27 High-Calcium Dinners That Support Healthy Aging
As you get older, calcium is an important nutrient to incorporate into your diet, especially for women. Calcium can help build bone density, which lowers the risk of osteoporosis, fractures or injury. Recipes like Spanakopita Stuffed Peppers and Chicken & Broccoli Casserole are flavorful, healthy and have at least 20% of the recommended daily value of calcium.
Sweet Potato-Black Bean Burgers
These vegan sweet potato-black bean burgers spiced with curry powder are easy to make. Blending the mixture with your hands gives you a soft, uniform texture then the outside gets crispy by cooking in a cast-iron pan. To make this recipe gluten-free too, use gluten-free oats and serve the patty in a lettuce wrap, omitting the bun.
EatingWell's Eggplant Parmesan
Here we bake breaded eggplant for crispy results with fewer calories to boot. This makeover of the classic recipe was originally developed by our Test Kitchen in 1995 and got an update in 2020 for our 30th anniversary issue.
Italian Wedding Soup
This Italian Wedding Soup recipe is Italian comfort food at its best, and this easy soup recipe lends itself to countless variations. Substitute spinach, chicory, chard or any other leafy green for the escarole or kale, and any leftover cooked (or canned) beans for the white beans in this healthy Italian wedding soup recipe.
Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers
Mounding a classic Philly cheesesteak mixture in a colorful bell pepper and melting cheese on top is an easy way to skip the bread and cut the carbs.
Chicken & Broccoli Casserole
This one-pan chicken-and-broccoli recipe comes out of the oven all browned, cheesy and bubbling like a casserole, but is really prepared more like a skillet meal on the stovetop. Serve with a crunchy green salad.
Spinach & Artichoke Dip Pasta
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.
Air-Fryer Salmon Cakes
These air-fried salmon patties are reminiscent of classic salmon croquettes, crispy on the outside and pillowy tender on the inside. Look for canned or jarred salmon that has less than 50 milligrams of sodium per serving, and don't be afraid of varieties that have bones. They're easy to remove.
One-Pan Chicken Parmesan Pasta
This chicken Parmesan pasta uses the one-pot pasta method to cook your noodles, chicken and sauce all in one skillet for a fast and easy dinner with minimal cleanup. Finish the dish under the broiler to achieve a delicious melted cheese crust.
Spanakopita Stuffed Peppers
These stuffed bell peppers have a filling inspired by the Greek spinach pie, spanakopita, but you don't have to worry about working with phyllo, so they're great for an easy vegetarian dinner.
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.
This classic French stew recipe is typically made with a variety of meats and simmered over the course of multiple days. In this easy, streamlined cassoulet, the slow cooker makes it a breeze to have a healthy dinner on the table when you get home.
Superfood Chopped Salad with Salmon & Creamy Garlic Dressing
Curly kale forms the base of this salad, but you could use chard or spinach. To the greens, add a multitude of chopped veggies, such as broccoli, cabbage and carrots. Finish with rich salmon for protein and a drizzle of creamy yogurt dressing to bring it all together.
Eggplant Lasagna Rolls
Vegetarians and meat-eaters alike will devour these comforting lasagna rolls. We use thinly sliced eggplant in place of pasta to cut the carbs. Preroasting the eggplant helps develop the flavor and softens the slices for easy rolling.
Shrimp and grits are stuffed inside bell peppers and baked in this healthy stuffed peppers recipe. Add the optional hot sauce if you want to give the filling some kick. Look for bell peppers--use any color--with even bottoms, so that they stand upright on their own when they're cooked.
Adobo Chicken & Kale Enchiladas
Put out your favorite toppings for these quick and healthy layered enchiladas. We like cilantro, sour cream, guacamole and jalapeños.
Greek Turkey Burgers with Spinach, Feta & Tzatziki
Creamy tzatziki and crisp sliced cucumber add a refreshing twist to this easy Greek-inspired burger recipe loaded with feta, spinach and Mediterranean spices. No tzatziki? No problem! Make your own at home by combining plain Greek yogurt with a squeeze of lemon, dill and finely chopped cucumber.
Tofu & Vegetable Curry with Zucchini Noodles
For this quick Thai-inspired curry recipe, we've combined tofu and plenty of veggies with a flavorful sauce made with red curry paste, lime juice and coconut milk. Serve the curry over lightly warmed zucchini noodles to get even more veggies in your weeknight dinner. Bonus: Everything is cooked in one skillet, so there's only one pan to wash after dinner.
Creamy Mushroom, Chicken & Asparagus Bake
This comforting weeknight casserole recipe features plenty of mushrooms and asparagus combined with chicken and brown rice and a creamy Parmesan cheese sauce. Whip this up anytime you have leftover chicken or cooked brown rice to spare.
Root Vegetable Stew with Herbed Dumplings
This root vegetable stew is flecked with sausage and topped with whole-wheat herbed dumplings. Turn up the heat by using hot Italian sausage or make it crowd-pleasing with sweet sausage. If you find beets or turnips with their greens still attached, the greens of one bunch should yield just enough for this dish. Otherwise use whatever dark leafy greens look fresh at the market.
Creamy Lemon Pasta with Shrimp
Yogurt makes a fine substitute for cream in the sauce for this easy pasta recipe. Just warm the yogurt (do not boil) and add some pasta-cooking water to thin it out. Lemon and fresh basil brighten up the whole-wheat pasta and complement the shrimp in this quick dinner recipe.
Here's a burrito inspired by San Francisco's super burritos that come packed with meat, beans, rice, cheese, guacamole and salsa. We've kept this home-style version a bit simpler to make and a whole lot healthier with brown rice, whole-wheat tortillas and a more reasonable serving size. We recommend wrapping it in foil--the traditional way to serve it--so you can pick the burrito up and eat it without it falling apart, peeling back the foil as you go. Serve with a cold beer and vinegar-dressed slaw.
Baked Cod Casserole
Dry white wine and Gruyère cheese give this fish casserole a rich flavor that hides its virtue. Before baking, we top the dish with seasoned whole-wheat breadcrumbs, which add a wholesome, nutty flavor and dietary fiber. For variety, you can substitute almost any mild white fish.
Chicken Enchilada-Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
This healthy 5-ingredient spaghetti squash recipe is a satisfying low-carb alternative to taco night. If you have leftover cooked chicken on hand, skip Step 2 and stir 2 1/2 cups into the filling. Look for an enchilada sauce with less than 300 mg of sodium per serving, such as Hatch brand.
Vegetarian Tikka Masala
In this vegetarian tikka masala recipe, we combine crisp tofu pieces and vegetables in a spiced tomato sauce to make a healthy and flavorful dish. If you like spicy food, increase the amount of crushed red pepper. Serve with steamed brown rice for a healthier take on a classic takeout dish.
Mexican Skillet Lasagna
This easy Mexican-inspired lasagna recipe replaces the noodles with tortilla strips that become like tender ribbons in the cayenne- and cumin-spiked tomato sauce. Topped with Cheddar and cream cheese, the lasagna is just as soulful as its Italian cousin and can be made on a busy weeknight in about 30 minutes using a single skillet. Excerpted from The Dinner Plan by Kathy Brennan and Caroline Campion, published by ABRAMS © 2017.
Garlic, Sausage & Kale Naan Pizzas
We love sausage, but it can be high in sodium. In this fast, healthy dinner, we make our own turkey sausage with crushed red pepper, garlic, fennel seeds, paprika and just a touch of salt.
Polenta Bowls with Roasted Vegetables & Fried Eggs
You really can't beat creamy polenta with a fried egg on top--unless you add some roasted veggies, as we've done in this hearty and healthy meal in a bowl. Serve these bowls for a satisfying brunch, lunch or dinner that comes together in just 30 minutes. Feel free to swap (or add) in other veggies, such as broccoli, to customize your bowls according to what's in season or what you have on hand.