My favorite health recipes for super busy days

My favorite healthy recipes for busy weekdays

Here’s a collection of some of my favorite quick and easy healthy recipes for busy weekdays, so you can eat healthy and still have time to get the important stuff done.

Last week, I shared 31 time-saving tips for cooking and meal-prep. As promised, this week I’m sharing some of my favorite quick + easy healthy recipes from around the web.

These are some of my go-to’s when I’m short on time and need to get dinner ready fast, or want a breakfast or lunch that’s ready to grab and go.

They’re a combination of recipes that you can pull together quickly with minimal prep and cooking time, and recipes that you can quickly prep and then set-and-forget in the Instant Pot or slow cooker.

Dinner Recipes

1. Asian Broccoli Salad by Food Babe is probably the fastest recipe on this list. I don’t even like broccoli, but I do like this salad because of the peanut butter sauce (everything is better with peanut butter!). {Vegetarian}

2. This Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup from My Whole Food Life is (obvi) a slow cooker recipe, so you can just throw it all together in a few minutes and three to four hours later, you have dinner! Add a big salad to round it out and up the nutrients. {Vegan, Gluten-Free}

3. Eggs are a great choice for a quick dinner because they cook so fast and they’re super versatile. A good example is this Garlic Cauli-Rice with Spicy Vinegar from Find Your Balance — it’s so delicious. I save time by using my Breville mini-chopper to chop all the garlic (and despite having so much garlic, it’s not overpoweringly garlicky like you might think). I usually skip the rice and just use riced cauliflower (buy it pre-riced to save more time). {Vegetarian}

4. Pork & Napa Cabbage Soup from Nom Nom Paleo is one of my husband’s favorites. It’s such a simple recipe, but really flavorful. I rarely eat pork, so I like to substitute ground chicken or turkey instead. I also use bone broth to add a little extra nutrition.

5. Blackeyed Pea Soup with Smoked Sausage and Collards from The Blond Cook is what we had on New Year’s Day to cover our Southern bases of blackeyed peas and greens, but it’s a super easy and delicious recipe for any time of year.

6. Eggs Nested in Sauteed Chard & Mushrooms from Simply Recipes is one of my all-time favorites. It’s a recipe for one, so be sure to double it if you’re cooking for two. {Vegetarian}

7.  Zucchini Noodles with Avocado Walnut Pesto from Simple Healthy Kitchen is a fresh and fun take on pesto that comes together super fast. It’s even faster if you substitute spaghetti squash in place of the zucchini (or buy pre-spiralized zucchini noodles). You can pop the spagehtti squash in the oven and be doing the prep work and other things while it cooks, or get it done super fast in the Instant Pot. Also, I’m not a huge fan of feta so I always leave that out, and because my husband doesn’t like asparagus or green peas, I usually leave those out too — even with all those changes it’s still delicious!  {Vegetarian, Vegan if you omit the feta}

8. Spaghetti Squash with Marinara from the Food Network is super fast and easy (especially if you cook the spaghetti squash in the Instant Pot!). I like to add chopped sauteed portobello mushrooms to make it a little “meatier” and add some more nutrients. You could also add browned ground turkey or other meat for extra protein. Spaghetti squashes will keep for a long time in the refrigerator, so you can keep one of those and a jar of quality spaghetti sauce on hand for a fast impromptu dinner. {Vegan if no meat is used}

9. These Healthy Sloppy Joes from Simple Healthy Kitchen are an easy and healthy option when you’re craving comfort food. If you’re avoiding gluten, you can eat this in Romaine lettuce leaves instead of buns.

10. Slow Cooker Indian Curry Chicken from In Sonnet’s Kitchen is super easy to assemble and really hits the spot when you’re craving a warming creamy curry. It comes together quickly, but to save even more time, use pre-riced cauliflower (you can find it in many grocery stores in the produce or freezer sections). And while I’m sure the flavor is better by using the curry blend from the recipe, if you’re really strapped for time you could substitute a good curry powder for the spices (and save the time spent measuring out all the ingredients).

11. One last egg recipe — Coconut Curry Eggs from Well + Good is an easy one-pan dish that goes into a cast-iron skillet and straight into the oven. Different, fast, and delicious! {Vegetarian}

Related: Quick & easy wellness practices to boost your energy and health


Lunch Recipes

I mostly eat leftovers for lunch, but here are a few of my go-to recipes when I want to have something made ahead for lunch:

12. Serve this Salmon Salad by Simply Recipes in an avocado half or over fresh greens for a super healthy lunch. Using canned salmon instead of poaching it yourself makes this recipe come together really fast.

13. This Texas Caviar (which is basically just a blackeyed pea salad) is great served over fresh greens, and you can get a week’s worth of lunches out of it. I like to add chopped avocado to mine.

14. I think mason jar salads are one of the smartest things ever. If you haven’t tried them and worry they might not be filling enough for you, try this Chopped Taco Mason Jar Salad by Organize Yourself Skinny. It’s really hearty and you won’t feel hungry for hours after eating it. Plus you make this recipe once and you have lunches ready to grab and go for an entire week!

Related:  17 ways to make more time and energy for your goals


Breakfast Recipes

15. Overnight oats are another brilliant time-saving idea (how do people come up with this stuff?), and these Chocolate Chia Overnight Oats from Begin With Nutrition are one of my favorites. I mean, you can’t go wrong with chocolate for breakfast!

16. If you’re a smoothie fan and you like spicy food, you’ll love this Spicy Chard and Pineapple Smoothie from Serious Eats. It’s super healthy and one of my favorites. Use frozen pineapple and frozen chopped chard (or kale or spinach) to save prep time.

17. Chia seed puddings are another quick and healthy make-ahead breakfast option. One of my simple favorites is my very own Mango Chia Seed Pudding.

I hope this collection of my favorite go-to recipes for quick + healthy meals will help you save time in the kitchen so you can eat healthy and still have time to get the important stuff done.

What are some of your go-to recipes for a quick and healthy meal? Please share a link in the comment section below — I’d love to try it!

You might also like:

How to eat less sugar (and never miss it)

Eat healthier in 3 simple steps

Photo credit:  Viktor Hanacek at



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  1. Great post Val, I’ve really been struggling with finding good healthy recipes don’t take forever to cook! I’m excited to try out some of these recipes!