5 Quick and Easy Dinner Recipes
As the afternoon hunger strikes, a quick and easy dinner can save the day. We’ve compiled a handy list of quick and easy dinner recipes that are also diet friendly. What’s even better is these dishes can be made in 30 minutes or less, require minimal preparation, use fresh, whole foods, and will have you and your family eating delicious meals in no time!
Check out these 5 dinner recipes, one for each day of the week:
Pork Fried Rice
Thanks to this recipe from delicious, you can now skip the takeout and make your own pork fried rice that’s just a tasty as it is healthy!
1/3 cup of peanut oil (or substitute with a lower calorie, but high smoke point oil like almond)
4 cloves of garlic
½ to ¾ pound of minced pork (for an even leaner option, use chicken)
¼ cup chili bean sauce
1 bunch of garlic chives, chopped
4 cups of jasmine rice
4-6 eggs (depending on number of servings, plan for 1-2 eggs per person)
Tip: Cook the rice a day ahead of time and refrigerate it in a covered container.
Heat oil in a wok or deep-dish pan over medium to high heat. Add garlic and sauté for about 2 minutes until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add pork to the pan and cook for about 6 minutes. Add chili bean sauce and cook for another couple minutes. Add chives and rice to the pan and lightly sauté it all together. In a separate pan, fry the eggs to your liking (over easy or medium pairs nicely with the fried rice). Add fried eggs and crisp garlic to the top of the rice and serve.
Grilled Chicken and Veggie Pesto
This grilled chicken and vegetable pesto dish can be whipped up in no time and is simple, but still packed with flavor that the whole family can enjoy. Courtesy of Tasty, this makes the perfect weekday meal.
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or breast cut lengthwise)
Salt & pepper
1 pound of green beans or broccoli
2 cups of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
½ cup of basil pesto
In a large pan, sauté the chicken and season it with salt and pepper. Cook thoroughly then remove from the pan and slice. Add your chosen green vegetable and cook until slightly tender. Add the sliced chicken back into your pan and add tomatoes and pesto. Mix together and serve.
Tip: If you want to add a bit more to this dish, cook some low carb fettuccine and mix together to lightly sauté with the rest of the ingredients and a little extra olive oil.
Crockpot Salsa Chicken
Who doesn’t love tossing ingredients in a slow cooker and coming home to a hot meal? Courtesy of Delish, this chicken dish combines just the right amount of flavor with very little effort.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 teaspoons of taco seasoning (or make your own combination of chili powder, paprika, cumin, and other herbs and spices, measured out to your liking)
2 cups of chunky red salsa (or salsa verde)
In a crock pot, arrange the chicken and sprinkle the taco seasoning over the top. Pour 1 cup of the salsa over the chicken. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours or on low for 6-8 hours.
Tip: This is a great recipe to prep and cook overnight or in the morning before you leave for the day. If the crock pot is left unattended, be sure it is kept on low and safely plugged in, away from any potential hazards. When you get home, simply shred the chicken with two forks, toss in the remaining cup of salsa, and dinner is served!
Optional: Sprinkle some chopped cilantro and lime juice over the top. You can even warm up some tortillas for a quick taco.
Pasta and Pea Pesto
Did you know peas are good for your immune system and can help lower your risk of diabetes and heart disease? Peas are a good source of vitamin C, zinc, and other antioxidants, making this easy-peasy dish from delicious a healthful favorite.
1 cup of chopped, lightly roasted walnuts (or another nut of your choice such as almonds)
1 ½ cups of frozen peas, blanched is boiling water
3 teaspoon of dried Italian herbs (or make your own mixture of oregano, thyme, and rosemary)
¾ cup of finely grated parmesan
2 garlic cloves
Juice of ½ a lemon
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
½ package of a low carb pasta such as this rotini
Blend together the nuts, cooked peas, herbs, cheese, garlic, lemon juice, and oil. Cook the pasta and scoop out with a slotted spoon into a large bowl. Add the pesto mixture to the pasta and stir. With a large spoon, scoop out some of the water you used to cook the pasta and add to the pasta dish. Stir again and add extra nuts to the top as desired.
Roasted Chicken and Veggies
Another great recipe from delicious offers up an easy, single plan use, oven roasted meal.
6 thyme sprigs, leaves picked off
2 tablespoons of dried oregano
1 teaspoon chili flakes
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 lemon, grated finely zest
8 chicken thighs (bone in & skin on)
1 ½ pounds of potatoes (Yukon Golds are great for roasting), halved lengthways
½ baby truss tomatoes
Tip: Prep your tray the night before, cover it with foil, and refrigerate overnight. When you walk in the door, all you’ll need to do is preheat and pop the tray in the oven.
Preheat the oven to about 400 degrees F. Combine the thyme, oregano, chili flakes, oil, garlic, and lemon zest in a bowl. Add the chicken and potatoes and mix all together. Pour onto a large baking tray. Cut the lemon into wedges and add to the tray. Cook for about 40 minutes until potatoes are tender and chicken is golden. Remove the tray and add the tomatoes then cook for another 10 to 15 minutes. Squeeze the roasted lemon wedges over the top and serve up!
Need more food options to get you through the week and keep your goals on track? Check out our healthy snack ideas and fall recipes. And be sure to subscribe to get all the latest recipes and special deals straight to your inbox.
- Nashua Nutrition