20 Go-To Healthy Dinner Ideas

Need easy dinner inspiration? These recipes are the best healthy dinner ideas that our readers come back to again and again.

Healthy dinner ideas

Need dinner? No problem. Here at A Couple Cooks, healthy dinner ideas are our forte. Because: if you’re going to the trouble of eating dinner, why not make both delicious and nourishing? After cooking up recipes for years, we know what types of healthy recipes please everyone. This collection of dinners are all recipes that have received a standing ovation from our readers for being the best deliciously healthy dinner recipes!

Before we start, what’s our definition of healthy? Here’s what you’ll find in these recipes:

  • These recipes fall under the Mediterranean diet: lots and lots of vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and healthy fats like olive oil.
  • Healthy is less about calorie counts and more about nutrients and variety of veggies. Many of the recipes you’ll find here are vegetarian or vegan, but they taste so delicious you don’t feel like you’re making any sacrifices.

And now, our best healthy dinner ideas!

More dinner recipes

The collection of healthy dinner ideas above just gives you a taste of all the delicious meals you can enjoy around the table. Here are a few more runners up we’d highly recommend:

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Pesto salmon

Pesto Salmon & More Healthy Dinner Ideas!

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (25 votes, average: 4.72 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Bright green basil pesto is a natural fit with baked fish! This pesto salmon is an easy weeknight meal that also works to impress guests.


  • 4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets or a large 1 1/2 pound fillet, wild caught if possible
  • Olive oil, for brushing
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for brining
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons basil pesto (homemade preferable)
  • 1 tablespoon toasted and chopped pine nuts
  • A few grates of lemon zest, for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Brine the salmon: While the oven preheats, in a shallow dish stir together 4 cups room temperature water and 3 tablespoons kosher salt until it dissolves. Place the salmon in the water and wait for 15 minutes (this should be about the time it takes to preheat).
  3. Bake: Rub the bottom of a baking dish with olive oil. Pat each piece of salmon dry and place it on the pan. Sprinkle the salmon with 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt for each of the 4 fillets and fresh ground pepper. Cover pan with foil and bake the salmon for 10 minutes. Then remove the foil bake again for 3 to 6 minutes, depending on thickness, until just tender and pink at the center (the internal temperature should be between 125 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit in the center). A 1-inch thick fillet should cook in about 15 minutes total.
  4. Serve: When the salmon is done, spoon the pesto over the salmon. Sprinkle it with chopped pine nuts and if desired, a bit of lemon zest. Serve immediately. (Leftovers can be stored refrigerated for 3 to 4 days.)
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Healthy

Keywords: Healthy Dinner Ideas, Healthy Dinner Recipes, Dinner Recipes

Last updated: September 2020

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.


  • Reply
    October 29, 2019 at 12:06 pm


  • Reply
    August 28, 2020 at 2:42 pm

    I’m Cuban and we do not add jalapenos to anything.

  • Reply
    Eileen D
    March 22, 2021 at 5:54 am

    It looks delicious and healthy. Thanks for sharing your beautiful idea.

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