21 Spring Dinners for Weight Loss in 35 Minutes
Enjoy a seasonal and healthy meal with these dinner recipes. These dinners are packed with fresh produce and are also low in calories and high in fiber, a combination that can help if you’re looking to lose weight. Recipes like Polenta Pizza with Mushrooms & Arugula Salad and Spinach, Lima Bean & Crispy Pancetta Pasta are delicious and on the table in 35 minutes or less.
Spinach, Lima Bean & Crispy Pancetta Pasta
We opt for fresh spinach pasta here--it cooks quickly and adds a pop of color. Cooking lima beans in pancetta drippings infuses them with flavor.
Lemon-Tahini Couscous with Chicken & Vegetables
When you want pasta in no time, couscous is your best friend! The tiny pasta balls cook up in minutes, and absorb all the water so you don't have to fuss with draining. Tossed with sautéed vegetables plus leftover chicken, it's a fast and tasty meal in a bowl that's perfect as an easy dinner recipe.
Feta, Kale & Pear Salad
The crunchy seed topping is the perfect textural juxtaposition to a creamy dressing, soft pears and tender massaged kale salad. Tossing it all with mint, feta and red onion gives it a Middle Eastern flair.
Chicken & Spinach Soup with Fresh Pesto
This fragrant, Italian-flavored soup takes advantage of quick-cooking ingredients--boneless, skinless chicken breast, bagged baby spinach and canned beans. It features a simple homemade basil pesto swirled in at the end to add a fresh herb flavor. If you are very pressed for time, you can substitute 3 to 4 tablespoons of a store-bought basil pesto. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.
Polenta Pizza with Mushrooms & Arugula Salad
This healthy homemade pizza for two is small enough that it can be made in the toaster oven, if your toaster oven has a "broil" function.
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.
Honey-Mustard Chicken Tenders with Couscous & Carrots
Thanks to the quick-cooking power of chicken tenders, this honey-mustard chicken dinner comes together fast and easily for a family-friendly weeknight meal. The baby carrots are cooked in a simple orange juice and butter sauce which is lovely drizzled over the chicken and couscous.
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.
Spinach & Dill Pasta Salad
Edamame gives this veggie-packed vegan pasta salad a bit of feel-full protein. Serve topped with extra freshly ground pepper, if desired.
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.
Poke (pronounced poke-ay), a Hawaiian word meaning "to chop" or "to cut," refers to a traditional Hawaiian salad of diced raw fish in a simple, soy-based sauce with punchy seasonings like toasted sesame and chopped scallion greens. Serve with seasoned brown rice for a healthy, satisfying meal packed with veggies, protein and fiber.
Long-Life Noodles with Beef & Chinese Broccoli
Noodles are a key part of Chinese New Year celebrations because they symbolize long life. We love this recipe for the tradition because it's super-customizable based on your tastes. Try swapping in chicken for the steak. Can't find Chinese broccoli? Use broccolini instead. Or swap out the mushrooms and broccoli altogether for snow peas and carrots.
Blackened Tofu with Succotash
In this Southern-inspired healthy vegetarian recipe, the crispy, spice-infused tofu is served with an easy succotash of corn, lima beans and bell pepper. For an extra kick, serve with your favorite hot sauce.
Pressure-Cooker Mac & Cheese
Make a healthier version of classic macaroni and cheese with this recipe that adds broccoli for a nutritional boost and an easy way to eat more vegetables. Using an electric pressure cooker, such as the InstantPot, gets dinner on the table in just 30 minutes.
Strawberry & Bean Sprout Salad with Spiced Potatoes
This combo may seem wild, but trust us--it works. Indian-American chef and cookbook author Raghavan Iyer developed it to have everything he thinks a perfect recipe should: a balance of heat, sweetness, a little pucker and a hit of salt combined with a tango of textures.
Lemony Linguine with Spring Vegetables
Instead of cooking pasta in a huge pot of water, here we use just 3 1/2 cups for this one-pot pasta recipe. When the pasta is al dente, most of the water has evaporated and the bit that's left is thickened with the starch that cooks off the pasta. With just a few add-ins like lemon and Parmesan cheese you have a delicious silky sauce. Want to use up your veggie stash in the freezer? Swap in 8 ounces frozen spinach for fresh.
Not a fan of raw fish? No problem--this poke (pronounced poke-ay) recipe substitutes cooked peeled shrimp instead. This fast, veggie-loaded dish includes seasoned brown rice for a hearty boost of fiber.
Skillet-Roasted Strip Steaks with Pebre Sauce & Avocado
This recipe was inspired by the popular Chilean sandwich, called a churrasco, that features a thin sandwich steak, mashed avocado and a type of salsa called Pebre. We have substituted tender strip steak for sandwich steaks to make a satisfying steak dinner. If you have leftovers, layer the components in a mayonnaise-coated crusty roll and enjoy a churrasco sandwich the following day. Searing a steak on the stovetop and then finishing it in a moderate oven allows for good browning, and the gentle heat helps ensure a tender result.
Chicken & Kale Taco Salad with Jalapeño-Avocado Ranch
This healthy, super-fast salad recipe swaps out romaine for kale, giving you more than 10 times the vitamin C. Easy flavor hacks like store-bought ranch and pickled jalapeños help make a creamy, tangy and spicy dressing you'll want to drizzle on everything from salad to sliced veggies and shredded poached chicken.
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.
Leek & Lemon Linguine
This simple pasta recipe has bold lemony flavor. It's nice with a salad for a light supper or serve it along with seared fish, shrimp or chicken. Vary it as you please--add a bit of crumbled goat cheese, chopped rinsed capers, shelled edamame or thin strips of yellow bell pepper.