Someone complains that they’re hungry.
I look at the clock. It’s 5:15 pm!
Shoot! What in the world are we going to have for dinner?!?!
Inner panic ensues. Excuses and less healthy options begin creeping in. And of course, I really don’t want to make dinner now. Darn it, where are the quick and healthy weeknights dinners that can save the day?!
This happens a bit more often than I would like. Sound familiar to anyone else?
Any busy woman knows that a list of go-to healthy dinners is a MUST for staying on track for time-starved weeknight dinners.
So, here are 21 ideas to add to the rotation, and help save us on those days when it’s critical to get quality food on the table in record time!
All of the dinners below can be put on the table in 45 minutes or less!
21 Quick and Healthy Weeknight Dinners
To me, these are the easiest on the list. All of the ingredients are usually on hand or in the freezer. The kids can help put stuff on, and they are done in about 10 minutes. Plus, the kids love them. We’ve even used canned chicken when I didn’t have time to figure anything else out! Delicious!
2. Sausage, Bell Peppers, and Onion Bake
This sheet pan idea is so easy, that no recipe is even required. Mix the ingredients in olive oil and salt & pepper. Roast in the oven. Ideally, I bake these for 45 minutes, BUT they are extremely easy to put together.
Chop it up and throw it on a pan. All hands-free cooking! Add additional seasoning if you desire, but we love it simple!
3. Carrot Soup
I’ve referenced this soup on a post before, but it’s seriously the quickest soup I’ve ever made, and it’s extremely healthy! In general, all vegetable soups will be fabulous for weeknight dinners!
4. Stir fry or Hash
We make this once every couple of weeks because it’s a great way to use up leftovers in the fridge. Sometimes we put it with rice, potatoes, or even cauliflower rice already done in the package. I sautee with a fat and add Italian seasoning, salt, and sometimes pesto for added flavor.
If you wish you were better at improvising in the kitchen, MAKE THIS. It will teach you what flavors work together, and how to put an original dinner on the table quickly.
Like tostadas, these are one of our most often quick and healthy weeknight dinners. We have everything on hand, and we can use tortillas or salad. No recipe required!
6. Breakfast for Dinner
Eggs are a very healthy protein and happen to be extremely fast to cook and put together. Try something different for dinner like this quiche with spinach and ricotta! It looks DIVINE.
7. Fish and Veggies
Salmon, cod, or tilapia is our go-to when time is tight because it takes very little time to thaw and cook, compared to meat. It’s usually done within 15 minutes on the stovetop! We’ll throw some veggies and olive oil in the oven with it or sautee some spinach.
8. 20 Minute Shrimp Scampi Zoodles
Just like with salmon or cod above, shrimp is a fast and healthy meal. To make it even faster, they sell frozen spiraled zucchini at the store to go with this meal!
Get the recipe from the picture above here.
9. Loaded Baked Potatoes
If you have an Instant Pot, this can be cooked in no time at all. And, this is my desperation meal when there’s no food in the house! We like to top them with bacon, plain yogurt, olives, cooked spinach, and cheese!
10. Pita Pocket Pizzas
Honestly, I rarely have the time or energy to make homemade pizza crust these days.
However, we buy some healthy pita pockets at Trader Joe’s, and they make the perfect sized little pizzas!
The kids put on the sauce and toppings, and I put them in the oven for about 10 minutes. That’s it! It makes for one of the fastest dinners on this list!
11. A Giant Salad
Salads are great because, well, TONS of veggies. Plus, there is very little (if any) cooking involved.
The image above gives the best and most extensive ideas for a lovely salad. Check out the full post HERE for inspiration on how to NEVER make a boring salad!
12. Meatball subs
If you have meatballs in the freezer then this is a super fast meal! Find some barbecue sauce, cheese, and sandwich bread. This is one of those weeknight dinners that can be made both quick and HEALTHY by throwing it with a salad and side veggie!
These can be made on the stovetop, with a panini maker, or even a George Foreman Grill. Simply make a sandwich how you want it and toast it up.
This ultra-easy step turns a really simple sandwich into something scrumptious and dinner worthy. We love mayo and pesto in our paninis!
Black bean and bell pepper quesadillas are staples here, and there’s not much explanation needed. But this post has some great tips for making the perfect 10 minute quesadilla!
15. BLTs or BLT Wraps
Summer is coming up!!!! Real tomatoes will be found in a few months! Which means that at our house, BLTs will be making their regular appearance. Luckily for me, this requires very little cooking, and is still a pretty healthy options with veggies and whole wheat bread.
16. Meat on the George Foreman
If you don’t have a George Forman, it’s a lifesaver when you’re wanting to grill something extremely quick. On any given night, we’ll quickly grill pork chops, steak, or hot dogs and throw them with some baked or sauteed veggies.
17. Whole Wheat Pasta
Pasta is a great weeknight dinner because it’s fast to make up, and you can throw in what you have on hand. This sausage pasta looks delicious, and wait for it…you cook it all in ONE POT! Making it even faster, and way better clean up!!!
18. Snack Dinner
As mentioned in the Classic Dinners Made Healthy post, this is by far my kids’ favorite dinner. Sometimes popcorn and veggies/hummus for dinner is just what we need to survive the day!
19. Vegetable Chili
Chili with meat in it takes some planning beforehand, but to put together a fast hearty chili without it isn’t all that difficult. Simply follow your normal chili recipe and add it more veggies or beans instead of meat, or try this easy one here.
20. Homemade Macaroni And Cheese
We all know the boxed version is super quick, but if you don’t have it or want something a little healthier, this recipe is done in 20 minutes! I would just add peas, carrots, and maybe some leftover meat for a complete one dish meal!
21. Veggie Chowder
We’re coming out of soup season, but this soup just looks so light and delicious! It’s packed with veggies and has enough dairy to be a real crowd pleaser.
Finally, what are your healthy and quick go-to weeknight dinners? Which new one would you like to try?