Our quest for a better but totally materialistically dependent lifestyle sometimes prevents us from even taking care of ourselves.
So much so is the extent of this craze that we often do not find the time from our busy schedules or not have enough energy left to take care of our bodily needs at the end of a rough day and struggle with questions like what to eat at dinner or what you should eat tonight.
For instance, let us look at how most of the people today belonging to the working class answer the simple question of ‘what to eat’ at the three mandatory meal times on any regular day.
Beginning with morning when our body is in the dire need of having a nutritiously filled breakfast for a healthy start, we are so much occupied with office chores that we sought to rely on whatever little and readily available source of food we can find such as just a glass of juice, or a single slice of bread, etc.
Our lunch time is also not much different from our morning and we either do not eat at all or we just snack while working to keep our mouths busy and keep our hunger under control and not interfere in our work performance.
At dinner time, when we ought to be at our homes relaxed and have some me-time, we usually are so much tired due to a hectic day or still busy making plans for the day ahead that we do not feel comfortable in cooking ourselves a proper meal and instead go out to eat at some fancy restaurant or get a take-away meal.
While we can try our best to agree with your concerns about the lack of time that you face both at the breakfast and lunch, we still recommend our readers that instead of wasting time at a fast food restaurant queue, it will be wise to spend this time at home cooking a nice and guaranteed healthy dinner for yourself and your loved ones.
For this reason, we have hand-picked some 15 best quick dinner recipes to end your day in a healthy way that at most won’t take more than an hour of your time and are also budget friendly.
15 Best quick recipes to help you decide on what to eat tonight for dinner
This pasta dinner made with salami, sliced Spanish queen olives, salt-free tomatoes all rolled in mozzarella and garnished with basil leaves, will leave you mouthwatering so much that you might make it a compulsory once-in-a-week kind of thing.
- Total ready-to-eat time: 30-35 minutes
- Health benefits: Salami is full of good fats and olives are rich in vitamin E and other antioxidants. Mozzarella contains bacteria that is good to fight inflammation in your body and enhance immunity.
If you love eating fried lamb chops with some finest fruit sauces, breaded lamb chops that have been baked and served with a crunchy slaw of apple and cabbage is the right thing to eat for dinner tonight.
- Total ready-to-eat time: 40-50 minutes
- Health benefits: Lamb meat is naturally rich in protein and helps in muscle growth and muscle mass.And while the old saying ‘an apple a day, keeps the doctor away’ is still valid for some point here, cabbage itself offers several impressive health benefits such as providing vitamin C, lowering blood pressure, controlling cholesterol levels and helping in digestion, etc.
Who doesn’t like stuffed sweet potatoes? Well if you do, then get ready to cook ‘Beefy Stuffed Sweet Potato’, a dish where sweet potato enjoys a center filled minced beef.
- Total ready-to-eat time: 35-40 minutes
- Health benefits: While beef is a high protein source and enhances muscle mass, it is also rich in minerals and prevents iron deficiency.Sweet potatoes are super rich in fiber, minerals and vitamins, support healthy vision and improve functioning of the brain.
This half an hour stir-fry made with finely cut 1-2 inch sized pieces of boneless chicken, pepper and cornstarch and served with brown rice, can be a perfect energy filled dinner if you do not want to follow a complete one hour dinner ritual.
- Total ready-to-eat time: Maximum 30 minutes
- Health benefits: Although cornstarch does not have sufficient levels of nutrients like vitamins, proteins, minerals and fiber, it still is a good source of carbs and calories.Chicken offers several health benefits including many nutrients, vitamins and minerals, etc.
To reward the hard work you have been putting in all week, ‘Spicy Fish and Olive Spaghetti’ is a fully loaded dish to cater yours and your family’s weekend night’s calorie needs.
Made with whole grain pasta and 8-ounce of neatly cut pieces of fish fillet, the recipe for ‘Spicy Fish and Olive Spaghetti’ can offer 420 calories of satisfaction to each member in a gathering of 4 people.
- Total ready-to-eat time: 45-50 minutes
- Health benefits: Fishes offer low fat but high quality protein. They are also a rich source of calcium, phosphorus and minerals such as iodine, zinc, iron, magnesium and potassium.Olives have high content of vitamin E and other essential antioxidants. It is known to be good for the heart and protects against cancer.
Chicken takes much less time to tender than meat or beef. Thus for a quick dinner on any weeknight, just grab some pieces of boneless chicken strips and roll them all over with quinoa and bread crumbs and deep fry till they turn golden brown.
- Total ready-to-eat time: 15-20 minutes
- Health benefits: Chicken meat is the most commonly available poultry food used extensively in cooking and is rich in nutrients, minerals and vitamins.Quinoa is free from gluten and protein rich plant food that also offers sufficient levels of nine important amino acids.
While it is quite fatty just like salmon and not so tender as well, tilapia is not as rich flavored as tuna and can sometimes be an odd choice for food. But the ‘Pan Fried Tilapia’ recipe can blend the skinless tilapia into a completely interesting dish as a reliable answer to your what to eat for dinner tonight question.
- Total ready-to-eat time: 25-30 minutes
- Health benefits: Tilapia contains rich amounts of protein, vitamins and minerals. Just 100 grams of it carries 26 grams of proteins with 128 calories only.
For an exploding low carbohydrate dinner, breadcrumbs and sliced sausage pieces stuffed in a zucchini is something to experiment for once in a while mood for your weeknight dinner.
- Total ready-to-eat time: 30-35 minutes
- Health benefits: The cucumber resembling zucchini is naturally gifted with many nutrients, is high in antioxidants and may help to reduce sugar levels from blood while providing strength to your vision and heart health.
To add the splendid and soothing warm and cold breeze feeling to your dinner time at home, moisturized with a light and juicy seasoning and breaded with cornmeal, a not-so-oily baked catfish is a must to try recipe.
- Total ready-to-eat time: 25-30 minutes
- Health benefits: Catfish is the best choice when it comes to selecting the seafood that is low in sodium and calories while being rich in healthy fats, minerals, vitamins and proteins.Unlike flour grinded from wheat grains, cornmeal is totally gluten-free and is packed with minerals and vitamins such as B6, selenium and manganese, etc.
10. Skinny Alfredo
To fill up the cravings for a pasta night on weeknights, ‘Skinny Alfredo’ contains Greek yogurt to serve as the best alternative to any heavy cream sauce which is a usually used ingredient in pasta cooking.
- Total ready-to-eat time: 30 minutes
- Health benefits: If you work out daily before your dinner time, then perhaps a dish like ‘Skinny Alfredo’ with Greek yogurt is something to add to your weekly dinner recipe lists.This is because Greek yogurt acts as a work out recovery food with the iodine in it to keep your waist in shape and the calcium to keep you and your bones fit. It also has protein and probiotics.
11. Caprese Zoodles
Another dinner time recipe from our selection is ‘Caprese Zoodles’ to refill your body’s essential carbohydrate reserves.
- Total ready-to-eat time: 25 minutes
- Health benefits: Cherry tomatoes contain lycopene, an essential component needed to fight disease causing radicals and reduce the damage to your skin from ultraviolet ray effects absorbed from direct sun exposure.Another ingredient in this recipe is Balsamic vinegar which also helps improve skin health, lose weight, reduce hypertension and relieve congestion.
The sound of the sizzle that comes from searing a salmon in a hot pan with adequate oil coating and sprinkled with finely chopped garlic can be the most intimidating experience on a weeknight dinner with the intention of preparing a quick and nutritious meal.
- Total ready-to-eat time: 20 minutes
- Health benefits: For a seafood lover, a salmon is a great all-in-one option with many health benefits. It is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, is more than enough for your protein and vitamin needs and can help in lowering chances of heart disease and the ability to act as a weight controlling agent.Although garlic has low calories, it still is nutritious and packed with active compounds that reduce blood pressure, aids in improving cholesterol levels, decreases chances of heart diseases and can fight sicknesses like common cold.
As a perfect addition to your weeknight dinner meal schedules for summer, grilled boneless chicken breasts in the form ‘Bruschetta Grilled Chicken’ is a fit choice.
- Total ready-to-eat time: 45-50 minutes
- Health benefits: Two main ingredients used in cooking ‘Bruschetta Grilled Chicken’ are olive oil and grounded black pepper.Olive oil has strong anti-inflammatory properties, helps in preventing and protecting against strokes and heart diseases, is a rich source of healthy mono-saturated fats and does not cause weight gain and obesity.
Black pepper also has anti-inflammatory qualities and may help in defending against cancer, lowering cholesterol levels and improving blood sugar control.
If following a routine weeknight dinner meal pattern makes you bored and pulls out the fun you want to have while cooking and eating your dinner, then ‘Primavera Stuffed Chicken’ can add a range of colors and flavors with loads of health benefits to replace your repetitive recipe lists.
- Total ready-to-eat time: 40 minutes
- Health benefits: Using Bell Peppers as an ingredient in ‘Primavera Stuffed Chicken’ does not only bring colors and flavors to it, it also has less calories while being an excellent choice to intake vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber, iron and potassium.In addition to Bell Peppers, freshly chopped parsley is also used for garnishing the dish which also does not only bring color and flavor but supports bone health, contains cancer fighting elements, improves heart health and also has anti-bacterial qualities if used as an extract and added while cooking.
When your weeknight marked for seafood arrives again, maybe this time you should try a different kind of seafood.
Originating from Hong Kong, the dish ‘Honey Walnut Shrimp’ is a popular sight at many Chinese restaurants in America. While the home cook recipe you find online might relate it more as a fast food, it is equally worth trying at home as it is in any Chinese restaurant.
- Total ready-to-eat time: 40-45 minutes
- Health benefits: The main seafood ingredient of this dish, as evident from the name, is Shrimp which has high amounts of iodine, more than most other foods. The key thing to remember to ask from the restaurant or seafood vendor before making a purchase is about whether the shrimps are wild-caught or farm-raised.Since the main idea behind this article is to give our readers a way to cook a healthy dinner at home, we highly recommend always opting for wild-caught shrimps to avoid any health risks associated with farm-raised shrimps.
Many health experts today believe that because our bodies at night are in more need of rest and sleep rather than energy intake, it is better to eat those foods at dinner that are low on calories and do not need any extra physical effort to burn.
Hence our hand-picked 15 best quick dinner recipes to end your day in a healthy way do not only intend to save your time while serving you with a healthy and nutritious dinner, but are also well-equipped to address your concerns for the balanced amount of calorie intake before sleep.