You may think it’s a complicated process to cook healthy, delicious dinners at home, but I’m here to tell you that it does not have to be.
Although I love food and enjoy cooking, I like to keep it simple when it comes to meals. This means you have to choose recipes that are easy to follow and that do not involve complicated cooking techniques or seemingly endless steps.
Here are 10 of my go-to simple dinner recipes that can help you get a healthy meal on the table quickly.
Sweet potatoes are full of beneficial nutrients such as beta-carotene, vitamin C, potassium and fiber (
In addition, they are delicious and go well with almost anything. This makes them the perfect base to build a filling meal on.
At my house we cook stuffed sweet potatoes at least once a week. I roast a whole sweet potato and fill it with ingredients like sautéed vegetables, beans, chicken and cheese.
This meal is super versatile and you can choose from a variety of flavor combinations. You can try one of the simple recipes below or wing it and simply stack your favorite ingredients on a roasted sweet potato.
Grain bowls are a hit in my kitchen. My husband and I love how simple and adaptable cereal bowls are, and we often prepare this dinner when we feel like a tasty yet easy-to-prepare meal.
I follow a gluten free diet so we use gluten free grains like quinoa and brown rice. However, you can use any grain you want for grain bowls, including farro, millet and barley.
Cereals are an important source of fiber and other nutrients such as magnesium. Studies have found that a diet rich in grains is associated with a lower risk of several health conditions, including colon cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes (
To prepare a cereal bowl, top a serving of cooked cereal with cooked or raw vegetables and a protein source such as chicken, fried or hard-boiled eggs, grilled shrimp or salmon.
Then top it with a store-bought or homemade dressing, or keep it simple with a splash of olive oil and lemon juice.
For example, this Green Goddess Buddha Bowl uses an irresistible combination of brown rice, roasted broccoli, sugar peas, avocado, hard-boiled eggs, roasted pumpkin seeds and a creamy yogurt-based sauce.
Here are a few more recipes for cereal bowls that make a perfect dinner option for nights where you lack time:
When you have chickens like I do, eggs come in for more than just breakfast meals. We regularly use eggs as a source of protein for quick and tasty dinners, including frittatas.
Eggs have you covered when it comes to healthy fats and protein, so all you have to do is add a variety of your favorite vegetables to cover your fiber needs.
Some of my favorite vegetables to use in frittatas include asparagus, spinach, sweet potatoes, zucchini, onions, broccoli bouquets, mushrooms and tomatoes. You can also add ingredients like cheese, herbs, spices or pesto to give your frittata extra flavor.
You can even use leftovers like salmon, shredded chicken and potatoes in your frittata.
I like to serve frittata with some sliced avocado or fresh fruit. It is a filling meal that you can enjoy at any time of the day or night. Frittatas are super simple to make and you can whip them up in under an hour.
Here are a few delicious and easy frittata recipes:
A large, filling salad is one of my go-to dinners, especially when I don’t feel like spending time on a meal.
The problem with most salads is that they are not well put together and you end up feeling hungry again shortly after finishing your meal. The key to making a hearty dinner salad is to make sure you include plenty of protein, healthy fats and fiber.
Start with a base of your favorite vegetables, such as spinach, mixed greens, arugula, kale or romaine. Add a few more vegetables, such as peppers, cucumbers, carrots, broccoli or red onions, to your greens to increase fiber content.
Then choose a protein source like grilled chicken, shrimp, salmon or hard-boiled eggs. Adding a high-fiber carbohydrate source, such as beans or roasted sweet potatoes, will push the filling factor even higher.
Top your creation with roasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds for a crispy texture, then drizzle it with a healthy dressing like olive oil and balsamic vinegar, or follow this recipe for homemade green goddess dressing.
Here are a few more ideas for dinner salad:
Almost everyone loves a good pasta dish, but most pasta dishes do not contain the necessary ingredients, such as protein and fiber, to keep you satisfied (
Fortunately, a few simple tips can help you create a filling and nutritious pasta dinner in no time.
First, choose your pasta. I’m a big fan of Tinkyada brown rice pasta, but you can use any pasta you like. You can also use zucchini noodles instead of pasta if you follow a diet plan with lower carbs.
Then select a protein source. I like to use chicken breast or minced chicken, or if I want plant-based protein, I add chickpeas.
Then choose your vegetables. I love a classic combination of spinach and broccoli, but almost any vegetable will work. Finally, choose a sauce such as pesto, marinara or olive oil.
Here are a few recipes you can try next time you fancy a pasta dish:
Few meals are more satisfying than a hearty, hot bowl of soup. Fortunately, soup can be simple to prepare and is a perfect choice for meal preparation as you can easily make large portions.
I like to make soups that only require one pot because that means less time to clean up. I make my soups on the stove, but you can make one of the following recipes in an Instant Pot to save time.
Curry is a smart choice for a quick, filling dinner because it is versatile, easy to make and family friendly. In addition, eating curry regularly can help improve your health by reducing risk factors for heart disease, including high triglyceride and blood sugar levels (
I like to whip a warming chickpea and sweet potato curry up in the winter months and serve it over rice or quinoa.
Many curry recipes take 30 minutes or less to prepare, including these simple curry dishes:
Burgers are a great choice for families because they are simple to make and will definitely please even the most discerning taste buds.
Although beef burgers are a popular choice, you can make burgers from just about any protein source, including minced chicken, salmon, tuna and lentils.
My husband makes a delicious chicken burger, and I like to serve it with a large salad and roasted sweet potato fries.
You can serve your burgers on a hearty wholemeal bun, in a salad wrap or on top of a bed of greens to suit your dietary needs.
Here are a few burger recipes that are super easy to prepare:
While it may take some time to fry an entire chicken, it couldn’t be easier. Check out this guide on how to fry a perfect chicken.
When I fry whole chickens, I fill the bottom of the frying pan with potato wedges, onions and carrot pieces so the vegetables cook along with the chicken.
When your chicken is done cooking, let it rest for 15 minutes before cutting it out. You can use the time to make a quick salad like the ones listed below:
If you are not a fan of dishes, this idea is for you.
Most recipes require you to use several pots, pans and bowls. But plate meals allow you to stack all your ingredients on a single plate for cooking, saving you time in the kitchen.
Check out these mouth-watering plate dishes:
Cooking a healthy and satisfying dinner does not have to involve complicated recipes and hours in the kitchen.
The recipes mentioned above are not only nutritious but also easy to prepare.
Try one of the recipes above the next time you draw a blank at noon.