Despite what many believe, preparing wholesome, nutritious meals does not have to eat up hours of the day (pun intended)!
Although creating these healthy dishes requires more than opening a package or box, making simple meals the whole family can enjoy need not take more than 30 minutes. In fact, prep time does not need to even take more than 15 minutes!
Keeping this in mind, most 15 minute recipes include mostly raw, minimally cooked, or already cooked and frozen foods. Cooking methods that use an oven, Instant Pot, or even air fryer require time to preheat and most likely takes longer than 15 minutes.
Tons of balanced, hearty, wonderfully healthy and delicious 15-minute meals exist! So if short on time (who is not these days?!), consider adding one of these meals into the weekly rotation.
5 Easy, 15-Minute Recipes
From avocado toast and eggs to stir-fry, do not miss these quick and easy recipes ready in 15 minutes!
1. Avocado Toast & Eggs
The toast that adorns nearly every modern-day brunch menu in town is a staple for good reason. Easy to make, chock-full of healthy fats and plenty of other nutrients like choline, B vitamins, and fiber!
Make this meal a frequent flyer in the household for a quick breakfast or busy weeknight dinner.
• 1 to 2 slices whole wheat (sprouted) bread
• 1 tsp butter, ghee, or olive oil
• 1 to 2 whole eggs
• 1/4 to 1/2 ripe avocado
• Pinch of sea salt and pepper
• Optional: Sauteed spinach and/or 1 to 2 slices tomato
• Optional: red pepper flakes
1. Toast the slices of bread.
2. While the bread is toasting, add 1 tsp butter, ghee, or olive oil to skillet and cook eggs. Also, add sautéed spinach and/or tomato if preferred.
3. Top toast with avocado and egg and season with salt and pepper to taste.
2. Raw Salads
Salads get a bad rap for being quite boring, though they can pack some of the most flavor imaginable into one bowl.
What's more, salads can also harbor tons of nutrition like vitamins and minerals when built with intent. This especially includes non-starchy veggies, fiber from leafy greens and toppings, healthy fats from add-ins like avocado, nuts, or seeds, and the dressing.
When choosing a dressing, though, stick to versions made with minimal ingredients, void of inflammatory vegetable oils. The best bet is to make salad dressing at home for the ultimate ingredient control.
• 2 to 3 cups leafy greens (the darker, the better)
• 1 cup additional non-starchy veggies (bell pepper, carrots, onion, cabbage, etc.)
• 1/4 cup healthy fat like pumpkin seeds, avocado, walnuts
• 1/2 cup plant-based protein like garbanzo or black beans or 3-4 oz lean protein like chicken breast or salmon
• 1 to 2 Tbsp (non-inflammatory) dressing
• 1 to 2 Tbsp flare i.e. bacon bits, croutons, tortilla strips, cheese, etc.
1. Mix everything into a giant bowl, toss well, and then simply enjoy!
3. Bean Tacos
Take Taco Tuesday up a notch by reducing prep time while also contributing to better sustainability on the planet by making hearty bean tacos.
Beans are very inexpensive, contain loads of beneficial fiber, and can be prepared or cooked in various ways. This deems the legume as one of the most nutritious plant foods earth offers.
• 1 to 2 small to medium tortillas
• 3/4 cup beans (slightly mashed if desired)
• 1/2 to 1 cup other veggies (bell peppers, onions, corn, cabbage, summer squash, etc.)
• 1 to 2 Tbsp cheese
• 1 to 2 Tbsp plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
• 1 Tbsp cilantro
1. Heat up a tortilla on a skillet with spray or 1 tsp olive oil.
2. Optional: Gently smash the beans on the tortilla.
3. Add the taco toppings, including desired veggies, cheese, Greek yogurt, and cilantro.
4. Ground Turkey Stir-Fry
Stir-fries and fried rice are one of the simplest, quickest meals to make in under 15 minutes!
Although frozen veggies often receive a bad rap, the bags without added sauces and extra fillers can be equally nutritious. And a giant bag of mixed frozen veggies pairs perfectly with some lean ground turkey and sauce to spice up the whole meal!
This super quick dinner idea makes about 4 servings.
• 1 bag frozen veggies (any variety of choice)
• 1 lb lean ground turkey (93 to 99 percent lean)
• 1 Tbsp olive oil
• 1 cup teriyaki or other homemade sauce to cover
• 1 tsp salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder (options are endless)
• *Add 1 tbsp turmeric for an added anti-inflammatory boost
• Optional: 1/2 cup rice or quinoa
1. Cook frozen veggies according to package, preferably in a skillet if possible.
2. Add olive oil to a skillet and cook ground turkey for about 5 to 7 minutes
3. Combine veggies with meat and add sauce of choice.
4. Serve over brown rice, cauliflower rice, or quinoa as desired.
5. Tuna Pita Pocket
The star ingredient of this dish, tuna, boasts plenty of those desirable omega-3 healthy fats. Plus, whole wheat pitas offer beneficial fiber and added veggies amp up the nutrient value of this meal.
Serve alongside fresh fruit or baked homemade potato chips for a restaurant-like meal, but served at home in under 15 minutes.
• 1 packet tuna, preferably in water (also feel free to use canned or smoked salmon)
• 1 Tbsp mayo or hummus
• 1/2 stick celery chopped into small pieces
• Preferred veggies: summer squash, shredded carrots, sprouts, zucchini
• 1/2 to 1 pita pocket depending on size
1. Mix tuna packet with mayo or hummus and chopped celery.
2. Add a layer of preferred veggies on pita then top with tuna mixture.
3. Serve alongside fresh fruit or carrots and hummus or leftover baked potato fries to round out a balanced, nutritious meal.