Healthy Make-Ahead Recipes for Easy Weeknight Dinners

One of the fastest ways to derail your healthy eating plans is failure to plan ahead. If you don’t have healthy food on hand, it’s all too easy to order takeout or splurge on dinner at a restaurant. One of the best ways to keep your eating clean and healthy is to stock your kitchen full of whole food staples like fresh meats, veggies, fruits, salt-free (or low salt) seasonings and unprocessed whole grains. Another way to be prepared to eat healthy is to pick one day of the week when you’re not too busy with other activities and set aside a few hours to prep food for the whole week. You can prep your week’s meals on that day and refrigerate them until you’re ready to use them. Here are a couple of recipes that use only whole foods that you can prep easily ahead of time and refrigerate (or freeze), then pop in the oven for a quick, healthy weeknight dinner.

Taco Stuffed Peppers


6 bell peppers, halved and seeds removed

2 cups broccoli, chopped

1 lb. Lean ground turkey

1 cup brown rice (or quinoa)

1 packet low-sodium taco seasoning

1/3 cup Colby-jack cheese, shredded


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Wash the bell peppers and cut them in half. Remove the seeds. Place them in a 13×9 baking dish.

Brown the ground turkey and mix with taco seasoning and water.

Cook brown rice or quinoa according to the package instructions and season to taste with pepper or other non-salt seasonings.

Finely chop the broccoli.

Fill each pepper with a layer of broccoli, a layer of rice and a layer of turkey meat. Sprinkle the top lightly with shredded cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven. Serve with a simple side salad of greens with oil and vinegar.

Note – You can prep the peppers and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few days before baking.

Lemon-asparagus chicken bake


1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast tenders

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

2 Tbs. olive oil

1 lemon

3 Tbs. balsamic vinegar

1/3 c. parmesan cheese, shredded

1 bunch asparagus


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Finely mince the garlic

Preheat a skillet with 1 Tbs. olive oil. Add the ½ of the garlic and brown.

Add the chicken to the skillet and sauté until thoroughly cooked.

Wash and cut the ends off the asparagus.

Squeeze the juice of ½ the lemon into bowl with the balsamic vinegar, the remaining 1/2 of the garlic and the remaining Tbs. of olive oil. Stir together and use to coat the asparagus.

Chop the chicken into bite-sized chunks.

Layer the asparagus in a 13×9 baking dish. Add the chicken. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and bake for 25 minutes.

Serve with brown rice or quinoa as a side.

Note: You can prep this ahead of time and store in the fridge for a few days until you are ready to bake.


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