These healthy dinner ideas belong on your meal plan for feeling good, energized, and healthy this season. You’ll love how easy they are to make, how delicious they taste, and how good they make you feel!
After the holidays or any season of indulgence, we’re always looking for solid, healthy dinner ideas on the lighter side. We tend to gravitate towards recipes that offer more vegetables than we had eaten over the holidays.
We picked out our favorite healthy recipes that we’ll be making nonstop in the coming months. Delicious chicken dinner recipes that are on the lighter side, hearty soups and stews, and some of our favorite healthy dinner recipes. Check them all out below!
Our Go-to Healthy Dinner Ideas
We keep some staple healthy dinner ideas on deck when we need them. We are pretty proud of this list because of all the creative and flavorful recipes in the mix.
- Seared Salmon over 50/50 Noodles – This recipe is perfect when you are craving pasta, but don’t want to go full out. We cut the pasta with zucchini noodles so you still get some pasta, but also a healthy serving of vegetables! This is one of our favorite healthy dinner recipes. A lot of markets now have pre-cut zucchini noodles in the cold section of the produce aisle!
- Roasted and Stuffed Sweet Potatoes – This is a vegetarian friendly dinner recipe and these sweet potatoes are so delicious and filling. The cilantro-garlic cashew sauce is so good, and something you will want to make so you can drizzle it on everything! I love making extra to drizzle over some simple roasted veggies for dinner on the following nights.
- Spaghetti Squash and Broccoli Alfredo – This healthy dinner idea is the perfect recipe for you if you still want something creamy, but want to lose the carbs. We love using spaghetti squash in place of pasta because it’s still totally satisfying. You can stuff this recipe with extra broccoli or other veggies too!
- Buddha Bowl – These Buddha Bowls make a delicious vegetarian, yet totally filling meal. All of the different components and textures of this dish pair so well together and make it totally delicious. This is a great dinner recipe for leftovers because it keeps so well! I find myself always making extra for some lunches the following days. You can also add whatever other ingredients you prefer to customize this bowl, just don’t skimp on the garlic cashew sauce!
- Soba Noodles with Shrimp – I love this dinner idea because it’s super flavorful. The creamy peanut flavor is really good. Soba noodles are high in protein and gluten free.
- Crispy Chicken Thighs in a Creamy Mushroom Sauce – This recipe might seem rich and decadent, and it is!..but that doesn’t mean it’s unhealthy. The creamy mushroom sauce is made by stirring yogurt into the mix instead of heavy cream, immediately lightening up the dish! Throw in a big handful of spinach for some added fiber, serve with a scoop of brown rice and you have a healthy and delicious dinner whipped together in no time!
Kung Pao Beef – A spin on your favorite take-out make with beef instead of chicken. Serve alongside broccoli and rice for a flavorful better-than-takeout meal at home.
Baja Fish Tacos – Enjoy your fish with a light and crispy coating, served with fresh cabbage and pico inside of a tortilla. You’ll love this fresh and flavorful dish as much as we do!
Healthy Chicken Dinner Ideas
We love us some chicken dinner ideas! We have quite a few chicken recipes on the blog, but we combed through and picked out our best chicken dinner ideas.
- Oven Baked Chicken Thighs – We love this easy healthy dinner recipe because chicken thighs are a good source of lean protein. We both keep a stash of frozen chicken thighs in the freezer for this dinner recipe because all of the other ingredients you need are usually items you have on hand. These thighs have a lot of flavor and can pair perfectly with a simple leafy green salad with your favorite dressing.
- Chicken Lettuce Wraps – This recipe is incredibly flavorful and makes great leftovers. This healthy chicken dinner idea is one of my favorites on the site. My husband requests it frequently!
- Spatchcock Chicken – This healthy dinner recipe is awesome. The spatchcock technique gives you a perfectly cooked and juicy chicken. Finish the chicken with a squeeze of lemon for the best roast chicken ever! We love using this chicken recipe to make at the start of the week and then using any leftover chicken to make things like our BBQ Chicken Salad, or our Creamy Chicken and Farro Soup. I wanted to include it because it’s such an easy dinner idea that can go with a simple salad. No cast iron skillet or pan large enough to fit a whole chicken? No problem! Just roast it on a lightly greased sheet pan!
- Loaded BBQ Chicken Salad – This is one of my favorite salad recipes to eat. It’s just so flavorful because of all the components, but it’s actually a really easy salad to throw together, so don’t let the list of ingredients deter you! If you can’t find fresh corn, you can use canned or I love Trader Joe’s Fire Roasted Corn in the freezer section. You can also use grilled chicken that’s chopped and tossed with bbq sauce for an even more smoky and flavorful salad
- Pozole Verde De Pollo – This hearty soup recipe makes the perfect healthy chicken dinner recipe. It’s incredibly comforting and an easy dinner recipe to throw together! The chicken is super tender and the spices give it incredible flavor
- Chipotle Honey Chicken Burrito Bowls – I love bowl recipes, and this is one of our favorite chicken dinner ideas. You can load up with whatever ingredients you love the most! Think of this like your own at-home Chipotle burrito bowl. I personally like to make this with riced cauliflower as my base.
- Chicken Fajitas – We think there’s never a bad time to serve up some delicious chicken fajitas! We use boneless-skinless chicken breasts for an extra lean fajita, that doesn’t lack flavor and tenderness at all! You can get extra healthy and serve these in lettuce cups instead of tortillas!
Vegetarian Dinner Recipes
Obviously, not all vegetarian dinner ideas are totally considered “healthy” but it is nice to break up some more of your meat-heavy dinners with vegetarian options. Here we have a big list of some of our favorites!
- Vegetable Loaded Vegan Korma – This healthy dinner recipe is a total winner. It’s filled with cauliflower florets, potatoes, green beans and peas so there’s no vegetable shortage here; but you can also add things like shredded cabbage, snap peas or diced butternut squash! I love making a big batch of this because the leftovers are so good. Serve this yummy dinner idea over rice or whatever grain you love. I love it over sprouted brown rice.
- White Bean Shakshuka – We are shakshuka lovers here. We have quite a few shakshuka recipes on the site. Like our Individual Shakshukas, our Shakshuka Chilaquiles, or our Green Shakshuka. I choose this one for our heather dinner ideas because the white beans and spinach make it really filling. We serve it with some nice warm pita!
- Indian Butter Cauliflower – A great vegetarian recipe! I love the flavors in this recipe and it’s one of my favorite healthy dinner ideas. You can also make this with other vegetables if you don’t love cauliflower, or you can just add some carrots or potatoes or anything else along with the cauliflower.
- Spicy Chickpea and Cauliflower Curry – We are big chickpea fans (try our Chickpea Salad Sandwich!) This curry recipe is a fantastic healthy dinner idea, loaded with flavor and very filling – not to mention a good helping of vegetables from the cauliflower!
- Yaki Udon – This vegetarian meal comes together in only 30 minutes and is full of vegetables like carrots, bok choy, and mushrooms.
Our Favorite Healthy Stews and Soups
A good soup or stew is just perfect for colder weather. We picked out our best soups and stews for our heather dinner ideas list, and we hope you can find a recipe you love!
- Spicy White Bean Chili – This dinner idea is a great one because this soup freezes really well. It’s also a great soup to make if you need a way to get rid of some leftover chicken.
- Hearty White Bean and Kale Soup – This is a hearty and flavorful dinner recipe! This healthy dinner recipe is loaded with white beans and kale but has delicious chunks of ham throughout. Check out our Soups and Stews recipe collection for more recipes!
- Spicy Black Bean Soup – This is a perfect easy healthy dinner recipe that is made even greater because you can make this in advance! This is a great soup on its own, but you can partner it up with some pieces of chicken, or get creative with toppings and load up some fresh cherry tomatoes, avocado, corn, and radish, to name a few.
- Masoor Dal – This cozy stew has lots of protein and fiber so it’s a perfect heather dinner recipe. This dinner idea is great for a weeknight dinner because once it’s all prepped out you can step away as it stews for a bit. This dinner idea also freezes really well, makes amazing leftovers, and can be made in an instant pot!
- Roasted Cauliflower and Parsnip Soup – This recipe is a favorite among our healthy dinner ideas. It tastes super creamy and rich, but it totally isn’t! The cauliflower works magic in this recipe!
- Chicken Noodle Soup – This comforting classic is packed with protein and vegetables, all simmered in a savory chicken broth. There’s a reason it’s a sick day favorite; restorative and comforting all in one!
- Kitchen Sink Chili – This hearty chili tastes so amazing, you’ll have a hard time believing it’s actually good for you too! It’s packed with protein from lean ground beef and fiber from two different kinds of beans. Not to mention all the antioxidants from tomatoes and peppers.
- Carnitas Tortilla Soup – This rich and cozy soup gets its zesty flavor from peppers and warm spices. Plus, it’s loaded with corn, black beans, and avocado, making it easy to eat your veggies!
- Tortellini soup – This hearty soup is perfect for enjoying winter vegetables like kale and sweet potatoes. It’s a broth-based soup that’s easy to put together, uses simple fresh ingredients, and is filling enough to serve as your main course.
- Vegan Lentil Soup – Lentils help make this soup creamy, hearty, and full of protein and fiber. You’ll love the garlicky almond cream that tops off this healthy vegan soup.
- Pozole Verde de Pollo – This green pozole is full of Mexican flavors from fresh produce. You’ll have the most fun with the garnishes – shredded cabbage, onion, matchstick radishes, cilantro and lime are some of our favorites. You’ll want to make extra, too – we think it’s even better the next day!
- One Pot Mulligatawny Soup – This creamy and hearty soup is packed with celery, onions, carrots, apples, tomatoes, and peppers, making it a vegetable powerhouse. You can even top it with shredded chicken for an extra dose of protein!
Healthy Dinner Recipes for a Family
A lot of our healthy dinner ideas are definitely family friendly, but we picked out a few that we thought might be really great.
- Zucchini Boats – These are basically little low-carb pizza boats and they’re SO good! What makes them even better is how versatile they are! We filled ours with turkey sausage, herbs and cheese but you can also add sautéed spinach or kale, sliced and sautéed mushrooms or use lentils as your protein for a vegetarian friendly dinner!
- Turkey Bolognese with Spaghetti and Zucchini Noodles – One of our favorite tricks when you are craving pasta is to cut the pasta with zucchini noodles. That way you are still getting the pasta you want, but also some veggies! We find that we don’t miss the full serving pasta.
- Stacked Side of Salmon – Not only is the presentation of this healthy dinner recipe beautiful but it’s so delicious! We serve this with a simple grain, or a leafy side salad. Make some extra so you can throw it over a salad for lunch the next day.
- Lamb Kabobs – These lamb kabobs (which can also be swapped for cubes of beef) are really delicious over a bed of greens. This recipe also makes a mint yogurt sauce, but if you’re in a pinch for time you can use store bought tzatziki. In addition to leafy greens, you can serve these with sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, or any other refreshing vegetables for an even more vegetable loaded healthy dinner idea. You can also take them off the skewers and load them up into tortillas for delicious lamb tacos!
- Falafel Salad Hummus Bowls – I love bowls! These falafel salad hummus bowls are loaded with fresh ingredients which makes this a really easy healthy dinner idea. Serve with pita on the side, and if you want to get really crazy, grab a garlic salad dressing at the store for dipping.
- Zucchini Lasagna Roll Ups – Last but not least our favorite healthy dinner recipe! Our Turkey and Zucchini Lasagna Roll ups! We took out the noodles all together and used thin slices of zucchini instead. Spoiler alert! You won’t miss the noodles. Recipe below!
- Teriyaki Salmon – This dinner is quick and easy to put together and your family will love the homemade teriyaki sauce and tender flakiness of the salmon.
Did you make this recipe? We want to see!
tag @SpoonForkBacon and #SpoonForkBacon on Instagram
I tried the Spaghetti Squash broccoli alfredo recipe….delicious! Can’t wait to try some more of these recipes. They’re practical, healthy and yet delicious!