ThePrep: Healthy Dinners in 4 Steps or Less

These delicious dinners are made in four steps or less, leaving plenty of time to spare for evening activities.

20-Minute Chicken Cutlets with Creamy Pesto Sauce

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As the days get shorter (the sun is starting to set at 6 p.m. here in Seattle), I try to get out right after work to get in a walk or quick visit with friends before it's too dark. Because as soon as the sun sets, I'm in cozy mode, ready to curl up on the couch with a TV show. But dinner still needs to be made. To keep things quick and easy this week, I'm turning to simple healthy dinners made in four steps or less.

Your Meal Plan


This week I'm starting with a creamy and cozy dinner that's perfect for fall weather—Sunday's 20-Minute Chicken Cutlets with Creamy Pesto Sauce. This five-star-rated recipe is made in just two steps and uses quick-cooking chicken cutlets to keep the total time to 20 minutes. To add some veggies to this meal, I'll serve the chicken over some zucchini noodles. Though I love making zucchini noodles from scratch (it's fun and easy when using a good spiralizer), I'll buy pre-spiralized zucchini from the produce section for easy prep. Cooking zucchini noodles is pretty straightforward—I simply sauté them in a nonstick pan with a little olive oil, and drain any water afterward.

Being from Mexico, I'd be happy eating tacos every day. Growing up, my family and I would have barbacoa tacos for breakfast at my grandparents' house on Sundays. So needless to say, they're one of my favorite foods. And this Wednesday calls for some BBQ Chicken Tacos with Red Cabbage Slaw. This recipe uses cooked chicken breast and prepared barbecue sauce to save time. You can also buy pre-shredded coleslaw to speed up the process. One thing I love about this recipe is the beautiful colors of its ingredients. The red cabbage not only adds a purple touch but it's also packed with heart-healthy anti-inflammatory properties.

To close out the week and welcome the weekend, I'm making burgers. These Air-Fryer Burgers are juicy and cheesy. Though the recipe uses classic toppings like white onion and pickles, I plan on adding some sautéed mushrooms for extra umami flavor. Don't have an air-fryer? Fear not—you can try one of our other easy burger recipes.

Sunday: 20-Minute Chicken Cutlets with Creamy Pesto Sauce over zucchini noodles

Monday: One-Pot Tomato Basil Pasta

Tuesday: Salmon-Stuffed Avocados with a side of precooked brown rice with chives, salt and pepper

Wednesday: BBQ Chicken Tacos with Red Cabbage Slaw

Thursday: Creamy Lemon Pasta with Shrimp

Friday: Air-Fryer Burgers with a side of mixed greens tossed with Lemon-Garlic Vinaigrette

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Something Sweet


On Sunday, I'm going hiking with my husband and some friends. For us, hikes generally mean waking up pretty early and having breakfast on the go. To make sure we are fueled with energy, I'll bake some Morning Glory Muffinsto carry in our backpacks. These muffins are full of nutrient-packed foods like apples, nuts and dried fruit to help us feel our best.

Get the Recipe: Morning Glory Muffins

What's Inspiring Me This Week

a basket of biscuits
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Thanksgiving is not traditionally celebrated in Mexico. However, since I've come to the States, my husband and I have been invited to "Friendsgiving" dinners each year. I'm still learning about the traditions and typical dishes, and always contribute something as to not show up empty handed. This weekend, I plan on trying out this 2-ingredient biscuit recipe over the weekend to see if it's a winner for this year's Thanksgiving dinner.

Find Out More: I Never Thought I Would Bake Bread for Thanksgiving—Until I Tried This 2-Ingredient Biscuit Recipe

I wish you all a great week, and if you have any questions or requests for future newsletters, please let me know by emailing! Don't forget to add a recipe review if you try one.

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