The old saying might recommend you eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper, but no one said anything about skipping the last meal of the day entirely, and there are plenty of good things to be said about eating a healthy dinner at home.
Research published by Cambridge University Press found that cooking at home makes it easier to control how much sugar, salt, and how many calories you consume, as it allows you to see every ingredient that goes into your meal. And cooking foods with nutrition in mind can help you head off diet-linked issues that lead to chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes, reports the World Health Organization. As an added bonus, those who love cooking may even find that preparing healthy dinners can be a great way to de-stress and unwind after a long day. (According to EatingWell, some psychologists even recommend it!)
There's something for everyone in Tasting Table's list of healthy meals — whether you're concerned about your sodium intake, looking to skip an ingredient or two (like carbs), or giving plant-based eating a shot. Grab an apron, pick up a pan, and get cooking!
Cod is not just easy to prepare, it's delicious and nutritious. And because it's high in protein, it will keep you satisfied as you head into bedtime. As an added bonus: Cod is full of omega-3 fatty acid, as well as a range of vitamins, including A, E, C, and B vitamins, per Medical News Today. Further, this quick-and-easy Mediterranean-style cod needs just one dish to get it from oven to table, which means clean-up will be a breeze, too.
It might sound weird to put a piece of food into a vacuum bag and then cook the bag and its contents in a water bath, but the style of cooking is not just easy, fans swear it makes your food not just taste better, but healthier, too. Recipe developer Ting Dalton swears by this sous vide fish dish, which works with baby potato, salad, or spinach, and is perfect for dinner any given night of the week (PS: There's no reason why you can't enjoy it for a weekend lunch either.)
Here's a healthy meal that's got something for everyone. This delectable salmon burger recipe features one of the most nutrient-dense dishes that can be found (we're looking at you, salmon, per Healthline); served on a delicate brioche bun that hugs the midline between naughty and nice. And if you're giving carbs a hard pass, you can always serve this patty on top of a fresh salad for a delectable healthy dinner. Note that the salmon burger does use breadcrumbs, so depending on the type of crumb you use, this may not be gluten-free.
It might sound like an oxymoron, but it is possible to have something that is both healthy and comforting at the same time, and that's where a bowl of home-cooked curry comes in. This treat is easy to pull together because it makes use of a store-bought curry paste, which is half the time battle won. And the best part is that you get two meal ideas for the price of one. If green curry isn't your thing (or it's too spicy), Tasting Table's recipe developer Ting Dalton says it's a snap to swap out green curry paste for red, leaving you with a slightly sweeter, more mellow curry straight off the beaches of Southeast Asia.
Unlike its name suggests, an air fryer isn't actually an air fryer, it's actually a smaller version of a convection oven, per Taste of Home. The best part about an air fryer is its ability to cook or crisp up whatever food is placed in the basket — all without having it swim in a deep pool of oil. When food, like this piece of roast, is air fried, it guarantees all of the flavor, with much less fat.
Recipe: Air Fryer Roast Beef
There are many reasons to love avocados. The berries are versatile and can be used in a sweet or as the main ingredient of a guacamole dip. They can also be used in salads like this one, which provides both good protein and healthy fats.
This recipe can be enjoyed as is, or as part of a wrap or sandwich. The best part about this avocado salad is that it can be prepared really quickly, particularly if you've already boiled the eggs and cooled them down beforehand. The possibilities are endless.
Salads may be seen as a default choice for a healthy dinner, but this is not your mother's salad from yesteryear. Swapping out iceberg lettuce for kale turns this into a superfood bowl, packed with vitamins A, K, and C, calcium, potassium, and manganese. The Mayo Clinic Health System calls kale a diabetes- and weight-friendly green, making this salad a great light and nutritious way to wrap up your day. If you struggle to enjoy kale because of its less-than-smooth texture, this recipe's got you covered with a bonus tip, too.
We might recognize the garbanzo bean or chickpea as one of the key ingredients for hummus, but it can be consumed on its own, too. Chickpeas are an amazing nutrition powerhouse because they have all the amino acids our bodies need to stay in top shape, per the Cleveland Clinic. They also come with a generous portion of vitamins A, E, and C, and they can help with weight control. When they are served up in a flavorful way like this, who can say no?
Thanks to its size and shape, there may be different ideas out there about what couscous is and isn't. Made with semolina and water, couscous is probably more of a kissing cousin to your favorite pasta than a grain or a seed, per Food Network. As such, it would make a good main dish for someone looking to enjoy a light, yet flavorful meal. The addition of chickpeas or garbanzos gives you a great protein and fiber boost, too!
This salad offers a range of flavors, colors, and textures that will liven up any dining table. Aside from the roasted squash for which the dish is named, this remarkable salad has greens, seeds, fruit, and cheese, which can serve up as a hearty meal on its own. And if you don't fear carbs — a warm dinner roll or a chunk off a baguette makes this the best way to end the day.
Recipe: Roasted Butternut Squash Salad
There are days when you feel virtuous, and there are days when your diet went so far off the rails you'd probably be happy if you never saw another dessert, french fry, or onion ring ever again. This Instant Pot Celery Soup is for one of those days. This delightful, savory soup is buttery and full of flavor, thanks to the presence of garlic, onion, sage, and parsley. As an added bonus, it's got potato in it, so you're not likely to go to bed with a growly tummy.
Recipe: Instant Pot Celery Soup
This hearty carrot soup is given a flavor boost with the addition of ginger and onions for a light yet filling meal that's perfect for evenings when you're not hungry, but you know you need to eat. It's got the added benefit of being low-fat, with no cholesterol (depending on how it's prepared), along with a modest amount of dietary fiber. And because it's carrot, we're looking at 73% of your daily RDA of vitamin A and lutein, both of which are good for your eyes, per WebMD.
Lentils are an essential ingredient in many cuisines, but perhaps none more so than India, where it's the heart of many quick and healthy meals. Dal (which has two meanings: a split pulse, which includes lentils; and a porridge or kind of soup) is popular across South Asia, where it is used as a popular gravy, per Epicurious, and because of its nutrition profile, a bowlful of dal, along with rice or flatbread, is more than enough for a satisfying, flavorful meal.
We hear you. Giving up meat can be a scary thought, particularly if you've never done it before. But what if we told you that, per Harvard Health, vegetarians consume the stuff that's good for you (folic acid, dietary fiber, as well as vitamins C and E), leaving you with the likelihood of lower bad cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and lower body mass index? If that sounds like something you're willing to try — this healthy green bean casserole may hit the spot. It just might surprise you.
Recipe: Easy and Healthy Green Bean Casserole
Coconut milk rice, or nasi lemak, is a meal staple in Malaysia. Often, this rice dish is accompanied by a hard-boiled egg, fried anchovy, toasted peanuts, pieces of juicy cucumber, and a special sambal or chili sauce, which is also made with dried anchovy, per Rasa Malaysia. To up the ante on your coconut milk rice, you might want to throw in a few pandan — or screwpine — leaves. If that seems like too much work, the rice would go beautifully with Thai Chicken Curry for a healthy, hearty meal.
LA chef Dakota Weiss tells People that poke bowls are "the next generation of sushi ... but easier to eat." No truer words have been spoken about a quick-and-easier meal than that, because this California roll bowl looks and tastes like one of the world's most popular types of sushi — but in a hearty, healthy meal form. The bowl is perfect for nights when you're on your own, or when friends decide to come together at the last minute. Just remember to have your rice at the ready!
Rice may be a side in American dinners, but it is very much a centerpiece in other food cultures. This green rice dish, for example, is Tasting Table's take on the Mexican arroz verde, and packs an unforgettable flavor combination of onions, two kinds of pepper, cilantro, and Italian parsley. If you need a protein to go with the dish, beans, tofu or a roasted piece of chicken will more than round out this healthy meal.
If you're vegetarian or looking to give up meat but are craving the texture, jackfruit may be the dinner ingredient for you. The fruit, which is commonly found in Asia, Africa, and South America, is high in fiber and potassium, as well as a suite of B vitamins, which are good for heart health, per the Cleveland Clinic. Just remember you may need a side of nuts, eggs, or other proteins to go with this dish, because while it may taste like pulled pork, it has less than three grams of protein per cup.
Few meals come quicker, lighter, and more easily than a salad, and it's a bonus when the salad comes loaded with things that are good for you, like apples, nuts, greens, and a protein hit of cheese. If you're a vegetarian or looking to watch what you eat, this salad makes for a perfect entrée. For non-vegetarians, if you're looking for a bit more bulk, you can't go wrong with a piece of rotisserie chicken, or a cooked piece of fish to round out the meal.
Its colors are pleasing to the eye, and its flavors are a joy to the palate. These light, ground pork lettuce wraps dispense with the carbohydrate-laden outer layer, and instead, uses lettuce to envelop meat for a dish that's rich with flavor, thanks to its use of dark soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, and chili. The meal delivers a protein punch, too, ensuring that you are more than well-satisfied after a meal with these as your main.
Recipe: Ground Pork Lettuce Wraps
Simplicity is best when you have choice ingredients, and that's how it can be with classic bruschetta — the quintessential Italian dish. Featuring slabs of bread rubbed with garlic and topped with fresh tomato that's spent time lazing away in a marinade of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, fresh basil leaves, and spices, bruschetta has nearly always been enjoyed as an appetizer, but we say there is absolutely no reason you can't have it as a light, satisfying dinner main, too.
Soup isn't just a great way to start a meal with a few courses, it also makes for a simple yet hearty meal on its own — or with crusty bread. The red peppers in this soup pack potassium, vitamin C, and folate, per BBC Good Food. It also has other vegetables, including zucchini, onions, and tomatoes. Best of all, it makes use of coconut milk, making it a healthy vegan option.
Recipe: Hearty Red Pepper Soup
Pesto may be one of the most popular green pasta sauces in the world, but the addition of Parmesan cheese turns it into a tantalizing treat beyond the reach of vegans. But this recipe changes that, thanks to the use of protein and nutritional yeast for flavor in place of cheese, making this a complete, light yet healthy meal on its own. And if you're looking to bump up this pasta's protein content, extra servings of tofu if you're vegan or fish and chicken if you're flexitarian could be just what your tummy wants.
If you're looking for a really delicious, nutritious, and lightning-fast meal, these steamed beef dumplings will hit the spot. They can be made ahead of time and frozen so they'll always be ready for you when you get the urge to nibble. Then there is the fact that they are a complete meal in and of themselves, thanks to its high-protein filling, and the bit of carb used to wrap the meat filling with.
This isn't your grandma's chicken noodle soup, unless your grandma happens to be Thai, that is. Thai cuisine is known for its play on sweet, sour, salty, and umami flavors, and this promises to deliver the perfect blend of creaminess, tanginess, and just a bit of heat, thanks to the presence of a small chili. The presence of rice noodles and chicken makes this soup the perfect entrée for a light, satisfying meal.
Recipe: Thai Chicken Noodle Soup
If history could come up with a suggestion for a one-pot meal, khichdi would be it. This traditional Indian dish is spiced with a blend that includes cumin, turmeric, ginger, and chilis before it is cooked with lentils to give you a complete meal in a bowl. What's more, this khichdi is given a 21st-century twist so any busy person can whip up this healthy meal in under half an hour.
Egg dishes are a quick, tasty, and nutritious way to get your family fed, and this spinach frittata is one of those easy, eggy options. The frittata offers up a healthy serving of protein from the eggs and cheese, and a good whack of iron from the spinach. The best part about this delightful dish is that it can be served hot or cold, so cooking it up ahead of time is an option you can consider to save time.
If you love the taste of lasagne but haven't had any for some time because you can't handle the gluten in the pasta, then this dish may be for you. Spaghetti squash takes the place of pasta in this all-vegetable dish, but just to keep it real, the recipe makes use of plenty of cheese to make sure you get your protein fix, too. Just make sure you leave about 90 minutes before you're meant to serve it.
Cauliflower may be the last ingredient you think about when you crave a risotto, but we think you'll be surprised by this healthy take on a classic Italian dish. Not only does this dish add to your five-a-day of fruits and vegetables, it also makes no use of any animal protein, ensuring that the dish is perfect for you, or for guests, no matter what their dietary preferences might be.
A favorite of celeb chef Gordon Ramsay, beef Wellington was first created in 1815 to celebrate the Duke of Wellington and his victory of Napoleon's forces. And while no one is quite certain when the idea of swapping salmon for beef might have taken place, we can all agree that the choice is a particularly healthy option, especially since salmon is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acid, which is great for your heart, per Healthline.
Thanks to the way it's prepared, fried rice in its original form is undoubtedly bad for you. But this version swaps out the white rice for quinoa, the grain that provides 185 grams of protein, a good whack of fiber at over 5 grams per cup, and a wide range of amino acids, per Medical News Today. This dish is as nutritionally balanced as it gets, and did we say it tastes delicious on its own or as a side too?
Asparagus is rich in vitamins C, A, and K as well as folate, making it a great ingredient with which to build a nutritious soup that you can enjoy as a quick-and-easy meal. The addition of a potato, as well as a proposed ingredient swap of heavy cream for half-and-half, will make this dish more substantial, if that's what you were hoping to serve.
Recipe: Cream of Asparagus Soup
While we're more likely to consume eggs at breakfast, there is no reason not to eat eggs at any other time of day. Hard-boiled eggs contain a suite of B vitamins and a solid serving of protein, and it's made more flavorful by being cooked into a traditional Indian curry. This egg dish is good on its own, but if you want something to soak up its gravy with, serve with naan, plain rice, or this Crispy Buttered Turmeric Rice which cooks up in an instant.
While this dish might have been dreamed up as a vegan, cold-weather treat, there is no reason to enjoy a good vegetable korma any other time of the year. The recipe is simple and hearty — and if you're looking for something a bit higher up on the spice meter, you can bump up its heat by adding red pepper flakes or a chili pepper while cooking. Make sure you remember to chop any fresh peppers properly or diners could be in for one hot surprise. May be served with white or brown rice.
If you find yourself in possession of a top choice piece of sushi-grade salmon, here's a recipe you might want to consider, particularly if you want to prepare something light, nutritious, and flavorful. While we admit, this piece of fish requires planning, don't let the timing throw you off because it's worth the wait. The steps for curing your own salmon at home is simple and easy to follow — and we think this could be your next go-to recipe.
This soup might look deceptively light, but when enjoyed at night, it could well fill you up enough so you go to bed feeling satisfied without feeling queasy from having devoured too much. Our Creamy Chicken Spinach Soup is a bowlful of comfort that offers a decent whack of protein in every bowl, thanks to the presence of chicken and cream. The spinach and mushrooms won't do you wrong either!
Recipe: Creamy Chicken Spinach Soup
Eggplant may be a "love it or leave it" vegetable, but it is a staple in many Asian cuisines. The Chinese stir fry it Szechuan style while Thais stir fry it with a bit of basil and garlic. Filipinos, meanwhile, like their eggplant dipped in beaten egg and then fried. If there is something this eggplant isn't is that it doesn't lack for flavor, and it goes perfectly with a hearty bowl of rice.
While Thai red curry can be fiery hot, making the dish at home means you're able to adjust the dish to suit your palate. It's healthy because it makes use of chicken breast, and the addition of baby spinach ensures you get a serving of veg with it, too! Curry can be served over white rice, but if you really want to bump up the fiber content in this dish, go ahead and enjoy it over brown rice.
Recipe: Thai Red Curry Chicken
Shiitake mushrooms have been used in Asian cooking for thousands of years. The Japanese call it the "elixir of life" while the Chinese reserved its use for the Ming Dynasty court, per Encyclopedia.com, which also says this incredible edible fungus is packed with amino acids, iron, several different types of vitamin B and iron. When used in a filling yet flavorful soup, what is there not to enjoy about this healthy dinner choice?
Does the idea of having a taste of the islands for dinner sound appealing? Then this recipe for baked mahi-mahi is sure to delight. This fish, also known as the dolphinfish (no relation to the mammal of the same name, per Food Network), is not as delicate as some of its other cousins, making it a great starter fish to work with. Eating this dinner option means enjoying a cut of fish glazed with a delectable honey marinade that's topped with a fruity relish made with mango and pepper salsa before serving.
With most people cooking with chicken breasts and wings these days, it's easy to overlook the thigh, which is still a flavorful part of the chicken. These thighs are served boned-in and seasoned with an aromatic blend of garlic, rosemary, and thyme before it is baked for up to 35 minutes. Perfect with a hearty salad alongside a serving of rice, buttered pasta, or potato.
Recipe: Italian Baked Chicken Thighs
Serious Eats calls swordfish the fish that comes closest to being a stand-in for steak. Mouthwateringly simple, you'll want the freshest cut of swordfish for this quick yet standout meal. The fish needs to smell fresh, you'll want it to be about 1 ½ inches thick, and you'll want to marinade the fish steaks for no longer than 20 minutes before you throw it on the grill. Serve with fresh grilled vegetables and a sourdough that's been generously drizzled with olive oil.
We were today years old when we found out watercress is a cousin to kale, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts, per Medical News Today. Other than counting for less than four calories per cup, this vegetable is packed with vitamins and minerals. This watercress soup is flavorful; and with a cook time of 20 minutes, it's quick and easy to prepare, and a great soup to enjoy as a light meal, or as part of a dinner more substantial.
Nothing ticks all the boxes for "healthy dinners" like a well-balanced salad that has generous servings of everything you need, from protein to carbs and fiber, to a healthy touch of sweet that only a good piece of fruit can provide. The only fiddly part of this salad is remembering to prepare the chicken by marinating it well ahead of time to get a more flavorful cut. Transforming this salad into a vegetarian-friendly version of itself is easy — just swap the chicken with your favorite meatless protein, eggs, or add a handful of your favorite nuts.
While this quiche might be crustless, it still delivers on the flavor of a topnotch quiche and the promise of a healthy dinner because it comes without the potentially rich crust that could weigh you down. And if you're really looking to bulk up with a bit of carbs, you can even choose to go with a healthier whole- or multigrain bread option. We call this eating your cake — or quiche — and having it, too!
Fun fact — acorn squashes are more fruit than vegetable, per The Spruce Eats, but that doesn't mean we can't enjoy it as part of a delicious, healthy main course. Here the squash is roasted before it's turned into a delicious, edible vessel for a mix of wild rice and Italian sausage. Just remember to give yourself a bit of time to prepare this dish to bring out its best.
Indian food might look intimidating because of the sheer number of spices it takes to power up a gravy, but you might be pleasantly surprised at how quick and easy it can be. Palak paneer (or saag paneer, per MasterClass) is a lacto-ovo-vegetarian delight, consisting of a spinach puree, cheese, and a blend of aromatic spices, including ginger, garlic, chili, coriander, and cumin. This north Indian vegetarian curry dish is best enjoyed over basmati rice, or with a bite of naan bread.
These are no ordinary crab cakes — simply because they have no crab in them. But what it lacks in seafood quantities it makes up for in nutrition, because these vegetable patties are made with zucchini, hearts of palm, and garbanzo beans, all of which are not only low-calorie but are also packed with vitamins and minerals. It's the perfect main dish for vegetarians and those who might miss the taste of seafood but are allergic to it.
Once known by the rather unappealing name of "slimehead," per Oceana, the mild-tasting orange roughy is now known as a fish dish with a flavor that's comparable to lobster. Other than its flavor, orange roughy's appeal lies in the fact that it can go from pan to table in a short amount of time, making it a perfect healthy dinner option for weekday nights when you're pressed for time, or on weekends in case unexpected guests show up — and you're not in the mood to gorge on takeout.
Food photographer Petar Marshall offers up this dish as the perfect option to serve up during a buffet, particularly since the meat can be cooked up in the smoker and served up for guests to serve themselves. And here's a bonus: This is a recipe within a recipe because Marshall also offers a way of making guac his way. We're giving his healthy option two thumbs up for flavor.
Napa cabbage isn't from California's wine region. This oval-shaped, pale green cabbage is actually Asian, and it is ubiquitous in China, where it is used in everything from stir-fries to dumplings, per The Spruce Eats. Because it is a predominantly sweet vegetable, this cabbage plays a good lead in this delightful salad medley that includes carrot and bell peppers, which makes it easy for you to have your five-a-day and then some!
Salads are the perfect healthy choice for days when the heat leaves you sapped of both energy and appetite. This shrimp salad offers up a balance of greens, sweet corn, and protein so you get everything you need to enjoy a balanced meal. Bonus tip: If you don't feel like the greens, this recipe even offers up a yummy lemon, parsley, and garlic marinade you might want to use on seafood on its own.
Recipe: Grilled Summer Shrimp Salad
Now here's one Asian dish most everyone — except vegetarians, that is — can get behind! Orange chicken is, hands down, one of the most popular mains you can get at fast-food chain Panda Express, per NPR. This recipe offers up a healthier version of the same dish; and the best part is, because it's homemade, you're able to guarantee the integrity of its ingredients.
You may have questions about the difference between a kebab and a souvlaki; we're here to tell you that this way of serving lamb on a skewer is as Greek as it gets, per ForknPlate. Enjoy this flavorful meat with Greek salad on a pita bread, or if you are hoping to bring your carb intake down by a notch or so, enjoy the souvlaki and the salad without. Go ahead and enjoy it either way, we won't judge.
Recipe: Lamb Souvlaki with Greek Salad
Taco Tuesdays doesn't have to involve the same old, same old — especially if you've got a beautiful piece of tri-tip steak that's ready to be thrown in an oven to roast. Depending on the size and weight of your roast, you could have this dish ready in half an hour. Serve with a mouthwatering guacamole with the added zing of crushed pineapple and you've got a Taco Tuesday dinner that's fit for kings.
There are many different ways to consume sushi other than to try and make it yourself. For example, a poke bowl or chirashi bowl — which is pretty much all the fixings for sushi spread on top of sushi rice — is one such alternative option. Jason Goldstein envisioned another: This quick, delicious, and nutritious meal is a high-impact, easy-to-make midweek meal that ticks all the boxes for a satisfying way to celebrate the middle of the week.
A chicken thigh is one of the easiest parts of the fowl to cook; because their fat content is higher than that of white meat, they can become tender and juicy when they are well-prepared, per The Spruce Eats. Both home and professional cooks swear by chicken thighs since they can hold plenty of flavor, and they are incredibly forgiving, making them difficult to overcook. This dish promises an explosion of delectable garlic butter flavor.
Recipe: Garlic Butter Chicken Thighs
Also known as a "Caprese salad" (named after the region it originated from, the island of Capri), the tomato and mozzarella in this salad are, by some accounts, said to be symbolic: Per one story, the salad was invented by a patriotic blue-collar worker who wanted to recreate the colors of the Italian flag in his sandwich filling, via Eat and Walk Italy. Others have said it was created to honor futurist Filippo Tommaso Marinetti. In any case, this carb-free salad — and the conversation that comes with it — is certain to delight.
Recipe: Fresh Tomato And Mozzarella Salad
This versatile recipe might present itself as a pasta dish, but it can actually be served up in a number of different ways. The seafood medley is cooked up in butter, garlic, and white wine, which means you can serve it with any carb that is designed to absorb its sauces. Enjoy this light seafood meal with a crusty loaf of French bread, a healthy serving of brown rice — the world is your scampi.
Recipe: Shrimp and Scallop Scampi
The magic of a fajita is that it not only is a crowd-pleaser, but it comes together quickly and easily for a healthy meal when prep-time is at a premium. The only downside is, like many flavorful meat dishes, this one requires a bit of planning, especially since the chicken pieces need to be marinated, but once you get that out of the way, the dish cooks up in less than 10 minutes.
If you had to ask the internet what it thought about cooking chops in an air fryer, it would tell you that the method is fuss-free, and when done right, delivers succulent chops that cook up quickly, and with a minimum amount of oil needed. This flavorful recipe incorporates maple syrup and balsamic vinegar, leaving you with a savory and sweet meat experience. Just remember to give yourself a half hour of marinating time to ensure the chops are infused with flavor.
Recipe: Air Fryer Pork Chops
This traditional British casserole is made with beef and vegetables and topped with mashed potato. Getting it together might require some thought, because not all the ingredients may be hanging out in your pantry, but once you breeze through the shopping, you should be about half an hour away from a delectable, complete, homemade meal. We'll say that salad can be made optional for this healthy dinner treat.
Cooking the perfect medium-rare rib-eye steak appears to be less of a challenge if you have a sous vide cooker handy. Serious Eats says, in its opinion, sous vide is the most reliable way to cook meat, if your goal is for it to be perfect each time. The devil is in the details — cooking a steak the sous vide way allows you to prepare steak to the level of doneness that you want, with the flexibility you didn't know you had. How's that for perfect?
Recipe: Sous Vide Rib-Eye Steak
If you've just acquired a smoker and don't know quite what to do with it, you've come to the right place. This classic Tex-Mex dish embodies clean eating, because it isn't smothered with a load of cheeses and sauces that you might not be in the mood for. Prepping your chicken takes two hours so you might want to cook up a bit more, just so this healthy dish can make its way into your mid-week meal menu.
There is something to be said about a risotto dish that doesn't require an extended amount of time standing over a hot stove, stirring until unyielding rice grains transition into fluffy risotto, but that dish is well within reach, particularly if you have an Instant Pot. This recipe isn't just healthy, it's also quick, making it a great mid-week meal, or for those times when you might need to rustle up extra servings of a good dinner dish in a hurry.
Recipe: Instant Pot Mushroom Risotto
We might think of squash as a fall dish, but it's definitely good to have anytime of the year, especially if we think about how nutritious this vegetable is. Squash is packed with different types of minerals, from vitamins A and C, as well as calcium and iron and fiber, making it the perfect ingredient choice for a healthy dinner. And because squash can be filling, this might be the first time you give a carb side dish a hard pass while you enjoy your curry.
If you enjoy chicken pot pie but the thought of fiddling with a crust fills your heart with dread, then this dish may be for you. This meal offers up all the warm, comforting flavors of a beloved deep-dish pie without any of the stress involved in rolling out a pastry to cover it with. You don't even miss the carbs because you've got it right there in the pasta. There's even vegetables to add a bit of color to this modern take on an American classic.
Recipe: Chicken Pot Pie Pasta
Just because it's made with eggs and bacon doesn't mean this delightful quiche can only be consumed during breakfast. It may not exactly be low in calories, but this pie is chock-full of protein that will keep you full until your next meal. To make it even healthier, serve it with a side of tossed salad. While many quiches can be consumed no matter what temperature they happen to be, this one is best consumed warm.
Some dishes are memorable because they take an old favorite and reinvent it to make it easier but just as delectable. This stuffed pepper skillet is one such recipe. Instead of hollowing out the peppers and filling them, the peppers are cooked into the rice and beef mixture, turning this into a healthy, stovetop dish that can be cooked up in less than an hour. Bonus tip: If you want to make this vegetarian, just substitute the ground beef for a veggie meat.
If you've only ever had heavy pasta dishes before, you might do a double-take when you give this one the once over. This dish is bursting with the flavors of lemon, good Parmesan cheese, and freshly chopped basil. If you must have a more substantial protein with your meal, going with a piece of chicken or a pork chop will not lead you astray. This dish can be the star of its own meal, or play a supporting role as a dinner side dish.
There is no rule that says meatballs need to be served with spaghetti to make a meal. These meatballs are flavored with garlic, onion, and barbecue sauce for a quick enticing meal on their own. Because they're baked, they don't need any extra oil or fat either, which is a big help if you're keeping an eye on your fat intake. To make this a complete meal, toss and serve a salad on the side, and if you're not bothered about carbs, may we suggest mashed or potato salad to go with?
The mighty, meaty mushroom that is the portobello makes for the perfect substitute if you're looking to make a vegetarian fajita. Not only is this dish filling enough to give you a good reason to skip meat, it also gives you a suite of vitamins and minerals — along with fiber — which will give your immunity a nutritional boost. Portobello Fajitas can be enjoyed on their own, or with a helping of beans to up the protein ante.
As peppers are normally stuffed with ground beef, we're guessing you've rarely seen a dish like this one. Superfood quinoa replaces the beef to turn this stuffed pepper into a more wholesome, healthy vegetarian dish; and that swap also adds fiber, vitamin B, and magnesium to your meal, which is flavored with paprika, cumin, and garlic. Just remember to give yourself a bit of time to pull this together so you won't find yourself pressed for time later, since, like all masterpieces, this one can take a bit of time to perfect.
The pork chops might be a delicious cut of meat that holds flavor well, but it's not on top of many people's lists of favorites because it dries out so quickly. Enter the sous vide: The cooking method that's risen to the top of everyone's favorite list, with its slow-cook process posing no threat of pushing a cut of meat past its prime. These chops are seasoned with garlic, thyme, lemon peel, and olive oil, making them a feast for your eyes, your nose, and your taste buds.
Recipe: Sous Vide Pork Chops
Some days, simple is all you need to nourish yourself both inside and out, and for those days this straightforward Instant Pot chicken and potato could be just the ticket. Cooking the chicken and potato together in this way ensures the chicken doesn't come out dry. As an added bonus, the liquid at the bottom of the pot can be cooked up into a gravy to serve with this meal, which can go from prep to table in just over half an hour.
Recipe: Instant Pot Chicken and Potatoes