60 straightforward and wholesome dinner concepts that take half-hour or much less


Most of us are never not looking for easy and healthy meal ideas. After all, delicious, headache-free food is just what you need at the end of a long day.

What counts as « easy dinners » is a bit subjective, but for this list of recipes, we’ve limited ourselves to meals that come together in no more than 30 minutes (at least, according to the recipe notes) and don’t have not ridiculously long ingredient lists. What is considered “healthy” also varies from person to person, 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 people seek out three to four food groups when possible, namely fats, protein, starch, and fruits/vegetables, » says the SELF columnist. Jessica Jones, MS, RD, certified diabetes educator and co-founder of Food Heaven, tells SELF. « By doing this, you’ll not only get a variety of textures and flavors, but also nutrients that work together to provide you with a steady, consistent flow of energy. »

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

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

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