These 30 quick and easy, healthy dinner ideas are perfect for even the busiest of weeknights.
All good summer things have come to an end my friends. We’ve had a big summer full of sun, fun and ticking things off the summer bucket list, but once again, it’s that time of year where we trade in pool time for school time.
As we gear up for shorter yet somehow fuller days that seem to slip right through our busy little fingers, we need quick and easy dinners we can throw together on the fly. So for our ninth installment of our 31 Days Series, we’re bringing you easy recipes that won’t cramp your chaotic week or make you a takeout slave or victim of cereal for dinner. Confession: Sometimes we love cereal for dinner. #yougottadowhatyougottado P.S. we’ve also got you covered on the breakfast front, because we know those mornings are just as crazy!
Luckily, these dinners swoop in and save the day. Some only require three steps, some are made in the slow cooker or in one pan, and pretty much all of them need 10 minutes of prep or less (yay less dishes)! So let’s slay these busy weeknights and show them who’s boss, eh?
To see all of this year’s 31 Days Series, check them out here:
Here’s how to make meal planning your month of meals a snap.
First, download this free printable weekly meal planner/to-do list to fill in, tape to the fridge, take to the grocery store, or use for reference next year when you can’t remember what the heck were your fave recipes from this one.
And then sign up for your free weekly meal plan and prep list here.
You get the idea. Now get cooking!
September 1: Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Soup
Thanks to minimal prep, you can enjoy dinner without worrying about those dreaded dishes afterwards. Seasonings of red curry, coconut, ginger, and lime are what give this soup mega flavor, and the slow cooker does all the work!
September 2: Easy Skillet Chili
You’ve gotta love a meal you can make entirely in one skillet. This chili is everything chili should be: Hearty, comforting, and effortless.
September 3: Lime Beef and Basil Stir Fry
Sweet Peas and Saffron
30 minutes is all you need to make this flavorful, Thai Stir-Fry sizzle!
September 4: Coq au Riesling Pasta
This French pasta tastes like something Julia Child would have whipped up (only on a weeknight, because it comes together in just 30 minutes)—oui oui!
September 5: 15-Minute Creamy Tomato Garlic Butter Shrimp
This creamy 4-step pasta is teeming with flavor thanks to lots of garlic, and it only takes 15 minutes!
September 6: 20-Minute Ground Chicken Tacos with Poblanos
Healthy Seasonal Recipes
Tacos make everything better, especially when they’re bursting with flavor, easy to make, and only take 20 minutes of work!
Perfectly juicy and super crispy chicken is gussied up with briny olives, zesty artichokes, garlic, and white wine, making this one sexy skillet dinner! Though the flavors and presentation are sophisticated, this dish actually requires minimal prep, making it weeknight-friendly.
September 8: 15-Minute Lo Mein
Pinch of Yum
Ditch the greasy takeout and make these addictive, no-frills noodles instead. They’re healthier, you can make them in one pan, and they’re ready in just 15 minutes!
September 9: Smokey Chili Mac Soup
If this mac and cheese-chili hybrid doesn’t scream “coziness,” then I don’t know what does! Smoked paprika and fire-roasted tomatoes are the magic ingredients that give this one pot chili a major punch of flavor, and leafy kale makes it extra hearty (and a tad virtuous).
September 10: Sheet Pan Honey Mustard Chicken & Vegetables
Joyful Healthy Eats
This 30-minute sheet pan dinner is everything you want a weeknight meal to be. Loaded up with colorful root veggies and a dijon mustard chicken, it’s easy to make, healthy and filling, and requires minimal cleanup!
September 11: Turkey Taco Quinoa Skillet
Spoonful of Flavor
This protein powerhouse is everything you love about a burrito, but without all of the calories. Also, it comes together in just one skillet, and is super healthy and satisfying.
September 12: The Best DIY Foil Packet Dinners
These DIY foil packets are like a choose your own adventure dinner. They’re totally customizable with whatever ingredients you have on hand, and there are so many fun directions you can go in as far as flavors are concerned. Not to mention they’re incredibly easy, taking just 30 minutes in the oven or on the grill!
September 13: Cajun Chicken Pasta
Whisk it Real Gud
A creamy alfredo sauce, spicy cajun chicken breast, and tangles of linguini make this easy, 20-minute pasta dish a decadent weeknight win.
September 14: One-Pot Chicken and Rice Fajita Soup
This 30-minute one pot fajita-inspired soup is chockfull of so many wonderful spices and flavors. Just don’t forget all the yummy fixings!
September 15: Chicken Snow Pea Green Curry
Lean chicken and tons of fresh veggies make this aromatic, creamy curry healthy and satisfying. Plus, it it all comes together in just 20 minutes!
September 16: One-Pot Black Bean Enchilada Pasta
You can never go wrong with a one pot pasta during a busy workweek. This one only has two steps, and can be on your table in 30 minutes! The best part? The only dishes you’ll need to wash are a knife, cutting board, and pot!
September 17: Honey Mustard Slow Cooker Pork Loin and Rice
Food Faith Fitness
With just 10 ingredients and 10 minutes of prep, you can’t beat this easy weeknight meal that your whole family will love. Melt-in-your-mouth-tender pork and brown rice are brought together in the most irresistible honey-dijon sauce, resulting in the most comforting, yet healthy, and gluten-free dinner!
September 18: 30-Minute Sesame Chicken Noodle Stir-Fry
Gimme Some Oven
Everyone loves a good stir-fry, and this one features a killer homemade sauce that you’ll want to use on everything! Plus, it’s quick and easy, and customizable with whatever veggies you have in your fridge.
September 19: Chicken and Broccoli Shells and Cheese
Love Grows Wild
We’ll never be too old for some mac and cheese! This dreamy (not too caloric) version only has three steps and you can make it in just minutes. Plus, it’s got some chicken thrown in for protein, and broccoli for good measure, so you get something green! Everybody wins.
September 20: Slow Cooker Chipotle Lentil Soup with Avocado
This soup may be vegetarian, but it’s wonderfully hearty and filling. Flavors of cumin and adobo lend a nice smokiness to it, and once again, the slow cooker steps in to save the day!
September 21: One-Pan Balsamic Chicken and Veggies
Chelsea’s Messy Apron
After a mini 2-ingredient marinade (that’s also used as a cooking sauce and dipping sauce) and 10 minutes of prep, you can sit down and relax with a glass of wine while this healthy sheet pan dinner cooks away! All weeknight dinners should be this easy.
September 22: One Pot Cheesy Sausage Penne Recipe
Crunchy Creamy Sweet
Let’s be real, I’ll always be excited about any dish that involves penne, sausage, cheese and is made in one lil’ old pot.
September 23: Easy White Chicken Chili
Two Peas and Their Pod
A simple store-bought rotisserie chicken makes this comforting chili a breeze. You can prep everything in just 10 minutes, and it only needs 20 minutes to cook.
Iowa Girl Eats
This recipe makes a whole lot, so halve it if you’re cooking for one or two or make it part of your weekly meal plan to eat through the week, the leftovers are excellent reheated.
September 25: 30-Minute Tarragon Chicken Pasta
The trick to this quick meal is in browning the chicken first, followed by a brief poaching in dry white wine with sautéed shallots that’ll keep the chicken juicy all week long.
September 26: Italian Chicken and Vegetable Skillet
Bright pesto, Italian seasoning, and garlic breathe so much flavor into this light and easy dish. It comes together in just 30 minutes, and you can eat it straight from the skillet, or add to your favorite grain or pasta—mamma mia!
September 27: Sheet Pan Thai Glazed Salmon with Vegetables
The Recipe Critic
Flaky salmon and veggies get tossed in the yummiest zesty Thai sauce and then cooked up on a sheet pan in this super easy 30-minute meal! Eat as is, or serve over some rice, then rejoice in the fact that you have practically zero dishes to wash!
September 28: Chicken Shawarma Gnocchi Bowls
Climbing Grier Mountain
Simple and quick, herbed baked chicken tops little pillows of heaven, GNOCCHI! for a dinner or lunch that will totally bowl you over. This yummy dish totally hits the spot.
September 29: Crockpot Thai Chicken Curry
The Endless Meal
Want curry in a hurry? Let your crockpot do all of the work! This version is super creamy and flavorful, yet light and healthy. It’s naturally paleo and gluten-free.
September 30: 30-Minute Caprese Chicken
You only need a handful of ingredients to make this beautiful and easy chicken. Serve over pasta, salad, or alongside your favorite veggies, and pretend it’s summer all year-long!
This recipe round-up was curated and written by FoodieCrush contributor Hayley Putnam of Seven Day Weekend. Follow her foodie tastes and other flights of fancy on Pinterest and Instagram.
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