Healthy Make Ahead Dinner Recipes

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

Staff Picks

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.

 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.

Shrimp Cauliflower Fried Rice

Rating: Unrated
2
Cut down on carbs and amp up your veggie servings with this healthy cauliflower fried rice with shrimp, broccoli, bell peppers and garlic. Everything is cooked in one wok or skillet, but in stages, so each element keeps its integrity in the finished dish instead of being all mushed together--it may seem fussy, but it's worth it and actually quite easy. Resist the urge to stir the cauliflower rice right away; letting it cook undisturbed for a few minutes allows it to brown and develop sweet, nutty flavors. This better-than-takeout healthy dinner comes together in just 25 minutes, so it's perfect for busy weeknights.

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.

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.

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.

Baked Penne Florentine

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

Roasted Root Veggies & Greens over Spiced Lentils

Rating: Unrated
2
This earthy bowl of lentils bursting with Middle Eastern flavors is topped with leftover roasted root veggies from a large batch for an easy weeknight dinner. Keep it vegan or add a drizzle of plain yogurt for extra richness.

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.

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.

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.

Roasted Cauliflower & Potato Curry Soup

Rating: Unrated
38

In this healthy cauliflower soup recipe, roasting the cauliflower first adds depth and prevents the florets from turning to mush. A little tomato sauce and coconut milk give the broth a rich, silky texture. Serve with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt, if desired.