Dine and Dash: 30-Minute Healthy Dinner Ideas
When busy weeknights get stressful, the last thing you want to do is cook a long and intricate meal. Instead, focus on fresh and simple foods that don’t take 100 steps.
It might sound hard to believe, but you can make a delicious, homemade meal in less than 30 minutes with the recipes below. They’re not only fast, but also healthy, and there are a range of choices for picky eaters.
Sheet Pan Veggies and Chicken
One of the best parts about a sheet pan meal is that it’s easy to make and clean up. With 10 minutes of prep and 20 minutes to cook, you’ll be enjoying dinner 30 minutes after you walk through the door.
Shrimp scampi is one of the easiest meals to make. You first cook the spaghetti — or even zucchini noodles — in boiling water. While that’s going, you can toss some shrimp in olive oil, butter or a butter alternative and fry them for a couple minutes.
Quesadillas are a very family-friendly dinner. Not only are they quick, but they’re also usually a hit with little ones as well. Using a corn or flour tortilla of your choice, add a little olive oil to a pan and then the tortilla.
Fajitas are a quick crowd-pleaser. You can choose a protein such as steak or chicken and add veggies for extra flavor. One of the nice things about fajitas is that you can cook everything in one pan on the stove.
Lettuce Bun Burger
If you’re trying to cut carbs, consider trying a burger without the bun. You can enjoy it cooked on the grill or stovetop in under ten minutes. Instead of a bun, eat your burger with lettuce. To cook it, season with salt and pepper and then grill it or cook it on the stovetop.
Salmon With Salad
Salmon is a great choice for busy nights. Not only is it full of healthy fats, but it’s also ready to eat in under 10 minutes. You can cook salmon on the grill outdoors, on the stove or in an oven depending on preference.
If you’re a vegetable lover, a pizza with grilled vegetables is a quick weeknight meal that you can feel good about. The best part about making your own pizza is that you can add as many vegetables as you like while also customizing your own crust, cheese and sauce options.
A Buddha bowl is essentially a grain of your choice mixed with fresh vegetables and a salad. You can use rice, quinoa or cauliflower rice with potatoes, sweet potato, peppers, avocado, carrots or really any of your favorite vegetables.
Pasta is almost always a hit with adults and kids alike. Not only does it boil in less than 10 minutes, but it’s also extremely versatile. You can choose from penne, spaghetti, angel hair, fettuccini or more exotic noodles depending on your preferences and the sauce used.
While you may not think you can make chili in less than 30 minutes, you can with a little prep work. On the weekend, for example, you can make a chili that can last an entire week. When you get home from work, you can easily heat it up.
Veggie Rice Bowl
Veggies and rice go together like peanut butter and jelly. To make a delicious vegetable rice bowl, choose any vegetables you like and prepare them on a sheet pan in the oven or on the stove. You can roast, boil or fry up any veggies you prefer.
Quiche is something you can prep ahead of time or cook up easily after work. Using a premade crust, you can scramble up some eggs with cheese and veggies of your choosing.
Because salmon cooks so quickly, it can be a go-to weeknight meal. Salmon in barbeque sauce is a delicious and healthy alternative to BBQ pork. You can cook BBQ salmon in the oven, on the grill or even on the stove.
Stir fry is an easy weeknight dinner that you can keep changing for variety. With different vegetable options as well as proteins, you can make a different stir fry every night of the week if necessary. Start by cooking some rice in a rice cooker or on the stove.
Quinoa and Kale Salad
For a crunchy salad with a twist, try a quick and easy kale salad with quinoa. Cook your quinoa on the stove as directed. While your quinoa cooks, chop some kale with lemon, avocado and tomato. When it’s finished, mix everything together in a bowl except the lemon.
Greek pitas make for a fresh and quick meal whenever you’re in a hurry. You can make a vegetarian Greek pita or go with a protein like chicken, lamb or steak. If you’re using a protein, you can char it on the grill or cook it on the stove.
Chicken Caesar Wrap
To make a chicken Caesar wrap, choose a lean chicken breast and cook it in the oven with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Takea flour, wheat or veggie wrap and bake it in the oven for a minute to warm it.
Breakfast for Dinner
Breakfast for dinner is always a fun idea. Some easy ideas for such a meal include scrambled eggs with toast, pancakes, French toast, or egg whites with vegetables. Add yogurt for a sweet dessert.
Tacos don’t just have to be for Tuesdays. One of the best things about tacos is that they are fast and also customizable for any picky eaters in your home. You can add a protein such as chicken, pork, steak, ground beef or even tofu.
Using a pack of corn tortillas and a few potatoes, you can whip up a fast dinner any day of the week. Start by cooking your potatoes in a skillet or in the oven with some olive oil, lime, chili powder, salt, pepper and hot sauce.
Avocado toast doesn’t have to just be for lunch. You can make a fresh and healthy avocado toast for dinner in just a few minutes. Start with a nice loaf of bread, an avocado, tomato and an egg if you’d like.
While making a meat pizza isn’t as easy as a purely vegetarian one, it can be done with a little prep work or minor cheating. Pre-sliced pepperoni, for instance, makes it a much faster task. From there, you can either fry separately or bake it with the rest of the pizza.
Gnocchi With Vegetables
Gnocchi makes the average pasta night just a little fancier. You can buy gnocchi in the frozen foods section or anywhere fresh pasta is sold. The best thing about the dish is that it only takes a couple of minutes to cook.
Veggie burgers make for a healthier weeknight dinner that can be ready in about 20 minutes. You can buy a fresh veggie patty at the grocery store or grab a box of frozen ones. Follow the directions on the box to cook your patties or throw them on the grill.
Grilled Veggie Salad
For a salad with a twist, try grilling some vegetables instead of just adding them cold. If you cook too much, you can also bring this salad to work the next day. Choose any vegetables you’d like along with your choice of lettuce and dressing.
Spinach and Strawberry Salad
For a salad on the sweeter side, go with a spinach and strawberry salad. You can chop strawberries, spinach, shredded carrots, and avocado. Add in some blue cheese and walnuts and you have a hearty salad that will sustain you for dinner.
Turkey Sausage With Peppers
For a healthier take on sausage and peppers, try to cook with turkey sausage in a pan or on a grill. To make this one-pan wonder, grab a few turkey sausages, one onion and red and green peppers. Season your sausages and veggies with some olive oil with salt and pepper.
BBQ Shredded Chicken
You can make BBQ shredded chicken and use it in a couple different recipes throughout the week. You can make it on a weekend in a crock pot or in a pressure cooker or cook it on the stove for a quick weeknight meal.
Steak With Cauliflower Rice
For a healthier take on steak and rice, go with cauliflower rice for a little added nutrition boost. Prepare your cauliflower rice as directed if you bought it frozen from the store. As your rice cooks, you can prepare your steak in a skillet or on the grill.
If you want to enjoy a pizza without the cheese, a flatbread might just do the trick. You can buy flatbread right from the grocery store and top it with as many vegetables as you’d like. To hold everything together, use some pesto, red sauce or olive oil.