Quick & Easy Special Diet Dinner Recipes

Find delicious, quick and easy healthy dinner recipes for those who follow a special diet, including quick and easy gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, diabetic friendly or low-cholesterol dinner recipes. Healthier recipes from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

Chicken Cutlets with Sun-Dried Tomato Cream Sauce

Rating: Unrated
22
Though a chicken cutlet may be a chicken breast cut in half, this recipe shows how to make chicken cutlets with double the deliciousness. A jar of sun-dried tomatoes does double duty for this healthy dinner recipe. The flavorful oil they're packed in is used to sauté the chicken, and the tomatoes go into the cream sauce.

One-Pot Garlicky Shrimp & Spinach

Rating: Unrated
5
Shrimp, spinach and garlic brown and cook quickly for a simple one-pot weeknight dinner. A fast pan sauce gets life from zesty lemon juice, warm crushed red pepper and herby parsley. Serve with a slice of whole-wheat baguette to swipe up every last drop of sauce.

Hearty Chickpea & Spinach Stew

Rating: Unrated
9
This satisfying stew comes together in a snap. Mashed chickpeas add body to the broth, and tomato paste adds a savory note without piling on the sodium. To simplify the prep, look for chopped fresh onion and shredded carrot or a soup starter mix in the produce section.

Chicken & Spinach Skillet Pasta with Lemon & Parmesan

Rating: Unrated
20
This one-pan pasta that combines lean chicken breast and sautéed spinach for a one-bowl meal is garlicky, lemony and best served with a little Parm on top. I call it "Mom's Skillet Pasta" and she called it "Devon's Favorite Pasta." Either way it's a quick and easy weeknight dinner we created together and scribbled on a little recipe card more than a decade ago, and it remains in my weekly dinner rotation to this day. It's a simple dinner the whole family will love.

Spinach & Artichoke Dip Pasta

Rating: Unrated
7
If you've ever wanted to make a meal out of warm spinach and artichoke dip, this creamy pasta is for you. And here's what's almost as good as the flavor of this comforting dish: the fact that this healthy dinner takes just 20 minutes to prepare.

Spaghetti with Quick Meat Sauce

Rating: Unrated
15
Instead of opening a jar of sauce, try this easy spaghetti with meat sauce on a weeknight. Serve with steamed broccoli and garlic bread. The recipe makes enough for 8 servings. If you're serving only four for dinner, cook 8 ounces of spaghetti and freeze the leftover sauce.

Creamy White Chili with Cream Cheese

Rating: Unrated
10
This rich and creamy chili comes together in a flash thanks to quick-cooking chicken thighs and canned white beans. Mashing some of the beans acts as a fast thickener when your soups don't have a long time to simmer. Cream cheese adds the final bit of richness and a hint of sweet tang.

Vegan Superfood Buddha Bowls

Rating: Unrated
3
This nutrient-packed vegan Buddha bowl recipe comes together in 15 minutes with the help of a few convenience-food shortcuts like prewashed baby kale, microwavable quinoa and precooked beets. Pack these ahead to keep on hand for easy meal-prep lunches or dinners on busy nights.

Flat-Belly Salad

Rating: Unrated
3
This salad is a helpful tool for weight loss because it provides a good balance of fiber, protein and healthy fats from loads of veggies and beans, all tossed in a tangy apple-cider vinaigrette. To meal-prep these for lunch throughout the week, pack the dressing and the salad separately and make sure your veggies are thoroughly dried before packing them together.

Cheesy Spinach-&-Artichoke Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Rating: Unrated
15
This spaghetti-squash-for-pasta swap slashes both carbs and calories by 75 percent for a delicious, creamy casserole you can feel good about eating. It's worth roasting the squash versus cooking it in the microwave if you have the time: the flavor gets sweeter and more intense.

Mediterranean Chickpea Quinoa Bowl

Rating: Unrated
10
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.

Baked Lemon-Pepper Chicken

Rating: Unrated
4
Looking for a quick, easy dinner? This baked lemon-pepper chicken recipe is it. Chicken breasts are cooked in a skillet, then finished in the oven with lemon slices that soften and become part of the sauce, with a touch of maple syrup and butter to carry the flavor. It's so simple and delicious, you'll be making this healthy dinner again and again.

Inspiration and Ideas

Easy 6-Ingredient Diabetes-Friendly Meals

For meals that are delicious, nutritious, and easy on the grocery list, turn to these diabetic dinner recipes. With just six ingredients or fewer, our low-carb recipes prove it’s possible to make a healthy meal from a picked-over pantry.

20-Minute Healthy Vegan Dinners

These 20-minute vegan dinners are perfect for weeknights. Whether you need some Meatless Monday inspiration, want to eat more plant based or just need quick dinner ideas, you've come to the right place. Get our healthy vegan recipes for tacos, curries, salads, jackfruit and more.

Garlic Shrimp with Cilantro Spaghetti Squash

Rating: Unrated
19

Garlicky shrimp are served on top of buttery, cilantro-flecked spaghetti squash in this quick, healthy dinner recipe inspired by shrimp scampi. Pair with a side of sautéed greens, such as kale, collards or spinach.