Healthy Make Ahead Dinner Recipes

Find healthy, delicious make ahead dinner recipes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

 Spicy Weight-Loss Cabbage Soup

Rating: Unrated
25
Based on a popular weight-loss plan, this healthy cabbage soup recipe gets tons of flavor and a metabolism-boosting kick from spicy chiles.

Mediterranean Chickpea Quinoa Bowl

Rating: Unrated
10
Quinoa and chickpeas pack this vegetarian grain bowl with plenty of plant-based protein. Whip up a batch of these Mediterranean meals and pack in containers with lids to stash in the fridge for easy, healthy grab & go lunches all week long.

Cabbage Diet Soup

Rating: Unrated
4
Loaded with cabbage, carrots, bell pepper, tomato and plenty of seasoning, this healthy vegetable soup packs in lots of flavor and is ultra-satisfying. This easy recipe makes a big batch for lunches or veggie-packed snacks all week. If you want to bump up the satisfaction factor even more, top with a little cheese or avocado.

Middle Eastern Chicken & Chickpea Stew

Rating: Unrated
21
This quick, protein-rich chicken stew recipe gets great flavor from cumin, lemon juice and garlic. Make a double batch and freeze it for a quick healthy dinner. Serve the stew with couscous and steamed broccoli.

Cauliflower Rice-Stuffed Peppers

Rating: Unrated
6
Slash the calories and carbs of traditional stuffed peppers by swapping white rice for cauliflower "rice." The riced cauliflower is hearty and won't turn to mush during baking. Use an assortment of red, yellow, orange and green peppers to make an appealing presentation.

Slow-Cooker Mediterranean Chicken & Chickpea Soup

Rating: Unrated
13
This set-it-and-forget-it slow-cooker recipe simmers away all day so you come home to a warm and healthy dinner the whole family will love. Using bone-in chicken is the key to making rich soup without adding broth.

Flat-Belly Salad

Rating: Unrated
3
This salad is a helpful tool for weight loss because it provides a good balance of fiber, protein and healthy fats from loads of veggies and beans, all tossed in a tangy apple-cider vinaigrette. To meal-prep these for lunch throughout the week, pack the dressing and the salad separately and make sure your veggies are thoroughly dried before packing them together.

Baked Penne Florentine

Rating: Unrated
2
This comforting and flavorful vegetarian dish is packed with protein.

Slow-Cooker Turkey Chili with Butternut Squash

Rating: Unrated
1
The sweetness of the butternut squash tames the kick from cayenne in this healthy turkey chili, making this easy crock pot chili just right for kids and adults alike, whether for weeknight dinners or tailgating parties. For those who prefer a spicier chili, just pass hot sauce at the table. This chili also freezes well, so save leftovers for hearty and healthy dinners and lunches for weeks to come.

Slow-Cooker Braised Beef with Carrots & Turnips

Rating: Unrated
6
The spice blend in this healthy beef stew recipe--cinnamon, allspice and cloves--may conjure images of apple pie, but the combo is a great fit in savory applications too. Serve over creamy polenta or buttered whole-wheat egg noodles.

Easy Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Rating: Unrated
5
Casseroles make perfect meal-prep dinners--this enchilada version is so easy to prep ahead. The whole casserole can be built and left to hang out in the refrigerator for up to three days. Then all you have to do is bake it off on a busy night and you have a healthy dinner on the table in a jiff. The quick homemade enchilada sauce in this recipe is great when you don't have any of the canned sauce on hand--just season crushed tomatoes with spices and salt for an instant enchilada sauce.

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili

Rating: Unrated
64
Make a double batch of this quick vegetarian chili, full of black beans and sweet potatoes, and eat it for lunch the next day or freeze the extras for another night. We love the smoky heat from the ground chipotle, but omit it if you prefer a mild chili. Serve with tortilla chips or cornbread and coleslaw.

Inspiration and Ideas

Make-Ahead Mediterranean Bowls

Make this chicken and quinoal recipe on the weekend and pack it into individual serving containers for easy dinners or packable lunches all week.

Make & Take Steak Burritos

Prep a big batch of these better-than-takeout healthy steak burritos to have on hand for packable lunches or easy dinners all week long.

Slow-Cooker Vegetable Soup

Rating: Unrated
13

Make a big batch of low-calorie veggie-packed soup with ease in this load-and-go crock pot recipe. After simmering away in the slow cooker, portion it into individual serving containers and store in the fridge or freezer for fast, healthy lunches or an easy, satisfying snack. This weight-loss vegetable soup fills you up without a lot of calories, plus it's an easy way to eat more vegetables.