Hungry Runner? Subscribe to get your Hunger Scale for Runners


8 Healthy Dinners in 30 minutes or less

Good Morning. How was your weekend?? What was your high?

Mine was rock climbing at Inner Peaks. We bought a groupon months ago and finally tried it out. It was so much fun, and I’m more of a monkey climber than I realized!

rock climbing_inner peaks

In case you were wondering, rock climbing definitely revs up your metabolism and makes you really hungry. Speaking of food (how’s that for a transition?), despite what people may think about dietitians, we don’t all meal plan every.single.week.

On the way home from work, I’m usually brainstorming dishes I can just mesh together in 20-30 minutes – starring a lean protein, complex carbohydrate, and healthy fats. To do this, I make sure to have some prime protein components on hand that I know I can always work with, and as long as I’ve picked up some vegetables at the grocery store recently, I know I can still get a healthy dinner on the table within 30 minutes after getting home from work.


8 quick and easy nutritious dinners

Excuse my less than stellar pictures here, but these are real life meals, people. Not staged for photography purposes because you only have 30 minutes, remember!?

I’ll let you in on my one big secret – I totally take advantage of and utilize frozen veggies to the max. Pop them in the microwave or if I’m sauteing something, I’ll sneak them on there and they are ready in minutes. And just as nutritious. I also use sweet potatoes alot. Alot alot. I’ll usually just make 6 at once so I gradually add them to any meal.

1. Whole wheat pasta with veggies and ground turkey. While the pasta is boiling, cook veggies and ground turkey together. Top with cheese, marinara sauce, alfredo sauce, olive oil, etc.

WW pasta

Or, a ground turkey stirfry. Stirfries are great because you can throw any veggie you have in there. Go crazy, just create a bed of deliciousness for your meat to blend with.

I paired mine with leftover cauliflower rice, sweet potato, frozen broccoli, and topped with kale, arugula and cheese! It’s also pretty common for me to use brown rice, quinoa, lentils or barley.

ground turkey stirfry

2. Chicken sausage with veggies, sweet potato and avocado.

Chicken sausage with veggies, sweet potato and avocado

3. Shrimp with salad, veggies or rice (I buy frozen, and it takes 10 minutes to heat them up, season them, and throw them over veggies). While the shrimp is cooking, microwave your rice, or put together your salad.

Feel free to dress it up however – here I added broccoli and cauliflower bits, a hard boiled egg (from the day before), thawed frozen mango, and chia seeds. I’ll spice that up with a little bit of olive oil and balsamic (This was leftovers for lunch the next day).

shrimp salad

4. Eggs with kale, frozen veggies and sweet potato. One-pan meal win!


eggs and sweet potato

5. Frozen salmon (though you wouldn’t know it) with veggies. Let salmon thaw overnight with olive oil, soy sauce and desired spices (I like sea salt, pepper, garlic and thyme) and when ready to bake, bake at 375 for 25 minutes.

Pair with spinach, veggies, avocado and a 6 minute microwaved sweet potato.

salmon with veggies_7 Healthy Dinners in 30 minutes or less

Or, throw it on top of a salad. And since fish has healthy omega 3 fats, you’ll absorb more of the vitamins from your salad and veggies.

easy salmon

6. Stuffed tortellini with veggies (peas, peppers, spinach + feta cheese). If I have a protein on hand, I’ll throw it in, or I’ll add some frozen edamame. When in doubt, always add frozen edamame because it packs a PUNCH of protein and fiber.

stuffed tortellini_7 Healthy Dinners in 30 minutes or less

7. Black bean bowl with quinoa or brown rice, sweet potatoes, beets+ veggies

black bean bowl_7 Healthy Dinners in 30 minutes or less

8. Turkey mushroom burgers. Thaw your ground turkey the night before. Mix it in a bowl with 1 cup sliced mushrooms, 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, 1/2 cup shredded cheese, 1 egg and spices and then cook on pan, grill or in oven. Boom. Pair with veggies or any whole grain!

turkey burgers

turkey burger


What are your 30 minute meal go-to’s?

Join The Conversation

More For You!

Share Your Thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. I’d be THRILLED with ANY OF THESE for dinner!! The freezer truly is my best friend, I can easily just stick my head in there, find something tasty to cook up and BAM – cooked in about 20-25 minutes!

  2. I am all about 30 minutes or less meals! I am not a cook, but I love to eat and eat quick! I know they don’t always go together. I love salmon an a sweet potato and actually eat it about once a week. I love grilled vegs and we eat so much better when we’re camping because the grill is our main cooker!
    I also invested in a steamer and boy that has made a great in my healthy eating. I love to steam broccoli and carrots in there and can pretty much eat it most nights with a meat that the family has.

  3. So many delicious meal ideas! All of my dinners tend to be made in 30 minutes or less because by the time dinnertime rolls around I’m usually either hungry and need food right that second – or I don’t have the energy to spend hours in the kitchen!

  4. I’ve never tried rock climbing. I’m afraid my upper body weakness would show itself. I love these recipes! I’m going to refer back to them. I’m all about quick meals and do very little (any) meal prep. Tonight I sauteed fresh shrimp with thinly sliced link sausage (just enough for flavor) in mango salsa. I served over quick 5 minute cheese grits with steamed broccoli and glazed canned carrots. Easy. It took longer to clean the kitchen. And, my big guys were satisfied. Thanks for linking with us Sarah.

  5. Your meals look a lot like mine during the week! I”m all about roasted sweet potatoes as a side and then some kind of meat/seafood as the source of protein. The last thing I want to do at the end of the day is make a complicated recipe so stuff like this is my favorite:)

  6. These look so good, especially the turkey mushroom burgers! My easy meals usually consist of chicken sausage with some frozen veggies, or eggs mixed with avocado and spinach. Or a one pot meal! I love anything that requires little clean up!

  7. Great post! I do a lot of these, but new combinations are always welcome! Fried rice with tofu is a super easy week night dinner. I make roasted potatoes at least once a week. Before we got burnt out on it, I browned ground turkey with onions, ketchup, and mustard and it was like a quick meatloaf.

  8. Rock climbing is the BEST! I kid you not, I did rock climbing for my birthday party like 3 years in a row because I loved it so much 🙂
    All of these meals look great!

  9. Thanks for continuing to inspire me! I am having so much fun trying all these new, easy and healthy recipes! I am still trying to train my “NO CARBS” brain that sweet potatoes are good for me! What a delicious addition to my new eating journey! Keep blogging! Big healthy things happening in the Sayles house! ?

  10. Number 2 and 4 are the meals I probably have the most often. My common practice is just throwing eggs and avocado on whatever leftover veggie I have and a baked sweet potato. So easy and I never get sick of the combination. I can throw the potato in and egg on as I’m still getting undressed 🙂