5 Easy Dinner Ideas For Nights When You Can't Even

5 Easy Dinner Ideas For Nights When You Can't Even

Raise your hand if you tend to come home on a casual Thursday feeling more exhausted than ever, hungry enough to eat a horse, and also too lazy to decide what you want to eat.

We’re here for you, friends. These super easy (and healthy!) dinner ideas can be thrown together with minimal ingredients and time, and customized to what’s in your fridge or your taste preferences. Never fear the lazy weeknight again.

Vegetarian Pasta Bowl

Ingredients: whole wheat pasta (shells, rigatoni, elbows, etc.), fresh or frozen spinach, canned tomato sauce, parmesan cheese

Directions: In a pot, bring salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to directions on the box until al dente. While pasta is boiling, add the tomato sauce into a saucepan over medium heat. Add in spinach (allow more time if it’s frozen, less if it’s fresh) and stir until heated through. Strain pasta when finished cooking, and pour it back into pot with tomato sauce. Grate fresh parmesan over the top, salt and pepper to taste, and dig in.

Nacho Salad

Ingredients: torn iceberg lettuce, black beans, rice (brown or white), diced chicken breast or ground turkey, diced tomato, sliced avocado, sliced onion, tortilla chips

Directions: If your rice isn’t pre-cooked, prepare it according to the package directions. During this time, sauté diced chicken or ground turkey in a large pan over medium heat with a touch of oil until completely cooked through and chop remaining ingredients. In a mixing bowl, layer the greens, rice, protein, and veggies. Top with avocado and crushed tortilla chips, or leave the chips whole and use them to scoop up the salad!

Chicken Stir Fry

Ingredients: 1in cubed chicken breasts or thighs, green beans, mushrooms (oyster or crimini), soy sauce, white or brown rice

Directions: If the rice isn’t pre-cooked, cook with rice cooker it according to the package directions. In a large pan, sear chicken over high heat with a touch of oil for about a minute and a half per side. Remove chicken from fry pan and set aside. Add to pan the rinsed and cut green beans and mushrooms, and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until cooked through. Add in chicken and soy sauce (to taste) and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Pour stir-fry mix over rice and enjoy.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Ingredients: quinoa, your favorite greens (like kale, spinach or romaine), feta cheese, chickpeas, olives, diced cucumber, diced tomato, thinly sliced red onion, balsamic vinaigrette 

Directions: If your quinoa is uncooked, bring two cups of water for every 1 cup of quinoa to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for about 10 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Prepare the other ingredients like chopping the veggies and draining the chickpeas if they are canned. Once quinoa is finished cooking, add it to a large mixing bowl with all other ingredients and toss to combine. Dig in!

Turkey Skillet

Ingredients: ground turkey, diced sweet potato, black beans, corn, sour cream, cheddar cheese

Directions: Preheat an oven to 350 degrees and place diced sweet potato in one layer on a baking sheet with olive or coconut oil and salt. Keep in mind, the smaller the pieces of sweet potato, the less time it’ll need to cook! Check them every 10 minutes, but after 20 minutes, the sweet potato should be cooked through (depending on the size). In the meantime, sauté turkey until completely browned and cooked through. Rinse and drain black beans and corn if canned, and shred the cheddar cheese. Once the sweet potato is done baking, add it to a bowl with the turkey, black beans, and corn. Top with sour cream and cheddar cheese. Eat immediately while hot.

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