How many times have you cooked a meal only to be stuck with a week’s worth of leftovers that go uneaten until someone takes the initiative to throw them out? These giant meals only take up space in your refrigerator and get soggy. Never fear — there are hundreds of healthy dinner recipes designed for two. These dishes use whole-food ingredients, are high in protein, and keep the fat to a minimum to provide you with heart-healthy dinner options. Lace up your apron and enjoy this collection of recipes.
1. Peanutty Quinoa Bowl
This recipe is perfect if you’re vegetarian or just trying to cut back on meat without skimping on protein. The protein-packed quinoa recipe from Oh My Veggies is topped with savory soy and maple baked tofu and has a homemade peanut sauce to cover up the slew of steamed veggies. If you’re looking for a healthy dinner option that doesn’t take hours, this 20-minute recipe is the perfect choice.
- ½ cup quinoa
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 small broccoli crown, broken into florets
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 teaspoon tamari or soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon brown sugar or coconut sugar
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 slices baked tofu
- 2 tablespoons chopped roasted peanuts
Head to Oh My Veggies for the full recipe.
2. Lemon-Rosemary Chicken
If you don’t want to swing by the grocery store for a huge trip, this simple six-ingredient recipe from Food Fanatic is the perfect solution. Pair the savory chicken with some rice, quinoa, or whatever starch you have on hand, and throw together a veggie-filled salad. While you marinate the chicken, go for a quick workout or take care of chores around the house to maximize your time.
- 4 large bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
- 1 lemon, sliced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
Head to Food Fanatic for the full recipe.
3. Brined Pork Chops With Brown Sugar Glaze
The Kitchn’s pork chop dish is sure to impress even the biggest foodie. The sage-infused brine and the sweet brown sugar glaze lock in the meat’s juiciness and pack the dish with some serious flavor. For this healthy recipe for two, you’ll need a few hours to let the pork brine, so make sure to plan ahead for this date night-worthy meal.
- 2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh sage
- 2 (1-inch-thick) center-cut, boneless pork chops (about 1 pound)
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- Vegetable oil
Head to The Kitchn for the full recipe.
4. Broccoli, Brie, and Walnut Pasta
If you’re looking for something that is as uncomplicated as it is delicious, this broccoli pasta from Pinch and Swirl is not one to be skipped. This easy-to-make dish uses just five ingredients and takes 15 minutes to prepare. Feel free to add in your favorite veggies to add some color and a boost of nutrients and vitamins.
- 4 ounces whole-wheat rotini
- 1 medium head broccoli, cut into florets
- 2 ounces Brie, cut into bite-size chunks
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 ounce toasted walnuts, chopped
Head to Pinch and Swirl for the full recipe.
5. Baked Acorn Squash With Quiche Filling
You probably already have everything you need to make Sweet Lavender Bake Shoppe’s egg-stuffed squash on hand, making it one of the easiest recipes we’ve seen. This fall-themed recipe is the perfect way to get in your daily veggie fix and feed your body some protein. If you’re trying to save time, the squash can be prepared up to two days in advance and stored in the fridge in an airtight container.
- 1 small- to medium-size acorn squash, washed and dried
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon whole milk
- ½ teaspoon sea salt, divided
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper, divided
- 2½ teaspoons fresh chopped chives
- ¼ cup small diced fresh tomatoes
- 4 teaspoons Parmesan cheese
Head to Sweet Lavender Bake Shoppe for the full recipe.
6. Sautéed Beef Over Creamy Polenta
This hearty beef and polenta meal from Sandra’s Easy Cooking is as warming and winter-friendly as it gets. The lemon and garlic marinated strips of beef and onion complement the creamy polenta to create a winter meal that makes your home feel just a little cozier. You’ll have a healthy dinner for two in just over 30 minutes.
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ cup beef broth
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon sugar
- ½ rosemary spring
- 2 to 3 sage leaf
- Generous squeeze from ½ lemon
- 12 to 14 ounces of flank steak
- 2 to 3 tablespoons oil
- ½ red onion, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves
- Marinated beef flank steak
- 4 tablespoons marinade
- Salt and pepper
- 2 cups water or milk
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 5 cups quick-cooking polenta
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Cheese, sour cream, or Greek yogurt (optional)
Head to Sandra’s Easy Cooking for the full recipe.