36 Super-Easy Healthy Dinners That’ll Help You Lose Weight

Repeat after me: no more takeout.

healthy dinner recipes you should try to lose weight


The weeknight hustle is real.

After getting home from work or a workout, it’s can feel damn near torturous to spend more energy scrounging up a meal, especially a healthy and still tasty one. (That’s probably why clicking through a delivery app seems so appealing.)

Sure, you could go the meal-prep route—but…that’s satisfying for about a month, until cooking literally all of your meals on a Sunday starts to sound less painful than prying your eyeballs out with a pair of tongs. (Sorry not sorry—you know it’s true.)

But what if you did a mix of both? A.k.a., making super-easy (healthy!) dinners some nights when you want something fast and fresh; then preparing others in advance when you just DGAF about cooking.

To prove you can do it, here are 37 healthy dinner recipes—some you can whip up one night (and for one person), others you can make ahead and eat for a few days. Each one has 500 calories or less, and leaves you satisfied thanks to the great flavors and filling ingredients. Go ahead and revel in your domesticity.

1. Loaded Spaghetti

Loaded Spaghetti

1 cup sliced bell pepper
1/2 cup sliced red onion
1 tsp olive oil
1 cup cooked whole-wheat spaghetti
2/3 cup cooked edamame

Sauté peppers and onions in oil until onions are translucent. Toss with pasta and edamame.

Per serving: 420 cal

2. Cookout for One

Cookout for One

1 organic beef hot dog
1/2 cup organic baked beans
1 whole-wheat hot dog bun
1/2 Tbsp whole-grain mustard
1/2 Tbsp sweet relish
1 cup sliced honeydew melon

Cook hot dog, and heat baked beans in a saucepan. Serve hot dog in the bun, topped with mustard and relish, with beans and melon on the side.

Per serving: 490 cal

3. Summer Farrotto

Summer Farrotto

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast (3 oz)
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1/4 cup sliced red onion
1 cup diced yellow squash
1/2 cup dry farro
1 Tbsp chopped parsley
1 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Pan-sear chicken in 1 Tbsp oil, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste, then dice. Sauté onion and squash with remaining oil. Stir in farro until coated in oil. Add 2/3 cup water, bring to a boil, stir, reduce heat, and cover. Cook 20 minutes or until soft. Stir in chicken, parsley, and cheese, and serve.

Per serving: 490 cal

4. Beef and Veggie Salad Bowl

Beef and Veggie Salad Bowl

2 Tbsp dry red quinoa
2 cups mesclun greens
3 oz cooked lean beef, cubed
1/2 cup chopped broccoli florets
1/4 red bell pepper, chopped
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp red wine vinegar

Cook quinoa as directed. Toss with greens, beef, broccoli, and pepper in a bowl. Whisk oil and vinegar for dressing.

Per serving: 320 cal

5. Bow Ties with Spring Vegetables

Bow Ties with Spring Vegetables

2 oz dry whole-grain farfalle pasta
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup artichoke hearts
1/4 cup sliced red onion
1/4 cup peas
1 Tbsp chopped fresh mint

Cook pasta as directed and toss with oil, vegetables, and mint. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Per serving: 370 cal

6. Half-Homemade Soup with Asparagus

Half-Homemade Soup with Asparagus

4 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 cup Amy’s Organic Chunky Vegetable soup
2 Tbsp dry quinoa
1 cup chopped kale
10 small asparagus spears
2 tsp soy sauce
1/8 tsp grated fresh ginger

Bake chicken at 350°F for 25 minutes, then shred with a fork. Meanwhile, combine soup, quinoa, and kale in a saucepan, bring to a boil, and simmer until quinoa is done, about 15 minutes. Add chicken. Steam asparagus, then toss with soy sauce and ginger. Serve asparagus on the side.

Per serving: 330 cal

7. Pork with Veggies

Pork with Veggies

1 pork tenderloin (4 oz)
1 cup steamed green beans
2 Tbsp sliced almonds
1 baked sweet potato

Season pork with salt and pepper, sear in an ovenproof skillet coated with cooking spray, and transfer to a 450°F oven for 15 minutes. Slice and serve with green beans topped with almonds, and a sweet potato.

Per serving: 370 cal

8. Pizza Party

Pizza Party

1 Amy’s Light ‘N Lean Italian Vegetable Pizza
3 oz broccoli slaw
1/4 cup black beans
1/4 cup sliced scallions
1 tsp olive oil
1 oz lemon juice

Bake pizza. Blend slaw, beans, scallions, oil, and lemon juice, and serve on the side.

Per serving: 400 cal

9. Baked Chicken with Mushrooms and Sweet Potato

Baked Chicken with Mushrooms and Sweet Potato

1/2 skinless chicken breast
1 cup baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
1 Tbsp chives
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium sweet potato

In a 350°F oven, bake chicken, topped with mushrooms, chives, and oil, for 15 minutes. Microwave sweet potato for five to seven minutes.

Per serving: 382 cal

10. Shrimp Ceviche

Shrimp Ceviche

1/2 cup chopped cucumber
1/3 cup chopped jicama
1/3 cup chopped mango
1 Tbsp chopped onion
1/4 cup sliced avocado
1 tomato, sliced
1 cup cooked shrimp
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp red pepper

Toss together, and dress with lemon juice.

Per serving: 430 cal

11. Light Lasagna

Light Lasagna

1/2 cup cooked whole-wheat spaghetti
1/4 cup part-skim ricotta
1/3 cup prepared tomato sauce
1/2 tsp crushed red chili flakes
1 Coleman Natural Mild Italian Chicken Sausage link, cooked
2 cups spinach

Combine pasta, ricotta, sauce, and chili flakes, then crumble sausage on top. Add spinach, and let wilt.

Per serving: 350 cal

12. Chicken with Cheesy Broccoli Soup

Chicken with Cheesy Broccoli Soup

1 cup chopped broccoli
1 cup chopped parsnips
3/4 cup nonfat chicken stock
1/4 cup low-fat shredded cheddar cheese
1 Tbsp sliced almonds
4 oz chicken breast
1 tsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste

Steam broccoli and parsnips, then puree with stock and cheddar; sprinkle with nuts. Bake chicken, top with lemon juice, and season.

Per serving: 360 cal

13. Cilantro Shrimp with Squash, Chard, and Wild Rice

Cilantro Shrimp with Squash, Chard, and Wild Rice

8 large shrimp
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp fresh cilantro
2 tsp fresh lime juice
1 yellow squash, sliced
1 cup Swiss chard
1/4 cup dry wild rice blend

Sear shrimp in olive oil over medium heat for three to four minutes, seasoning with cilantro and lime juice. Steam squash and chard for five to seven minutes, and cook rice according to package directions.

Per serving: 370 cal

14. Lemon Chicken with Gazpacho

Lemon Chicken with Gazpacho

3 1/2 oz chicken breast
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 lemon, sliced
1 tsp fresh rosemary

1 cup stewed tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup cucumber, chopped
1/4 cup green pepper, chopped
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar

Coat chicken with olive oil. Cover with lemon slices and rosemary, and bake at 350°F for 25 to 30 minutes. Combine gazpacho ingredients in a blender, then serve at room temperature with chicken.

Per serving: 414 cal

15. Zesty Tofu and Quinoa

Zesty Tofu and Quinoa

1 cup cooked quinoa
2 oz extra-firm tofu, cubed
3 Tbsp diced red pepper
3 Tbsp diced green pepper
1 tsp cilantro
2 Tbsp diced avocado
2 tsp fresh lime juice

Combine all ingredients.

Per serving: 320 cal

16. Confetti Pesto Pasta

Confetti Pesto Pasta

1/4 pint cherry tomatoes
1/3 cup cooked green beans
1/3 cup diced chicken breast
1/4 cup pesto sauce
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
1 cup cooked linguine
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan

Combine tomatoes, cooked green beans, diced chicken breast, pesto sauce, and salt and pepper in a bowl. Add cooked linguine. Garnish with shredded Parmesan.

Per serving: 417 cal

17. Asian Turkey Lettuce Cups

Asian Turkey Lettuce Cups

4 oz ground lean turkey
1/2 cup white mushrooms, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup shelled and cooked edamame
2 Boston lettuce leaves
2 Tbsp sliced scallion

For the sauce:
1/2 Tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 tsp rice vinegar

For the asian slaw:
1/2 cup shredded red cabbage and green cabbage
1/4 cup sliced jicama
1/4 cup grated carrot
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp rice vinegar

In a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, sauté first three ingredients for five minutes. Add edamame, scoop mix onto lettuce, top with scallion, and wrap up. Drizzle with sauce, and serve slaw on the side.

Per serving: 329 cal

18. Pork with Roasted Vegetables

Pork with Roasted Vegetables

3 oz pork tenderloin
1 cup baked cubed butternut squash
2 cups brussels sprouts cooked in 1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper

Roast pork tenderloin at 375°F, then serve with vegetables.

Per serving: 405 cal

19. Mushroom Bison Burger

Mushroom Bison Burger

4 oz grass-fed bison burger
1 portobello mushroom, grilled
1 slice red onion
2 slices tomato
2 lettuce leaves
1 Arnold Artisan Ovens Multi-Grain Flatbreat

Grill mushroom and burger, and top with onion, tomato, and lettuce on flatbread.

Per serving: 374 cal

20. Salmon with Lemon and Dill

Salmon with Lemon and Dill

5 oz wild Atlantic salmon
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp dill
2/3 cup parsnips
1 1/2 cup chopped broccoli, steamed

Sprinkle salmon with lemon juice and dill and bake for 15 minutes at 225°F.

Per serving: 261 cal

21. Shrimp Pasta with Salad

Shrimp Pasta with Salad

1/2 cup dry rigatoni, cooked
3 oz shrimp, poached
1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and pureed
3 large black olives, sliced
1/2 Tbsp pine nuts
2 tsp grated Parmesan

For the salad:
1 cup romaine lettuce
1/4 cup chopped tomato
1/2 cup sliced cucumber
1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

Toss pasta with shrimp, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, and pine nuts. Top with Parmesan. Serve alongside the salad.

Per serving: 465 cal

22. Seared Scallops with Lemon Juice and Sage

Seared Scallops with Lemon Juice and Sage

2 tsp canola oil
3 oz sea scallops
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp ground sage
1 1/2 cups cubed roasted acorn squash
2 cups kale sautéed in 2 tsp olive oil

Heat canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add scallops and cook without stirring until well browned, around two minutes. Flip scallops and cook until the sides are firm and centers opaque, 30 to 90 seconds. Drizzle with lemon juice, and sprinkle sage on top. Serve with squash and kale.

Per serving: 496 cal

23. Cheesy Veggie Pasta

Cheesy Veggie Pasta

1/2 cup whole-wheat macaroni
1 cup crushed whole, peeled canned tomatoes
1/2 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
3/4 cup chopped spinach
1 cup zucchini wedges
2 tsp olive oil

Cook vegetables over medium-high heat, then combine with cooked macaroni and cheese.

Per serving: 439 cal

24. Teriyaki Beef with Veggies

Teriyaki Beef with Veggies

3 oz grass-fed beef tenderloin, cubed
2 Tbsp reduced-sodium teriyaki sauce
1 Tbsp light honey-mustard dressing
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup sliced carrots
1/2 cup chopped broccoli
1/4 cup sliced water chestnuts
1/4 cup sliced peppers
1/2 cup cooked brown rice

Marinate beef in teriyaki and dressing for 30 minutes. Heat olive oil in a pan, and cook beef one to two minutes. Add veggies, and cook for another five to seven minutes until beef is browned. Serve over rice.

Per serving: 506 cal

25. Shrimp and Broccoli Pasta Salad

Shrimp and Broccoli Pasta Salad

4 oz cooked shrimp
1/2 cup cooked whole-wheat elbow macaroni
1/2 steamed broccoli
4 sun-dried tomatoes, halved
1 tsp capers
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp oregano

Toss all ingredients, and serve cold.

Per serving: 312 cal

26. Chicken Parmigiana with Penne

Chicken Parmigiana with Penne

4 oz grilled chicken, diced
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 cup spinach
1/2 cup whole-wheat penne
1 1/2 Tbsp grated Parmesan

Sauté spinach in one teaspoon olive oil, and toss with chicken, penne, and tomato sauce. Top with Parmesan.

Per serving: 437 cal

27. Beef Stir-Fry with Butternut Squash Soup

Beef Stir-Fry with Butternut Squash Soup

3 oz steak tenderloin fillet, sliced thin
1/2 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms
1/2 onion, sliced
2 tsp olive oil
1/3 cup cooked bulgur

For the soup:
1/2 cup Pacific Natural Foods organic light-sodium butternut squash soup

Stir-fry beef, onion, and mushroom, and serve over bulgur.

Per serving: 450 cal

28. Jambalaya Blend with Veggies

Jambalaya Blend with Veggies

1 veggie burger
1/2 cup cooked brown rice
2 Tbsp corn
2 Tbsp salsa
1/2 cup chopped red, green, or yellow bell peppers
3/4 cup diced squash
3/4 cup diced zucchini
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1 tsp olive oil
Salt, to taste

Cook burger in pan spritzed with cooking spray, then chop burger and combine with rice, corn, and salsa. Toss veggies with oil and salt, roast for 15 to 20 minutes, and serve on the side.

Per serving: 360 cal

29. Cod with Rosemary Polenta and Beans

Cod with Rosemary Polenta and Beans

3 oz cod
1 tsp chopped fresh parsley
Dash of salt
Dash of pepper
1/4 cup dry polenta
1/2 cup 1 percent milk
1 Tbsp pine nuts
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/2 cup cooked green beans

Season cod with parsley, salt, and pepper, then steam for eight minutes. Cook polenta with milk, per package instructions, then top with pine nuts and rosemary. Serve with green beans.

Per serving: 352 cal

30. Shaved Zucchini Salad

shaved zucchini salad

2 medium zucchini, ribboned
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
2 Tbsp pitted and chopped Kalamata olives
2 Tbsp diced feta cheese
1 Tbsp pine nuts, toasted
1½ Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ Tbsp apple cider vinegar
½ Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Combine oil, vinegars, garlic, and pepper in a small jar and set aside. Add zucchini, tomatoes, olives, feta, and pine nuts in a bowl. Pour dressing over vegetables and cheese, toss to coat, and serve.

Per serving: 430 cal, 35 g fat (7 g sat), 26 g carbs, 15 g sugar, 610 mg sodium, 6 g fiber, 10 g protein.

Courtesy of Prevention

31. Jalapeño-Watermelon Salad

jalapeno watermelon salad

3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 c arugula
2 c diced seedless watermelon
½ c halved cherry tomatoes
¼ c diced red onion
2 Tbsp diced feta cheese
2 Tbsp minced fresh mint
1 Tbsp seeded and minced jalapeño

Combine olive oil, vinegars, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Whisk until emulsified. Add the arugula, watermelon, tomatoes, onion, feta, mint, and jalapeño. Toss with your hands to combine well. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 200 cal, 16 g fat (3 g sat), 13 g carbs, 9 g sugar, 470 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 3 g protein.

Courtesy of Prevention

32. Eggplant Parmesan

 eggplant parmesan

1 large eggplant
2 zucchini
2 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for roasting vegetables
/4 tsp sea salt
1 cup low-fat mozzarella
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan, divided
1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano
3/4 cup quinoa
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup fresh basil
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 jar marinara sauce (24 oz), no added salt or sugar
2 cups fresh spinach

Peel the eggplant and zucchini and slice. Brush both sides with oil and arrange on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and roast in a 400°F oven until tender, about 12 to 14 minutes. Combine mozzarella, half the Parmesan, and oregano. Separately, mix quinoa, chia, remaining Parmesan, 2 tablespoons oil, basil, and pepper. Spread half the marinara in a baking dish. Layer with half the vegetables, spinach, and cheese-oregano mixture. Repeat. Top with quinoa blend and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Serves six.

Per serving: 350 cal, 18 g fat (5g sat), 33 g carbs, 11 g sugar, 510 mg sodium, 8 g fiber, 18g protein.

33. Spaghetti and Meatballs

spaghetti and meatballs

1 lb lean ground turkey
1 cup cooked farro
1 cup spinach leaves
4 egg whites
4 Tbsp chopped onion
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp turmeric Pinch of salt and pepper
4 sweet potatoes
4 Tbsp grated Asiago cheese

Preheat oven to 350°F. To make meatballs, mix together the first eight ingredients by hand, then roll into 16 balls, each about 1 inch in diameter. Place the balls on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Meanwhile, wash and peel sweet potatoes. Then, using the peeler, make thin ribbons from the flesh of the potatoes. Blanch ribbons in boiling salted water, then drain. Serve meatballs atop the ribbons, sprinkled with grated Asiago. Serves four.

Per serving: 330 cal, 4 g fat (1.5 g sat), 38 g carbs, 6 g sugar, 260 mg sodium, 6 g fiber, 37 g protein.

34. Sweetgreen Portobello, Squash, and Wild Rice Bowl with Ginger Miso Dressing

portobello squash wild rice

For the bowl:
2 cups cooked wild rice, warm
4 cups kale leaves, shredded
1 handful basil leaves, torn
3 Portobello mushrooms, stemmed, diced, and roasted
1 small butternut squash, peeled, diced, and roasted
1 small red onion, peeled, diced, and roasted
1 medium red beet, peeled and diced

For the dressing:
2 Tbsp sweet white miso paste
2 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce
1 Tbsp sriracha (optional)
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
½ tsp sesame oil
¼ cup warm water
2 Tbsp mirin
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and minced
1 garlic clove, smashed and minced
½ cup grape seed oil

Combine all dressing ingredients except grape seed oil in a blender on low until smooth. Increase speed to medium while adding grape seed oil. Set aside. Combine all of the salad ingredients in a large mixing bowl, and toss with your preferred amount of dressing. Serve immediately. Serves six to eight.

Per serving: 455 cal

35. Eggplant and Zucchini Lasagna

eggplant zucchini lasagna

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 white onion, diced
1 can (28 oz) whole tomatoes, drained
2 cups ricotta cheese
zest of 1/2 lemon
6 basil leaves, chopped, plus more for serving
3 parsley sprigs (leaves only), chopped
1 small eggplant, thinly sliced
1 small zucchini, thinly sliced
8 oz fresh part-skim mozzarella, sliced

In a cast-iron pan on medium high, heat the oil, garlic, and onion, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes; stir occasionally till thickened, 5 to 10 minutes. In a large bowl, mix the ricotta, zest, and herbs; season with salt and pepper. Spoon out half the sauce; set aside. Now do layers in the pan: half the vegetables; half the ricotta mix; repeat; the rest of the sauce; mozzarella. Bake in a 400°F oven, lid on, till tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Uncover and bake till the cheese is bubbly, another 5 to 10 minutes. Serves six.

Per serving: 313 calories, 20 g fat, 16 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 21g protein.

Courtesy of Men’s Health

36. Rosemary-Roasted Vegetables with Manchego Cheese and Serrano Ham

roasted vegetables and cheese

1/2 lb asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1/2 lb small brussels sprouts, halved
2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
2 tsp olive oil
1 oz Serrano ham, torn into pieces
1 Tbsp sherry vinegar
2 Tbsp shaved manchego cheese

Preheat oven to 425°F. On a baking sheet, combine asparagus, brussels sprouts, rosemary, oil, and a pinch of freshly ground black pepper. Roast vegetables, stirring once, until tender and just charred, about 20 minutes. Stir in ham and vinegar; roast for 2 minutes more. Serve with cheese scattered on top.

Per serving: 322 cal, 19 g fat (6 g sat), 23 g carbs, 7 g sugar, 935 mg sodium, 10 g fiber, 21 g protein.

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