5 healthy weeknight dinner ideas that can be made in under 30 minutes! School is back, sports are back, and life is once again busy busy. Check out these tasty and healthy dinner ideas you can whip up for the family on a busy weeknight!
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Healthy Weeknight Dinner Ideas Below With Recipes
1. Salmon, Rice, and Sugar Snap Peas
I found this amazing rice at Target and I was super impressed with it’s taste and texture. It’s called RIGHT RICE and it’s actually made from lentils and chickpeas. I like to cook it in veggie broth to add some extra flavor. You can also use organic low sodium chicken broth to cook it in too.
My kids ate it up and another good brand of rice that I found at Target is made by Banza! It’s made from chickpeas. We love the Banza chickpea rotini and spaghetti noodles so I thought I’d try this one too. Right Rice or Banza pack a great plant powered punch with double the protein and fiber than regular rice.
Of course you can use brown rice too. Just remember cooking in a low sodium veggie or chicken broth helps to add some yummy flavor. This dish makes for the perfect healthy weeknight dinner idea that is super easy.
Salmon, Rice, and Sugar Snap Peas Instructions
I like to buy wild caught salmon and just sprinkle some fresh or dried dill on top, garlic salt or garlic powder, and slice a few lemons (horizontally and thinly) and add to the top. Bake on 375 until done. About 15-20 minutes, depending on how cooked you like your salmon.
Cook the rice (either of the ones above work) according to the package.
Use a bag of sugar snap peas or snow peas. Lay peas on a pan and sprinkle with garlic salt or garlic powder, zest from one lemon and, and 1 tbsp of olive oil. Roast in the oven on 375 for about 10 minutes.
2. Sheet Pan Dinners
I really love sheet pan dinners because you can basically throw ingredients onto a pan and cook all together. Sometimes veggies need to go in a tad bit after the protein but that’s okay because you just throw them in with about 15 minutes left and poof everything is done at the same time.
For nights that we have sports I try to have ingredients chopped up and prepared before we head out. This way all I have to do is plop them on a pan and throw in the oven when we get home. While the dinner is cooking I get the kids bathed/showered and pjs on.
When thinking about sheet pan dinners to cook organize it this way. Think about a protein you want, then think about one or some veggies you like and possibly some potatoes or sweet potatoes. It’s totally okay to just use a protein and veggies and then just do some fruit or beans on the side too. Even a salad works.
If you’ve made rice earlier in the week then make a enough so you have leftovers and you can have that as a side too. All you have to do is heat it up. HERE are three of my favorite sheet pan dinners we make.
3. Rotisserie Chicken, roasted baby potatoes, and steamed broccoli
This is a super easy meal. I usually pick up a rotisserie chicken from Whole Foods on the week’s I know we are gonna be super busy. You can just heat it up in the oven when you are ready to eat it.
My son’s favorite roasted potatoes are HERE. For the broccoli I just steam it and add a little sea salt or Earth Balance Butter to it once it’s done. You can also roast the broccoli in the oven too. Just add a little veggie broth, water, or olive oil before cooking in the oven.
What To Do If The Only Potato Your Kid Eats Is A French Fry
If your kids aren’t into baked potatoes yet and you are worried they aren’t quite ready to eat roasted baby potatoes then opt for the store bought brand Alexia potato wedges. You can cook them in the oven to get them crispy on the outside like a french fry.
If your child won’t eat any other potato other than a french fry then you will want to start with trying different brands and types of fries. For example, crinkle, steak fries, curly fries, seasoned fries, extra crispy fries. Then try tater tots and then wedges.
From there you can build from potato wedges to homemade fries and wedges. Then move to THESE amazing roasted potatoes, then potato skins, then baked potatoes. I know you may want to try the sweet potato and/or cauliflower/veggie tots and fries but those might not be such a hit with a picky eater at first. So you will want to try those later on.
The goal is to get your child eating a variety of brands and kinds of fries/potatoes with similar but still somewhat different tastes while then changing textures of food.
4. Chicken and Veggie Stir Fry
This is a super easy stir fry dish that can be easily adapted to meet all dietary needs. It’s gluten and dairy free. If you cut the chicken in big enough pieces a vegetarian can just take the pieces out and chow down on the rice and veggies.
You can also use shrimp or tofu to make this dish. For the tofu you will want to drain the liquid from the package and pat dry with a paper towel before cooking. I usually lay the tofu on a paper towel (top and bottom of tofu) and let sit for about 10 minutes before cutting into strips. Season nicely and cook with some olive oil or coconut oil on med-high heat on the stove.
If you prefer different veggies than what’s in this recipe then switch it up to what you prefer and enjoy! It’s also okay to use frozen veggies if fresh aren’t available or on hand at the time.
If you have a child that doesn’t eat mixed foods like stir fry, pastas, or casseroles then just deconstruct when preparing. This means as you cook the ingredients you will just spoon a little out and keep to the side. When it’s time to put the food on the plates you will put everything on the plate but separated.
This allows you to cook one meal but still present the meal to your child in a way that they enjoy and will actually eat. You can always put a very small portion of the mixed stir fry on their plate too so they can get used to seeing it and possibly tasting it all together (one day).
Check out the stir fry recipe HERE.
5. Air Fryer Tacos
So I am slightly obsessed with my air fryer Ya’ll it’s the bomb and so easy to cook in. We love taco nights and honestly I could eat mexican any day and time of the week. It’s one of the perfect weeknight dinner ideas I’ve found.
I was in a hurry one night so I broke out a rotisserie chicken, So Delicious Vegan Cheddar Shredded Cheese, beans, and some gluten free soft tortilla wraps. I broke out my air fryer and whipped up these bad boys! So yummy!
Air Fryer Ingredients For Tacos
1-2 packs gluten free tortilla wraps (can use 100% whole wheat, cassava, cashew, or corn tortillas)
1 bag of Vegan shredded cheese (we love So Delicious the best which Target now carries). Can use organic dairy cheese too but I always recommend to go dairy free as much as possible
Rotisserie chicken and/or beans (I like to use black and/or pinto beans)
Toppings of choice (green onions, shredded lettuce/mixed greens, diced tomatoes, diced avocado or guacamole, corn, salsa, olives, etc.
Instructions For Tacos
Lay tortilla flat on the counter.
Fill one half with cheese, shredded chicken, and beans. You can also do half with chicken and half with beans. Beans can also be served as a side too. We love black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, and northern beans.
Fold over the side of the tortilla that doesn’t have any ingredients on it.
Lay the tacos in the air fryer so they kinda sit up and they can lean next to each other.
Cook on 375 for 10 minutes. You may have to open at the 5 minute mark and flip over.
They get nice and crispy! Top with your favorite toppings like the ones I listed above.
Notes For Weeknight Dinner Ideas
Feel free to use any type of protein your family enjoys in these recipes. I would recommend to try to steer clear of any red meat and pork. That’s one way to decrease animal protein intake. You can still focus on chicken and fish while increasing your fruit and vegetable intake.
We are a dairy and gluten free family so my recipes will be dairy/gluten free. Please feel free to use other items that you have on had.
You also don’t have to substitute with a dairy free cheese. You can always leave the cheese out of a recipe or just the reduce the amount you use. Baby steps my friends.
Also, think very simple ingredients. Serving fruits and raw veggies with dip/dressing/hummus on a big plate in the center of the table is another great way to get in more fruits/veggies plus it cuts down on time in the kitchen spent cooking.
Let the kids pick out two fruits and two raw veggies to get out of the fridge, wash, and put on plates. This is a great activity for kids, especially kids that aren’t eating many fruits/veggies. It allows for exposure while smelling, touching, and handling the food. One step closer to them eating it.
To learn more health hacks and simple ideas for eating more real whole food join my facebook group Health Hacks With Lindsay Gantt right HERE.