20 Healthy Dinner Recipes You Really Have to Try

Making smart food choices keeps you healthier, gives you more energy, and helps you feel better throughout the day. These recipes are a perfect fit for your healthy and busy lifestyle!

1. Spicy Chicken Breasts

Spicy Chicken Breasts
© myviewpoint, AdobeStock

This chicken is very spicy and tasty. Baking it without oil or anything else makes it very healthy, and the spicing can be adjusted. This chicken can also be sliced and served in a salad.

Cooking Time: 40 minutes.
Yield: 4 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. crushed red peppers
  • 4 chicken breast halves

Directions:

  1. Combine the spices in a bowl.
  2. Rub the spices all over the chicken breasts.
  3. Place the chicken on a baking sheet.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

2. Turmeric Chicken Stew

Turmeric Chicken Stew
© Bart, AdobeStock

Turmeric has been proven beneficial for heart and cancer health. And the vegetables just add up to a fit dinner. Use low-sodium broth, if possible.

Cooking Time: 40 minutes.
Yield: 6 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cubed chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 peeled and cubed yams
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 small, cubed eggplant – no need to peel
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1-inch nob grated ginger
  • 2 tsp. ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp. cumin
  • ½ tsp. garam marsala
  • ¼ cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet.
  2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and brown for 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the yam and onion and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic, ginger, turmeric, cumin, garam masala, and chopped apricots.
  5. Simmer and stir for 3 minutes.
  6. Pour in the broth and simmer for 30 minutes while keeping an eye on the liquid.

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3. Greek Chicken with Garlic and Vegetables

Greek Chicken with Garlic and Vegetables
© fahrwasser, AdobeStock

This dinner has it all as healthy garlic, excellent chicken, and great vegetables come together.

Cooking Time: 35 minutes.
Yield: 4 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • ½ tsp. thyme
  • ½ tsp. oregano
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 5 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 lb. bone-in chicken thighs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 trimmed asparagus stalks
  • ¼ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • ¼ cup black olives
  • 1 lemon, sliced

Directions:

  1. Combine 1 tbsp. olive oil, lemon juice, thyme, and oregano in a bowl.
  2. Add the chicken thighs and toss well.
  3. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  5. Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in an ovenproof skillet.
  6. Sauté the onion, garlic, and mushrooms for 5 minutes.
  7. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add to the skillet skin-side down along with the marinade.
  8. Sear the chicken skin for 10 minutes.
  9. Turn the chicken around and add the asparagus, sun-dried tomatoes, and olives.
  10. Place the skillet in the oven and cook for 20 minutes.
  11. Serve with lemon slices.

4. Honey Mustard Chicken

Honey Mustard Chicken
© Irina, AdobeStock

Baked and flavorful – perfect mixture of sweet and tart.

Cooking Time: 40 minutes.
Yield: 6 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 6 chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • ½ cup Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp. oregano
  • ½ tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
  3. Combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl.
  4. Transfer the chicken to a baking dish and coast with half the honey/mustard mixture.
  5. Cover the dish with aluminum foil.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes.
  7. Toss the foil and flip the chicken breasts over and coat the chicken with the remaining mixture.
  8. Bake for 10 more minutes.

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5. Beef Stir-Fry

Beef Stir-Fry
© FomaA, AdobeStock

Stir-fries are remarkably healthy, with just a bit of healthy olive oil (do not use vegetable oil) and plenty of wonderful vegetables. Serve over nutritious brown rice.

Cooking Time: 50 minutes.
Yield: 4 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 2 tsp. grated ginger
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 lb. steak sliced into thin strips
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 small, chopped onion
  • 1 sliced red bell pepper
  • 1 sliced green bell pepper
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup Chinese cabbage
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil

Directions:

  1. Simmer the rice in a pot of salted water for 45 minutes, until done.
  2. Stir together the cornstarch, brown sugar, soy sauce, wine, ginger, and garlic.
  3. Add the beef strips and coat.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a wok or skillet.
  5. sauté the broccoli, onion, bell peppers, and mushrooms for 2 minutes.
  6. Add the cabbage and stir for 1 more minute.
  7. Transfer the vegetables to a platter.
  8. Heat another tbsp. olive oil in the skillet and stir-fry the beef strips for 2 minutes.
  9. Transfer the vegetables back into the skillet and stir for 2 minutes.
  10. Serve over the brown rice.

6. Meatloaf

Meatloaf
© Africa Studio, AdobeStock

Meatloaf can be made very healthy with low-fat ingredients and whole-wheat breadcrumbs. A few minor changes make a difference without changing the taste.

Cooking Time: 1 hour.
Yield: 8 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. lean ground beef or use ground turkey
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1 grated onion
  • 1 peeled and grated carrot
  • 1/3 cup low-fat milk
  • 1 cup whole-wheat breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp. mustard
  • ¼ cup ketchup

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine the ground beef (or turkey), salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, eggs, onion, carrot, milk breadcrumbs, and parsley in a bowl.
  3. Transfer the meat to a loaf pan.
  4. Stir together the mustard and ketchup in a second bowl.
  5. Spoon the mustard/ketchup mixture over the meatloaf.
  6. Bake for 1 hour, until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees.

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7. Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff
© laplateresca, AdobeStock

Beef stroganoff is a rich indulgence, but it can be made healthier without any loss of taste. This exquisite dish is only about 250 calories per serving.

Cooking Time: 1 hour 10 minutes.
Yield: 8 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb. lean and trimmed chuck roast
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ tsp. garlic salt
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • 3 tbsp. flour or as needed
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 small, diced onion
  • 2 tbsp. butter, divided
  • ⅓ cup white wine
  • 1 3/4 cups low-sodium beef stock, divided
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • ⅓ cup light sour cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Cut the roast into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Season the meat with salt, pepper, garlic salt, and garlic powder.
  3. Place the seasoned meat in a plastic bag with the flour and coat.
  4. Melt 1 tbsp. butter in a skillet.
  5. Sautee the mushrooms and onion for 5 minutes and transfer to a plate.
  6. Melt the remaining tbsp. butter and brown the beef cubes for 5 minutes.
  7. Stir in the wine and deglaze the brown bits at the bottom of the skillet.
  8. Pour in the broth and add the mustard and stir.
  9. Simmer for 1 hour.
  10. Transfer the mushrooms and onions back into the skillet and simmer for 10 minutes.
  11. Add the sour cream before serving and adjust the seasoning.

8. Italian-Style Pork Cutlets

Italian-Style Pork Cutlets
© FomaA, AdobeStock

Pork is the new white meat – tasty and lean. These cutlets are great with a salad or some whole wheat penne.

Cooking Time: 20 minutes.
Yield: 4 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 4 bone-in pork chops
  • 1 tsp. dried sage
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ tsp. rosemary
  • ½ tsp. basil
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • 14 oz. diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • ½ tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

  1. Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a skillet.
  2. Season the pork chops with salt, pepper, sage, rosemary, and basil, and sear for 2 minutes on each side. Set the chops aside.
  3. Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in the same skillet and sauté the garlic for 1 minute.
  4. Stir in the diced tomatoes, broth, balsamic vinegar, and chopped parsley.
  5. Simmer 5 minutes.
  6. Place the pork chops back in the skillet and cook for 10 minutes.
  7. Cover the pork chop with the sauce when serving.

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9. Pork Stir-Fry

Pork Stir-Fry
© Slawomir Fajer, AdobeStock

The sauce for this sweet and sour stir-fry is awesome, and it can be served with simple steamed rice.

Cooking Time: 15 minutes.
Yield: 4 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 sliced onion
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • ½ lb. strips of pork
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup pineapple chunks
  • 2 seeded and chopped serrano peppers
  • 6 trimmed asparagus spears
  • ¼ cup Chinese plum sauce
  • 1 tsp. teriyaki sauce

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a wok or skillet.
  2. Sautee the onion and garlic for 5 minutes and set aside.
  3. Add the pork strips and brown for 2 minutes.
  4. Season the pork with salt and pepper.
  5. Stir in the pineapple, serrano peppers, asparagus, plum sauce, and teriyaki sauce.
  6. Cook for 5 minutes and serve with rice.

10. Spicy Crusted Pork Tenderloin

Spicy Crusted Pork Tenderloin
© Igor Normann, AdobeStock

Serve this tenderloin with some mashed yams – healthy and yummy.

Cooking Time: 20 minutes.
Yield: 6 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups pineapple juice (or enough to cover the tenderloin)
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. ancho chili powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¼ cup Splenda brown sugar substitute
  • 2 ¾-lb. pork tenderloins

Directions:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl or plastic bag and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
  3. Discard the marinade.
  4. Oil the grill grate and transfer the pork onto the grill.
  5. Grill for 20 minutes while turning frequently.

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11. Steamed Cod

Steamed Cod
© Olga Romankova, AdobeStock

You can’t eat too much fish. It is truly one of the best foods. There is almost no fat here, just a bit of a butter drizzle. For an absolutely healthy dinner, serve this with some broccoli.

Cooking Time: 20 minutes.
Yield: 6 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 6 cod fillets
  • 2 tsp. dried dill weed
  • 1 small, chopped onion
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp. parsley
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/8 tsp. lemon pepper
  • 1 tbsp. melted butter
  • 3 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp. white wine

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cover a baking dish with aluminum foil.
  3. Place the cod fillets on top of the foil and sprinkle them with the dill, onion, garlic, parsley, salt, and lemon pepper.
  4. Drizzle with melted butter, lemon juice, and white wine.
  5. Pull up the edges of the aluminum foil to cover the fish and allow the fillets to steam.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes – but check for flakiness, as cooking time will depend on the thickness of the fish.

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12. Baked Salmon

Baked Salmon
© LiliGraphie, AdobeStock

This delicious salmon has a bit of sweetness to it. The honey and salmon work together like a perfect duet.

Cooking Time: 15 minutes.
Yield: 6 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 2 sliced lemons
  • 4 salmon steaks
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • ½ tsp. rosemary
  • 1 tsp. dill
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp. melted butter

Directions:

  1. Cover the bottom of a baking dish with aluminum foil and the slices of 1 lemon.
  2. Top the lemon slices with the salmon, garlic, rosemary, dill, and slices of the second lemon.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with melted butter.
  4. Pull up the edges of the aluminum foil to cover the salmon and allow it to steam.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until done.

13. Baked Tilapia

Baked Tilapia
© Ali Safarov, AdobeStock

Fish and vegetables in one easy dish. The breadcrumbs are a bit of an indulgence to make the dish crispy.

Cooking Time: 25 minutes.
Yield: 4 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tilapia fillets
  • 3 tbsp. melted butter
  • 1tbsp. lemon juice
  • tsp. Old Bay seasoning
  • 3 tbsp. chopped scallions
  • 2 cups thawed frozen vegetables
  • ¼ cup Panko breadcrumbs

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Coat a 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick spray.
  3. Place the tilapia fillets in the bottom of the baking dish and drizzle with melted butter and lemon juice.
  4. Season with the Old Bay seasoning.
  5. Top with the scallions and frozen vegetables and a topping of breadcrumbs.
  6. Cover the dish and bake for 25 minutes.

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14. Shrimp Provencal

Shrimp Provencal
© Elena Cherkasova, AdobeStock

A terrific shrimp dish with tomatoes and zucchinis that can be served over rice.

Cooking Time: 25 minutes.
Yield: 6 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 1 ½ lbs. large peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 1 chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 chopped zucchini
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 4 chopped Roma tomatoes
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Melt the butter in a large skillet.
  2. Sautee the shrimp for 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in the bell pepper, onion, garlic, and zucchini.
  4. Season with thyme and cook on low for 8 minutes while frequently stirring.
  5. Add the wine and Roma tomatoes.
  6. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat.
  7. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  8. Add the shrimp and cook for 4 minutes, until they are no longer pink.
  9. Season with basil, salt, and pepper.

15. Baked Maryland Crab Cakes

Baked Maryland Crab Cakes
© Grandbrothers, AdobeStock

These delicious crab cakes are made even healthier by baking instead of frying.

Cooking Time: 20 minutes.
Yield: 12 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 5 tbsp. Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp. mustard powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp. Old Bay seasoning
  • 2 tbsp. fat-free mayonnaise
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 lb. lump crab meat

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine all ingredients except the lump crab meat.
  3. Gently fold in the crab meat last and blend well.
  4. Coat a baking dish with non-stick spray.
  5. Form 12 crab cakes and place them on the baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes, turn and bake another 10 minutes.

16. Greek Lentil Soup

Greek Lentil Soup
© Pixel-Shot, AdobeStock

Lentils are one of the healthiest foods and are highly recommended for improved heart health. This soup is filling enough to be a delicious meal.

Cooking Time: 50 minutes.
Yield: 4 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brown lentils
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • ¼ tsp. cumin
  • ¼ tsp. rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 small peeled and cubed potatoes
  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

Directions:

  1. Place the lentils in a pan and cover them with water.
  2. Bring the water to a boil and cook for 10 minutes. Drain. They will not be done.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large pan and sauté the onion and garlic for 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the lentils, vegetable broth, cumin, rosemary, bay leaf, salt, pepper, and cubed potatoes.
  5. Bring the broth to a boil.
  6. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 40 minutes.
  7. Remove from stove and discard the bay leaf.
  8. Drizzle with the apple cider vinegar.

17. Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Noodle Soup
© chas53, AdobeStock

For a light meal, enjoy a bowl of chicken noodle soup with some crusty bread. A secret ingredient in this soup is ginger, which is not only tasty but great for digestion.

Cooking Time: 2 hours 25 minutes.
Yield: 12 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups pasta shells
  • 13 cups of low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. poultry seasoning
  • 6 chopped celery stalks
  • 2 chopped onions
  • 2 peeled and sliced carrots
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp. grated ginger
  • ¼ tsp. thyme
  • 1 tbsp. Maggi seasoning
  • 3 cups diced, uncooked chicken meat

Directions:

  1. Prepare the pasta in a pot of boiling salted water for 10 minutes.
  2. Combine the remaining ingredients and bring the liquid to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 hours.
  4. Stir in the cooked pasta and cook for 15 more minutes.

18. Caprese and Steak Salad

Caprese and Steak Salad
© Pavel Mastepanov, AdobeStock

This is the perfect dinner salad on a warm summer day.

Cooking Time: 10 minutes.
Yield: 4 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle of Paul Newman's Balsamic Dressing
  • 1 lb. flank steak
  • 3 diced tomatoes
  • ¾ cup cubed mozzarella cheese
  • 3 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
  • 1 small, chopped onion
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 chopped fire-roasted red peppers
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 oz. bag of Romaine lettuce
  • 3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Directions:

  1. Marinate the steak in the balsamic dressing for 2 hours.
  2. Combine the tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, basil, onion, garlic, fire-roasted red peppers, and 2 tsp. olive oil in a bowl.
  3. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. Heat a grill to medium and oil the grate.
  5. Grill the steak to the desired doneness, approximately 5 minutes on each side.
  6. Let the steak sit for a few minutes, then cut thin slices across the grain.
  7. Distribute the Romaine lettuce onto 4 plates.
  8. Top with the tomato and cheese mixture, then the steak slices.
  9. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and test for salt and pepper seasoning.

19. Pineapple Turkey Dinner Salad

Pineapple Turkey Dinner Salad
© lilechka75, AdobeStock

A very satisfying and filling salad. Healthy yogurt is substituted for sour cream.

Cooking Time: 15 minutes.
Yield: 6 servings.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup low-fat plain yogurt
  • ¼ cup mango chutney
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • ¼ tsp. curry powder
  • 4 cups chopped cooked turkey
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup canned pineapple chunks
  • 1 cup diced mango
  • 1 small chopped sweet Vidalia onion
  • 3 tbsp. almond slivers
  • 3 tbsp. dried cranberries

Directions:

  1. Combine the yogurt, chutney, lemon juice, sugar, and curry in a bowl.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients.
  3. Toss with turkey salad with the dressing.

20. Avocado and Tuna

Avocado and Tuna
© Jerome Romme, AdobeStock

We should be eating more avocadoes and tuna, and here, half the mayonnaise has been replaced by plain yogurt.

Cooking Time: 15 minutes.
Yield: 2 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 12-oz. can of water-packed tuna - drained
  • 1 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp. plain Greek yogurt
  • 4 chopped scallions
  • ¼ tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ tsp. mustard
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 2 ripe avocados, halved and pitted

Directions:

  1. Slice the avocadoes open and remove the pits.
  2. Combine the rest of the ingredients and blend well.
  3. Fill the four avocado halves with the tuna mixture.
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