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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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Stuffed peppers are always a delicious recipe to whip after a busy day. This delicious stuffed peppers recipe looks impressive but it's so easy to make! A colourful Mediterranean-style dish with sun blushed tomatoes and melting mozzarella, you can trusts us when we say it tastes as good as it looks! Not only does a portion of this recipe equal one of your 5-a-day, it also works out at only 315 calories and 0.4g salt per serving. These stuffed peppers are ideal for lunch with a salad or served for dinner with new potatoes and fresh greens. Ready in just 30 mins, our stuffed peppers with couscous, courgette and mozzarella are vegetarian-friendly and are sure to tempt children with their vibrant colours and tasty flavours too.(203 ratings)
Including breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks(2 ratings)
Spanish chicken is a lovely dish to whip up when you want a filling yet delicious meal, and this Hairy Bikers' Spanish chicken bake recipe is the 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. It’s 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 Spanish chicken recipe - it's all made in one pot! Less washing up and a delicious family meal - what more could you want? This Spanish chicken recipe is part of the Hairy Dieters series.(844 ratings)
Carrot and coriander is a classic soup recipe - and it's easy to make in the comfort of your own home. Not only is this carrot and coriander soup super comforting for when you just a need a hug in a bowl, this light recipe is also only 102 calories per portion so it makes a nice low-cal option for lunch. The strong, herby flavours of the ground and fresh coriander complement the carrots beautifully. This carrot and coriander soup recipe serves 4 people and will take around 35 mins to prepare and cook, so you won't even have to spend that long in the kitchen to prepare it. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. You can also freeze this soup, defrost in the fridge overnight and reheat thoroughly before serving again, which makes this carrot and coriander soup a super easy meal to have in the freezer for when you need a easy and quick lunch.(134 ratings)
Using our easy mushroom risotto recipe this dish will quickly become a mid-week family staple in no time. Risotto is much easier to make than you might think and doesn't have to use a lot of ingredients. All you need is the correct rice and a bit of patience! Risotto recipes are perfect for a filling winter warmer or as a side portion with a summer salad and plenty of fresh vegetables. The mushrooms and the peas in this recipe work wonders together. If you don't have any peas in the freezer you could use asparagus instead - it's a good choice especially when its in season. This classic risotto recipe works out at only 307 calories per serving and 2g of fat. This risotto recipe serves 4 people and will take around 45 mins to prepare and cook - it's well worth the wait!(179 ratings)
Salmon and potato salad is a bright and flavourful meal, packed with nutritious vegetables and delicious flakes of hot smoked salmon. It is so easy to make but gives such impressive results. The punchy mustard dressing has a hint of sweetness from the maple syrup and enhances the flavour of your salmon and potato salad ingredients. The pistachio nuts provide a satisfying crunch, and the radishes give the salad a beautiful burst of colour. Hot smoked salmon is available in most supermarkets and gives the salad a luxurious touch. This salmon and potato salad is full of brain boosting omega 3 fish oils and iron. It is a healthy and filling dish is perfect for summer get togethers.
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 Asia’s 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 – so we think, you know, always worth a shot. You can make this simple turmeric latte from dairy-free milk if you’re 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 can’t 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.(4 ratings)
The best supermarket buys you didn't even know were vegan including Jus-Rol pastry and Cadbury's drinking chocolate(3 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 crudités 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)
Fish pie is a traditional recipe that's comforting and nutritious, made with white fish and smoked haddock. A guaranteed hit with the whole family! This easy fish pie recipe is the ultimate comfort food and it’s perfect served with green beans or garden peas for an extra dose of vitamin-packed veg. A guaranteed hit with the whole family! This classic fish pie will take around 1hr and 20 mins to make and cook and is well worth the wait. This family-sized fish pie serves 6 people, so it’s sure to become a family favourite. The best part of this mash-topped fish pie is the creamy, rich filling. White fish fillet and smoked haddock make a delicious combination in this pie. This fish pie is one of our top-rated recipes. Our user Jay says: 'It's excellent and have made it several times.' What do you think? Did you add something to our fish pie recipe to make it extra special? We always want to hear your twists on our dishes so leave us a comment to let us know how you made this recipe work for your family.(336 ratings)
Fruit kebabs are a fresh and flavourful summer dessert on a stick. The colourful fruits are arranged to make a beautiful rainbow design that kids will love. We’ve served our fruit kebabs with a tasty passion fruit and Greek yoghurt dip, which is simply made by mixing together a few ingredients, but complements the fruity skewers perfectly. We are often told to eat the rainbow in order to have a healthy diet – and with these fruit kebabs you can do just that. The different fruits provide a wide range of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins C and B6, potassium, beta carotene and calcium, as well as plenty of antioxidants. The natural sweetness of the fruit makes these rainbow fruit kebabs the perfect refreshing treat for a summer party or picnic. Kids can get involved once the chopping is done and help to make their very own fruit kebabs. The fun, hands on aspect of this recipe is a great way to encourage kids to eat more healthily. You can of course use any mixture of fruit you like for fruit kebabs, or whatever you have in the house at the time! We love things like strawberries and bananas because they keep their shape well when threaded onto the skewers.
Peach melba roulade is a crowd pleasing fruity summer dessert. Our version is fat free thanks to the 0% Greek yoghurt and meringue based roulade. We've taken the classic peach melba flavour combination of peaches and rasperries, but then reinvented them as a peach melba roulade made from meringue, and ditched any fat. This peach melba roulade recipe is the perfect light dessert to end a dinner party or family meal if you want something sweet but not too rich and heavy. It is easy to make but gives beautiful and impressive results every time. Even those who are trying to watch what they eat can enjoy this delicious but low fat dessert.(2 ratings)
Although Beetroots have the highest sugar content of any vegetable, they are also incredibly low in calories, making them the perfect savoury sweet treat for guilt-free snacking. This is a great way to make your beetroot harvest last longer so you can get that sweet beetroot flavour all year round. Costing next to nothing to make, if you can afford to spend the time to make this pickled beetroot recipe, you’ll have plenty to go around. Theses juicy beetroots can be enjoyed on their own, or they go really well with salads or sliced in sandwiches.(23 ratings)
Frozen yoghurt smoothie puddings are an ideal lighter dessert that are low in sugar but still sweet and moreish. We've used a blend of frozen tropical fruit and raspberries, bananas, Greek yoghurt and a touch of honey for some added natural sweetness. Smoothies may be a breakfast favourite, but with a bit of imagination, we've transformed the healthy drink into a delicious frozen dessert. This recipe is a great alternative to less healthy frozen desserts and ice creams as it will satisfy your sweet tooth but doesn't contain the additives and refined sugars of many other desserts. As well as containing less sugar, these frozen yoghurt smoothie puddings provide antioxidants and potassium. These sweet snacks are perfect for when the kids want a treat, but you don't want to give them too much sugar. Our frozen yoghurt smoothie puddings can be enjoyed by adults and children, and are a delicious way to cool down on a sunny day, without any unnecessary added sugar. They can be made in advance and frozen for up to 3 months for whenever you are in need of a guilt free indulgence. If you're feeling adventurous then you can always experiment with the fruit you use - we love combining blackberry and pears too.(1 ratings)
There's more choice than you might think...
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 – 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 we’ve added cherry tomatoes to this lamb recipe, you’re 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!(321 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.(4 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.