Fast Healthy Dinner Recipes
Quentin Bacon / Food & WineDon't you just love it when supermodels and famous actresses hold forth on how easy it is to follow a healthy diet? You know, just have your personal chef spend the day cooking you macrobiotic/vegan/Ayurveda/fill-in-the-trend food made from farm-fresh ingredients! The reality for most of us, though, is that we get home at the end of a long work day, we're tired and ravenous and prone to reaching for processed or fast food. But, as the fast, healthy dinner recipes here prove, you don't have to resort to the Cluck'n Bell. See below for some of our most nutritious and speedy meals.
Fruit and Nut Couscous with Salmon Kebabs: Couscous is a wonderful quick-cooking staple -- just add boiling water or broth and let it stand for as few as five minutes. Fish also cooks very quickly. This recipe calls for salmon -- a particularly good source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids -- but it wold be good with just about any kind of fish.
Chicken and Sweet Potato Salad with Pesto Vinaigrette: Sweet potatoes -- nutritional powerhouses -- join forces with the ever-popular boneless, skinless chicken breast for this five-ingredient main course salad (the salad keeps very well, so make extra for lunches or dinners later in the week).
Shrimp Salad with Black Beans and Avocado: Keep protein-rich, low calorie frozen shrimp on hand to make this quick salad (which boasts more protein from black beans, plus healthy fats from velvety avocado). The salad would also be good with edamame or chicken instead of the shrimp -- or just on its own. (Learn more about shrimp from Mark Bittman.)
Quick White Bean Stew with Swiss Chard and Tomatoes: This meatless meal is high in protein and fiber and, thanks to canned beans, it takes only 30 minutes to make. Feel free vary the basic recipe with different kinds of beans or hearty greens.
Italian Vegetable Hoagies: This vegetarian sub sandwich contains canned artichoke hearts, diced tomatoes, pepperoncini, a tangy dressing and a little cheese. Add carrot sticks and/or baked chips on the side.
Stir-Fried Spicy Chicken Tenders: Frozen peppers and onions are the shortcut secret to this quick and healthy dish. Serve over quick-cooking brown rice to round out the meal.
Pasta with Raw Tomato Puttanesca: The ingredients for this uncooked pasta sauce can be combined and allowed to sit for up to two hours at room temperature -- when you're ready for dinner, just boil pasta and add it to the sauce, toss, and serve.
More Healthy Recipes and Eating Tips
- See our low-calorie dinner recipes.
- Find healthy dinner recipes for kids.
- Get more light fish recipes.
- See our healthy cooking section for more nutritious recipes.
- Watch Curtis Stone make a healthy baked potato with ratatouille.
- Get tips on buying healthy kids' snacks from AOL Health.