For me, when it comes to weeknight cooking, sometimes it’s there and sometimes… it’s totally not. A day in the life of the former case: When I’m on my meal prep game, I’m all in and fully prepared for whatever comes my way. Need to work late? I have my tried and true staples stacked up in the fridge in beautifully-hued containers. A friend wants to drop by for an impromptu get-together? There’s an extra serving of one of my go-to soups (and bread!) ready to reheat. When I don’t have it all together (which admittedly, is more weeks than not), franticly scrambled together and unfortunately, less-than-healthy options come into my rotation. I decided it was time to regroup and give my weeknight dinners the opportunity to be a source of joy—not stress. And that my friends, is when these easy weeknight dinner recipes came into my life.
While it’s true that we have to eat to survive, many people (myself included) love to use cooking as a way to unwind at the end of a long day. And while it would be ideal to have the time and space for that Monday through Friday, when the happy chaos of the week takes its toll, it’s these 12 easy and breezy, healthy and filling weeknight recipes that I can’t get enough of.
To help you get your fill and protect your weeknight peace of mind, I’m sharing the recipes that support me in making it to the weekend feeling satiated and low on the stress. Without further ado, here are the hardworking dishes that’ll have you looking forward to dinner every night of the week.
Feature image by Michelle Nash.
Egg Roll in a Bowl from Fed + Fit
Why We Love It: This meal is all about color, variety, and amazing convenience. Plus, a single bowl packs so many veggies (carrots, green onions, and red and purple cabbage), that you won’t even have to prep a salad alongside. Truly a one-and-done dish.
Hero Ingredient: A teaspoon of fresh grated ginger is all you need to introduce a little subtle spice into your life.
Get the recipe for Egg Roll in a Bowl.
Vegan Chorizo Tacos
Why We Love It: Your Tuesday Taco Night tastebuds will never be the same after trying this recipe. Chorizo tacos are one delicious thing, but vegan chorizo tacos? Something totally else. Brought to you by the tacos from everyone’s favorite Austin-based health food haven, The Well, these bundles of delicious joy are (spoiler!) even anti-inflammatory. Your body, mind, and schedule will thank you.
Hero Ingredient: Nothing gives you the tender, spicy bite of chorizo (minus the meat) quite like chickpeas.
Get the recipe for Vegan Chorizo Tacos.
Deep Green Lentil Stew With Spinach, Tahini, & Lemon from The First Mess
Why We Love It: Call me crazy, but I fully believe that a bowl brimming with lentil soup is always capable of curing what ails you. This interpretation takes a bright green spin on the classic, packing your dinner with plenty of spinach, herbs, lemon, and tahini for a creamy, perfectly-puréed bite.
Hero Ingredient: Yukon gold potatoes give this soup majorly satisfying smoothness.
Get the recipe for Deep Green Lentil Stew With Spinach, Tahini, & Lemon.
Vegan Alfredo Sauce from Love & Lemons
Why We Love It: A rich Alfredo sauce that’s just as good as its cheesy, creamy, and buttery counterparts? You better believe it. This recipe is easy but elegant, making it a perfect pick for a random Monday evening or the at-home date night you’ve been planning for weeks.
Hero Ingredient: Alternative naming option for this recipe: nutritional yeast, a love story.
Get the recipe for Vegan Alfredo Sauce.
Why We Love It: We’re pretty passionate about having multiple servings of salmon spaced throughout the week. The fish is delish, packs the protein, and even gives your skin some lovin’. Pair with the traditionally Japanese flavors of miso, mirin, soy sauce, and ginger, and you have yourself a beautiful dinner that takes only about 20 minutes to make.
Hero Ingredient: A topping of toasted sesame seeds is just the crunch this salmon needs.
Get the recipe for Miso-Glazed Salmon.
Vegan Pad Thai from Full of Plants
Why We Love It: In my book, sweet, salty, and sour is the trifecta of flavor—and this recipe leans on the combo of all three to create crave-worthy flavor.
Hero Ingredient: Tamarind juice is the secret to getting the sauce’s balance of fruity-sourness just right.
Get the recipe for Vegan Pad Thai.
Why We Love It: Nachos? A complete meal? You better believe it. This recipe totally transforms the popular bar snack into a dinner that’s low-carb and high on the fiber and flavor. It has cheesiness thanks to the nutritional yeast and spice from the chili, garlic, and onion powders (and jalapeno!). Plus, topping your nachos with black beans makes this dinner light but filling.
Hero Ingredient: Round of applause for the genius swap that is switching out the traditional chips for cauliflower.
Get the recipe for Cauliflower Nachos.
Crispy Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Yogurt, Herbs, and Everything Spice
Why We Love It: Everything Spice and… everything nice (that’s how the saying goes, right?). I might have my idioms confused, but when it comes to this recipe, it doesn’t matter. I’m laser-focused on the crispy-creamy balance these sweet potatoes boast.
Hero Ingredient: Toppings are totally up to you, but Greek yogurt? A non-negotiable. You can swap in a vegan alternative if you’re making this dish dairy-free.
Get the recipe for Crispy Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Yogurt, Herbs, and Everything Spice.
Orecchiette With Peas, Asparagus, and Mascarpone from Flourishing Foodie
Why We Love It: Springtime serenity, on a plate. Pasta with peas and asparagus is always the dish I crave during this time of year when February makes way for March and the skies change from gray to cheery blue. Lemon, parmesan, and mascarpone bring me back to life and are always sure to add a spring to my step.
Hero Ingredient: Tiny shells of orecchiette are the perfect complement to this pasta’s love of light and fresh veggies.
Get the recipe for Orecchiette With Peas, Asparagus, and Mascarpone.
Slow Baked Citrus Salmon With Fennel & Herbs
Why We Love It: It’s impossible not to include Camille’s go-to salmon in a roundup of the tastiest easy weeknight dinner recipes. This take on the protein uses a slow-roasting method, meaning that while it may take a little longer in the oven than broiling would, it’s almost all hands-off and gives you the most tender salmon you’ve ever tried.
Hero Ingredient: Fennel brings a licorice-like, anise flavor to the party that’s undeniably good.
Get the recipe for Slow Baked Citrus Salmon with Fennel & Herbs.
Red Curry Salmon and Vegetables from The Roasted Root
Why We Love It: Tons of flavor and nutrition, all in one cozy bowl. While I’d consider myself a curry connoisseur, I hadn’t tried salmon curry before finding this recipe. Now, it’s fully solidified as my all-time favorite curry. A whole lot of vegetables complement the salmon (red peppers, carrots, and broccoli), and the red curry paste’s heat gets played up with the addition of basil, lime juice, and ginger.
Hero Ingredient: Creamy curry, brought to you by coconut milk.
Get the recipe for Red Curry Salmon and Vegetables.
Rainbow Vegetable Edamame Bowls With Teriyaki Sauce from Minimalist Baker
Why We Love It: Don’t you love it when your dinner captures all the beauty of the rainbow? These bowls give you tons of fiber and protein and are 100% vegan and gluten-free. So not only are they a breeze to pull together at the eleventh hour (when hunger turns hangry), but they’re also fit for any dietary need.
Hero Ingredient: Teriyaki (homemade or store-bought, depending on what your schedule allows) ties all the vibrant components of this bowl together to perfection.
Get the recipe for Rainbow Vegetable Edamame Bowls With Teriyaki Sauce.