ThePrep: Anti-Inflammatory Dinners I Can Prep in 15 Minutes or Less

Sheet-Pan Lemon-Pepper Chicken
Sheet-Pan Lemon-Pepper Chicken

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With the busy holiday season in full swing, I'm loading up on foods with healthy anti-inflammatory nutrients—like omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C and vitamin E—to help me feel my best and fend off pesky colds. This week of quick-to-prep flavorful dinners makes it easy to get my fill of these nutrients, deliciously. These dinners require just 15 minutes of hands-on prep time, then the oven, stove or slow cooker does the rest of the work.

Your Meal Plan


Sunday's Sheet-Pan Lemon-Pepper Chicken is a lemon-lover's dream dinner. This cozy yet bright recipe uses two whole lemons—the zest, juice and leftover lemon wedges—to infuse tons of flavor and juiciness into the chicken. Rosemary, thyme, pepper and garlic also add lots of flavor, as well as anti-inflammatory benefits. Research shows that eating herbs and spices regularly can help quell inflammation and may prevent certain types of cancer. To round out the meal, I'll serve the chicken with a side of brown rice and Steamed Fresh Green Beans.

Tuesday's 15-Minute Salmon & Creamy Orzo with Spinach & Mushrooms is another anti-inflammatory winner and is ready in 15 minutes from start to finish. Salmon is packed with anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, which can benefit your brain, heart, skin, vision and mental health. The creamy orzo with spinach and mushrooms that's served with the salmon is not only comforting but also delivers helpful nutrients like fiber, potassium, iron and B vitamins.

The Quick Shrimp Puttanesca is another easy dinner ready in 15 minutes total. It's perfect for a Thursday night when my husband and I are always tempted to order out. This recipe calls for fresh pasta, which cooks faster than dried pasta, and it includes capers, olives and artichokes, which not only add lots of flavor with little effort but also have helpful anti-inflammatory components like antioxidants, specifically flavonoids, phenols and anthocyanidins.

Sunday: Sheet-Pan Lemon-Pepper Chicken with a side of brown rice and Steamed Fresh Green Beans

Monday: One-Pot Lentil & Vegetable Soup with Parmesan

Tuesday: 15-Minute Salmon & Creamy Orzo with Spinach & Mushrooms

Wednesday: Gluten-Free Teriyaki Chicken with Broccoli

Thursday: Quick Shrimp Puttanesca

Friday: Salsa Verde Slow-Cooker Chicken with corn tortillas and avocado slices

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Something Sweet

a recipe photo of the Strawberry Cream Cheese Oatmeal Cake served on a plate and cut open
a recipe photo of the Strawberry Cream Cheese Oatmeal Cake served on a plate and cut open

Sara Haas

Having a breakfast option handy is always a relief for busy mornings and snack time. And nothing pairs better with my cup of coffee than some Breakfast Strawberry & Cream Cheese Oatmeal Cakes. These oatmeal cakes are delicious and easy to make—only requiring 15 minutes of prep time. In fact, I might make a double batch since I can freeze them for up to three months.

Get the Recipe: ​​Breakfast Strawberry & Cream Cheese Oatmeal Cakes

What's Inspiring Me This Week

an illustration of a blood pressure monitor and a brain
an illustration of a blood pressure monitor and a brain

Getty Images

Feeling anxious? New research suggests that high blood pressure may be to blame. A study published in the journal  General Psychiatry suggests that high blood pressure—a common condition among U.S. adults—can lead to increased anxious feelings. This finding is just another motivator to work at maintaining healthy blood pressure levels. Regular exercise, quitting smoking and eating a lower-sodium diet are ways to keep your blood pressure in check. (See our collection of Healthy Recipes for Blood Pressure).

Find Out More: Lowering Blood Pressure Might Help You Feel Less Anxious, New Research Suggests

I wish you all a great week, and if you have any questions or requests for future newsletters, please let me know by emailing! Don't forget to add a recipe review if you try one.