15 Pinterest-Worthy Weeknight Dinners That Are Easier to Make Than They Look

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Pinterest-Worthy Weeknight Dinners That Are Easier to Make Than They Look
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Each night, I'm looking to whip up quick and appetizing dinners -- from easy pasta dishes to meals that require zero cooking. My favorite recipes include the use of a slow cooker so that, once we're home, dinner is fresh and ready to serve. With little time, it's still possible to create a picture-perfect weeknight meal that will fool your loved ones into thinking you slaved over it all afternoon. From colorful vegetarian dishes to build-your-own tostadas, here are 15 weeknight dinner ideas that are easier to make than they look.

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Spaghetti squash noodles
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Looking for a quick pasta fix, but don't want to load up on carbs? Then consider roasting a batch of spaghetti squash noodles. Not only does roasted spaghetti squash shred easily and beautifully off the shell, but a single, medium-sized squash can yield up to six cups of noodles! It's a healthy, delicious and fibrous dish and gives you plenty more noodles for leftovers so you can pack some for lunch the next day.

Image Credit: Ashley Manilla
Baked salmon fillets stuffed with a sun-dried tomato mixture, and served with a side salad.
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Stuffed Salmon Fillets

Step up your protein game with these stuffed salmon fillets. Combine sautéed spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese and chopped basil, then insert the mixture into raw salmon fillets. After baking for about a half hour, you'll get stuffed salmon fillets that are perfect in portion size and vibrant in color.

Roasted and browned cauliflower steaks on a bed of caramelized onion couscous.
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Moroccan Cauliflower Steaks With Couscous

For a vegetarian-friendly dish that is as aesthetically pleasing as it is tasty, prepare some cauliflower steaks and caramelized onion couscous for dinner. This dish is reminiscent of Mediterranean flavors and makes for a savory and unique meal. TIP: Chop the cauliflower into "steaks" or smaller florets you can dip in tangy tahini sauce.

Individually sliced spaghetti pizzas topped with cheese and pepperoni.
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Spaghetti Pizza

Pizza or pasta tonight? Why not both? Turn your usual family pizza nights into a spaghetti pizza night with this recipe. To create this noodly 'za, simply bake angel hair noodles with a few binding ingredients such as eggs and parmesan cheese, and top like a normal pizza. It's a fun meal the whole family can enjoy; no matter how you slice it.

Just-fried tostadas topped with black beans, veggies and sour cream.
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Tostada Bar

Parents know that it's hard for kids to say 'no' to a meal they created themselves. That's why this DIY tostada bar is great for families looking to please even the pickiest of eaters. With myriad Mexican-inspired ingredients -- such as adobo chicken, crisped tostada shells, black beans, guacamole and pico de gallo – your family (or friends!) can create their own freshly crafted tostadas together at the dinner table.

A toasted cauliflower-crusted pizza topped with cheese, figs and fresh basil.
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Cauliflower-Crusted Pizza

Cauliflower-crusted pizza is a gluten-free alternative to its breaded counterpart. It's so savory and flavorful you won't even miss the usual doughy crust. With this recipe's attractive arrangement of ingredients such as sliced figs, chopped basil and golden cauliflower crust, you won't be able to resist snapping a few photos of this dish before having a bite. TIP: Add a drizzle of honey on top to make your pizza even more delectable and Pinterest-worthy.

A casserole dish full of steamed rice, broccoli and cheese.
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Make-Ahead Broccoli, Rice and Cheese Casserole

If you're looking to spruce up vegetables in an easy way, then this broccoli, rice and cheese casserole will do the trick. The broccoli is sautéed with onions and generously drizzled in cheese and mushroom soup, then baked to perfection over a bed of white rice. Serve the casserole as a main entrée or as a side to complement your favorite protein dish. TIP: This casserole can be prepared in advance and refrigerated until it's time to be baked.

Seasoned and roasted cauliflower with hummus and pita pockets.
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Roasted Cauliflower Pita Pockets

Golden cauliflower pita pockets are a filling dinner item that add some wonderful color to your plate. Just simply roast the cauliflower with za'atar -- a Middle Eastern spice mix of sumac, thyme and sesame seeds. Then stuff the cauliflower, shredded lettuce and chopped tomatoes into a pita pocket with a slathering of hummus for a nourishing meal. TIP: Za'atar seasoning can be found in Middle Eastern markets, specialty spice shops and grocery stores.

A baked taco square beside shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes and a dollop of sour cream.
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Crescent Roll Taco Squares

These Mexican-inspired taco squares will be a great hit at any dinner party or a regular weeknight with family. Ground beef is sandwiched and baked in between two layers of crescent roll dough until golden brown. You can serve it with your favorite taco fixings such as guacamole, shredded lettuce, sour cream and tomato for a colorful presentation.

A finished pizza cone being placed on a serving plate.
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Pizza Cones

Pizza cones: A fun activity for the whole family. Once your cones are baked, you can customize them with your favorite pizza toppings such as pepperoni slices, mushrooms and veggies. Plus, it involves minimal cleanup, so you can get right to eating once they're ready.

A vegetarian enchilada served with black beans and rice.
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Vegetarian Enchiladas

For a satisfying and cheesy dinner option, serve up a casserole dish full of fresh enchiladas. This lighter, vegetarian version of the Mexican classic is easy to make and can be enjoyed any night of the week. TIP: You can substitute the flour tortillas with corn tortillas for a gluten-free option.

A crusty curried spinach and artichoke skillet pot pie.
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Curried Spinach and Artichoke Skillet Pot Pie

The mix of Japanese curry, spinach, artichoke and puff pastry makes you savor every bite of this pot pie. It's a creamy and fragrant comfort food that's also a great meal to share during a night in. Plus, it is an easy one-pot meal that requires very little cleanup once you're done. TIP: Use individual ramekins in place of a cast iron skillet for personal-sized pies.

A hearty bowl of spicy white bean and zucchini spaghetti with sesame seeds and red pepper flakes.
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Spicy White Bean and Zucchini Spaghetti

This white bean and zucchini pasta dish combines a number of common ingredients to become a fun and savory meal with a spicy kick. The sauce is creamy, tangy and flavorful -- you wouldn't even guess it's dairy-free.


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