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Healthy recipes that are better for you, including healthy dinner recipes, healthy soups and salads as well as low calorie meals and even healthier desserts. Find healthy eating inspiration if you're trying to be good this month, want to lose a few pounds or just trying to get more of your recommended five-a-day fruit and vegetables.
Eating healthily might seem like a challenge when you've got a family to feed and you're on a budget, but there are plenty of healthy meals ideas to try - and they are easy on your purse! You will find delicious healthy recipes for all the family, and they are good for you too.
If you want to make sure you stick to your healthy eating plan (this time!), here are some easy things you can do to make it a little bit easier.
Don't forget breakfast!
We know everyone always says it, but breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. A big, filling breakfast will set you and your family up for the day and will help stop snacking later in the morning. You don't need to spend ages making it either. Make your own porridge or muesli, or you could even bake a big batch of breakfast muffins on a Sunday so you can grab one to start the day early in the week. Try sprinkling dried fruits or nuts over your breakfast for more protein, which will help keep you fuller for longer.
Plan your food
At the start of the week or month, take a little time out to plan exactly what you're going to eat. Plan your meals and what extras you're going to buy so you don't get tempted by any snacks in the supermarket. If you know exactly what you're going to eat and when, you can be sure not to let hunger take over your decisions when it comes to eating. Never shop on an empty stomach!
Pick what suits you
There are so many different diets out there, but they may not suit you or your lifestyle. Pick and choose the elements of diets that you think you'll stick to and work them into your everyday life. Don't think you could manage the very limited 500 calorie days on the 5:2 diet? Instead, try having 2 days where you don't have meat or snacks in a week. Little changes will help.
You can have the best intentions, but if you're hungry, you're much more likely to reach for quick fix snacks - and that means chocolate, biscuits and crisps! Keeping full by eating satisfying meals, or earing little and often, will mean that you can eat only what you want to, rather than giving into cravings. Drinking lots of water, eating filling meals and snacking on fruit, veg and nuts will stop your stomach rumbling.
Get your 5-a-day
One of the easiest ways to keep track of how healthily you're eating is to keep track of how much fruits and veg you're eating. The standard 5-a-day is a good measure but you can, of course, have more. Keep a mental list of how many of your 5-a-day you are having (or even write it down) and work out how to get more into your diet. One for breakfast, one for lunch, two for dinner and one for a snack is a good way of dividing it out.
Know your food
Understanding your food and knowing how to use different ingredients will give you much more scope to create healthy meals. If you don't know how to cook, it's easy to reach for unhealthy ready made options but it's really easy to learn the basics. A homemade pasta sauce, soup or smoothie is much healthier for you and will taste better if you make it yourself. Once you know how to use vegetables in lots of different ways, it makes them much less boring - for the whole family!
Homemade not shop-bought
It can be really easy to grab ready meals and shop-bought sauces, but you can never be sure what's going into them - and nearly every time the homemade version will be much healthier for you, and taste better too! If you've never made a sauce from scratch, it can be a little bit daunting but start with a basic recipe, such as a simple tomato sauce, and you will see how much healthier it can be.
Never allowing yourself a treat will only make you crave them more. Every now and again, give in and have what you really, really fancy. As long as you are generally healthy most of the time, it really won't matter - food is meant to be enjoyed! Some people are healthy during the week, then splash out at the weekend, others have a day or two where they forget about the diet - whatever works for you. If you find yourself needing a treat pretty much every day, you can cheat and have a lower-fat cake or dessert - if you make the right one, you won't be able to tell the difference.
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There's more choice than you might think...
This Hairy Bikers' Spanish chicken bake recipe is a perfect one-pot wonder. The Hairy Bikers have captured the classic flavours of Spain in one dish - and it's one of their diet dishes too! At just 370 calories per serving, you'd think this Hairy Bikers Spanish chicken would be lacking in flavour - far from it! The powerful flavours of paprika and chorizo give the chicken a lovely Spanish twist. This delicious Spanish chicken bake serves 4 people and will take about 1hr and 15 mins to make in total. Itís well worth the wait! The Hairy Bikers use chicken thighs in this recipe to cut down the cost but feel free to use your favourite cut of chicken instead e.g. chicken breast or drumsticks. And the best thing about this recipe - it's all made in one pot! Less washing up and a delicious family meal - what more could you want? This recipe is part of the Hairy Dieters series.(824 ratings)
The best supermarket buys you didn't even know were vegan including Jus-Rol pastry and Cadbury's drinking chocolate(2 ratings)
Our broad beans hummus recipe transforms these beautiful bright green beans into a delicious and colourful dip. This dip is a great way to use up a surplus of green beans, or just a great twist on a classic hummus. Hummus is a popular Middle Eastern dip, traditionally made from cooked chickpeas, blended with tahini, lemon juice, garlic and olive oil. In the UK, we love to serve broad bean hummus as a dip with cruditťs or crisps, or spread on sandwiches for a healthy, vegetarian lunch. Many varieties of shop bought hummus are available, but it is so cheap and easy to make that once you've tried making you're own you'll never go back to buying pre-made. Our broad bean hummus recipe gives a twist on the classic dip. Using broad beans, also known as fava beans, makes an interesting change and creates a dip with an eye-catching colour and fresh flavour. If you want to make this ahead it will keep for a couple of days in the fridge, but is best served fresh to keep its vibrant colour.(1 ratings)
Joe Wicks' halloumi fries are the perfect compromise between healthy and indulgent. This Body Coach recipe is low in carbs, so it's ideal if you're trying to shed pounds or cut down on carbohydrates. Halloumi is always a favourite for veggies, and this is a vegetarian dish that can be whipped up as a side dish, starter or even as a snack in no time at all. To make these halloumi fries, you'll need 12 mins to prepare them and 10 mins to cook them before you can devour them. Joe Wicks' halloumi fries recipes only serves 4 people, so make sure you double up the recipe if you're feeding more people - these dippers are so moreish that they'll vanish before your eyes in minutes! Joe suggests serving them with avocado, a quick tomato salsa and a big fistful of rocket for an extra dose of veg. Joe Wicks says: 'What did the cheese say when it looked in the mirror? Halloooo me! These make a wicked little snack at a party or barbecue. They wont last long though, so you might want to double up the recipe.'(5 ratings)
From lunch and dinner ideas to delicious snack recipes, you'll love these healthy recipes...(32 ratings)
Slimming World's chicken curry recipe is one of our favourite delicious and simple-to-make Slimming World dinners! Itís guilt-free too, making it the perfect Saturday night alternative to a takeaway. This Slimming World curry is easy to make, and it's ready to be eaten in less than hour. Curry is one the nation's favourite meals and it's not off the menu if you're counting the calories. Diet club Slimming World have taken the classic dish and made it nice and healthy, and the best part is that it has not lost out on any of the flavour. The main way this Slimming World curry recipe is better for you in terms of calories is that itĎs not made with coconut milk or any other liquids that can add more calories to a curry Ė itís simply cooked with water but it still taste absolutely delicious. This Slimming World curry recipe is so tasty, even those not following the diet can enjoy it, so you donít have to cook two meals if youíre following the Slimming World plan. The potato in the mix means you don't need to serve it with rice and sides. This recipe serves 4 people and should take approximately 40 minutes to make. If youíre craving curry, make this light and tasty Slimming World recipe instead of getting a takeaway Ė itís a lot healthier and cheaper. Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up 2 days. Reheat thoroughly before serving.(486 ratings)
Fearne Cotton's healthy cupcakes with peanut butter and jam are the perfect treat to make with the kids! To make this healthy cupcake recipe, you'll need about an hour as they're made completely from scratch - even the jam! But even though you make everything from scratch, this healthy cupcake recipe is very straightforward and you only need three ingredients to make the jam - chia seeds, honey and raspberries. This healthy cupcake recipe makes 10 cupcakes, but you can double up the ingredients to make more - which you probably should as they're so moreish... When you're making these healthy cupcakes, especially if your little ones are involved, you can snack on the excess bits of cake while you assemble your cupcakes - it's the best part! Fearne says: 'Peanut butter and jam go together like duvets and books. Total soul-satisfying perfection. I eat a lot of nut butter as I adore the creaminess and flavour and am always happy to boost up my daily protein with it too, so getting my fave ingredient into a bake was a must for this book. The jam is a little hidden secret inside that will be delightfully discovered when bitten in to, and the creamy topping just makes these little dream boats even more decadent. Serve up when your mates or family drop over for tea, or give to your little ones as a cheeky treat.'
Fearne Cotton's salmon tray bake is a quick and easy midweek dinner you can make in less than one hour. With plenty of veg including asparagus and tomatoes, this salmon dish is a great way to get your family - especially the kids - to eat their 5-a-day! Salmon is also rich in omega-3, which has multiple health benefits including improving heart health. To make this salmon tray bake, you will only need 10 minutes to prep and then let the oven do the hard work for another 35 mins - quick and easy! Fearne says: 'I love a tray bake as you get to whack a whole host of foods and flavours together, which makes it quick to make and also extremely flavoursome. Each ingredient seeps into the next, complementing each other and adding to the overall deliciousness. This is a very simple and easy recipe but will feed four hungry faces very well indeed. It is a good-looking, no-messing dish that is bursting with great protein and healthy veg!'(3 ratings)
A turmeric latte is a delicious alternative to coffee, and makes the perfect afternoon pick-me-up if you need a boost. The health benefits of turmeric, and therefore a turmeric latte, are thought to be numerous and include many things you might not expect. One of the biggest turmeric benefits is said to be its anti-inflammatory compounds. This nifty side-effect of one of Asiaís most popular ingredients means turmeric could help to alleviate the symptoms of all sorts of common diseases and conditions. One of the elements that make up turmeric is rich in something called curcumin, which is a powerful antioxidant and popular in anti-ageing supplements Ė so we think, you know, always worth a shot. You can make this simple turmeric latte from dairy-free milk if youíre trying to follow a vegan diet, are lactose intolerant or just prefer to limit your intake of dairy products. Fresh turmeric is found in lots of big supermarkets now, and is usually where the ginger and fresh herbs are stocked, but if you canít find any then you can use the powdered form. Simply stir it into a paste with a little boiling water before mixing with your milk to ensure your turmeric latte is lump-free.(1 ratings)
Lamb is cheap and very easy to cook so this recipe for a delicious lamb steak will soon become a family favourite! For this baked lamb steaks recipe, each portion is under 400 calories, so you get a filling and nourishing protein-rich meal for under 500 calories. It bakes in the oven, leaving you to get on with something else Ė maybe even prepare a little surprise pudding? And as it's so low on fat it is great if you're on a diet but still want a really satisfying meal. Cooking all the ingredients together in one pan allows them to infuse each other with their rich flavours for a really satisfying meal that doesn't need gravy. Because weíve added cherry tomatoes to this lamb recipe, youíre also getting some veg to up your 5-a-day intake without any extra effort. And the best part is that because this easy lamb steaks recipe is cooked in just one pan, the washing up will be really quick as well. We've added fresh herbs at the last minute instead, to give a final hit of flavour - delicious!(313 ratings)
Courgette spaghetti with pesto and chicken is a quick and easy dish that is both healthy and packed with flavour. If you love pasta, but want to eat something a bit lighter and lower in carbs, then courgette spaghetti is for you. The spiralised courgette acts just like spaghetti and is the perfect base for a pasta sauce. Even better - these clever noodles can count towards one of your five a day. Even fussy eaters won't notice they're eating vegetables when it's disguised as pasta. We've served our courgette spaghetti with home made pesto and seasoned, pan fried chicken fillets. Making your own pesto is so easy and gives far better results than anything you can buy in the shops. All you need to do is blend a few ingredients and you've got a fresh and punchy sauce, without any artificial flavourings or additives. Our recipe uses quark, a lower fat cheese product, popular in Germany, which reduces the fat content and gives the pesto a creamy texture. Courgette spaghetti with pesto and chicken is the perfect healthy summer supper.(3 ratings)
This layered yogurt bombe from Eat Well For Less is the perfect dessert if you're looking for an impressive yet healthy dish to serve to guests. It takes a little time to set in the freezer, but is well worth the wait, and it's a great dessert for when you want to impress. Prepping this dessert if really quick - you only need 15 mins! But bear in mind that it will need to chill in the freezer for 2 hours, so remember that before you start making it. If you prefer to make it in advance, you can keep the bombe (covered) in the freezer for weeks and serve it another time. When you are nearly ready to serve this yogurt bombe, remove it from the freezer and defrost in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before turning out and cutting to serve. This yogurt bombe will serve 4 people, but you can easily double up the ingredient quantities if you need to feed more people. This recipe is really simple to make, and you only need 4 ingredients to whip it up. If you have leftovers - which we doubt you will - this delicious Eat Well For Less dessert will keep frozen for up to one month.
Joe Wicks' roast beef is the answer if you're trying to shed pounds or become more lean but still want to enjoy a delicious Sunday roast. For this roast beef recipe, the Body Coach has reduced the carbs that are usually included in a roast recipe, and instead suggests that you serve the roast beef with greens that will still satisfy and fill you up but without the extra calories. But as Body Coach fans will know, Joe never compromises on taste and this recipe also includes a deliciously cheesy cauliflower bake - with mascarpone cheese - as well as as swede and carrot mash - yum! This Joe Wicks recipe is also surprisingly easy and quick to make - it will only take you 20 mins to prepare and another 45 mins to cook. This roast beef recipe will serve 4 people, but you can always double up the ingredients if you're cooking for more people. Joe Wicks says: 'I love a good roast and this one has all the trimmings, including swede mash and cauliflower cheese. There are no Yorkshire puddings Iím afraid but it tastes lovely and will keep you lean.'
Taking part in the Slimming World plan? Starting to notice that it's taking over your shopping lists and kitchen cupboards? Don't worry, you're not the only one.(122 ratings)
Joe Wicks' fish finger sandwich is another great Body Coach recipe that you can make in no time. This Joe Wicks' fish finger sandwich serves two people, but you can easily double up the quantities if you're feeding more people. It will only take you around 15 mins to prepare this fish finger sandwich and another 10 mins to cook them, so you can have dinner ready to be eaten on the table in just 25 mins - from scratch! If you want a lighter meal, you can still use this recipe to make the fish fingers and serve with a fresh green salad instead of making a sandwich. Fish is a great source of protein and generally has less calories than meat, so these fish fingers will still be a filling meal without breaking the diet. Making your own fish fingers is also a genius way to avoid nasty ingredients in your food, as you can make them as basic as you want and know exactly what you're putting in them, so they're a healthy option without compromising on taste. To make this fish finger sandwich even tastier, Joe Wicks says you can spice up your fish fingers by adding ground spices such as paprika or cumin to the flour or breadcrumbs.
This easy carrot and butternut squash soup recipe is perfect for the whole family. There are days when only soup will do, when you can have a soothing, veg-packed meal and dunk in hunks of bread slathered in butter. The great thing about soup is that, with just a few cheap ingredients, you can make up a big batch and keep it in the fridge or freezer. For this velvety squash soup recipe, youíll only need nine ingredients that are really cheap and easy to get from the supermarket. This simple sunshine bowl of soup will brighten up any grey day. This soup serves 6 people, so itís enough to feed your family and you can keep leftovers for lunch the next day. Packed with nutrients, this butternut squash soup is a healthy way to up your five-a-day and the best part is that itís also really quick to make. Making this butternut squash soup will only take 40 mins from scratch, but only 10 mins to prepare, so you can leave it to bubble away for half an hour while you carry on with your day. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days and the rest can be frozen.(201 ratings)
This Eat Well For Less homemade gammon noodle pot is a quick and easy lunch option if you're short on time. It's a super quick lunch recipe as it only takes 5 mins to prep and 10 mins to cook, so you'll have a delicious meal ready in just 15 mins! So quick and simple to put together, all you need to do come lunchtime is boil the kettle and wait a few minutes. This Eat Well For Less recipe is so simple to make that you can even make a different variation each day by adding your favourite spices to the mix. Ring the changes with your vegetables and mix and match to suit - try finely sliced sugar snap peas, mushrooms or mangetout, or sweetcorn kernels. Another way to achieve a different flavour is to add a teaspoon of curry powder or 1⁄2 teaspoon of Thai red curry paste - simple changes that will completely transform the taste of this cheap and quick dish. This Eat Well For Less recipe is also gluten-free, which is ideal if you're following a gluten-free diet or are gluten intolerant.(1 ratings)