Healthy Make Ahead Dinner Recipes

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

Staff Picks

Vegan Superfood Grain Bowls

Rating: 4.5 stars 6
This nutrient-packed grain bowl recipe comes together in 15 minutes with the help of a few convenience-food shortcuts like prewashed baby kale, microwavable quinoa and precooked beets. Pack these ahead to keep on hand for easy meal-prep lunches or dinners on busy nights.
By Carolyn A. Hodges, R.D.

Weight-Loss Cabbage Soup

Rating: 4.5 stars 11
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.
By Carolyn Casner

Macaroni Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing

Rating: 5 stars 1
Give classic pasta salad a fresher, more flavorful spin. This fast pasta dish calls for avocado to replace some of the mayonnaise, which makes it extra creamy. Whole-wheat elbow macaroni and fresh vegetables lighten up this healthy pasta salad that you'll be making all summer long.
By Carolyn Casner

Mediterranean Chickpea Quinoa Bowl

Rating: 4.5 stars 14
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.
By Carolyn Casner

Green Goddess Salad with Chickpeas

Rating: 5 stars 2
In this cucumber, tomato, Swiss cheese and chickpea salad recipe, a healthy green goddess dressing is made from avocado, buttermilk and herbs. The extra dressing is delicious served with grilled vegetables.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Zucchini-Chickpea Veggie Burgers with Tahini-Ranch Sauce

Rating: 4 stars 9
This vegan burger recipe is one you'll want to make again and again. Savory chickpea and zucchini patties are topped with a creamy, herb-flecked tahini ranch sauce, juicy tomato slices and peppery arugula for a satisfying and healthy homemade veggie burger. Serve them on buns or stuff them in pitas. We recommend making extra sauce--it's a great dip for veggie sticks and, thinned with a little water, it makes a wonderful salad dressing.
By Jamie Vespa MS RD

Easy Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Rating: 4.5 stars 12
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.
By Katie Webster

Zucchini Enchiladas

Rating: 5 stars 4
Using thinly sliced zucchini in place of tortillas is a great way to cut back on carbs and still enjoy cheesy chicken enchiladas. If you like the heat, opt for a spicy enchilada sauce.
By Hilary Meyer

Hearty Chickpea & Spinach Stew

Rating: 4.5 stars 17
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.
By Patsy Jamieson

Pea Soup

Rating: 5 stars 14
A simple pea soup makes an elegant start to a spring meal. It's also a great way to use frozen vegetables when the produce section is looking bleak.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Quinoa Avocado Salad

Rating: 4.5 stars 3
Protein-packed quinoa pairs with creamy avocado in this refreshing grain salad. It's the perfect make-ahead side dish to bring on a picnic or take to a potluck. Or pack it for lunch or enjoy it as a light dinner.
By Hilary Meyer

Black Bean-Quinoa Bowl

Rating: 4 stars 11
This black bean and quinoa bowl has many of the usual hallmarks of a taco salad, minus the fried bowl. We've loaded it up with pico de gallo, fresh cilantro and avocado plus an easy hummus dressing to drizzle on top.
By Katie Webster
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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 Chicken & Chickpea Soup
Rating: 3.5 stars 25

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.