Quick and easy recipes aren’t *just* important around the holidays — there’s no doubt that, come December, they’re absolutely crucial to have on hand. You’ll probably be spending lots of time and energy on Christmas cookie recipes and other holiday noms (candy cane recipes, anyone?), so dinnertime may start feeling a bit hectic and rushed. Kinda comes with the territory, doesn’t it? Don’t sweat it, though — there are lots of easy recipes that can tide you over this December. Check out these 31 simple recipe ideas, many of which can be made in under 20 minutes. Hooray!

December 1


1. 15-Minute Zucchini Beef Skillet: Anyone who thinks eggs are meant to be eaten solely for breakfast is 100 percent wrong. Eggs are a great way to add protein and healthy fats to any dish — especially this low-carb and gluten-free beef and zucchini skillet. (via Hold the Grain)

December 2


2. 15 Minute Creamy Avocado Pasta: Avocados are loaded with healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and bonus: They also make a DELICIOUS dairy-free “cream” sauce. This recipe is extremely simple to make, but we recommend using a food processor (rather than a blender) for the creamiest texture possible. Oh, and your avos should be super ripe too. (via Chef Savvy)

December 3


3. Slow Cooker Beef Stew: Nothing could possibly be easier than throwing some meat, veggies and broth into your slow cooker, and then coming home to a house smelling of delicious beef stew. This classic winter recipe will warm you to your toes and fuel your body with healthy, hearty ingredients. (via Chef in Training)

December 4


4. 30-Minute Caprese Chicken: As the title suggests, this fresh and healthy chicken recipe is ready in less than 30 minutes. Topped with mozzarella, tomatoes, balsamic and a plethora of seasonings, this low-carb dish is FAR from the standard chicken breast. (via Foodiecrush)

December 5


5. 15-Minute Lo Mein: Ready in 15 minutes, this super yummy lo mein dish is made with soy sauce, sesame oil, onions, carrots, red peppers, mushrooms, broccoli and any other veggies you want to toss in. Pro tip: If you add a protein such as tofu or meat, make sure to cook it first and THEN add it to the noodles at the end. (via Pinch of Yum)

December 6


6. Quick Teriyaki Chicken Rice Bowl: Some say healthy eating is so time-consuming, but really, all you need for a nourishing meal are some veggies, white rice and a lean protein. Case in point: this teriyaki chicken bowl, which comes together in under 20 minutes. (via Crunchy Creamy Sweet)

December 7


7. 15-Minute Soba Noodle Soup: Soup is perfect for the holiday season, as it’s cozy, warming and super easy to make. This particular soup is made with soba (buckwheat) noodles, but the noodle of your choice will work just fine. (via Rasa Malaysia)

December 8


8. Paprika Chicken: Made with ingredients you probably already have on hand, this simple paprika chicken can be a real life-saver during the holidays. All you need to whip it up are some chicken breasts, paprika, salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice. (via Family Food on the Table)

December 9


9. 15-Minute Lazy Noodles: When a recipe specifically says “lazy” in its title, you KNOW we’re down to give it a go. This noodle dish also happens to sound completely delicious *and* it has some healthy leafy greens thrown in for good measure. (via The Woks of Life)

December 10


10. Spaghetti Carbonara: You may have noticed that there are a fair few noodle recipes on our list, and that’s because noodles are one of the quickest and easiest dishes to make. Sub whole-wheat noodles or spiralized veggies for the spaghetti in this recipe to keep things nice and light. (via Damn Delicious)

December 11


11. 10-Minute Healthy Crispy Chicken Avocado Wraps: Speaking of keeping things light, these healthy wraps are the perfect quick meal to keep you going on busy December days. Add even more greens to the mix with a healthy spinach wrap. (via Gimme Delicious)

December 12


12. Dump and Bake Chicken Alfredo Casserole: This recipe technically takes about 50 minutes to make, but that’s mostly just waiting time. As the title suggests, you literally just dump the ingredients into a casserole dish and, well, bake! (via The Seasoned Mom)

December 13


13. Easy 10-Minute Asian Zucchini Noodles: Before enjoying zucchini noodles, be aware that they don’t taste exactly like regular pasta. They are, however, equally delicious and MUCH lighter. This 15-minute Asian-style noodle recipe is a perfect example. (via Gimme Delicious)

December 14


14. 15-Minute Mushroom Stroganoff: This indulgent-tasting stroganoff dish is actually SUPER healthy. In fact, it’s made from clean ingredients such as mushrooms, vegetable stock, garlic, onion and various spices. Serve it with some healthy brown rice and you’re all set. (via Amuse Your Bouche)

December 15


15. 10-Minute Oven Baked Tostadas: Who needs to pick up takeout on the way home when you can make these fresh and tasty tostadas much more cheaply? Use corn tortillas to keep things authentic, but feel free to get creative with your toppings. (via Yellow Bliss Road)

December 16


16. Chicken Stir Fry With Rice Noodles: Rice noodles keep this AH-mazing dish completely gluten-free, while chicken and veggies round it out. Bonus: It’s ready in under 30 minutes. (via Natasha’s Kitchen)

December 17


17. Paprika Salmon and Green Beans: Paprika will warm you right up on cool winter evenings, and it just so happens to really complement the flavors of salmon. Serve with green beans on the side and you’ve got a quick and healthy low-carb meal. (via African Bites)

December 18


18. 15-Minute Coconut Curry Noodle Soup: Use vermicelli noodles to make this completely lovely and ultra-warming curry soup. To make it vegan, sub tofu in for the chicken, skip the fish sauce and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. (via The Woks of Life)

December 19


19. Homemade One-Pot Macaroni and Cheese: This insanely yummy mac is neither light nor vegan, and that’s just the way it should be. Still, it’s gotta be healthier than the boxed version, right? And — bonus — it’s a one-pot recipe, meaning you only have to clean one dish. #WINNING. (via Five Heart Home)

December 20


20. One Pan Healthy Sausage and Veggies: Nothing could be easier than throwing some chopped veggies and meats into the oven and turning it on. And not much could be healthier than fresh vegetables and high-quality meat. You can obviously sub chicken in for sausage if you want to go low-fat, but we think this recipe is absolutely perfect as-is. (via Chelsea’s Messy Apron)

December 21


21. Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup: After a quick food prep before work, come home to this simple slow cooker recipe featuring chicken, corn, black beans, avocado and tomato. Oh, and tortilla strips — DO NOT forget about the tortilla strips! (via Cooking Classy)

December 22


22. Slow Cooker Stout and Chicken Stew: Another easy slow cooker recipe, this dish gives you a slightly different take on traditional chicken stew. We recommend making it with Guinness, but the stout of your choice is perfectly fine. (via Eating Well)

December 23


23. 15-Minute Korean Beef and Quinoa Bowl: This easy peasy dinner bowl is packed with protein. Pro tip: To make your quinoa extra flavorful, cook it in broth instead of water. (via Smile Sandwich)

December 24


24. The Best Chicken Parmesan: Chicken parm is a total crowd-pleaser, and it’s also pretty kid-friendly. After all, who doesn’t love breaded chicken breasts dripping with marinara and mozzarella cheese? (via Chef Savvy)

December 25


25. 15-Minute Mexican Chicken Soup With Avocado: Crumble some tortilla chips into this healthy and vibrant soup to give it some extra crunch, or leave them out to keep things on the lighter side. Bonus health points if you add some Greek yogurt to the mixture in lieu of sour cream. (via Noble Pig)

December 26


26. French Bread Pizza: This one isn’t just a recipe… it’s a life hack. Save money BIG TIME by making homemade pizza with a French baguette, marinara, mozzarella cheese and the toppings of your choice. Be warned that you may never want to order in again. (via Love Bakes Good Cakes)

December 27


27. Asparagus Sweet Potato Chicken Skillet: This gluten-free and Paleo-friendly recipe is healthy, quick and delicious. Be sure to add your ingredients to the skillet one at a time, in this order: chicken, sweet potato, asparagus. You want to make sure everything gets cooked, but not overdone. (via Primavera Kitchen)

December 28


28. Easy Cashew Chicken: This takeout fave can be made in the comfort of your own home in less than 30 minutes. Bonus: It’s healthy and fresh, especially when served on whole grain rice. (via Mom on Time Out)

December 29


29. 15 Minute Cauliflower Fried Rice: This recipe takes traditional fried rice and gives it a super healthy spin. Cauliflower is subbed in for regular rice, making this dinner low-carb and Paleo-friendly. And BONUS! It comes together in minutes. (via Pinch of Yum)

December 30


30. Beef and Macaroni Chili: This dish gives you all the flavors of Hamburger Helper recipes, only it’s possibly even EASIER to make. In addition to macaroni noodles and ground beef, it showcases the flavors of garlic, chili powder, tomato, mozzarella and, of course, salt and pepper. (via All She Cooks)

December 31


31. Cheese Taco Soup: Ready in less than 30 minutes AND made in one pot, this taco soup will save you time. Bonus points if you also use it as a tortilla chip dip. (via Carlsbad Cravings)

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