20 Minute Dinner Go-To's

While I have very little to complain about in regards to pregnancy symptoms, I'm still hitting an exhaustion wall around 3pm that wipes me out and takes away all of my motivation to cook dinner.

I normally spend an hour talking myself into just doing it even when it doesn't sound fun or appealing at all. I think Joel gets a text message three times a week warning him that I might not be up for making dinner, but most days I get a wave of energy and end up powering through and getting it done.

One thing that has helped is keeping the dinner plan as simple as possible. My goal is to spend as little time in the kitchen cooking and preparing as possible. I've finally got about ten or so meals that I can crank out quickly, so I decided to group them here in case you're in need of some quick dinner motivation too.

As you may or may not notice, I haven't been much into fish, so that food group is notably missing, and I'm still trying to avoid super carb-heavy dinners so I try to keep sandwiches and pastas at bay during the week, although they've been popping up more and more.


These have been our go-to's for the last 17 weeks and will probably carry us for the foreseeable future!

Sometimes I cut out the peppers and just turn them into "bowls" (one less step). Everything remains the same except you serve it in a bowl and I add a lot of extra sriacha. 

additional time saver - buy your own tzatzki
Gryos with Greek Chicken & Tzatziki Sauce (also recipe for flatbread pita) | Cooking Classy


Chili is a constant around here too. We like to make a regular chili on Sundays to have for the whole week, but I love a white chicken chili in the summer too.

I roasted the chick-peas at 425, coated in olive oil, s&p, for 30 minutes

Taco Bar
I mix up the ingredients based on what sounds good, but staples are corn, beans, jalpenos, pre-shredded lettuce, cheese, homemade guac, and ground turkey

Breakfast for Dinner - Protein Pancakes
I'll pick up breakfast turkey sausage to serve with the protein pancakes, or we'll do eggs and smoothies when I'm really desperate.

Meatballs - Buffalo Turkey 
Meatballs are so easy and statifying, so different variations show up on our menu a lot! These are really good, but I did have to omit the blue cheese for now, but I subbed it with plain greek yogurt and extra green onion.

Steak and/or Steak Salad
This is my recipe. It's steak served on a bed of broccoli/carrot slaw (bought at Trader Joes) and cabbage. I add tomatoes, avocado, and chopped pecans and toss it with a wasabi dressing I buy at our local seafood shop.

What are some of your healthy and quick weeknight dinners?


  1. I am so lazy on weeknights! I love anything that can be made in one pot or pan.

  2. I've been so bad about making nice cooked meals since I've been pregnant and I used to love to cook! I'm either too tired or too disgusted by food! Thanks for these ideas though!
    Ally - Life as I know it

  3. Agree with PP - one pan dinners! Last night I chopped three bell peppers, two onions, and a turkey kielbasa in big hunks, tossed with some spices and popped them in the oven for 30 minutes.

  4. There were many nights when I was pregnant that take out or sandwiches were on the menu. I can specifically remember many nights where my husband just picked up food for himself. I was too tired to care about eating anything other than crackers and cheese!

  5. I always love to see other peoples go-to meals. I have gotten super lazy with meal planning or being organized with grocery shopping and it makes weeknights such a challenge. (I think that was one of my new years resolution too, oops!) We end up with broccoli & hummus and a grilled chicken sausage more often than I'd like to admit.
    Anyway, I think you know most of my go to's...
    -portabello mushroom caps stuffed with ground chicken sausage, spinach & a little cheese. Or stuffed peppers with the same combo.
    -tacos or taco salad
    -some sort of Asian stir fry with as many veggies as I can throw in + a protein
    -crockpot Chicken Marbella (this takes advanced prep but is actually super easy and yummy). Everytime I make it, I swear I'm going to start using the crockpot more.
    -TJ's Chicken Breast w. Coconut Curry Sauce (we are NOT prepared food people- but this is so yummy/ easy/ relatively healthy. Can be found in the refrigerator section.) I usually serve it with some quinoa & steamed spinach.

    Have you made the Cheeky Kitchen recipe for Warm Asparagus, Gorgonzola & Steak Salad? I haven't made it in ages, but it's always delicious and so easy. You could sub Gorgonzola with goat cheese.

    I want to get better at making a big batch of veggie soup on Sunday for the week. I love it when I do it, but it happens once in a blue moon. I also bought a Spiralizer and need to get better about putting that baby to work.

  6. I need to add pitas to my list as well as buffalo sauce for those meatballs in my freezer ;)

  7. I have a fussy three-year-old, so on top of getting home from work and not feeling like cooking a lot of the time, the challenge is to make meals that everybody will eat. I don't want to get stuck in the trap of making a different meal for everyone! Some of our favourites: tomato-basil soup with quesadillas or grilled cheese, burrito bowls (rice, beans, corn, salsa, avocados, lime juice, and some kind of protein, usually grilled chicken or tofu), veggie burgers with sweet potato fries, perogies and salad, breakfast for dinner, or any kind of tacos. The slow cooker is also a godsend!

  8. I've been making variations of stuffed peppers a lot lately, they're so easy and so good! One pan dinners are always the best too, easy to make and more importantly - easy clean up!