Healthy Go-To Dinner Recipes

Hello from Europe!

Okay, fine, so I’m not blogging from Europe… I’m blogging from the past. 🙂 I scheduled this post to pop up while I’m traveling around to keep you guys entertained. I’m so high tech. 😉

Let’s get started, shall we?

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve received some emails from readers interested in my favorite go-to healthy dinner recipes. It seems like most of these readers are either graduating college and entering the “real world” for the first time or are moving in with their significant other and are nervous about preparing healthy yet delicious and satisfying meals.

As you know, I live with a he-man meat eater, so our meals have to satisfy Ryan’s manly cravings (protein, protein, protein) and my desire to include nutritious foods like vegetables.

Make Us BOTH Happy!

Both Ryan and I will wholeheartedly say that we love our home cooked meals and look forward to making dinner together every night. (Okay, well, I make dinner most nights, but he does help and pops green beans and slices onions… Plus he cleans the bathrooms – I literally never have – and I consider that a fair trade.)

We’ve been living together for a couple of years now and while we enjoy experimenting with recipes and trying new things a lot, we do have several go-to meals that we make whenever we’re not feeling particularly creative.

These meals are easy and require very few ingredients, most of which we have on hand all the time.

  • Crock pot pulled pork or pulled chicken. This meal is so, so simple. All you need are chicken breasts + chicken broth or pork shoulder + beef broth. That’s it. Just combine the meat and the broth in a slow cooker, making sure the broth covers the meat. Let it cook on low for 6 – 8 hours before removing the meat and pulling apart with a fork. You may eat it as is or smother it in BBQ sauce like Ryan and I do! The chicken is also great when used to make buffalo chicken sandwiches. Serve with a side of roasted vegetables.

Pulled Buffalo Chicken Sandwich

  • Tacos. Everyone loves tacos! All you need is ground beef, ground chicken or fish, water and a packet of taco seasoning, hard and/or soft shell tacos and your favorite taco fillers (we love tomatoes, lettuce, cheese and salsa) and you’re good to go! Spray a pan with cooking spray before cooking the meat for about 5 minutes (3 minutes for fish). Add a bit of water and the taco seasoning and cook until the meat is completely done. (You may also prepare the meat in the crock pot to enjoy slow cooker tacos or use two-ingredient salsa chicken as the filler.)  If you prefer vegetarian tacos, simply sauté peppers and onions in a bit of olive oil on the stove top and sprinkle with taco seasoning before filling the taco shells with the veggies and toppings.
  • Meatloaf. Meatloaf is so, so easy and tastes great leftover the next day! We’re huge fans of meatloaf in our house and really enjoy these recipes:
  1. BBQ Meatloaf (Ryan’s all-time favorite)
  2. Homestyle Turkey Meatloaf
  3. Asian Meatloaf
  4. Sweet Potato Meatloaf
  5. Taco Meatloaf

BBQ Meatloaf

  • Homemade pizza. Using flat bread, whole wheat tortillas or store-bought pizza crust, Ryan and I love to make homemade pizzas, such as BBQ chicken pizza or his and hers pizzas, with his pizza brimming with sausage and pepperoni and mine topped with lots of cheese and fresh veggies.

BBQ Chicken Pizza

  • Breakfast for dinner. When it comes to breakfast for dinner, the possibilities are endless! We’ll enjoy dippy eggs, oatmeal pancakes, quiches or frittatas. All options are delicious and so, so easy.


  • Ravioli or whole wheat pasta with steamed veggies. We’re a pasta and ravioli-loving duo! I love to line the bottom of a big bowl with freshly steamed broccoli and cauliflower before adding ravioli or whole wheat pasta, marinara sauce and parmesan cheese on top. This makes me feel like I’m enjoying a HUGE, indulgent serving of ravioli or pasta when really I’m enjoying a reasonable serving (1 – 1.5 servings from the package) and a ton of veggies, too!  Ryan will often throw in some leftover meat or chicken sausage into his bowl to get some more protein.

Ravioli Bowl

Question of the Day

  • What is your favorite go-to dinner recipe?


  1. Amy says

    Wow! Awesome post Julie. The BBQ chicken sandwich looks really good.

    If it were up to me my go-to meal would be spaghetti and marinara sauce with some Italian sausage fried up and in the sauce. Not sure that the rest of my family would agree though 😉


  2. Laura says

    My go-to is spaghetti squash–chop it in half, throw it in the oven with some water, scrape it, top it will marinara and steamed broccoli, brussel sprouts or asparagus 🙂 Easy peezy


  3. says

    Breakfast for dinner is defintely one of my easy go-to dinners! I’ve also been making proteinified pb+banana instead of using bread as the base, i use an oatmeal pancake which works out to like 20g of protein!


  4. says

    You are my go to girl for quick easy recipes! So inspiring for the new year’s resolution to eat at home more. My fave go tos are taco salad, chicken fajitas with Archer Farms green salsa, cheese, lettuce, pico, and olives, and rotini pasta with basalmic chicken and zucchini and squash.


  5. mallory_knox says

    I could probably eat stir-fry everyday! lol it’s so quick & simple (I chop & store my veggies when i buy them, saves even more time) & anyone can easily customize it to their liking. besides that, definitely tacos/fajitas, egg white veggie & cheese omelette, & my husband’s fav, whole wheat (lean) beef stroganoff 😀



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