The happiest of the new years to you!

Since you may be in massive dinner planning mode with the new year, I wanted to share a ton of my favorite meals. These are the meals that we constantly eat for dinner – the ones on permanent rotation. These are what I consider some of my favorite healthier meals – the meals that we go to when salad and chicken are just way too boring. For me, healthy dinners can still include things like moderate amounts of cheese and brown brown and heck, even a little bacon every now and then. If those don’t jive with you, feel free to leave them out, swap them for something else or just use this list as some general inspiration for the new year. I didn’t include anything extra super cheesy… but a little here and there? YES.

For the last few weeks, I’ve been trying to really plan our meals in advance and be prepared ahead of time with LOTS of variety. That’s what keeps us excited. I hope to carry it over into the new year so we don’t end up eating something for dinner that I really prepped at 10AM for photography purposes.

Feel free to share any of your go-to dinner ideas in the comments below. I’m alllll about new and exciting dinners.

20 weeks of healthier meals I

1. autumn veg burgers with apple cider slaw

2. mushroom and chicken noodle soup with poached eggs

3. roasted tomato caprese panzanella

4. grilled corn, mushroom + roasted poblano tacos

5. bbq salmon + crispy chickpea salads

6. crockpot turkey quinoa meatballs

7. stuffed peppers in tomato basil sauce


1. asiago portobello burgers

2. toasted coconut tilapia with pom salsa

3. chipotle lime chicken skewers with avocado cream

4. thai butternut squash soup

5. lightened up beef enchiladas

6. grilled watermelon caprese salads

7.whole goat cheese roasted chicken


1. pineapple cashew fried rice

2. pistachio pesto chicken

3. roasted tomato, tuna and white bean cups

4. white chicken quinoa chili

5. sweet potato quinoa cakes with blackberry salsa

6. tilapia burgers with watermelon salsa

7. zucchini breakfast skillet with poached eggs


1. toasted sesame ginger salmon

2. roasted red pepper bean burgers

3. caramelized shallot, spinach and goat cheese pasta

4. springtime veggies skillet lasagna

5. thai beef tacos

6. mini chicken meatball soup

7. cauliflower pizza crust


1. autumn arugula salad

2. whole wheat pasta + our favorite crockpot tomato sauce

3. black bean + sweet potato tacos

4. apple bacon stuffed sweet potatoes

5. creamy tomato soup with garlic brown butter croutons

6. bbq salmon burgers

7. thai curry pomegranate chicken


1. chickpea chicken soup

2. bbq portobello sliders

3. mushroom melts with homemade dijon

4. summertime chopped salad

5. spicy parmesan shrimp skillet

6. red wine risotto with caramelized mushrooms

7. coconut crusted baked chicken fingers with peach honey mustard

20 weeks of healthier meals I

1. spicy brown sugar salmon

2. grilled greek chicken salad

3. whole roasted chipotle lime chicken

4. creamy verde pasta

5. crockpot springtime minestrone soup

6. thai turkey burgers

7. bbq chicken enchiladas


1. grilled blueberry chicken skewers with coconut rice

2. whole wheat fontina portobello pizza

3. smoky white bean chicken chili

4. roasted grape stuffed sweet potatoes

5. thai butternut squash lettuce wraps

6. grilled blueberry bbq salmon

7. skillet chicken with peppers and peanuts


1. one pot chicken tortilla soup

2. roasted garlic + veggie tostadas

3. red wine marinated flank steak with caprese salad

4. double bean quesadillas with avocado cream

5. portobello gouda burgers

6. creamy tomato chicken pasta

7. homemade fish sticks


1. brown butter tilapia

2. spinach and artichoke linguine

3. crispy kale salad

4. shrimp burgers with chipotle cream + coconut peach salsa

5. cheesy chicken and rice bake

6. brussels sprouts breakfast hash

7. black bean + cornbread panzanella salad


1. jerk shrimp tacos

2. buttermilk almond crusted chicken fingers

3. coconut lime tilapia tacos with kiwi salsa

4. thai steak salad with roasted chili mango vinaigrette

5.  sweet potato + crispy kale pasta

6. roasted chicken noodle soup

7. buffalo style quinoa sliders with sweet corn + scallions


1. honey ginger chicken tostadas with pom salsa

2. crispy shrimp tacos

3. honey roasted vegetable pasta

4. double bean burgers with avocado cream

5. brown sugar whole roasted chicken

6. mother lovett’s bean soup

7. chickpea curry with coconut rice


1. chicken salad with corn and greek yogurt

2. roasted red pepper penne

3. macaroon tilapia

4. pan toasted gnocchi

5. toasted sesame chicken quinoa

6. 3 bean chili pot pies

7. 20 minute turkey taco nachos

20 weeks of healthier meals I

1. sweet potato burgers

2. layered autumn quinoa salad

3. skillet lasagna

4. smoky chicken tacos with goat cheese queso

5. light crab cakes

6. warm winter chickpeas

7. roasted corn caesar salads with greek yogurt dressing


1. citrus crusted tilapia

2. crunchy honey chicken

3. cream cauliflower soup

4. crispy quinoa sliders

5. tequila lime chicken + black bean burritos

6. whole wheat shrimp flatbreads

7. thai chicken enchiladas


1. triple berry kale salad

2. whole wheat roasted red pepper pizza

3. summer bean burgers

4. lightened up chicken enchiladas

5. pan crisped salmon with light dijon cream

6. roasted jalapeño cheddar turkey burgers

7. whole wheat chicken lasagna


1. greek chicken tostadas

2. brown butter garden vegetable pasta

3. salmon blt sliders

4. asian turkey burgers

5. sticky pomegranate chicken

6. thai chicken crunch salad

7. broiled shrimp with tomatoes, basil and brie


1. crab cake sliders with pineapple kiwi salsa

2. cashew chicken

3. thai chicken quinoa

4. chicken enchilada stuffed peppers

5. light sesame chicken skillet

6. bbq salmon burgers

7. white bean chicken soup


1. enchilada spaghetti

2. crispy salmon + basil noodles

3. coconut baked shrimp with pineapple peach salsa

4. autumn panzanella salad

5. harvest chicken soup

6. sweet potato chili cheese rounds

7. thai chicken quesadillas


1. blt salad with corn, feta + avocado

2. bbq chicken burgers

3. crispy honey lime tilapia with blueberry salsa

4. portobello fajitas with fontina queso

5. cheesy black bean stuffed sweet potatoes with poached eggs

6. pecan crusted chicken wraps with strawberry honey mustard

7. bourbon glazed salmon

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50 Responses to “20 Weeks of (different!) Lightened-Up Dinners.”

  1. #
    Taylor @ FoodFaithFitness — January 1, 2014 @ 7:56 am

    I love all these recipes! Unfortunately, I think I may have made the same thing twice only 1 time in the 1 year that I have been married….I’m always to busy creating new recipes and don’t have enough days in a week to make ones we have already had before. So sad, because some of them my face would like to taste again! All of these look like must-tries though, thank you for the inspiration! :) Happy New Year!


  2. #
    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — January 1, 2014 @ 9:51 am

    Wow, that’s a lot of reading and I will enjoy every minute of it! Happy New Years to you Jessica!!


  3. #
    Luv What You Do — January 1, 2014 @ 10:30 am

    OMG! So many amazing recipes! I could spend the entire day pinning them : ) Happy 2014!


  4. #
    Ann — January 1, 2014 @ 11:31 am

    Well, this list just saved my life in 2014. Thank you, thank you! :)


  5. #
    Amy Kowbuz — January 1, 2014 @ 11:36 am

    This is awesome. One of my new years resolutions is to make a new recipe each week, so this certainly helps. Thanks!!


  6. #
    Faith (An Edible Mosaic) — January 1, 2014 @ 11:51 am

    I’m bookmarking this post for permanent reference…there are so many fantastic ideas here! That toasted sesame ginger salmon is now on tonight’s menu.

    Happy New Year, gorgeous!


  7. #
    Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs — January 1, 2014 @ 11:53 am

    So many recipes! Lots to choose from & lots of variety — thanks!


  8. #
    Katrina @ WVS — January 1, 2014 @ 1:10 pm

    Whoaaaaa organization!! This is so fun!


  9. #
    Jade @ Bits & Bobs — January 1, 2014 @ 1:12 pm

    One of my new year resolutions is to master a new home cooked meal – this post will serve as great inspiration!


  10. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — January 1, 2014 @ 3:20 pm

    Great ideas and it’s nice to see what you make and eat on the regular. And I think being prepared and organized is the key. For budgets (b/c going to the groc store every day b/c I forgot 1 thing ends up to 10 things, replayed over and over every week) and then time mgmt and then as you said, to avoid the 10am photography shoot dinner. Yeah. I hear that!


  11. #
    Heather of Kitchen Concoctions — January 1, 2014 @ 3:23 pm

    What a great list of recipes! I am trying to get back on track with meal planning and eating healthy after the holidays and I am totally going to use this for inspiration!


  12. #
    Jan Marie — January 1, 2014 @ 3:56 pm

    It just doesn’t get any
    better than seeing the gorgeous “Mrs. Anita Pelaez” over at her and her
    husband “Captain Kutchie’s” place..Some Folks Also Call Him..”The
    KutchMan others call him The Kutchmon!”…Most Just Call Him “The Most
    Interesting Man In The World”….(Anita and Kutchie Pelaez’s Key West, Key
    Lime Pie Factory and Grill)…Just watching the lovely couple baking together all those Yummy
    Key Lime Pies at their Key Lime Pie Factory and Grill in Asheville.
    …It’s always worth the trip to visit them in they’re Historic Key Lime
    Pie Factory and Grill…It should be on everyone’s bucket list for
    sure..And The World’s Best Key Lime Pies!..YUM-YUM-YUM….­­.”Talk About
    World Class” What An Understatement!…….AA­­HHHHH!….The Magic Of The
    Lovely..”Mrs. Anita Pelaez” And Her Delicious Key Lime Pies Baked With
    Pure Love…Always……40 Years And They’re Still Going Strong….

    ….May GOD Continue Blessing “Anita And Kutchie Pelaez” and They’re World
    Famous Key Lime Pie Factory And Grill Where The Personalities, Ovens And
    Smiles Are Always Warm And Inviting. “Kutcharitaville” You’re The Best We Love You!….

    …Now You Know Who Is The Hottest!…And Baby Let Me Tell You, Mrs. Anita Is No Act…She’s The Real Thing Baby!…

    ….Located Near The Biltmore House And Estate…..
    ….Who Could Ask For Anything More?…Anita’s Key Lime Pie…(Hell Yes!)

    ….Just Think, Kutchie’s Goody Goody Cheese Burgers, The Original Cheese Burgers In Paradise!
    ….That Alone Is Quite A Pretty Big Deal If You Ask Me. ….”Hell”,..It’s A Pretty Big Deal Even If You Don’t Ask Me.


  13. #
    Emily @ Life on Food — January 1, 2014 @ 3:59 pm

    Guess my dinner planning is done. Thank you!


  14. #
    ml — January 1, 2014 @ 4:09 pm

    I made your toasted gnocchi with scallions and corn last night and it was so delicious! Thank you for making my NYE scrumptious!


  15. #
    Mariah and Coty@quirksandtwists — January 1, 2014 @ 6:41 pm

    What a great round up of recipes! Perfect for a healthy New Year!


  16. #
    Rachel Cooks — January 1, 2014 @ 9:31 pm

    SUCH an amazing list! Pinning!


  17. #
    Sues — January 1, 2014 @ 10:44 pm

    Yay! I’ll definitely be referring to this over the next few weeks :) Happy New Year!


  18. #
    Liz — January 1, 2014 @ 11:10 pm

    I just made the Reset Button Salad from Shutterbean and Sausage, Kale, and Black Eyed Pea Soup from Bev Cooks. Both healthy and delicious! And bonus! – The beets in the salad turned my hands bright pink so that’s a dream come true.


  19. #
    Kelly @ Laughter, Strength, and Food — January 1, 2014 @ 11:10 pm

    What a great list! Thanks! ;)

    Happy New Year!!!


  20. #
    dervla — January 2, 2014 @ 12:29 am

    Happy new year, lovely lady. Those meals are wonderful, and perhaps you included this, but never discount a good ole slice of toast with mashed avocado on top!! YUM


  21. #
    Amazon Princess — January 2, 2014 @ 2:24 am

    One of my favorites that my mom used to make that is super simple is Sausage, Peppers, Apples and Onions. I always have a package or 2 of Polsa Kielbasa in the freezer for whenever I need something simple, quick and delicious.

    I package Polsa Kielbasa or other smoked sausage sliced into rounds
    1 large green or red bell pepper (or 1 small one of each color) chopped
    1 large onion chopped
    2 small red or green apples chopped

    In a large skillet over Med heat, brown the sausage. Add the green pepper and saute covered (I like to use a glass lid so I can still see the contents) for a couple minutes adding water to create a bit of steam as needed (shouldn’t need more than 1/4 cup). Add the onion and saute for a couple more minutes. Add the apples and saute until just soft. Remove the lid for the last couple of minutes to let excess moisture evaporate. Serve over brown or white rice with a salad on the side.


  22. #
    Debbie@Mountain Breaths — January 2, 2014 @ 8:06 am

    I’m bookmarking this post as you have made our dinner planning so easy! Thank you!


  23. #
    YahuahsHomeMaker — January 2, 2014 @ 8:34 am

    THANK YOU! Love the recipes…I am now able to make our meals way more interesting, with ingredients I regularly buy!. I can’t wait to make Thai Crunch Chicken Salad, Homemade Healthy Fish Sticks, Thai Beef Tacos and all the enchiladas!


  24. #
    Teffy — January 2, 2014 @ 3:41 pm

    Such good recipes!
    Thanks for sharing, it’s a good way to eat clean and still have food that taste good.

    {Teffy’s Perks} X


  25. #
    Becca — January 2, 2014 @ 4:04 pm

    Well this is absolutely amazing. Thank you Jess!


  26. #
    Michelle — January 2, 2014 @ 5:26 pm

    Hi, just curious what recipe is pictured in the second group of pictures, the one with the green onions on the top? Everything looks amazing!


  27. #
    Gaby — January 2, 2014 @ 5:40 pm

    I love seeing some of your recipes collected in a list like this. I’ll be making a few of these during my last week of break, since we’re all sweets-ed out in my house!


  28. #
    Rebecca — January 2, 2014 @ 6:16 pm

    YES. Thank you!!!


  29. #
    Caitlin — January 2, 2014 @ 6:54 pm

    This will be a dinner reference for me from now on, thank youuuu!! Happy 2014!!


  30. #
    Kim t — January 3, 2014 @ 8:39 am

    Hi Jessica, Thanks for all of the recipes! When is your cookbook coming out?
    Happy New Year! Thanks, Kim


  31. #
    Larry — January 3, 2014 @ 1:10 pm

    Can you just come and cook these for me? kthanksbye (happy new year! ♥)


  32. #
    Rebecca — January 3, 2014 @ 8:44 pm

    You and your website are amazing and make my meal planning so much easier than it used to be. Thank you! (My husband thanks you too.)


  33. #
    Julia — January 4, 2014 @ 9:29 pm

    Great list!! Pinning this for the future.


  34. #
    Labanca — January 6, 2014 @ 3:22 am

    This year starts with the wide variety of dinner recipes.. Thanks for sharing it.. I don’t have to think for my dinner recipe for the next 20 weeks…


  35. #
    Paloma | Paloma Loves Baking — January 8, 2014 @ 2:42 pm

    This is like, the best post I have ever come across. Thanks for sharing!


  36. #
    Alessandra — January 12, 2014 @ 8:06 pm

    what’s the recipe for the very first picture in this post? the item in the little white bowls with the white sauce on top. thanks!


  37. #
    wendy@chezchloe — January 14, 2014 @ 6:02 pm

    So many great recipes! I love it when you can take a solid protein in one meal and roll it into a couple different meals. Happy New Year.


  38. #
    Laura — January 17, 2014 @ 1:28 am

    Wowzer! What an epic list. Only got about 10 recipes deep before I started drooling. Have bookmarked a bunch. Thanks!


  39. #
    Jessica — February 26, 2014 @ 1:50 am

    Thank you for this post Jess! It has been so handy for us and has really livened up our weeknight dinners. This week we are looking forward to trying your Cream Tomato Chicken Bake.. yum!


  40. #
    kimithy — June 2, 2014 @ 4:33 pm

    Holy shiz, this is an amazing list – thank you so much for sharing it! Can’t wait to start trying these :)



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