In an ideal world, you’d plan and prep your meals on Sunday, virtuously chopping fresh veggies for a week’s worth of healthy dinners. In reality, you often end up grabbing takeout on the way home from work or grazing on whatever you can find in the fridge. Luckily, spending just a few minutes in the kitchen can pay off big-time if you know how to work with what you’ve got.
“One of the best things you can do if you want to be a cleaner eater is get your kitchen dirty,” says Joan Salge Blake, Ed.D., R.D.N., a clinical associate professor of nutrition at Boston University. “Cooking gives you more control over what and how much you consume—and it can actually save time compared to getting takeout.” By keeping the ingredients list short, minimizing cleanup, leaning on premade ingredients such as whole-wheat pizza dough, and pulling multiple meals out of a single roast chicken, these recipes let you have dinner on the table in less time than it takes to call in and pick up an order.
Juicy flank steak and sweet bell peppers are delicious on their own or folded into soft tortillas. Get the recipe.
Fish is fast. Try this smart trick, where you sear it on the first side, jam some veggies into the same pan, and finish everything in the oven. Get the recipe.
Crispy, crunchy chicken breasts aren’t too outrageous, if you pan-fry them in a reasonable amount of high-quality olive oil. Serve with mashed sweet potatoes and tender-crisp green beans for pure comfort. Get the recipe.
Pork totally counts as a lean protein, if you pick up a couple of boneless chops, and make sure they’re nicely trimmed. Brown them just until plump and juicy, and serve with roasted roots and garlicky greens. Get the recipe.
Quinoa has got to be the quickest and easiest option for grain bowls, given that it cooks in 15 minutes flat. Top with any veggies you like, add eggs for protein, and don’t hold back on that hot sauce. Get the recipe.
Sheet Pan Dinners
Curried Cauliflower & Chickpea Bowls
If you’re craving curry, don’t call for takeout! This vegetarian sheet-pan dinner is hearty and comforting, studded with chickpeas and nuts. Get the recipe.
Chicken Thighs & Root Veggies
Coming home on cool evenings, is there anything more comforting than a roast dinner? This fast and filling recipe was inspired by classic roast chicken, but breaks it down for busy weeknights, so you can bake thighs and veggies on a single sheet pan. Get the recipe.
Salmon with Spring Veggies
Wild salmon, tender broccolini, and new potatoes all roast in the same pan for this easy spring-inspired supper. Even with the fancy-sounding Gribiche sauce, it’s a snap to pull together. Get the recipe.
Healthy, Homemade Chicken Tenders, 4 Ways
Kids—and kids-at-heart—can’t resist crispy, crunchy chicken tenders, with lots of yummy sauces for dipping and dunking. Skip the ones that come from those greasy chicken joints, and make your own at home instead. Get the recipes.
Chicken & Swoodles
Throw some sweet potato noodles into this colorful, Thai-inspired stir-fry, which cooks chicken and veggies in a single pan. Then finish the dish with a simple sauce and handfuls of nuts and herbs. Get the recipe.
Poached Eggs in Spicy Tomato Sauce
This egg dish, known as shakshuka in the Middle East, is true comfort food—it’s saucy, spicy, absolutely sumptuous, and it just happens to be vegetarian. Get the recipe.
Roast Chicken Dinners
How a Classic Roast Chicken Can Feed You All Week
Roast a bird on Sunday, and you’re set up for a week’s worth of delicious dinners, from soups and salads to fragrant curries and comforting casseroles. Get the recipes.
Healthy Pizza Dinners
“Sausage” Pizza with Peppers & Onions
Carnivores love the classic combo of sausage, peppers, and onions. But you can slip in ground turkey, instead of sausage, to help this pizza clean up its act. It’s a little less salt and fat, but plenty of satisfying protein. Get the recipe.
Mushroom Pizza with Eggs and Herbs
Instead of a heavy sauce, this pizza gets all of its creaminess from part-skim ricotta, the fresh and spreadable cheese. Top it with lots of delicious wild mushrooms and herbs and don’t forget those yummy eggs, cracked directly on top. Get the recipe.
Green Pizza with Broccoli & Olives
Broccoli on pizza? You betcha. This green pie is all kinds of awesome, with a chewy wheat crust, flavorful pesto spread, and briny black olives. Get the recipe.
This article is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.