Health and Fitness

60 Easy, Healthy Dinner Ideas That Take 30 Minutes or Less

Most of us are never not on the lookout for easy, healthy dinner ideas. After all, some delicious and headache-free nourishment is just what you need at the end of a long day.

What counts as “easy dinners” is kind of subjective, but for this list of recipes, we kept it to meals that come together in 30 minutes max (at least, according to the recipe notes) and don’t have ridiculously long ingredient lists. What counts as “healthy” varies from person to person too—but in the most basic sense, a healthy dinner is one that tastes good and fills you up. (More on how we like to think about healthy eating at SELF below!)

“For a meal that is both mentally and physically satisfying, I recommend that people strive for three to four food groups when possible—namely fat, protein, starch, and fruits/vegetables,” SELF columnist Jessica Jones, M.S., R.D., certified diabetes educator and cofounder of Food Heaven, tells SELF. “By doing this, you will not only get a variety of textures and flavors, but also nutrients that work together to provide you with a steady, stable stream of energy.”

With that in mind, we rounded up 60 easy, healthy dinner ideas. Most of these tasty recipes make for a balanced meal on their own, while a few (like veggie curry or baked chicken) you’ll probably want to serve with some bread or rice. Add them to your list of essential healthy recipes and you’ll never have trouble finding a quick and satisfying weeknight meal again. 

A note about the word healthy here: We know that healthy is a complicated concept. Not only can it mean different things to different people, but it’s a word that’s pretty loaded (and sometimes fraught), thanks to the diet industry’s influence on the way we think about food. At SELF, when we talk about food being healthy, sure, we’re talking about foods that are nutritious, filling, and satisfying. But we’re also talking about foods that help you connect with your culture, promote joy, and simply taste delicious. Some of those foods might fall into conventional ideas of what “healthy” is. And some might not. We selected these recipes with all of that in mind while also trying to appeal to a wide variety of nutritional needs and taste buds.

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