Kick off the New Year with healthier meals that are easy to prep.
Kid-approved? Check. Five or fewer ingredients? Check.
Here’s more than a month’s worth of zero-fuss dinner ideas:
1. Turkey Pesto Lettuce Roll-Ups
Enlist your kids to help you prep dinner when these are on the menu, because there’s no cooking involved and they only need three ingredients.
2. Red Lentil Sweet Potato Soup
If your kids won’t eat soup, try serving this one to them as a pasta sauce topping instead.
3. Slow Cooker Lemon Garlic Chicken
After this is done cooking, strain the liquid from the Crock-Pot and use it as a sauce for the meal.
4. Squash and Coconut Curry
This is a fast way to cook squash — you do the whole meal in a skillet — no oven required.
5. Mini Turkey Meatloaves
Throw three ingredients into a mixing bowl, spoon mixture into baking cups, bake in the oven and voila! Dinner is served.
6. Baked Eggs in Avocados
If you think your kids will have a problem with runny egg yolks, try whisking the eggs before you bake to create more of a scrambled-egg effect in the middle.
7. Caribbean Chicken Stir Fry
Use tropical fruit snack cups instead of canned tropical fruit to make this dish if you’d like to avoid the added sugar.
Canned fruit tends to include a sugary syrup, and while snack cups are still sweet, they are often packed in fruit juice instead.
8. Orange Maple Salmon
If you don’t think it’s overwhelming to squeeze lemons and mince garlic (or spoon it out of a jar already minced), this recipe is for you.
9. Lemony Broccoli Pasta
Use frozen broccoli and peas to cut down prep time on this crowd-pleaser.
10. Slow Cooker Chicken Salsa
Two ingredients, folks. TWO.
11. Shrimp Fried Rice
Cook your shrimp in olive oil instead of butter to cut out at least 3 grams of fat per serving!
12. Pizza Pasta Bake
This dish had me at “don’t bother cooking the noodles first.” You know me, Pizza Pasta Bake.
13. Asian Crock-Pot Pulled Pork with Apples
Cook up some stir-fry vegetables to serve on the side. This one is good enough to cook for company!
14. Chicken Tortellini Toss
This one-pot meal will be ready in 20 minutes, start to finish.
15. Blackened Salmon Fajitas
It’s nice to have variety when it comes to salmon. The flavor of this one is unique compared to other salmon dishes because it’s got some Tex-Mex flair.
16. Potato Nachos with Pinto Beans and Spinach
The trick here is to cut or grate the veggies into super small pieces so you can sneak them in without your kids noticing. Think: spinach, zucchini, etc.
17. 5-Ingredient White Chicken Chili
It’s a classic, true. But with sour cream as an optional topping instead of an actual ingredient like the classic version, this version sits solidly in the “healthy” category.
18. Brown Rice Bowls
There are so many ways to dress up brown rice so your kids enjoy it. In fact, here are 10 ideas to get you started.
19. Stuffed White Sweet Potatoes
White sweet potato = not a yam. The texture is creamier, which makes this dish even more of a comfort food!
20. Fajita Chicken Bake
I’ve been making this dish for years. I am obsessed with the fact that I can tear open a taco or fajita mix packet and that’s the only seasoning required.
21. 3-Ingredient Black Bean Soup
Do your kids hate spicy food? Then this is your soup.
But the best part is that you can also increase the heat by using diced tomatoes with green chilis instead of plain diced tomatoes.
22. Sloppy Tacos
Also known as “non-fancy tacos” or “tacos from the ’80s.” This recipe (and its easier counterpart, which uses a taco seasoning packet) were the only tacos my mom made growing up.
23. 5-Ingredient Vegetable Fried Brown Rice
Oh hi, Meatless Monday.
Use this recipe as an excuse to clear out your fridge of all the almost-bad vegetables. It might take you just past five ingredients, but it’ll be worth it.
24. Grilled Lemon-Dill Shrimp
Even though you’re going to put the shrimp on skewers to grill them, this meal will still only take you 30 minutes from start to finish. (Nobody will tell if you just cook them in a pan to save on time, though.)
25. 5-Ingredient Skillet Pesto Chicken and Asparagus
Opt for pesto in a jar in order to cut prep time and ingredients.
26. Zucchini Egg Bake
I swear, if I shred or grate my zucchini, it’s invisible to my kids. You should always do that if your kids dislike zucchini!
27. Smoky Slider Skewers
These will taste better if you let them refrigerate overnight. But 20-30 minutes of sitting in the fridge is good enough around my house.
28. Maple-Roasted Chicken and Acorn Squash
It probably goes without saying, but use real maple syrup here, not the stuff you put on your pancakes at IHOP.
29. Squash and Sausage Pasta
Omit sugar and consider using olive oil instead of butter to increase the healthiness of this one.
30. Oven-Fried Pork Chops
Here’s my treasure trove of advice about baking pork chops: buy thin ones unless you want to double your baking time. You’re welcome.
31. Easy 6-Ingredient Crock-Pot Sesame Chicken
OK, this one has six ingredients, not five. But you get to use the Crock-Pot, so. . .
32. 15-Minute Pasta Salad
As long as this has strawberries, my kids don’t care what else I put in it. I can even skip the vinaigrette and they don’t notice.
33. Chicken Enchilada-Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
If you’re trying to go low-carb, squash is a great substitute for taco shells.