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Refer to these easy dinners to start your year with a flavor-packed punch. You and your family can enjoy dishes with lean proteins like chicken, seafood and tofu, as well as seasonal foods like squash, broccoli, and sweet potatoes. Plus, it all comes together in just 30 minutes or less. Make recipes like our versatile 15-Minute Spicy Ramen and delicious Grilled Chicken with Farro & Roasted Cauliflower for a meal that’s convenient, healthy and flavorful.
15-Minute Spicy Ramen
This spicy ramen will be on your table faster than the time it takes to get food delivered. We ditch the spice packet that comes with the soup mix in favor of our own savory broth that strikes the perfect balance between salty and sweet while keeping sodium in check. Crushed red pepper brings on the heat. Swap out the chicken broth for vegetable broth to make this quick spicy ramen vegetarian. If you have a little extra time, top it with cooked chicken, pork or tofu and a soft-boiled egg for a boost of protein.
Butternut Squash Ravioli with Chicken Sausage & Kale
What’s the secret to making store-bought butternut squash ravioli even more delicious? Add apple-chicken sausage, tender greens and lots of caramelized onions. We add a bit of sugar to help the onions caramelize faster, but feel free to omit it (just cook the onions a bit longer if you do). Buy prewashed chopped kale to cut down on prep time. It all adds up to an easy dinner that’s ready in just 20 minutes.
Lemony Greek Chicken Soup
This 20-minute dish provides 32g of protein and is just 261 calories per serving. To ensure this comforting soup’s velvety texture, whisk a little of the hot broth into the eggs before adding them to the pot; it cooks them gently and prevents curdling.
Garlic, Sausage & Kale Naan Pizzas
We love sausage, but it can be high in sodium. In this fast, healthy dinner, we make our own turkey sausage with crushed red pepper, garlic, fennel seeds, paprika and just a touch of salt.
Grilled Chicken with Farro & Roasted Cauliflower
You can find farro in most grocery stores, near the rice. If you can’t find farro, you can use wheat berries or brown rice instead; cook according to package directions.
Buttermilk Fried Tofu with Smoky Collard Greens
Dipping tofu in buttermilk makes the coating stick for a crispy pan-fried tofu, reminiscent of fried chicken. Spicing up the collards with paprika coats them with smoky flavor while keeping this dish vegetarian. And this quick, easy and healthy dinner comes together in just 25 minutes, so it’s great for busy weeknights.
Spinach, Lima Bean & Crispy Pancetta Pasta
We opt for fresh spinach pasta here–it cooks quickly and adds a pop of color. Cooking lima beans in pancetta drippings infuses them with flavor.
Chicken & Spinach Skillet Pasta with Lemon & Parmesan
This one-pan chicken pasta combines lean chicken breast and sautéed spinach for a one-bowl meal that’s garlicky, lemony and best served with a little Parm on top. I call it “Mom’s Skillet Pasta,” and she called it “Devon’s Favorite Pasta.” Either way, it’s a quick and easy weeknight dinner we created together and scribbled on a little recipe card more than a decade ago, and it remains in my weekly dinner rotation to this day. It’s a simple dinner the whole family will love.
20-Minute Teriyaki Chicken Stir-Fry
Look for pre-sliced pepper-and-onion mix in the produce section of the supermarket. It helps save prep time in this quick five-ingredient dinner. This easy dinner calls for hot cooked brown rice, which is perfect if you have leftovers. If not, look for microwaveable brown rice or frozen brown rice to keep prep minimal.
Stir-Fried Clams with Snow Peas
Bright green and crispy snow peas combine with clams in this quick and easy stir-fry. Brown rice at the bottom of the bowl soaks up the sweet and savory sauce. Feel free to swap out the rice for rice noodles or udon to change things up!
Creamy Lemon & Dill Skillet Chicken
This creamy lemon and dill skillet chicken recipe is a true crowd-pleaser and makes for a perfect weeknight dinner. Chicken cutlets cook quickly, taking this recipe from skillet to table in only 20 minutes. The drippings and fond from the pan are at the heart of the tangy, vibrant pan sauce that you serve with the chicken. Drizzle any extra over pasta, rice or mashed potatoes served on the side.
Anthony Anderson’s One-Pot Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese with Broccoli
This easy one-pot mac & cheese recipe gets an extra boost of protein from chicken. Buffalo sauce adds spicy tang—look for one without added sugar, like Frank’s RedHot.
Garlic-Anchovy Pasta with Broccolini
Here, we sprinkle the final pasta dish with crumbled goat cheese for nice tangy bites throughout. But if you prefer a creamy sauce, stir the cheese into the pasta in Step 3 along with the reserved cooking water.
One-Pot Garlicky Shrimp & Broccoli
Shrimp and broccoli cook quickly in this easy, one-pot recipe, making it perfect for busy weeknights. Serve this healthy shrimp recipe over whole grains or rice.
Taco-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Take taco night to a new level with sweet potato taco “shells.” Tender sweet potatoes pair perfectly with spicy taco meat, creamy cheese and crisp lettuce. Let everyone customize their taco potato with their favorite toppings.
Sour & Spicy Sweet Potato Noodles (Suan La Fen)
Three different ingredients make these hot-and-sour sweet potato noodles quite spicy. One of them, the green Sichuan peppercorns, can be tough to find and there isn’t an easy sub, so leave them out if you like.
Sesame Instant Ramen Noodles with Broccoli & Soft-Boiled Egg
Jazz up basic ramen noodles with toasted sesame oil, quick-cooked broccoli and a jammy soft-boiled egg. To cut back on sodium, look for ramen varieties with less than 600 mg sodium per serving or use less of the seasoning packet.
Tofu & Vegetable Scramble
Feel free to customize this speedy tofu and vegetable scramble with your favorite combination of vegetables and spice. Try to use veggies that will all cook at the same rate, like peppers, green beans and sugar snap peas.
Loaded Portobello Mushrooms
Think of these loaded portobello mushrooms as a low-carb version of a stuffed potato–Cheddar cheese, sour cream, scallions and bacon melted into portobello mushroom caps for a delicious and satisfying dinner. Serve them with a green salad to round out the meal.
Linguine with Lemon Alfredo Shrimp
This bright and lemony shrimp pasta dish was inspired by traditional Alfredo but comes in at only a fraction of the fat and calories. Reduced-fat cream cheese adds body to the sauce, while Parmesan cheese adds its signature robust flavor. This recipe calls for brown rice pasta, which is gluten-free, but if gluten is not a concern for you feel free to serve this sauce over regular linguine or fettucine—or any pasta you like!
Creamy White Chili with Cream Cheese
This rich, yet healthy, white chicken chili recipe comes together in a flash thanks to quick-cooking chicken thighs and canned white beans. Mashing some of the beans acts as a fast thickener when your soups don’t have a long time to simmer. Cream cheese adds the final bit of richness and a hint of sweet tang.
Cauliflower Gnocchi with Asparagus & Pesto
While the cauliflower gnocchi crisp up in a sauté pan, steam fresh asparagus in the microwave to keep it bright green and crisp-tender. Substitute frozen asparagus (or green beans or peas) in a pinch. Toss them together with prepared basil pesto for a satisfying supper.
Steak, Pepper & Sugar Snap Stir Fry
Turn to this beef stir-fry recipe for a quick and easy dinner. The tender, spicy steak is cooked in the same wok or skillet as the crisp, colorful vegetables and smells divine as the dish is cooking.
Coconut Shrimp Curry with Instant Ramen Noodles
A splash of coconut milk and some curry powder elevate ordinary ramen soup into a memorable bowl of noodles. Add protein with cooked shrimp or cubed tofu and a pop of freshness with cilantro and lime juice. To cut back on sodium, look for ramen varieties with less than 600 mg sodium per serving or use less of the seasoning packet.
This healthy pad thai recipe has less than half the calories and sodium of the traditional Thai-restaurant favorite. Look for dried wide rice noodles, sometimes called “Pad Thai noodles” or “straight-cut,” in the Asian-food section at most supermarkets and natural-foods stores. Serve with sliced cucumbers with a rice vinegar and cilantro vinaigrette.
Long-Life Noodles with Beef & Chinese Broccoli
Noodles are a key part of Chinese New Year celebrations because they symbolize long life. We love this recipe for the tradition because it’s super-customizable based on your tastes. Try swapping in chicken for the steak. Can’t find Chinese broccoli? Use broccolini instead. Or swap out the mushrooms and broccoli altogether for snow peas and carrots.
French Onion Grilled Cheese
One of our favorite comfort foods—French onion soup—meets crowd-pleasing grilled cheese in a sandwich with the flavors of both dishes, minus a lot of the traditional sodium and saturated fat. Caramelized onions are the star here: their pungent, concentrated flavor means that just a touch of Gruyere is more than enough to make this sandwich sing. The other key? Shaving the cheese with a Microplane, which allows the cheese to distribute its melty goodness evenly, and makes just a bit of cheese feel like a lot.
Cube Steak with Mushroom-Sherry Sauce
Cube steak is a tougher cut of meat pounded to make it tender. We like it because it cooks quickly and is inexpensive–perfect for a weeknight dinner. Look for presliced mushrooms to save even more time on prep. Serve with: Mashed potatoes and grilled broccoli rabe.
Curried Butternut Squash Soup with Crispy Halloumi
Take advantage of healthy convenience foods, such as pureed vegetable soups, to make a healthy meal in minutes. We enhance the flavor of boxed butternut squash soup with curry powder, then top it with irresistible halloumi cheese. Serve with warm whole-grain pita bread.
Goat Cheese-Stuffed Chicken
Goat cheese is a luscious and creamy cheese that’s lower in calories, fat and sodium than other soft cheeses. Here, we combine it with fresh herbs and garlic, then stuff the mixture inside chicken breasts for a deliciously speedy weeknight dinner.