Useful Tips for Preparing Healthy Meals in 20 Minutes or Less

10 Brilliant Dinner Shortcuts for Healthy 20-Minute Meals

Getting dinner ready can be a challenge, especially when you’re short on time and trying to maintain a healthy diet. If you’re looking for fast and fresh meal ideas, it’s time to rethink your approach. Check out these 10 brilliant dinner shortcuts and get your meal on the table in 20 minutes or less.

From batch-cooked roasted vegetables to canned seafood and simple stir-fry, these shortcuts are worth stealing.

1. Batch-Cooked Roasted Vegetables

20-Minute Meals - Roasted Vegetables

Photo and recipe: @katekosaya

By roasting a big batch of vegetables once or twice a week, you can create multiple meals. These can be turned into a veggie bowl or a creamy vegetable soup made with coconut milk, providing a convenient and healthy meal option.

2. Canned Seafood

20-Minute Meals-Canned Seafood Baguette

Photo and Recipe: Wild Greens and Sardines

Canned seafood can provide a quick and easy protein source for your meal. Small fish like sardines, anchovies, and mackerel are not only sustainable and healthy but also versatile and easy to prepare. They can be added to a variety of dishes such as salads, pasta, and beans, offering a simple and nutritious meal solution.

3. Simple Stir-Fry

20-Minute Meals: Healthy Bowl Dinner Shortcuts

Photo and recipe: McKel Hill / Nutrition Stripped

Creating a simple stir-fry with leftover roasted vegetables, a protein, a carbohydrate, and a healthy fat can be quick and satisfying. By experimenting with a variety of herbs and spices, you can keep your stir-fry interesting and enjoyable, ensuring a tasty and nutritious meal in no time.

4. Eggs Anytime

20-Minute Meals: Easy Egg Scramble Recipe

Photo: Pond5

Eggs are not just for breakfast. They can also be a quick and versatile option for dinner. By incorporating eggs with a variety of vegetables and additional ingredients like avocado and kimchi, you can create a simple and nutritious meal within 20 minutes.

With these 20-minute meal shortcuts, you can enjoy healthy and delicious dinners without spending hours in the kitchen. Try out these ideas and start eating well even on your busiest days.

20-Minute Meals: Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie Recipe

Photo and recipe: Liz Moody / @sproutedroutes

5. Fruit and Vegetable Smoothie

When it comes to quick and healthy meals, a well-balanced smoothie can be a go-to option for dinner. Liz Moody of Sprouted Routes, the author of Glow Pops, recommends smoothies because they are not only quick to make but also affordable. She suggests incorporating a good amount of greens, fat, and protein to create a satisfying dinner smoothie. Some of her favorite flavor combinations include mint chocolate chip and cilantro cucumber.

RELATED: 14 Deliciously Healthy Green Smoothie Recipes

20-Minute Meals: Quinoa Brussels Spouts Dinner Shortcuts

Photo: Courtesy of Sara Sullivan

6. Cooked Quinoa

Sara Sullivan, a plant-based nutrition counselor and holistic health practitioner, recommends batch-making quinoa at the beginning of the week. She emphasizes the versatility of quinoa, suggesting various options to utilize it in meals such as adding it to veggie chili, tossing it with roasted vegetables, or combining it with pesto for a quick and nutritious meal. Sullivan highlights that quinoa is a complete source of plant-based protein and a budget-friendly alternative to meat.

20-Minute Meals: Canned Chickpeas

Photo and Recipe: Emily Miller / Life by Daily Burn

7. Canned Chickpeas

Jenny Lei of LiveGreenHealthy shares her quick and simple chickpea salad recipe, perfect for those hectic days. With a can of chickpeas, half an avocado, a sprinkle of feta, and a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette, dinner can be assembled in no time. Adding mixed greens enhances the salad’s nutritional value, making it a convenient and healthy meal option.

20-Minute Meals - Cabbage

Photo and recipe:

8. Red and White Cabbage

Lisa Stewart of loves the versatility and affordability of cabbage. She suggests creating a Filipino pancit by sautéing cabbage, carrots, onions, and garlic, then topping it with broth-soaked rice noodles and any leftover pork or shredded chicken on hand. This dish, which can be enjoyed hot or at room temperature, provides a low-maintenance yet flavorful meal option.

Healthy 20-Minute Meals: Sweet Potato Kale Tacos

Photo and Recipe: Renee Blair / Life by Daily Burn

9. Anything-Goes Tacos

Sonja Overhiser of A Couple Cooks emphasizes the versatility of tacos, especially for using leftovers. She recommends using ingredients from the refrigerator and pantry to create mix-and-match tacos, reducing food waste while enjoying a quick and creative dinner.

RELATED: 30-Minute Meals for Quick, Healthy Dinner Ideas

20-Minute Meals - Cauliflower Veggie Smoothie

Photo and recipe: Choosing Chia

10. Frozen Cauliflower

Jessica Hoffman of Choosing Chia provides a unique twist by using frozen riced cauliflower in smoothies. This creative approach not only adds nutritional value but also maintains the original color of the smoothie while ensuring daily vegetable intake. Hoffman recommends adding a source of protein like almond butter, hemp seeds, or plant-based protein powder to make the smoothie a more substantial meal.

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