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7 Quick & Healthy Dinner ideas for busy weeknights.

Updated: Dec 15, 2022

It’s easy to get caught up with our busy days. On some days our mind may not even

want to think about making dinner and instead opting for a quick takeout, which, let’s be honest, doesn't always lead to the healthiest options. Or, skipping dinner altogether, which is something you shouldn't be doing, not even while trying to lose weight. Well, it's possible to cook healthy dinner ideas that will match your hectic schedule and keep you on track.

1. Pesto chicken - Chicken is super versatile, adding pesto will be the perfect topping as it provides a lot of flavour. Fill the other side of your plate with some leafy greens and cherry tomatoes and a drizzle of olive oil to make a quick salad, and you've got yourself a filling dish. (Preheat oven 180°C, place chicken breast in pan, and coat with a drizzle of avocado oil, salt, and pepper. Bake 20 to 24 minutes or until chicken is done. Top chicken breast with pesto and some grated parmesan cheese. Plate with some rucola, cherry tomatoes and spring onions.)

2. Creamy Salmon - One of the easiest weeknight meals you can have thanks to the minimal preparation you have to do.

3. Beef stir fry - There's so much to love about stir-frys. They don't take any special skills or crazy ingredients and they're really quick to throw together. (Heat coconut oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until tender. Add garlic, ginger, and chili pepper; cook 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add finely cut meat and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Cook about 8 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Remove meat mixture from skillet. Add matchstick-cut carrots and sliced celery to skillet. Sauté until almost crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Return meat mixture and accumulated juices to skillet. Add lime juice, coconut aminos and a drizzle of honey and cook and stir until simmering and heated through, remove skillet from heat. Optional: Serve over pre-packed cauliflower rice.)

4. Lemon chicken - Aside from its simple yet delicious taste, adding lemon juice to your chicken is a super healthy dinner idea with almost no added calories. Adding in a veggie like broccoli will soak up lemon juice nicely. (Preheat oven 180°C, place chicken breast in pan, top chicken with 1 tsp butter, lemon juice, lemon slices and parsley. Bake for 20mins. As a tasty 5 minuter side dish, prepare some quick couscous with chopped tomatoes and cucumber.)

5. Mediterranean pork chops - These pork chops are loaded with protein. Plus, they're ready to bake in no time and take little to no prep. Cooking the pork chops and vegetables all on one sheet is easy to cook and easy to clean up. (Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. On a cutting board, pound pork chops with a mallet to tenderize. Place chops in the center of the prepared baking pan. Brush pork chops with oil and sprinkle with Italian seasoning, salt, and black pepper. Bake 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine broccoli, bell pepper, oil, salt, and red pepper flakes; mix well. Spread vegetable mixture around pork chops. Bake for around 20 minutes, stirring once, or until slightly crisp but still tender.)

6. White fish fillet & grilled veg - A classic yet tasteful recipe. Using only one baking sheet and dinner is served. (Preheat oven 180°C, place fish in pan, top with 1 tsp butter, minced garlic, lemon juice, lemon slices and parsley. Bake for 20mins or until cooked. In the meantime prepare a leafy green salad of your preference - such as baby spinach, lettuce, rucola, kale etc… with a drizzle of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.)

7. Shrimpy pasta - This delicous dish has all the makings of a solid, flavor-packed meal. You've got carbs, veggies, shrimp, and a plethora of spices for extra taste. Best of all, it's completely customizable. Not a fan of tomatoes or peas? Add in some of your favorite veggies instead. (Prepare pasta water and bring to boil. Season shrimps with salt and pepper, to taste; set aside. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Add garlic, onion and oregano, and cook, stirring often, until onions have become translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add your prefered vegetables, such as finely diced zucchini and let them cook. Stir in shrimps, cook for another 3-4 minutes and set aside. Once the pasta (preferably rice or legumes pasta) is cooked add and stir to the shrimps pan.)

Bonus tips: Use lots of colourful vegetables and include your favourite vegetables with any recipe (preferably non starchy on most days). As a healthy starch opt for sweet potato, brown rice, quinoa, farro, and baked potato. Limit white flour and practice portion control and balance.

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