12 Healthy, Quick Meals for Those Extra Busy Weeknights

Healthy quick meals: a plate of salmon with beans and greens

Let’s cut to the chase here: Sometimes, “healthy” and “quick” meals sound like a complete oxymoron.

Unless you want to subject yourself to a lifetime of iceberg lettuce salads (yawn), sometimes it’s hard to think of light, refreshing dishes you can make quickly. Every dish landing in the search results of Google seems to take 50 minutes to prepare and requires ingredients only found at Whole Foods — and frankly, who has time for that?

Before you subject yourself to microwaveable ramen, grilled cheese sandwiches, and every other food you ate in college, give these twelve dishes a try. These easy recipes are made with basic ingredients commonly found in your fridge. They take roughly 30 minutes to prepare and require minimal steps.

And if, by the end of this recipe roundup, things still seem too complicated, we have another solution for you. Just sit tight.

12 Quick, Healthy Meals You Can Pull Together in a Pinch

No matter how hectic your workout or how basic your cooking skills, these healthy meals fit perfectly into your lifestyle. Whether you’re looking for a low carb option, a healthy take on takeout, or just a simple meal you can pull together, you’ll find it below.

1. Healthy Turkey Lettuce Wraps

Healthy quick meals: Healthy Turkey Lettuce Wraps
Image: Eat Yourself Skinny

Fun fact: You don’t need tortillas, wheat wraps, or bread to make yourself a sandwich. (Do you hear that? It’s the sound of your mind being blown.) To lighten things up and spare yourself a few carbs, try swapping out a grain-based wrap for a lettuce wrap instead. Butter lettuce and iceberg lettuce works best (for structural reasons), so fill them with your favorite toppings, roll ‘em on up, and enjoy.

These Asian-fusion wraps are filled with ground turkey, soy sauce, onions, and water chestnuts for a light meal option.

2. Skinny Broccoli and Mixed Vegetable Stir-Fry

Healthy quick meals: Skinny Broccoli and Mixed Vegetable Stir-Fry
Image: Averie Cooks

You do not need to limit yourself to a life of salads to get your veggie fix. To liven things up a bit, try this easy, healthy stir-fry for lunch or a weeknight dinner. With crispy red bell peppers, bok choy, broccoli, and baby portabella mushrooms tossed in a homemade sauce, this is the perfect meatless Monday dish. Top with tofu or edamame then enjoy over white or brown rice.

3. Italian Chicken Meatballs & Sweet Potato Spaghetti

Healthy quick meals: Italian Chicken Meatballs & Sweet Potato Spaghetti
Image: Strength and Sunshine

If you love a good ol’ Italian dinner but don’t love the way it weighs you down afterward, it’s time to rethink your pasta strategy. Rather than use whole wheat or white pasta, use a spiralizer to transform any vegetable into noodles.

To make the side dish for these Italian chicken meatballs, spiralize sweet potatoes into noodles for a healthy, gluten-free take on the classic spaghetti and meatballs. Top with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and serve alongside a mixed greens salad to complete the dish.

4. Greek Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner With Green Beans and Feta

Healthy quick meals: Greek Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner With Green Beans and Feta
Image: Taste and See

If making dinner always seems to be a time consuming affair, maybe it’s not the actual cooking that’s draining your energy. Cleanup often takes longer than any prep work (we’re not big fans of either, but we digress), which is why you should familiarize yourself with one-pot meals. This Mediterranean chicken sheet pan dinner combines green beans, chicken, feta, potatoes, and fresh herbs into one healthy meal, leaving you with just one dish to clean.

5. Smoked Salmon Matzo Frittata

Healthy quick meals: Smoked Salmon Matzo Frittata

If you’re ever in a pinch for dinner, know this: “Brinner” — breakfast for dinner — is one of the easiest meals you can make. With this recipe from the Tovala app, you can upgrade your standard scrambled eggs and toast into a delicious salmon frittata. It takes just two minutes to prep, and just 13 minutes to cook it to perfection in your Tovala Oven.

6. Thai Chicken Salad With Honey Drizzled Cashews

Healthy quick meals: Thai Chicken Salad With Honey Drizzled Cashews
Image: Easy Peasy Foodie

Love Thai food? Then you’re going to love making your own, lightened-up version at home. With this Thai chicken salad, you’ll combine cashews, snap peas, and chicken into a refreshing salad. If you need more carbs or calories, add in white rice or serve with pita bread.

7. Mexican Quinoa and Sweet Potato Skillet

Healthy quick meals: Mexican Quinoa and Sweet Potato Skillet
Image: Kristine’s Kitchen

Alright, grab a fork, because we have the perfect dish for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. This Mexican quinoa and sweet potato skillet is loaded with black beans, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, corn, cheese, and all the spices — making a healthy, one-pot meal you’ll absolutely love. Pro tip: save the leftovers, and serve with an over easy egg the next morning for a protein-packed breakfast.

8. Honey Garlic Chicken

Healthy quick meals: Honey Garlic Chicken
Image: Food Fanatic

If you’re craving Chinese food, give this recipe a once-over before logging into Seamless. This honey garlic chicken is dredged in coconut flour instead of bread crumbs, making it gluten-free and loaded with healthy fats. Plus, it’s served over zucchini noodles instead of rice noodles, giving you a serving of vegetables in a fakeout-takeout dish that tastes like complete indulgence.

9. Vegan Apple Pie Smoothie Bowl

Healthy quick meals: Vegan Apple Pie Smoothie Bowl
Image: Made by Luci

Smoothies might just be the single easiest meal on the planet (unless you have meals delivered straight to your door, but we’ll come back to that). In order to make a smoothie a meal — not a snack — you have to know how to prepare it. With this apple pie smoothie, you’ll combine avocado, protein powder, apples, spinach, and soy yogurt into one heaping bowl, giving you a healthy dose of protein, fat, and fiber. 

10. Baked Chicken Breast With Squash & Brussels Sprouts

Healthy quick meals: Baked Chicken Breast With Squash and Brussels Sprouts

If you’re constantly asking yourself, “What should I make for dinner tonight?” chances are, you’re overthinking it. To create an easy, healthy main dish, simply pair a protein source with a fresh veggie side dish (and an additional starchy vegetable if you need more calories). With this recipe from the Tovala app, you’ll pair delicious, perfectly-baked chicken with a salad of roasted butternut squash and Brussels sprouts for a meal that’s ready in 20 minutes.

11. Quinoa Summer Salad

Healthy quick meals: Quinoa Summer Salad
Image: Bourbon and Honey

If you want to be more conscious of what you eat, start with the basics: drink more water, skip the French fries, and eat more veggies. This easy quinoa salad is loaded with all the vegetables, including cherry tomatoes, sweet corn, onions, and sugar snap peas. Enjoy it as a complete meal or a simple side dish, or top it with salmon or shrimp for a quick lunch option.

12. Garlicky Butternut Squash Sandwich

Healthy quick meals: Garlicky Butternut Squash Sandwich
Image: Vegan Yack Attack

Sandwiches and wraps are definitely one of your quicker dinner ideas when you’re in a pinch. But sandwiches aren’t limited to phillys, reubens, or your stereotypical grilled cheese. To make your sammie a little healthier this evening, combine roasted butternut squash, arugula, red onion, and mayo on whole wheat bread, then serve alongside fresh fruit.

When You Don’t Have 30 Minutes to Spare, Try Tovala

If you read through these twelve recipes and thought, “You’re clearly overestimating my bandwidth here,” we have a solution.

With Tovala, you don’t need 30 minutes to cook a healthy, simple meal. Your Tovala Oven cooks healthy, delicious recipes in 20 minutes or less (with some recipes taking less than ten). And for those extra busy weeknights, let the chefs at Tovala do the cooking for you. We deliver meals directly to your door. Tovala’s menu changes weekly, so you’ll never get bored (or come home to an empty fridge).