Everyone in the family will enjoy these delicious dinners that have the right balance of carbs, protein and fiber to help keep blood sugar levels stable.
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Cheesy Sweet Potato & Black Bean Casserole
Credit: Ali Redmond

Managing diabetes and feeding the family is made easy with this seven-day diabetes-friendly dinner plan that will have everyone excited to gather around the table. These dinners meet our diabetes-friendly guidelines, meaning they all have a good balance of complex carbohydrates, lean proteins and heart-healthy fats. Each contains about 2 to 3 carb servings (roughly 30 to 45 grams of carbohydrates) per individual serving, while also keeping sodium and saturated fat in check. The best part? These healthy dinners are anything but boring and don't skimp on the flavor. With family-friendly favorites like pasta, fajitas and a cheesy casserole, you'll be convinced there's no need to sacrifice delicious food when it comes to caring for your health.

This is a realistic dinner plan that's ideal for any night of the week, especially busy weeknights. Most of these dinners are on the table in about 30 minutes and require minimal dishes so you can spend more time with the family and less time in the kitchen prepping or scrubbing pans. Depending on your individual nutrition and carbohydrate needs, you can adjust the portion sizes, or consider adding additional diabetes-friendly side dishes.

One-Pot Orecchiette with Sausage & Peas
Credit: Photographer / Brie Passano, Food Stylist / Annie Probst

Day 1: Creamy One-Pot Orecchiette with Sausage & Peas

It's hard not to love a one-pot pasta. Cooking whole-wheat orecchiette in just the right amount of water creates a silky base for the sauce and eliminates the need to boil a separate pot of water. Choose a mild Italian sausage to keep this quick pasta kid-friendly. Round out the meal with Basic Green Salad with Vinaigrette.

Total carbohydrates: 54 grams, or about 3½ carb servings

Sheet-Pan Shrimp Fajitas
Credit: Photographer / Brie Passano, Food Stylist / Annie Probst, Prop Stylist / Holly Raibikis

Day 2: Sheet-Pan Shrimp Fajitas

Roasting the peppers, onions and shrimp on a sheet pan simplifies prep and makes cleanup a breeze. Give the vegetables a head start in the oven, then add the quick-cooking shrimp in the last 5 minutes of cooking. Serve them in warmed corn tortillas topped with fresh lime juice, sour cream, avocado and pico de gallo.

Total carbohydrates: 33 grams, or about 2 carb servings

Garlic green beans and crispy ground beef
Credit: Jacob Fox

Day 3: Garlic Green Beans with Crispy Ground Beef

Stir-frying lean ground beef in a hot wok or skillet makes it deliciously crispy. Be sure to let the green beans char slightly to add another layer of flavor in this quick 25-minute dish. To cut down on prep time, look for washed and trimmed green beans in your grocer's produce section. Serve with ½ cup Easy Brown Rice per serving.

Total carbohydrates: 40 grams, or about 2½ carb servings

Cheesy Sweet Potato & Black Bean Casserole
Credit: Ali Redmond

Day 4: Cheesy Sweet Potato & Black Bean Casserole

No one will miss the meat in this vegetarian casserole packed with plant-based protein and fiber. Canned black beans, sweet potatoes, spices and Cheddar cheese are baked together in a dish that checks all the comfort-food boxes. Serve it alongside a Basic Green Salad with Vinaigrette to bulk up the meal and add an additional serving of vegetables.

Total carbohydrates: 40 grams, or about 2½ carb servings

salmon power bowl
Credit: Crystal Hughes

Day 5: Salmon Power Bowl

Farro, an ancient whole grain, serves as the high-fiber base in these colorful, crunchy and super-satisfying bowls. In the 20 minutes it takes to cook the farro, you can prepare the salmon, herby vinaigrette and quick slaw that go with it. Serve the prepared ingredients family-style, then let everyone build their own bowl.

Total carbohydrates: 42 grams, or about 3 carb servings

One-Pot Arroz con Pollo
Credit: Ali Redmond

Day 6: One-Pot Arroz con Pollo

Inspired by the classic Puerto Rican arroz con pollo, this one-pot version minimizes the need for extra dishes without sacrificing incredible flavor. This dish requires about 25 minutes of hands-on prep time and finishes cooking on the stovetop, freeing up time to spend with family. To cut back on saturated fat, be sure to use skinless bone-in chicken drumsticks and thighs.

Total carbohydrates: 56 grams, or about 3½ carb servings

Smoky Bacon & Lentil Soup
Credit: Jacob Fox

Day 7: Smoky Bacon & Lentil Soup

Lentils are tasty little legumes that are high in both fiber and protein, so eating them can help to keep blood sugar stable. Unlike dried beans, dried lentils cook to tender in under half an hour and are ideal for quick soups. Use a combination of red, green and black lentils, or stick with one variety and adjust cook times as necessary. Enjoy the leftovers for lunch later in the week.

Total carbohydrates: 39 grams, or about 2½ carb servings