Healthy & Quick Oven Dinners

Oven dinners are a simple way to cook a healthy meal. Just chop everything up, pop it in the oven and you’re done! No stirring over the stove or fussing about cooking times. Oven-roasted meals are very forgiving. As long as you aren’t cooking meat, it doesn’t matter if you take them out five minutes early or leave them to cook for an extra ten minutes.

Best of all, oven meals are ideal for quick, after work dinners.

The ingredients can be prepped ahead of time, so all you have to do pop them in the oven when you get home.

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Usually the food prep is simple enough that older children, tweens and teens can help out. Getting your kids to help in the kitchen not only makes meal prep easy, it also teaches them important life skills!

Most ovens have a start timer, so you can have it set to preheat before you get home.

Pasta with Oven-roasted Vegetables

(Total time: 30 minutes)

Oven roasted vegetables make a simple and delicious pasta dish. If you really want to save on time, use a package of gnocchi instead spaghetti. Gnocchi don’t need to be boiled. Just toss them in with the vegetables and they’ll be ready in 20 to 30 minutes!

3 coloured peppers

4 Roma tomatoes

2 medium-sized zucchinis

1 small eggplant

1 large onion

4 cloves of garlic

1 package of spaghetti (454 g)

1⁄2 cup olive oil

1⁄2 tsp ground black pepper, to taste

1 tsp salt, to taste

1⁄4 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1⁄4 cup of butter

1. Preheat the oven to 400˚F.

2. Chop the peppers, tomatoes, zucchini and eggplant into bite-sized pieces. Slice the onion in half, then chop it into 1 cm slices. Finely dice the garlic.

3. Toss all the vegetables together with the olive oil on a sheet pan. Sprinkle on the salt and ground pepper. Pop the vegetables in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, tossing halfway through. This will form the pasta sauce.

4. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti according to the directions on the package. When the spaghetti is cooked and drained, toss it with the butter. When the vegetables are nicely roasted, add them to the pasta. Be sure to scrape out the baking pan so you get all the delicious oil and liquid that forms the pasta sauce.

5. Toss everything together, taste and add more salt if needed.

6. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Tex-Mex Pie

(Total time: 30 minutes)

This Tex-Mex pie is something I ate growing up. It definitely has that 1980s cuisine vibe to it. However, it’s also simple and delicious.

Refried bean crust:

1 can of refried beans

1 egg

1 cup of flour

11⁄2 tsp baking powder


Ground beef (or veggie ground round)

1 medium-sized onion

1 package of taco seasoning

1⁄2 red pepper

1 Roma tomato

1 cup of grated cheese

For serving



Sour cream

1. Preheat the oven to 375˚F.

2. Mix together all the ingredients for the refried bean crust in a large bowl. Grease a 9-inch pie plate, then spread the mixture evenly to form a crust

3. Cook the ground beef and onion in a frying pan over medium heat. Stir occasional and cook until the beef is brown. Drain off the liquid, then stir in the seasoning mix.

4. Chop the red pepper and tomato into bite-sized cubes

5. Spread the ground beef over the refried bean crust. Top it with the pepper and tomato. Then cover it with grated cheese.

6. Bake the pie for 30 minutes, until the crust is set and the cheese is melted.

7. Serve hot with salsa, guacamole and sour cream.

Mediterranean Pita Pizzas

(Prep time: 5 to 10 minutes, Bake time: 10 minutes)

There’s really no need to buy frozen pizza crust, when a thick pita or naan bread works just as well. Best of all, they are naturally individual-sized, so everyone can decorate them how they want!

I decided to play on the Mediterranean theme for this recipe. However, feel free to use all your favourite toppings. Pita pizzas definitely work with the usual tomato pizza sauce, pepperoni and cheese. Just don’t use any ingredients that need to be cooked with the pizza crust. These pizzas are heated just enough to melt the cheese, but they won’t necessarily cook raw onions.

1 package of pita (get the thick, pocket-less pitas typically used in Greek cuisine)

1 jar of pesto

1 bunch of fresh spinach

2 Roma tomatoes

Black olives & artichoke hearts

2 cups of grated mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 400˚F.

2. Wash the spinach. Dice the tomatoes, olives and artichoke hearts.

3. Place the pitas on a baking sheet. Spread pesto on each of the pitas, getting as close to the edge as possible. The oil in the pesto will help keep the pita from turning into a crouton.

4. Cover the pita in a layer of spinach. Top with the tomatoes, olives and artichoke hearts. Then cover with grated mozzarella.

5. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted.

Emillie Parrish
Emillie Parrish
Emillie Parrish loves having adventures with her two busy children. She lives in Victoria and is the author of the fermentation-based blog