I know it’s hard to find time to cook big, fancy meals every day, so I thought it be useful to share some of my favorite quick and easy meal ideas. These meals are all minimal ingredients and can easily be thrown together within 30 minutes.
EatBanza Chickpea or TruRoots Red Lentil pasta are my go-to choices when it comes to pasta. They are both packed with protein, so you don’t even need to add another protein source (but you can if you want), and they also have a lot of fiber, which most people can use a little extra of. Below is two recipes for a quick and easy pasta dinner!
- Jar of marinara sauce
- Veggies of choice (zucchini, asparagus, peas)
- Parmesan cheese for topping
Cook the pasta according to package instructions. While the pasta is cooking, prepare veggies. I usually like to use zucchini, squash, or asparagus with my pasta. Heat a pan over medium heat and add olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the cut veggies to the pan, and cook for about 10 minutes while stirring.
Once the pasta is finished, drain the noodles and return to pot. Add however much marinara sauce you like and then add the veggies. Mix it all together and let the sauce get warm, then you can serve and top with parmesan cheese if desired!
Second Variation of Pasta
Literally the exact same as the above recipe, except replace marinara sauce for pesto. You can make your own or buy a store bought brand.
One Pan Dinners
One pan dinners are my favorite! You just mix everything together, toss on a pan, and bake. It makes for easy clean up as well! While you can go to pinterest and find countless one pan dinners, I thought I’d share my favorites.
Sheet Pan Lemon Parmesan Chicken and Veggies
This recipe was so good and simple. Just bread the chicken, throw on the pan with some potatoes and green beans (I actually used asparagus instead of green beans) and bake for a total of 25-30 minutes. The chicken is breaded in bread crumbs and parmesan, and the veggies are tossed in garlic, salt and pepper. No crazy ingredients, and it’s full of nutrients!
One Pan Teriyaki Salmon and Veggies
Switch up the usual weeknight dinner with this one pan salmon meal. Salmon is a wonderful source of protein and is also full of omega-3 fatty acids. This recipe doesn’t require many ingredients other than the fish and the veggies (unless you decide to make your own teriyaki sauce). Just place the veggies and salmon on a pan, drizzle with teriyaki sauce, and bake! After it’s finished, drizzle a little more sauce over, and then you’re ready to eat! You can also make some rice on the side to complete the meal!
I know this sounds like a fancy meal, but it’s really so easy! We love to make greek meatballs with ours, but you can also use chicken.
For the greek meatballs, you need:
- 1 lb of ground beef (preferably grass-fed)
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 tbs of Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp of garlic powder
- 1 tsp of dried parsley
- salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 425, and cover the baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix all the ingredients together and roll into balls. It usually makes 18-20 meatballs. Bake for about 10-15 minutes or until the meat is cooked through.
For the chicken, I usually follow this recipe.
I also use that recipe for the tomato, cucumber, and red onion salad.
To serve: Warm pita bread according to package instructions. Top warmed bread with meat, salad, and drizzle tzatziki sauce on top (this is my favorite brand of sauce).
Who doesn’t love tacos? I’m pretty sure I could eat tacos literally every night of the week. From fish tacos to to steak street tacos, there are so many options when it comes to taco night. I’m sharing a few of my favorite taco recipes for quick weeknight meals.
- 1 lb of chicken
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon of cumin
- 1 teaspoon of paprika
- 1.5 – 2 teaspoons of chili powder (depending on preference)
- Lime juice
- spinach or romach
- cotija cheese (or cheese of preference)
- corn tortilla shells
Season the chicken with the salt and pepper, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, and chili powder. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat and cook the chicken for about 12-15 minutes until done. In the meantime, heat another skillet to a medium-high heat and warm tortilla shells until crispy. Once done, top shells with chicken, spinach or romaine, pico, crumbled cotija cheese, and lime juice!
- 1 lb of cod (or other white fish)
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- Salt + pepper to taste
- Corn tortilla shells
- Pico (store bought or homemade)
- Red cabbage
- Sriracha Mayo
Make sure the cod is dry and then season the cod with the listed spices and bake for 15 minutes at 400. While the cod is baking, cut up the cabbage, and make the sriracha mayo.
For the sriracha mayo: combine 1/2 cup of mayo + 1/4 cup of sour cream (or less depending on preference) + 2 tsp of lime juice + 1/2 tsp of garlic + sriracha sauce (I’ve never actually measured how much, I just do add it until the color is how I like it, but my guess is that I add about 1-2 tbsp). The sriracha can also be modified to your taste preference. After all the ingredients are prepared, warm the tortilla shells in a skillet.
Once everything is done, top the shells with fish, cabbage, pico, and sriracha mayo.
BBQ Chicken Tacos
Ya’ll these bbq chicken tacos are SO easy and SO stinkin’ good.
- 1 cup of bbq sauce (pre-made or store-bought)
- 1 lb of chicken
- red onion
- olive oil
- corn tortilla shells
- parmesan cheese
You have two options here. One, you can cut up the chicken and cook in the skillet or two, you can boil the chicken and then shred. It’s totally up to you, but I’m in a hurry I usually just cook in the skillet. After the chicken is mostly cooked, I add the bbq sauce into the skillet and let it cook for a few more minutes. In the meantime, cut the onion into slices and cook in olive oil over medium heat. Warm the shells over a skillet until desired crispiness. That’s literally it. Top the shells with chicken + onion + parmesan cheese!
These are some of my favorite meals that are quick and easy to prepare. When you’re running low on time or just don’t feel like cooking that much, these are definitely great options and full of nutrients! I hope ya’ll enjoy!