In Our Salty Kitchen, healthy recipes are our jam, so no surprise that we’ve got a full arsenal of ideas for nutritious dinners made from simple ingredients and whole foods. From meat to meatless, soups to salads, and bowls to “boats,” you’re guaranteed to find a new favorite in this round-up of Healthy Dinner Ideas!
Let’s Define “Healthy”
And let’s start by acknowledging that everyone has kind of a different definition. Whether you’re counting calories or sticking to a plan, you’ve got a pretty darn good idea of what you will and won’t (or can and can’t) put in your body. That’s why we’ve chosen recipes that tick one, more, or all of the following boxes:
- Gluten free
- Grain free
- Dairy free
- Sugar free
- Low calorie
- Low carb
Whew. That’s a lot. But wait… there’s more! Most of these recipes are flexible and customizable because one size doesn’t always fit all.
For our part, these healthy dinner ideas rely on whole foods – no processed ingredients included – for clean eating. Plus, nothing in this collection has added sugar.
And if it’s nutrients you want, then nutrients you shall have. Vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, protein, fiber, and plenty of healthy fats. Happy bodies, happy mouths, happy eating!
Healthy Stir Fries
Always fast, always flavorful. A stir fry is one of my favorite ways to work tons of veggies into a meal. Don’t worry – we’ve got meat lovers covered too.
MOSTLY VEGGIE STEAK STIR FRY: Mostly Veggie Steak Stir Fry is one of our favorite healthy dinner ideas and for good reason – it’s a weeknight workhorse that features carrots, asparagus, two kinds of bell peppers, and snow peas. Toss ’em with tender strips of beef in a bright and tangy sauce with ZERO sugar! Ready in about 30 minutes, this quick and healthy meal is paleo, gluten free, sugar free, and totally irresistible.
LEMON GARLIC CHICKEN AND ASPARAGUS SKILLET: Quick and easy doesn’t need to mean bland and boring, and this Lemon Garlic Chicken and Asparagus is proof! Humble chicken breast gets elevated by loads of fresh garlic, fresh lemon juice and a sprinkle of basil. Throw in bite-tender asparagus and crispy mushrooms for a no-rice-needed stir fry. Bright, fresh, flavorful and so filling, this simple dinner requires just one skillet and 30 minutes. Whole30, paleo, gluten free, and low carb.
HEALTHY HONEY GARLIC CHICKEN: There’s no need to reach for the take-out menu with this Healthy Honey Garlic Chicken recipe in your back pocket! Many recipes include some processed ingredients, along with additional carbs while ours is naturally gluten free, soy free, sugar free, and paleo – all without sacrificing a bit of flavor! Ready in just 20 minutes!
STIR FRY NOODLES (VEGAN): Who wants just a cup of noodles when you can make a whole pan full? Stir Fry Noodles featuring my all-purpose stir fry sauce are speedy, simple, and satisfying. Brilliant color from bright veggies make this dish an absolute showstopper. It’s vegan out of the pot – but even if you’re not, “meaty” mushrooms make it robust enough for a full meal.
HEALTHY CHICKEN STIR FRY: Not sure what to do with chicken and vegetables again? Four words: Healthy Chicken Stir Fry. Lean poultry and super fresh veggies perk right up with a hit of honey, garlic, and sesame. Plus, by stir frying you guarantee your produce retains more of their nutrients, so no guilt. Naturally gluten-free, chicken stir fry goes great with rice, noodles, or just your fork.
HEALTHY SWEET AND SOUR CHICKEN: Ready in just 25 minutes, this is truly healthy and seriously easy Sweet and Sour Chicken. Chicken breast, bell peppers, carrots, and broccoli are stir fried in a super clean, sugar-free sweet and sour sauce made from a handful of real, whole foods. Naturally Whole30, paleo, low carb, and gluten and grain free.
HEALTHY CHICKEN TERIYAKI BOWLS: Toss out that takeout menu! Sweet and salty – and downright nutritious – Healthy Chicken Teriyaki Bowls are packed with lean protein and fresh veggies glazed in a tangy sauce. This healthy version is gluten-free and guilt-free with way less sugar and salt than its carryout cousins. At <30 minutes for prep and cook, you’re not sacrificing time or taste.
Slap an Egg on It
Forget breakfast. Hash + egg = quick dinner perfection. Eggs are cheap and a great source of protein, and those runny yolks are to die for on these dishes. When you’ve run out of healthy dinner ideas, think egg + veggie and you’ve got a winning combo!
GROUND TURKEY HASH WITH SQUASH AND PEPPERS: This Ground Turkey Hash is one of my favorite paleo ground turkey recipes. It’s fast and easy (just thirty minutes!), bright and fresh, and adaptable to every season. Top leftovers with a simple fried egg and you’ve got a warm, filling and nutritious breakfast that’s ready the next morning in just 5 minutes. Whole30, keto, and grain free.
SWEET POTATO HASH WITH BACON AND APPLES: Be it breakfast, dinner, or a late-night cure-all – Sweet Potato Hash with Bacon and Apples is there for you. Between the sweet, earthy potatoes, tangy apples, and mild peppers you’re getting a healthy (literally and figuratively) dose of nutrients. Add smoky bacon (and even a runny egg) for protein and flavor to this grain-free, Whole30 dish.
BRUSSELS SPROUTS HASH: Veggies in the mornin’, veggies in the evenin’, veggies at suppertime. Brussels Sprouts Hash is a fast and fresh way to get an energy-boosting dose of veggies and protein, not to mention flavor! Ribbons of brussels sprouts sautéed with bacon get topped with a runny egg for a perfect anytime meal – plus it’s keto, paleo, and Whole30 compliant.
Skip the bread and stuff your favorite proteins in veggie vessels – lettuce wraps, bell peppers, squash and sweet potatoes. Sure, less carbs all around, but you won’t even miss ’em because of all the added flavor.
TERIYAKI SALMON LETTUCE WRAPS: Skip the Bento Box. Healthy Teriyaki Salmon Lettuce Wraps pack a lot into a tiny, delicious edible bundle. Toss beautiful baked salmon in a tangy homemade sauce, and layer with rice – or your grain of choice – into sweet butter lettuce for a fork-free meal the whole family will enjoy. Don’t forget the toppings!
SAUSAGE AND VEGGIE STUFFED ACORN SQUASH: Stuffed Acorn Squash is an autumnal delight! Italian sausage, cranberries, spinach, sage, and rosemary are stuffed into acorn squash, sprinkled with parmesan cheese, and roasted until tender and bubbling. This gluten free and paleo friendly recipe is a crowd-pleasing stunner.
MEXICAN STUFFED PEPPERS: These keto friendly, low carb edible dreamboats are not your grandma’s stuffy, old stuffed peppers. Mexican Stuffed Peppers are packed with smoky, spicy, melty, cheesy goodness that you don’t have to wait until cheat night for. Made with my signature taco seasoning for an added kick – and without any starchy fillers to weight you down.
ITALIAN SAUSAGE STUFFED ZUCCHINI: Giving up carbs doesn’t have to mean giving up Italian! Keto-friendly Italian Sausage Stuffed Zucchini is so delicious and filling you’ll be asking “Pasta what?” Fresh veggies, homemade marinara, and all your favorite Italian seasonings make this one for regular rotation – not to mention all the ooey-gooey, melty mozzarella and parmesan. Mangia!
BUFFALO CHICKEN LETTUCE WRAPS: Everything you love about buffalo wings in a cute, tidy, nutrition punched package? Here for it! These Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps deliver – with big flavor, an easy recipe, and flexible dietary options. Naturally gluten free and low carb, you’ll be reaching for these healthy chicken wraps for quick weeknight dinners, meal prep, game day, and more.
GROUND BEEF TACO STUFFED SWEET POTATOES: This 30-minute weeknight dinner is made entirely from scratch and is packed with flavor and nutrition. Ground Beef Taco Stuffed Sweet Potatoes are a family favorite whether we’re doing Whole30 or not. Perfectly baked sweet potato stuffed with spicy ground beef taco filling, then smothered with pico and avocado. Sweet and spicy perfection!
Plant Based Dinners
If you’re a herbivore, you’re gonna love these recipes. If you’re a carnivore… you’re gonna love ’em too! These healthy dinner recipes have seasoning for days! And hearty, plant based protein “alternatives” will fill you right up.
BEANS AND GREENS ON GARLIC TOAST: A budget-friendly, schedule-friendly, belly-friendly spin on a classic Old World comfort food? Beans and Greens on Garlic Toast is a meal, snack, or even app that will satisfy a wide array of palates and diet plans. Made from super simple, vegan friendly ingredients, but feel free to mix it up with add-ins like bacon, egg, or parmesan!
CAULIFLOWER CURRY WITH SWEET POTATOES: This vegan one-pot-wonder is a cozy mean the whole family (kids included) can feast on. Cauliflower Curry with Sweet Potatoes is healthy, filling, and totally diet adaptable! Using a savory blend of garlic, onion, and spices, you’ll create an aromatic base for a creamy coconut and tomato sauce to be simmered with mellow cauliflower and sweet potato.
PORTOBELLO MUSHROOM FAJITA BOWLS (VEGAN): Get ready for the ultimate plant-forward TexMex bowl! Fajita seasoned portobello mushrooms, bell peppers, and onions are piled high over creamy dairy free polenta to build these perfectly balanced and completely plant based Vegan Fajita Bowls. Nutritious flavor bombs – black beans, avocado, lime and cilantro – round out the meal.
MUSHROOM BOLOGNESE OVER PAPPARDELLE NOODLES (VEGAN): Your Meatless Monday just got really, really exceptional. Mushroom Bolognese is amazingly rich in flavor and the texture of the mushrooms are the perfect substitution for beef. Loaded with veggies, this healthy meal comes together with little effort. Pro tip: skip the noodles and serve over cauliflower puree or polenta.
BLACK BEAN BUDDHA BOWLS WITH SWEET POTATO AND QUINOA: These Black Bean Buddha Bowls are a simple but sophisticated twist on classic black beans and rice. Citrusy black beans layered with quinoa and roasted sweet potatoes, then topped with avocado and cilantro, result in a nutrient-dense meal packed with flavor. This satisfying vegan recipe is perfect for weeknight dinners or meal prep.
CAULIFLOWER SHAWARMA GRAIN BOWL: Grain bowls speak my foodie love language – little bits of this and that with some heat, some crunch, and lots of veggies smothered with a finger-licking sauce that ties it together. This Cauliflower Shawarma Grain Bowl has got it ALL going on. Spicy, hot, sweet, tangy, herby – it’s a perfectly balanced vegan and gluten free flavor bomb.
BLACK LENTILS WITH ROASTED VEGETABLES: Black Lentils are beautiful, nutritious, and so easy to cook. Definitely our number one choice for salads and side dishes. They’re sturdy and cook quickly, with an earthy flavor that pairs well with simple roasted vegetables and fresh herbs. Top it all with a dollop of Greek yogurt for a quick and healthy plant-based meal.
WHITE BEAN RAGOUT WITH BUTTERNUT SQUASH: Not only is this White Bean Ragout super filling and surprisingly rich, it’s packed with seasonal vegetables (i.e. tons of nutrition). A classic “eat the winter rainbow” meal. The beans add protein and bulk, so a little goes a long way. It’s hearty enough to stand on its own, but I love serving it over cheesy polenta, or mashed cauliflower for a grain-free option.
MEDITERRANEAN CHICKPEA SALAD: This quick and easy Mediterranean Chickpea Salad has it all – punchy flavor, bright colors, loads of nutrients, and enough fiber and protein to keep you full and fueled for hours. Naturally vegan, it’s packed with plant-based protein and nutrient dense vegetables. Use the freshest and highest quality ingredients you can source for the best flavor.
GRILLED ZUCCHINI WITH CORN AND WHITE BEANS: A little sweet, a little smoky, a little crunchy – Grilled Zucchini Salad with corn and white beans is summer in a bowl. Punch up the flavor by marinating those creamy white beans in the tangy lemon dressing first! It’s substantial enough for lunch or dinner on its own, but also makes a great side dish for picnics, potlucks and parties.
Healthy Chicken Dinner Recipes
Chicken doesn’t have to be boring; and healthy chicken doesn’t have to be extra boring. No plain janes here – just tender, juicy and mind-blowingly flavorful.
AIR FRYER CHICKEN THIGHS: Improbably crispy skin in 20 minutes with no greasy mess? It’s not a myth; it’s air fried. Air Fryer Chicken Thighs give great crunch on the outside, and moist, juicy meat on the inside. Perfectly seasoned to enhance the taste you know and love, this dish works with any side you can come up with to make it an even bigger crowd-pleaser.
AVOCADO RANCH CHICKEN BURGERS: Don’t run away from ground chicken burgers! With the right helping hand – and key ingredients like fresh avocado, zesty green onion, and homemade ranch seasoning – lean ground chicken magically transforms into an amazingly good, never dry Avocado Ranch Chicken Burger. The trick? Healthy fats and lots of flavor.
EASY BRUSCHETTA CHICKEN (GRILLED OR BAKED): Bruschetta levels up from appetizer territory in this suppertime spin on a classic. Grilled (or baked, your choice) chicken plays host to diced tomatoes, basil and a tangy balsamic glaze in this quick and easy main dish conversion. Bruschetta Chicken is an easy, fresh summertime dinner that satisfies the pickiest of eaters and the busiest of chefs.
KICKIN’ CAJUN CHICKEN WITH OKRA AND BELL PEPPERS: When you need a quick and easy but crazy flavorful meal, you won’t be disappointed by this Kickin’ Cajun Chicken! It’s loaded with colorful vegetables and fresh ingredients that you can feel good about serving to your family. Better yet? It’s on the table in less than 45 minutes. Naturally gluten free and dairy free with Whole30 and paleo options.
HEALTHY TUSCAN CHICKEN OVER SPAGHETTI SQUASH: Classic Tuscan Chicken just got a healthy makeover! This low carb and gluten free dinner recipe is packed with colorful vegetables and tender chicken in a creamy, dairy free sauce, served over nutty roasted spaghetti squash. It’s everything you love about the classic recipe, without any of the ingredients that weigh you down, all in one skillet!
AVOCADO SALSA OVER GRILLED CHICKEN: Avocado Salsa over Grilled Chicken is a perfect warm weather recipe. Quick to prep and easy to make, it’s ready to serve in around 20 minutes and bursting with fresh, vibrant flavors. This avocado salsa is so simple with just 5 ingredients and a little salt and pepper. Make it slightly ahead of time to let the flavors develop until you’re ready to fire up the grill!
From the Sea
Seafood? No. You don’t. Cause you gobbled it up so fast.
KETO SHRIMP SCAMPI WITH ZOODLES: Take this cafe favorite from classic to keto with one simple swap! Keto Shrimp Scampi pairs zucchini noodles with sautéed shrimp in a decadent – but delicate – sauce featuring butter, garlic, white wine, and fresh parsley. A quick and healthy weeknight dinner save after a busy day!
CUCUMBER MANGO SALSA OVER PAN SEARED SALMON: Fresh and tangy Cucumber Mango Salsa is one of my favorite toppings for Simple Pan Seared Salmon. It’s a fast and easy paleo condiment packed with colorful, seasonal vegetables. This is weeknight cooking at it’s easiest and most delicious.
OVEN BAKED HALIBUT WITH PEACH SALSA: Tender, Oven Baked Halibut is a real treat! It’s delicate flavor and firm texture are perfect for any number of cuisines and seasonings, and we love it with fresh peach salsa in the summer.
These heart healthier red meat recipes are perfect choices for an occasional splurge. Crockpots and cast irons are perfect for creating rich, robust meals without the guilt.
STEAK BITES WITH SWEET POTATOES AND PEPPERS: Steak Bites with Sweet Potatoes and Peppers are one-skillet wonder you’ll return to again and again! It’s an easy, approachable weeknight dinner recipe that’s ready in under 45 minutes. Fast, filling and nutritious, this is really good real food at its most delicious.
CROCKPOT BOLOGNESE OVER ROASTED SPAGHETTI SQUASH: This meaty red sauce is so easy and satisfying, and of course the slow cooker does 90% of the work. Crockpot Bolognese is gluten free, packed with real, whole foods, freezes like a boss, and is totally kid friendly. In other words, it’s weeknight dinner gold. Level up the nutritional value by serving over spaghetti squash.
BULGOGI KOREAN BEEF BBQ: Healthy Whole30 Bulgogi is a Friday night game-changer! Paper thin slices of beef get tossed in a tangy, pear-sweetened marinade, then stir-fried with carrots and onions until crispy and caramelized. It’s juicy and tender and instantly addictive. This healthy Whole30 version is an incredibly easy recipe packed with bold authentic taste that’s ready in under 30 minutes.
HEALTHY BEEF STROGANOFF: Winter is coming… so bring on the cold-weather comfort food! Keto Beef Stroganoff is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Sautéed beef, mushrooms, and onions smothered in a rich, tangy sour cream sauce is the perfect antidote to a dreary day. Pair it with cauliflower puree, instead of noodles, to take this dish from classic to keto.
Healthy Dinner Salads
If salads usually make you sad, then I’m sorry you’ve never had one of ours. Between the medley of tastes and textures, and the big, bold flavors of homemade (healthy) dressings, these will turn any frown upside down.
HEALTHY STEAK SALAD: If salad isn’t the first thing to pop in your head when you crave a decadent dinner, Healthy Steak Salad is about to move in rent free. Reimagine your salad game with tender, juicy sirloin on a bed of fresh, crisp greens, dressed up with all your favorite salad veggies and a homemade vinaigrette. Add fingerling potatoes for a classic steakhouse twist!
ROASTED VEGETABLE SALAD WITH GREEN TAHINI: This Roasted Vegetable Salad is an easy, flavorful, and nutrition packed dinner! (Bonus – it’s also awesome for grab-and-go lunch prep.) Tender roasted vegetables are served over spinach with a side of avocado, then sprinkled with sesame seeds and drizzled with green tahini sauce. Naturally paleo, Whole30 and vegan, and super customizable.
SALMON AVOCADO SALAD WITH CREAMY LEMON DRESSING: Tender, flaky salmon shines bright all on its own, but it really stands out in this Salmon and Avocado Salad, tossed with seasonal produce and creamy lemon dressing. This salad is a true superfood combo, loaded with healthy omega-3 fats and all of the vitamins and nutrients your body craves.
SALMON QUINOA SALAD WITH HONEY SOY DRESSING: This superfood showcase checks all of my weeknight dinner requirements – healthy, easy, fast, and delicious. Salmon Quinoa Salad is bursting with nutritious green veggies and vitamin packed salmon, and topped with a zingy honey soy dressing. Pro Tip: it also doubles as the ultimate detox meal after a, uh, “heavy” weekend.
STEAK FAJITA SALAD WITH CILANTRO VINAIGRETTE: This quick and easy Steak Fajita Salad is about to become your go-to Tex-Mex dinner recipe. Seared skirt steak, DIY-rub fajita veggies, crisp greens, avocado, and a bright, herby cilantro lime dressing. Add queso fresco (or don’t for a paleo and Whole30 friendly meal) and it’s ready in just 30 minutes!
CHICKEN SHAWARMA SALAD WITH TAHINI DRESSING: This is one of my favorite summer paleo dinners! Chicken Shawarma Salad is an incredibly flavorful, fresh, and elegant weeknight dinner. The greens are tossed with mint and parsley, then topped with crunchy cucumbers, garden-fresh tomatoes, and tender slivers of red onion. Each bite is crisp, bright and bursting with flavor.
Healthy Dinner Soups
Don’t wait until it’s cold out for these healthy, hearty bowls of cozy comfort. These dinner soups are fully loaded and always eat like a meal.
WHITE BEAN AND KALE SOUP: White Bean and Kale Soup is a hearty and seriously flavorful recipe loaded with healthy veggies and just enough bacon to keep it real. It’s ready in 30 minutes and relies heavily on pantry staples, so it’s the perfect back-pocket recipe for busy weeknights or clean-out-the-fridge Fridays. Naturally gluten free, grain free, and dairy free.
ITALIAN CHICKPEA SOUP: Is it winter? spring? warm? cold? Honestly, doesn’t matter. Italian Chickpea Soup is the perfect crossover bowl this time of year. Loaded with veggies in a bright, warm, seasoned broth, it makes a perfect all-season meal or accompaniment. Adjust veggies and garnish as desired to make it your own. Gluten-free and vegetarian, with vegan option.
SPICY CHICKEN TACO SOUP: If chicken soup is for the soul, then Spicy Chicken Taco Soup is for your entire existence. Tender chicken and chunky vegetables in a smoky, spicy, and oh-so-slurpable broth is the perfect antidote to cold days or the common cold. Easily made in one pot in around 30 minutes and it freezes beautifully? Taco Tuesdays never had it so good.
INSTANT POT LENTIL SOUP: For an economical but crave-worthy meal, look no further than Instant Pot Lentil Soup. It’s made with humble pantry staples, but the resulting flavor is anything but. Making this recipe in your pressure cooker results in the most creamy and tender lentils possible – they’re so delicious. This recipe is naturally vegan and gluten free and brimming with healthy ingredients.
CHICKEN ZOODLE SOUP: Chase the cold weather (and cold season) blues away with this nourishing for the body and soul Chicken Zoodle Soup. Made from scratch using a whole chicken, and loaded with veggies, the broth is rich and buttery with that “homemade by mama” flavor that can’t be beat. You won’t believe how easy and satisfying this low carb and Whole30 compliant soup recipe is.
EASY HAMBURGER VEGETABLE SOUP: Hamburger Soup is my go-to dinner plan when I forgot to plan! Most the of the ingredients are fridge and pantry staples, so I almost always have everything on hand. This veggie-heavy dish incorporates bell pepper, yukon gold potatoes, and fresh green beans, making it both colorful and nutrient dense. It’s a hearty and healthy dinner that the entire family loves.
Healthy Stews and Chilis
If you want more chunk in your life (but not necessarily on your thighs) healthy stews and chilis are well worth the little bit of extra time for slow-simmered flavor.
EXTRA VEGGIE BEEF CHILI: Take your chili game up a (healthy-ish) notch with this veggie packed, no bean twist! Flexitarian-style Whole30 Chili is brimming with a rainbow of colorful vegetables and just enough beef to please even the most carnivorous chili-lover in your life. Loaded with nutrient dense real foods, make this chili for game day, meal prep, or any hungry crowd.
VEGAN STEW: You can keep your “chunky soup;” I’ll take a homemade stew any day. And this Vegan Stew is about as chunky as it gets. Loaded with everything from stew standards like carrots, celery and potatoes, to veggie VIPs like mushrooms, leeks and beans, it definitely eats like a meal. Trust me, no one’s going to be asking “where’s the beef?” after a bowl of this deliciousness.
CAJUN LENTIL STEW: Forget bland and boring, and enjoy big and bold instead. Cajun Lentil Stew is a welcome winter warmup! Bursting with veggies and loaded with flavor, this vegan stew doesn’t miss much. A perfect blend of textures and spices you’ll want to curl up with for days… if it lasts that long!
HEALTHY BEEF STEW: This is hands down the absolute best Dutch Oven Beef Stew! Seared pieces of chuck roast are braised in a savory gravy with hearty vegetables to create an incredibly rich, thick stew that’s. It’s the perfect comfort food. This one pot wonder is a hearty Whole30 meal – perfect for Sunday dinner, a special meal to share with friends, and meal prep, too. Even better the next day!