Easy and healthy dinner recipes your family will love

Cut down on calories (and time!) with these healthy dinner ideas that are perfect for any weeknight.
Casey Barber, Jennifer Causey

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/ Source: TODAY
By Erica Chayes Wida

Looking to eat healthier but don't have a lot of time to cook?

Whether you're cutting down on carbs, upping your veggie intake or trying to eat less saturated fat, these go-to recipes are perfect for easy, healthy dinners the whole family will enjoy.

Incorporating more whole foods into your nightly dinner routine will make you feel more energized, plus there are plenty of ways to make something that's good for you in the same time it takes to whip up a box of mac and cheese.

These 16 recipes make healthy eating fun.

Healthy chicken recipes

Seamus Mullen's chicken recipe takes a basic comfort food and turns it into something really special. The spicy harissa, crunchy walnuts and fresh mint hit all the flavor notes. The whole thing only takes about 30 minutes to make, so you've got a full dinner on the table fast.

Miso-Glazed Chicken and Bok Choy

This light weeknight dinner of lean protein and roasted veggies has all the flavors of a traditional stir-fry, but it's even easier to make. Everything gets baked on one sheet pan in just 30 minutes.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Joy Bauer's delectable soup is jam-packed with flavor, protein and loads of colorful veggies, like bell peppers, carrots, onions, celery and fire-roasted tomatoes. While the recipe tastes amazing straight from the pot, it might be even better the next day, once all the herbs and spices have mixed and mingled.

Got any leftover roast chicken lying around? Use it to make a totally delectable new meal! Celebrity chef Curtis Stone loves using leftover chicken and vegetables to make this filling dish. It comes together quickly, the tangy vinaigrette is full of flavor and it's both healthy and satisfying at the same time.

Healthy vegetarian recipes

Butternut Squash Chipotle Chili

When you're craving a rich, spicy chili but don't want all that meat and cheese, try this vegan recipe that packs in so much flavor no one (not even the kids) will miss the meat. The only prep required is some dicing and then everything goes right into the pressure cooker.

Roasted Broccoli, Radicchio and Chickpeas

Try this innovative take on salad. You can eat radicchio raw, but its bitter flavor mellows when it's cooked. It adds an earthy dimension to this fast and satisfying vegetarian-friendly meal.

Soothing and healing, this soup contains a mix of beans, cruciferous vegetables (hello, broccoli and cauliflower!) and leafy greens. Whip up a batch and enjoy both its yummy flavor and its nutrient-rich ingredients in every spoonful.

Sheet Pan Aloo Gobi

Sheet Pan Aloo Gobi

Priya Krishna

If you haven't had aloo gobi, it's about time you tried it. This version is a one-pan meal made with hearty potatoes, cauliflower and fresh herbs and spices that will fill the entire house with a warm, fragrant aroma.

Healthy beef recipes

Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry

This savory stir-fry is made with lean top sirloin and broccoli — the original superfood. Make it even healthier by using reduced-sodium soy sauce and serving the dish over brown rice instead of white rice, or even cauliflower rice.

Lighter Beef Tacos

Lighter Beef Tacos

Martha Stewart

Sometimes nothing but a ground beef taco will scratch that taco itch, and Martha Stewart's lighter beef tacos give you what you're craving without overloading you with grease.

Another alternative to making tacos lower in carbs is to cut the tortillas out and give them a little Asian-inspired flair. Siri Daly's lettuce cups are simple enough to throw together whenever you need a quick, easy and healthy dinner recipe.

Steak and Veggies with Zesty Chimichurri

A fabulous way to beef up beef's flavor without using heavy butter or blue cheese is to top it with a zesty sauce of simple herbs. Enter: chimichurri! This deliciously simple dish from Cooking Light requires only five fresh ingredients and takes 20 minutes to make — it's that easy and fast!

Healthy seafood recipes

A simple way to replace carbs with nutritious veggies is to use zoodles. The spiralized zucchini "pasta" and lemon zest add a brightness in this dish that's usually missing from traditional shrimp scampi with regular wheat pasta.

Just put fresh salmon and crisp veggies on a baking sheet, season everything and pop it in the oven to roast. In just 20 minutes, you've got a flavorful and healthy dinner ... and only one pan to clean!

Don't be intimidated by the word gremolata. It sounds very fancy and technical, but it's really just citrus zest mixed with parsley, olive oil and red pepper flakes. It's so easy to make, plus it adds a big, bold flavor to the delicate, low-fat fish fillets.

This super quick seafood dinner is almost too easy to make! Mild, flaky cod topped with healthy parsley-walnut pesto can be made in less time than it takes to boil a pot of water for boxed mac and cheese. Heat a pan, add fish and make the nutty pesto while the fillets cook. There's nothing to it.