Effortless dinner recipes these foodies cook up in a pinch.
Do you rotate through the same arsenal of dinner recipes each week? Are you tired of the arduous clean-up a gourmet meal typically requires? The obvious answer to your issue would be to order takeout. But if you’re trying to eat healthily, takeout isn’t really conducive to that. Why can’t there be a dinner recipe that’s quick and easy, doesn’t involve Hamburger Helper, and doesn’t skimp on flavor? Luckily, there are. (Nine, in fact.)
We asked three creative food influencers to share the healthy yet beginner-friendly dinner recipes they continuously turn to when they’re pressed for time. The recipes below only require about 30 minutes (sometimes less) and will leave your dinner table filled with flavorful, lively meals that’ll keep the whole family satisfied.
From simmered veggies and sautéed shrimp to one-pan sriracha cauliflower and vegan fried rice, these nine easy dinner ideas only require a few trusted pantry staples and a bit of fresh produce. There are even a few appetizing options that make use of leftovers from the day before.
The Best Quick, Easy, and Healthy Dinner Recipe Ideas
Spicy Salmon Salad Rice Bowls
“This flexible recipe is a great way to use up leftover salmon,” says Kylie Mazon-Chambers, founder of Cooking with Cocktail Rings and author of Share + Savor: Create Impressive + Indulgent Appetizer Boards for Any Occasion. “The fish doesn’t lend itself to reheating very well so instead, I combine it with sriracha and mayonnaise for a spicy salmon salad served over rice.”
Seared Steak Tacos
“Serve slices of seared steak on simply warmed tortillas with charred corn and green onions,” says Mazon-Chambers. “Finish the tacos off with fiery salsa macha, a Mexican chili oil condiment.”
Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta
“This creamy roasted red pepper pasta sauce is made with just a few pantry staples for an easy dinner,” Mazon-Chambers tells us. “Serve the sauce simply tossed with your favorite pasta shape or top with creamy pieces of burrata, grilled chicken, or sautéed shrimp.”
“Featuring poached eggs in a flavorful curried tomato sauce with feta cheese, this shakshuka is a one-pan meal that I’ve fallen in love with,” says Brittany Mullins, a holistic nutritionist and author of the food blog Eating Bird Food. “It cooks up in just 30 minutes and tastes amazing served with crusty sourdough bread.”
Egg Roll in a Bowl
“This quick and easy meal combines ground turkey with a coleslaw mix for a healthy meal that has flavors similar to an egg roll (but minus the fried wrap),” says Mullins. “An added bonus: it comes together in less than 30 minutes.”
Sriracha Cauliflower and Sheet Pan Chickpeas
“This easy sheet pan meal features roasted cauliflower and chickpeas with a delicious Sriracha-based sauce,” says Mullins. “I love that there’s minimal clean-up and that this meal is both vegan and gluten-free.”
Vegan Fried Rice
“This protein and veggie-packed vegan fried rice is a healthier alternative when you’re craving takeout,” says Jillian Glenn, author of the new cookbook Light and Easy Vegan Baking and founder of the food blog Peanut Butter and Jilly. “It’ll only take you about 20 minutes to whip up a batch of mouth-watering fried rice. It’s so easy that it may end up on your weekly menu.”
12-Minute Veggie Fajitas
“If you’re looking for a balanced, filling, and healthy plant-based dinner, give these 12-Minute Veggie Fajitas a try,” says Glenn. “They’re so flavorful. Serve them over rice, black beans, salsa, or guacamole for a nutritious dish everyone will love.”
Peanut Sauce Noodles Stir Fry
“Nothing says comfort food like peanut sauce noodles. This dish tastes indulgent but is actually healthy-ish,” says Glenn. “It comes together in minutes by sautéeing the veggies and noodles, and tossing them in a quick 5-minute peanut sauce. It’s a must-try family-friendly recipe that’s as quick to make as it is delicious.”