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28 Healthy Dinners to Make When You’re Runnin’ on Empty

It's been a long day and you're running on fumes, and the last thing you want to do is spend a lot of time in the kitchen. These healthy dinner recipes will help you get a meal on the table in minutes.

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Quick Chicken Piccata

Laced with lemon and simmered in white wine, this stovetop entree is super easy and elegant. Just add a side of veggies and bread to make it into a wonderful meal. —Cynthia Heil, Augusta, Georgia
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Broiled Cod

This is the easiest and tastiest fish you'll serve. Even finicky eaters who think they don't like fish will love it because it lacks a fishy taste and is beautiful and flakey. —Kim Russell, North Wales, Pennsylvania
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Simple Sesame Chicken

“Returning home after 20 years as a missionary in the Philippines, I’ve tried to make food like we had there and came up with these flavorful strips. This recipe became a family favorite and is often requested at potlucks!” Lynn Jonas - Madison, Wisconsin
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Quick Beef Vegetable Soup

At the end of a long day, you want to put something quick, warm and substantial on the table for your family. This hefty vegetable soup delivers. It will have you out of the kitchen in no time flat! —D.M. Hillock, Hartford, Michigan
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Easy Cuban Picadillo

Easy Cuban Picadillo

My girlfriend gave me this delicious recipe years ago. I’ve made it ever since for family and friends, and they all love it. My daughter loves to take leftovers to school for lunch the next day. —Marie Wielgus, Wayne, New Jersey
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Sweet 'n' Spicy Chicken

My husband and children love this tender chicken with its spicy sauce. Peach preserves add just a touch of sweetness, while taco seasoning and salsa give the dish some kick. —Sheri White, Higley, Arizona
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Cinnamon-Apple Pork Chops

When I found these pork chops and apples recipe online years ago, it quickly became a favorite. The ingredients are easy to keep on hand, and the one-pan cleanup is a bonus. —Christina Price, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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Tilapia with Jasmine Rice

This tender, full-flavored tilapia with fragrant jasmine rice is absolutely to die for. And it gets better—each serving has only 5 grams of fat! —Shirl Parsons, Cape Carteret, North Carolina
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Chicken Provolone

Chicken Provolone, though one of my simplest dishes, is one of my husband’s favorites. It is easy to prepare and looks fancy served on a dark plate with a garnish of fresh parsley or basil. Add some buttered noodles for an easy side dish. —Dawn Bryant, Thedford, Nebraska
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Caesar Chicken with Feta

My tomatoey chicken is the perfect answer on those crazy days when supper has to be on the table in 30 minutes, tops (doesn't hurt that it's delicious, too). —Denise Chelpka, Phoenix, Arizona
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Glazed Pork Chops

When I was a new mom, I needed tasty, healthy meals I could whip up fast. These juicy chops won me over. Since this is a one-pan dish, cleanup is a breeze, too. —Kristin Tanis, Hatfield, Pennsylvania
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Brown Sugar-Glazed Salmon

Pop these protein-packed salmon fillets in the oven before whipping up a sweet basting sauce. This tangy entree cooks up in minutes making it a perfect meal for busy families and unexpected weekend guests. —Debra Martin, Belleville, Michigan
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Contest-Winning Greek Pizza

Pita breads make crispy crusts for these individual pizzas. Topped with feta and ricotta cheese as well as spinach, tomatoes and basil, the fast pizzas are a hit with everyone who tries them. —Doris Allers of Portage, Michigan
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Quick Italian Veggie Skillet

When you don’t know what to serve, Italian flavors are a good starting point. We combine cannellini and garbanzo beans for this snappy rice dish. —Sonya Labbe, West Hollywood, California
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Herbed Lemon Pork Chops

Herbed Lemon Pork Chops

Expect to get plenty of compliments on these fast, flavor-packed chops. They're tender and juicy. —Billi Jo Sylvester, New Smyrna Beach, Florida
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Garlic-Butter Steak

Made in a skillet, this quick-and-easy garlic butter steak is restaurant-quality and sure to become a staple at your house, too! —Lily Julow, Lawrenceville, Georgia
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Split-Second Shrimp

I use my microwave to hurry along the prep of this super fast shrimp scampi. It’s deliciously buttery and full of garlic flavor. We love it as a main dish, but it makes an excellent appetizer, too. — Jalayne Luckett, Marion, Illinois
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Teriyaki Steak Skewers

When these flavorful skewered steaks are sizzling on the grill, the aroma makes everyone around stop what they're doing and come see what's cooking. The tasty marinade is easy to make, and these little steaks are quick to cook and fun to eat. —Jeri Dobrowski, Beach, North Dakota
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Beef Broccoli Stir-Fry

My family often requests this tasty beef and broccoli stir fry. It's great because it combines tender beef and nutritious vegetables in one dish. We enjoy this broccoli beef recipe year-round but especially in summer, when I grow my own broccoli and onions. Plus, it doesn't heat up the kitchen. —Ruth Stahl, Shepherd, Montana
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Beef and Blue Cheese Penne with Pesto

Unique and simple to prepare, this delicious pasta dish is filled with fresh flavors, and it’s as healthy as it is hearty. Best of all, it takes just 30 minutes to set this meal on the table. —Frances Pietsch, Flower Mound, Texas
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Quick Chicken & Broccoli Stir-Fry

This Asian chicken and broccoli stir-fry is a household best bet. The spicy sauce works with chicken, seafood, pork or beef. Add whatever veggies you have on hand. —Kristin Rimkus, Snohomish, Washington
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Quick Ginger Pork

My husband and I are empty nesters. It was a challenge learning to cook for just two again, but recipes like this give us delicious scaled-down dinners. —Esther Johnson Danielson, Lawton, Pennsylvania
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Sheet-Pan Pineapple Chicken Fajitas

For our fajitas, I combine chicken and pineapple for a different flavor. These fajitas are more on the sweet side, but my family loves them! —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada
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Chicken Tostada Salad

If I don't have any tostada shells on hand for this speedy salad, I just heat taco shells, break them in half and lay them flat on the plates. It works just as well. Great Southwest flavor! —Edie DeSpain, Logan, Utah
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Pork and Asparagus Sheet-Pan Dinner

When time is of the essence, it's nice to have a quick and easy meal idea in your back pocket. Not only is it delicious, but you can clean it up in a flash. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Tomato & Avocado Sandwiches

I'm a vegetarian, and this is a tasty, quick and healthy lunch I could eat for every meal. At my house, we call these sandwiches HATS: hummus, avocado, tomato and shallots. These are ingredients I almost always have on hand. —Sarah Jaraha, Moorestown, New Jersey
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Sheet-Pan Chipotle-Lime Shrimp Bake

I like to make this seafood dinner for company because it tastes amazing, but takes very little effort to throw together. Use asparagus, Broccolini or a mix of the two. It’s all about what's available for a decent price. —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia
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Vegetarian Bean Tacos

I love Mexican food but was looking for a healthier option to share. My family devours these tasty tacos whenever I make them. —Amanda Petrucelli, Plymouth, Indiana

Rachel Brougham
Writer and editor with a background in news writing, editorial and column writing and content marketing.

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