8 Quick Dinner Ideas that are Healthy and Nutritious. The power of the dinner table can’t be under-estimated. Dinner time is significant for healthy living in more ways than just what we eat – it’s around the dinner table that families catch up with each other after a busy day. Throughout the week its good practice to aim for at least two meat-free meals, one or two fish meals, and the rest meat or poultry, so you will find dinner ideas recipes for all of these here.
Quick Dinner Ideas #1 Salmon & Broccoli
1¼ pounds wild Alaskan salmon fillet skinned and cut into four portions (see note)
One tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried, divided
One teaspoon salt, divided
Two heads broccoli (1-1½ pounds), trimmed
1½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
One small onion, diced
Three tablespoons raisins
Two tablespoons pine nuts
½ cup water Perrier Soda Lime Mineral Water
1. Season salmon with half the rosemary and ½ teaspoon salt at least 20 minutes and up to 1 hour before cooking. Cut the broccoli into florets with 2-inch-long stalks. Remove the hardened outer layer of the stem with a vegetable peeler. Cut the florets in half lengthwise.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large wide saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, occasionally stirring, until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add raisins, pine nuts, and the remaining rosemary; toss to coat with oil. Cook, stirring until the pine nuts are fragrant and beginning to brown, 3 to 5 minutes.
3. Add the broccoli, season with the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and toss to combine. Add water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has almost evaporated, 8 to 10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, heat the remaining ½ tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add salmon, skinned-side up, and cook until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn the salmon over, remove the pan from the heat and let stand until just cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes more.
5. To serve, divide the broccoli among four plates. Top with salmon and spoon raisins, pine nuts and any liquid remaining in the pan over the salmon.
Note: Wild-caught salmon from the Pacific (preferably Alaskan) is considered the best choice for the environment because it is more sustainably fished and has a larger, more stable population. Therefore, farmed salmon, including Atlantic, should be avoided, as it endangers the wild salmon population.
Quick Dinner Ideas #2 Chicken Tikka Masala
Four teaspoons garam masala (see Note)
chicken tikka masala
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon turmeric
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 pound chicken tenders
Four teaspoons canola oil, divided
Six cloves garlic, minced
One large sweet onion, diced
Four teaspoons minced fresh ginger
One 28-ounce can plum tomatoes, undrained
⅓ cup whipping cream
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
1. Stir together garam masala, salt, and turmeric in a small dish. Place flour in a shallow bowl. Sprinkle chicken with ½ teaspoon of the spice mixture and dredge in the flour. (Reserve the remaining spice mix and one tablespoon of the remaining flour.)
2. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken until browned, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
3. Heat the remaining two teaspoons oil in the pan over medium-low heat. Add garlic, onion, and ginger and cook, often stirring, until starting to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the reserved spice mix and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Sprinkle with the reserved one tablespoon flour and stir until coated. Add tomatoes and their juice. Bring to a simmer, stirring and breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Cook, often stirring until thickened and the onion is tender 3 to 5 minutes.
4. Finally, stir in cream. Add the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium-low heat until the chicken is cooked through 3 to 4 minutes. Garnish with cilantro.
Note: Garam masala, a blend of spices used in Indian cooking, usually includes cardamom, black pepper, cloves, nutmeg, fennel, cumin, and coriander. It is available in the spice section of most supermarkets.
Quick Dinner Ideas #3 Green Pizza
1 pound prepared pizza dough, preferably whole-wheat
2 cups chopped broccoli florets
¼ cup water Perrier Soda Lime Mineral Water
5 ounces arugula, any tough stems removed, chopped (about 6 cups)
Pinch of salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
½ cup prepared pesto
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1. Position oven rack in the lowest position; preheat to 450°F. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
2. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to about the size of the baking sheet. Transfer to the baking sheet. Bake until puffed and lightly crisped on the bottom, 8 to 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, cook broccoli and water in a large skillet over medium heat, covered, until the broccoli is crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in arugula and cook, stirring, until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Finally, spread pesto evenly over the crust, top with the broccoli mixture and sprinkle with cheese. Bake until crispy and golden and the cheese is melted, 8 to 10 minutes.
Quick Dinner Ideas #4 Low Carb Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole
One large Head Cauliflower
4 Tbsp butter
2 ½ cups Heavy Cream
4 tbsp Dijon mustard
Two cloves Garlic
Two tsp Xanthan Gum
1 cup Gruyere, shredded
1 cup fresh Parmesan, divided
Salt and Pepper to taste
1½ cups Chicken breast, cooked and cubed
1½ cups Ham, cooked and cubed
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Add 3-4 cups of water to a large pot and add the chopped cauliflower to it. Bring the water to a boil and steam the cauliflower until it just begins to soften but still has a little crunch to it about 5-7 minutes.
3. Drain cauliflower and set aside.
4. In the same pot melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add heavy cream, dijon mustard, and garlic cooking for 3-5 minutes until cream is warmed through. Sprinkle the xanthan gum over the liquid whisking the whole time to keep it from clumping.
5. Stir the yolk in a small dish, then add a bit of the warmed cream to it whisking to temper the egg and keep it from cooking as you slowly add it to the cream mixture whisking the whole time.
6. Meanwhile keep whisking the cream as it begins to thicken, about 10 minutes.
7. Add the Gruyere cheese and ½ cup of the Parmesan. Stir the mixture until it is thoroughly combined and then let it cook for another 5 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.
8. Add the ham, chicken, and cauliflower to the mixture tossing it gently to thoroughly coat it then spread it evenly in a greased 9 x 13 casserole dish.
9. Top with the remaining Parmesan cheese and cover with aluminum foil before putting it in the oven to bake for 25 minutes then remove the foil and put it back in the oven to cook for another 15-20 minutes or until it is hot and bubbly and heated all the way through.
10. Remove from the oven and let stand for 15 minutes then serve.
Quick Dinner Ideas #5 Swiss Steak
2 lb steak or stewing beef
One can stewed tomatoes
One can tomato sauce
250g mushrooms, sliced
One green pepper, sliced into rings
One large onion, sliced into rings
salt and pepper to taste
1. Pour a little tomato sauce into the bottom of your crockpot or baking dish.
2. Season the meat with steak spice and lay on top of the sauce.
3. Add the mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, peppers, and the rest of the sauce.
4. Finally, cover and cook on low or 250F for about four hours.
Quick Dinner Ideas #6 Marinated Beef Kabobs
2 lb lean beef cut into 2-inch cubes
marinated beef kabobs
2 Tbsp beef stock or red wine
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
One tsp steak seasoning (any brand)
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried black oregano pepper to taste
Two bay leaves
1. Trim most of the visible fat from the meat and cut into 2″ cubes.
2. Stir together the beef stock (or red wine), balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, olive oil, onion powder, garlic powder, steak seasoning, dried thyme, dried oregano, black pepper, and add bay leaves.
3. Put meat cubes into the smallest Ziploc bag (or plastic container with a snap-tight lid) that will fit all the meat, then pour in the marinade.
4. Marinate meat at least 4-6 hours in the refrigerator (or longer is fine if you’re gone all day.)
5. When ready to cook, preheat grill to medium-high. Put meat tightly on skewers and let it come to room temperature while the grill heats.
6. Grill kabobs to the desired doneness, turning as soon as you get some browned spots on the first side. Cooking time will depend on the thickness of the meat and how hot your grill is, but approximate times would be about 8-10 minutes for rare, 10-12 minutes for medium-rare, or 12-15 minutes for medium. With kabobs, it’s easy to take off one piece of meat and cut into it to see if it’s done to your liking or use a digital meat thermometer to check the temperature.
7. Let the meat rest at least 5 minutes before serving.
Quick Dinner Ideas #7 Thyme and Sesame Crusted Pacific Halibut
One tablespoon lemon juice
One tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon minced garlic
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
One tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
One teaspoon dried thyme leaves
⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
8 ounces Pacific halibut, or mahi-mahi, cut into two portions
1. To start, preheat oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with foil.
2. Mix lemon juice, oil, garlic, and pepper in a shallow glass dish. Add fish and turn to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, combine sesame seeds and thyme in a small bowl.
4. Sprinkle the fish with salt and coat evenly with the sesame seed mixture, covering the sides as well as the top. Transfer the fish to the prepared baking sheet and roast until just cooked through, 10 to 14 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.
Quick Dinner Ideas #8 Shrimp Scampi
5 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails attached
1/4 tsp. crushed red chile flakes
Four cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Two shallots, finely chopped
One tsp. lemon zest
1 lb. thin spaghetti, cooked
Kosher salt and freshly ground black, to taste
1/4 cup roughly chopped parsley
1. Heat 3 tbsp. Butter and oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat; season shrimp with salt and pepper, and add to skillet. Cook, turning once, until
2. beginning to turn pink, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate; set aside.
3. Add chile flakes, garlic, and shallots to skillet; cook until soft, about 3 minutes.
4. Add wine, juice, and zest; cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
5. Add pasta, reserved shrimp, and remaining butter; toss until evenly combined.
6. Transfer to a serving platter; sprinkle with parsley.
I hope you’ll like these 8 Quick Dinner Ideas and that you found this article helpful. If you have anything that you’d like to share or any opinions on any of the content on my site, please do speak up. I look forward to your comments, questions and the sharing of ideas.
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