The holidays are officially over but for many of us the days are still dark and cold, meaning preparing dinner after a tiring day of work and or chores is just about the last thing we want to think about. Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of 20 quick and easy dinner recipes that can be thrown together on a busy night in the blink of an eye.
All of these tasty dishes can be made in an hour or less (with the vast majority of meals ready in just half that time) and several of these hearty and healthy dinner options require minimal cleanup. What’s more? Entrees such as miso broiled salmon and ginger soy veggie stir fry are super simple to prepare, making them ideal for those of us who have been absent from the kitchen for a few weeks and need to get back in the meal prep groove.
It’s also important to note that these dishes are easy on the post-holiday waistline, meaning you’ll be back into your skinny jeans in no time. For more cooking inspo, check out 50 Cheap and Easy Slow Cooker Recipes.
Turkey Sloppy Joes
As far as quick and easy goes, this turkey sloppy joe recipe from Ambitious Kitchen is about as fast and simple as it gets. Ready in just half an hour, these tasty loose meat sandwiches call for lean ground turkey and an array of flavorful spices such as garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and red wine vinegar. At less than 430 calories per serving, these sloppy joes are destined to become a weeknight staple.
Miso Broiled Salmon
This miso broiled salmon recipe from Eating Bird Food tastes like it came from a fancy restaurant, but can be made in the comfort of your own kitchen in just 15 minutes. The intense flavor comes from the sweet and savory miso glaze, which is made with white miso, mirin, tamari, and ginger. For added nutrients, serve the omega−3-packed salmon with cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli or collard greens and fiber-rich brown rice. And while we’re on the topic of fiber, increase your daily intake by familiarizing yourself with this list of The 43 Best Foods for Fiber!
Roasted Carrot Soup
Is there anything better to eat in the bitter cold winter than a cup of nutritious roasted carrot soup? This vegan and gluten-free recipe from Show Me the Yummy is perfect for health-conscious eaters and is ready in under an hour. What’s more? At less than 340 calories per serving, this soup is also great for those looking to drop a few post-holiday pounds.
Chicken Massaman Curry
If you love bold spices, we recommend you try this chicken massaman curry recipe from Savory Simple. Ready in just 30 minutes, this tasty dish is loaded with flavor thanks to rich coconut milk, massaman curry paste, cilantro, and more. The nutritious meal is also packed with tomatoes and red and yellow bell peppers, and it gets a healthy protein boost thanks to boneless, skinless chicken.
Spicy Shrimp With Cauliflower Mash And Garlic Kale
This recipe for spicy shrimp with cauliflower mash and garlic kale from Pinch of Yum is balanced, colorful, and packed with flavor in every bite. The dish, which is ready to eat in 30 minutes, makes for an easy weeknight dinner. The simple potato for cauliflower mash swap means this hearty meal is also low in calories while being chock full of key nutrients.
Trout with Olives, Fennel, and Tomatoes
If Mediterranean flavors are more your speed, you’ll love this baked trout dish that also includes olives, fennel, and tomatoes. The recipe, which is courtesy of Love & Olive Oil, is light, easy, and loaded with flavor, and can be prepared in 30 minutes. What’s more? Since the dish is prepared using only one pan, the cleanup is especially quick and easy, making this an ideal meal to throw together after a hectic day.
Chipotle Chicken Chili
Many chili dishes call for an Instant Pot or similar appliance, but this chipotle chicken chili recipe from Gimmie Some Oven is made on a traditional stovetop and requires the use of just one pot. Ready in just 20 minutes, this meal is naturally gluten-free, and made with ingredients you can feel good about, such as red bell peppers and beans. Lastly, this dish is highly adaptable, meaning you can easily sub in whatever beans, veggies or proteins you have on hand.
For nights when you’re craving takeout but would rather prepare the meal yourself, consider this cashew chicken recipe from Cooking Classy. The dish is a quick and healthy take on the Chinese food classic, and is ready to eat in about 35 minutes. The best thing about this meal is that you can add protein and veggies based on your diet and preferences. This specific recipe calls for onions, broccoli, and peppers, but kale, snap peas, and shredded carrots also work well with the flavors, too
Turkey Burgers With Tzatziki Sauce and Greek Tomato Salad
If you’re looking for a healthier twist on the classic hamburger that’s just as tasty, these turkey burgers with Tzatziki sauce and Greek tomato salad might just do the trick. The flavor-packed Recipe Runner dish calls for fresh dill, spinach, red onion, feta cheese and garlic within the patties, and also uses creamy tzatziki sauce, more feta cheese and a Greek tomato salad as flavorful toppings. With so much going on, it’s hard to believe these tasty and healthy burgers are ready in half an hour.
Pork Scallopini With Lemons and Capers
Though not as popular as chicken or beef, pork is a tasty source or protein that doesn’t have to be loaded with unnecessary fat. This recipe from Foodie Crush, for example, calls for lean, boneless pork chops, which are easily the stars of the dish. Sage, white wine, capers, and lemons add a boost of light, zesty flavor to this 30-minute entree.
Tomato Bisque Soup
Tomato bisque isn’t exactly the first thing that comes to mind when you’re thinking of quick and easy dinners that also pack a nutritious punch, but this recipe from Fit Foodie Finds is actually ready to eat in 20 minutes and healthy to boot. While bisque is typically made with heavy cream, this healthy twist on the comforting standby uses protein-packed Greek yogurt instead, and gets its bold flavor thanks to nutrient-rich basil.
Almond-Crusted Chicken Thighs With Winter Wild Rice Salad
Now that winter is in full swing, it’s time to embrace the recipes that come along with the coldest season of the year. That’s where these almond-crusted chicken thighs from Foxes Love Lemons come in. Prepared in conjunction with a flavor-packed wild rice salad and ready in approximately 50 minutes, the tasty thighs are coated in almond flour and spices before being cooked alongside chunks of fiber-rich sweet potato.
Ginger Soy Veggie Stir Fry
As with a handful of other dishes on this list, this ginger soy veggie stir fry recipe from Inspired Taste can effortlessly be tailored to your own tastes and dietary needs. Feel free to add or subtract veggies as you see fit, and consider throwing in an extra source of protein such as tofu or shrimp should your heart desire. Ready in just 25 minutes, this meal is loaded with flavor in every bite and is ridiculously easy to whip up after a long day.
Steak Stir Fry With Peppers
If you’re looking for a stir fry dish with a bit more substance, try this steak stir fry recipe with peppers from Taste and Tell. Though this meal cooks for about 15 minutes longer than the veggie-only version above, it’s just as tasty and easy to prep. What’s more? This stir fry recipe gets a unique flavor boost from fresh orange zest, and can be served over brown rice, quinoa, or your choice of grain.
Shrimp And Orzo With Sun Dried Tomatoes
Switching gears, this shrimp and orzo with sun-dried tomatoes from Laughing Spatula is the epitome of a quick and easy meal. Not only is it ready in 30 minutes, but the tasty dish can also be made in one pan, drastically cutting down on the dreaded clean up time. It’s also worth noting that one serving of this tasty meal is just over 300 calories, meaning you won’t feel guilty about sneaking a few extra bites if needed!
Cilantro Lime Chicken with Rice
This cilantro lime chicken with rice recipe from A Kitchen Addiction is the perfect dish to make in those awkward few weeks between winter and spring, as it is both hearty and healthy. The chicken and rice make the meal comforting and cozy, while the lime flavor adds a fresh and light quality to the easy-to-make dish that can be prepared in 30 minutes using just one pan. It doesn’t get any simpler than that!
Soba Noodle Soup
Soba noodle soup sounds like something you’d need to hit the takeout drawer for, but believe it or not this simple meal can be made at home in just 30 minutes. This specific recipe from Diethood calls for mushrooms, noodles, and greens, but feel free to swap out certain ingredients to tailor it to your own personal tastes. Not only does this meal use buckwheat-based soba noodles (which are a low-calorie alternative to wheat pasta) but because it’s so adaptable, it’s a great thing to whip up when your looking to make the most of your veggies before they turn.
Butternut Squash Noodles And Toasted Almonds With Pumpkin Sage Sauce
For a noodle-esque dish with even fewer calories, grab your spiralizer and try this butternut squash noodle recipe from Inspiralized. Though it tastes suspiciously like wheat pasta thanks to the fact that it’s prepared with toasted almonds and a scrumptious pumpkin sage sauce, this entree is about as guilt free as you can get. This recipe is ideal for those watching the clock and the scale, because it’s ready in about 35 minutes and contains fewer than 170 calories per serving.
Lemon Honey Glazed Salmon
For an easy fish dish that’s the perfect balance of sweet and tart, try this simple lemon honey glazed salmon entree from Recipe Tin Eats. Ready in less than 15 minutes, this recipe is perfect to make if your stomach is growling and you just want to get dinner on the table in a hurry. The dish’s simplicity is also enhanced by the fact that it calls for just a few simple ingredients. What’s more? The Seasoning not only adds flavor to the salmon, but also creates a crust that the sauce clings to, meaning you won’t be able to get enough!
Pan Roasted Za’atar Chicken And Potatoes
Not only does this delicious one-pan roasted za’atar chicken and potatoes require minimal cleanup, but it’s flavorful and easy to prepare to boot! Simply toss all the ingredients in a plastic bag and give it a good shake prior to baking everything all on the same pan. Ready to eat in about an hour, this recipe from Little Spice Jar packs a tasty wallop thanks to ingredients such as garlic powder, za’atar, and lemon juice, which can help curb your appetite. For other hunger-fighting tips, check out this list of 20 Healthy Fats That Help You Get Slim!