IMG 8930 Edit

20 Healthy Meals You Can Make in 20 Minutes

Muscle-Buidling Recipes

These inspirational recipes combine delicious ingredients and creative cooking techniques that will satisfy any food-loving man. Plus, they’re filled with all types of healthy ingredients that will help build muscle and keep you lean and trim.

Recipe: Cedar Plank Trout with Asian Guacamole

Add a delicious flavor to protein-filled trout when you cook it over cedar—even better, the cedar doesn’t add any extra calories! Top with a flavorful healthy fat-filled guacamole for a satisfying meal.

Skill level: Beginner

Serves: 4

Start to Finish: 45 minutes

Prep: 20 minutes

Cook: 25 minutes


2 cedar planks, soaked in water at least 2 hours

1 lb wild trout filets, cut in four pieces

1-2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

For Asian Guacamole

1 avocado, pitted and peeled

1½ tablespoons grated fresh ginger

2 scallions, chopped

1 cup fresh mint leaves

1 cup fresh cilantro (leaves and stems)

1 jalapeno, stemmed and seeded

Juice of 1 lime

¼ teaspoon sea salt


1. Set half the grill to medium-high heat.

2. Drain the cedar planks and arrange the trout filets, skin side down, on top. Brush with sesame oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on the grill on the opposite side of the heat source, cover, and cook 20-25 minutes until the fish flakes easily with a fork. Remove and set aside.

3. To make guacamole, place all guacamole ingredients in a food processor and blend until pureed and well combined. Taste and season with more salt or lime juice if needed.

4. Serve trout with a hefty dollop of guacamole.

Nutrition Information (per serving)

Calories: 280; Total Fat: 17 grams; Saturated Fat: 3 grams; Protein: 25 grams: Carbohydrates: 7 grams; Sugar: 1 gram; Fiber: 4 grams; Cholesterol: 66 milligrams; Sodium: 349 milligrams

Recipe: Sirloin Breakfast Sliders

Is steak healthy for breakfast? Absolutely! Marinade the sirloin tip, a lean cut of beef, the night before and cook it on the skillet the next morning. Each breakfast slider contains 2 ounces of beef, which is a great way to enjoy beef in a portion-controlled way first thing in the morning.

Skill level: Beginner

Serves: 3

Start to Finish: 33 minutes, plus marinating time

Prep: 20 minutes

Cook: 13 minutes


For the Sirloin Tip Marinade

2 oz maple whiskey

1 tablespoon molasses

2 tablespoons sugar

¼ cup water

6 oz lean sirloin tip

2 teaspoons light vegan butter

For the sliders

3 whole wheat English muffins, halved

3 tablespoon fat free cream cheese

3 teaspoon maple syrup (sugar free)

6 tablespoon strawberry jelly or fruit spread of choice

3 fried eggs


1. In an airtight container, combine the marinade ingredients and place beef in container. If possible, let marinate up to 48 hours.

2. When ready to assemble, set oven to broil.

3. Place cast iron skillet in stove to heat.

4. Remove after 5 minutes and place 2 teaspoons vegan butter in skillet.

5. Place one sirloin tip in skillet.

6. Return to oven and broil 3-4 minutes per side. Remove sirloin tip from skillet and let rest on cutting board. Repeat process with second sirloin tip. Slice sirloin into long strips.

7. To assemble sandwich, toast English muffins.

8. In a small bowl, combine cream cheese and maple syrup.

9. In the same skillet you made your sirloin in, fry the eggs.

10. Remove toasted English muffins and place on 4 small plates.

11. Lather one side with the maple cream cheese, one side with the jelly. Place egg on top of cream cheese side. Place 2 oz of sirloin on jelly side. Carefully put the egg side on top of the steak and enjoy!

Nutrition Information (per slider)

Calories: 310; Total Fat: 4.5 grams; Saturated Fat: 1.5 grams; Protein: 27 grams: Carbohydrates: 42 grams; Sugar: 18 grams; Fiber: 4 grams; Cholesterol: 50 milligrams; Sodium: 480 milligrams

Recipe: Balsamic and Garlic Chicken

The garlic and balsamic vinegar combined with the mushrooms give the chicken aromatic flavor without going overboard.

Skill level: Beginner

Serves: 4

Start to Finish: 40 minutes

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 25 minutes


4 boneless and skinless chicken breasts, sliced thin

½ pound sliced mushrooms

2 tablespoons flour

Salt and pepper

7 garlic cloves, peeled

3 tablespoons olive oil

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

¾ cup low sodium chicken broth

2 bay leaves

½ teaspoon thyme

1 tablespoon butter


1. Sprinkle salt and pepper over chicken to taste. Add some salt and pepper to flour then coat the chicken in the flour mixture.

2. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat and sauté the chicken for about 3 minutes each side.

3. Add the peeled garlic to the skillet and add the mushrooms. Continue to sauté the chicken and stir the mushrooms for about 3 minutes.

4. Add vinegar, broth, thyme and bay leaves. Cover and simmer over a medium heat for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Remove chicken and transfer to a serving dish.

6. Continue to simmer the sauce over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add the butter and remove the bay leaves. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve.

Nutrition Information (per serving)

Calories: 446; Total Fat: 19 grams; Saturated Fat: 5 grams; Protein: 56 grams: Carbohydrates: 9 grams; Sugar: 3 grams; Fiber: 1 gram; Cholesterol: 180 milligrams; Sodium: 370 milligrams

Recipe: Kale Italia Salad

Perfect for lunch or a light supper, this salad includes kale, white beans, red peppers, and sunflower seeds. The combination of healthy fat, protein, and fiber helps it fill you up and keep you satisfied.

Skill level: Beginner

Serves: 8

Start to Finish: 8 minutes

Prep: 8 minutes

Cook: 0 minutes


2 cups pre-mixed kale blend (I like Earthbound Farm Kale Italia blend)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 lemon, juiced

Fresh ground pepper

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1 cup canned cannelini beans, drained

4 oz fresh mozzarella pearls

½ cup sliced jarred roasted red peppers, drained (more if desired)

1/3 cup roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds


1. Layer kale blend on a serving plate.

2. Drizzle olive oil and lemon juice (use the amount that is your preference) over greens. Then sprinkle on cracked pepper.

3. Spread tomatoes, then beans, then mozzarella on top of dressed greens. Layer red peppers over the center of the salad.

4. Sprinkle sunflower seeds over top of salad. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Information (per serving)

Calories: 164; Total Fat: 9 grams; Saturated Fat: 2 grams; Protein: 7 grams: Carbohydrates: 12 grams; Sugar: 1 gram; Fiber: 4 grams; Cholesterol: 7 milligrams; Sodium: 212 milligrams

Recipe: Lemony Shrimp with Goat Cheese

Baby shrimp combined with goat cheese, cream cheese, crunchy celery, lemon, and thyme make an impressive appetizer or light lunch that can be whipped up in 20 minutes. Serve with cucumber rounds, or whole grain crackers.

Skill level: Beginner

Serves: 16

Start to Finish: 20 minutes, plus 2 hours chill time

Prep: 20 minutes

Cook: 0 minutes


1 pound baby shrimp, cleaned in a seive with the extra moisture gently pushed throug the seive

2 tablespoons red onion, minced

1 cup celery, finely chopped

1 medium lemon zest

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced

2 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature

2 ounces low fat cream cheese, at room temperature

2 cups baby arugula

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 pinch salt

1 pinch pepper


1. Coat a small baking dish like the one pictured with cooking spray.

2. Combine remaining ingredients EXCLUDING arugula, olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix well.

3. Gently press the shrimp mixture into the baking dish, cover with plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours, or overnight.

4. Dress arugula with olive oil, salt and pepper.

5. Mound arugula on a serving plate, then invert the shrimp mixture out of the bowl over the arugula.

Nutrition Information (per 1 oz serving)

Calories: 123; Total Fat: 8 grams; Saturated Fat: 2 grams; Protein: 8 grams: Carbohydrates: 4 grams; Sugar: 2.5 grams; Fiber: 0.5 grams; Cholesterol: 64 milligrams; Sodium: 329 milligrams

Recipe: Apple Peanut Butter Pancakes with Sautéed Cinnamon Apple Topping

Dress up your morning protein pancakes with a simple 4 ingredient sautéed apple topping. Fruit is the best way to sweeten your morning pancakes so you don’t need to add sugar from maple syrup.

Skill level: Beginner

Serves: 8

Start to Finish: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 1 hour


¾ cup whole wheat flour

¾ cup all-purpose flour

¼ cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1½ cups nonfat milk

½ cup natural, unsweetened applesauce

½ cup peanut butter (I used creamy, natural, unsalted PB)

1 cup diced apples (I left peel on)

2-3 teaspoons unsalted butter

For Sautéed Cinnamon Apples

1 teaspoon unsalted butter

1-2 sliced apples



Maple syrup, for serving (optional)


1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, baking powder, and cinnamon.

2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together milk, applesauce, and peanut butter.

3. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, making sure to incorporate everything well, but be careful not to overmix. Fold diced apples into the batter.

4. Over medium-low heat, melt butter on griddle. Use just enough to coat the griddle (you don’t want to use all the butter at once). Using a ¼ cup measuring cup, drop the batter onto the griddle and smooth with the spatula. Cook until the edges are set and the batter begins to bubble in the middle, about 4 to 5 minutes. Flip and cook on other side for another 4 minutes or so.

5. Repeat with remaining batter, adding butter to griddle as needed. Keep pancakes warm in a toaster oven. (Note: I make two pancakes at a time on my griddle.)

To make Sautéed Cinnamon Apples:

1. Melt 1 teaspoon butter in a sauté pan. Add sliced apples, cinnamon, and a few teaspoons of water.

2. Cover and stir occasionally until apples are soft and somewhat caramelized.

3. Serve pancakes with sautéed cinnamon apples and maple syrup, if desired.

Nutrition Information (per 2 pancakes)

Calories: 245; Total Fat: 9.5 grams; Saturated Fat: 2 grams; Protein: 8 grams: Carbohydrates: 35 grams; Sugar: 13 grams; Fiber: 4 grams; Cholesterol: 3 milligrams; Sodium: 89 milligrams

Recipe: Butternut Squash and Sausage Risotto

This risotto is filled with exceptionally healthy ingredients. Butternut squash is brimming with antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E along with potassium, magnesium, and vitamin B6. The Italian sausage (about 1.5 ounces per serving) adds a flavorful protein punch, while the cheese adds a salty and some umami flavor.

Skill level: Beginner

Serves: 6

Start to Finish: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Prep: 20 minutes

Cook: 55 minutes


1 small to medium butternut squash, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (about 4-5 cups of squash)

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

½ pound Italian sausage (chicken, turkey), about 1.5 cups cooked

½ cup chopped yellow onion

1 tablespoon butter

1¼ cups Arborio rice

4 cups vegetable or chicken stock

1 cup water

½ cup finely shredded Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

½ cup finely shredded pecorino romano

1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage

½ teaspoon salt (optional – depending on type of stock used)


1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Place peeled, cubed butternut squash on baking sheet.

3. Drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil over squash and toss to coat.

4. Bake for 20 minutes or until soft, remove from oven and set aside.

5. While squash is baking, in a large skillet over high heat, add sausage.

6. Brown sausage until fully cooked through, about 7-10 minutes, stirring constantly, drain fat and set aside.

7. Shred cheeses, dice onion and sage leaves.

For the risotto

1. In a large Dutch oven, add 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat.

2. Add chopped onion and sauté until soft, about 4-5 minutes.

3. Add rice and sauté for 1 minute.

4. Begin adding stock, 1 cup at a time.

5. Stir rice constantly while adding stock and continue adding 1 cup at a time as the rice starts to absorb it, about 30 minutes. When stock runs out, switch to water.

7. When rice begins to get creamy, stop adding water and add parmesan cheese and sage. If rice seems dry or is still crunchy, add additional water 1/4 cup at a time while it is still hot.

9. When risotto has finished absorbing liquid, add in cooked sausage and butternut squash.

10. Test for taste and add salt if desired and serve hot.

Nutrition Information (per serving)

Calories: 469; Total Fat: 22 grams; Protein: 17 grams: Carbohydrates: 52 grams; Sugar: 1 gram; Fiber: 6 grams; Sodium: 682 milligrams

ZZ logo

Tell us what's next

Get in touch with us

black copy 2

Latest videos