23 Fall Dinners for Weight Loss in 30 Minutes or Less
Make a seasonal and delicious meal with these dinner recipes. Not only can these recipes be on the table in 30 minutes or less, but they are also packed with vegetables and whole grains that have some great nutritional benefits. These dinners are low in calories and high in fiber, which is a key combination if you’re looking to lose weight. Recipes like Cheesy Spinach & Artichoke Stuffed Spaghetti Squash and Feta, Kale & Pear Salad are healthy, filling and can help you achieve your health goals.
Spaghetti & Chicken Meatballs with No-Cook Tomato Sauce
This crowd-pleasing and easy dinner recipe takes just 20 minutes to make, start to finish, so it's perfect for weeknights! When tomatoes are at their in-season best, just a quick chop and a few ingredients are all you need to make a spaghetti sauce in minutes. Store-bought chicken meatballs keep the low-effort theme going all the way to the table.
Cheesy Spinach-&-Artichoke Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
This spaghetti-squash-for-pasta swap slashes both carbs and calories by 75 percent for a delicious, creamy casserole you can feel good about eating. It's worth roasting the squash versus cooking it in the microwave if you have the time: the flavor gets sweeter and more intense.
Chicken & Spinach Soup with Fresh Pesto
This fragrant, Italian-flavored soup takes advantage of quick-cooking ingredients--boneless, skinless chicken breast, bagged baby spinach and canned beans. It features a simple homemade basil pesto swirled in at the end to add a fresh herb flavor. If you are very pressed for time, you can substitute 3 to 4 tablespoons of a store-bought basil pesto. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.
Pressure-Cooker Mac & Cheese
Make a healthier version of classic macaroni and cheese with this recipe that adds broccoli for a nutritional boost and an easy way to eat more vegetables. Using an electric pressure cooker, such as the InstantPot, gets dinner on the table in just 30 minutes.
Honey-Mustard Chicken Tenders with Couscous & Carrots
Thanks to the quick-cooking power of chicken tenders, this honey-mustard chicken dinner comes together fast and easily for a family-friendly weeknight meal. The baby carrots are cooked in a simple orange juice and butter sauce which is lovely drizzled over the chicken and couscous.
Feta, Kale & Pear Salad
The crunchy seed topping is the perfect textural juxtaposition to a creamy dressing, soft pears and tender massaged kale salad. Tossing it all with mint, feta and red onion gives it a Middle Eastern flair.
Creamy Fettuccine with Brussels Sprouts & Mushrooms
Sliced Brussels sprouts and mushrooms cook quickly and cling to the pasta in our fall version of pasta primavera. Look for presliced mushrooms to cut prep time. Serve with a tossed salad.
Vegan Coconut Chickpea Curry
To make this 20-minute vegan curry even faster, buy precut veggies from the salad bar at the grocery store. To make it a full, satisfying dinner, serve over cooked brown rice. When shopping for simmer sauce, look for one with 400 mg of sodium or less and check the ingredient list for cream or fish sauce if you want to keep this vegan. If you like a spicy kick, add a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce at the end.
Spinach, Lima Bean & Crispy Pancetta Pasta
We opt for fresh spinach pasta here--it cooks quickly and adds a pop of color. Cooking lima beans in pancetta drippings infuses them with flavor.
This quick and healthy lasagna soup recipe has all the comforting flavors of classic lasagna with plenty of tomatoes, Italian turkey sausage and lasagna noodles broken into bite-size bits. A dollop of ricotta cheese mixed with mozzarella and Parmesan adds a creamy finishing touch. Serve the soup with a green salad and crusty bread to sop up what's left in the bowl for an easy healthy dinner that's ready in under 30 minutes.
Long-Life Noodles with Beef & Chinese Broccoli
Noodles are a key part of Chinese New Year celebrations because they symbolize long life. We love this recipe for the tradition because it's super-customizable based on your tastes. Try swapping in chicken for the steak. Can't find Chinese broccoli? Use broccolini instead. Or swap out the mushrooms and broccoli altogether for snow peas and carrots.
Chicken & Kale Taco Salad with Jalapeño-Avocado Ranch
This healthy, super-fast salad recipe swaps out romaine for kale, giving you more than 10 times the vitamin C. Easy flavor hacks like store-bought ranch and pickled jalapeños help make a creamy, tangy and spicy dressing you'll want to drizzle on everything from salad to sliced veggies and shredded poached chicken.
Hearty Chickpea & Spinach Stew
This satisfying stew comes together in a snap. Mashed chickpeas add body to the broth, and tomato paste adds a savory note without piling on the sodium. To simplify the prep, look for chopped fresh onion and shredded carrot or a soup starter mix in the produce section.
Easy Pea & Spinach Carbonara
Fresh pasta cooks up faster than dried, making it a must-have for fast weeknight dinners like this luscious yet healthy meal. Eggs are the base of the creamy sauce. They don't get fully cooked, so use pasteurized-in-the-shell eggs if you prefer.
Easy Vegetarian Chili
Canned beans and tomatoes make this quick vegetarian chili recipe ready to go in just 30 minutes. Serve over rice or couscous, or with tortilla chips for added crunch, and add extra toppings as you see fit--sliced scallions, chopped fresh cilantro, diced avocado and sliced jalapeños are all tasty choices.
Pistachio-Crusted Chicken with Warm Barley Salad
Barley and pistachios give this healthy chicken recipe a double dose of nutty flavor. For an easy change-up, swap in your favorite whole grain, such as brown rice, farro or quinoa.
Quick Shrimp Puttanesca
Because refrigerated fresh pasta cooks much faster than dried pasta, this Italian pasta dish will be on the table lickety-split! Puttanesca, traditionally made with tomatoes, olives, capers, anchovies and garlic, gets a makeover with shrimp for extra protein and artichoke hearts to boost the vegetable servings (and the fiber!). If you can't find frozen artichoke hearts, sub in drained canned artichoke hearts.
Vegan Cauliflower Fried Rice
Substituting riced cauliflower for rice trims calories and carbs in this veggie-packed dish. Use the vibrant flavors of traditional fried rice--ginger, scallions and tamari--to create a low-carb fried rice version of the classic take-out meal.
Sweet Potato Mac & Cheese
Fiber-rich sweet potato is used as the base for the cheese sauce in this healthy, homemade macaroni and cheese recipe. The bright orange color tricks your eyes into thinking this healthy macaroni and cheese recipe is loaded with cheese, but there's actually only about half as much cheese as compared to a traditional recipe.
Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe
In this classic Italian pasta recipe, anchovies are mashed into olive oil to add amazing depth to the garlicky sauce. If broccoli rabe is too bitter, you can use broccolini or broccoli in its place.
Beefless Vegan Tacos
Take taco night in a new direction with these healthy vegan tacos. We've swapped crumbled tofu for the ground beef, without sacrificing any of the savory seasonings you expect in a taco. You can also use the filling in burritos, bowls, taco salads and to top nachos.
Green Couscous & Shrimp
This quick dinner recipe of couscous, white beans and shrimp is flavored with a potent parsley-and-basil dressing.
Cauliflower, Pancetta & Olive Spaghetti
Don't ditch your pasta-cooking water! The flavorful liquid retains a touch of the pasta's starch, which helps your sauce cling to the pasta in this healthy pasta recipe.