Healthy 30-Minute Meals

Last Update: February 20, 2021

Rachael Ray became a rockstar “chef” because well, she was just like us. In fact, she’s the first to admit she’s not a chef—just a home cook sharing her quick and easy recipes on her show, “30 Minute Meals.”

Well, we’ve got a few delectable, timesaving recipes up our own sleeves—and they’re a lot healthier than Ray’s. Bonus: they look as good as they taste. Here’s a roundup of our favorite fast, cozy, and comforting meals. Chicken, beef, pasta, seafood, vegetarian—there’s something for everyone.

Chicken and beef main dishes

Chili-Ginger Chicken Recipe

Chile-Ginger Chicken and Rice

Not your basic chicken and rice! Knock out your main and side in one pot with this light yet flavorful dish—fresh ginger, garlic, and green chiles give it a kick. The chicken thighs become oh-so-tender and juicy as they steam with the rice, which absorbs tons of flavor. (Gluten-Free)

Cashew-Chicken Stir Fry

Cashew-Chicken Stir-Fry

The beauty of stir-fry? It’s an easy way to toss together a satisfying meal with a nutritious mix of protein and vegetables. Lime, chiles, and cashews make a lightened-up Asian-inspired dish that’s quicker—and healthier—than takeout. It only takes 10 minutes! (Paleo, Gluten-Free)

Chicken Laab

Chicken Laab

Experiment with Laotian cuisine, which is very similar to Thai food, with this dish. Lemongrass, lime juice, garlic, chiles, and fish sauce lend bright and umami notes to ground chicken. Better yet, all you need is 15 minutes, and the recipe doesn’t involve any complex techniques. (Paleo, Gluten-Free)

Chicken kale stir fry

Chicken and Kale Stir-Fry

Bored with classic chicken and broccoli? Try kale instead. And with the trifecta of coconut oil, coconut aminos, and coconut flakes, it’s a new way to enjoy a Chinese classic. (Paleo, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free)

Gluten-Free Fried Chicken

Coconut-Flour Fried Chicken Wings

One of the most glorious things about the Paleo diet is being able to eat all the fried chicken you want—as long as you ditch the conventional flour and vegetable, canola, and peanut oils, that is. That’s where coconut flour and coconut oil come in. These wings are good enough to eat as a meal on their own. (Paleo, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Grain-Free)

Paleo Chicken Nuggets

Paleo Chicken Nuggets

Not gonna lie—we’ve all enjoyed a chicken nugget or two at some point in our lives. But the ones at fast food chains and grocery store freezers just don’t cut it when you’re trying to maintain a healthy diet. Instead of the pre-packaged kind, make your own—we swear they taste just like the drive-thru version. (Paleo, Gluten-Free)

Beef and broccolini

Beef and Broccolini Stir-Fry

Here’s another way to healthify a takeout favorite. No MSG here—just collagen-rich bone broth, coconut aminos, and red wine vinegar to elevate lean flank steak and broccolini, a milder, sweeter cousin to broccoli. Serve with brown rice for a wholesome dinner. (Gluten-Free)

Quick pasta recipes

Yogi lentil bowl

Mushroom and Poached Egg Spaghetti

Want a low-carb, gluten-free way to enjoy spaghetti? Try protein-rich quinoa pasta. Keep it simple yet sophisticated with sautéed mushrooms and a delicate and delectable poached egg on top. Done and done. (Vegetarian, Gluten-Free)

Fig goat cheese pasta

Fig and Goat Cheese Pasta

Here’s another way to enjoy quinoa pasta. Goat cheese, figs, walnuts, and fresh herbs strike a perfect balance of rich and light. Even better, it comes together in less than 30 minutes. (Gluten-Free)

Seafood main dishes

Sweet and sour sea bass

Sweet and Sour Sea Bass

Sweet and sour chicken? We can do better than that. Sea bass is the way to go if you want to elevate dinner to a gourmet level. And since it only takes 20 minutes to make, you don’t have to reserve it only for special occasions. (Paleo, Gluten-Free)

Roasted salmon with cauliflower rice bowl

Roasted Salmon and Cauliflower Rice Bowl

Who knew cauliflower could be a grain-free alternative to rice? The Middle Eastern spices kick it up a hundred notches from your usual white rice. Roasted salmon tops it off for a healthy meal rich in good fats and fiber that’s satisfying and waistline-friendly. (Paleo, Gluten-Free)

Halibut with shitake

Halibut and Mushrooms in Pepper-Ginger Broth

Halibut is one of those fish that serves as a blank canvas for sublime flavor. Here, it’s enveloped in an umami broth made with enoki and shiitake mushrooms. It’s so elegant, you wouldn’t believe that it takes less than 30 minutes to whip up. (Paleo, Gluten-Free)

Thai red curry salmon bowl

Thai Red Curry Salmon Bowl With Kelp Noodles

As much as we love Thai food, it’s not exactly guilt-free—many Thai favorites are cooked with lots of vegetable oil and added sugar. Our version of classic red curry uses coconut oil, coconut sugar, and coconut milk instead. As if the sauce isn’t already full of beneficial fat, we pair it with salmon (the two flavors complement each other beautifully). Swap in low-carb kelp noodles for rice, and you’ll feel good about eating such a decadent dinner. (Grain-Free, Paleo, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)

Poached Cod

Poached Cod

The most tender, flaky fish is just 20 minutes away. Here’s a recipe that uses tomato sauce and balsamic vinegar to infuse mild cod with tons of flavor. (Paleo, Gluten-Free)

Shrimp Vietnamese Noodle Bowl

Shrimp Vietnamese Noodle Bowl

Marinated with coconut aminos, lime, raw honey, garlic, powder, sesame oil, and mirin, these sautéed shrimp are mind-blowing, especially served on a bed of refreshing cucumber noodles. Bonus: you’ll learn how easy it is to quick-pickle carrots and cabbage, which rounds out the dish. (Paleo, Gluten-Free)

Fishball Miso Soup

Miso Soup With Cilantro-Lime Fish Balls

Miso soup gets a boost from fish balls, a popular street food in Asia. See the recipe for a hack that makes this soba noodle soup come together in 30 minutes. (Gluten-Free)

Honey mustard salmon with root vegetables

Honey Mustard Salmon With Root Vegetables

Honey mustard–roasted salmon is one of the easiest dinners to master. Serve with beets and fennel for a hearty, nutritious meal. (Paleo, Gluten-Free)

White fish

Seared Halibut With Cucumber Yogurt Sauce and Fresh Almonds

For a simple yet savory way to showcase halibut, try a creamy sauce made of Greek yogurt, turmeric, cumin, and coriander. (Pescetarian)

Green tea salmon bowl

Green Tea Rice Bowl

Wanna try an old Japanese trick to make a yummy midnight snack or hangover cure out of leftover rice? (Hint: it involves green tea—in this case, matcha.) Add seared salmon, along with green onions, shiso leaves, wasabi, umeboshi, bonito flakes, seaweed, and sesame seeds for an explosion of flavor. (Gluten-Free)

Crab cakes

Paleo Crab Cakes

Love seafood? Then a good crab cake recipe is a must. We use coconut flour to keep them lighter, and add lemon zest, apple cider vinegar, and fresh herbs for brightness. Served in a lettuce leaf, these are low-carb and great for primal eaters. (Paleo, Gluten-Free)

Nicoise salad

Salmon Niçoise Salad With Green Olive Vinaigrette

Experiment with the classic niçoise salad by subbing in salmon for tuna. The stunning presentation makes it all the more appetizing. (Grain-Free, Paleo, Gluten-Free)

Fish Sticks

Gluten-Free Fish Sticks

Don’t bother with frozen fish sticks from the grocery store. Make your own gluten-free version with cod and two unexpected ingredients—potato chips and cornflakes (check out our recommendations to keep it free of trans fats and GMOs)! This is one kid-friendly food that you’ll love just as much as the little ones do. (Gluten-Free)

Tuna Temaki Hand Roll

Tuna Hand Rolls

Yup, you can make your own sushi rolls at home. But if you don’t want to handle raw fish, no problem—try this recipe using canned tuna. Wrap it all up in nori, a great source of iodine, which is vital for women’s health. (Paleo, Gluten-Free)

Vegetarian main dishes



Bibimbap— a Korean dish of rice mixed with sautéed vegetables, chile pepper paste, soy sauce, fermented soybean paste, and a fried egg—it’s often served with meat, but we’ve made it vegetarian-friendly. (Vegetarian, Grain-Free, Paleo, Gluten-Free)

Avocado kelp noodles

Kelp Noodles With Avocado Cream Sauce

Not only are kelp noodles low-carb and very nutritious, they’re also quick to make—this meal takes just 5 minutes. An avocado “cream” sauce with basil and spinach makes it clean eating–approved. (Vegan, Paleo, Gluten-Free)

Spring bowl

Vegetable Wellness Bowl

Unexpected ingredients like dates, hemp seeds, walnuts, and cashews elevate our fresh veggie bowl. It’s way more exciting than salad! (Grain-Free, Vegan, Paleo, Gluten-Free)

Gluten-free pizza

Gluten-Free Vegetarian Pizza

A Mediterranean medley of zucchini, olives, and artichokes make up a healthified, gluten-free pizza that puts conventional pies to shame. (Gluten-Free, Vegetarian)

Eggs in purgatory

Spicy Eggs in Purgatory

The name itself conjures up heat—cook this up and your tastebuds will feel it. Cumin, coriander, garlic, tomato, balsamic vinegar, and bay leaves kick the flavor of the sauce up a notch for a dish perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. (Paleo, Gluten-Free, Vegetarian)

Raw carrot pad thai

Raw Carrot Pad Thai

The most famous Thai dish of all gets a fresh, low-carb makeover with shaved carrots instead of rice noodles. Almond butter and coconut aminos sub in for peanut butter and soy sauce. Make it in 10 minutes. (Vegan, Raw, Paleo, Gluten-Free)

White Bean and Herb Zucchini Noodles

White Bean and Herb Zucchini Noodles

Strips of zucchini can be used for a noodle alternative with a nice al dente texture. Try “zoodles” with fiber- and protein-rich cannellini beans and Mediterranean herbs. (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

Carrot pancake with sorrel pesto and fried egg

Carrot Pancakes With Sorrel Pesto and Fried Egg

What a charming and tasty brunch dish. Similar to latkes, these carrot fritters are made with coconut flour and coconut oil. Sorrel, a lesser-known herb that’s lemony and tangy, creates a unique take on pesto. (Grain-Free, Paleo, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)

Soba noodles

Soba Noodles With Roasted Radishes and Edamame

Soba noodles are often served plain in Japan, so keep things simple with neutral grapeseed oil. Radishes, chives, and edamame add a little more substance. (Gluten-Free)

Spirulina Risotto

Green Spirulina Risotto

Risotto has a reputation for being time-consuming and fussy. Not this one, which you can make in just 30 minutes—and it’s healthy at that. Spirulina is the magic ingredient that grants the dish its hue while upping the nutrient content, too. (Gluten-Free, Vegetarian)

Vegan tacos

Raw Vegan Eggplant Tacos

Ever get bored with the vegetarian options at Mexican restaurants? If you’re over bean burritos and cheese quesadillas, try raw veggie tacos made with eggplant. The recipe even has a kick, thanks to cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, and cayenne. (Vegan, Raw, Paleo, Gluten-Free)

Kelp noodle jap chae

Kelp Noodle Jap Chae

Jap chae is a Korean dish typically made with glass noodles stir-fried in sesame oil and tossed with thinly sliced carrots, onion, spinach, and mushrooms. Here’s a 20-minute version that’s low-carb and low-calorie, thanks to kelp noodles. (Paleo, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Vegan)

Detoxifying green soup

Detoxifying Green Soup

Clean green veggies like broccoli, kale, and watercress and cleansing fresh herbs like coriander and parsley create a lovely spring soup designed to help detox your system. (Vegan, Paleo, Gluten-Free)

Grapefruit-Watercress Salad

Watercress-Grapefruit Salad

If you are detoxing, try this refreshing lunch that combines tart grapefruit, peppery watercress, and bright herbs. (Gluten-Free, Vegan, Paleo)

Chickpea patties

Chickpea Patties

Make a healthier falafel by frying the patties in avocado oil and serving them atop couscous or salad. (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

Share this article

Thrive Market

Wholesome products. Wholesale prices.

Download the app for easy shopping on the go

By providing your mobile number, you agree to receive marketing text messages from Thrive Market. Consent not a condition to purchase. Msg & data rates apply. Msg frequency varies. Reply HELP for help and STOP to cancel.

If you are visually-impaired and having difficulty with our website, call us at 1‑855‑997‑2315

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

© Thrive Market 2024 All rights reserved.