Give Yourself The Gift Of Easy Dinners: 10 Fast, Simple Weeknight Meals
Eating a healthy, nourishing meal is a priority of most parents out there—but after a long day, it can feel daunting to fire up a stove or prep a ton of ingredients.
The good news? It's easier than you think to make a weeknight meal in less than 20 minutes if you know the hacks to make it happen. With the help of some of our fave celeb moms, we're sharing 10 simple recipes to get a healthy meal on the table, stat, so you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying the people and activities you love.
1. Roasted Butternut Squash & Pomegranate With Garlicky Honey-Dijon Dressing
Chrissy Teigen is certainly the definition of #momgoals, and her equal parts decadent and nourishing salad is a weeknight meal that the whole family will love. According to Teigen, the "roasted squash and little pom jewels that burst in your mouth and creamy goat cheese and a dressing you'll want to put on all your other green leafy things are magic." Get the full recipe here.
2. Chickpea Turmeric Stir-Fry
With just a can of chickpeas and a few pantry staples, you can quickly whip up a satisfying, delicious meal—and all it takes is one skillet. The anti-inflammatory powers of the dish come from everyone's favorite super spice: turmeric. "Turmeric has been found to reduce inflammation in numerous studies," explains the registered dietitian who developed the recipe. "Turmeric can also help relieve pain, as shown in many studies, including one1 that showed it was as powerful as Advil in certain instances." Get the full recipe here.
3. Stone Fruit Grain Salad
If you're looking to take advantage of summer's produce bounty, this stone fruit salad will be your new go-to. With cherries, nectarines, and fresh mint, it's elevated by harissa and preserved lemon juice, which both pack a ton of flavor without requiring more time or effort. You can use your grain of choice as a base—farro is a hearty, nutty staple, but quinoa is a great option for gluten-free folks. Get the full recipe here.
4. Gluten-Free Veggie Waffles
Did you know you can turn pretty much any vegetable into a waffle? This recipe lets you choose your own adventure, using sweet potatoes, carrots, zucchini, red pepper, or a mix of all of them to make a quick and easy savory waffle that's oh-so-crave-worthy. Serve it with some peppery arugula, or top it with an egg for an unexpected weeknight meal. Get the full recipe here.
5. Sleepytime Dinner Smoothie
Smoothies are a go-to for many health experts when they don't have time to make a more typical dinner—you can get tons of nutrients in less than five minutes with a quick whiz of the blender. This recipe takes it to the next level by including two ingredients actually proven to help you fall asleep faster and get more high-quality rest. Plus, it tastes just like pumpkin pie. Get the full recipe here.
6. Jerk Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner
Daphne Oz knows what it's like to be a busy working parent, and she definitely keeps that in mind when developing her recipes. "I love this recipe because it's a one-pan roasted dinner that gets main and sides done in one," Oz told mbg. "It's healthy but super flavorful and makes for an amazing Caribbean-inspired jerk chicken salad with leftovers. My kids LOVE sweet potato (so do I), and it is only more delicious when cooked in chicken fat. I make the kids' chicken a little sweeter with a side of BBQ sauce for them to dip into, and my husband and I make ours a bit spicier with hot sauce." Get the full recipe here.
7. Black Bean and Mango Tacos
These no-cook, vegan tacos involve little more than opening a can of black beans and quickly dicing a mango—but with the addition of a few flavor boosters, they become a mind-blowing weeknight meal. Packed with protein and fiber with the perfect mix of sweet and spice, they'll be your new go-to (hot tip: If you forgo the tortillas, the mixture is a delicious hearty summer salad!). Get the full recipe here.
8. Japchae (Stir-Fried Sweet Potato Noodles)
These stir-fried sweet potato noodles are packed with veggies, totally paleo, and boast a bright, umami-rich flavor that'll get you excited about dinner. It also comes together in just under 20 minutes total. Get the full recipe here.
9. Curried Chicken Lettuce Cups
Some ground chicken is all you need to make these piquant, flavor-packed lettuce cups, which invite in all of the flavors of curried chicken with no dairy or inflammatory ingredients. Instead, ginger, coconut aminos, and plenty of fresh vegetables and herbs are used to build layers of deliciousness—and all of that magic is wrapped in a cooling, fresh lettuce cup for the perfect warm-weather meal. Get the full recipe here.
10. One-Pot Pea, Lemon & Asparagus Pasta
Famed celebrity chef Anna Jones splits her time between developing recipes for her Guardian column, writing best-selling books, and running after her 3-year-old—so when she wants a weeknight meal, it needs to be quick but packed with flavor. "This pasta is a complete revelation," she says. "The sauce is magically made from the pasta water and asparagus as the pasta cooks—all in one pot." It's also super creamy, despite being dairy-free, thanks to the starches from the cooking water. Get the full recipe here.
Liz Moody is an author, blogger and recipe developer living in Brooklyn, New York. She graduated with a creative writing and psychology degree from The University of California, Berkeley. Moody has written two cookbooks: Healthier Together: Recipes for Two—Nourish Your Body, Nourish Your Relationships and Glow Pops: Super-Easy Superfood Recipes to Help You Look and Feel Your Best. She also hosts the Healthier Together Podcast, where she chats with notable chefs, nutritionists, and best-selling authors about their paths to success. Her work has been featured in Vogue, Glamour, Food & Wine & Women’s Health.