10 Popular Weeknight Dinner Recipes For Busy Schedules (2024)

We get it — after a crazy busy day, the last thing you want to do is spend hours in the kitchen. The thing is, homemade dinners don’t have to be complicated or time-consuming! While takeout may seem like an easier option, whipping up a family-friendly meal is much easier than you think. Plus, it’s a much healthier option — you’ll know exactly what’s going into your meal, you can customize as needed (or desired), and it’s a whole lot yummier! So, if you’re stressed over time — we’ve got you covered. These simple weeknight dinner recipes are perfect for even the busiest of nights! Made with minimal ingredients and minimal prep, we’re sharing easy weeknight dinner recipes the whole family will love.

10 Popular Easy Weeknight Dinners (The Whole Family Will Love)

#1 One Pan Herb Crusted Salmon With Sweet Potatoes & Greens

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When it comes to easy weeknight dinners, you can’t get any easier than sheet-pan meals. They are easy to make and require minimal cleanup, making them a weeknight win. Simply toss everything on one dish and let the oven work its magic!

One recipe that’s sure to be a winner? This One-Pan Herb Crusted Salmon With Sweet Potatoes & Greens.

Serves: 2


  • 2 sweet potatoes, cut into wedges
  • ½ head broccoli
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • sea salt & black pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup almond, chopped
  • 1 handful fresh parsley
  • 1 handful basil leaf
  • 2 salmon filets
  • 2 cups kale, chopped


Step #1: Preheat the oven to 180°C or 350°F. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Step #2: Arrange the sweet potato and broccoli on the lined baking tray. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 40 minutes

Step #3: While the vegetables are cooking, add the almonds, herbs, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and a sprinkle of sea salt and pepper to a food processor and process until combined.

Step #4: After the vegetables have been cooking for 25 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and make room for the salmon filets.

Step #5: Add the salmon filets to the baking tray and coat with the herb crust. Add the kale and drizzle with the rest of the olive oil. Bake for another 12-15 minutes or until the salmon is cooked.

Step #6: Once cooked, enjoy the cooked salmon with the roasted vegetables and kale.

#2 Guilt-Free Fried Rice

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Love fried rice but don’t love the not-so-healthy ingredients (like sodium, MSG, or added oils and sugar)? We’ve got the perfect fried rice made healthy recipe. This easy and filling guilt-free dish tastes even better than takeout! Easy to make and full of flavor, you really can’t go wrong with this easy weeknight dinner.

Serves: 2


  • 1 cup brown rice, cooked
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • ½ yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 cups baby spinach, chopped
  • 2 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 2 eggs
  • green onion, chopped, to serve
  • sesame seeds, to serve
  • chili flakes, to serve
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil


Step #1: Start by cooking the brown rice according to the packet instructions. Once cooked, set aside.

Step #2: While the rice is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat with coconut oil. Add the onion and saute for 3-5 minutes or until translucent. Add the garlic and saute for another 2 minutes.

Step #3: Add the spinach and stir.

Step #4: Add the cooked rice and saute for 2-3 minutes.

Step #5: Next, crack the eggs into a mixing bowl and whisk. Add to the skillet with the rice and stir until the egg is cooked.

Step #6: Add the coconut aminos and stir well.

Step #7: Divide between two bowls and garnish with the sesame seeds, green onion, and chili flakes.

#3 Sweet & Savory Salmon, Sweet Potato, and Kale Salad

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Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, making it a great addition to a healthy eating plan. Combined with satiating sweet potato, fiber-filled avocado, and antioxidant-rich ingredients like kale and apple, this Sweet & Savory Salmon, Sweet Potato, and Kale Salad is the perfect weeknight meal!

Serves: 4


  • ½ avocado
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • sea salt & black pepper
  • 6 cups kale
  • 1 cucumber, chopped
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 lbs salmon filet
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup green onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp mustard, wholegrain
  • 1 tomato, chopped


Step #1: Preheat the broiler on high. Squeeze half the lemon juice over the salmon and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook the salmon under the broiler for 6-8 minutes or until flaky and cooked through.

Step #2: Meanwhile combine the remaining lemon juice, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, and mustard. Massage into the kale for 1-2 minutes until kale begins to soften.

Step #3: Pierce the sweet potato a few times with a fork or knife. Microwave for 4-5 minutes until tender. You can also bake it in the oven. Carefully chop.

Step #4: Toss everything together. Season with salt and pepper.

#4 Garlic Shrimp Stir-Fry

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Stir-frys are another great easy, weeknight dinner option. They are super versatile and a great way to get in some added veggies! This Garlic Shrimp Stir-Fry made with quinoa is loaded with veggies like red bell pepper, snap peas, and asparagus and makes a great weeknight dinner option when you’re short on time but want a filling and delicious meal.

Serves: 4


  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1½ tbsp honey
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 orange, juiced
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp ginger, grated
  • 1½ cups sugar snap peas
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • ¾ cup quinoa
  • 1⅓ lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1½ cups water
  • 2 garlic, minced
  • 1½ cups asparagus
  • 2 green onions, sliced


Step #1: To prepare the quinoa: Add the quinoa and water to a medium pot. Bring to a boil and stir. Cover and turn heat down to a simmer. Let cook covered for 15 minutes. Remove from heat but do not remove the cover. Let sit for 5 minutes and then open carefully and fluff with fork.

Step #2: Mix together the orange juice, soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, cornstarch, and red pepper flakes (if using) to make the stir fry sauce. Set aside.

Step #3: Make sure the shrimp are cleaned and deveined. Pat the shrimp dry using a paper towel. This will help it to get crispy on the outside.

Step #4: Heat the coconut oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add the shrimp in a single layer and cook for about 1-2 minutes per side until just cooked through. Remove and set aside. This prevents the shrimp from overcooking.

Step #5: Add the red peppers, sugar snap peas, asparagus, garlic, and ginger to the pan. Cook for 5-7 minutes until the vegetables are bright green and tender-crisp. Stir often to keep the vegetables from burning.

Step #6: Add the shrimp and stir fry sauce to the skillet. Stir. Bring to a simmer and cook for 1-2 minutes until it thickens. Serve immediately to prevent shrimp from overcooking.

#5 One-Pot Pasta Primavera

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Another One-Pot dish that makes weeknight dinners a breeze! This FitOn PRO One-Pot Pasta Primavera dish will impress the whole family. Plus, it’s easy to customize! Toss in any additional veggies or swap the whole grain pasta for a pasta alternative like chickpea or black bean pasta!

Serves: 4


  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 4 garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp basil leaves, chopped
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 2 cups broccoli, chopped
  • 8 oz wholegrain pasta
  • ½ lemon, zested
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning


Step #1: Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Save some pasta cooking liquid for the sauce.

Step #2: While pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the shallot, carrots, broccoli, and red bell pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes until beginning to soften. Add the zucchini and cook for 3-4 more minutes. The vegetables should be just tender crisp.

Step #3: Add the cherry tomatoes, garlic, Italian seasoning, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Cook for 2 minutes. Season well with salt and pepper.

Step #4: Add the vegetables to the cooked pasta. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and about 1/4 cup of pasta cooking liquid. Stir to form a creamy sauce. If needed, add more pasta cooking liquid, up to about 1/2 cup.

Step #5: Top with fresh basil and additional parmesan cheese if desired.

#6 Broccoli Pesto & Cheese Quesadillas

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Broccoli Pesto & Cheese Quesadillas? Yes, please! This simple and healthy dish takes minutes to make and will be loved by both kids and adults. Giving comfort food a healthy twist, enjoy on busy weeknights when you have no time to spare. Use your favorite low-carb or grain-free tortillas like Siete brand, and feel free to swap the mozzarella for a plant-based alternative!

Serves: 1


  • 2 low carb tortillas
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tbsp pesto
  • 1 cup broccoli floret, finely sliced
  • ½ cup mozzarella
  • ½ avocado, sliced (optional)
  • salsa (optional)


Step #1: Saute broccoli in a pan on medium heat with ½ tbsp avocado oil until golden brown, about 4-8 minutes. Once the broccoli has a nice char, move to a plate and set aside.

Step #2: Add remaining avocado oil to the pan. Add tortillas and saute on medium heat on one side until slightly crispy, about 1-2 minutes. Reduce to medium-low heat.

Step #3: Add mozzarella cheese to one tortilla and pesto sauce to the other. Spread well.

Step #4: Place roasted broccoli on top of the mozzarella-filled tortilla. Option to add an additional tbsp of pesto.

Step #5: Top with pesto-covered tortilla to make a quesadilla, cooking for 1-2 minutes. Flip and saute for another minute or until golden brown.

Step #6: Remove from heat and serve with avocado or salsa.

#7 Vegetarian Burrito Bowls

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These plant-based burrito bowls will be enjoyed by both meat and plant-based eaters alike! Made with cauliflower rice, tofu, and beans, this lightened-up dish is a healthy and flavorful recipe that’s perfect when you need something quick and easy. Swap the tofu for ground beef, or add in some extra toppings like salsa or cheese!

Serves: 4


  • 1 cup cauliflower rice
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp taco seasoning
  • 14 oz tofu, extra firm, crumbled
  • 14 oz kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • Guacamole, to serve
  • Cilantro, to serve


Step #1: Start by heating the coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute for 2 minutes.

Step #2: Next, add the crumbled tofu, kidney beans, tomato paste, and taco seasoning and stir well to combine.

Step #3: Cook for 2 minutes and then add a tablespoon of water to the pan. Cover and cook for 4 more minutes.

Step #4: Add the cauliflower rice to the bottom of a serving bowl and top with the tofu taco mix.

Step #5: Serve with guacamole and cilantro. Serve and enjoy!

#8 Zucchini Veggie Lasagna

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Here’s another healthy take on a traditional pasta dish. This healthy lasagna dish made with zucchini and tofu is a great one when you’re craving pasta but want a lightened-up dish made with plant-based protein!

Serves: 4


  • 5 zucchini
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup firm tofu, crumbled
  • 1 cup pasta sauce
  • ½ cup mozzarella, shredded
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • sea salt & black pepper, to taste
  • basil leaf, chopped, to serve


Step #1: Start by preheating the oven to 350°F and line a baking dish with parchment paper.

Step #2: Wash the zucchini and peel into long strips to resemble lasagna noodles.

Step #3: Add a layer of the zucchini noodles to the baking dish and top with ⅓ of the crumbled tofu, cheese, and sauce. Continue layering until all ingredients are used.

Step #4: Add an extra sprinkle of cheese to the top layer and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.

Step #5: Top with fresh basil and enjoy!

#9 Tomato & Parmesan Baked Eggs

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Breakfast for dinner is always a good idea! This nutritious Baked Egg dish is made with less than 10 ingredients and takes 20 minutes to make — you can even prep it ahead of time and reheat it on busy nights! Enjoy with your favorite bread of choice.

Serves: 4


  • 8 eggs
  • ¼ cup basil leaf (optional)
  • 28 oz canned diced tomatoes, drained
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese (or dairy-free alternative)
  • 4 tbsp milk, cows (or unsweetened almond milk)
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • sea salt & black pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • 8 whole wheat bread, to serve (or bread of choice)


Step #1: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Step #2: Add the tomatoes to an 8 X 8 baking dish (or oven safe skillet) sprayed with cooking spray. Add Italian seasoning and stir. If desired, mash down the tomatoes with a fork or tomato masher for a smoother consistency. You can also replace with marinara sauce if you prefer.

Step #3: Use the back of a spoon to make a small indentation for each egg. Break the egg into the hole you created with the back of the spoon.

Step #4: Drizzle milk on top and season everything well with salt and pepper.

Step #5: Place in oven and bake for 7-10 minutes until whites just begin to look set.

Step #6: Sprinkle the cheese over top and return to the oven for 2-3 minutes until cheese melts and eggs are cooking to your liking. Top with basil if desired.

Step #7: Remember the eggs will continue to cook as they sit, so you will want to serve this immediately. Serve with whole wheat toast or your favorite bread.

#10 Sweet & Spicy Turkey Burgers with Sweet Chili Sauce

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Craving a burger but looking for a lightened-up version? Look no further than these Sweet & Spicy Turkey Burgers with Sweet Chili Sauce. This easy-prep recipe is a perfectly delicious easy weeknight dinner that is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

Serves: 4


  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp ginger, minced
  • ¼ cup green onion, minced
  • 2 garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 1 lbs ground turkey
  • 4 whole wheat burger buns
  • 2 tbsp sweet chili sauce
  • ¼ cup carrot, minced
  • ¼ cup cilantro


Step #1:Combine the turkey, cilantro, ginger, garlic, carrots, scallions, soy sauce, and jalapeno, if using, in a bowl. Be careful not to overwork the meat, or it will become tough.

Step #2:In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, sweet chili sauce, lime juice, olive oil, garlic powder, and salt. If possible, make the yogurt sauce earlier in the day and store in the fridge to let the flavors combine.

Step #3: Form the meat into four patties and brush with vegetable oil. Grill or cook in a skillet for about 5 minutes per side until cooked through. Serve with yogurt sauce.

Healthy Dinners Made in Pinch

Healthy eating doesn’t have to be extremely time-consuming. In fact, with a little meal prepping each week and with a list of easy weeknight dinners, you’ll be excited to cook your healthy dinner each night!

Ready to see just how delicious healthy eating can be? Consider joining FitOn PRO for access to personalized meal plans and exclusive recipes to reach your fitness goals faster with foods you’ll love to eat.


10 Popular Weeknight Dinner Recipes For Busy Schedules (2024)
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