Super-Healthy Weeknight Dinner Recipes

Tomato and Basil Meatballs | Minimalist Maker
Tomato and Basil Meatballs | Minimalist Maker

Not all of us have the willpower to give up junk food entirely, but there are some moves we can all make to eat just a little healthier. Cooking for ourselves rather than eating out at a local casual-dining chain or downing peanut butter and Fritos on white bread for dinner, comes to mind.

That said, we’re all busy people. So here are 12 quick and healthy recipes that are faster to put together than any scavenged sandwich situation.

healthy greek turkey tostadas
Courtesy of Oh, Sweet Basil

Healthy Greek turkey tostadas

Not only is this recipe crazy unique, it's also simple. The tomato, olive, and cucumber salad is classic for Greek cuisine, and the lemon tzatziki adds a nice acidic bite. If you want to eliminate carbs entirely, you can make these into lettuce wraps. Give it a shot right here.

Key ingredients:

  • Ground turkey
  • Greek yogurt
  • Olives
  • Feta cheese
  • Flour tortillas
30 minute cajun salmon with salted lime butter
Courtesy of How Sweet Eats

Cajun salmon with salted lime butter

This recipe is savory, spicy, and super easy. It comes together in just 30 minutes. And salted lime butter?! We’ll allow it. Recipe here.

Key ingredients:

  • Salmon
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Smoked paprika
  • Unsalted butter
  • Lime
Roasted asparagus salad
Courtesy of The Chic Site

Roasted asparagus salad

This “salad” isn’t really a salad at all. It’s a delicious combination of roasted asparagus, strawberries, feta, and a fried egg. Feel free to omit the egg, but if you haven’t experienced the glorious combination of a silky yolk running through some asparagus… you’re missing out. Get on that with the recipe here.

Key ingredients:

  • Asparagus
  • Strawberries
  • Feta
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Slivered almonds
vegan meatballs
Minimalist Baker

Vegan sun-dried tomato and basil meatballs

These are vegan, simple, and take less than an hour. The “meatballs” are made out of chickpeas, which provide a nice texture and don’t turn to total mush after cooking. Check out the recipe here.

Key ingredients:

  • Chickpeas
  • Panko
  • Vegan Parmesan cheese
  • Basil
  • Tomato sauce
Rollatini Recipe
Courtesy of Recipe Girl

Eggplant rolatini

Eggplant rolatini is a great way to satisfy that eggplant Parm craving without all the breading and frying. There’s sauce, there’s cheese, there’s eggplant, and there’s less guilt. Everybody wins with this recipe.

Key ingredients:

  • Eggplant
  • Ricotta
  • Tomato sauce
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Mozzarella
Half Baked Harvest recipe
Courtesy of Half Baked Harvest

Sweet-and-sticky three-ingredient apricot chicken

Three ingredients. THREE. What a time to be alive. You put chicken breasts or thighs in a pan with apricot preserves and a light Russian dressing (can use store-bought) and bake. DONE. And it’s super flavorful. There’s a recipe for cauliflower rice in here too which you can totally omit, but, hey, that also sounds pretty great. Check it out right here.

Key ingredients:

  • Chicken
  • Apricot preserves
  • Russian dressing
  • Rice
  • Cauliflower
Cooking for Keeps Recipe
Courtesy of Cooking for Keeps

Hawaiian quinoa bowls with cilantro honey vinaigrette

There’s grilled chicken, quinoa, veggies, sweet cilantro vinaigrette, spicy peanut sauce, and tons of texture; your taste buds won’t ever get bored. Get the recipe here.

Key ingredients:

  • Chicken breasts
  • Quinoa
  • Cilantro
  • Dijon mustard
  • Honey
Creme de la crumb tacos
Creme de la Crumb

Cajun shrimp tacos with mango salsa

Have this sweet-and-spicy recipe on the table in just 20 minutes next Taco Tuesday, though we won't judge you if you want to eat them every night of the week. Recipe here.

Key ingredients:

  • Flour tortillas
  • Shrimp
  • Mangos
  • Cajun seasoning
  • Red cabbage
Baked honey mustard chicken
Courtesy of Crème de la Crumb

Baked honey mustard chicken

Throwing ingredients together for the sauce is probably the hardest part of this recipe, and spoiler alert: it’s not hard at all. All it takes is honey mustard (or honey + mustard in this case), herbs, garlic powder, and paprika. Pour over chicken and bake. Serve over your favorite veggies or rice and you’re set. Get the recipe here.

Key ingredients:

  • Chicken breasts
  • Honey
  • Mustard
  • Garlic powder
  • Italian seasoning
Well Plated recipe
Courtesy of Well Plated

Roasted spaghetti squash with Parmesan & mushrooms

Remember the spaghetti squash trend that made Atkins fans go absolutely bonkers?? Well, we’d like to bring it back because it really is delicious (and gluten-free). This recipe uses fresh spinach, sautéed mushrooms, and Parmesan, which make for a healthy yet still very comforting meal. Get the recipe here.

Key ingredients:

  • Spaghetti squash
  • Mushrooms
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Spinach
  • Olive oil
Dinners Dishes and Desserts recipe
Courtesy of Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

Creamy salsa chicken

This recipe is everything you want on a busy weeknight: quick, easy, and minimal cleanup. One pan with taco-spiced chicken, salsa, corn, and a bit of sour cream makes this dish a flavorful home run. Pro tip: mix in the sour cream off the heat so it doesn’t curdle. You can also sub in Greek yogurt to keep the calories down. Get on that right here.

Key ingredients:

  • Chicken breasts
  • Taco seasoning
  • Salsa
  • Sour cream
  • Lime
pinch of yum recipe
Courtesy of Pinch of Yum

Healthy chicken Parmesan

A notoriously heavy classic gets lightened up with whole-wheat breadcrumbs, baked, then served over zucchini noodles in just 20 minutes. There is the option to lightly fry and use real noodles too, for those of you who are scared of zucchini noodles. We understand. Try it out here.

Key ingredients:

  • Chicken breasts
  • Vodka/tomato sauce
  • Zucchini
  • Mozzarella
  • Breadcrumbs

Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email, and get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun.

Dara Pollak is a freelance writer and recipe creator. She likes her pasta with a side of bacon. Follow her at @theskinnypignyc.