My Go-To Weeknight Dinner with only 4 Ingredients

Hello! We’re half way through the week! It’s been great so far, but busy. RER will be revealing the redesign this week plus I’m still working group fitness in the morning.

So, this is my office for the week:

this is my office this week dana point (800x600)

In addition to the group fit and redesign I have a few other projects I’m working on right now. I don’t really have the time to spend a long time cooking.

And I’m not in the mood. I wanted something quick and easy tonight!

i don't want to

So, I threw together my super easy go-to weeknight dinner. This is something my mom made growing up when she needed to feed my and my brother after work and practice and 100 other things. But I’ve made it a little healthier with a few swaps.

My mom makes all the healthy swaps now too, we got on the health wagon a few years ago together. In the past she’d make it with regular pasta and skip the added veggies – but this bulks it up and is just as good!

4 ingredient week night dinner (600x800)

Easy 4 Ingredient Week Night Pasta Dinner

Easy Week Night Pasta Ingredients: whole wheat pasta, lean ground turkey, jar of marinara (low sugar – check the ingredients), green beans.

boil water

Cook the turkey and season to taste. Boil pasta. Combine turkey, pasta, green beans and sauce. Divide into containers for the week. Enjoy!

super easy week night dinner (800x600)

I know Ina would NOT approve of this un-fancy meal, but it works.

ina would not approve

whatever im not drunk

Pair with wine. Now, really enjoy!!

wine with a lot of alcohol (600x800)

And I don’t have to cook tomorrow either. Boom.

super easy week night meal prep (600x800)

Question: What’s your go-to quick meal when you’re busy/tired/hungry?

Share with us so we can get some inspiration!


  1. says

    I make whole wheat cous cous which cooks so fast. I’ll add a can of beans or chick peas, olive oil and oregano and garlic and kalamata olives. Feta cheese if I have and a squeeze of lemon juice too.

    If I have frozen cooked shrimp in the freezer I’ll use that instead or in addition to the beans. (You just run them under cold water for a few minutes to defrost and then toss right into the pot of cous cous.

    Oh and always add in spinach leaves. I do this at the end so they are just wilted not overly cooked.

  2. Cheryl says

    I appreciate this simple, go-to, realistic meal! Life happens, and it is not always possible to create a masterpiece…yet this is WAY better than a prepared, processed, frozen meal. Thank you!

    • says

      you are right this is genius!!! I want to make this just as soon as passover is over!!! No wheat for a whole week should be interesting and hard.

  3. says

    I make an easy “stir fry” with any veggies I have around, and I always have chicken in the freezer. Just thaw the chicken during the day, and throw it all in a skillet – boom! I flavor it differently – soy sauce, peanut sauce, just olive oil, etc. Sometimes I put hummus on it at the end for quick flavor! Goes great with pasta or just plain. I’m hungry now!!

  4. says

    My go to dinner is to throw frozen cod in the oven and roasted brussels sprouts when I’m in a rush. It’s easy to toss in the oven for 25 minutes and I can do things while dinner is cooking itself.

  5. says

    ha pasta is my go-to meal this week. i boiled some GF rice past, threw together a very simple, homemade pasta sauce, baked a batch of bison meatballs . . . and voila! no need to worry about what’s for dinner for the whole week :)

  6. christi says

    Whenever we grill chicken I do two extra chicken breasts so that I can have the leftovers with salad for lunch at work or a last minute dinner at home. Fastest to the table? Chicken, Broccoli, Ramen – boil 6 cups of water, add 1 bag frozen broccoli or 1 head of fresh, boil 3 minutes, add 3 packages of Ramen noodles, boil 3 minutes, add 1-2 seasoning packets (we use the oriental flavor for this). Remove from heat and add 1 -2 cups chopped chicken. Stir, scoop into bowls and devour!

  7. Ella says

    Hel-lo! I make this meal almost once a week. Exact same except I omit green beans and add in a can of diced tomatoes (buy the 8-pack at Costco) and usually throw in a bag of spinach, some chopped onion and maybe a zucchini or whatever veg I have on hand (carrots, celery), plus salt, pepper, and oregano. My hubs loves it, it’s super healthy, and my 2 year old will eat it and not realize he’s getting lots of veg. Im a dietitian and wish more people would eat “stupid simple” meals like this way more often!!

  8. Tara says

    YUM. I make a similar dish to bring to work for lunches-home made sauce w/a bunch of dices veggies (peppers, onion, zuch, squash and spinach) and what ever meat I have on hand (chicken suasage, ground turkey)then add ww pasta (or quinoa)

    omletes and roasted sweet potatoes for quick, healthy and filling.
    Or, If I have the ingredients, I will do a flatbread pizza w/veggies and a side salad.

  9. says

    I like to cook beef tips or cubed chicken in olive oil and garlic. Sauté onions and peppers. Dice some avocado and put it all in artisan romaine leaves–lettuce wrap. Add 90 sec brown rice for some carbs.

    Use leftovers and put on rice or mixed greens the next day. To make it even easier use rotisserie or even canned chicken.

  10. Shannon in Tustin says

    I made that once after you posted it, but it had peas; everyone loved it. :)
    I’ve been lacking on time and imagination for dinners lately– this may make an appearance soon at our house.

    One of my go-to’s is ground turkey with taco seasoning and add one can of drained no/low-salt black beans. We can use it for tacos, burritos, or quesadilla embellishments. Add a few sliced red bells or some apple slices on the side (eliminates the mom guilt of no veggies).

    Super jelly of your sunrise beach workouts!!!

      • Shannon in Tustin says

        I use the gigantic bottle from Costco $5.50 then I can just eye-ball whatever quantity I need. I use it for the taco meat (above), occasional fajitas or also my taco soup for the crock pot. That is a masterpiece! :) Happy to share that recipe also.

  11. says

    I do something similar except skip the pasta and throw in about every veggie I have in the fridge that looks like it’s about to go to the dark side – cabbage, zucchini, tomatoes, etc. And yeah, I’m done cooking for a couple days!

  12. Anne says

    i am IN LOVE with tuna melts. super easy for just one meal or for me and my fiance. i always keep cans and single serve packets of tuna at home. I also love eggs.

  13. says

    My go-to meal is a little something that I like to call “veggie dinner”. It’s where I saute a can of green beans in some sesame oil, throw an egg in there, and EAT IT! It tastes like Chinese food except it’s cheaper!

  14. Paola A says

    Any quick tips on cooking Whole Wheat Pasta so the texture doesn’t stay kinda tough? My husband hates it…

    • says

      I suggest trying different shapes of the pasta, ‘hiding it’ with his favorite sauce and cooking it a little longer to take out the toughness instead of making it al dente.

  15. says

    I usually just eat cereal or eggs for dinner if I don’t have time to make something real – so lazy. :)

    What kind/brand of pasta sauce do you buy that’s low sugar? I can never seem to find one.

  16. says

    I’ll often do the same four ingredients (maybe different veggies) and of course some mozz on the top.
    My quick go-to dinner is an omelet with spinach and cheese, mixed greens on the side, and either toast with PB or a sweet potato half (cooked in the microwave). Filling and healthy and quick!

  17. Ashlee says

    Pancakes. I grew up with breakfast for dinner (both parents were in the Navy when I was little). So when there’s a time constraint or I’m tired, pancakes, eggs, and microwave turkey sausage for the win. Or take out Chinese…

  18. says

    I make a whole bumch of quinoa in the rice cooker and divide it into containers. That way I can grab one and throw whatever I want in it if I don’t have anything for lunch the next day. My go to lately has been a whole rack of mushrooms slathered in Sriracha. MMM.

  19. Sarah G. says

    I used to make a meal similar to this as my “go-to” but now that my husband has effectively eliminated all pasta from our household, my go-to is chicken fajitas. Cook a couple thin sliced chicken breasts on the stove with garlic salt, pepper, and a little dried cilantro. Or just use a packet of fajita seasoning – I just don’t like the taste usually so I just use my own seasonings. Sautee veggies in another pan (green peppers, diced onion, mushrooms, etc). Cook 1 cup minute rice (this could be made healthier by using brown rice but ehh…not a fan myself). Heat up a couple tortillas, spoon everything inside, top with shredded cheese and salsa and whatever else you want – voila! Dinner.

  20. says

    I also do a quick pasta dish – but with red onions, chicken, some red chili flakes and finished with some marianted artichoke hearts, lemon juice and chopped parsley.

  21. says

    Hi Monica,

    Thank you for this recipe it comes at the right time. I don’t have much time for shopping and I always buy to much ingredients for my meals. 4 is a good number and I’m now totally into cooking meals with few ingredients.

  22. says

    my brother and sis in law actually brown ground meat (your pick, beef/chix/turkey) and freeze it and then pull it out for a quick casserole. My favorite that I can handle rewarmed/aka leftover is goulash. Our recipe for 2 is meat, noodles, ketchup (lots of sugar, but a can of tomato soup is too much for 2) a bit of brown sugar, and mustard. If you are making for a large group use tomato soup and add more brown sugar.

  23. Vikter says

    Always a good idea when either low on ingredients or wanting a simple, inexpensive, meal! Reminds me of the vegetable rotini dinner i saw on the other day! I’ve used the method you’ve shown above to have lunch for a week on less than 15 bucks:

    -Rotisserie chicken
    -One avocado
    -Frozen mixed greens

    Basically cook the rice, chop up the chicken and throw it into the rice; mix that up. Lightly saute the spinach with salt and olive oil, mix with rice/chicken. Chop up the avocado into squares and mix into the whole mixture. Cook bag of mixed greens for side of vegetables. cheap meals!

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