21 (Not-Boring) Chicken Breast Recipes Made for Meal Prep

There are a lot of benefits to prepping chicken meals for the week on Sunday. For one thing, you’re not dealing with raw meat more than once. Plus, who wants to think about what to pack for lunch or what to make for dinner once Monday rolls around and that to-do list explodes? Stay ahead of the game (at least where eats are concerned) by cooking chicken into pre-portioned, healthy dinners—or lunches—to enjoy throughout the week. And we’re not talking about unseasoned, blah-tasting stuff either. These 21 chicken breast recipes are simple, but they’re anything but boring.

Taste the rainbow—the healthier, non-Skittles way—with this super-straightforward recipe. The veggies and chicken are roasted at the same time in the same pan, so there’s minimal prep necessary. Add a cooked grain to round out the meal.

Skip the Middle Eastern food truck and create your own version of shawarma at home, using spices such as paprika and cumin to coat your chicken. With couscous, olives, and a tahini yogurt sauce making this portable dish taste even more authentic, you’ll be the envy of your coworkers.

Sectioned plastic containers are a must for meal-prep purposes, and this recipe is a perfect example of how useful they are. The yogurt sauce, chicken and veggies, and farro are best kept divided until it’s time to eat.

It’s easy, it’s got fewer than five main ingredients, it makes eight servings, it’s well-balanced, and it’s delicious. Magic is a pretty perfect word for this meal-prep recipe.

You can always make your own pesto, but, like most meal-preppers, if time is a limited resource for you, a store-bought version works just fine. Stir it into a pile of roasted chicken and veggies, and pack the mixture into pita pockets.

Lime juice and cilantro keep the chicken tasting light and fresh, while the spicier cauliflower rice and black bean combo gives it a kick of flavor. And since it’s equally tasty eaten hot or cold, it’s an ideal option for an on-the-go meal.

Recipes like this prove that meal prepping is totally worth it. With spicy chicken, sweet pineapple relish, and fragrant Spanish rice, it might be hard to believe, but this flavor-packed combo really can come together in just 30 minutes... and last you through four lunches or dinners.

Fiesta is right—brimming with spiced corn, brown rice, salsa, and peppers, these colorful chicken and rice bowls make every meal feel festive. They’re also prepped and ready to go in just 20 minutes. If only all parties were this easy to put together!

Skip the lines at Chipotle, but not your Mexican fix. From the chicken and the corn to the rice and the beans, these quick and easy combos give you everything you want in a burrito bowl, while kale and cherry tomatoes add even more nutrition.

These vibrant meals are as tasty as they are good-looking, thanks to seasonings like chili powder, onion powder, and paprika coating the colorful veg. There’s the option to add cheese, but with so much other fun stuff going on, we doubt you’ll miss it if you leave it out.

The Tex-Mex flavor in these hearty chicken, rice, black bean, and veggie bowls comes from the easy addition of taco seasoning. They keep well for four days, so you’re set from Monday to Thursday, with the night off on Friday to celebrate your (not so) hard work.

Sweet, sesame-coated chicken is a great complement to the simpler steamed veggies here, while brown rice (instead of the usual white) adds some extra fiber. Pack into separate containers, and it’ll look just like something out of your local Chinese take-out place.

Pasta salad is a pretty popular make-in-advance dish, but you can make it even easier by pre-portioning it for your weekday meals. This one is a satisfying mix of goat cheese, butternut squash, and walnuts; nutmeg and basil add some unique flavor.

Pack your meals in mason jars and you’ll look forward to digging into them every day. This layered salad doesn’t just look pretty, but with dried cranberries and apples alongside the chicken in a creamy Greek yogurt dressing, it gives you tons of flavor in every bite.

This recipe uses quick-cooking, microwave-friendly rice for when you're short on time (isn't that always?). Better yet, you can be completely flexible on the types of veggies and seasonings you choose to add to the dish. So open the fridge and use whatever you have in there. Just treat this recipe as an easy guide to making simple Italian-style dinners that’ll last you all week.

Buying a salad can be a smart, nutritious option, but it can also get expensive and not so healthy (can you please add goat cheese, avocado, and bacon? Oh, and eggs, and wow, that fried chicken looks good. I'll have ranch dressing, please.). This one keeps things wholesome, but with apples, sweet potatoes, blue cheese, and almonds, it’s nowhere near boring.

A creamy peanut butter sauce jazzes up chicken, rice, and veggies with some sweet and tangy Thai-inspired taste. Drizzle it on top right when you’re packing the portions into their individual containers so that there’s plenty of time for the flavors to soak up.

This recipe calls for chicken thighs, but you can easily use breasts and get away with it. Whatever you use, it’ll easily soak up the homemade teriyaki sauce, which keeps the sugar count much lower than if you were to use a bottled variety.

If you have no time to meal-prep, let your kitchen appliances do the work for you. A slow cooker lets the chicken, pineapple, and peppers simmer for three hours in a sweet and tangy sauce, while a rice cooker takes care of the quinoa. All you have to do is scoop everything into containers.

It’s back to basics with this three-ingredient meal. The combo is the quintessential healthy dinner—and for good reason: It’s easy to prep, affordable, and doesn’t require a lot of seasoning to be delicious.

Hold off on grabbing a greasy midday slice for lunch. This recipe, designed to make four individual meals, has the seasonings and sauce of a classic pizza, but pairs them with chicken and spaghetti squash instead of bread for a higher-protein, fiber-packed meal that’ll keep you full longer.

 READ THIS NEXT: Meal-Prep an Entire Week's Worth of Dinner With Just 8 IngredientsWhat's Good with Derek Flanzraich

9 Party Food Ideas High in Protein So You Don't Eat an Entire Cheese Plate

It’s that time again. Sports fan or not, watching the Olympics is a time-honored American tradition, best done while eating delicious food. That’s what sporting events are all about, right? Let those athletes serve as motivation to trade out chips and dip and a sleeve of Oreos for one of these high-protein recipes that make the perfect party food. Whether you’re going to a watch party or just turning on the games at home, these wings, dips, and meatballs will keep you satisfied through the night.

Bacon-wrapped-anything is a crowd-pleaser, obviously, and these garlic shrimp are surprisingly easy to put together, so they’re a double win. Serve with guacamole (another fan favorite) and enjoy the sweet and salty flavors mixing together.

These cute stuffed dates are definitely rich, but they’re also full of protein thanks to cheese and prosciutto. Save them for a night when you’re really stressed about the competition… they’ll make you feel fancy and don’t take very long to throw together.

Swap out the canned French onion dip (does it freak anyone else out that it doesn’t come refrigerated?) for this hearty black bean dip. There are only five ingredients involved—beans, lime, olive oil, ginger, and garlic—so you can whip it up quickly when you need an easy last-minute app.

People tend to be split when it comes to deviled eggs, but if you’re a fan, you have to try this Greek yogurt-based version. Yogurt takes the place of mayo and gives the eggs a slightly tangier taste.

Meatballs: not just for pasta. Make these snacks in a slow cooker for ultimate ease and stick some toothpicks in each if you’ve got a crowd. They’ll be swimming in a tomato, garlic, and onion sauce that makes for a great next-day addition to pasta or chicken.

Get a dose of your favorite lunch-box snack without actually buying the cheese-flavored crackers. These crunchy chickpeas will leave you way more satisfied than a normal chip and actually taste cheesy thanks to the magic of nutritional yeast. Warning: These might just be your new go-to 3 p.m. snack.

Is it really a sporting event without wings? We think not. This baked version won’t take too much time or effort in the kitchen, so you can pop 'em in and get back to watching your favorite event. Once they're ready, break out the Frank’s Red Hot and coat them up.

This hearty dip is a mix between a salsa and a salad, and tastes good with tortilla chips, pita, fresh veggie sticks, or scooped over chicken or fish. Plus, it’s super colorful… anything that features red, orange, yellow, and green gets a gold medal in our book.

You can never have too much buffalo chicken. Luckily, no one will notice this fan-favorite is a little lighter than most, thanks to low-fat cream cheese, skim mozzarella, and Greek yogurt. This recipe gives you directions to make it in a slow cooker, on the stove, or in the oven, depending on how much time you've got.

 READ THIS NEXT: 9 Nacho Recipes to Make Game Day (Just a Tad) HealthierWhat's Good with Derek Flanzraich

30 Easy and Delicious Whole30 Breakfast Recipes

Not familiar with the Whole30? Well, it's pretty much what it sounds like: For 30 days, you'll eat only whole foods—meat, seafood, veggies, fruits, spices, oils, nuts, and seeds—in order to reset unhealthy cravings and habits. Can't pronounce it or don't recognize the ingredients? Don't eat it.

BUY THESEThe 10 Best Whole30-Approved Products READ 

What's off-limits? Sugars, grains, dairy, alcohol, anything processed, and—the tricky part—anything that resemblesthose foods (no Paleo pancakes, gluten-free oats, or Whole30-approved cupcakes allowed).

Since yogurt, cereal, toast, and even oatmeal are off the table, breakfast tends to be the toughest meal on the program. A few of us here at Greatist HQrecently completed the Whole30, so we can attest to that. (Eggs get old—fast.)

Lucky for you, we've gathered 30 creative Whole30 breakfast recipes from bloggers around the web so you can equip yourself for easy and delicious mornings, all month long.

Bowls

We'll admit it: We have a zoodle obsession. And thanks to this colorful breakfast bowl recipe, we now have a reason to eat them all day long. Topping the zoodles with a fried egg, roasted sweet potatoes, and a "creamy" avocado sauce is an amazingly tasty and filling way to start your day.

When you're craving a comforting, filling bowl of oats on a cold morning, here's the answer to your prayers: a "porridge" made with ground nuts, banana, coconut flakes, apple, and warming spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. (This was a major #win when we made it at Greatist HQ—and tasted even better the next day as leftovers.)

Missing your morning yogurt and fruit? This Whole30-friendly version is an equally (if not more) delicious swap. Top a mix of mashed banana and eggs with sliced apples, almond butter, coconut flakes, and cinnamon. Just use an almond butter that doesn't have added sugar or make your own.

Our mouths are watering for this dish—and we're not usually the type to say that about a salad. Breakfast sausage (the Whole30-approved kind), cherry tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, red onion, avocado, and fresh herbs combine to make this savory, flavorful treat.

If you haven't tried chia seed pudding yet, hear us out. It may seem weird the first time you make it, but this recipe tastes eerily like the banana pudding of your childhood—without added sugar, dairy, or grains. Plus it packs plenty of healthy fats from the coconut milk and chia seeds for a satisfying meal that'll take you through lunch.

You won't even taste the zucchini, promise. Think of this as a gluten-free version of Cream of Wheat with more protein, thanks to the naturally sweet combo of mashed banana, egg whites, and ground flaxseed. Top it with almond butter, berries, coconut, and cacao nibs like this blogger did or whatever Whole30-friendly ingredients tickle your fancy.

Can't face another day of eggs? If you're craving something on the sweeter side, this one's for you. Chopped nuts, cocoa nibs, almond butter, and fruit combine to take you to breakfast euphoria. Bonus: This is one of the quickest recipes to make on this list, and it's easy to transport if you're in a rush.

This recipe will brighten up even the dreariest morning, and it tastes so good you'd never know it's sugar free. All you need are three ingredients—sweet potato, apples (or applesauce with no added sugars), and sea salt—and somehow, it tastes even more awesome in a mason jar.

With bacon, ooey-gooey soft-boiled eggs, and a hearty bed of greens, this dish is yummy, nutritious, and gorgeous to look at. Adding roasted sweet potato gives it even more staying power. Just double-check that the bacon is free of added sugars so it's Whole30 compliant.

Another twist on breakfast oats, this dish is filling, crunchy, naturally sweet, and tastes so close to the real deal you may never go back to your prepackaged oatmeal. The blogger notes that it may not seem like a huge portion but all you need is a little to feel totally satisfied.

Bakes and Sautés

Pretty enough to present to friends for brunch but easy enough to make any day of the week, this recipe whips together salmon, spices, and eggs for a delicious, healthy dish. The only thing we suggest is using homemade mayo to keep things Whole30 approved.

Try saying that 10 times fast. We promise it's less complicated than it sounds though. All you need to do is sauté some sliced Brussels, baby spinach, and grated zucchini, and top 'em with eggs for a veggie-filled breakfast that's definitely worthy of an Instagram post. And an avocado garnish makes it well worth the effort.

Already sick of scrambled eggs? You're in luck. The recipe creator credits this easy dish with saving her Whole30. And we don't doubt it: The savory scramble can be baked on Sunday and provides five days' worth of filling breakfasts—just cut a slice and heat each morning.

Who decided baked potatoes were just for dinner? This recipe uses sweet potatoes as a savory base for a protein-packed mix of eggs, (Whole30-friendly!) bacon, and onions. Helpful hint: Bake the sweet potatoes the night before for painless next-morning prep.

Take this blogger's recipe with a grain of salt—you'll have to leave out the cheese. But if you're looking for a fancy brunch dish for other pals on Whole30 or just want to #treatyoself one morning, this tasty veggie dish is one to try. (Plus you'll knock out breakfast prep for the whole week.)

Healthy asparagus stalks replace English muffins in this Whole30-approved version of the brunch staple. And yes, you can still make hollandaise sauce (it's not eggs Benedict without it, right?). Just swap in ghee, clarified butter, coconut oil, or olive oil for the butter.

Over eggs but craving something warm that'll stick to your bones? This egg-free hash is the answer. Made with yams, celery root (or celeriac), and a touch of bacon, it's filling and full of flavor from smoked paprika, sautéed onion, garlic, and fresh parsley.

You may have seen this gorgeous recipe making the rounds on Pinterest, but if you've been freaked out by the idea of baking an avocado, just try it. Trust us: The combo of an egg and creamy avocado is so delicious that the 15 minutes it takes to bake are way worth it.

Pizza for breakfast? Well, sort of! Topped with tomato sauce, crispy pepperoni, and savory Italian spices, this egg bake is about as close to pizza as you can find on the Whole30. Just make sure to buy no-sugar-added sauce.

Consider the spud your canvas and get creative with toppings like bacon, a fried egg, and sliced avocado for a breakfast that's filling, easy to put together, and super impressive. Heads up: This recipe requires about an hour in a 425-degree oven.

Outside-the-Box Ideas

Our love of avocado toast is real. And now you don't have to give it up for 30 days, thanks to this Paleo version, which cleverly swaps a roasted sweet potato slice for bread. It's still topped with the classic mixture of avocado, salt, and lime juice that we've grown to love so much.

This one will take you less than two minutes to prepare and features that sweet-and-savory taste you crave. Just make sure the prosciutto is Whole 30 approved (pork and salt should be the only ingredients). And sure, you can buy the pre-sliced kind, but this super-cool method of peeling a mango is a lot more fun.

We don't typically think of meatballs as a breakfast food, but they totally can be, right? Throw a fried egg on top, and these guys make for a filling breakfast any day of the week. This version even sneaks some sweet potato into the balls for added nutrients and flavor.

All you need are two ingredients: Guacamole serves as the filling between two crispy slices of bacon in this tasty twist on a breakfast sandwich. To save time, make the guac ahead (here's a hack to keep it from browning) and bake the bacon in the oven to cut down on cleanup.

Latkes aren't only for Hanukkah—they also make a healthy breakfast on their own, or you can top 'em with a fried egg for extra staying power. Crispy on the outside and almost doughy inside, they can also double as a dinner side to accompany any meat main.

These no-bake bars are a homemade—and maybe more delicious—version of Larabars. With dates, walnuts, coconut, and dried cranberries (and no added sugars), these bars are perfect to grab on busy mornings. (Since they may count as a SWYPO food, having them every day is probably a no-no on the program.)

This Mexican-inspired meal—with zero grains, sugars, or dairy—will energize you for the day ahead. A slice of ham (make sure it's Whole30 compliant; Applegate is a safe bet) wraps up a whole lot of goodness inside, including eggs, your choice of chopped veggies, and an optional dollop of salsa or guac.

Talk about the best thing since sliced bread (for Whole30-ers, anyway): two bagel-shaped meat patties filled with tomato, lettuce, avocado, and onions. This one may be a little too outside-the-breakfast-box for some, but we just had to include it. We'll let you be the judge.

Soup for breakfast? Why not! A warm bowl of soup is always comforting—and filling—no matter what time of day. Crumble some Whole30-compliant bacon on top of the creamy puree of onion, potatoes, coconut meal, and chicken broth that you'd never guess is dairy free.

Smoothies aren't exactly recommended on the Whole30 program, but as long as all ingredients are compliant, they're technically allowed. For the rare occasion when you want to indulge, we'd recommend this fall-tastic version, made with only five ingredients: coconut milk, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, banana, and ice.

 READ THIS NEXT: 20 Easy and Tasty Whole30 Lunch RecipesGreater Paleo Promo

30-Minute Meal-Prep Recipes So You Aren't Spending Sunday in the Kitchen

Meal prep is meant to be a simplifying strategy, designed to make healthy eating quick and effortless throughout the week. But when you’re spending your one free weekend afternoon stuck in the kitchen, slicing veggies, boiling rice, and roasting chicken for upwards of three hours, the whole meal-prep thing can start to feel more like it’s adding to your stress instead of alleviating it.

Time to bring meal-prepping back to what it’s really all about: ease; efficiency; and tasty, nutritious eats. These 23 easy meal-prep recipes equip you with wholesome meals to enjoy throughout the week, but take 30 minutes or less to put together in one go.

Poultry

Your grab-and-go meals are as attractive as they are tasty with these mason jar noodles (you could also just put them in regular containers, but this way is more fun). With spicy chicken on the bottom, cooling vermicelli on top, and fresh veggies sandwiched in-between, they’re a healthier and more refreshing alternative to fried spring rolls.

With turkey as their base and a lightly sweet and spicy glaze, these meatballs can be a tasty protein component of your make-ahead meal. Repurpose them as you need through the week—they work great as a topping for salads, rice (cauliflower or regular), or tucked into a sandwich.

Pasta salads are a no-brainer for meal prep—not only do they last for a few days, but the flavors get even better as the different ingredients have time to hang out together. You’ll love the sweet and tangy sesame dressing of this dish even more on the fourth day than you did on the first.

Use a no-sugar-added orange juice and just three tablespoons of honey, and your sweet and sour chicken will have zero refined sugar. This big batch makes enough for six servings, is Tupperware-friendly, and super delicious reheated throughout the week.

Short on groceries and on time? Turn to this five-ingredient skillet meal to save the day(s) ahead. Salsa adds plenty of flavor so you don’t need to use individual spices, while plenty of veggies and turkey keep the dish lower in carbs but still satisfying.

Even counting the time to cook the chicken, this recipe comes together in 20 minutes flat. Tuck the shredded meat into tortillas along with broccoli slaw and a Sriracha-spiced peanut sauce, and cross off four lunches from your to-do list this week.

Beef and Pork

No need to wait for rice to cook with this meal when you’ve got frozen riced veggies to keep the prep time short (and the carb count light). Top the colorful bed of faux grains with tender chunks of beef, and store the peanutty hoisin sauce separately to drizzle over everything right when you’re ready to dig in.

This recipe calls for pork sausage, but you can just as easily use the chicken or turkey variety to keep things lighter. Grilled squash on the side is a warm alternative to salad, and with everything tossed in a light lemony dressing, the marinated dish only gets tastier with each passing day.

Unless you already have cooked rice on hand (or are using the boil-in-a-bag kind), cooking the grain will add some time to this 15-minute meal, but trust us, it’s worth it. There’s no guac or cheese, so you don’t have to worry about weird browning or funky smells, and you won’t even miss them—the salsa verde, plus spices such as cumin and oregano, give the ground beef and veggies plenty of flavor.

Meal prep goes gourmet—sorta—with this simple but refined steak salad. As long as you keep the dressing, veggies, and meat separated until it’s time to eat, you can enjoy a bistro-style lunch or dinner several times a week.

Lettuce wraps like these are perfectly designed for meal prep, given that the leaves and the filling are supposed to be kept separate until chow time, so there’s no chance of sogginess. With the spicy beef paired with the cool and crisp green lettuce (or cabbage), the meal is filling but light and a perfect balance of protein, fiber, and healthy fats.

Seafood

Cod may not seem so meal-prep friendly, but once cooked, it stays good for about four days. This sheet-pan recipe thoughtfully makes four servings, so despite its ingredients, there’ll be nothing fishy about your meal by day four.

Check out our previous note on brown rice and apply it here too—having it already cooked is key to making this a complete meal within 30 minutes, but if you simply don’t have it on hand, the fish and veggies go equally well with faster cooking grains such as quinoa, orzo, or couscous.

This bright and fresh noodle bowl is basically an unraveled summer roll, except without the constraints of the wrapper. You can really go nuts with the veggies, shrimp, cilantro, and thin rice noodles. The peanut sauce, usually used for dipping, works here as a dressing instead; keep it in separate containers until you’re ready to eat.

As everyone else orders greasy takeout, do an evil laugh as you dig into your cleaner version of teriyaki noodles. With spiralized zucchini, it’s practically a salad in noodle form. A homemade sauce with just two tablespoons of honey makes sure that your diligently prepped meal isn’t an accidental sugar bomb.

Quinoa cooks up in less than half the time rice does, so it’s a great meal-prep candidate. Here, the fluffy, protein-rich “grain” is topped with more nutritional powerhouses such as salmon, avocado, and pumpkin seeds, so you’re guaranteed to be properly fueled throughout your day.

Tuna salad is usually what people whip up when they haven't meal-prepped, but make it in advance, and life gets even easier. In this version, it gets tucked into containers along with tomatoes and hard-boiled eggs, so plain ol’ tuna salad becomes a bit more of a balanced meal.

Meatless

Go back to basics with these simple, straightforward meal-prep bowls. Calling for neat and colorful rows of veggies, chickpeas, quinoa, and feta, the recipe makes it easy to eat your rainbow and your macros.

Cutting veggies is probably the least fun part of making a stir-fry—get it over with once and be set for the week. Plus, a stir-fry is only meant to take a few minutes to put together, so make this fast, nutritious meal and pack it away in advance, and you pretty much win at the whole healthy eating thing.

With vitamin-rich kale; crunchy cucumbers; savory olives; crumbly, protein-packed feta; creamy hummus; chickpeas; and fluffy quinoa for some satisfying fiber-filled carb action, all the main ingredients of this salad have important roles to play when it comes to both taste and nutrition. Plus, there’s so much to enjoy here, you definitely won’t get sick of eating the same thing for lunch every day.

Chipotle sofritas will have to step aside—the spiced tofu mixture in these burrito bowls is tastier, probably healthier, and takes just 15 minutes to make. Plus, with one batch yielding enough for five meals, the cost of making this meal is just a fraction of what you’ll pay if you eat the same thing outside.

Without cheese or meat in the recipe, these vegan fajitas get their protein by piling the veggies onto quinoa instead of inside tortillas. Fajita seasoning and jarred pepperoncinis are smart shortcuts that help this meal come together even more easily.

Meal-prep this one-pot meal in two ways: Combine all the sauce ingredients in advance so all you have to do is dump them in a pot with the pasta come dinnertime, or make the whole thing on Sunday night, portion the meal out into individual containers, and enjoy the fruits of your easy labor all week. Either way you choose, all you need is 20 minutes.

 READ THIS NEXT: 19 Foods Perfect for Meal-Prepping Because They Actually Last All WeekWhat's Good with Derek Flanzraich

27 Healthy Dinner Recipes That Let Your Oven Do Most of the Work

When terms like bomb cyclonedeep freeze, and arctic air are being used to describe the decidedly frightful weather, you’re probably looking for every source of heat possible—and in no mood to use those practically frostbitten fingers for too much hard labor in the kitchen. Make life easier during these frigid times and let these 27 oven-baked meals do double duty, warming up your home and cooking your dinner simultaneously. Meanwhile, you can get busy snuggling up with the biggest blanket you’ve got and getting in some quality couch potato time.

Beef and Pork

A cross between sweet potato fries and lasagna, this recipe alternates layers of the spiralized spuds with cheese, veggies, and marinara sauce. You’ll still get that all-important carb fix, but it comes with much more fiber than white pasta, not to mention it’s gluten-free.

This skillet meal may be even more scrumptious when it’s made in the oven since the roasting method brings out the juices of the meat and caramelizes the veggies to perfection. Go for a variety of peppers to make the dish as colorful as possible.

Beef, sour cream, and cheddar cheese don’t sound like the healthiest trio, but this recipe smartly combines those rich ingredients with lighter ones, like cauliflower instead of rice and protein-packed cottage cheese instead of ricotta. The result tastes decadent without leaving you overstuffed.

With ground beef, breadcrumbs, and Italian herbs all bound by an egg, the classic flavors in these meatballs are pretty darn close to what Grandma used to make. Eat 'em on top of spaghetti (covered in cheese, duh), in a sub, or simply alongside some roasted veggies for a lighter meal.

By using frozen mixed veggies and eliminating the need to peel the potatoes, this recipe makes putting together a shepherd’s pie a breeze. Major snaps for shortcuts that don’t compromise nutrition or flavor.

Avoid the splatter and the grease of fried pork chops and opt for this much easier oven-baked method. The panko and Parmesan make sure they’re still as crisp on the outside as ever, they’re much healthier for you, and they keep your kitchen cleaner. You’ll never go back to frying again.

We’re always looking for easier ways to make risotto at home, and this one totally fits the bill, requiring just 10 minutes of stovetop prep before it hits the oven. Even without constant stirring, you end up with creamy, saffron-scented, carby goodness.

Poultry

If you’re giving up gluten or living low-carb, don’t take pizza off your menu just yet. Incorporate cheese, sauce, and veggies into a lean ground beef mixture, and bake it into a loaf instead of pie form. It takes just as much time as ordering in, and it’s much higher in protein than your regular deep-dish 'za.

When the temperatures drop, nobody’s in the mood to chow down on cold lettuce. Solution: Turn to this warm version of a Greek salad for your veggie fix. It swaps out feta for chopped chicken breast but still gets all that typical Mediterranean flavor from the lemon, olive oil, and oregano dressing.

Not only do these juicy, vitamin-packed patties need only five ingredients, but they also take just 15 to 20 minutes to bake. Satisfyingly crunchy from the breading on the outside, juicy from the chicken and cheese on the inside, they have the pan-fried taste without the oil-soaked side effects.

With just a few southeast Asian seasonings, you can take chicken and potatoes from a run-of-the-mill dinner to a meal to remember. It does require the extra step of pan-searing in coconut milk and soy sauce, but the extra crispy finish on both the meat and the starch is so worth it.

Stuffed peppers with a chipotle drizzle may sound like a dish that requires a lot of hands-on work, but TBH, this is merely a 10-minute prep job. Brimming with black beans, turkey, and corn, and topped with bubbly cheese, these need to be your go-to meal when you need something that looks impressive but takes minimal behind-the-scenes labor.

No wok? No problem. Not only does this recipe make the hoisin chicken extra juicy, but it cooks the rice and the meat all in one dish, saving you prep and cleanup time.

Turn summery chicken fajitas into a winter-ready meal by placing your meat and veggies in a casserole dish instead of the outdoor grill. Plenty of Mexican seasonings make sure you’re still getting those spicy, fragrant results.

Seafood

Whoever balks at the idea of pairing fish with dairy clearly hasn’t tried slathering salmon fillets with a creamy, cheesy spinach and artichoke spread. If something so delicious is a culinary wrong, we have no interest in being right.

Aside from the unmistakable spicy kick from the jalapeño and the succulent baked shrimp, this recipe scores major points for being super customizable. Nutritional yeast, coconut cream, and olive oil replace the dairy, while several alternative flours can be used to make the dish gluten-free.

This super-simple fish dish does need a good hour in the oven, but keep in mind that absolutely no stove time is needed, so it requires hardly any effort. Plus, despite the lengthy cooking time, ingredients like fresh oregano and parsley, white wine, fruity olive oil, and lemon keep it tasting bright and zesty.

While most tuna casseroles use noodles alongside the fish, this one opts for brown rice as a fiber-rich alternative. It even uses a cream sauce made from cashews instead of milk and cheese for dairy-sensitive diners.

Several small but key tweaks give this pub staple a nutritional upgrade. Swap out some of the breadcrumbs for higher-protein crushed almonds, use an egg white instead of a whole egg, throw some sweet potato alongside the white kind, and bake instead of deep-fry, and you’ve got a dinner you can put on rotation much more regularly than just the occasional happy hour.

Get a classy meal on the table in less than an hour with these flaky salmon cakes. Packed with protein and healthy fats from the fish and egg, and drizzled with a delicate mustard vinaigrette, they go perfectly alongside some veggies for a light but filling and elegant dinner.

Meatless

With layers of tortilla chips, salsa, spiced black beans, and nutritional yeast, this recipe can be thought of as a nachos lasagna—and when did those two words ever mean anything other than delicious?

Give tofu the oven-baked treatment to give it the same crispy texture as frying would, then coat it in a homemade sauce made with only two tablespoons of maple syrup. Add a generous pile of broccoli to the sheet pan, and the resulting meal is much lower in sugar, fat, and sodium than any restaurant or store-bought teriyaki dish.

For all you breakfast-for-dinner fans, this frittata is a much more balanced option than pancakes. With plenty of veggies folded into the eggy mixture, plus cubes of whole-wheat bread also baked right in, it’s got everything you need in one pan.

Even vegetarian meals can be of the stick-to-your-ribs variety. Take this big, creamy bake; while it uses part-skim ricotta and plenty of produce, the pasta, cheese, and sauce combo can satisfy the heartiest appetites.

Black bean burgers are a basic, but necessary, part of plant-based life. This recipe makes sure they’re simple without being boring by using robust ingredients such as garlic, cumin, and red onions to make them exceptionally flavorful. Twenty minutes in the oven and these patties are ready for the buns (or the lettuce wraps!).

If you don’t have a casserole dish—or if you simply want to minimize cleanup—use wide portobello caps as the vehicles for your cheese and sauce filling. Like any good lasagna, this recipe freezes fantastically too, so it’s perfect to make ahead and save for especially lazy evenings.

Take pizza night in a new direction by making this recipe. It nixes the process of rolling out the dough and layering on toppings. Just mix all the sauce, cheese, and herbs into cooked quinoa and life will immediately feel easier. Sprinkle with mozzarella for that gooey cheese topping—what’s pizza without it?!

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Foods that Make You Poop: What to Eat When You're Constipated

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Yes, constipation is a little awkward to talk about, but it’s way worse to suffer in silence. And you’re far from alone if you commonly experience the telltale signs: bloating, pain when you try to poop, and trouble relieving yourself regularly. In fact, 42 million Americans deal with constipation every year.

Pinpointing what’s causing you to be plugged up can be tricky. Traveling a lot, changing your work schedule, and skipping workouts all can cause a change in your bathroom habits, says Jordan Karlitz, M.D., a gastroenterologist and assistant clinical professor at Tulane University School of Medicine.

But the biggest constipation culprit is what you eat—and that’s where the “F” word comes in. “The key is having enough fiber in your diet,” Karlitz says. “You want a good balance of soluble and insoluble fiber as well as enough water intake.”

Insoluble fiber bulks up stool, which makes it easier to pass through your system, while soluble fiber attracts water, which helps your body process the fiber without discomfort, says Gina Hassick, R.D. Just be sure to add fiber to your diet slowly to let your body adjust without gas and stomach pain, Hassick says. The next time you need help keeping things moving, turn to the 11 foods that help you poop below.

Foods That Make You Poop

1. Oatmeal

The oat grains in oatmeal contain soluble fiber that help with digestive issues and support heart health—talk about a win-win! And it’s hard to be bored with oatmeal when you have all of these ideas to take it from ordinary to outstanding.

2. Water

H20 can’t stop, won’t stop with the health benefits. It not only keeps you hydrated, it also helps make bowel movements more regular. Yet another reason to hit the water cooler, stat.

3. High-Fiber Cereal

Start your day right with a bowl of high-fiber cereal. Just make sure the brand you pick contains 5 or more grams of fiber per serving, like All Bran and Fiber 1, Karlitz says.

4. Whole-Wheat Bread

Ditching white bread for the whole-wheat variety gives you an added dose of antioxidants and important nutrients—one of which is insoluble fiber. The average slice of whole-wheat bread has nearly 2 grams of fiber, more than double what you get in white bread. Whole-wheat bread: 1. White bread: 0.

5. Strawberries

Just another reason to get your fill of nature’s candy. Strawberries are high in fiber, thanks to their edible seeds. Ripe bananas also have a substantial amount of soluble fiber, which Hassick says can help push waste through the bowels (you really needed that visual, didn't you?).

6. Almonds

With heart-healthy fats and generally good-for-you attributes, nuts are no doubt small but mighty—and almonds also come with a dose of soluble fiber. Two handfuls (23 almonds for those who are counting) have 3.5 grams of fiber.

7. Broccoli

Here’s a not-so-fun fact: Research suggests that if you don’t like veggies (and fruit for that matter), you’re much more likely to develop constipation.  So it should come as no surprise that vegetables made the cut here. Broccoli packs 5.1 grams of insoluble fiber per cup, so you should probably listen to mom about that whole eat-your-greens thing.

8. Ground Flaxseed

These little guys may be the single easiest way to sneak more fiber into your diet. Just one tablespoon contains 2.8 grams of soluble fiber, and because they’re super versatile, they can basically be added to anything from smoothies to salads to baked goods. Bonus: Flaxseeds are also high in omega-3s, so you’ll be helping out your heart too!

9. Popcorn

As far as cravings go, popcorn is one of the healthier ones—provided you don’t load it with butter and salt. Plus, it’s a good thing to reach for when you’re plugged upAir-popped popcorn has about 1 gram of fiber per cup, and with just 31 calories, it’s a-OK to dig in.

10. Black Beans

Sure, we all joke that beans make you toot, but they do a little more than that. They’re solid sources of soluble fiber—1 cup of boiled black beans contains a whopping 15 grams of fiber—making trips to the bathroom much more pleasant.

11. Yogurt

While experts recommend staying away from most dairy products(yes, that includes ice cream), if you’re battling constipation, yogurt may be the exception to the rule. The lactobacillus bacteria in yogurt can help keep you regular, Hassick says. Plus, research suggests that probiotics keep things running smoothly. 

12. Prunes

There’s a reason doctors tell you to drink prune juice when you’re plugged up. The dried fruit contains sorbitol and dihydrophenylisatin, which can help alleviate constipation, says Justin Robinson, R.D., founder of Venn Performance Coaching and a Greatist expert.

What to Watch Out For

Be careful with the pills you pop. Some meds, including antacids and iron supplements, are known constipation culprits. Foods won’t cause constipation directly, Karlitz says, but you still want to make sure you’re getting enough fiber and water in your diet.

And plenty of diets tend to be lacking in both departments. “Low-carbohydrate diets tend to be naturally low in beneficial fiber,” Hassick says. “High-fat diets can be hard on our digestive system, since fat takes the longest for our body to digest, therefore slowing the passage of food into the small intestine and into the colon.”

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