What can I throw in the oven for dinner? That’s the question that so many of us ask multiple nights per week, because no matter what else is on the agenda, our family needs to eat! Some days we have time for made-from-scratch casseroles or more time-consuming, complicated meals (like the ultimate pot roast), but often the schedule is tight, we’re tired, and we feel uninspired in the kitchen. That’s where these easy dump dinners come into play!
There’s almost zero prep necessary, and then the oven does the work. Sound too good to be true? It’s not. I have an entire category on this website devoted to dump-and-bake recipes. This convenient compilation is designed to highlight some of our favorite dump dinners, organized in a way that’s easy for you to find them quickly. Bookmark this page so that you can come back to it later, because these are the lifesavers that you’ll turn to again and again. Let’s dive in!
What does Dump Dinner mean?
A dump dinner is any meal that comes together with almost no preparation. In other words, you “dump” the ingredients into the pan, pot, casserole dish, or slow cooker, and your job is done! Sometimes called “dump and go dinners,” “dump and run” options, or “dump-and-bake” recipes, these are easy dinner ideas to throw in the oven!
For instance, instead of pre-boiling the rice, it’s added to the pan while the rice is still raw. Instead of chopping a bunch of vegetables, you might just reach for a bag of pre-diced frozen mixed vegetables. Instead of making a roux from scratch, you might start a casserole sauce with a can of cream of chicken soup. You get the idea! These are quick-prep, simple dinner solutions for the busiest (or laziest!) home cooks. No, they’re not the finest gourmet meals, but sometimes good is good enough!
Our Favorite Dump-and-Bake Dinners
I’ve pulled together some of our favorite (or most popular) dump-and-bake dinners, broken down into the following categories:
Dump and Bake Chicken Dinners
Dump and Bake Beef Recipes
Pork Recipes to Dump and Go
Vegetarian Dump and Bake Recipes
Healthy Dump and Bake Dinners
Dump and Bake Pasta
Dump and Bake Rice
Dump and Bake Chicken Dinners
From Chinese takeout-inspired meals to saucy baked chicken breast and cozy casseroles, these family-friendly chicken dump dinners are sure to please!
In the oven or in the slow cooker, this Dump-and-Bake Crack Chicken is an addicting easy dinner recipe that your family will love! Serve the creamy, cheesy, bacon and Ranch chicken in sandwiches, in wraps, on a salad, or over rice or pasta.
Skip the Chinese restaurant carryout and prepare an easier, lighter version of your favorite dish! This Dump-and-Bake Kung Pao Chicken requires just 10 minutes of prep for an easy dinner recipe that the whole family can enjoy.
For an easy 5-minute dinner in the oven or in the Crock Pot, just toss together these 5-Ingredient Dump-and-Bake Meatball Subs! Adjust the recipe to serve just one or two people…or make meatball subs for a crowd!
These Dump-and-Go Burrito Bowls are an easy dinner recipe with almost no prep work! Just toss all of the ingredients into a pot and you’ll have a healthy vegetarian meal to nourish your family — in less than an hour.
This Dump-and-Bake Moo Shu Chicken is a lighter, healthier version of the Chinese restaurant classic. With just one dish and about 10 minutes of prep, it’s an easy dinner recipe that’s even better than take-out!
This Dump-and-Bake Chicken Parmesan Casserole is a one-dish dinner that’s healthy, easy to prepare, and incredibly family-friendly! Just combine the raw ingredients in a pan and pop it in the oven — no prep work involved!
You don’t even have to boil the pasta for this nutritious and cozy Dump-and-Bake Chicken Noodle Casserole! All of the ingredients cook together in one dish for a simple comfort food dinner on a cool evening!
Family-friendly dinners don’t get much easier than this 4-Ingredient Dump and Bake Pizza Casserole! There’s no need to boil the pasta ahead of time, since all of the ingredients cook together in one dish!
That’s right — you can even dump-and-bake rice! Try these shrimp, jambalaya, or chicken and rice dinners that don’t require you to pre-cook the rice before throwing the whole pan into the oven. So simple!
Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!
Love this post! I have saved so many recipes to try!
That’s great, Beverly. I’m so glad that it’s helpful!
Wow, this is a great resource for busy households, and good timing of the post with school starting! Thought I had seen all of your Dump and Bake recipes, but found a couple that I had somehow overlooked. Thanks for putting this together, Blair!
Thank you, Norma! I’m so glad that you might have a few new options!