Fresh and Light Dinner Recipes

From salads to pastas to sandwiches, we've compiled a list of our favorite easy and light dinner recipes. We even have ideas for making steak into a light and refreshing meal! Plus, these recipes are filled with fresh ingredients, making them extra tasty and nutritious. These recipes prove that dinner doesn't have to be a covered in mounds of cheese and dripping with butter to be satisfying!

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  • 1 of 32

    Greek Meatballs with Squash "Noodles" and Tomatoes

    Spaghetti and meatballs gets a fresh, light makeover in this sheet pan dinner recipe. Replace classic spaghetti with spiralized squash "noodles," tomato sauce with fresh roasted tomatoes, and normal meatballs with our Mediterranean-inspired version. You may never go back to traditional pasta nights!

  • Steamed Tilapia with Asparagus and Orange 2 of 32

    Steamed Tilapia with Asparagus and Orange

    Not only is this dinner quick and light, but there's not much cleanup either. Steaming the tilapia and asparagus together in the same skillet gets this meal on your dinner table a little bit faster (and cuts down on after-dinner dishwashing). Serve with fresh orange slices to add a burst of citrus to every bite.

  • Fast or Slow Garlic-Ginger Pork Lettuce Wraps 3 of 32

    Garlic-Ginger Pork Lettuce Wraps

    Skip the slow cooker and get dinner on the table fast with help from your pressure cooker—the pork filling really will cook in just six minutes! Wrap up the filling in fresh lettuce leaves with your choice of toppings (we're fans of adding shredded carrots, sliced radishes, and green onion).

  • Mexican Chopped Chicken Salad with Jalapeno Dressing 4 of 32

    Mexican Chopped Chicken Salad with Jalapeno Dressing

    It won't take much convincing for even your pickiest eaters to dive fork-first into this gorgeous Mexican-inspired salad. Speed up prep by starting with leftover or rotisserie chicken and mix up the homemade salad dressing in advance. Just be sure to line up your fresh fruits and veggies in rows for the ultimate photo-worthy look!

  • Lentil, Quinoa, and Baby Kale Bowls 5 of 32

    Lentil, Quinoa, and Baby Kale Bowls

    Fresh veggies are the star of this bright, beautiful grain bowl. A mix of lentils and quinoa will help fill you up, and baby kale, carrots, peas, and radish slices make this easy dinner as nutritious as it is delicious. Berbere spice mix gives this recipe a powerful punch of flavor, so don't underestimate it!

  • Buttery Celery Tortellini, pasta, celery 6 of 32

    Buttery Celery Tortellini

    We're always looking for more ways to add veggies to pasta night, and this meatless celery dish hits the spot! Toss together crisp-tender celery slices with cheesy tortellini and serve in a yummy butter sauce (just a little bit goes a long way!). 

  • 7 of 32

    Thai Rice Noodle and Grilled Steak Salad

    Fresh lettuce, cucumber, and carrots make the perfect salad base for this hearty yet healthy Asian noodle dish. Crunchy peanuts are the ideal nutty addition to the mix.

    Tip: Slice your steak against the grain to make it as tender as any flat iron you'll order at a restaurant.

  • 8 of 32

    Seared Steak and Peppers with Cilantro Chimichurri

    This mouthwatering main dish is full of flavor and ready in a hurry. A zesty chimichurri sauce ties together the juicy steak and peppers, plus adds a pop of freshness to this delicious dinner.

  • 9 of 32

    Mediterranean Quinoa Fried Rice

    Veggies pack this delicious dish of red quinoa. Kalamata olives, tomatoes, spinach, and eggplant all play a role in this easy vegetarian dinner recipe—just don't forget to add a sprinkle of feta cheese on top!

  • 10 of 32

    Chicken with Basil Sauce and Cucumber Radish Salad

    We have the ideal feel-good recipe for dinner tonight! This delicious chicken dinner is accompanied by a creamy basil sauce and a fresh salad of cucumbers, radishes, and broccoli sprouts.

  • 11 of 32

    Striped Bass en Brodo

    You only need a handful of ingredients to enjoy this fish fillet for dinner. Paired with tomato slices and seasoned with fresh thyme, this is one light dinner recipe you'll want to keep handy.

  • 12 of 32

    Creamy Spring Vegetables and Smoked Trout

    A trio of veggies and smoked trout make for a delicious and speedy dinner. Ready in just 20 minutes, this easy recipe is a fresh meal that's made for busy weeknights.

  • 13 of 32

    Indian Cauliflower Fried Rice

    Instead of the usual white rice, this yummy recipe uses cauliflower rice for an extra helping of veggies. You can also substitute shredded yellow squash or zucchini for the carrots, and cut green beans for the peas, if you like.

  • 14 of 32

    Black Bean and Rainbow Chard Tortillas

    This isn't your average tortilla. Loaded with rainbow chard, sweet peppers, and onions, this recipe is packed with vitamins. The vegetarian dish gets protein from black beans, and rainbow Swiss chard adds color and freshness.

  • 15 of 32

    Orange Salmon and Green Onions

    You'll be amazed at how quickly this impressive main dish comes together. With just seven ingredients, dinner can be on the table in 30 minutes. Fresh oranges and limes are the stars of the Asian-inspired sauce for this easy salmon dish.

  • 16 of 32

    Tahini-Ginger Noodles and Veggies

    Look no further. This yummy veggie and noodle bowl is about to become your go-to dinner! Tahini helps make the sauce for this dish extra creamy; lemon juice and ginger give it a burst of brightness.

  • 17 of 32

    Grilled Turkey Gyros

    Lighten up traditional gyros by filling whole wheat pita rounds with grilled turkey patties, bright tomatoes, and a homemade cucumber-yogurt sauce. You'll get all the taste of the classic Greek wrap while cutting the fat, sodium, and calories.

  • 18 of 32

    California Tuna Parmesan

    Try a juicy tuna steak on a bed of crisp-tender asparagus and mixed baby greens. A drizzle of simple lemon juice and olive oil and a sprinkling of shaved Parmesan cheese complete this fast and fresh dinner.

  • 19 of 32

    Turkey Burgers with Peaches and Blueberries

    Savory meets sweet in this grilled turkey burger recipe topped with fresh seasonal fruit. Seasoned with spicy chili powder and served on garlic bread, this easy burger recipe is sure to wow your dinner guests. 

  • 20 of 32

    Salmon-Potato Cakes

    Ready in less than 30 minutes, these irresistible salmon cakes bring new flavors to an old favorite. Mixing in savory-seasoned mashed potatoes provides an unexpected creamy texture.

  • 21 of 32

    Rice and Bean Frittata

    Step outside the usual breakfast-for-dinner routine and try our protein-packed rice and bean frittata. Filled with seasonal ingredients—zucchini, summer squash, and cherry tomatoes—this egg dish makes a quick and satisfying meal any night of the week.

  • 22 of 32

    Skillet Vegetables on Cheese Toast

    Layers of garlicky cooked carrots and mushrooms balance the creaminess of the goat cheese spread in this hearty open-face veggie sandwich. For a bit more protein, feel free to top each serving with a poached or fried egg.

  • 23 of 32

    Chicken, Tomato, and Cucumber Salad

    This bright and beautiful chicken salad is loaded with tomatoes, olives, and feta cheese. Even better, it can be ready in just 20 minutes and is chock-full of healthful nutrients.

  • 24 of 32

    Pizza Primavera

    Flatbread pizza gets a fresh update when covered with fresh asparagus, sweet peppers, tomatoes, and mushrooms. This easy vegetarian dish is perfect for a jam-packed weeknight evening.

  • Cumin-Crusted Veggie Burgers with Pineapple Salsa 25 of 32

    Cumin-Crusted Veggie Burgers with Pineapple Salsa

    Want a meal that's flavor-packed but won't take forever to make? Look no further. This unique veggie burger is topped with a fresh pineapple salsa and comes together in 20 minutes flat.

  • 26 of 32

    Spicy Shrimp Pasta

    Busy night? For a quick meal, add shrimp, jalapeno peppers, and cherry tomatoes to a simple pasta dish for extra heartiness and spicy flavor. Start with a green salad and you'll meet all your nutrition and satisfaction needs for supper!

  • 27 of 32

    Spicy Brazilian Turkey Soup

    Colorful and satisfying, this one-dish meal cuts calories without sacrificing flavor. Tomatoes, turkey, and fresh spices such as garlic, chile pepper, and ginger make this spicy soup shine.

  • 28 of 32

    Iceberg Wedge Salad with Bacon, Carrots, and Radishes

    Add a savory crunch to this lettuce-wedge salad with crispy bacon, carrots, and radishes. Top with our simple garlicky dressing for a light dinner salad your guests won't be able to resist.

  • 29 of 32

    Pork Chops and Squash

    Chopped orange slices brighten the simple salsa that tops our tender grilled pork chops. Served on a bed of grilled summer squash, this recipe uses just a handful of ingredients, keeping your dinner quick and easy to make.

  • 30 of 32

    Basil, Chicken, and Tomatoes

    Jump-start dinner with store-bought rotisserie chicken purchased from your supermarket deli. Fresh ingredients—sliced tomatoes, avocado, and basil—finish this quick, easy, and light dinner.

  • 31 of 32

    Veggie Grilled Cheese

    Take a break from traditional grilled cheese and try it with fresh spinach, pickled veggies, and fresh mozzarella. The garlic and mozzarella cheese give this classic sandwich Italian flair.

  • Next Slideshow All-Time Favorite Italian Recipes

    All-Time Favorite Italian Recipes

    Calling all spaghetti-lovers and pizza purists! You're going to fall for all of our delicious Italian recipes. These traditional dishes are our favorite Italian recipes -- ones you'll want to share, hand down, and save in your recipe box. Sure, we have classics like spaghetti bolognese and baked ziti, but be sure to start with bruschetta and end with tiramisu for the complete Italian experience!
    Begin Slideshow »
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