CookingLight diet CookingLight diet
Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez

They may not be the ones you’d think.

Jaime Ritter
December 14, 2017

Pinterest is an excellent source for kitchen inspiration, though sometimes recipes can seem almost unachievable (hence why Pinterest Fail exists). Still, the best kind of Pinterest recipes have the same qualities we strive for here: They are delicious, healthy, and easy to make.

Here are the Cooking Light recipes that readers pinned the most in 2017 (plus, of course, how to make each and every one of them).

1. Greek Spaghetti Squash Toss

Photo: Colin Price

Spaghetti squash is a great lower-calorie, lower-carb alternative to pasta. It’s a neutral tasting veggie that absorbs all the flavors of this simple skillet, so be sure to toss well to coat every strand. The end result is a veggie-based meal in a bowl that you can quickly throw together—a nice alternative to salads when you want to fill up on vegetables.

Get the Recipe: Greek Spaghetti Squash Toss

2. Sea Bass with Citrus Salsa

Photo: Jennifer Causey

Dinner-party elegance in a 20-minute dish? It’s possible, when you start with great ingredients that require little embellishment. Here, we use sea bass, a tender, mild-flavored fish with a lovely buttery quality.

There are several sustainable options to choose from (Atlantic black sea bass, for one), so ask your fishmonger to ensure you’re making a responsible choice. You can also use cod, sablefish (also called black cod), striped bass, or barramundi with great results. Any of these white-fleshed fish will take well to the bright flavors of the simple grapefruit-and-orange topping.

Get the Recipe: Sea Bass with Citrus Salsa

3. Tuna-Quinoa Toss

Photo: Colin Price

A whole-grain protein bowl is the perfect solution for when lunch needs to be quick, tasty, filling, and healthy. Cook quinoa ahead of time (or buy precooked, available in pouches on the grain aisle as well as in the freezer) and assemble in the morning or when ready to eat.

Get the Recipe: Tuna-Quinoa Toss

4. Turkey and Swiss Sloppy Joes

Photo: Christopher Testani

Your family is guaranteed to love this twist on the classic sandwich. Instead of a sweet, barbecue-style sauce, browned turkey, sautéed mushrooms, and wilted kale go into a white sauce made rich with nutty Swiss cheese. It’s creamy, comforting, and downright irresistible. Be prepared to abandon eating the sandwiches out of hand; they are so full of creamy filling that the whole thing is likely to turn into a knife and fork affair. Adults might enjoy a splash of hot sauce, so be sure to put a bottle on the table.

Get the Recipe: Turkey and Swiss Sloppy Joes  

5. Horseradish Vinaigrette

Photo: Rob Culpepper

This zesty dressing is a delicious meat marinade and will jazz up any salad—and you can store a batch of this condiment for up to two weeks in the refrigerator (but it’s so addictive, it probably won’t last that long.)

Get the Recipe: Horseradish Vinaigrette

6. Immunity Soup

Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez

This easy soup is full of immunity-boosting foods: vitamin C–rich kale, vitamin D–enhanced mushrooms, zinc-containing chicken and chickpeas, and antioxidant-packed garlic. Plus, the hot, steamy broth and a hint of pepper heat get your nose running—great for flushing out sinuses and potentially staving off an infection. It’s a big pot of brothy soup that you can make ahead and enjoy for a couple of days; the flavor just gets better over time.

Get the Recipe: Immunity Soup

7. Spinach, Hummus, and Bell Pepper Wraps

Photo: Victor Protasio

Fresh, flavorful, veggie-packed, and ready in a 10-minute snap—now that’s a meal we can stand behind! Hummus delivers a winning combo of protein and healthy fat for staying power, while fresh bell peppers and spinach provide a satisfying crunch. Tomato-and-basil feta cheese adds a kick of salty tang and Mediterranean flair.

Get the Recipe: Spinach, Hummus, and Bell Pepper Wraps

8. Fingerling Potato Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

Photo: Jennifer Causey

Little fingerling potatoes are fantastic in potato salads, in part because their skin-to-flesh ratio is much smaller than big potatoes, so there’s more interesting textural difference in every bite. Like with any potato salad, one key to success is dressing the potatoes while they’re still hot so they fully absorb flavorings.

Get the Recipe: Fingerling Potato Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

9. Upside Down Shepherd's Pie

Photo: Romulo Yanes

To keep things lightning-fast, we forego the layered-in-a-skillet approach to shepherd’s pie and instead serve the veggie-flecked beef mixture on top of a bed of mashed potatoes. A little bit of flour thickens the sauce so that it’s more of a rich, luscious gravy. We love the touch of sweetness that turnips offer, but you can substitute any other root vegetable you have on hand—try parsnip, rutabaga, or more carrot. And though we go for ground beef here, you can try the recipe with ground lamb (more traditional), ground turkey, or ground chicken.

Get the Recipe: Upside Down Shepard's Pie

10. Herbed Ricotta, Asparagus, and Phyllo Tart

Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez

If working with phyllo dough fills you with fear, don’t worry—this recipe is beginner-friendly. There’s no crimping or folding the dough; you just lay flat sheets of dough on top of each other for a rustic, unfinished edge.

Get the Recipe: Herbed Ricotta, Asparagus, and Phyllo Tart