What to Cook in January: 25 Healthy Dinners
Spiced Tilapia with Coconut Rice
Two pantry staples—black pepper and turmeric—team up to fight inflammation and add bold flavor to this fast-fix tilapia. Dressing up microwave rice with coconut milk is a smart kitchen hack you’ll turn to again and again.
Pasta with Green Peas and Almond Gremolata
Chickpea pasta can be a nice change from whole wheat—it has a mild flavor and higher fiber content. The gremolata topping (a chopped herb condiment made with lemon zest and parsley) truly makes the dish. It’s crunchy, herby, fragrant, and citrusy.
Instant Pot Chicken Tacos
The meat in these Instant Pot chicken tacos is tender, juicy, and flavorful. We keep it on the bones while it cooks to help infuse more flavor into the lean chicken breast meat. The toppings add fresh brightness and make the tacos sing, so pile them on and feel free to add any other toppers you love. If you have any leftover chicken, add it to nachos, taco salad, or soups.
Easy Herbed Pork Tenderloin
We suggest buying poultry blend herbs, which will provide a mix of rosemary and thyme in one package (instead of buying two separate packages). Be sure to reserve half of the pork for the next day's lunch.
Quick to cook and full of lemon and briny flavor, this healthy shrimp piccata pasta is downright delicious. (One staffer said she wanted to eat the entire recipe.) If you like herbs feel free to be a little generous with the parsley here. Serve this healthy dinner with green beans or peas.
Sheet Pan Meatloaf Dinner
Individual mini meatloaves, green beans, and mashed potatoes, all cooked to perfection on one pan? Yes, it’s true! The potatoes are chopped and cooked with a little water in a foil packet so that they steam to tenderness alongside the meatloaves (then you just quickly mash them with milk and a little butter). Be sure to stick to russet (baking) potatoes, and cut them into the ½-inch pieces called for; starchier potatoes and larger chunks will take much longer to get tender. We tuck cubes of creamy-sharp colby-Jack cheese into the meatloaf mixture for added yumminess; you can substitute cheddar, mozzarella, or provolone for different flavor profiles. And while we love green beans with this classic comfort dinner, you could also switch to broccoli or asparagus.
Ruthenian Mushroom Soup
A traditional Ruthenian dish, this soup starts with raw garlic and a bowl of dark brown mushrooms. It's a great dish to enjoy all winter long.
Slow Cooker Miso–Black Pepper Salmon
As a true dump-it-and-leave-it dish, this salmon is a weeknight-dinner go-to. The lime and scallion flavors will soak into the salmon, leaving it with a light Asian flavor. Be sure to spray the foil with cooking spray before adding food to the slow cooker to ensure that nothing sticks to it.
Cheesy Pasta With Broccoli and Olives
This creamy pasta gets its flavor depth from wine, lemon zest, parmesan, and crushed red pepper. It’s super satisfying thanks to all that fiber (nearly 40% of your daily goal)! Even better, it’s easy enough for a weeknight, but pretty enough for company. Buy pre-cut broccoli to cut down on prep time. If your family can’t stand to go meat-free, add grilled chicken breast or sauteed shrimp.
Spicy Beef Noodle Soup
This sinus-clearing soup is inspired by classic Szechuan beef noodle soup. Because some of the ingredients to make the traditional version require a trip to an Asian market (namely Szechuan peppercorns and chili bean paste), we approximated the flavors with supermarket items. Black pepper and coriander get at the Szechuan peppercorn flavor (but, admittedly, not the tongue-tingling effect), and miso and sambal oelek approximate the flavor of chili bean paste.
Baked Cauliflower Steaks With Sage and Red Pepper
There are a thousand different ways to make cauliflower, but one of the most satisfying is also the simplest. Pair this hearty side with your favorite one-dish meal or protein, or go the other way and add a simple side salad for a veggie-forward—if not entirely meatless—meal.
Crispy Chicken Thighs With Kale and Chickpeas
You could complicate things if you wanted to, but why bother when the simple way tastes so great? Not counting salt, pepper, and oil, this recipe contains just six ingredients—and tastes like a million bucks. That’s because the lightly seasoned chicken releases all its chicken-y goodness into the skillet, where onions, garlic, kale, and chickpeas lap it up so that none of the rich poultry flavor goes to waste. If you can, purchase air-chilled and/or organic chicken thighs. Since chicken is the star here, you want the best you can find.
Pasta with Mussels, Pine Nuts, and Orange
Chicken Meatball and Vegetable Soup
Here’s a fun and comforting take on chicken soup. We use ground chicken and turn it into super-savory, Parmesan-flavored meatballs. Loads of sliced carrots dot the soup (somehow, most other chicken soups don’t have enough carrots), and big handfuls of baby spinach gently wilt into the broth. A finishing flourish of grated Parmesan cheese enriches every satisfying bowl.
Pork Ragù With Polenta
Create a flavorful, golden crust on the pork roast by browning it well before placing it in the slow cooker. Red wine, tomatoes, and plenty of aromatics enrich the ragù with savory depth as it cooks low and slow.
Shrimp Cauliflower Rice
This flavorful paleo bowl is an easy and healthy way to liven up your next dinner. Topped with hearty shrimp and loaded with aromatic fresh ginger, this is a weeknight meal that the entire family can get excited about. Forget takeout because this quick skillet dinner is super straightforward and comes together in minutes.
Peppery Beef and Broccoli
Fast-cooking flank steak provides a hefty dose of iron; broccoli’s ample vitamin K boosts bone strength. Slice the steak against the grain for the most tender results.
Pork Chops with Herbed Goat Cheese Butter and Green Beans
Fresh thyme and lemon juice brighten this easy weeknight dinner. Kid-friendly and super quick, this can be your new go-to pork dinner. Clocking in at only $10.79 per serving, this dinner keeps in mind both your health and your wallet. You'll most likely have leftover goat cheese, but lucky for you, there's plenty of healthy, delicious ways that you can make use of what you didn't get to.
Turkey Burger Pizza
Craving burgers and pizza tonight? Treat your family to both with this wholesome mash-up. Whole-wheat pizza dough provides a fiber-rich base for lean ground turkey and a bounty of toppings. Pickles, tomatoes, and lettuce piled on top make this tasty main dish fun to eat for kids and parents alike. But the real finishing touch is the sauce—a nostalgic flavor bomb of sweet ketchup, tangy pickle juice, mayo, and mustard. It’s everything you love about a burger without the fast food guilt.
Cumin Lamb Stir-Fry
This spicy Szechuan-style dish is boldly flavored with earthy cumin and Szechuan peppercorns that make your mouth tingle pleasantly. If you're not a lamb fan, you can use beef sirloin instead. Toasting the cumin seeds and peppercorns draws out their essential oils and makes their aroma and flavor more intense.
Chickpea and Kale Curry
Embrace the comfort of Indian flavors with a 25-minute curry that also happens to be vegan. This meatless main offers plenty of protein thanks to quinoa and chickpeas, and boasts 40% of your daily fiber goal. Coconut milk lends velvety richness, while a mix of peanut butter and spices give the sauce rich flavor. A flourish of fresh herbs at the end brightens and freshens the dish.
Salmon With Green Beans and Smashed Potatoes
Smart timing makes this sheet pan supper easy and keeps your dish count down. Briefly microwave the potatoes first to help them cook up perfectly tender with the salmon; add the green beans last to keep them bright and crunchy.
Steak With Mixed Olive Tapenade, Butternut Squash, and Green Beans
This bountiful plate comes together in a snap thanks to savvy finds from the supermarket like frozen precooked butternut squash, olives from the olive bar, and spiralized beets (available in the produce section). If you can’t find the beets, you can add 1/3 cup precooked, sliced beets to the cooked and drained green beans. Cutting the steak in half will also speed up cooking; be sure to let it rest a few minutes before slicing.
Sweet Potato Medallions with Almond Sauce and Chickpea Salad
It may seem too good to be true, but it’s not: This impressive, full plate requires only 5 ingredients (water, oil, salt, and pepper are considered 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 could substitute any nut butter you like—peanut, cashew, or sunflower butter would be delicious. And if canned chickpeas aren’t in your pantry, you can use another mild legume; try cannellini or navy beans.
Poblano, Chicken, and Mushroom Quesadillas
A gentle poach keeps the chicken breast moist and tender, so it's easy to pull apart. The lime in the yogurt mixture will intensify over time—combine just before serving.