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20 Quick Healthy Meals That Make “Clean Eating” Actually Enjoyable

If you’ve ever said, “I just don’t have time to cook healthy meals”…these 20 quick healthy meals mean you’re out of excuses.

One of people’s favorite diet excuses is they don’t have time to cook nutritious food.

Baloney, I say.

Cooking healthy meals doesn’t have to be time-consuming or difficult. In just 15 to 20 minutes of prep, you can enjoy a world of tasty food ranging from sweet potato breakfast burritos to cuban pork sandwiches to quinoa energy bars and more.

Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Breakfast Burritos

Serves 8

A breakfast burrito hardly needs a recipe – unless you want better macros than just eggs and chorizo.

This version isn’t just a quick way to start your day; it’s a vegetarian burrito with nutritious sweet potatoes, zucchini, and spinach. But the best part about burritos?

While you’re on a roll, make extras to freeze for a no-work breakfast later.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

178

Calories

9 g

Protein

20 g

Carbs

8 g

Fat

Ingredients

Sweet Potato Hash:

1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 sweet yellow onion, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups cubed sweet potatoes, about 1/2” thick

1 cup diced zucchini, about 1/2” thick

1/4 tsp. chili powder (or more to taste)

1/4 tsp. ground cumin

1/4 tsp. salt.

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Scrambled Eggs:

8 large eggs

2 cups fresh spinach leaves, finely chopped

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Breakfast Burritos:

8 large whole-grain tortillas

Hot sauce, salsa, Greek yogurt, and/or guacamole

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Apple Pie Protein Oatmeal

Serves 4

Forget about stirring water into a packet of flavored oatmeal. As long as you have a slower cooker, these overnight oats are easier to eat than the kind of microwave kind.

The instructions involved are the same – dump all the ingredients into a bowl, and stir – yet you’ll end up with way more servings, which can be refrigerated for up to a week.

The toughest part of this breakfast recipe is doing the dishes!

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

286

Calories

17 g

Protein

48 g

Carbs

4 g

Fat

Ingredients

2 medium apples, peeled and diced

1 cup old-fashioned oats

1/2 cup WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. apple pie spice

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

3 cups unsweetened almond milk

2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup

1/4 cup brown sugar (or sweetener of choice)

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Make-Ahead Egg Sandwiches

Serves 6 / Makes 12

Before heading out the door to work, the best kind of breakfast is the one you don’t have to think about.

That’s why so many people are tempted by sugary processed cereal or microwaveable breakfast sausage, but instead you can prepare a week’s worth of morning meals ahead of time.

And when you make the eggs in a muffin pan, it’s easy to make different kinds of breakfast sandwiches at a time. If you want some variety, add cheese, crumbled bacon, sausage, or veggies.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

432

Calories

24 g

Protein

53 g

Carbs

14 g

Fat

Ingredients

12 English muffins (or small bagels)

12 large eggs

1 Tbsp. butter, for greasing the pan

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

3/4 cup low-fat milk

Hot sauce to taste (or other condiments)

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Protein-Packed Berry Breakfast Smoothie

Serves 1

If you’re not in the mood for a lot of food in the morning, a smoothie is the way to go.

Although drinking your calories will make any meal lighter on your stomach, you can load up that glass with a ton of nutrition, and having a well-balanced breakfast is effortless.

This spinach berry smoothie uses a combo of coconut and almond, but to simplify this, you could just choose one or the other to cut this down to just five ingredients.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

437

Calories

57 g

Protein

12 g

Carbs

20 g

Fat

Ingredients

3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk

1/4 cup chopped spinach

1/8 cup frozen berries

2 scoops WHEY+ protein powder (chocolate or vanilla)

1 tsp. almond butter

1 tsp. coconut butter

Pinch of cinnamon (optional)

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Slow Cooker Quinoa Energy Bars

Serves 8

Oatmeal isn’t the only breakfast you can make in a slow cooker.

These breakfast bars are as good as breakfast cookies, but there’s no need to form dough into balls to drop on a cookie sheet. Instead, stir all the ingredients together in a Crockpot, and leave them for half the day.

Then you’ll have a quick, healthy breakfast for the next few mornings.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

186

Calories

6 g

Protein

20 g

Carbs

9 g

Fat

Ingredients

2 Tbsp. almond butter

2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup

1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Pinch of salt

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

2 large eggs

1/3 cup uncooked quinoa

1/2 cup raisins

1/3 cup roasted almonds, roughly chopped

1/3 cup dried apples, roughly chopped

2 Tbsp. chia seeds

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Cuban Pork Sandwich

Serves 2

When you plan to make roast pork sandwiches, you’re actually getting two meals in one. First, feast on the juicy citrusy pork when it comes out of the oven. That’s dinner.

Next, you can turn the leftover pork into incredible sandwiches – the kind you’d usually go to a restaurant to get. But aside from using a baguette instead of square bread, this Cuban is no different to assemble than a sandwich with cold cuts. You can get them ready the night before, or save the premade sandwiches for a lazy day.

Wrapped in parchment paper then foil, these freeze well and can be reheated in the oven as is.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

528

Calories

26 g

Protein

64 g

Carbs

19 g

Fat

Ingredients

2 slices baked ham

4 large, thin slices mojo marinated pork (about 1 oz. each)

2 pieces baguette (about 6” each), sliced in half

1 Tbsp. butter, melted

3 tsp. yellow mustard (or more to taste)

2 slices (2 oz.) Swiss cheese

2 dill pickles, thinly sliced

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Healthy Chicken Caesar Wraps

Serves 8

Slow cookers are known as the go-to appliance for easy meals with little to no prep work required. Where they also excel is versatility.

Take this quick recipe, for example, which starts with slow-cooking plain chicken breast. From there, you can use the prepared meat for an endless number of dinners, including these healthy chicken wraps.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

429

Calories

42 g

Protein

26 g

Carbs

18 g

Fat

Ingredients

2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts

1/2 cup water

1 cup Greek yogurt Caesar dressing

1/2 cup (2 oz.) shredded Parmesan

3 cups lettuce, chopped

6 large flour tortillas

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Balsamic Steak & Pasta Salad

Serves 4

Turn your favorite manly dinner into a healthy salad for lunch. It has a lot of protein, especially if you can find specialty high-protein pasta, but keep in mind that those carbs are your friend too. They’ll keep you from crashing in the afternoon and from snacking your way through the end of the workday.

Plus when you make these lunches ahead of time on a Sunday, you’ll have an excuse to fire up the grill (and to sear another steak or two for dinner).

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

394

Calories

43 g

Protein

39 g

Carbs

10 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 lb. sirloin tip steak

8 oz. high-protein pasta, cooked and drained

1 1/3 cup asparagus, cut

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

4 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup (2 oz.) crumbled goat cheese

Garlic powder, salt, and freshly ground black pepper to taste

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Greek Chicken Mason Jar Salad

Serves 5

A large mason jar is a good investment for those who love to take salads for lunch. Because they have the salad dressing on the bottom, more delicate ingredients can stay fresh instead of getting soggy.

The best part is that jar salads can be prepped a few days in advance, helping you avoid pricey restaurant salads throughout the week.

And if you want your recipes to work double duty, instead of chopped chicken, use some of that shredded chicken you prepped for your Caesar wraps.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

364

Calories

13 g

Protein

18 g

Carbs

17 g

Fat

Ingredients

5 quart-sized mason jars

10 Tbsp. light olive oil and vinegar dressing

1 quart cherry tomatoes, halved

5 mini cucumbers, sliced

1 cup pitted Greek olives, chopped

1/4 cup (2 oz.) crumbled feta

2 cups cooked chicken, chopped or shredded

5 cups chopped romaine lettuce

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Healthy Chicken Fried Rice

Serves 4

What could be an easier lunch than eating yesterday’s leftovers? That trick works whether you’re in the mood for pasta, roast chicken with potatoes, or a simple Asian stir fry like this fried rice.

With chicken and eggs, you’re getting protein from more than just the rice, which accounts for just a few grams per serving. But that brown rice is part of a balanced diet too, adding complex carbs that keep you full as well as fueled up for your next workout.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

443

Calories

26 g

Protein

46 g

Carbs

17 g

Fat

Ingredients

3 cups cooked brown rice (1 cup dry rice)

1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 cup frozen peas and carrots

1 white onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 large egg

3 Tbsp. sesame oil

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Strawberries & Cream Yogurt Quinoa Parfaits

Serves 3

Make a big pot of quinoa at the beginning of the week, and you’ll quickly realize how versatile it is. Quinoa can be turned into an oatmeal alternative for breakfast, a healthy grain salad for lunch, and a ready-made rice alternative for dinner.

Then when you want a sweet snack or light dessert, layer quinoa together with yogurt and berries for a delicious parfait that’s ready in minutes

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

213

Calories

11 g

Protein

39 g

Carbs

2 g

Fat

Ingredients

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained

1 cup water

1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. agave nectar (or pure honey), divided

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

1 1/2 cups strawberries, diced

1 cup nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt

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Avocado Hummus with Homemade Pita Chips

Serves 6 / Makes 1 1/2 Cups

How can you upgrade your plain pita and hummus? By getting inspiration from another awesome snack dip: guacamole.

Although you can make hummus with just beans, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt, this recipe has classic elements from guacamole too, including avocado of course. There’s also a touch of cayenne pepper and a garnish of fresh cilantro.

Serve this hummus-guacamole mash up with any chips, like the homemade baked pita chips below, or use it as a spread for everything from sandwiches to pizza.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

390

Calories

16 g

Protein

51 g

Carbs

16 g

Fat

Ingredients

Avocado Hummus:

1 can (15 oz.) white beans, drained and rinsed

1 avocado, cut into chunks

Juice of 1 lemon

1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Small handful fresh cilantro, chopped

Crushed pepper flakes (optional garnish)

Pita Chips:

3 whole-wheat pita

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil (or melted butter)

1/4 tsp. Greek or Italian seasoning

1/4 tsp. garlic salt (or garlic powder)

1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Salt to taste

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DIY Cream Cheese

Serves 12 / Makes about 13 oz.

If you can’t give up your occasional bagel and cream cheese, there are other steps to take to make it healthier.

The obvious one is to cut calories by snacking on only half a bagel at a time. And of course you can (and probably should) opt for low-fat cream cheese.

But what you might not think of is making cream cheese at home, which is actually easy to do. You can even replace the heavy cream with milk to make a low-fat version of your favorite schmear.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

94

Calories

2 g

Protein

3 g

Carbs

9 g

Fat

Ingredients

2 cups heavy cream

2 cups whole milk

1 drop liquid vegetable rennet

2 Tbsp. water

1 oz. buttermilk (or 1/8 tsp. mesophilic starter culture)

1/4 tsp. salt (or other flavorings)

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Weight Watchers Cheese Danish

Serves 1

Cottage cheese is one of the healthiest snacks around, which is what makes it a great substitute for guilty pleasure foods like cheesecake.

If you’re looking for new ways to turn plain cottage cheese into an indulgence, you can actually look to the past, like this healthy snack from a vintage Weight Watchers cookbook.

It’s not the same as a sweet pastry, but it is delicious enough to kill the craving. And since you only have to wait for the bread to toast, it’ll be that much easier to walk by the bakery (or convenience store) without going in for a cheese Danish.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

118

Calories

11 g

Protein

18 g

Carbs

1 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 slice whole-wheat bread, toasted

1/4 cup (2 oz.) nonfat cottage cheese

1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. sugar (or sweetener of choice)

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Asparagus Salad with Hard-Boiled Eggs

Serves 4

Boil a batch of eggs, and you can eat them as a snack or quick breakfast throughout the week.

No doubt hard-boiled eggs are healthy, but they can be pretty boring when left plain. And they can go beyond egg salad and adding protein to sandwiches. In this recipe, hard-boiled eggs turn sliced asparagus from a plain veggie into a beautiful spring salad.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

165

Calories

5 g

Protein

5 g

Carbs

15 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 lb. asparagus

2 hard-boiled eggs

2 Tbsp. champagne vinegar (or 1 Tbsp. lemon juice + 1 Tbsp. vinegar)

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tsp. capers, rinsed and chopped

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley (or other herb mixture)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

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Chicken, Garlic & Broccoli Kebabs

Serves 4

Put some pieces of meat and vegetables, about 2” cubed, onto a thin stick, and your kebabs are ready to cook. Then, place them over a flame or another source of heat, and you’ll have a no-fuss dinner that’s healthy and delicious.

This recipe assembles a classic combo – chicken and broccoli – into kebab form, no fancy knife work required. And garlic lovers take note: You can put whole cloves onto a kebab for easy roasting.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

343

Calories

45 g

Protein

12 g

Carbs

12 g

Fat

Ingredients

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 20 oz.), cut into cubes

1 head garlic

1 1/2 cups broccoli florets, chopped large

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/2 cup Kobe sauce (or other barbecue sauce)

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Guacamole Chicken Burgers

Serves 4

When you want a quick dinner with ground meat, burgers are the way to go.

The only part you have to worry about is what kind of toppings to choose – and maybe the dilemma of whether or not to use sandwich bread or run out to buy hamburger buns.

You might just want simple condiments like ketchup and mustard for ground beef, but those can make a leaner meat stand out as a healthy alternative. That’s why this chicken burger is topped with not only a thick slice of tomato but a couple spoonfuls of fresh guacamole.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

493

Calories

33 g

Protein

31 g

Carbs

27 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 lb. lean ground chicken

1/4 cup green onions, chopped

1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

Juice of 1 lime, divided

1/2 cup (2 oz.) shredded white cheddar cheese

1 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. paprika

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 medium avocados, smashed

1 tomato, diced

4 hamburger buns

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Basil Pesto Pasta with Roasted Vegetables

Serves 6

As long as you have pesto (or fresh herbs and olive oil), plus a bundle of fresh veggies, you can make this healthy dinner in a half hour. And most of that time you can kick back on the couch and wait for the water to boil and veggies to roast.

This bowl of pasta is so easy to toss together that, after a few times eating it, you’ll be able to cook it up without referencing the recipe.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

431

Calories

17 g

Protein

65 g

Carbs

15 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 lb. whole-wheat penne

1/2 cup pesto

2 zucchini, sliced

2 yellow squash, sliced

1 red onion, diced

15 mini bell peppers, tops cut off

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

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Carne Asada Crock Pot Tacos

Serves 8

Although tacos are easy to assemble, it can seem like they’re hard to cook because of how many ingredients are required. However, this slow cooker steak will take the work out of homemade tacos.

This recipe includes instructions to make a chipotle aioli from scratch, but you can skip it and use salsa instead. Then top as usual with shredded lettuce, diced tomato and onion, shredded cheese, and maybe a dollop of sour cream.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

385

Calories

35 g

Protein

28 g

Carbs

15 g

Fat

Ingredients

Carne Asada:

2 lb. flank steak, thinly sliced across the grain

1 cup salsa

1 can (10 oz.) diced tomatoes with green chilies

1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. chili powder

16 small whole-wheat tortillas (or corn tortillas)

Chipotle Aioli:

6 Tbsp. mayonnaise

2 tsp. chopped chipotle chilies in adobo

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

1 tsp. minced garlic

1/2 tsp. cumin

4 tsp. fresh lime juice

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

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Baked Fish with Yogurt Sauce

Serves 4

Upgrade from frozen fishsticks with this crispy tilapia. It’s baked and not fried, cutting down the fat so it’s unbelievably less than 10 grams per serving.

That’s in part because of the homemade yogurt sauce to serve with, but if horseradish isn’t your thing, this fish is just as good – and equally healthy – with malt vinegar.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

237

Calories

34 g

Protein

7 g

Carbs

9 g

Fat

Ingredients

Crispy Fish:

1 large egg, lightly beaten

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 cup whole-wheat Panko bread crumbs

1 Tbsp. garlic powder

1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 lb. tilapia filets (or other white fish)

Herbed Yogurt Sauce:

1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp. horseradish sauce

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OVER 100,000 PEOPLE HAVE USED MY COOKBOOK TO GET THE BODY THEY WANT EATING THE FOODS THEY LOVE. WILL YOU BE NEXT?

What if I told you that just about everything magazines and trainers “teach” you about dieting is wrong?

What if you could build muscle and lose fat eating “naughty” foods every week?

What if you didn’t have to suffer through low-carb dieting to get lean? In fact, what if you could eat all the carbs you wanted?

And what if you didn’t have to gorge yourself just to gain muscle and didn’t have to put on pounds and pounds of ugly fat, either?

In short, what if I told you that proper dieting--whether you want to maximize fat loss or muscle growth--is much simpler and more enjoyable than you’ve been led to believe?

Imagine eating delicious, filling meals every day...never feeling starved or stuffed...having great energy levels and workouts...and watching your body respond exactly as you desire, dropping fat or adding muscle each and every week.

And imagine finally understanding how proper dieting really works, never again falling for the BS, tricks, and gimmicks pushed by “gurus” and other shysters.

Well, I have good news.

All these “fantasies” can be a reality...if you know how to do a handful of “little” things correctly.

You see, when you know how to diet properly--and this doesn’t mean learning to eat boiled chicken and raw broccoli six times per day--getting lean and muscular becomes simple, convenient, and dare I say...enjoyable.

And this book will show you the way.

I'm Mike and I'm the creator of Muscle for Life and Legion Athletics, and I believe that EVERYONE can achieve the body of their dreams.

If you like my articles, then you'll love my bestselling books. They'll show you exactly what you need to do to build muscle and lose fat without hating your diet or living in the gym.

If you're a guy, check out Bigger Leaner Stronger, and if you're a girl, Thinner Leaner Stronger is for you.

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