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Last Updated on August 15, 2022

What Should I Eat For Dinner? 19 Quick and Healthy Dinner Recipes

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What Should I Eat For Dinner? 19 Quick and Healthy Dinner Recipes

If you find yourself busy at the office, the last thing you might want to think about is what you should eat for dinner.

You head home with a tired body, exhausted brain, and a hungry stomach. Some nights you would go straight to your favorite fast food joint and get what seems to be your perpetual go-to meal. It’s understandable, but you are still left with one big decision: what should I eat tonight?

It’s a simple question, but time and time again, many adults will default to their favourite fast-food restaurant or order something quick. But the question now becomes, is what you are putting in your body helping you out?

You don’t need to force yourself to eat food that only does your body more harm than good due to its convenience. It only takes a few minutes to know what to eat for dinner and whip up something that will not only satisfy your palate but will also boost your energy for the next day.

Here are some suggestions.

What Should I Eat Tonight? 19 Quick and Healthy Dinner Recipes

Here are 19 quick and healthy dinner recipes you can enjoy without breaking a sweat.

1. Easy, Healthy Meat Sauce

What Should I Eat For Dinner? 19 Quick and Healthy Dinner Recipes

    When you get both nutrition and gastronomic indulgence, you know it’s something you need to try. This easy marinara recipe uses fresh vegetables, ground sirloin, and jarred marinara sauce–no need to do the sauce from scratch! If you’re preparing a week-long meal plan, this recipe is recommended as it has a shelf life of five days and can be kept in mason jars.

    • Total prep and cook time: 30-35 minutes
    • Health factor: Ground sirloin is the leanest cut of meat–that’s fatless protein for you!

    Check out the recipe here 

    2. White Bean and Tuna Quesadillas with Cherry Tomato Pico

    What Should I Eat For Dinner? 19 Quick and Healthy Dinner Recipes

      White beans have a mellow, blunt taste to them, which means you can mix them in whatever sauce or broth you have. This tuna quesadilla recipe takes its taste from fresh cherry tomato pico, making it a savory meal you can have any time of the day.

      • Total prep and cook time: 25 minutes
      • Health factor: Beans are among the top quick dinner recipes that score low on the glycemic index. This helps reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes.

      Check out the recipe here 

      3. Green Salad With Lemon Dressing

      What Should I Eat For Dinner? 19 Quick and Healthy Dinner Recipes

        Good healthy dinners don’t need to be extravagant to be enjoyable. In the case of this dish, the lemon’s tangy taste cuts through the fresh, earthy texture of vegetables, ultimately providing you with a satisfying multi-sensory experience.

        There are many other benefits to lemon, such as helping improve brain functions, boost the immune system, and help your body’s internal pH.

        • Total prep and cook time: 20 minutes
        • Health factor: Keeping a high-fiber diet can help lower cholesterol levels and improve digestion.

        Check out the recipe here 

        4. Smoky Citrus Shrimp With Parsley

        What Should I Eat For Dinner? 19 Quick and Healthy Dinner Recipes

          This easy-to-prepare meal comes with oodles of flavors that burst in your mouth, sending you straight to a unique and satisfying gastronomic adventure.

          • Total prep and cook time: 40 minutes
          • Health factor: Shrimps are known to be low in calories and high in protein.

          Check out the recipe here 

          5. Salmon Avocado Poke Bowls

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          What Should I Eat For Dinner? 19 Quick and Healthy Dinner Recipes

            This simple Hawaiian dish offers a nice balance between the melt-in-your-mouth goodness of fresh salmon and the creamy, smooth taste of avocado. Add to this the filling quality of rice, and you’ll surely have some great dinner ideas for tonight.

            • Total prep and cook time: 20 minutes
            • Health factor: Avocados are very nutritious and contain a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats.

            Check out the recipe here 

            6. Sheet Pan Teriyaki Chicken and Roast Broccoli

            What Should I Eat For Dinner? 19 Quick and Healthy Dinner Recipes

              A healthy and deliciously satisfying meal in a single sheet pan. This improved and simplified version of everyone’s favorite chicken recipe cuts down on prep and cook time while keeping the good healthy dinners you love. Leftovers also make for a tasty and filling lunch the next day.

              • Total prep and cook time: 40 minutes
              • Health factor: Did you know that chicken meat is a natural antidepressant? Keep your happy hormones afloat even after a challenging day at the office with this easy-to-prepare meal that’s both hearty and healthy.

              Check out the recipe here

              7. Green Eggs and Ham Frittata

              What Should I Eat For Dinner? 19 Quick and Healthy Dinner Recipes

                This version of the popular egg dish offers a generous load of spinach, leeks, and dill. The meal also highlights the sweet taste of ham and the piquant texture of cheese. This is one of the best healthy dinner recipes since it can even pass for breakfast if you have leftovers.

                • Total prep and cook time: 30 minutes
                • Health factor: This pantry staple is packed with vitamins and minerals and is rich in protein, amino acids, and healthy fats.

                Check out the recipe here

                8. Baked Chicken Fingers With Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

                What Should I Eat For Dinner? 19 Quick and Healthy Dinner Recipes

                  This delicious chicken meal, which doubles as a snack, is an ideal recipe for people on the go. Pop the breaded chicken in the oven, prepare your dipping sauce, and add some greens! This is also a healthy alternative to greasy chicken fingers that kids love so much.

                  • Total prep and cook time: 25 minutes
                  • Health factor: Baking the chicken instead of frying it gives you all the flavors without the guilt.

                  Check out the recipe here 

                  9. Easy Salmon and Potato Foil Packets

                  What Should I Eat For Dinner? 19 Quick and Healthy Dinner Recipes

                    No need to have advanced cooking skills to put this delicious meal together. This dish has the zesty, refreshing flavors of orange and lemon and infuses them into the tender and flaky meat of salmon.

                    • Total prep and cook time: 25-30 minutes
                    • Health factor: The combination of salmon and potato in this meal makes it great for the bones and heart.

                    Check out the recipe here 

                    10. Asian Prawn and Quinoa Salad

                    What Should I Eat For Dinner? 19 Quick and Healthy Dinner Recipes

                      Fresh salad recipes always do the trick for good healthy dinners. If you’re looking for a meal packed with flavours without compromising on nutritional value, this delightful concoction is perfect for you. This also makes for a great gluten alternative.

                      • Total prep and cook time: 30 minutes
                      • Health factor: Quinoa, often called the “wonder grain,” is loaded with protein, fiber, and antioxidants. It is also popularly known to be a healthier alternative to carbohydrates.

                      Check out the recipe here

                      11. Chicken Curry in a Hurry

                      What Should I Eat For Dinner? 19 Quick and Healthy Dinner Recipes

                        This simpler take on everyone’s favorite Indian meal uses rotisserie chicken, cutting your cooking time in half. It also contains Greek yogurt, which adds an interesting dimension to its already flavorful taste profile.

                        • Total prep and cook time: 45 minutes
                        • Health factor: Yogurt is known to help address certain gastrointestinal conditions such as lactose intolerance, constipation, and diarrhea.

                        Check out the recipe here

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                        12. Tomato Chickpea Salad

                        What Should I Eat For Dinner? 19 Quick and Healthy Dinner Recipes

                          This hearty and easy-to-prepare meal marries the sublime taste of chickpeas and the invigorating quality of tomatoes. It also offers a generous serving of fresh ingredients such as parsley, cucumber, and green onions—a sure burst of flavors in the mouth!

                          • Total prep and cook time: 10 minutes
                          • Health factor: Tomatoes help maintain a healthy blood pressure level.

                          Check out the recipe here

                          13. Roasted Cucumbers With Cream and Horseradish

                          What Should I Eat For Dinner? 19 Quick and Healthy Dinner Recipes

                            Partner your favorite meat recipes with this dolled-up cucumber meal. Cooked with butter and cream and accompanied with horseradish, lemon zest, and dill, this sumptuous side dish also makes a great, filling meal all on its own.

                            • Total prep and cook time: 35 minutes
                            • Health factor: Cucumbers help fight body inflammation with their cooling properties and are packed with vitamin A, B, and C.

                            Check out the recipe here

                            14. Quick Chicken Fettuccine

                            What Should I Eat For Dinner? 19 Quick and Healthy Dinner Recipes

                              Want to treat yourself to an easy yet satisfying dish? This quick chicken fettuccine meal contains all the flavors you need to happily cap off your frantic day at work. Consider this to be the quick and healthy version of your favorite comfort food.

                              • Total prep and cook time: 20 minutes
                              • Health factor: This fettuccine and chicken combo is a good source of protein.

                              Check out the recipe here

                              15. Steamed Mussels With Tomato and Chorizo Broth

                              What Should I Eat For Dinner? 19 Quick and Healthy Dinner Recipes

                                The refreshing taste of the sea in the mouth is a perfect way to shoo away all the exhaustion you’ve drawn during the day. This one-pot broth-based meal is easy to prepare and yields a savory delight.

                                • Total prep and cook time: 30 minutes
                                • Health factor: Mussels are dense in nutrients and are believed to be the best seafood since they are farmed using environmentally-friendly methods.

                                Check out the recipe here

                                16. Easy Garlic Kale

                                What Should I Eat For Dinner? 19 Quick and Healthy Dinner Recipes

                                  Perfect as a side to the question of what’s for dinner, this dish is packed with a wide variety of healthful compounds and minerals. This super meal transforms your dull dining into a unique appetizing experience and can serve as a full meal too!

                                  • Total prep and cook time: 25 minutes
                                  • Health factor: Enjoy kale’s vitamin-rich flavor profile and garlic’s pungent nutritional composition.

                                  Check out the recipe here 

                                  17. Gyudon (Japanese Simmered Beef and Rice Bowls)

                                  What Should I Eat For Dinner? 19 Quick and Healthy Dinner Recipes

                                    Not even your busy schedule can stop you from enjoying this one-pot Japanese treat. This quick, savory meal will surely give you all the after-work comfort you deserve.

                                    • Total prep and cook time: 20 minutes
                                    • Health factor: Enjoy a hearty meal that comes with a good protein boost.

                                    Check out the recipe here 

                                    18. Healthy Pork Lettuce Wraps

                                    What Should I Eat For Dinner? 19 Quick and Healthy Dinner Recipes

                                      Super simple and easy to prepare, this delicious wrap recipe is a healthy alternative to your usual heavy meat-based meal. The crunchy texture of lettuce and the savory taste of pork will surely bring joy to your taste buds.

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                                      • Total prep and cook time: 25 minutes
                                      • Health factor: Lettuce is a healthier alternative to rice or bread—equally filling minus the carbs.

                                      Check out the recipe here 

                                      19. 15-minute Coconut Curry Noodle Soup

                                      What Should I Eat For Dinner? 19 Quick and Healthy Dinner Recipes

                                        The richness of coconut milk, the pungent spice of curry paste, and the tasty slivers of chicken breasts make this easy-to-prepare noodle soup a perfect evening meal. The hearty and tasty broth is perfect for those looking to expand their taste palette.

                                        • Total prep and cook time: 15 minutes
                                        • Health factor: Soups are generally made up of liquid contents and they fill you up without all the unnecessary calories.

                                        Check out the recipe here

                                        Benefits of a Healthy Dinner

                                        Good healthy dinners have lots of physical and mental health benefits, and it all starts with making the right food choices. A healthy diet includes foods rich in essential nutrients, fats, and protein. Here are the top benefits of knowing what to eat tonight.

                                        1. Weight Loss

                                        Cooking up healthy meals can help you maintain and regulate your weight. Maintaining a healthy weight will minimize the risk of many chronic health issues.

                                        Being obese or overweight increases the chances of various diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, and various cancers.[1]. From the healthy dinner recipes listed above, most of the dishes are comprised of fruits, vegetables, and legumes that are low in calories and contain lots of nutrients. Furthermore, they are usually high in fiber, which is essential in weight management and helps you feel full for a longer extended period.[2]

                                        2. Mood Boosters

                                        Various research studies have shown a link between your mood and diet.[3] Diets that contain a huge amount of simple sugars usually trigger fatigue and depression.

                                        Common examples of such foods include sugary drinks, cookies, white bread, cakes, and biscuit. On the other hand, whole fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains have a low amount of these sugars.

                                        3. Healthy Heart

                                        Researchers at the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention have found that heart disease is a leading cause of death in most parts of the United States and other nations worldwide.[4]

                                        Close to half of the adult population in the United States have a form of heart disease. Eating a healthy dinner and increasing physical activity can prevent premature heart disease and high blood pressure. The recommended diet to reduce high blood pressure includes:

                                        • Consuming plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
                                        • Choosing low-fat dairy products, poultry, fish, nuts, vegetable oils, and beans
                                        • Reducing the intake of saturated and trans fat such as full-fat dairy products and fatty meals
                                        • Limiting drinks that contain simple sugars
                                        • Reducing sodium consumption to 2300 mg per day

                                        4. Reducing the Risk for Cancer

                                        Consuming foods rich in antioxidants can greatly reduce your risk of developing different types of cancers.[5]

                                        Antioxidants protect our bodies from damage by eliminating free radicals, which cause many diseases. Vegetables, fruits, legumes, and nuts are rich in antioxidants which reduce the risk of cancer.

                                        5. Improving Digestion

                                        Knowing what to make for dinner can promote digestion. You’ve probably heard a lot of people around you complaining about constipation. Most people around the world are suffering from mild to severe constipation due to the high consumption of unhealthy foods. They not only give no energy to the body but also lead to additional damages.

                                        One of the main disadvantages of unhealthy foods is poor stomach performance. When your stomach doesn’t function optimally, it won’t digest food properly. And this will lead to constipation.

                                        6. Strengthening Immunity and Metabolism

                                        Do you get diseases from your surroundings frequently? It is because of weak immunity and poor metabolism. Poor metabolism is caused by skipping meals and eating unhealthy foods.

                                        When you fail to eat unhealthy foods, your body won’t get enough energy from the food. Consuming a healthy dinner and breakfast will strengthen your immunity and metabolism.

                                        7. Improving Sleep and Health

                                        If you are suffering from poor sleep and health, you can transform your life by changing your dinner habits. Think of healthy dinner ideas and ensure that you consume a healthy dinner before going to bed.

                                        When you do this, you’ll experience positive changes in your sleep. You’ll start sleeping peacefully and your health will greatly improve.

                                        8. Radiating Skin

                                        The biggest benefit of consuming a healthy dinner is skin improvement. When you consume lots of processed and unhealthy foods in your dinner frequently, your skin will become lifeless.

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                                        On the other hand, when you consume healthy foods at night, your skin will start glowing. A healthy dinner plays an important role in shaping your life.

                                        10 Practical Tips For Staying on the Healthy Track

                                        A healthy dinner is just as important as a nutritious breakfast. While consuming healthy foods might seem like an uphill task, we’ll share a few practical tips to help you stay on track in the long run.

                                        1. Keep a Journal and Plan Ahead

                                        Take a few minutes daily to write down what you ate after every meal and their respective amounts. Doing this will help you have an idea of your eating habits. Planning will help you avoid falling into the trap of consuming unhealthy foods. If you don’t have an idea what you’ll eat in the evening, chances are you’ll eat an unhealthy dinner.

                                        3. Drink Tea and Water

                                        Drinking unsweetened tea and lots of water is one of the best things you can do for your body. Avoid sugary drinks and sodas as they’ll keep you feeling thirsty and hungry all day long.

                                        4. Consume Vegetables and Fruits

                                        Your plate should always have some form of fruit or vegetable. A research study conducted by CDC back in 2017 found that only 12 percent of Americans consume the right amount of fruits and vegetables every day.[6]

                                        5. Follow the 3-Hour Rule

                                        Your body needs enough time to digest the food that you consume. Always try to eat dinner three hours before going to bed. Also, drink enough water to avoid dehydration and getting up in the middle of the night.

                                        6. Slow Down

                                        Your eating pace greatly influences the amount of food you consume and the likelihood of gaining weight. Research studies have found that fast eaters are likely to consume more and have a higher body mass than slow eaters. The amount of food you eat and how full you feel are managed by hormones.

                                        Hormones tell your brain whether you are full or hungry. It only takes a couple of minutes for your brain to receive these signals. Eating your food slowly will give ample time for your brain to receive the message.

                                        7. Consume Whole-Grain Bread

                                        You can easily consume a healthy diet by going for whole-grain bread instead of refined-grain bread. They are rich in B vitamins, fiber, and minerals like iron, manganese, zinc, and magnesium.

                                        Whole-grain bread is available in many varieties, most of which are more delicious than refined bread. Always read the label to ensure that your bread has been made with whole grains only. It is also important that the bread contain whole seeds.

                                        8. Increase Protein Intake

                                        Protein is one of the best nutrients in the world due to the superpowers that it offers. It is considered the most filling macronutrient due to its ability to affect hunger hormones.

                                        A research study found that consuming meals rich in protein decreases hunger more than consuming a meal rich in carbs.[7] Protein retains muscle mass and increases the number of calories you burn during the day. It plays an important role in preventing muscle loss that usually occurs with weight loss.

                                        If you’ve been trying to lose weight, you should consider adding protein to every snack or meal you consume. Some of the best sources of protein include nuts, eggs, lean meat, dairy products, and peanut butter, to name a few.

                                        9. Roast or Bake Instead of Frying

                                        How you prepare a dish has a huge impact on your health. Broiling, grilling, and frying are popular methods that people use today to prepare fish and meat. However, when these methods are used, several toxic compounds are formed.

                                        They include heterocyclic amines, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and advanced glycation end products. These compounds have been linked to various health conditions, including heart disease and cancer.

                                        Some healthy cooking options that you should consider include poaching, stewing, baking, pressure cooking, and simmering, to name a few. These methods don’t form harmful products, and they make your dish healthy.

                                        10. Try a New Healthy Recipe Each Week

                                        Thinking of what you’ll have for dinner every day can be frustrating. That’s why many make the same food every day. Trying new healthy recipes regularly is one of the best ways to add diversity and promote your health.

                                        Set a goal of trying a new recipe once every month. You can also make healthier dishes using new herbs, ingredients, and spices.

                                        What Should I Eat For Dinner? 19 Quick and Healthy Dinner Recipes

                                        Take Action

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                                        What Should I Eat For Dinner? 19 Quick and Healthy Dinner Recipes
                                        Explore new flavors: White quinoa and white beans have a bland taste, but these healthy recipes include savory and refreshing seasoning tips to elevate your healthy meals.
                                        What Should I Eat For Dinner? 19 Quick and Healthy Dinner Recipes
                                        Hydration: It’s important to stay hydrated throughout the day, and it’s easy to incorporate into your meals. Opt to add foods like cucumbers, lettuce, oranges, and watermelon to your salads and other dishes. 
                                        What Should I Eat For Dinner? 19 Quick and Healthy Dinner Recipes
                                        Get your healthy fats: Omega-3 fatty foods like sardines and salmon are not only packed with nutrients but great source of protein.
                                        What Should I Eat For Dinner? 19 Quick and Healthy Dinner Recipes
                                        Choosing a new healthy recipe each week will help you stay inspired and find new favorite go-to meals. 
                                        What Should I Eat For Dinner? 19 Quick and Healthy Dinner Recipes
                                        Track your health journey by planning and writing all your healthy meals in a journal. 

                                        Bottom Line

                                        These are the best dinner recipes that you should try out today. Knowing what to cook tonight and consuming a healthy dinner will not improve your health but also minimize expensive medical costs. Use these quick and healthy dinner recipes to transform your life.

                                        Featured photo credit: Ella Olsson via unsplash.com

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                                        Reference

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                                        Jane Dizon

                                        Nurse, Ninja Mom, Digital Marketing Specialist and Writer

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