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30 Fast and Fresh Weeknight Meals

Don't compromise on quality when you're cooking those last-minute weeknight meals. Here are 30 delicious, nutritious dinners to hold the takeout at bay!

SideChef

Created from scratch in the SideChef Kitchen, where recipe inspiration and ingredient experimentation are a way of life.
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SideChef

Created from scratch in the SideChef Kitchen, where recipe inspiration and ingredient experimentation are a way of life.
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Spring and Summer

ENTERTAININGEASY

Shrimp and Avocado Fresh Spring Rolls

Lemons and Basil

These Shrimp and Avocado Fresh Spring Rolls are perfect for a warm summer day, with no need for the oven and dinner ready in no time!

Hardly Even Cooking

SUGAR-FREEEGG-FREE

Mediterranean Cracked Wheat Salad

Garlic & Zest

Can you even call this recipe cooking? The cracked wheat practically makes itself and the vegetables just need a rinse and a quick chop.

Everything Under the Sun

HEALTHYBEGINNER

Summer Strawberry Poppy Seed Salad

Garlic & Zest

A fresh homage to summer! Don’t let the season pass by without indulging in this fresh, sweet, crunchy, wholly irresistible amalgam of colors, flavors, and textures.

Easy and Vegan

EGG-FREESUGAR-FREE

Easy Vegan Fajitas

The Edgy Veg

This scrumptious fajita recipe is not only great-tasting, but it also takes only 15 minutes or less to make from start to finish (unless you’re a slow veggie chopper).

Double Up

PEANUT-FREEHEALTHY

Grilled Greek Orzo Salad

Garlic & Zest

This salad marries tender but crunchy grilled veggies with orzo pasta, chunks of feta, and a light, citrusy vinaigrette. Serve it alongside any grilled meats, and consider making a double batch because it is real tasty!

Make it Messy

4TH OF JULYMEAL PLAN

Niçoise Farro Salad

Garlic & Zest

Normally, Salade Niçoise is a composed dish with everything arranged artfully (but separately) on a platter. For this one, don't worry about looks and use it for meal prep and quick eating!

We Love Low-Carb

PROTEIN PACKEDGRAIN-FREE

Mexican Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa

Feasting at Home

A delicious, healthy, low-carb meal that can be made in 20 minutes.

Pardon My French

WEEKNIGHT DINNERSTREE NUT-FREE

Niçoise Salad

Gather & Feast

This recipe is jam-packed with lots of goodies...fresh tomatoes, tinned tuna, hard-boiled eggs, olives, anchovies, cooked Kipfler potatoes, and green beans. It's a meal in itself, and perfect for lunches, picnics, and large gatherings.

Thai the Knot

FUSIONVEGAN

Vegetable "Pad Thai"

Vodka & Biscuits

With only a few ingredients, a tool (julienne peeler), and 20 minutes (or less) you can have a giant bowl of this yumminess. Garnish with crushed peanuts, cilantro, and sesame seeds and forever forget carry-out.

One-Pan Wonder

SUGAR-FREE30 OR LESS

Skirt Steak with Roasted Vegetables

joshneedles

Easy one-pan wonder recipe for a delicious and hearty dinner!

Taco Tuesday

KID-FRIENDLYTREE NUT-FREE

Zucchini Black Bean Veggie Tacos

Lemons and Basil

These Zucchini Black Bean Veggie Tacos are quick and easy for those rushed weeknight dinners, plus full of flavor and nutrition!

South by Southwest

SUGAR-FREE30 OR LESS

Southwestern Steak Salad

Garlic & Zest

Need a fast, simple dinner? Use everyday pantry ingredients and leftover steak in this easy recipe for Southwestern Steak Salad! Ready in minutes!

California Dreamin'

GRAINSSOY-FREE

California Quinoa

Vodka & Biscuits

This superfood dish will have you feeling like you have superpowers of your own.

Make Ahead

BUDGET-FRIENDLYDAIRY-FREE

Soba Noodle Chicken Salad & Sesame-Peanut Dressing

Curious Fig

This Thai noodle salad is great made ahead and keeps well for 3-4 days, perfect for mid-week meals and lunches.

Easy Caprese

ENTERTAININGSUMMER

Peach Caprese with Herb Dressing

Garlic & Zest

In the summertime, when the peaches and tomatoes are ripe, it's time to change up your standard Caprese. Made up of salty prosciutto and fresh mozzarella cheese drizzled with a fresh herb sauce, this is a special side dish!

Flavor Forward

DAIRY-FREESHELLFISH-FREE

Lime Beef Salad

Garlic & Zest

A light, crunchy, flavor-forward salad with just enough beef to satisfy.

Wrap It Up

PROTEIN PACKEDSHELLFISH-FREE

Mediterranean Chicken Wrap

Hapa Nom Nom

Packed with crispy veggies and juicy, spice-rubbed chicken, all wrapped up in a spinach tortilla, this dish has so much flavor that you won’t even realize you’re eating healthy! And if that doesn’t sound enticing enough, the entire meal can be made in less than 30 minutes.

Summertime Salads

GLUTEN-FREESOY-FREE

Summer Salad with Avocado, Corn and Grilled Shrimp

Domesticate Me

Summer Salad tastes exactly as it sounds…like summer. Packed with baby lettuce, grilled sweet corn, juicy cherry tomatoes, and buttery avocado, this salad is light, bright, and full of fresh flavor. The delicate sweetness of the shrimp is enhanced by a citrusy herb marinade, which is a foolproof combination of lemon juice, garlic, Dijon mustard, and chopped basil and parsley, that also doubles as the salad dressing (so efficient!).

Gone Fishing

WEEKNIGHT DINNERSSOY-FREE

15 Minute Easy Fish Tacos

Well Worn Fork

These easy and fresh tacos are filling and healthy! Use them with any white fish you like.

Roll into Summer

TOMATO-FREENUT-FREE

Mango and Shrimp Summer Rolls

Pickled Plum

These rolls are filled with plenty of vegetables instead of rice noodles for a delicious and healthy low-fat snack!

Fancy Pants

GLUTEN-FREESUGAR-FREE

Poached Cod, Fennel, & Citrus Salad

Jenessa Gerber

A fresh salad of poached cod, raw fennel, and citrus tossed in a light lemon vinaigrette. Paleo and gluten-free. It's crazy healthy, super easy, but fancy, and is perfectly balanced between sweet and citrusy.

All Thai'd Up

FISH-FREESUGAR-FREE

Sweet Potato Pad Thai With Sriracha Sauce

Lemons and Basil

This Sweet Potato Pad Thai with Sriracha Sauce is the perfect dish to curb your Thai cravings, without the guilt! Vegetarian, gluten-free, and dairy-free.

Quinoa Queen

GLUTEN-FREESUGAR-FREE

Quinoa Salad with Mango, Snap Peas, Ginger & Lime

Alexandra's Kitchen

This chilled quinoa salad is packed with protein and uses red quinoa for a nuttier flavor.

Simple and Summery

COMFORT FOODGRAIN-FREE

Summertime Chicken with Spinach

Pretty Little Dishes

This simple Chicken with Spinach is perfect for summertime!

Copycat

DAIRY-FREEFISH-FREE

Skinny Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Pip & Ebby

These healthy chicken lettuce wraps taste just like the famous PF Chang's appetizer. This copycat recipe is even better than the restaurant version, with fewer calories and done in just 20 minutes!

Let's Taco 'Bout It

FULL MEALPEANUT-FREE

Fish Tacos with Sriracha Aioli Slaw

Hapa Nom Nom

These Fish Tacos with Sriracha Aioli Slaw are light, packed with flavor, and super easy to make!

Fajita Salad

SOY-FREEPESCATARIAN

Vegetable Fajita Salad with Chipotle Vinaigrette

Domesticate Me

This fresh, flavorful, and incredibly healthy salad is the perfect addition to any table.

Healthy Helping

SOY-FREEEGG-FREE

Kale and Eggplant Summer Pasta

Vodka & Biscuits

This summer pasta has spicy wilted kale and garlic, salty roasted eggplant, feta crumble, a splash of lemon, and al dente whole wheat penne. If you have any, toss in some toasted pine nuts!

Cinco de Mayo

WEEKEND PROJECTENTERTAINING

Crispy Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa & Avocado Salsa Verde

Domesticate Me

If you plan to serve these at an upcoming Cinco de Mayo extravaganza or fabulous spring/summer dinner party (do it), you can make the mango salsa, salsa verde, and cabbage slaw in advance, and then just bread the fish and pop in the oven 10 minutes before serving.

Wanna Peach of Me?

GLUTEN-FREEDAIRY-FREE

Sriracha Chicken Skewers with Peaches and Basil

Domesticate Me

Light, fresh, and made on the grill, these skewers are everything you could ask for in a summer meal. If you’ve never grilled peaches before, please mentally prepare yourself for the deliciousness that’s in store.

Love Your Veggies

SIDECHEF ORIGINALSUGAR-FREE

Roasted Tomato Pesto Zoodles with Sautéed Shrimp

SideChef

Enjoy this fun and gluten-free dish that will get you loving your veggies!

Oui Oui

TREE NUT-FREEHEALTHY

Chicken Paillard with Chopped Salad Nicoise

Feed Me Phoebe

This dish combines two delicious French dishes. The chicken replaces the usual tuna in the salad nicoise, and instead of arranging each element in large rustic chunks around the plate, you can use the chopped version as a topper for the chicken.

The Best Summer Cocktails

SideChef
PREMIUM

Brain Freeze

Pip & Ebby

Recipes to Learn from Dad

Kate Ricard at SideChef

10 Summer BBQ Side Dishes

Beverly at SideChef

Mix Lab Cocktails Class 2: Classic Cocktails, Homemade

Mix Lab Cocktails
PREMIUM

Chef Experiments

SideChef
PREMIUM

A Taste of Summer

Jessica Gavin

We’ve Got Recipes for Every Type of Dad

SideChef
PREMIUM

Veggie Takeover

Pip & Ebby

Get Your Grill On

Beverly at SideChef

Here's What You Should Be Grilling

Beverly at SideChef

Seasonal Ingredient: Rhubarb

SideChef
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