It can be challenging to get a healthy dinner on the table during busy workweeks, especially now that so many people are going back to the office and kids are in school again. 

Between the evening commute, school pickup, and helping with homework, finding the time to cook dinner is nearly impossible, so many people turn to expensive, unhealthy takeout or fast food options. Throw in the added difficulty of pleasing sometimes picky kids, and it can feel impossible to serve up a home-cooked dinner, even though we know it’s healthier and cheaper than the alternative.

Luckily, these 20-minute recipes are here to save the day. These easy meals will please a crowd, nourish growing kids and adults alike, and can be on the table in no time. 

Honey Garlic-Glazed Salmon

Fish is a quick dinner star because of its short cooking time and stellar nutrition facts. An excellent source of lean protein, fish typically cook in just a few minutes per side. Salmon gets bonus points for its concentration of omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, potassium, and many other nutrients. This honey garlic-glazed salmon comes together in 20 minutes and goes wonderfully with quick-cooked brown rice and a side of steamed vegetables.

Sweet and Sour Chicken

When it comes to takeout, few things are more popular than Chinese-inspired dishes like sweet and sour chicken. But you can make your own version at home healthier and probably quicker than your local takeout place can deliver it to your door. With plenty of crisp veggies and a homemade sauce that leaves out unnecessary sugar and salt, this sweet and sour chicken will make you forget all about that takeout box.

Lemon Chicken with Artichoke Hearts

Who says fancy can’t also be fast? With the help of a little white wine and some canned artichoke hearts, you can have a delicious, luxurious-feeling chicken dinner on the table in 20 minutes. Garnished with some lemon and basil, this lemon chicken with artichoke hearts is fresh and light. 

Garlic Butter Turkey Meatballs

Don’t let the presence of garlic butter frighten you—this dish combines ground turkey and spaghetti squash for a lower carb, lower fat, lower-calorie take on pasta and meatballs. With a little bit of prep time on the weekend to get the squash ready, this garlic butter turkey meatball dish comes together in a snap.

Photo: katleho Seisa via

Mediterranean Chickpea Quinoa Bowl

For a vegetarian dinner that is still packed with protein and flavor, try out this Mediterranean chickpea quinoa bowl, which combines the protein powerhouse quinoa with hearty, filling chickpeas, fresh veggies, salty olives, tangy feta cheese, and spices. This plant-based option will leave everyone feeling full without being weighed down.

Garlicky Zucchini Noodles

With the help of a spiralizer, you can turn zucchini into a low-carb alternative to pasta that you can dress up in just about any way you like. These garlicky zucchini noodles provide a tasty backdrop for various vegetables or protein add-ins that result in a delicious, healthy meal that is customized to your family’s tastes.

Turkey Burgers

Sometimes you just need a burger. But beef burgers can be fatty and greasy, racking up high calorie and cholesterol numbers that make them unappealing for those trying to maintain a healthy diet. Try subbing the beef for ground turkey with these turkey burgers. Packed with flavor and garnished with your favorite toppings, you won’t miss the beef.

Taco Soup

Now that the winter months are here, we’re all craving soup, and what could be better than a spicy, savory bowl of taco soup? This quick version is made in your Dutch over and is a crowd-pleasing compromise between tacos and chili. Serve it up with some tortilla chips, shredded cheese, and sour cream for the full taco night experience.

There’s no way around hectic weeknights — they’re a fact of life. But with the help of a few simple recipes, you can still serve up a healthy, quick, homemade meal to your family, even if you’re doing four other things at the same time.