Dinners That Make Great Lunches the Next Day
Mediterranean Chickpea Quinoa Bowl
Quinoa and chickpeas pack this vegetarian grain bowl with plenty of plant-based protein. Whip up a batch of these Mediterranean meals and pack in containers with lids to stash in the fridge for easy, healthy grab & go lunches all week long.
A healthy take on a loaded baked potato, this creamy cauliflower soup recipe has all the fixings of a loaded potato (bacon included) but for way fewer calories and carbs. Ready in a quick 20 minutes, this easy soup is great for busy weeknights or can be meal prepped ahead of time to take for lunch or frozen for a ready-made meal down the road. This recipe was originally made for one serving but can be easily adapted to serve more.
Chickpea Curry (Chhole)
Made with convenient canned beans, this quick and healthy Indian recipe is an authentic chickpea curry that you can make in minutes. If you want an additional vegetable, stir in some roasted cauliflower florets. Serve with brown basmati rice or warm naan.
Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Tomatoes, Beans & Almond Pesto
Looking at a tangle of spaghetti squash tricks your brain into thinking you're about to eat a serving of eggy noodles, when in fact, you get a nice calorie and carb savings in this healthy recipe. Giving tomatoes a stint in a hot oven makes them candy-sweet.
In this easy roast chicken recipe, two whole birds cook side-by-side on one pan, which means you only have to heat the oven once but you'll have enough leftover chicken for days. Rotating the chickens on the pan during roasting ensures all sides are evenly cooked and golden brown.
Ravioli & Vegetable Soup
Fresh or frozen ravioli cook in minutes and turn this light vegetable soup into a main course. Look for whole-wheat or whole-grain ravioli in the refrigerated or frozen section of the supermarket. Tortellini can be used instead of ravioli as well. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.
Chipotle Chicken Quinoa Burrito Bowl
This chipotle-flavored burrito bowl recipe is even better than takeout and just as fast. Loading it with vegetables and using quinoa in place of rice adds nutrition for a healthy dinner.
Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili
Make a double batch of this quick vegetarian chili, full of black beans and sweet potatoes, and eat it for lunch the next day or freeze the extras for another night. We love the smoky heat from the ground chipotle, but omit it if you prefer a mild chili. Serve with tortilla chips or cornbread and coleslaw.
Orzo Chicken Salad with Avocado-Lime Dressing
The creamy quick-blend dressing is just the thing to top this inspired Southwest pasta salad. Both can be made a day ahead.
Ancho Chicken Breast with Black Beans, Bell Peppers & Scallions
In this healthy chicken recipe, the meat is rubbed with ancho chile powder, a spice made from dried poblano peppers. It adds mild heat and subtle smokiness to the rub on the chicken, but you can use regular chili powder here instead. This recipe makes an extra 1/2 cup of the black bean mash--try it wrapped into a burrito for lunch or as a taco filling (see Tips, below).
Slow-Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos with Pico de Gallo
Use your crock pot for perfectly tender beef in this easy taco recipe. The quick fresh pico de gallo adds crunch, flavor and color, but your favorite fresh salsa will make a great taco topper in a pinch.
Easy Vegetarian Chili
Canned beans and tomatoes make this quick vegetarian chili recipe ready to go in just 30 minutes. Serve over rice or couscous, or with tortilla chips for added crunch, and add extra toppings as you see fit--sliced scallions, chopped fresh cilantro, diced avocado and sliced jalapeños are all tasty choices.
Orange-Sesame Salmon with Quinoa & Broccolini
A quick Asian orange sauce gives this healthy salmon dinner recipe bright flavor. No broccolini? Swap in 8 ounces broccoli florets and roast for 5 minutes in Step 3.
Smoked Gouda-Broccoli Soup
Smoked paprika and smoked Gouda give this broccoli-and-cheese soup recipe a double hit of smoky flavor. If you can't find smoked Gouda, smoked Cheddar gives delicious results as well.
Curried Cauliflower Steaks with Red Rice & Tzatziki
Gone are the days when your rice choices were limited to white and brown. In this healthy vegetarian dinner recipe, the aromatic flavor of red rice or brown basmati jibes deliciously with fragrant curry powder. Because you need 2 whole heads of cauliflower to get 4 cauliflower steaks, you'll have leftover cauliflower florets to use up. Roast the florets alongside the steaks, then toss them with some chickpeas and tzatziki sauce for a healthy lunch (see Tip, below).
Creamy Mushroom Soup
There's no cream in this silky mushroom soup. Pureed potatoes give this vegan mushroom soup its creamy texture. Be sure to use Yukon Gold--russets don't provide quite the right texture.
Asparagus & Salmon Spring Rolls
These spring rolls are filled with smoked salmon, tender-crisp asparagus and plenty of fresh herbs. Spring rolls look impressive when you put them out for a party, but they are actually easy to make. To simplify the process, lay out all the ingredients you need to make the rolls near your work surface before you begin.
Middle Eastern Chicken & Chickpea Stew
This quick, protein-rich chicken stew recipe gets great flavor from cumin, lemon juice and garlic. Make a double batch and freeze it for a quick healthy dinner. Serve the stew with couscous and steamed broccoli.
Hearty Beef Chili
For a fall open house, make this beef chili in the slow cooker. As guests arrive, set out chips and cheese and let them help themselves to a bowl.
Chicken Chili with Sweet Potatoes
Tons of spice, corn and bell pepper give this healthy one-pot chicken chili recipe Southwestern flair. Serve with your favorite hot sauce, tortilla chips and a cold beer.
Shrimp and Cauliflower Bake
This quick and easy seafood casserole gets bright flavor from fresh dill and feta cheese.
This healthy quinoa lasagna recipe has a layer of quinoa (rather than noodles) along with vegetables, cheese and herbs. Though it tastes like comfort food, don't worry, this quinoa lasagna recipe is not too heavy--you'll still have room for dessert. To save time, use your favorite jarred tomato sauce in this vegetarian lasagna. (Adapted from “Quinoa Revolution” by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming; Pintail Books, 2012.)
Sweet Potato Mac & Cheese
Fiber-rich sweet potato is used as the base for the cheese sauce in this healthy, homemade macaroni and cheese recipe. The bright orange color tricks your eyes into thinking this healthy macaroni and cheese recipe is loaded with cheese, but there's actually only about half as much cheese as compared to a traditional recipe.
Spinach & Goat Cheese Chicken Tortilla Casserole
Layers of tortillas, chicken and vegetables with a creamy goat-cheese sauce create a lasagna-like Mexican casserole dish for an easy, healthy dinner the whole family will love.
Quinoa Chicken Enchilada Casserole
Protein-rich quinoa makes a satisfying layer in this easy Mexican casserole recipe. If you want to make this dish vegetarian, beans are a nice swap for the chicken. Serve with a green salad tossed with an oregano vinaigrette.
Roasted Root Veggies & Greens over Spiced Lentils
This earthy bowl of lentils bursting with Middle Eastern flavors is topped with leftover roasted root veggies from a large batch for an easy weeknight dinner. Keep it vegan or add a drizzle of plain yogurt for extra richness.
Vegan Buddha Bowl
This easy grain bowl has so much to love--sweet potatoes, protein-packed chickpeas, creamy avocado and homemade tahini dressing. Make the full recipe on the weekend and pack into individual serving containers for ready-to-go lunches for work all week.
Vegetarian Sushi Grain Bowl
Skip the hassle of making sushi rolls at home and just go for this grain bowl. Start with a base of brown rice and add veggies, dressing and creamy avocado for a delicious and easy meal.
Roast Chicken & Sweet Potatoes
Caramelized sweet potatoes and red onion are the bed for chicken thighs that cook up fast in a very hot oven--perfect for a quick healthy chicken dinner. Serve with a fall salad of mixed greens, sliced apples and blue cheese.
Cuban Cauliflower Rice Bowl
In this riff on a healthy grain bowl recipe we use cauliflower rice instead of another whole grain like brown rice to cut back on carbs and load up on veggie servings. A simple citrusy mojo sauce drizzled on top gives this easy lunch or dinner a Cuban flair.
Paprika Chicken Thighs with Brussels Sprouts
In this healthy chicken recipe, paprika-rubbed chicken thighs are nestled into Brussels sprouts and shallots and roasted on a sheet pan in the oven for an easy, healthy dinner. As the chicken thighs roast, the garlicky drippings flavor the Brussels sprouts and shallots. Delicious one-pan cooking! Smoked paprika adds a touch of smoky flavor--look for it at well-stocked supermarkets or in the bulk-spice section at natural-foods markets. Regular paprika can be used in its place, but doesn't add the hint of smoke.