Dinner. It’s the same grind every week, but that doesn’t make it any easier — especially when you’re short on time (always) and sticking to your health goals (mostly). If you’re struggling to keep things fresh and fast each night, it’s time to rethink your approach. Here are 10 Smart Shortcuts for 20-Minute Healthy Dinner.
Follow the lead of these inspiring food gurus who show us that when you strip down your expectations and focus on mastering a few basics, mealtime prep is never more than 20 minutes away.
The Best Shortcuts for Quicker and Easier Dinner
1. Batch-Cooked Roasted Vegetables
By roasting a big batch of vegetables once or twice a week, you can have the foundation for multiple meals to take you through the week.
Your weekly vegetable haul will get cut into wedges, circles, or slices, drizzled with oil or ghee, sprinkled with spices and roasted in the oven at 375°F.
Once cooled and stored in glass containers, it’s merely grab-and-go to create a veggie bowl or creamy vegetable soup made with coconut milk.
2. Canned Seafood
Canned seafood hasn’t entirely caught on in the United States; they highly revered in parts of Europe.
Small fish, such as sardines, anchovies, and mackerel, are sustainable, healthy, inexpensive, versatile, and easy to prep.
They already cooked, so it’s just a matter of opening a can and adding a little creativity.
With a can in hand, it’ll become dinner when layered on a big green salad, tossed with pasta, served over beans, or even spread on toast.
3. Simple Stir-Fry
In making a simple stir-fry on most evenings.
The formula: leftover roasted vegetables, a protein, carbohydrate and healthy fat (such as coconut oil).
You can change or mix herbs and spices to keep things interesting.
Not only is it quick and straightforward, but it leaves you feeling great.
4. Eggs Anytime
Where is the rule that eggs are only for breakfast?
Even in short on time, you can make a scramble for dinner by sautéing garlic, onions, and whatever vegetables you have on hand, along with three to four eggs.
Once cooked, add a dollop of almond milk ricotta, a few avocado slices, and some gut-boosting chopped kimchi. Then your 20-minute meal is served!
5. Fruit and Vegetable Smoothie
Another breakfast-for-dinner winner: A well-balanced smoothie.
Smoothies are a weeknight staple. A tasty smoothie takes five minutes to make, and it’s one of the cheapest dinners around.
Usually, smoothies take under $5 a serving. The secret to making a dinner smoothie is making sure there’s the right amount of greens, fat, and protein.
6. Cooked Quinoa
Batch-making quinoa on Sundays is one secret to a low-stress week.
Quinoa is so versatile. You can add it to veggie chili, toss it with roasted vegetables, top it with a fried egg or mix it with some pesto for a quick, nutritious meal.
The options are endless. Quinoa is a complete source of plant-based protein and is much more affordable than meat.
7. Canned Chickpeas
To assemble dinner in less time than it takes to order takeout.
With a can of chickpeas that you always have stashed in the pantry, whip up a chickpea salad using half a can of chickpeas paired with half an avocado, a sprinkle of feta on top and a swoosh of balsamic vinaigrette.
If mixed greens are in the crisper, all the better. This is how easy and quick this salad. Just assemble and eat!
8. Red and White Cabbage
Hearty, versatile, and extremely affordable, there’s a lot to love about the humble cabbage.
Slice it up thin or grate it, and you’ve got the beginnings of dinner.
One of the all-time favorites: A riff on Filipino pancit, made with a base of sautéed cabbage, carrots, onions, and garlic. Top it with broth-soaked rice noodles, any leftover pork, or shredded chicken you may have and eggs.
Whether served hot or at room temperature, it’s a low-maintenance dish that tastes anything.
9. Anything-Goes Tacos
Tacos are the perfect foil for leftovers.
We love taking what’s in our refrigerator and pantry and making it into tacos — especially using eggs since they’re so quick to cook.
We are big believers in quick ‘improv’ cooking. Rehashing food as mix-and-match tacos isn’t only a creative dinner, it’s one that helps reduce food waste, too.
10. Frozen Cauliflower
Did we say 20-minute meals? This one takes five! For a creative twist on your usual smoothie, look to frozen riced cauliflower.
Cauliflower packs a nutritious punch, plus it won’t alter the color of your mixture.
Adding veggies to smoothies helps us to make sure that we are getting our daily servings of vegetables without feeling like I have to be eating salads all day.
Adding a source of protein like almond butter, hemp seeds, or plant-based protein powder to improvised our smoothie a more substantial meal. Save time and create a satisfying meal with 10 Smart Shortcuts for 20-Minute Healthy Dinner.
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