Healthy Dinner Ideas for You and Your Family

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Cooking healthy food for you and your family doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, once you’ve learned some basic techniques and have a steady flow of fresh ingredients in the kitchen, you’ll find healthy cooking to be quick, painless, and 100% worth the effort.

JOW is here to help with optimized grocery lists based on the number of people in your household, making shopping a breeze. But once you’ve assembled your ingredients, where do you start on your journey to healthy home cooking

Why not start with dinner? After all, that’s when the whole family is present, hungry, and ready to eat whatever you bring to the table.

To spark your inspiration, we’ve assembled a list of healthy dinner ideas, from starters and apps to entrees and sides – plus a few desserts for good measure. Let’s begin.

Starters and Salads

We all need something to nibble on before dinner, so put together a few easy starter dishes or salads to stimulate everyone’s appetites. While traditional salads might feature peppers, tomatoes, and carrots, we’re taking it a little further out of the box here. Starters and salads are also a wonderful way to sneak some veggies into your family’s meal time and keep them happy, full, and healthy.

Avocado and Caper Salad

This is a no-frills starter that bursts with flavor and healthy fats, waking the palate at the beginning of the meal. A few slices of avocado per person is all you really need, and the cannellini beans, paprika, and lemon will do the rest for taste.

Watermelon and Feta Salad

Summer is here, the watermelons are ripe on the vine, and you have beautiful fresh feta cheese waiting to be enjoyed in the refrigerator. This miraculous recipe brings all of these wonderful ingredients together with a dash of red wine vinegar and pine nuts for some crunch and tangy flavor.

Use arugula from the garden for extra freshness in this simple starter dish that never misses the mark.

Zucchini and Chickpea Salad

Some Americans may find it odd to see zucchini slices featured in their starter salad, but we encourage everyone to indulge in this delicious first course.

You can make this simple salad in just six minutes, and it’s such an easy recipe that you can grab some kitchen helpers—AKA your kids and spouse—to help toss the ingredients and squeeze the fresh lemon juice. It’s a fun, tasty activity that the whole family can enjoy.

The result is a crunchy salad that will spark a serious appetite.

Spring Potato and Anchovy Salad

Your little ones might be skeptical of anchovies on their dinner plate at first, but this easy recipe offers an appetizing introduction to these small and salty fish.

This delicate yet hearty starter has plenty to love. From fine-chopped shallots and fresh green beans to mustard-tinged potatoes and perfectly boiled eggs, the spring potato and anchovy salad will have the whole family talking the moment it’s served.

Exceptional Entrees

The best healthy entrees balance flavor, texture, appearance, and macronutrients. Cover all of your bases with one of these delicious and nutritious entrees at your next family dinner.

Duck Breast, Apricot and Honey

Inspired by the warm and inviting environment of Southern France, this duck entrée is a departure from the typical beef-and-potatoes dinners of the United States. Nevertheless, it checks all the boxes for flavor, nutrition, and elegant presentation.

Few entrées express the delicate sweet-and-savory balance better than this one, with honey and apricot complementing the salty, rosemary-infused duck breast in the spotlight. After a few bites, you’ll be on the lookout for more duck breast recipes, guaranteed. 

Lucky for you, JOW has plenty of under 30-minute recipes for the family to enjoy, created and tested with love to provide the best flavor combinations with the easiest prep. 

Like most of JOW’s creations, this recipe is easy to make and can be completed in under half an hour. We also think this sauce would go perfectly with chicken breast or a salmon filet and some vegetables (think hearty mushrooms or springtime asparagus)—think outside the box, and customize your dinner to your family’s preferences. 

Roasted Sausage and Butternut Squash

When it’s the season for butternut squash, you’ll want to use these flavor-packed gourds in nearly every meal. This sausage and veggie mix puts squash in the spotlight, and it only takes 35 minutes from start to finish.

This is definitely one of those cold winter night comfort food dishes that doesn’t involve an excess of calories but remains filling and satisfying for everyone at the dinner table. Serve it with a side of spinach for a pop of leafy greens, and enjoy. 

Chicken and Coconut Skewers With Cilantro Lime Rice

You don’t need heavy pasta or burger buns to support your proteins when you have a bed of ancient grains beneath your chicken.

While you might think of a grill for your skewered chicken at first, a pan drizzled with olive oil can easily achieve that same even cook and full flavor.

You can choose any type of whole grain to accompany the kebabs, and JOW’s shopping lists can help you buy the right amount of grains to feed your family every time you shop. We love white rice because it holds the flavor nicely, but there are countless others to choose from at your local store that will complement this chicken recipe as well. 

Be sure to read the instructions and cook your grains with the proper amount of water and for the proper amount of time. Don’t forget the fresh cilantro and plenty of lime juice for a bold flavor boost. If you find you love this recipe as much as we do, consider swapping the chicken out for shrimp for a seafood twist. 

Light and Fresh Side Dishes

Complete your main course with a light and fresh side dish that perfectly complements your entrée in terms of taste and nutrition.

Summer Potato Salad

If your little ones know and love American potato salads, introduce them to this summer potato salad featuring tarragon, shallot, and white wine vinegar. A little garlic wouldn’t be out of place, either. 

The flavors are phenomenally fresh, and you won’t believe how healthy it is once you take your first bite. We prefer small potatoes for this healthy recipe, but feel free to use your family’s favorites.

Grilled Eggplant with Hummus

Nothing beats fresh, in-season eggplant, so don’t let summer end without trying this delicious grilled eggplant dish. Eggplant is incredibly easy to cook in a pan or on the grill, and it has the ideal texture for a hearty summer side dish.

This beautiful dish combines cooked eggplant with feta and hummus, plus fresh herbs and olive oil. You can even add some light citrus fruit for extra zest to make it your own.

Spring Pasta Salad

When winter ends, welcome the springtime with a fresh and inspiring pasta salad. No need for heavy cream or mayo here. Just fresh lettuce, lemon, parmesan, and a bit of torn ham to accompany your family’s favorite mini pasta shape.

Add some fresh green peas to the mix to help your salad burst with crunch and spring flavors,  or swap in some broccoli and cauliflower for extra texture. 

Grilled Sardines and Zucchini

While picky eaters may shy away from sardines, this dish is a great opportunity to introduce them to their new favorite food. This grilled sardine dish can also be saved for the grown-ups, especially when you have an abundance of zucchini.

The preparation is simple and quick – cooked in one baking dish and completed in less than 25 minutes. Sardines are one of the healthiest foods you can serve your family, so enjoy every bite knowing that you’re looking after your family’s health and happiness.

Something (Slightly) Sweet

Dessert doesn’t need to be loaded with fat and calories to satisfy your family’s sweet tooth. Here are some light treats to end your healthy, simple weeknight dinner.

Yogurt With Apricot Compote

Natural yogurt is chock-full of healthy vitamins and minerals. Just add some fruit to create a sweet, delightful treat.

This sweet and creamy yogurt bowl takes less than five minutes to prep, and it also works wonders as a delicious and nutritious breakfast.

Pear and Chocolate Bowls

Cream cheese is a lovely substitute for ice cream when you are trying to stay healthy. These delicious bowls are packed with tasty dark chocolate and pears, adding a blast of antioxidants and mood-boosting vitamins.

Enjoy your pear and chocolate bowl guilt-free, and go back for seconds.

Strawberries With Homemade Whipped Cream

This delicious whipped cream’s simplicity deserves a standing ovation. Inspire your kids to eat their daily serving of fruit by pairing strawberries with this delicious whipped cream, or serve it as a healthy midday snack. 

When strawberries are in season, you’ll want to make the most of it.

Healthy Dinners Made Simple and Fast

We’ve busted the myth that healthy cooking has to be expensive and time-consuming, and with these recipes for JOW, you can commit to long-term health for yourself and your family.

Once you learn the fundamentals of healthy cooking and set boundaries against no-go foods in the house, it becomes intuitive and easy. You’ll feel better, look better, and be more energized, so you can make the most of your family time every night. 

JOW makes it easy to give your family healthy meals that they’ll love, and we help optimize your time so you can spend more of your day enjoying a sweet treat or a savory side dish with the people you love most. 

Enjoy these recipes, explore our website for more, and discover all the benefits that come with a healthy lifestyle.