SELF – Men’s and Women Health & Fitness
Most of us are never not on the lookout for easy, healthy dinner ideas. After all, some headache-free nourishment is just what you need at the end of a long day.
What counts as “easy” is kind of subjective, but for this list of recipes we kept it to meals that come together in 30 minutes max (at least, according to the recipe notes) and don’t have ridiculously long ingredient lists. What counts as “healthy” varies from person to person too—but in the most basic sense, a healthy dinner is one that tastes good and fills you up.
“For a meal that is both mentally and physically satisfying, I recommend that people strive for three to four food groups when possible—namely fat, protein, starch, and fruits/vegetables,” SELF columnist Jessica Jones, M.S., R.D., certified diabetes educator and cofounder of Food Heaven, previously told SELF. “By doing this, you will not only get a variety of textures and flavors, but also nutrients that work together to provide you with a steady, stable stream of energy.”
With that in mind, we rounded up 52 easy, healthy dinner ideas. Most make for a balanced meal on their own, while a few (like veggie curry or baked chicken) you’ll probably want to serve with some bread or rice.
A note about the word healthy here: We know that healthy is a complicated concept. Not only can it mean different things to different people, it’s a word that’s pretty loaded (and sometimes fraught), thanks to the diet industry’s influence on the way we think about food. At SELF, when we talk about food being healthy, we’re primarily talking about foods that are nutritious, filling, and satisfying. But it also depends on your preferences, your culture, what’s accessible to you, and so much more. We selected these recipes with those basic criteria in mind while also trying to appeal to a wide variety of nutritional needs and taste buds.