3 Fast, Healthy Dinner Recipes (So You Can Still Work Out)

Quick, easy meals are definitely in high demand on weeknights, especially if you're trying to squeeze a workout into the madness of a busy evening. While fast meals and unhealthy meals often go hand-in-hand, there are plenty of options for quick, healthy weeknight eats.

We've collected three fast, healthy dinner recipes from some of our favorite cooking websites. Give these recipes a try so you can fit fitness into your weeknight schedule and still have time for a healthy meal.

1. Poached Cod in Tomato Sauce

This simple recipe from Nom Nom Paleo incorporates fish in a way that even non-seafood fans can enjoy. It's easy to tailor this recipe to one or five servings, making it an unbeatable winner for a hot and healthy dinner. While recipe creator Michelle Tam calls for paleo-friendly marinara, the recipe isn't spoiled by using your favorite brand of sauce in a can or a jar.


  • 4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless cod fillets

  • 2 cups marinara sauce or salsa

  • Salt

  • Pepper

  • 1/4 cup chopped herbs (such as basil, Italian parsley or cilantro)


Pour two cups of marinara sauce or salsa into a large skillet with a lid. Bring the sauce to a boil. Meanwhile, blot cod fillets with a paper towel and season both sides with salt. Carefully place cod into boiling sauce. Lower the heat to a simmer (medium-low), cover and let cook for 5-8 minutes. Once the fish is opaque and cooked to your liking, top it with pepper and fresh herbs. Serve with your choice of side, such as cooked vegetables or a fresh salad.

2. Peanut Noodles with Shredded Chicken and Vegetables

This easy recipe from Eating Well can satisfy a Thai food craving without ruining your healthy eating streak. Smooth or chunky peanut butter works very well with this recipe. Rice can be used instead of the spaghetti, too. If you're avoiding soy, try coconut aminos for the same taste with an added nutritional punch.


  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts

  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chile-garlic sauce

  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger

  • 8 oz whole-wheat spaghetti

  • 1 12-oz bag fresh vegetable medley (such as carrots, broccoli and snow peas)


Place chicken in a skillet and add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer gently until chicken is no longer pink in the middle (10-12 minutes). Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil for cooking the pasta. Once the chicken is finished cooking, move it to a cutting board and shred into bite-size pieces.

Cook pasta in boiling water. Add vegetables to water during the last minute of the pasta's cooking time. Meanwhile, whisk the peanut butter, soy sauce, garlic, chile-garlic sauce and ginger in a large bowl. Drain pasta and vegetables when they are finished cooking, saving one cup of the cooking water. Stir the saved cooking water into the peanut sauce. Add the pasta, vegetables and chicken and toss well before serving.

3. Slow Cooker Pot Roast Soup

You can't have a quick and simple dinner list without including the busy cook's best friend: the slow cooker. This easy recipe from Colorado Beef Council can be customized by substituting carrots for peas, if you prefer one over the other. You could also swap cubed sweet potato for the frozen hash brown potatoes.


  • 1 boneless beef shoulder roast (2 1/2 pounds)

  • 2 cups chopped onions

  • 1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes with green peppers and onions

  • 1 cup frozen hash brown potatoes (cubes)

  • 1 cup beef broth

  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

  • 2 cups broccoli slaw

  • 1/2 cup frozen peas


Cut beef roast into 12 equal pieces and place in a slow cooker. Add all ingredients except for broccoli slaw and peas. Cover and cook on high for 5-6 hours or on low for 8-9 hours (beef will be fork-tender when done). Stir in broccoli slaw during final 30 minutes of cook time. Turn off the slow cooker, stir in peas and let stand (covered) for 5 minutes before serving.

Hopefully these fast, healthy dinner recipes will help you stay on track with your health goals even when you're crunched for time.
posted by
Lauren Seidl
Blogger at Sierra Trading Post
Lauren enjoys hiking, camping, climbing and exploring the outdoors. She's always up for trying something new, especially if it involves getting outside. When Lauren isn't out finding adventures in her home state of Colorado, she can be found writing as Sierra Trading Post's blogger.
Join the Conversation