24 Diabetes-Friendly Dinner Recipes for Beginners
It’s easy and delicious to follow a diabetes-friendly eating pattern with these healthy dinner recipes. Each of these dinners are low in sodium, saturated fat and calories while also being mindful of your carbohydrate intake. Recipes like Baked Beans with Ground Beef and One-Pot Garlicky Shrimp & Spinach are delicious, ready in 30 minutes or less and can help you achieve your nutrition goals.
Stuffed Potatoes with Salsa & Beans
Taco night meets baked potato night with this simple recipe for loaded baked potatoes with salsa, beans and avocado. This easy, healthy family dinner comes together with just 10 minutes of active time, so you can make it on even the busiest of weeknights. This recipe is just as delicious with sweet potatoes in place of russets.
Charred Shrimp & Pesto Buddha Bowls
These shrimp and pesto Buddha bowls are delicious, healthy, pretty and take less than 30 minutes to prep. In other words, they're basically the ultimate easy weeknight dinner. Feel free to add additional vegetables and swap the shrimp for chicken, steak, tofu or edamame.
Sheet-Pan Chili-Lime Salmon with Potatoes & Peppers
Busy weeknights beg for something simple like this salmon sheet-pan dinner. Like the name suggests, it's all cooked on one pan. The potatoes get a head start, followed by sweet bell peppers and finally chili-coated salmon fillets. It's a complete meal with easy cleanup!
One-Pot Garlicky Shrimp & Spinach
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
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.
Creamy Fettuccine with Brussels Sprouts & Mushrooms
Sliced Brussels sprouts and mushrooms cook quickly and cling to the pasta in our fall version of pasta primavera. Look for presliced mushrooms to cut prep time. Serve with a tossed salad.
Baked Beans with Ground Beef
Upgrade baked beans from classic side dish to a meaty main meal by adding lean ground beef. The final result, a superfast hearty casserole, is an easy and fast dinner option. Ground turkey or even sausage would work nicely in this dish. Just watch the sodium.
Cajun Salmon with Greek Yogurt Remoulade
Paprika and garlic powder make a quick Cajun-inspired seasoning that flavors salmon fillets in this easy dinner recipe. Traditionally, remoulade sauce is prepared with mayonnaise; here, we substitute nonfat Greek yogurt for a lighter version.
Easy Pea & Spinach Carbonara
Fresh pasta cooks up faster than dried, making it a must-have for fast weeknight dinners like this luscious yet healthy meal. Eggs are the base of the creamy sauce. They don't get fully cooked, so use pasteurized-in-the-shell eggs if you prefer.
Shrimp scampi is a favorite dish at many Italian restaurants but our version takes just 20 minutes to prepare, so it's perfect for a weeknight dinner at home. Large shrimp are cooked with garlic and then served over linguine pasta with a buttery-wine sauce--it's so good your family may think you ordered takeout!
Pork Tenderloin with Apple-Onion Chutney
If you'd like the chutney in this pork tenderloin recipe to be both sweet and tart, opt for sweet apples like red or golden delicious and sweet onion.
Baked Fish Tacos with Avocado
Instead of deep-frying, the fish fillets in this quick-and-easy 5-ingredient recipe are coated with a flavorful seasoning blend and baked. Several varieties of flaky white fish can be used for these tacos. When you go to the market to purchase fish, the best strategy is to be flexible and choose the variety that looks freshest that day.
Vegan Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Bowl with Creamy Green Sauce
In a vegan riff on green goddess dressing, cashews provide a creamy base with tons of flavor from herbs and apple-cider vinegar. Drizzle it all over this bowl of quinoa and roasted vegetables to make a satisfying vegan dinner or easy packable lunch that is ready in just 30 minutes.
Beef & Bean Sloppy Joes
This healthy copycat recipe of the comfort food classic trades beans for some of the meat to bump up fiber by 7 grams. We also cut back on the sugar and ketchup in this Sloppy Joe recipe makeover to save you 12 grams of added sugar.
Peppery Barbecue-Glazed Shrimp with Vegetables & Orzo
In this healthy BBQ shrimp recipe, shrimp are seasoned with a peppery spice blend and served with zucchini, peppers and whole-grain orzo for a delicious and easy dinner that's ready in just 30 minutes. The shrimp and veggies are cooked in the same skillet, so cleanup is a snap too.
Farfalle with Tuna, Lemon, and Fennel
This warm, flaked tuna and lemon pasta recipe is ready in 30 minutes.
Open-Face Philly-Style Chicken Sandwiches
Next time you're in Philadelphia, don't miss out on sampling the city's famous cheesesteak sandwiches, but in the meantime, satisfy yourself at home with this makeover chicken version. Open-faced on whole-grain bread, loaded with sautéed peppers and onions, and topped with melty Provolone cheese, this 30-minute broiled sandwich is easy and delicious!
Tofu & Snow Pea Stir-Fry with Peanut Sauce
A fast dinner recipe perfect for busy weeknights, this easy stir-fry recipe will quickly become a favorite. To save time, use precooked rice or cook rice a day ahead.
Pan-Seared Steak with Crispy Herbs & Escarole
This easy dinner takes just 20 minutes to prepare, meaning that seared steak can be a weeknight meal. Cooking herbs in the pan with the steak releases their aroma, infusing it into the meat while creating a crispy garnish. After the steaks and herbs are pan-seared, the escarole is cooked in the same skillet, so this healthy dinner requires minimal cleanup too.
Shrimp and Scallop Vegetable Stir-Fry
This seafood stir-fry is bursting with flavor and it's ready in 30 minutes!
Mushroom-Swiss Turkey Burgers
In this gluten-free turkey burger recipe, lean ground turkey stands in for ground beef, and portobello mushrooms produce a juicy, flavorful alternative to the traditional bun. Melted Swiss cheese, sliced tomato and arugula top off this delicious low-carb dinner!
Easy Cauliflower Fried Rice
This vegetarian faux fried rice uses riced cauliflower in place of white or brown rice to pack in extra veggies and cut down on carbs. Chile-garlic sauce pumps up the heat, and fresh ginger adds a bright, warm bite. If you don't like the heat of the chile-garlic sauce, leave it out and add a bit more tamari or soy sauce for a rich, fermented tang.
Chicken & Veggie Fajitas
Time to clean out the fridge? These versatile skillet chicken fajitas are designed to work with whatever vegetables you happen to have on hand. The key is to slice all the veggies to approximately the same size so they cook evenly.
Penne with Roasted Chicken & Radicchio
Radicchio is a brawlingly bitter green that becomes impossibly meek and mild when simmered. Paired with some cheese and the meat from a rotisserie chicken, it cooks up quickly into a memorable pasta dish.