenta, and your recipe is good to go! 

Get The Recipe From Here: Saveur

31. Buttermilk Alfredo Chicken Spinach Pasta

Image Credits – Southern Living

Pasta has got to be one of the best carbohydrates out there, followed by bread and rice. With pasta, the possibilities are endless! Now you may have tried many types of regular pasta dishes before, but what about buttermilk alfredo chicken spinach pasta? 

Yes, the recipe is indeed as unique and exciting as it sounds! A rich Alfredo sauce is made with heavy cream in most cases. But, the fact that this recipe uses buttermilk makes a whole difference to the flavor and also the nutritional value of this dish. 

The basic process of preparing the sauce stays the same as a regular Alfredo sauce recipe.

But, be careful to lower the heat, or take the pot off heat entirely, before adding the buttermilk, to prevent it from splitting. The rest of the ingredients, like chicken and spinach, soak up the flavors very well. 

Get The Recipe From Here: Southern Living

32. Chana Masala

Chana Masala Recipe at Home
Image Credits – Glebe Kitchen

A delicious delicacy from the Indian subcontinent, chana masala is a staple in many Indian households. If you like experimenting with different cuisines now and then, Indian cuisine is a great way to start. 

Chana masala, if you would ever ask an Indian, they would never believe that there is a recipe of the same that can be made in just 20 minutes! But, the trick here is to use canned chickpeas, which are already cooked. 

That saves a lot more time than you may have thought. The rest of the process is pretty simple, as you will have to make a curry base with some staple vegetables, and spices, all of which are readily available. Serve chana masala with a bowl of hot steaming rice!

Get The Recipe From Here: Glebe Kitchen

33. Beef And Broccoli Lo Mein

Image Credits – The Recipe Critic

Chinese takeout, like a good beer and broccoli lo mein is a go-to for so many of us. But, sadly, eating Chinese takeout every now and then is a pretty bad idea, as the food is loaded with lots of MSG. 

Luckily, most staple Chinese recipes can be made very quickly at home and in no time. Take this beef and broccoli lo mein, which takes just about 20 minutes to cook, and is the perfect and healthy counterpart for a regular takeout. 

This recipe uses classic ingredients like lo mein noodles, flank steak, and broccoli, along with some aromatic vegetables. The sauce base is made with staples like brown sugar, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Garnish the lo mein with some crushed red pepper flakes for an extra kick of heat! 

Get The Recipe From Here: The Recipe Critic

34. Spicy Garlic Spam Fried Rice

Image Credits – Tiffy Cooks

Spam is not something that everyone loves, but those who do, tend to have their pantry full of tins of spam. If you are one of those people who has a lot of spam at home and are wondering what to do with it, here is a lovely spicy garlic spam fried rice recipe to try. 

This spicy garlic spam fried rice is like clearing out your kitchen or using anything and everything you have at home. The ingredients are simple, including spam, eggs, rice, and seaweed. 

If you don’t have any seaweed, you can skip adding it to the rice. Moreover, make sure to use leftover rice, as freshly cooked rice tends to turn soggy when making fried rice. Lastly, the garlic sauce has many ingredients, giving it a delicious umami and sweet flavor. 

Get The Recipe From Here: Tiffy Cooks

35. Shrimp Fajitas

Image Credits – The Recipe Critic

Earlier, we saw a lovely fajita recipe that was made with chicken. But, if chicken is not your choice of protein, or if you would prefer something leaner, these shrimp fajitas make the perfect choice of meal for two. 

The best part is that it is ready in just 20 minutes; everything can be cooked in the same skillet. The shrimp is rubbed with abundant spices like chili powder, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and cumin. All of these help the shrimp get a perfectly charred finish. 

The recipe also consists of peppers, another essential ingredient in fajitas. Once the shrimp and peppers are perfectly cooked, serve them with some tortillas, along with chopped avocados and sour cream for garnish! 

Get The Recipe From Here: The Recipe Critic

36. White Bean Sage-Cauliflower Gnocchi

Image Credits – EatingWell

Gnocchi is a very delicious type of pasta. However, quite a few people prefer avoiding gnocchi, not because of its flavor, but because it is made with potatoes. But, this white bean sage-cauliflower gnocchi is not too starchy and well-balanced! 

You can make your own gnocchi, but cauliflower gnocchi is also easily available in most supermarkets if you need more time. Either way, this recipe is lower in carbohydrates than usual gnocchi. 

The sauce is simple: butter, sage, garlic, and arugula leaves. The white beans added to this dish don’t just elevate the flavor and texture, but also the nutritional value, since they are packed with tons of protein!  

Get The Recipe From Here: EatingWell

37. Miso Mushroom Pasta

Image Credits – Tiffy Cooks

Since fusion food has become common lately, here is a lovely dish of miso mushroom pasta that you cannot refuse! This pasta is creamy and meaty due to the mushrooms, and it also has the perfect kick of umami from the miso. 

This is probably the best crossover of Italian and Asian food! The original recipe uses fettucini as the pasta, but you can choose whatever you prefer. Moreover, the type of miso is not mentioned here, but I would recommend white miso since it has flavors that gel better. 

The recipe also has a few other Asian staples, like dashi, and soy sauce. But even if you skip adding them, the dish will taste just as wonderful. Use portobello mushrooms for this recipe since they are truly meaty and packed with an abundance of flavor. 

Get The Recipe From Here: Tiffy Cooks

38. Cheesy Beef And Shells

Image Credits – The Recipe Critic

I can’t emphasize enough just how fantastic pasta is, especially when you are looking to make a quick meal. This recipe for cheesy beef and shells is cheesy, meaty, and delicious, but also packed with a lovely sour kick in the sauce. 

Although the name may suggest that the sauce is a cheese-based sauce, it is so much more than just that! This sauce is made with garlic, and onion, along with a few seasonings, and also some tomato sauce. 

Here, you can take as much creative liberty as possible and use a marinara or a regular tomato-based sauce. There is cream cheese added to the sauce, which gives it a deliciously creamy finish! 

Get The Recipe From Here: The Recipe Critic

39. Fried Hake

Image Credits – JERNEJ KITCHEN

In most cases, whenever a place is serving fried fish of any sort, it is always made with some cod. But, it is time for the humble cod to move over, and give way to some delicious fried hake! 

Although not as popular as regular cod, Hake fish is considered a much superior quality. Hake has a distinct sweet flavor, which makes it so perfect for this fried fish recipe. 

The process of making fried hake is standard, starting with dipping the fish in flour, followed by eggs and breadcrumbs. The fish is lightly seasoned with salt and pepper after deep frying, to let the original flavor shine through as much as possible. Serve with a side of crispy chips and tartar sauce! 

Get The Recipe From Here: JERNEJ KITCHEN

40. Turkey Steak

Image Credits – Better Homes & Gardens

Want to impress someone with a fancy, restaurant-quality meal made in just 20 minutes? Then this recipe for turkey steak is undoubtedly the way to go! Not only is it delicious, but the turkey is also packed with lean protein, making it nutritionally dense. 

But turkey steak is undoubtedly only some of this recipe’s ingredients! The delicious steak is served alongside grilled spinach, some slices of pears lightly toasted in butter, and a generous amount of blue cheese!

The combination of flavors is so phenomenal that it will make you feel like you are enjoying a fine-dining experience right at home. The turkey steak is rubbed with sage, which also gives it an abundance of lovely flavor.

Get The Recipe From Here: Better Homes & Gardens

41. Chicken Noodle Bowl With Peanut Ginger Sauce

Image Credits – Southern Living

Peanut ginger sauce is a staple in Thai cuisine and anytime you crave the same, this recipe is worth a try. This recipe for a chicken noodle bowl with peanut ginger sauce can also be put together in no time, mainly because a lot of the elements for it can be prepared earlier than time. 

The vegetables can be prepped beforehand, and to save time, you can even use rotisserie chicken. But, you can also cook your own chicken if you have some spare time. Go for rice noodles for this recipe, as they tend to absorb flavors the best. 

Once all your elements are ready, you just need to make the peanut ginger sauce, which is made with peanut butter, lime juice, ginger, sesame oil, and also some honey to balance the flavors out. This recipe will be ready in no time! 

Get The Recipe From Here: Southern Living

42. Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Image Credits – Tiffy Cooks

If you have a whole night planned with a few activities, you will enjoy eating something light rather than a heavy meal. Well, in that case, stuffed portobello mushrooms make a great meal. 

This recipe can work as a light main course and goes well as an appetizer. Using portobello mushrooms is a must since other types carry less flavor or texture than this variant. 

The mushrooms are first cored, then filled with a delicious mix made of crab meat, cream cheese, mayonnaise, and shrimp. You can also make a vegetarian version of this by using tofu for the filling in place of all the seafood! 

Get The Recipe From Here: Tiffy Cooks

43. Black Bean Soup

Image Credits – The Recipe Critic

On nights that are cold, I always prefer having a hot bowl of soup over everything else. But, a problem with most soups is that they are not nutritionally balanced, hence, it becomes a tricky situation, unless it is a black bean soup! 

My family and I always tend to resort to a lovely bean soup, as it is packed with everything that makes a nutritious meal. The soup has an abundance of protein, all coming from the black beans, of course. 

Over and above, the soup is a perfect blend of Mexican flavors, as it is made with ingredients like corn, onion, garlic, broth, tomatoes, and cilantro. To add some carbohydrates to this meal, serve it with a side of fresh cornbread!

Get The Recipe From Here: The Recipe Critic

44. Spicy Popcorn Tofu

Image Credits – Tiffy Cooks

Ever since KFC came up with the concept of popcorn chicken, the idea has just been booming! Popcorn chicken can also be made with a bunch of different ingredients, and combining it with different cuisines. Enter spicy popcorn tofu! 

If you are vegetarian or vegan and want to taste something similar to popcorn chicken, spicy popcorn tofu is just as amazing! The key to this recipe is to use medium-firm tofu, so that it can hold its shape well throughout the cooking process. 

The tofu is coated with tapioca starch, which gives it a delicious crispy exterior. The sauce is made with Thai red chili, garlic, soy sauce and honey, which provide this crispy tofu a delightful Asian twist! 

Get The Recipe From Here: Tiffy Cooks

45. Stuffed Sweet Potatoes With Hummus

Image Credits – EatingWell

Sweet potatoes tend to be so much more nutritious than regular potatoes, as they are packed with fiber while also being rich in carbohydrates. That makes them a lovely dinner on their own. 

This recipe for sweet potatoes is even more nutritious in so many ways. The sweet potatoes are stuffed with canned black beans and chopped kale, which are both nutritionally very dense. 

Although there are no seasonings added, you can do so if you would like. The potatoes, once stuffed, are topped with a generous amount of hummus, which is it! You can also go for a delicious flavored hummus if you would like. 

Get The Recipe From Here: EatingWell

Printable Version


45 Scrumptious 20 Minute Dinner Ideas For Two

Some 20-minute recipes that are suitable for 2 people are Chipotle Shrimp Tacos, Baked Salmon, Salad Rolls, Ravioli Lasagna, Seafood Pancakes and Ramen Carbonara. 


  • Shrimp Naan Pizza
  • Tuscan Sausage Tortellini
  • Pulled Pork Nachos
  • Chicken Stir-Fry
  • Honey Chipotle Shrimp Tacos
  • Stuffed Chicken Breast
  • Mozzarella, Basil, and Zucchini Frittata
  • Grilled Flank Steak
  • Skillet Ravioli Lasagna
  • Lamb Shawarma Pitas
  • One Pot Mac and Cheese
  • Kimchi Pancakes
  • Smoked Salmon Flatbread
  • Chicken Tikka Salad
  • Chicken Fried Rice
  • Crispy Shrimp Avocado Salad
  • Smoked Salmon Pasta
  • Vegan Tacos
  • Spicy Chicken Nuggets
  • Pork Chops
  • Ramen Carbonara
  • BLT Wraps
  • Chicken Curry
  • Chicken Posole
  • Smoked Herring Fishcakes
  • Pan Fried Tofu
  • Shrimp Salad Rolls
  • Dumpling Salad
  • Chicken Fajitas
  • Polenta with Sausage Ragu
  • Buttermilk Alfredo Chicken Spinach Pasta
  • Chana Masala
  • Beef and Broccoli Lo Mein
  • Spicy Garlic Spam Fried Rice
  • Shrimp Fajitas
  • White Bean Sage-Cauliflower Gnocchi
  • Miso Mushroom Pasta
  • Cheesy Beef and Shells
  • Fried Hake
  • Turkey Steak
  • Chicken Noodle Bowl with Peanut Ginger Sauce
  • Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
  • Black Bean Soup
  • Spicy Popcorn Tofu
  • Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Hummus


  • Select the recipe you want to cook.
  • Click on the recipe link.
  • Follow the steps mentioned in the recipe.


It can be a very tough task to get together a meal for dinner, especially if you don’t have more than 20 minutes to spare in the kitchen. This makes most of us get takeout, which, let’s face it, is not always the best thing ever. 

But, even with just 20 minutes to spare, you can prepare an array of delicious meals! These meals are all perfect, for date nights, or just about any other occasion. So, once you wind up with work, with these recipes around, you wouldn’t have to worry much about preparing a lovely dinner for two! 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are all the recipes mentioned in this article suitable for beginners? 

Yes, if not all, most of the recipes are perfect for beginners to follow.

Do you need any specific ingredients for some of the Asian and Indian recipes? 

Some of them need unique ingredients, but you can use substitutes for the same. 

What sort of cuisines have been covered in these recipes? 

These recipes are mainly Asian, Indian, British, American, Italian, and Mexican. 

Do all the recipes need to be followed strictly as they are?

Not! You can customize every recipe to your taste! 

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