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26 Healthy School Night Dinner Ideas

26 Healthy School Night Dinner Ideas

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Around here, school has been back in session for almost a full month now, and I’m sure for a lot of you, the appeal of a freshly-minted school year is starting to wane. You started the year with all these great big ideas for how your family was going to eat during this busy season, and slowly, but surely, they are trickling away. I get it. Life with kids is crazypants. But the great thing about healthy eating is that anytime is a good time to start. So dust off your apron and get back in the kitchen!

I asked some of my favorite food bloggers to share with me some of their best healthy school night dinner ideas. They are all kid-friendly, packed with nutrition, and maybe best of all, FAST! You can get dinner on the table before it’s dark out. Even on a Tuesday. After soccer practice and the PTA meeting.

Chicken Healthy School Night Dinner Ideas

Mexican Baked Chicken Tenders

Mexican Baked Chicken Tenders from Food Faith Fitness /// These tenders have a healthy crust that is made with a secret ingredient that you’ll never guess!

Sweet ‘n’ Sticky Chicken Drumsticks from Wholefully /// Any meal that you can eat with your hands (and get messy) is a winner in my book!

Copycat P.F. Chang’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps from Layers of Happiness /// You’d wait longer for a table a P.F. Chang’s than it would take to make these lettuce wraps!

Zucchini Chicken Burgers from Wholefully /// Think all chicken burgers are dry and flavorless? Nope! The zucchini keeps these burgs juicy and delicious.

Slow Cooker Hoisin Chicken

Slow Cooker Hoisin Chicken from Cookin’ Canuck /// The slow cooker is your best friend for crazy school nights.

Cashew Crusted Chicken Fingers from The Healthy Maven /// Cashews add such an awesome crunch to baked chicken fingers. Your kids will gobble these up!

Chicken Spinach Alfredo Pizza from Wholefully /// Pizza night is always a success! Save time by picking up a pre-made wheat crust from the store on your way home from work.

Teriyaki Zucchini Noodles with Asian Meatballs from With Salt and Wit /// Make the meatballs ahead of time and pop them in the freezer for a shortcut dinner.

Seafood Healthy School Night Dinner Ideas


Spice-Rubbed Lime Salmon from Cookin’ Canuck /// Try kicking up the spice on fish if you’re struggling to get your kids to eat their salmon. Bonus: it cooks in less than 10 minutes!

Penne Rosa with Shrimp from Wholefully /// This recipe has everything—health, flavor, and speed—it’s ready in 15 minutes!

Grilled Salmon Sandwiches from Peas and Crayons /// Take your sandwiches to the next level by adding brain-food grilled salmon to them.


Creamy Cajun Shrimp and Broccoli Pasta from Peas and Crayons /// This hearty (and healthy) pasta dish is ready in under a half hour. If the Cajun seasoning is a bit too much for tiny tastebuds, just cut back on it.

Maple Apple Caramelized Salmon from Fit Foodie Finds /// Serve this up with some brown rice and your kid’s favorite steamed green veggies.

Beef Healthy School Night Dinner Ideas


Quinoa and Kale Taco Casserole from The Healthy Maven /// Perhaps this is a good cool-weather-friendly alternative for Taco Tuesday?

Creamy Taco Macaroni Skillet from Wholefully /// You’re 20 minutes away from creamy, hearty, tasty taco macaroni.

Superfood Taco Bowls from Fit Foodie Finds /// We’re on a bit of a taco kick here, aren’t we? For good reason – tacos are fast, family favorites, and healthy!

Vegetarian Healthy School Night Dinner Ideas


Stovetop Mac and Cheese with Butternut Squash from The Lemon Bowl /// The ultimate kid-friendly food gets a healthier makeover with added squash puree.

Avocado Bean Burgers from The Hummasapien /// Burger night done right! These veggie burgers come together in a bowl—no food processor required.

Baked Falafels from Making Healthy Choices /// Serve ’em up with whole wheat pitas and lots and lots of tzatziki sauce!


Five-Ingredient Baked Spinach and Mozzarella Ravioli Florentine from With Salt and Wit /// If you think comforting Italian food has to take all day to put together, this recipe is out to prove you wrong.

Crispy Baked Tofu Fingers from The Hummusapien /// Tofu and kids aren’t really two words you normally put together, but this recipe makes tofu crispy and totally kid-friendly!

Crock Pot Green Chili White Cheddar Mac and Cheese from Cotter Crunch /// I could pretty much just fill this whole list with fun mac and cheese recipes. This one is gluten-free!

One Pot Summertime Primavera

One Pot Summertime Primavera from Wholefully /// Throw whatever veggies you have kicking around in the pot—this is a great fridge-clearing dish!

Lentil Dal from Savvy Eats /// Think this is a bit to exotic for the kids? Try using whole wheat naan to scoop it up!

Lentil Sloppy Joes from Wholefully /// While we’re talking about lentils, how about these meatless sloppy joes? You’ll never miss the meat!

Hopefully you have some new ideas for how to get healthy food on the table for your family even on the craziest of school nights. I’d love to hear your favorite healthy and fast recipes—share them in the comments so other busy parents can benefit from your know-how.

Cassie is the founder and CEO of Wholefully. She's a home cook and wellness junkie with a love of all things healthy living. She lives on a small hobby farm in Southern Indiana with her husband, daughter, two dogs, two cats, and 15 chickens.

Leave a Reply

9 Responses
  1. Josie

    Awesome recipes. Thank you! I rarely comment on your posts, but I always read them, and I’ve been stalking since SparkPeople days, lol.

    Wow. I can’t imagine school starting in the middle of summer. Yuck. In NJ where I’m from and here in MI where I’m currently living, it starts around Labor Day and ends mid to late June.

  2. Ty

    Thanks for sharing. I’m a huge chicken fan and love even more the fast and tasty recipes.

    I can’t believe IN has been in school for a month, here in MN we don’t kick school off until after Labor day, so school does not start here until next Tuesday.

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Hello. My name is Cassie, and I’m a healthy home cooking expert.

I'm a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, and I've been developing healthy recipes professionally for over 15 years. Food is my love language, and my kitchen tips and nourishing recipes are my love letter to you!

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