15-Minute Dinner Plan for the Week
Life is hectic, but dinner doesn't have to be. Rather than reaching for the takeout menu, these healthy 15-minute dinners are the ones you can go to on those weeks when you're seriously strapped for time. The tricks to keeping everything so quick are healthy packaged foods (like pesto, precooked grains and canned soup) and quick-cooking foods (such as eggs), plus simple cooking techniques (think no-cook and one-pot recipes) that help to shave off cook time.
Day 1: Smoky Maple-Mustard SalmonGet the Recipe
If you haven't already tried this super-speedy salmon recipe, it's a must. Dinner really doesn't get much easier, or more delicious. Here we top salmon fillets with a smoky maple-mustard sauce and pop it under the broiler for 15 minutes and boom—it's done. The sweetness of the maple balances the tangy mustard, and the smoked paprika adds another layer of flavor that pairs so well with the salmon. Ask at the fish counter to have the salmon cut into four 4-ounce fillets with the skin removed, so you don't have to do that step. Serve with steamed green beans and Easy Whole-Wheat Couscous (or a packet of precooked whole grains to keep it even easier).
Day 2: Loaded Black-Bean Nacho SoupGet the Recipe
Jazz up a can of black bean soup with your favorite nacho toppings, such as cheese, avocado and fresh tomatoes. A bit of smoked paprika adds a bold flavor kick, but you can swap in any warm spices you prefer, such as cumin or chili powder. When shopping, look for a soup that contains no more than 450 mg sodium per serving, as canned soup tends to be high in sodium.
Day 3: Spanakopita Scrambled Egg PitasGet the Recipe
This meatless dinner comes together in only 15 minutes, thanks to the convenience of frozen chopped spinach, crumbled feta and quick-cooking eggs. We've added a flavorful burst of sun-dried tomato tapenade to spread over the whole-wheat pita before nestling the scrambled eggs inside. If you can't find it, basil pesto or sun-dried tomato pesto also works well.
Day 4: Teriyaki Chicken with BroccoliGet the Recipe
Everyone loves teriyaki chicken—and this one is better for you, with much less added sugar than what you'd buy from the store or get out at a restaurant. The chicken and veggies cook together in one pan, along with the easy homemade sauce, and get served over precooked brown rice to keep this meal speedy. Feel free to swap out the broccoli for any veggie—carrots, snow peas, green beans—that you have on hand.
Day 5: Pesto Ravioli with Spinach & TomatoesGet the Recipe
Looking for a new way to turn a bag of frozen cheese ravioli into a satisfying and healthy dinner? This easy pasta recipe calls for just five ingredients but is loaded with fresh flavors. By using grape tomatoes, prewashed spinach and prepared pesto, we eliminate all prep work, making this 15-minute caprese-inspired ravioli the ideal weeknight meal.
Day 6: Curried Butternut Squash Soup with Crispy HalloumiGet the Recipe
Take advantage of healthy convenience foods, such as pureed vegetable soups, to make a healthy meal in minutes. Here we used boxed butternut squash soup and enhanced the flavor with curry powder and then topped it with irresistible halloumi cheese. Serve with warm whole-grain pita bread to round out the meal.
Day 7: White Bean & Avocado SandwichGet the Recipe
Even though it feels like lunch, this easy filling sandwich makes for a tasty, quick and easy dinner for busy nights. Convenient canned white beans get mashed to create a creamy protein-packed spread for a satisfying sandwich you'll find yourself making again and again. Mix it up by trying the same technique with canned chickpeas or black beans. This vegetarian sandwich recipe is also a fiber superstar: avocado, beans, greens and whole-wheat bread team up to give it 15 grams of fiber, more than half of what most people should aim for in a day.