Low-Calorie Dinners Packed with Produce
Spaghetti Squash Peanut "Noodles" with Chicken
Chinese five-spice powder, a blend of cinnamon, cloves, fennel seed, star anise and Szechuan peppercorns, adds a hint of warmth and the suggestion of sweetness to this healthy chicken recipe. It's great on just about anything you grill or roast, so it's worth keeping in your spice cabinet.
Not a fan of raw fish? No problem--this poke (pronounced poke-ay) recipe substitutes cooked peeled shrimp instead. This fast, veggie-loaded dish includes seasoned brown rice for a hearty boost of fiber.
Chicken & Kale Taco Salad with Jalapeño-Avocado Ranch
This healthy, super-fast salad recipe swaps out romaine for kale, giving you more than 10 times the vitamin C. Easy flavor hacks like store-bought ranch and pickled jalapeños help make a creamy, tangy and spicy dressing you'll want to drizzle on everything from salad to sliced veggies and shredded poached chicken.
Roasted Salmon with Smoky Chickpeas & Greens
In this healthy salmon dinner, you'll get a dose of greens and green dressing! Chowing down on 6 or more servings of dark leafy greens a week can help keep your brain in top shape. This dish features the Test Kitchen's current go-to method for doctoring a can of chickpeas: spice them up and roast until crispy.
Sheet-Pan Pork & Cherry Tomatoes
Rutabaga is a root vegetable that tastes like cabbage and turnips had a baby. Start roasting it in the oven first while you prep the tomatoes and pork. As the tomatoes cook, they burst and create a delicious sauce to mix with the balsamic vinegar at the end.
Greek Chicken with Roasted Spring Vegetables & Lemon Vinaigrette
This Greek-inspired chicken and vegetable sheet-pan meal is bursting with flavor. The chicken is coated in a mayonnaise and bread crumb mixture, roasted alongside asparagus, cremini mushrooms and grape tomatoes and then served with a lemon-feta vinaigrette.
Vietnamese Pork & Broccoli "Rice" Bowls
Broccoli gets a whirl in your food processor, with rice-like results, in this healthy dinner recipe. Serve with hot sauce and limes for an extra kick.
Split Pea Soup with Chorizo
For this easy slow-cooker split pea soup, look for raw smoky, spicy chorizo. If you can't find raw chorizo, Italian sausage or merguez makes a fine substitute.
Spaghetti Squash Lasagna with Broccolini
In this low-carb spaghetti squash lasagna recipe, garlicky broccolini, spaghetti squash and cheese are combined for a healthy take on a favorite casserole. This bakes right in the squash shells for a fun presentation. Serve with a big Caesar salad and some warm and crusty whole-grain bread.
Eggplant Pomodoro Pasta
Diced eggplant turns tender and tasty sautéed with garlic and olive oil. Toss with fresh plum tomatoes, green olives and capers and you have a simple light summer sauce. We like it over angel hair pasta, but any type of pasta will work. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a mixed green salad.
Quinoa, Chicken & Broccoli Salad with Roasted Lemon Dressing
Roasting lemons mellows their tartness and creates a layer of caramelized flavor that pairs well with the raw broccoli and savory quinoa in this healthy chicken dinner salad. Even better, the chicken and lemons roast on one sheet pan, making cleanup a breeze.
Grilled Salmon with Tomatoes & Basil
This recipe is so beautiful and yet so simple to prepare--it's perfect for entertaining. You just spread a side of salmon with minced garlic, sprinkle with fresh basil, then layer sliced tomatoes on top. Put it on the grill for 10 minutes and you're done!
Paprika Chicken Thighs with Brussels Sprouts for Two
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.
Spinach Salad with Steak & Blueberries
Combine steak, walnuts, blueberries and feta cheese in this simple salad and you have yourself a healthy and satisfying supper. Serve with grilled baguette and a glass of rosé.
Crab Bisque with Avocado, Tomato & Corn Relish
Our light version of classic crab bisque gets its creaminess from a combination of low-fat milk plus pureed vegetables and potatoes. The tangy, chunky relish provides a textural and flavor contrast to the smoky, rich-tasting bisque. Serve with crusty whole-grain rolls and some extra wedges of lime for squeezing.
Summer Vegetable Crepes
Crêpes aren't just for dessert--they make a quick and savory weeknight dinner. Here they're filled with ricotta cheese, green beans, zucchini and corn and topped with a chive-cream sauce. Don't skip the step of placing a piece of parchment or wax paper under each crêpe as you fill it--without it, the crêpes are tricky to roll. Serve with: A tossed salad.
Vegetarian Taco Salad
Nobody will miss the meat in this colorful, zesty vegetarian taco salad. The rice and bean mixture can be made ahead and the salad quickly assembled at mealtime. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.
Sweet Potato Carbonara with Spinach & Mushrooms
Loaded with veggies, this spiralized sweet potato vegetable noodles recipe--our healthy take on a traditional carbonara recipe--achieves superfood status with the addition of spinach and mushrooms. Look for large, straight sweet potatoes to make the longest veggie noodles.
Creamy Turnip Soup
In this recipe, the humble turnip is transformed into a rich turnip soup made creamy with just 1 tablespoon of butter. Serve it as a starter or side soup. The mini salad on top is optional, but we love the bit of texture from the greens and pop of flavor from the vinaigrette.
Thai-Style Melon & Beef Salad
We give this Thai-style beef salad a sweet twist by adding thin matchsticks of melon to the mix. Firm orange- or pale green-fleshed melon is equally good. The saltiness of the fish sauce helps to balance the sweetness of the melon.
Sausage, Brussels Sprout & Potato Soup
Bake up some Manchego cheese toasts and uncork a bottle of Ribera del Duero to enjoy alongside this healthy pot of soup. Both sweet and hot Italian sausage work well.
Toasted Quinoa Salad with Scallops & Snow Peas
This scallop-studded quinoa salad gets an exciting texture from crunchy snow peas, red bell pepper and scallions. Feel free to substitute shrimp or thin slices of chicken for the scallops.
Skillet Gnocchi with Chard & White Beans
In this one-skillet supper, we toss dark leafy greens, diced tomatoes and white beans with gnocchi and top it all with gooey mozzarella. Serve with a mixed green salad with vinaigrette.
Quick French Onion Soup
French onion soup is a favorite but it usually isn't substantial enough to make a complete meal. We've solved this problem by adding fiber-rich chickpeas to a broth flavored with sherry and three kinds of onions. Of course, we didn't forget the gooey topping, we've just made it a little lighter and a lot easier to prepare at home--simply top toasted whole-wheat bread with cheese and pour the soup on to melt it.
Tom Yum Soup with Pineapple
We've added fresh pineapple to this spicy, sweet-and-sour Thai soup. Enjoy it as a first course before a light Thai curry or as a light lunch.
Basil, Shrimp & Zucchini Pasta
This quick-cooking, healthy dinner is a simple combination of zucchini, shrimp and pasta flecked with plenty of fresh basil. If you have leftover cooked pasta from another meal, use it and skip Step 2. Since the recipe combines a starch, vegetables and the shrimp, all you need is a fruit or vegetable salad to round out the menu. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.
Grilled Shrimp Skewers over White Bean Salad
Fresh herbs make all the difference in this light, summery bean salad that in turn makes an aromatic bed for the easy grilled shrimp. The shrimp and salad are wonderful together but you could also make them separately. Consider skewering and grilling scallops as another delicious option.
Cornmeal-Crusted Chicken Nuggets with Blackberry Mustard
Tossing chicken tenders with cornmeal gives these chicken nuggets great crunch without deep-frying. Blackberries (or raspberries, if you prefer) combined with whole-grain mustard make for a sweet-and-savory dipping sauce. Serve with: Steamed broccoli and carrots.
Tomato & Provolone Sandwiches
There's something magical about a simple bread-and-tomato sandwich, but this one is even better topped with melted provolone cheese and tarragon-garlic mayo.
Lemon Chicken Stir-Fry
Spiked with lots of zesty lemon, this delectable chicken stir-fry has a colorful mix of snow peas, carrots and scallions. But feel free to substitute other thinly sliced vegetables, such as bell peppers or zucchini. Serve with: Rice noodles or brown rice.
Ginger Roasted Salmon & Broccoli
This quick Asian salmon recipe uses the sauce for both glazing the salmon and tossing with the broccoli. Serve over rice noodles or brown rice tossed with sesame oil and scallions.
Why not use cooler-weather vegetables like broccoli and arugula as an unconventional pizza topping? The arugula adds a slightly bitter, peppery taste--for a milder flavor, use spinach instead. Serve with wedges of fresh tomato tossed with vinegar, olive oil, basil and freshly ground pepper.
Indian-Spiced Cauliflower & Chickpea Salad
Lime juice, ginger, jalapeño and parsley are the stars of this curried cauliflower and chickpea vegetarian, main-dish salad.
Zucchini Noodles with Avocado Pesto & Shrimp
Cut some carbs and use spiralized zucchini in place of noodles in this zesty pesto pasta dish recipe. Top with Cajun-seasoned shrimp to complete this quick and easy dinner.