5 Healthy and Easy Meals You Can Make In Under 20 Minutes

Dr. Angela Seabright
Jacqueline Officer

| 5 min read

Eating healthy is a necessity but sometimes there are just not enough hours in a day. Getting up and going to work or running errands can make time zoom by. With a little bit of planning and preparation it is possible to make healthy, fulfilling and yummy meals, even during swamped weeknights.
Here are 5 healthy and easy meals to make in 20 minutes or less:
Spicy Salmon and Mustard
Recipe is adapted from My Recipes
Total time: 15 minutes
  • 2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets
Preheat broiler. Combine first six ingredients in a bowl. Stir mixture well. Rub mustard mixture over each fillet. Place salmon, skin side down, on an oiled baking dish. Broil 8 minutes or until fish flakes. Test with a fork for your desired doneness. Serve over a sautéed vegetable of your choice.
Nutritional information per serving (yields 4 servings): 324 calories, 18.9g fat, 3.7g saturated fat, 268mg sodium, 2.9g carbohydrates, 34g protein
Chicken Creole
Recipe is adapted from Spark People
Total time: 20 minutes
  • 4 medium chicken breast halves, skinned, boned, and cut into 1″ strips
  • 1 can (14 oz.) tomatoes, cut up
  • 1 cup low-sodium chili sauce
  • 1-1/2 cups green peppers, chopped (1 large)
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Spray a nonstick stir-fry pan. Cook chicken in hot skillet, stirring, for 3-5 minutes. Then reduce heat. In a separate pan preheat over high heat. Add tomatoes and their juice, low-sodium chili sauce, green peppers, celery, onion, garlic, basil, parsley, crushed red pepper, and salt to the pan. Bring sauce to a boil, reduce heat and simmer. Serve with brown rice.
Nutritional information per serving (yields 4 servings): 255.4calories, 4.5g fat, 652mg sodium, 20g carbohydrates, 33g protein
Chicken with Rice, Lemon and Ginger
Recipe is adapted from My Recipes
Total time: 20 minutes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons finely minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon white miso
  • 1 (8-ounce) package presliced cremini mushrooms
  • 4 1/2 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded skinless rotisserie chicken breast
  • 3 cups chopped bok choy
  • 1 (8.5-ounce) pouch precooked brown rice
  • 1 tablespoon lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Heat up oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, ginger, and miso; sauté 4 minutes. Add mushrooms and sauté 2 minutes. Add stock, chicken, and bok choy and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 8 minutes. While soup simmers, prepare rice according to package directions. Stir rice, soy sauce, salt, and pepper into soup; cook 4 minutes or until bok choy is tender. Remove from heat; stir in lemon rind and juice.
Nutritional information per serving (yields 6 servings): 185 calories, 5g fat, 0.8g saturated fat, 607mg sodium, 18g carbohydrates, 18g protein
Beef Stir-Fry
Recipe is adapted from Fitness Magazine
Total time: 20 minutes
  • 12 ounces beef tenderloin, cut into thin strips
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon plus
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
In a bowl, combine beef, 2 tablespoons lime juice, 1 tablespoon chili powder and set aside. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion, bell pepper, and poblano and sauté 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add beef and marinade to vegetables and cook 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper. Serve with brown rice or corn tortillas
Nutritional information per serving (yields 4 servings): 436 calories, 26g fat, 7g saturated fat, 30g carbohydrates, 28g protein
Shrimp and Cous-Cous
Recipe adapted from Food Network
Total time: 20 minutes
  • 1 cup whole wheat couscous
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped (or golden raisins)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup 2-percent plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon prepared hummus
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint or dill
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed
  • 1 cup cherry tomato, halved
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon hot paprika
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
Preheat the broiler to high. Combine the couscous, apricots and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a bowl. Add 1 1/4 cups very hot water, cover with plastic wrap and let sit until all of the water is absorbed and the couscous is tender, about 5 minutes. Stir together the yogurt, hummus, mint and 1 to 2 tablespoons water in another bowl. Season with salt and set aside. Toss the shrimp, tomatoes, the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and paprika together. Spread out on a baking sheet and broil until the shrimp is opaque and cooked through, about 4 minutes. Drizzle with the lemon juice. Fluff the couscous with a fork.
Nutritional information per serving (yields 4 servings): 385 calories, 10g fat, 2g saturated fat, 950mg sodium, 47g carbohydrates, 30g protein
What are your favorite weeknight recipes? Share your suggestions by leaving us a comment.
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Photo credit: Stacy Spensley

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