Lunch & Dinner Recipes
Lunch & dinner entree recipes, in order:
The recipes that are in bold, black text below are links to new recipes that have recently been updated. Please click on them to see full recipe!
- The Secret to a Perfect Flatbread
- Spicy Salmon & Quinoa Broccoli Bowl
- Cheesy Broccoli & Shrimp Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
- Crockpot White Chicken Chili
- Cauliflower Shrimp Fried Rice
- Mexi-Veggie Stuffed Sweet Potato
- Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili
- Healthy Southwest Chicken Enchilada Bake
- Sweet Potato Nachos
- Whole Wheat Lasagna Roll-Ups
- Healthy Crockpot Lasagna with Chicken & Veggies
- Sloppy Joe Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
- At-Home Chipotle Burrito Bowl
- Healthy Crockpot Chicken Tacos Two Ways
- Skinny Chicken Fried Rice
- Healthy Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad
- Pretzel Crusted Chicken Tenders
- Margarita Pizza
- Baked Honey Garlic Chicken
- Totally Stuffed Chicken Tostada
- Creamy Spinach Mac & Cheese Zoodles
- Crockpot Chicken Fajitas
- Garlic & Herb Shrimp Pasta
- Healthy Turkey Meatballs
- Spinach & Artichoke Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
Skinny Chicken Fried Rice
When you think about getting something for take-out, you immediately think of either pizza or Chinese food, right? Unfortunately, most of the foods that you might get from a Chinese restaurant are far from healthy, and will not help you reach your goals if you’re trying to lose weight or eat better. Many of the dishes are fried, so they are high in fat, and they’re drowned in sauces that are packed with sodium. I loved this lightened up version of chicken fried rice, and I felt ZERO guilt after eating it. 🙂 Try this recipe out next time you’re craving some healthified Chinese food! PS: this recipe is husband-approved, ladies.
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 3 Tbsp sesame oil
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 2 cups frozen peas + carrots
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 20 green onions, chopped
- 2 eggs (or 1/2 cup Egg Beaters)
- 2 Minute Brown Rice cups (these are great for convenience, but you could also cook brown rice according to instructions on box)
- Soy sauce to taste
- Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces. Cook in small skillet until browned and cooked through.
- Heat sesame oil in another large skillet on medium heat. Add onion, peas, carrots, garlic, green onions and stir-fry until tender.
- Push mixture to outside of skillet to open up center. Crack eggs into skillet and scramble. When cooked through, mix with vegetables.
- Microwave the 2 Minute Brown Rice cups for 90 seconds. (Or cook brown rice prior to making the stir-fry mixture and set aside.)
- Add the chicken to the stir fry mixture.
- Put brown rice in a large serving dish and add vegetable and chicken stir-fry mixture.
- Serve! Add soy sauce as desired.
*Approximately 325 calories per 1.25 cups*
Healthy Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad
This is one of my absolute favorite recipes, and I’m not joking when I say my family has a double-batch of this chicken salad in the fridge 24/7. It is the perfect lunch and so easy to make!
- 12 oz can of chicken (I usually use canned chicken because it’s easy to keep on hand, but you can also used 12 oz of chicken cooked & shredded)
- If you’re using canned chicken, look for 98% fat free, white meat, and an American Heart Association label, such as the Daily Chef, which they sell in bulk at Sam’s Club. Otherwise, canned meats can be super high in sodium, so read the label!
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 Tbsp Mrs. Dash Ranch dressing mix packet (or just dry ranch mix if you can’t find Mrs. Dash)
- ½ cup of grapes, cut in fourths
- 1/3 cup slivered almonds (optional – but I love the extra crunch!)
- Place chicken in a large bowl. (Drain first if using canned chicken).
- Add in yogurt and dressing packet and mix until incorporated and chicken is shredded.
- Mix in grapes and almonds.
- Serve chilled on lettuce wraps, whole grain bread, or with whole grain crackers.
Pretzel Crusted Chicken Tenders
This is one of my favorite ways to make chicken more exciting! I might be one of the only people that could have plain grilled chicken (with ketchup, of course) for every meal and never get tired of it. But I know that is not the case for most of you. This recipe is just one way you can spice things up a bit. Warning: they are a little messy to make, so don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty! Trust me, they are SO worth it!
- 1.5 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts or tenders
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 eggs (or 1/2 cup Egg Beaters)
- 5 cups of finely crushed Pretzel Crisps (more as needed)
- Non-stick cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Combine flour and pepper in a shallow dish.
- Beat eggs in a separate dish.
- Add crushed pretzels to a third shallow dish.
- Place chicken tender in flour mixture and coat completely. Then dip in egg and let any excess drip off.
- Transfer chicken tender to the third dish and coat in pretzel pieces.
- Place on prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 8 minutes, turn and continue to bake until you reach an internal temperature of 165 F (about 8-10 more minutes).
News flash: even dietitians love pizza. A LOT. But I do prefer to eat it when it’s lightened up a bit. You can do this by making it at home so you can control the ingredients that go on the pizza, and most importantly, the amount! Choose a whole-wheat THIN crust, or make your own! Top with low-fat cheese, lean protein, and tons of veggies! This margarita pizza is easy, fun to make, and delish. Triple threat.
- 1 lb prepared pizza dough (or store bought crust)
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup low fat mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1 large tomato, sliced
- 1/2 tbsp ground black pepper
- 2-3 fresh basil leaves, torn
- 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, baked or grilled (optional – but I recommend it)
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- If you are adding chicken, prepare your chicken breast first. (We cut our chicken into bite-sized pieces and cooked it in the skillet prior to making the pizza.)
- Next, put pizza dough onto a greased pizza pan and spread on your 1 tbsp of olive oil.
- Top with shredded mozzarella cheese, sliced tomatoes, basil leaves, and sprinkle on black pepper.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cheese is brown and bubbly.
We may or may not have loaded on more cheese before this baby went into the oven. Oh well – it was low-fat at least! 🙂
Enjoy with a nice side salad! 🙂
Note: pay attention to the instructions on the package of the crust you purchase. It may have a different suggestion for cooking time/temperature so you may have to adjust accordingly to keep from burning the crust!
Baked Honey Garlic Chicken
I love Chinese food, but I rarely eat it because most of it is super unhealthy. Most Chinese foods these days are deep-fried and drenched in fattening and sodium-packed sauces. I love this recipe because the chicken is BAKED, but still has the texture of those fried chicken options you might find at your favorite Chinese restaurant. And you can’t even tell they are breaded with whole wheat bread crumbs! Try making this for your family and they won’t even know you’re tricking them into eating healthy. 😉
- 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 cup egg beaters (or 2 eggs, beaten)
- 3/4 cup plain Panko bread crumbs
- 3/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs (next time I think I will try using all 1.5 cups whole wheat – you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference!)
- Sesame seeds, to garnish
- Chopped fresh parsley, to garnish, optional
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp sriracha sauce, optional (I didn’t use, but I wouldn’t mind a little added heat!)
- Preheat oven to 375 F degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Add the breadcrumbs to a shallow plate/bowl. (Again, I used half plain Panko crumbs and half whole-wheat, but next time I’ll be using all whole wheat for sure! You wouldn’t be able to tell.) Add the eggs to another shallow plate.
- Season the beaten eggs with pepper if desired. Add bite-sized chicken to the eggs and toss to make sure each piece is fully coated in the egg mixture.
- Next, coat each piece of chicken with breadcrumbs and place on the baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through (165 F) and slightly golden brown.
- In the meantime, add all the sauce ingredients to a small sauce pan. (I made the sauce first and held it in a tupperware container before I did anything else – this gives the flavors time to combine even more!) Bring the honey garlic sauce to a boil over medium heat, then turn down the heat and cook for a few more minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Pour sauce over chicken and toss so that the chicken pieces are fully coated. I used a spoon to distribute the sauce evenly over the chicken pieces. Then I used the spoon to toss the chicken around and coat it with any excess sauce on the parchment paper. If there’s any left over sauce, use for dipping. Garnish with sesame seeds and parsley if desired.
- Serve over rice and/or veggies. Enjoy!
This recipe may seem like a no-brainer, but if I hadn’t already thought of it myself, I would want someone to let me in on this deliciousness. There are basically three recipes hidden inside of this recipe just waiting to come out, and they are all so versatile! I’ll show you how to enjoy them in multiple ways.
Totally Stuffed Chicken Tostadas
Step 1 – Crockpot Chicken Tacos (Recipe listed directly above this one!)
Step 2 – Easy-Peasy Canned Mexi-Veggie Mix:
- 1 can Mexicorn
- 1 can diced tomatoes & sweet onions
- 1 can no salt added black beans (or low/reduced sodium)
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp – 1 tsp chili powder (more or less depending how spicy you like it!)
- Once crockpot taco seasoned chicken is ready, gather Mexi-Veggie Mix ingredients.
- Drain and rinse all canned vegetables.
- Combine canned beans and veggies in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add chili powder and ground cumin, and use a spatula to stir and evenly distribute ingredients and spices. Stir veggies in skillet until hot, about 5-8 minutes.
- Tostada shells
- Shredded lettuce or fresh spinach
- Mexican shredded cheese
- Salsa of choice
- Optional: preheat oven/toaster oven to 350 F and place tostada shells on baking sheet covered with foil for ~2 minutes to heat them up. Make sure to set a timer and watch closely so you don’t burn them – which can happen very fast! (Just ask my mother… Just kidding, momma. 😉 ) You just want the shells to get nice and crispy.
- Assemble tostadas: on top of toasted tostada shell, add crockpot chicken, easy-peasy canned Mexi-veggie mix, shredded lettuce, reduced-fat shredded cheese, and salsa. (In that order works best.) Voila!
And here we have the beautiful, Totally Stuffed Chicken Tostada!
Other great ways to use the leftover ingredients:
If you’re trying to cut back on carbs but don’t want to cut pasta out of your life, then ZOODLES are perfect for you! Go out there and buy yourself a Veggeti Pro ASAP — I promise you won’t regret it. I am a little obsessed with mine. You can use it on zucchini, squash, carrots, sweet potatoes – anything your heart desires.
Creamy Spinach Mac & Cheese Zoodles
- Approx. 1/2 cup frozen chopped baby spinach
- 1 medium zucchini (or yellow squash)
- 1 wedge Laughing Cow Swiss cheese
- 2-3 oz. grilled chicken (optional)
- Using a Veggeti Pro (or other spiralizing tool), spiralize your zucchini into “noodles”. Set aside.
- Spray large skillet with non-stick cooking spray and turn stove on medium-high heat.
- Place frozen spinach into skillet and sauté until thawed.
- Add spiralized zucchini to the pan and stir to combine.
- Cut Laughing Cow wedge into small pieces and add to pan, stirring with a spatula to melt and combine.
- Cook mixture until cheese is melted and noodles are tender (~5-7 minutes).
- Add previously cooked chicken to dish if desired.
My favorite part about this recipe is the fact that the fajita seasoning is NOT out of a package – it is made from all fresh spices & NO salt, but the end product is still so incredibly flavorful, fresh and healthy. My boyfriend and I LOVED these, so this recipe is a must-try for dinner ASAP!! 🙂
Recipe by: Cooking Classy
Crockpot Chicken Fajitas
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast halves
- 1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes with green chilies
- 1 red, orange and green bell pepper, julienned
- 1 large yellow onion, halved and sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 3/4 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp salt (I do not add salt)
- 3/4 tsp pepper
- 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice (I used the juice of 1 whole lime)
- 1 Tbsp honey
- For serving: whole wheat flour tortillas, optional toppings: plain Greek yogurt, cilantro, salsa, guacamole, low-fat shredded Mexican cheese
- Pour half of the canned tomatoes into the bottom of a slow cooker and spread into an even layer. Top with half of the peppers and half of the onions. Sprinkle garlic in. Top with chicken breasts.
- In a bowl whisk together chili powder, cumin, paprika, coriander, salt and pepper. Evenly sprinkle half of the seasoning over chicken breasts then flip chicken and sprinkle in remainder. Top with remaining half of the tomatoes, then layer in remaining peppers and onions.
- Cover and cook on HIGH heat 3 – 4 hours or low heat 6 – 8 hours, until chicken has cooked through and veggies are tender (note that if you want to be able to cut chicken into strips cook more near lesser time on HIGH or LOW, otherwise it will probably just shred, which is also fine).
- Remove chicken, and cut into strips, or shred. Ladle out 1 cup of the broth in slow cooker (mostly tomato liquid) and discard. In a small bowl whisk together lime juice and honey and add to slow cooker along with chicken. Gently toss. Serve warm in warmed tortillas with optional plain Greek yogurt, guacamole, cheese and salsa.
Shrimp & pasta go together like peanut butter and jelly. You cannot deny the chemistry in this delicious duo. I absolutely LOVE shrimp because it’s so tasty, but it’s also a great source of protein for not a lot of calories. This recipe is my own & it is the bomb if I do say so myself. ; ) Easy, healthy, and so yummy! Enjoy!
Garlic & Herb Shrimp Pasta
- 3/4-1 cup whole wheat penne pasta, uncooked
- 6 pieces of frozen, cooked, peeled, de-veined shrimp (thawed and tails removed)
- 1/2 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
- 1 wedge Garlic & Herb Laughing Cow cheese
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 heaping Tbsp plain Greek yogurt
- 1-2 Tbsp skim milk
- Black pepper and Italian seasoning to taste
- 1/2 tbsp reduced-fat feta cheese crumbles
- Extra virgin olive oil (optional)
- Cook pasta according to instructions on box.
- While pasta is cooking, cook shrimp in skillet over medium heat until it starts to lightly brown on both sides, about 5-7 minutes (it is already cooked, so you are really just heating/browning it). Season with black pepper.
- Sautee spinach in another small skillet sprayed with oil from a Mr. Misto or nonstick cooking spray for a few minutes.
- Drain pasta, then quickly add cooked pasta back into the pot. Add small pieces of the wedge of Laughing Cow cheese, Greek yogurt, skim milk, garlic powder, and sauteed spinach and stir to combine and melt cheese completely.
- Drizzle with ~1-2 tsp of olive oil if desired. Lightly sprinkle Italian seasoning on top.
- Pour pasta mixture into a serving bowl and top with cooked shrimp. Garnish with ~1/2 tbsp of reduced fat feta cheese.
I’m excited about this recipe because it is something other than chicken, which I have a hard time straying from sometimes. These meatballs were of course delicious with pasta, but they’d be great to pair with veggie noodles (aka spiralized zucchini or squash) for a lower calorie option and even more veggies! (I got this recipe from the back of a Hy-Vee pasta box, but I added some extra spices and the veggies!)
Healthy Turkey Meatballs
- 1 package of 93-97% lean ground turkey
- 1/4 cup shredded carrots
- 1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
- 3 cups uncooked tri-color veggie rotini or whole wheat pasta
- 2 cups heart smart Prego
- 3 cups broccoli & cauliflower, steamed
- 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- Reduced fat parmesan cheese (optional for topping)
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly coat a baking pan with nonstick cooking spray or cover with foil; set aside. (I would recommend using foil to save yourself time cleaning – my baking pan was a bit messy afterwards!)
- In a medium bowl, combine ground turkey, breadcrumbs, carrot, Italian seasoning, pepper, minced garlic and onion powder. Shape mixture into 24 meatballs (I used my hands). Place meatballs on prepared pan and bake for 18-20 minutes or until no longer pink.
3. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions and steam broccoli and cauliflower (or veggies of choice). Drain pasta. Cook pasta sauce until heated through, or heat in microwave.
4. Serve pasta with 4 meatballs, 1/3 cup sauce, ½ cup of vegetables, and top with ~2 tbsp of Parmesan cheese if desired. (Recipe serves 6.)
Spinach & Artichoke Dip Stuffed Spaghetti Squash with Chicken
Try saying that 5 times fast. 😉 Okay, so I found this recipe on an old friend’s blog, With Salt & Wit and it is amazing! I love spaghetti squash, I love spinach, and it also happens to include one of my favorite healthy substitutions – plain Greek yogurt! I added the chicken of course for some added protein (and because I might as well be a chicken I eat it so often), but you could leave it out for a vegetarian version. You will get almost an entire day’s worth of veggies with this meal. Now that’s what I’m talking about. (Insert hallelujah hands emoji).
- 1 large (4-5 lb) spaghetti squash (I used 2 small ones)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided (or Mr. Misto oil sprayer)
- Salt and Pepper (I never add salt, so just used pepper and didn’t think salt was needed)
- 1 small white onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups rotisserie chicken, diced (or just cooked chicken – I used 2 medium sized chicken breasts and cut into bite-sized pieces)
- 1 (14.5 oz) can chopped artichokes, drained and rinsed (I couldn’t find chopped artichokes so cut them into small pieces myself!)
- 1 pkg frozen spinach, thawed and drained
- 1 cup plain greek yogurt
- 6 oz provel cheese, divided (I couldn’t find whatever provel cheese is, so I used a package of 2% provolone/mozzarella mix!)
- 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
- ½ tsp salt (didn’t use)
- ½ tsp pepper
- Preheat oven to 415 degrees F.
- Place the spaghetti squash in the microwave for 5 minutes. (This will help to cook the spaghetti squash quicker and make it easier to cut into).
Side note: One of my squashes “exploded” a little while it was in the microwave, possibly because it was a small one? So if you use smaller squashes as well, try 3 minutes or so first and test to see if it needs to be microwaved longer. I also wish I would’ve known that some people cut the stem off first to make it easier to cut length wise! I would recommend doing this first. See picture below.
Remove squash from the microwave carefully using oven mitts because it will be very hot! Carefully cut in half, length wise.
Scoop out the seeds and pulp from the middle. I found that it was helpful to use a spoon first and then a fork to finish scraping.
I didn’t completely “clean” out the inside of the squash before putting it into the oven to bake and it turned out fine. Some people scoop out every little bit – but I didn’t go to all that trouble. 🙂
Drizzle each with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
*I just sprayed the insides with olive oil using my Mr. Misto sprayer, and only seasoned with black pepper.
Place on prepared baking sheets face down and place in preheated oven. Roast for 35 minutes or until the flesh of the squash will shred easily when scraped with a fork; they will be like spaghetti noodles.
Meanwhile, heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add ~1 tablespoon olive oil and add the diced onion. Cook for 4 – 5 minutes, or until onion is soft.
Add the diced red pepper and garlic. Cook for 10 – 15 minutes, or until veggies start to caramelize and are soft.
Remove from heat, and add the chicken, artichokes, chopped spinach, greek yogurt, 4 oz of the cheese, Italian seasoning, and pepper. Stir well to completely combine.
Once squash is done, carefully scrape each squash half with a fork, to fluff and create the noodles.
Divide the mixture among the two squashes and top with the remaining 2 oz of cheese.
Place back in oven and cook for 10 minutes longer, or until heated through. Remove from oven and serve immediately.
So beautiful and tasty!
This recipe is a little labor intensive, so I would recommend tackling it with your significant other, mom or friend so you can distribute some of the work! Also, maybe try it on a weekend night when you aren’t pressed for time. 🙂