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No matter how good your intentions are – whether you’ve made commitments to eat healthy this week or want to save money by lowering your takeout food budget – weeknight dinners make it 100x harder for you to stay on track.
After a busy day of taking care of the kids or dealing with customers at work, cooking dinner is not the easiest task to do.
However, it’s these constant small decisions that you make every day that will shape your future health and finances.
Instead of going to your food delivery apps to feed you and the family, you can rely on these easy and healthy weeknight dinners to help you get through the workweek.
The best part is that these meals require little prep time and are very simple to make – faster than you browsing through different menus and waiting for the delivery guy to show up at your door!
Easy and Healthy Weeknight Dinners When You’re Tired of Cooking
From easy classic freezer meal favorites to cheap and budget-friendly healthy recipes for less than $5, here are my handpicked weeknight dinners that will make your life a whole lot easier!
We also recommend scrolling through this delicious list of healthy dinner ideas that your family will love – we guarantee they’ll praise you for your cooking skills after you try a few of these recipes.
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Before you dive into these easy and healthy dinner recipes, we decided to answer your most frequently asked questions about healthy weeknight dinners.
1. What is the healthiest dinner to eat?
The healthiest dinner you can eat varies from individual to individual and you should consult your doctor based on your body, weight, and previous medical history.
But of course, if you want to stay healthy, the general advice is to avoid fried and processed foods such as red meat, steak, french fries, sugary cakes, and anything that is high in unhealthy fats, sugar, and refined carbs.
Refined carbs include anything that’s mostly sugar and processed grains like white bread, white pasta, and white rice.
To prepare a healthy dinner, make sure to buy healthy whole foods like the ones listed in this budget-friendly grocery list.
Those include fresh fruits and vegetables. Also, it’s generally healthier when you opt for whole wheat and grains instead of white.
We have a list of healthy dinner recipes for you to make in this post about the best healthy weeknight dinners including these ones here:
- Cheap Healthy Meals Under $5
- Healthy Meal Prep Ideas for The Week
- Healthy Noodle Recipes for Busy Weeknights
- Healthy Yet Comforting Chinese Recipes for Stressful Weeknights
2. What are some healthy family dinners on a budget
What is healthy for someone else may not be healthy for you due to our different bodies and needs. However, generally speaking, increasing the number of vegetables and greens on your plate and reducing unnecessary carbs is considered healthy eating, which can all be done on a budget.
Also make sure to include a healthy protein like fish, chicken breast, or lean meat in your meal.
For vegetarians, you can go for eggs, tofu, or legumes like chickpeas. Here are some cheap and healthy foods on a budget:
- whole wheat pasta
- Canned fish (sardines, salmon, or tuna)
- Frozen fruits and vegetables
With this list of budget-friendly foods, you can easily whip up some cheap and healthy meals for your family!
3. What should you make for dinner when you’re tired of making dinner?
The struggle is real and we’re all tired from prepping and cooking because it takes a lot of energy and time!
Luckily, we have the best healthy recipes listed for you that will help you save time and money from unhealthy takeouts.
The trick is to meal prep in advance and/or make meals that are freezer-friendly. When you do that, you can simply pick it from your fridge or freezer and heat them up in 10 minutes or less!
Another trick is turning to your best friend – the Instant Pot!
We also find that these healthy burrito bowls are one of the quickest lunch or dinner recipes you can stir up in a short amount of time without much cooking involved!
Here are some dinner ideas for you when you’re tired of making dinner on a busy weeknight:
- 15 Easy Freezer Meals When You’re Tired and Short on Time
- The Best Vegetarian Freezer Dump Meals (Even Meat Lovers Will Enjoy)
- Fast Instant Pot Dinner Recipes For Weeknights
1. Mediterranean Chickpea Tuna Salad
If you’re starving and need something super quick and easy, then this is it. This chickpea tuna salad is one of our favorite summer meals because it’s healthy and only takes 10 minutes to make.
Feel free to toss in some fresh bell peppers to make it even healthier!
2. Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry
There are plenty of healthy Chinese recipes you can make at home that will help you save money and calories.
Are you feeling for Chinese food lately? Don’t worry, you can satisfy your Chinese food craving with this mouthwatering plate of tender beef and fresh vegetables, covered in a delightful layer of sauce.
Stir fry is one of the fastest ways to get food on the table and needs to be in your workweek dinner rotation schedule ASAP.
3. Roasted Veggie Pesto Sandwich
Many people like to follow meatless Monday meals at the start of the week because eating too much of something is never good.
But when your sandwich is as appetizing and flavorful as this roasted veggie pesto sandwich, you won’t miss the meat at all.
4. Instant Pot Whole30 Cashew Chicken
Some might think that it’s nutty to put cashews in your food but wait until you try this crazy recipe! It’s big on flavors and healthy at the same time (unlike your takeout food).
The juicy and tender chicken will take your taste buds for a ride. You know your meals will be simple to make when you see the word Instant Pot on them.
Check out the best Instant Pot recipes that are absolutely wonderful and easy to make!
5. Slow Cooker Creamy Tomato Basil Chicken
Craving for some of the best and healthier Chicken slow cooker recipes that can be made with your CrockPot?
When you have a thousand things to do around the house, you don’t have time to be in the kitchen. Lighten up your load by taking out your slow cooker to cook dump meals.
This slow cooker creamy tomato basil chicken recipe is super delicious and creamy so be sure to make extras!
Everyone will think that you’ve spent all day preparing and cooking this incredible meal!
6. Low Carb Keto Chili Recipe (Crockpot or Instant Pot)
If you’re looking for a delicious Chili that’s lighter in calories and portion-wise, then you can turn to this low-carb keto chili recipe without beans.
The ground beef along with cheese and avocado that’s filled with healthy fats makes this keto-friendly for those of you who want to ditch the carbs!
Not to mention, this recipe is considered a cheap and healthy Crockpot freezer-friendly meal if you choose to go with conventional beef instead of grass-fed, which is what the original recipe calls for.
6. Shrimp Taco with Slaw
Tacos are one of the best weeknight dinners for any family. They’re easy to make and fun to eat.
If you love ground beef tacos, then wait until you try these yummy shrimp tacos.
They’re simply amazing! Kids are picky eaters, but no one can resist shrimp tacos!
7. Vegan Sweet Potato & Black Bean Burrito Bowl
Want to surprise the family with a new recipe? Give this simple, yet tasty vegan bowl a try!
This fresh bowl of goodness is packed with healthy roasted sweet potato, red peppers, and onions mixed with corn and topped with spicy tahini sauce.
After your family tries the flavorful rice, you’ll be asked to make this over and over again!
Whenever we have a busy week ahead, we always make extra burrito bowls on the weekends so we don’t have to worry about what to eat.
8. Vegan Red Thai Curry Vegetables
Waiting for the weekend to arrive so you can go out for Thai food? Wait no more!
You can enjoy your own creamy Thai curry right at home – it has no meat so this passes as an easy freezer-friendly vegetarian dish!
Yep, you can make this ahead of time and freeze the curry for up to 3 months!
This red Thai curry recipe strikes the balance between sweetness and spiciness (not too spicy nor too sweet). You only need to use one pan to make this meal…
Do you know what that means? Fewer pans to wash!
9. Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Lentil Curry Perfect for Moms
Speaking of curry and freezer meals, we’ve got this perfect make-ahead freezer dum recipe for moms who enjoy clean eating!
If you’re a stay-at-home mom, look no further because you’ll be amazed by this delightful butternut squash curry paired with lentils.
We love this dish because the coconut milk, spices, and lime juice elevate the taste of this dish.
Perfect for those of you who want something that’s flavorful yet healthy at the same time on a stressful weeknight. Being a full-time mom ain’t easy. Comfort food, here we come!
10. Easy Turkey Meatballs with Spaghetti Noodles
On the hunt for a quick and healthy noodle recipe like this?
You won’t regret trying this delicious plate here.
Spaghetti meatballs are a classic dish for many families because they’re one of the easiest meals to make and hardly anyone will walk away from the dinner with eating just one plate.
If you’re looking for a healthy alternative to your normal beef and pork meatballs, try using ground turkey. Turkey meat has lower calories and fat.
11. Healthy Chicken Pot Pie
You don’t need to be stuck in the kitchen for hours to cook a great meal.
With this easy and healthy chicken pot pie, you can prep it in 15 minutes and slide it in the oven to cook for 25 minutes.
By the time it’s done cooking, your home will smell heavenly! This healthy version is light on calories, so you won’t feel guilty eating it!
12. Easy Turkey Stuffed Peppers
Switch things up and treat your family to this new and exciting recipe!
Bell peppers stuffed with turkey (low in fat) and rice mixed with tomato sauce, garlic, onions, and salt, and topped with cheese.
It looks great, but it tastes even better!
13. Tex-Mex Chicken Chopped Salad
A healthy salad is very simple and can be prepared in a flash – perfect for busy weeknights!
You can choose your favorite leafy greens as your base (e.g. romaine, spring mix, or spinach) and toss in cherry or grape tomato, bell peppers, and corn to it.
Add black beans and chicken to your bowl of healthy vegetables and drizzle it with some delicious dressing. Dinner is ready to be served!
Whoever thinks that salads are boring and not filling is clearly doing it all wrong.
14. Easy Sheet Pan Salmon
Running out of ideas on what to make for dinner?
Try this amazingly easy sheet pan salmon meal tonight! You can practically use any vegetables and protein you want for this recipe and season it the way you like it.
Our typical sheet pan dinner contains sweet potato, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and salmon. We absolutely love sheet pan dinners!
15. One-pot Cajun Chicken Pasta
Sometimes, you lose track of time and forget that dinner is fast approaching.
In these situations, you can rely on pasta recipes for a quick and easy meal.
Pasta and chicken cook very fast so next time you’re in a time crunch, try making this one-pot Cajun chicken pasta for the family.
If you like to have some heat to your food, sprinkle cayenne peppers in the pot while it’s cooking.
16. Vegan Pesto Paste with Kale
Another popular dish that you can rush out of the kitchen and deliver it quickly to the dinner table is this awesome pesto pasta.
From fresh ingredients to a fully cooked meal in under 30 minutes!
You don’t even need to have store-bought pesto sauce in your kitchen for this recipe. It’ll show you how to make your own fresh pesto sauce from scratch!
17. Beef Chow Mein (Gluten-free)
Skip the Chinese takeout that is greasy and doesn’t sit well in your stomach.
Go for this delicious plate of beef and broccoli chow mein that can be served in 30 mins!
If your family prefers chicken, you can easily substitute the beef for chicken.
Seriously, this homemade version of chow mein is so much better (and healthier!) than your regular takeout food.
18. Crispy Buffalo Tofu Wrap with Spinach and Roasted Red Pepper
Like tacos, wraps are easy and fun to put together that the entire family will enjoy.
In this recipe, it calls for buffalo sauce. This little addition adds a nice kick to your wraps, making them more flavorful. And if you love avocado as much as we do, be sure to add some to your wraps!
19. Slow Cooker Cuban Mojo Pork
Pulled pork is juicy, tender, and full of flavors. It’s super easy to cook.
It does take a little bit of time to prepare in the morning, but after that, your slow cooker will do all the work.
You can serve the pulled pork with rice and vegetables or you can use it to make some tasty sandwiches!
If you don’t have time to cook in the evening, then easy crock-pot recipes will be your new best friend.
20. Balsamic Glazed Caprese Sandwich
Are you feeling for something that you can pick up with your hands and eat with your fingers?
Look no further, this grilled Caprese sandwich will have your hands grabbing for more!
If the crispy bread doesn’t hit the spot, the tangy balsamic glaze and pesto sauce will nail it.
21. Turkey and Wild Rice Soup
Whenever the weather gets cold, you just want a hot bowl of soup to keep you warm and cozy, right?
Fill yourself with a hearty bowl of turkey wild rice soup.
Start with carrots, celery, and onions, and add other ingredients that you love (we like to add red peppers and mushrooms to my soups).
If you don’t have any turkey around, you can easily swap out the turkey and use rotisserie chicken instead.
22. Grilled Lemon Herb Chicken Salad
Zest up your dinner with some zingy chicken salad! Grilled to perfection, seasoned with herbs, and a squeeze of lemon. It’s a zesty twist on a classic!
23. Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers
Say “quino-more” to unhealthy meals with these colorful, quinoa-stuffed bell peppers. A symphony of flavors, packed in a pepper. What a delicious and nutritious treat for a weeknight after a busy day from work!
24. Baked Salmon with Steamed Broccoli
You can indulge in a sea of flavors with some baked salmon and steamed broccoli dishes. What I love most is that this baby is filled with omega-goodness on a plate!
25. Lentil Soup with Whole Grain Bread
Bowl up some warmth with this hearty lentil soup, paired with whole-grain bread. It’s a “souper” way to end the day!
26. Stir-fried Vegetables with Tofu
Wok this way for a stir-fry that’s chock-full of veggies and tofu. Can you say this is a “tofu-lly” awesome meal for the weeknight?
27. Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Meatballs
Forget the carbs and twirl into this spaghetti squash and turkey meatball dish. It’s a “squash-tastic” alternative to your typical and boring tomato sauce!
28. Grilled Shrimp Tacos with Avocado Salsa
You can also taco ’bout a fiesta of flavors! Grilled shrimp, avocado salsa, all wrapped up in a warm tortilla. Invite a bit of party in your mouth with this classic and healthy recipe!
29. Chickpea and Vegetable Curry
Spice up your life with this chickpea and vegetable curry. It’s an easy way to get your daily dose of veggies without even trying!
30. Turkey and Vegetable Stir-Fry
Gobble up this turkey and vegetable stir-fry. Say hello to clean eating on a busy day!
31. Baked Chicken with Roasted Vegetables
Roast the day away with baked chicken and roasted vegetables. Chicken and veggies? There’s a reason why this duo is considered a classic for the lazy chef.
Final Words on Easy and Healthy Weeknight Dinners
Making healthy food choices is hard but staying on track with healthy eating habits on weeknights will make your cheat days on the weekends much more rewarding!
If you’re always on the go and don’t have a lot of time to cook, you can try these easy and healthy meal prep ideas to plan your meals. Meal prep is designed to help busy people reach their health goals, and save time and money!
What are your weeknight recipes? Share your ideas below!