Healthy Make Ahead Dinner Recipes

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

Staff Picks

Mediterranean Chickpea Quinoa Bowl

Rating: 4.64 stars
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: 5 stars
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.

Cauliflower Rice-Stuffed Peppers

Rating: 5 stars
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.

Grilled Fish Tacos

Rating: 4.79 stars
11
Instead of deep-frying the fish for these fish tacos, we coat the fish with a flavor-packed chile rub and grill it instead. Make sure the fillets are no more than 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick so they cook quickly. Sometimes flipping fish on the grill can be tricky since the fish can stick to the grill or fall apart. The solution is to invest in a grill basket that easily holds 4 to 6 fish fillets and secures the fish in the basket for easy flipping. If you don't have a grilling basket, make sure the grill is hot and well oiled before adding the fish.

Vegan Superfood Buddha Bowls

Rating: 4.8 stars
3
This nutrient-packed vegan Buddha 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.

Flat-Belly Salad

Rating: 4.75 stars
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.

Easy Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Rating: 4.29 stars
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.

Carrot Soup

Rating: 4.72 stars
24
This easy carrot soup recipe is a great way to use up a bag of carrots that were forgotten in your produce drawer. The carrots cook together with aromatics like onions, garlic and fresh herbs before being puréed into a silky smooth soup that's delicious for dinner or packed up for lunch.

Middle Eastern Chicken & Chickpea Stew

Rating: 4.08 stars
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.

Kale & White Bean Potpie with Chive Biscuits

Rating: 4.67 stars
3
In this vegetarian white bean potpie recipe, kale and hearty white beans are topped with easy, homemade chive biscuits. If desired, add a little shredded Gruyère or Cheddar cheese to the biscuit dough.

Baked Penne Florentine

Rating: 2.33 stars
2
This comforting and flavorful vegetarian dish is packed with protein.

Roasted Cauliflower & Potato Curry Soup

Rating: 4.8 stars
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.
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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.

Zucchini Lasagna Rolls with Smoked Mozzarella

Rating: 5 stars
3

This healthy riff on lasagna rolls uses strips of zucchini instead of lasagna noodles for a vegetable-packed dinner that's fun for the whole family. This is a great recipe for kids to help make--let them get their hands dirty rolling the zucchini ribbons with the cheesy filling. Use a vegetable peeler or mandoline to quickly slice the zucchini into uniform thin strips--this will ensure easy rolling and even cooking.