21 Dinners to Help You Lose Weight in 2021
If you’re looking to slim down in the new year, these dinner recipes for weight loss are the perfect choice. Not only are these dinners packed with nutritious vegetables and protein, but they’re also low in calories and high in fiber, which is important for maintaining a healthier weight over time. Recipes like Delicata Squash & Tofu Curry and Cheesy Chipotle-Cauliflower Mac are healthy and flavorful.
Quick Shrimp Puttanesca
Because refrigerated fresh pasta cooks much faster than dried pasta, this Italian pasta dish will be on the table lickety-split! Puttanesca, traditionally made with tomatoes, olives, capers, anchovies and garlic, gets a makeover with shrimp for extra protein and artichoke hearts to boost the vegetable servings (and the fiber!). If you can't find frozen artichoke hearts, sub in drained canned artichoke hearts.
Cheesy Chipotle-Cauliflower Mac
You'll barely notice the cauliflower in this comforting skillet pasta--it's pureed and mixed into the creamy cheese 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.
Slab Chicken Potpie
Slab fruit pies are all the rage for summer parties, so why not give classic chicken potpie the same treatment and create buzz at a cool-weather gathering as well. Premade pie crusts and frozen veggies make this chicken dinner easy to prepare without sacrificing flavor.
Escarole, Cannellini Bean & Sausage Soup
This soup would be equally satisfying if you took it in a vegetarian direction and skipped the sausage and used no-chicken broth.
Spaghetti with Quick Meat Sauce
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.
Cheesy Spinach-&-Artichoke Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
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.
Cornbread-Topped Chili Casserole
In this healthy casserole recipe--sometimes called tamale pie--the cornbread gets crusty at the edges, thanks to a cast-iron skillet. For the best texture, use yellow cornmeal with a medium grind. Serve with lime wedges for a little extra tang.
Delicata Squash & Tofu Curry
This easy tofu curry, made with pretty delicata squash and hearty greens, cooks up in one skillet. To speed up the prep, use bagged chopped kale. Delicata squash's thin skin is tender when it's cooked, so there's no need to peel--another time saver. Serve with quinoa or brown rice.
Sausage & Peppers Baked Ziti
This healthy baked ziti recipe doesn't require any chopping and is made on the stovetop, so it is perfect for a busy weeknight dinner. Using whole-wheat pasta adds fiber; opt for penne if whole-wheat ziti is hard to find.
Vegetarian Stuffed Cabbage
Though traditional stuffed cabbage recipes are made with meat, here Savoy cabbage leaves are stuffed with a combination of rice, mushrooms, onions, garlic and herbs for a healthy vegetarian stuffed cabbage recipe. The stuffed cabbage leaves gently bake in a simple tomato sauce. This easy stuffed cabbage recipe can be made ahead of time and baked just before serving.
Chicken & Sun-Dried Tomato Orzo
Sun-dried tomatoes and Romano cheese pack a flavorful punch along with the tantalizing aroma of fresh marjoram in this rustic Italian-inspired dish. Serve with sautéed fresh spinach or steamed broccolini.
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.
Irish Pork Roast with Roasted Root Vegetables
In this easy one-pan dinner, boneless pork loin roast is cooked over a bed of carrots and parsnips for an all-in-one dish that makes an impressive centerpiece for a holiday meal or Sunday dinner. Choose free-range heritage pork if you can--its flavor really shines with no more seasoning than a bit of thyme and a little sea salt. If you'd like, dress up the meal with a traditional Irish apple condiment--Ploughmans chutney or Bramley applesauce, which you can find in specialty stores and online.
Quick Lentil Salmon Salad
In this budget-friendly salmon recipe, canned salmon tops lentils, carrots and celery--ingredients you probably have on hand already. Fiber-rich lentils come in a variety of colors and they typically cook faster than dried beans, so they're a great choice for a fast weeknight dinner.
Curried Chicken with Naan
Chicken thighs with spicy rub are slow cooked with onions and carrots until tender. The chicken is chopped up and served on warm naan with mango-ginger chutney and spinach.
Turkey Enchilada Poblano Peppers
In this healthy take on a turkey enchilada recipe, we stuff everything into a roasted poblano pepper shell rather than tortillas to pack an extra serving of veggies into this meal. If you can't find poblano peppers, you can substitute green bell peppers instead.
Roasted Root Vegetables with Goat Cheese Polenta
This is true healthy comfort food--a bowl of soft, creamy polenta topped with warm roasted vegetables infused with garlic and sage.
Edamame Lettuce Wrap Burgers with Peanut Sauce
Edamame make these homemade veggie burgers mean, green protein machines. Peanut sauce, curry paste and quick-pickled carrots give them Thai-inspired flair.
Beer-Battered Fish Tacos with Tomato & Avocado Salsa
Lovers of fried fish get the taste without all the calories, and the salsa adds a fresh, clean note. To complete the Baja theme, serve with black beans, some diced mango and a bit of light sour cream.
Turkish Beef Patties with Eggplant, Pepper & Tomato
In this healthy ground beef recipe, ground beef patties seasoned with Turkish spices are cooked with eggplant, pepper, tomatoes and herbs to create a delectable stew. Serve the beef patties and vegetables over bulgur or brown rice to soak up all of the sauce.