Clean Eating Dinner Recipes
Sweet Potato Noodles with Shrimp and Thai-Style Almond Sauce
Smarter carbs are easy with the handy spiralizer—it works like a pencil sharpener to create long strands of veggies. Find the tool at kitchen stores and amazon.com. Spiralized veggies are showing up everywhere—in salads, in place of pasta, and even in desserts. These sweet potato "zoodles" transform a traditional pad thai recipe into a fun twist on a weeknight favorite. The best news? This recipe comes together in 20 minutes, making it a go-to for any busy weeknight. Break out your spiralizer, get the family involved, and get cooking on your new favorite recipe featuring the best of fall flavor.
Seared Tuna with Eggplant and Edamame
Eggplant is the real star here, with its meaty texture and savory notes that match those of the tuna. Soy sauce and sesame oil deepen the effect, and edamame offers delightful chew.
Kale, Apple, and Almond Chicken Salad
Let kale become you all-purpose green. It’s tender enough for salad and sturdy enough for wilting and blending, with zero prep. Crisp, sweet-tart apple varieties (Fuji, Honeycrisp, Pink Lady) add freshness and crunch—or a juicy, sweet contrast to seared or roasted meats. Vastly underrated skinless, boneless thighs are rich and moist, perfect for stewing, grilling, or searing. Herb, lemon, and garlic vinaigrette doubles as the marinade for the chicken. This is the salad you are going to want to be packing for your lunch everyday.
Grapefruit, Endive, and Arugula Salad
Give yourself the gift of one worry-free dish this holiday season. This 15-minute, no-cook, citrus-flecked salad tastes best when it sits at least 10 minutes. No guest will be able to resist our lemony homemade vinaigrette, which adds sweet flavor without lots of fat, calories, or carbs. Tossing the endive leaves in the vinaigrette first softens their bitter edge. You could also sub thinly sliced fennel or chopped Romaine hearts. Top with chopped walnuts, Gorgonzola cheese, and grapefruit slices.
Sumac Chicken with Cauliflower and Carrots
A bright citrus kick is just the thing for cold nights. This sheet pan supper gets a double dose from thin lemon slices roasted until tender, and fresh lemon juice added to a quick herb dressing that’s spooned over the finished dish. Sumac has a tart, lemony quality as well. It’s fantastic as a rub here, but is also delicious in vinaigrettes or sprinkled over dips. If you can’t find sumac, you can substitute 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind. If you want a little extra browning, pop the pan under the broiler for about 5 minutes, being careful not to let the vegetables get too dark.
Salmon with Potatoes and Horseradish Sauce
You’ll be surprised at the sophistication of this 5-ingredient dish, which is easy, elegant, and beautiful. You can honestly never go wrong when you start with salmon and a sour cream sauce, especially if that sauce is flavored with dill and horseradish. Fill out the plate and complete the meal with a side of steamed asparagus or haricots verts (slender French green beans), or barely wilted spinach or Swiss chard. If you have a mandoline in your kitchen, use it—carefully—on the potatoes to make the job of slicing go faster.
Maple-Mustard Roasted Chicken with Squash and Brussels Sprouts
We give the large bone-in breasts a head start in the oven so they will be perfectly cooked by the time the vegetables are done. This cut is also rather juicy; you’ll want to drain off the liquid from the pan before adding the vegetables so they can caramelize evenly. Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, and acorn squash are at their absolute best when roasted. The trick is to cut them into even pieces with a maximum surface area (halves or cubes) so they can benefit from all the direct heat. A sprinkle of hazelnuts is a fine finishing touch, but you can skip it if you like.
Miso-Ginger Braised Chicken with Bok Choy and Barley
Serve this one-pot complete meal in shallow bowls, ladling the rich broth over the tender chicken, vegetables, and grains. We call for whole-grain hulled—sometimes labeled hull-less—barley here. Pearled barley is not ideal for this dish; while tasty, it is not a whole grain, and it would overcook as the chicken simmers. If you can’t find hulled barley, you can use wheat berries, spelt, whole-grain (not pearled) farro, or rye berries. Toasting the grains first delivers deep, malty flavor; it’s worth the extra few minutes to get that extra depth.
Sautéed Scallops with Shaved Celery Salad
Celery is an underrated vegetable, often used as a flavor accent for soups or Thanksgiving stuffing. But it shines as the star in a salad, thanks to its fantastic crunch and naturally salty flavor. For ease and speed, we advise slicing thinly on a mandoline. To cut by hand, line up 3 stalks and slice all at once instead of slicing each stalk individually. The crisp texture of the salad provides a nice contrast to the creamy-meaty scallops. Golden raisins are a surprising and delicious addition, offering a pop of sweetness and chewy texture; you can substitute regular raisins, dried currants, or dried cranberries.
Pan-Seared Salmon with Pear and Walnut Spinach Salad
Wild salmon has less saturated fat, fewer calories, and 5 to 10 times fewer contaminants and persistent organic pollutants (POPs) than farm-raised (in early studies, POPs have been linked to impaired brain development, type 2 diabetes, and obesity). There’s no need to give up all farmed salmon, and eating some is always better than none. Aim to eat at least 1 to 2 servings of omega-3 rich fatty fish weekly.
Sweet Potato Medallions with Almond Sauce and Chickpea Salad
It may seem too good to be true, but it's not: This impressive plate requires only 5 ingredients (water, oil, salt, and pepper are freebies). Microwaved sweet potatoes are sliced into medallions, brushed with oil, and lightly seared so they become satisfyingly steak-like. The creamy, nutty sauce adds richness, and the lemon-dressed arugula-chickpea salad bulks up the plate beautifully. In place of almond butter, you can use any nut butter you like—try peanut, cashew, or sunflower butter. And if canned chickpeas aren't in your pantry, try cannellini or navy beans.
Lemony Chicken Kebabs with Tomato-Parsley Salad
Sticking to low-ingredient meals helps keep your dish in check when following a clean-eating diet. This six-ingredient dish delivers big taste with minimal fuss. Start marinating the chicken in the morning to make prep time quick and easy in the afternoon. Serve the salad on a bed of bulgur for a twist on tabbouleh and a fiber boost. If parsley salad isn't your thing, try a spinach salad instead. This is the perfect clean-eating dish for summer.
Tuna Poke Bowls with Brown Rice and Kale
Upgrade summer's coolest dish, poke, with whole grains, heart-healthy fats, and crisp kale. Want to go beyond the bowl? Serve this 10-minute mixture over mixed greens or with crunchy brown rice crackers, or tuck into corn tortillas.
Spicy Buttermilk Chicken and Vegetable Kebabs
Time: 40 minutes
Get Ahead: Make the kebabs, prepare the buttermilk mixture, and make the broccoli salad a day ahead; then refrigerate.
Serve with Cheddar and Almond Broccoli Salad
Pineapple Chicken Kebabs with Cilantro-Lime Slaw
A sweet-tangy-spicy glaze of Asian pantry staples caramelizes beautifully under the broiler. To complete the meal, serve with jasmine rice tossed with sliced green onions and lime rind strips.
Turmeric Pork Chops with Green Onion Rice
Our turmeric slathered pork chops may look polished, but don't let this quick weeknight supper fool you. It's complex flavor belies it's simple preparation.
Pork Chops and Couscous with Tomato-Caper Sauce
This dish easily works with chicken if you don't have pork on hand. Toasting the turmeric in oil is a simple way to develop savory depth—try this technique with any spices you're cooking with. Couscous makes for a quick, versatile side dish that easily adopts different flavor profiles. Israeli couscous has more of a bite to it and can also be served chilled for picnics and to-go lunches. The tomato-caper sauce pairs well with other proteins beyond pork and poultry such as sole or shrimp simply cooked with garlic and butter. It's an impressive dish that's quickly prepared whenever you're short on time.
Shrimp With Grilled Citrus and Leek Relish
Drew Curren, chef-partner of Elm Restaurant Group in Austin, cooks both the shrimp and the relish on a grill at his Texas restaurant. If the weather is mild enough for you to grill, live-fire cooking makes this dish even more delicious, adding a hint of smoky flavor. Roll the citrus between your palm and the cutting board before slicing and juicing—it crushes the pulp a little and makes it easier to extract juice. The 16-20 count for shrimp refers to how many shrimp make a pound, which is helpful since the designations “medium,” “large,” and “extra-large” can vary from market to market. A quality, fruity, and grassy olive oil is best here to bring a touch of velvety richness to the dressing.