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Nutritionists Are Sharing The Meals They Make Or Buy When They're Too Tired To Cook But Still Want To Eat Well

I'm trying several of these.

Making dinner every night can quickly turn into a chore, especially if you're trying to keep your meals balanced and nutritious. 🍅

So for inspiration, we asked registered dietitians and nutritionists for their go-to easy and lazy (yet still healthy!) dinner options. These are the meals — a mix of homemade and store-bought — they reach for after a long day or week when they want something simple and fast, but still nutritious.

1. For a 15-minute meal with zero chopping required: Saucy Quick Chicken With Artichokes and Tomatoes

Anne Mauney / fannetasticfood.com

"My favorite throw-together dinner is my saucy quick chicken recipe with artichokes and tomatoes. It sounds fancy but it's super easy — and it only uses one pan and mostly pantry staples. It goes from stove to table in under 15 minutes, with only four base ingredients and no chopping involved. It's such a filling and delicious meal, too!

To make it: Toss chicken breasts in a pan with a little olive oil, then pour in some canned diced tomatoes and canned artichokes, and let it all simmer with the lid on for about 10 minutes. When the chicken is just about fully cooked, add in a big handful of fresh baby spinach and let it wilt down. You can enjoy as is, or serve on top of some brown rice or pasta."

Anne Mauney, MPH, RD, founder of fANNEtasticfood

Get the recipe: Saucy Quick Chicken With Artichokes and Tomatoes

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2. For something that basically makes itself — and leaves you with plenty of leftovers: Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili

pickyeaterblog.com

"I'm a big fan of make-ahead and Instant Pot meals for dinner. I'll often make a triple batch, this way I have an easy dinner three nights in a row! One of my favorites is this easy Instant Pot vegetarian chili. It's spicy, hearty, super filling, and ready in under 30 minutes. It also freezes well and keeps in the fridge for up to five days, which makes it a great make-ahead meal!"

Anjali Shah, board-certified health coach, founder of the Picky Eater, and author of Kid Chef Junior: My First Kids Cookbook

Get the recipe: Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili

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3. For a nutritious pick from the freezer aisle: Primal Kitchen's Beef and Mushroom Bowl With Spinach

Holly Perkins

"This is my favorite frozen go-to right now when I just don’t have an ounce of energy left, but feel committed to eating well and assembling the healthiest meal I can. I love this meal option because there are very few dishes to clean after. It’s also got a hefty serving of vegetables, alongside protein and fiber.

First, I prepare a Primal Kitchen Beef and Mushroom Bowl (the Chicken Pesto is also divine). While it’s “cooking,” I wilt some frozen spinach in a skillet with just a bit of olive oil. Sometimes, I’ll throw in some frozen kale as well. I like to cook my greens just until they are warm and wilted, but not overly cooked. This way, they don’t get mushy and it helps to improve the nutrition profile without cooking out the delicate water-soluble vitamins. Once both are ready, I put the Primal Kitchen on top of the greens and enjoy. It’s healthy and very satisfying."

Holly Perkins, BS, CSCS, author of Lift to Get Lean: A Beginner's Guide to Fitness & Strength Training in 3 Simple Steps, and creator of the Nutrition Project

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4. For a plant-powered Taco Tuesday dish: Cauliflower Chickpea Tacos

Rachel Beller

"This is my easiest ever Taco Tuesday recipe! You just toss some cauliflower and chickpeas with avocado oil and any taco seasoning (or my Tex Mex Blend, below), bake it all, and that’s it. I like to add this taco filling to lettuce wraps and dress it up with lemon juice and other toppings, but you could totally eat this as-is. High flavor, low effort! Here's what you need for four servings:

6–8 cups cauliflower florets

3 cups chickpeas (2 cans, drained and rinsed)

2 tablespoons avocado oil (or olive oil)

1 tablespoon Tex Mex Power Spicing Blend (or taco seasoning, ideally with no added salt or sugar)

3 tablespoons lemon juice (1 large lemon)

Place the cauliflower and chickpeas in a bowl. Add the oil and spices and combine well to coat the cauliflower and chickpeas evenly. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 400°F for about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and drizzle with lemon juice. Wrap in lettuce cups and feel free to top with salsa, cashew creme, or hot sauce.

Rachel Beller, MS, RDN, CEO of Beller Nutrition, and creator of 90 Day Transformation Masterclass

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5. For a high-fiber option that cooks quickly in the microwave: Sweet Potato with Canned Beans, Hummus, and a Fried Egg

@rusnacsabinablog / Via instagram.com

"My lazy dinner is a combination of breakfast and dinner. I enjoy a "baked" potato that I actually microwave. I top it with around half a cup of canned beans, a heaping tablespoon of hummus, a tablespoon of regular sour cream, and a fried egg. I only need one small frying pan, so cleanup is minimal. This meal provides lots of fiber from the beans and the potato and protein from the beans and the egg. Hummus and sour cream are simply used here for extra yumminess."

Keri Gans, MS, RDN, CDN, author of The Small Change Diet: 10 Steps to a Thinner, Healthier You

6. For a super fast meal that can work with pretty much any veggies in your fridge: Mediterranean Scramble Pita Pockets

Kath Younger / katheats.com

"My simple lazy dinner is a veggie omelet! I always have eggs, cheese, and baby spinach in my fridge, and I add any leftover vegetables or pantry staples that I have on hand, like kalamata olives, leftover roasted sweet potatoes, or herbs. My goal is always a combination of protein, vegetables, and fat, and of course flavor, wherever I can add it through herbs, seasoned salt, or special cheeses."

Kath Younger, RD, founder of Kath Eats Real Food

Get the recipe: Mediterranean Scramble Pita Pockets

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7. For when you want a protein-packed (yet highly customizable) classic: Batch-Cooked Chili

abbylangernutrition.com

"My mom's chili is spectacular. I make it in batches and freeze it (it freezes like a dream), and the great thing is that it's super versatile. I've served it in bowls, on baked potatoes, on nachos, in salads, on an omelet... Trust me: There's nothing this chili can't do."

Abby Langer, RD, founder of Abby Langer Nutrition

Get the recipe: Classic Chili Recipe

8. For an incredibly easy addition to Pasta Night: Three-Ingredient Protein Pasta

Rachel Beller

"This is my favorite lazy weeknight pasta recipe. All you need to do is heat and combine three store-bought (or premade) ingredients into one perfectly nutritious dish. Chickpea pasta is gluten-free, and high in both fiber and protein to help keep you full for hours. Look for a marinara sauce without added sugar at the store. For even more nutrients and flavor, you can sprinkle on some nutritional yeast and chili flakes. Leftovers are great for an easy lunch the next day! Here's what you need:

1 cup chickpea pasta

1/2 cup marinara sauce

2 cups cooked vegetables (roasted or steamed is fine)

Cook chickpea pasta as directed on packaging. Combine with 1/2 cup marinara sauce and 2 cups low starch vegetables. Enjoy!"

Rachel Beller, MS, RDN, CEO of Beller Nutrition, and creator of 90 Day Transformation Masterclass

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9. For a customizable option that you can tailor to any craving: Burrito Bowls

@turquoisekitcheneats / Via instagram.com

"An easy and fast dinner I love is burrito bowls. All you need is some beans (I use canned whole black beans or refried black beans to save time), store-bought toppings like guacamole and salsa, your favorite veggies (either frozen or fresh and precut to save on prep time), some shredded Mexican cheese (buy it pre-shredded to save time) and some tortilla chips. Throw it all in a bowl with some taco seasoning and you have an easy, healthy, delicious meal ready in minutes!"

Anjali Shah, board-certified health coach, founder of the Picky Eater, and author of Kid Chef Junior: My First Kids Cookbook

10. For a budget-friendly Trader Joe's pick: TJ's Hi-Protein Veggie Burger

@nikki_plate / Via instagram.com

"Dinner can sometimes be the hardest meal to make especially after a long day. But it doesn't have to be complicated and there are quick and healthy options out there. Next time you're in a pinch try using frozen staple items to make meals. I always recommend having some type of frozen vegetable and veggie burger (like the Hi-Protein burger from Trader Joe's) in the freezer for moments like these.

If you're not a burger and veggies type of person, stir-fry is another quick and healthy dinner option. Use frozen stir-fry veggies, pre-pressed seasoned tofu, and quick-cooking brown rice. This creates a balanced meal in less than 15 minutes. (A balanced meal typically consists of making your plate 1/2 vegetables, 1/4 protein, and 1/4 complex carbohydrates.)"

Rhyan Geiger, RDN, owner of Phoenix Vegan Dietitian

11. For a meatless meal that even carnivores will love: Peanut Butter Noodles

abbylangernutrition.com

"Peanut butter and pasta? YES! These peanut butter noodles are easy and delicious, and you can use whichever vegetables are languishing in your produce drawer. They're a meatless dish that everyone is going to love."

Abby Langer, RD, founder of Abby Langer Nutrition

Get the recipe: Peanut Butter Noodles

12. For a freezer-friendly staple that doesn't have any filler: Whole Foods Market California-Style Vegetable Protein Blend

amazon.com

"This is fast food at its best! It’s simply low starch vegetables, plant-based protein, and a touch of olive oil, aka a complete meal. All you have to do is sauté and enjoy this frozen meal in a bag. Perfect for a fast dinner!"

Rachel Beller, MS, RDN, CEO of Beller Nutrition, and creator of 90 Day Transformation Masterclass

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13. For a balanced option that relies mostly on inexpensive non-perishables: Rice, Beans, and Veggie Bowl

@healthyinhealthyu / Via instagram.com

"This dinner option uses what I like to call healthy convenience food, which is basically just plain (ie: low sodium) canned, frozen, or pre-chopped produce. In about 15 minutes, you have a balanced meal consisting of whole grains, veggies, protein, and healthy fats. Here's what you need:

90-second / quick-cooking plain brown rice (check the label to make sure there is little to no sodium)

Canned, low-sodium (130 mg or less) black beans

Pre-sliced mushrooms

Baby spinach

Chipotle Bitchin' Sauce

Rinse and drain the black beans and clean the mushrooms. Sauté the mushrooms with a little oil and some garlic powder (or any other spices you want). When they're almost done cooking, add the black beans and a handful of baby spinach. Mix everything in the pan until the spinach is just wilted. Pour everything from the pan into a bowl on top of the brown rice. Top it off with some chipotle sauce and you’re done!

Delilah Bisase, RD, founder of Remedy by Delilah

14. For a spicy cold weather dish that's great on its own — or over some zoodles: Lazy Black Bean Chili

Rachel Beller

"This black bean chili is my ultimate lazy day, comfort food recipe. With only six ingredients and 15 minutes of cooking time, you’ll have a hearty bowl that is both great on its own or paired with some veggies. I like to use my Savory Sizzle blend to add flavor and a little heat to this chili, but you can easily substitute other spices (see the recipe below) for a similar flavor profile. Here's what you need for two servings:

1 onion (chopped)

1 tablespoon olive oil (or avocado oil)

2 bell peppers (any color, chopped)

1 tablespoon Savory Sizzle Blend (or sub with 1 tsp chili powder, ½ tsp cumin, ¼ tsp cayenne pepper)

1 1/2 cup black beans (cooked, drained, rinsed)

1 cup tomato sauce

In a medium-sized pot over medium heat, sauté the onion and peppers for five minutes until cooked through. Add the spice blend. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to low and add the black beans, tomato sauce and cook for six to eight minutes. Season with salt to taste. Serve with veggies of choice such as spaghetti squash or zoodles. Enjoy!"

Rachel Beller, MS, RDN, CEO of Beller Nutrition, and creator of 90 Day Transformation Masterclass

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What's your favorite go-to meal that's easy to make but still nutritious? Share in the comments!

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