30-Minute Dinner Recipes to Try Tonight

Every now and then, I find myself in a recipe rut. I’m making the same three or four dishes on a weekly basis and feeling uninspired to try something new. Eventually, it’s time to shake things up, and I look to Half Baked Harvest for recipes that strike a balance of elevated yet approachable. Recipes that flex my muscles as a home cook yet feel entirely doable on a busy weeknight.

This past month, I tried Tieghan’s Lemon Pesto Burrata and Brown Butter Gnocchi and Thai Peanut Chicken with Spicy Lime Mango. Both recipes are perfect for end-of-summer seasonal eating and are easy enough for any skill level. As far as 30-minute dinner recipes go, I’m convinced it doesn’t get much better.

Lemon Pesto Burrata and Brown Butter Gnocchi

30-minute dinner recipes via Half Baked Harvest

Hosting last-minute? Cooking for a date night in? This recipe is your secret weapon. It’s got fresh potato gnocchi, crisp vegetables, and the creamiest burrata cheese all in one dish. The salted brown butter and lemon zest take things to the next level with fresh parm and pesto tying it all together. It’s easy enough for everyday yet fancy enough for hosting. Win-win.


2 TB extra virgin olive oil

1 bunch of asparagus, ends trimmed

Kosher salt and black pepper

6 TB salted butter

4 cloves garlic, chopped

chili flakes

2 tsp lemon zest

1 lb fresh potato gnocchi

1/3 C basil pesto

8 oz burrata cheese, room temp

Fresh parm cheese for serving


In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the asparagus and cook until tender, 3-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add 1 tablespoon butter, 1 clove garlic, lemon zest, and chili flakes. Cook until the butter browns, 1-2 minutes. Remove from the skillet.

To the same skillet, add the gnocchi and 5 tablespoons butter. Allow the gnocchi to get crispy, about 4-5 minutes, then toss with the butter and add the garlic. Cook another 2 minutes, then stir in the pesto and remove from the heat. Season with salt and pepper.

Break the burrata into serving bowls. Add the asparagus, then spoon over the gnocchi. Top with parmesan and extra pesto.

Thai Peanut Chicken with Spicy Lime Mango

30-minute dinner recipes via Half Baked Harvest

This recipe single-handedly helped me out of the aforementioned cooking rut. It’s made using staple ingredients like chicken, rice, peanut butter, canned coconut milk, and spices, so there’s no major need to plan ahead. The flavor combination of Thai red curry paste and ginger is unreal, but the optional fish sauce is the real MVP, in my opinion. I typically cook this early in the week because it makes killer next-day leftovers for lunch at the office.


1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts

3-4 TB Thai red curry paste

2 tsp ground ginger

3 TB sesame oil or extra virgin olive oil

1/4 C fresh Thai basil or regular basil, chopped

1/4 C fresh cilantro, plus more for serving

14 oz can full-fat coconut milk

1/4 C low sodium soy sauce

2 TB fish sauce (optional)

1/3 C creamy peanut butter

Juice of 1 lime

Steamed rice, for serving

Roasted peanuts and Persian cucumbers, for serving


1 mango, diced

1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped

Juice and zest of 1 lime


Toss the chicken with the 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste, the ginger, and 1 tablespoon oil. Let sit 5 minutes.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sear on both sides until browned, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining Thai red curry paste, the basil, and the cilantro.

Reduce the heat to low. Add the coconut milk, soy sauce, fish sauce (if using), and 1/4 cup water. Partially cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Stir in the peanut butter and lime juice. Simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Note, there is going to be a lot of sauce.

To make the spicy lime mango. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.

Serve the chicken and sauce over rice. Top with roasted peanuts, cucumbers, and spicy lime mango.

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