Exhausted at the idea of making dinner tonight? I hear you, I really do. I’m someone who really enjoys cooking, but there are still so. many. nights. when I just don’t have it in me. The busier I get (and the more kids we have), the more often I feel this way at dinnertime. During our last Whole30, I set a goal to make it as simple as possible – no bells, no whistles, just the easiest compliant meals. The aim was to finish the month, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to do all the traditional prep, cooking, and cleaning. I learned a lot, but my biggest takeaway was that Whole30 does NOT need to be complicated. Meals can be really, really easy and still be delicious. Nowadays, I slide at least one of these unbelievably easy W30 dinners into our meal plans every week, because inevitably, even with meal planning and batch cooking, I just can’t bring myself to cook some nights. And that is okay! So if you aren’t sure you have the time, energy, or just general motivation to do a Whole30, or if you just want to give yourself a break but still eat clean, here are a few super simple 15 minute dinners for your family!
Meal 1: Garlic & Herb Shrimp with Zucchini Noodles
Garlic & Herb Shrimp with Zucchini Noodles
- 1 lb medium shrimp, raw, peeled & deveined
- 4 small-medium zucchini (or 1 package pre-spiralized zucchini)
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup ghee
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- 1 small bunch basil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper optional
Peel and mince the garlic and slice the basil chiffonade. Spiralize the zucchini and set aside. Over medium heat, sauté the garlic in the ghee until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook together for 2 minutes, turning once. Stir in the zucchini and continue to sauté, stirring, for about 4 minutes. Toss with basil and lemon juice and remove from heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper and enjoy!
Meal 2: Lettuce Wrap Burgers with Broccoli Ranch Slaw
Lettuce Wrap Burgers with Broccoli Ranch Slaw
- 1 lb preformed burgers (this is a HUGE timesaver – and I use PreBrands or Walmart brand bc they’re both grass-fed!)
- Bibb or butter lettuce
- compliant ketchup, mustard, or mayo
- any other compliant toppings you like: bacon, avocado, pickles, onions, etc.
- 1 16oz package of broccoli slaw
- 1/2 – 2/3 cup Tessemae’s Ranch
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup cranberries (Thrive & Whole Foods sell sugar-free)
Preheat your grill or grill pan. Season the beef patties with salt and pepper and grilled to desired doneness – We usually cook to medium at 4 minutes per side. While it’s cooking, mix all ingredients together all the slaw ingredients in a large bowl. Serve the burgers in lettuce wraps with whatever toppings you have handy and a big side of the ranch slaw (my kids LOVE this stuff).
Meal 3: Hot Dogs, Microwaved Sweet Potatoes, & Saurkraut
Hot Dogs, Microwaved Sweet Potatoes, & Saurkraut
- 1 package Applegate hotdogs
- 1 package Farmhouse culture saurkraut
- 4 sweet potatoes
- 8 romaine lettuce leaves
- compliant mustard or ketchup
Wash the sweet potatoes and stab each one with a fork 4-5 times. Wrap each one in a wet paper towel (this helps keep them from drying out!) and set on a microwave safe plate, with space in between each potato. Microwave for 10 minutes (larger potatoes may take a few minutes longer, and smaller potatoes may take a few minutes less).
Grill the hot dogs on the grill or grill pan. Serve inside a romaine lettuce wrap (you can use any kind of lettuce, but romaine holds up and it’s the right shape for a hot dog), and top with compliant mustard or ketchup. Serve with compliant sauerkraut!
Meal 4: Ground Beef Lettuce Wraps with Homemade Taco Seasoning
Ground Beef Lettuce Wraps with Homemade Taco Seasoning
- 1 lb ground beef
- 2 head romaine lettuce
- 1 bag frozen cauliflower
- 1-2 tbsp taco seasoning see below
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
Brown beef over medium heat, breaking apart and turning often. Drain the excess grease, and turn heat to low. Stir in 1/4 cup water and taco seasoning. Simmer for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. As it simmers, prepare the cauliflower rice according to package directions (I prefer to sauté but you can microwave it too!) and season lightly with salt and pepper. Wash the lettuce leaves.
Spoon cauliflower rice, beef, and salsa into the lettuce boats. Top with cilantro and enjoy!
Meal 5: Sheetpan Ginger Shrimp and Snow Peas
Sheetpan Ginger Shrimp and Snow Peas
- 1 lb large shrimp, raw, peeled & deveined
- 1 lb snow peas
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp minced ginger
- 2-3 tbsp coconut aminos
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp sesame seeds
- 1 limes, sliced
Preheat the oven to 425. If your shrimp are frozen, place them in a colander and run cold water over it for 5-10 minutes or until thawed. Pat dry with a paper towel. Mix the oils, coconut aminos, and seasonings in a bowl, then add the shrimp and veggies. Toss to coat, then spread on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, turning once halfway through. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and squeeze lime on top.
Meal 6: Instant Pot Chili
Okay, I realize the total cook time on this one is longer than 15 minutes (right around 20 in total), but because the hands on time is so fast, I decided to include it here. Hope you don’t mind, wink.
Instant Pot Chili
- 1 lb ground beef
- 2 diced sweet potatoes (time saving tip: buy precubed frozen sweet potatoes!)⠀
- 1 can crushed tomatoes⠀
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 1/2 cups beef bone broth
- 1-2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp chipotle powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon or cocoa powder optional
- paleo sour cream
- sliced green onion
On sauté mode, brown the beef and sauté the onion for about 5 minutes, breaking apart as it cooks. Stir in the garlic and seasonings and sauté for about a minute. Stir in the broth, potatoes, and tomatoes. Cover and set to high pressure for 12 minutes, then quick release (stir in 1/4-1/2 cup more broth if it seems too thick). Season to taste and top with paleo sour cream, cilantro and onions.
Meal 7: Chicken Sausage Frittata with Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Chicken Sausage Frittata with Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- 6 eggs
- 1 package Aidells Chicken & Apple Sausage
- 1 cup kale
- 1/4 red onion, sliced
- 3 tbsp ghee or olive oil, divided
- 1 lb prewashed brussels sprouts
Slice the kale, onions, and sausage. In a small pan over medium heat, warm 2 Tbsp. ghee. Add in the kale, onion, and sausage and stir occasionally for 5-7 minutes. While it cooks, crack and scramble the eggs and set aside. Slice the Brussels sprouts in half and heat the remaining ghee over medium heat in another skillet. Lay the Brussels sprouts cut side down and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs to the first skillet, and gently pull the edges away from the pan as it cooks, allowing the eggs to fill in. Cover and reduce heat to low and cook for another 5-6 minutes. Flip the Brussels sprouts and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Season with salt & pepper and remove from the skillet. Slide the frittata out of the pan and slice into 4-6 pieces.