20 Healthy Meals for Dinner That Are Perfect for Weeknights

These delicious dinners make it a cinch to eat nutritious meals all week long.

Kimchi Soba Bowls

Does mealtime often get taken over by nutrition villains (tons of calories, loads of saturated fat, and excess sodium)? Take back the dinner hour: We've created 20 great-tasting meals with real nutritional punch. These recipes are both high in filling fiber and low in saturated fat. Not to mention, each recipe puts a premium on antioxidant-rich produce—with veggies and herbs and spices to boost flavor (but not calories). Try one of these supercharged dinners tonight!

01 of 20

Grilled Pesto Pizzas

Grilled Pesto Pizzas
Greg DuPree

Brighten up same-old cheese pizza with fresh veggies that everyone in the family will love. Who says pizza can't be healthy?

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seed kernels (pepitas)
  • 1 small garlic clove, smashed
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 5 ounces arugula (about 6 1⁄2 cups)
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp., extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 (16-oz.) pkg. fresh whole-wheat pizza dough
  • 10 ounces fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • 2 small summer squash (such as zucchini and yellow squash; 12 oz. total), thinly sliced
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Calories: 521

Try this recipe: Grilled Pesto Pizzas

02 of 20

Sweet-and-Sour Cauliflower With Chicken

Sweet-and-Sour Cauliflower with Chicken
Greg DuPree

This dish boasts all the flavor of the takeout Chinese version but with fresher veggies and no greasy fried chicken.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked long-grain brown rice
  • 3 tablespoons no-salt-added ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 pound cauliflower florets (about 4 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 large red bell pepper, sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup snow peas, halved diagonally
  • 1/4 cup sliced scallions
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds (optional)

Calories: 404

Try this recipe: Sweet-and-Sour Cauliflower with Chicken

03 of 20

Cauliflower and Mushroom Tacos

Cauliflower and Mushroom Tacos
Greg DuPree

Mix things up with these vegetarian-friendly tacos that have all the flavor without the meat or chicken.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup very thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup dark Mexican beer (such as Negra Modelo)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 12 ounces cauliflower florets (from 1 head)
  • 6 ounces cremini mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ancho chile powder
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 8 (6-in.) corn tortillas, warmed
  • Cotija cheese, pico de gallo, and diced avocado, for garnish
  • Lime wedges, for serving

Calories: 237

Try this recipe: Cauliflower And Mushroom Tacos

04 of 20

Kimchi Soba Bowls

Kimchi Soba Bowls

This tasty Asian-inspired dish contains kimchi, which is great for digestion and may help support the immune system.

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces uncooked soba noodles
  • 1 (8-oz.) pkg. tempeh
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon gochujang (Korean chile paste)
  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil, divided
  • 6 ounces baby bok choy, halved lengthwise
  • 1 cup vegetarian kimchi
  • 4 soft-cooked eggs, peeled and halved lengthwise

Calories: 532

Try this recipe: Kimchi Soba Bowls

05 of 20

Harissa Shakshuka With Spinach & Chickpeas

Harissa Shakshuka With Spinach & Chickpeas

This flavorful Israeli-inspired dish makes a filling lunch or dinner, and can be a great savory addition to a brunch spread.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup sliced yellow onion
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
  • 2 cups lower-sodium marinara sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mild or hot harissa
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 (15-oz.) can no salt added chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (6-oz.) pkg. fresh baby spinach (about 9 cups
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about ½ cup)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from one lemon)
  • Fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

Calories: 276

Try this recipe: Harissa Shakshuka With Spinach & Chickpeas

06 of 20

Veggie Enchiladas With Creamy Poblano Sauce

Veggie Enchiladas
Greg DuPree

Get your Mexican-food fix with tasty enchiladas that are vegetarian-friendly and perfect for a cozy night in.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 2 cups seeded and chopped poblano peppers (about 3 medium)
  • 2 cups sliced yellow onion
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves, divided
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup sliced yellow bell pepper
  • 1 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can unsalted pinto beans, drained and rinsed, coarsely mashed
  • 4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (about 1 cup), divided
  • 8 (6-inch) corn tortillas

Calories: 481

Try this recipe: Veggie Enchiladas With Creamy Poblano Sauce

07 of 20

Cauliflower and Chicken Larb

Cauliflower and Chicken Larb

This fresh Southeast Asian dish is the perfect light, low-carb solution to your weeknight dinner routine.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium head Napa cabbage
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons Asian-style fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 cup minced shallots
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon chopped lemongrass
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 12 ounces ground chicken
  • 1 (12-oz.) pkg. fresh or frozen cauliflower rice
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, divided
  • 1/2 cup sliced mint leaves

Calories: 342

Try this recipe: Cauliflower and Chicken Larb

08 of 20

Chard and Mushroom Butternut Noodles

Butternut Noodles

Swap out your usual pasta dinner for the veggie version—trust us, you won't even miss the spaghetti.

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups spiralized butternut squash (1¼ lb.)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons chopped roasted hazelnuts
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest, plus 2 Tbsp. fresh juice, divided
  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, finely shredded (about ¾ cup), divided
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, divided
  • 1 pound sliced fresh cremini mushrooms
  • 8 cups chopped fresh Swiss chard (from 1 [6-oz.] bunch)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Calories: 299

Try this recipe: Chard and Mushroom Butternut Noodles

09 of 20

Grilled Chicken With Mole Black Beans

Grilled Chicken with Black Beans
Greg DuPree

Smoky, spicy black beans are the star of this show; they deliver deep flavor without excess effort.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (8 thighs)
  • 2 tablespoons ancho chili powder, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 (4-oz.) bunch scallions, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon , plus 1½ tsp. olive oil, divided
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onion (from 1 large onion)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced (about 1 Tbsp.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 (15-oz.) cans no salt added black beans
  • 1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso granules
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon plus 1½ tsp. red wine vinegar, divided
  • 1 cup very thinly sliced radishes (about 8 oz.)
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves

Calories: 534

Try this recipe: Grilled Chicken with Mole Black Beans

10 of 20

Sausage and Kale Baked Pasta Alfredo

Sausage and Kale Baked Pasta Alfredo
Greg DuPree

We dialed back the sausage, boosted the veg way up, and swapped in whole-grain noodles for a dish that's so good, you'll wonder why you ever made baked pasta any other way.

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces uncooked whole-wheat penne pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 6 ounces mild Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
  • 1 (8-oz.) pkg. sliced button mushrooms
  • 8 ounces baby kale
  • 1 pound butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-in. pieces (about 4 cups)
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 1 ounce Parmesan cheese, shredded (about 1/3 cup)
  • 4 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 1 cup), divided
  • Cooking spray

Calories: 401

Try this recipe: Salsa and Kale Baked Pasta Alfredo

11 of 20

Red Lentil Curry Soup

Red Lentil Curry Soup

Your slow cooker takes all the hard work out of this light yet filling dish.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 cups lower-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 (14 1/2-oz.) can no salt added fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 1/2 cups dried red lentils
  • 2 small Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-in. cubes
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 1 (6-oz.) pkg. baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Calories: 280

Try this recipe: Red Lentil Curry Soup

12 of 20

Mushroom-Barley Risotto

Mushroom-Barley Risotto

Risotto lovers, you'll want to make this healthy alternative to the classic rice dish every night of the week.

Ingredients:

  • 7 cups unsalted vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cups (6 oz.) sliced fresh shiitake mushroom caps
  • 3 cups (6 oz.) sliced fresh cremini mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 5 medium garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 1/4 cup uncooked hulled barley
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 12 ounces fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-in. pieces
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Calories: 302

Try this recipe: Mushroom-Barley Risotto

13 of 20

Chicken, Butternut Squash, and Barley Skillet Dinner

Chicken, Butternut Squash, and Barley Skillet Dinner
Greg DuPree

This one-pot dinner is simple and satisfying. Onions and yogurt mean you get both pre- and probiotics in one meal.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onion
  • 6 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cups precut butternut squash (10 oz.)
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked pearled barley
  • 2 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • 1 15-oz. can no salt added diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 15-oz. can no salt added chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted, unsalted almonds
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Calories: 552

Try this recipe: Chicken, Butternut Squash, and Barley Skillet Dinner

14 of 20

Roasted Sweet Potato Quesadillas

Roasted Sweet Potato Quesadillas
Greg DuPree

Healthy quesadillas, need we say more? It's a nutritious twist on your favorite cheesy indulgence.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-in. pieces
  • 1 medium red onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 poblano chiles, seeded and cut into 1/2-in. pieces
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and sliced into 1/4-in.-thick half-moons
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 4 8-in. whole-wheat flour tortillas
  • 4 ounces pepper jack cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
  • 2 cups packed baby arugula
  • 1 cup thinly sliced radishes
  • 1/2 cup plain 1% low-fat Greek yogurt

Calories: 485

Try this recipe: Roasted Sweet Potato Quesadillas

15 of 20

Avocado and Watercress Salad

Grilled Romaine Salad
Greg DuPree

Every bite of this colorful and summery salad will energize you.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons tarragon or white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 cups coarsely chopped watercress
  • 1 cup shelled frozen edamame, cooked according to package directions
  • 4 cups hard-cooked eggs, peeled and quartered
  • 2 large ripe avocados, chopped
  • 3/4 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup pitted green olives (such as Castelvetrano), halved lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup chopped pistachios

Calories: 472

Try this recipe: Avocado and Watercress Salad

16 of 20

Lemon Chicken With White & Green Beans

Lemon Chicken With White & Green Beans

Simple and classic, this chicken dinner is filled with protein and will be a total crowd pleaser.

Ingredients:

  • 4 (6-oz.) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 3/4 cup lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (15-oz.) can no-salt-added cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 8 ounces haricots verts (French green beans)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Calories: 378

Try this recipe: Lemon Chicken With White & Green Beans

17 of 20

Grilled Ratatouille

Grilled Ratatouille

A vibrant vegetarian main or hearty side, this ratatouille is a delicious vehicle for your farmers market bounty. It would also be a hit over farro or whole-wheat pasta.

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium garlic cloves, divided
  • 1 1/2 pints multicolored cherry tomatoes (about 1 lb.), halved
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Canola oil, for grill grates
  • 1 medium-size eggplant, sliced crosswise into 1/2-in.-thick rounds
  • 2 small zucchini, sliced lengthwise into 1/2-in.-thick slabs
  • 2 small yellow squash, sliced lengthwise into 1/2-in.-thick slabs
  • 1 medium-size red onion, sliced crosswise into 1/2-in.-thick rounds
  • 1 small red bell pepper, halved lengthwise, gently pressed to flatten
  • 3 (1/2-in. thick) sourdough bread slices
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 3 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup torn fresh basil, plus more leaves for garnish
  • 1/3 cup chopped toasted skinless almonds

Calories: 355

Try this recipe: Grilled Ratatouille

18 of 20

Broccoli and Miso Quinoa Salad

Broccoli and Miso Quinoa Salad
Greg DuPree

Who knew a vegan salad could be so protein-rich? Credit the quinoa, peanuts, and tempeh. This easy, filling salad makes the perfect entrée or side.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 3/4 cup uncooked red quinoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup finely chopped green cabbage
  • 1 cup thinly sliced watermelon radishes
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons miso
  • 5 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
  • 1 (8-oz.) pkg. tempeh, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup roasted salted peanuts, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic

Calories: 532

Try this recipe: Broccoli and Miso Quinoa Salad

19 of 20

Salmon With Mango-Watercress Salad

Salmon with Mango-Watercress Salad

The sweet and salty flavor contrast is the perfect way to zest up a summer weeknight. Salmon is filled with healthy fats and protein.

Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces fresh haricots verts (French green beans), trimmed and cut into 1-in. pieces
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 4 (6-oz.) skin-on salmon fillets
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 medium-size red Fresno chili, seeded and minced (2 tsp.)
  • 4 cups watercress
  • 3 cups thinly sliced mango or green papaya
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/3 cup chopped unsalted roasted peanuts

Calories: 521

Try this recipe: Salmon with Mango-Watercress Salad

20 of 20

Sausage & Kale Strata

Sausage and Kale Strata
Greg DuPree

This take on a classic casserole is hearty but won't weigh you down. You'll get plenty of nutrients from the kale, and the turkey sausage is rich and flavorful but also lighter than pork sausage.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound mild or hot Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 2 (4-oz.) bunches Lacinato kale, stemmed and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 (16-oz.) hearty whole-grain bread loaf, cut into 1-in. cubes
  • Cooking spray
  • 4 ounces Gruyère cheese, shredded (about 1 cup), divided

Calories: 285

Try this recipe: Sausage and Kale Strata

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