healthy-eating

15 Quick and Healthy Holiday Dinner Ideas

The holidays are going to be different for many families this year, but some things will stay the same, like rocking out to your favorite holiday music, receiving that hand-knitted scarf from Aunt Carol, and experimenting with new holiday meals. Even though the pace of life might be slower than normal, that doesn’t mean you want to spend hours slaving away in the kitchen. Fortunately, making healthy holiday meals doesn’t have to be a long or laborious process. 

This article includes 15 quick and healthy dinner ideas that are perfect for the winter season. Each meal will delight your family members and help you avoid a Santa-like physique. Best of all, these healthy dinner ideas take 40 minutes or less to make. Everyone in your family will be singing “Joy to the World” when they sit down to eat any one of these dishes.

1.Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Chestnut Salad

Looking for a light dinner that will hit the spot while keeping you within your calorie goal for the day? This Brussels sprout and chestnut salad is the perfect option and also makes an amazing side to bring to any party. This quick holiday dinner idea is super easy to throw together and includes a tasty sherry vinaigrette to compliment the salad.

Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Brussels sprouts
  • Honeycrisp or cameo apple
  • Fennel bulb
  • Peeled cooked whole chestnuts
  • Fresh parsley leaves
  • Stilton blue cheese
  • Sherry vinegar
  • Shallot
  • Honey
  • Whole-grain Dijon mustard
  • Olive oil

Full Recipe

2.Mexican Chicken Noodle Soup

There is absolutely nothing better than a steaming bowl of soup to warm you up on a cold winter night. This soul-satisfying recipe offers a delicious twist on the traditional chicken soup recipe, giving it a Latin flair you and your family will love. From the Little Spice Jar, this recipe is hearty, healthy, and full of love. Check out the time saver recommendations in the article to speed up this recipe.

Total Time: 30 minutes (with time-saving methods)

Ingredients:

  • Rotisserie chicken
  • Chicken stock
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Black beans
  • Diced green chilies
  • Corn
  • Adobo and taco seasonings
  • Stock
  • Red enchilada sauce
  • Egg noodle
  • Lime juice

Full Recipe

3.Portuguese Chourico and Kale Soup

This recipe comes to us courtesy of the queen of quick and easy recipes, Rachel Ray. According to Ray, this recipe is based on a dish she enjoyed in the Portuguese community of Mystic, Connecticut. For something warm, hearty, and healthy that will give your holiday table some international cred, try this yummy recipe.

Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • Potatoes
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Bay leaves
  • Kale
  • Sat and pepper
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Diced chourico
  • Chicken broth
  • Bread (optional)

Full recipe

4.Harissa Sirloin with Couscous Salad

Want to add some seriously filling protein to your healthy holiday meals? Then pick out a great cut of sirloin steak and put together this amazing salad that can work as either a tasty dinner or a satisfying lunch. While the couscous adds wonderful texture, the harissa gives this dish a great kick.

Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Carrots
  • Honey
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Couscous
  • Beef sirloin steak
  • Harissa
  • Lemon
  • Baby arugula
  • Parsley leaves

Full Recipe

5.Red Thai Chicken Curry

Who says the holidays have to focus on old standbys like glazed ham and oven-roasted turkey? Expand your recipe repertoire and your palette with this tastebud-loving chicken curry dish from Jen at Carlsbad Cravings. This one-pot wonder is the perfect option for a busy weekday when time is short but the foodie in you won’t be denied.

Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil or coconut oil
  • Chicken breast
  • Onion
  • Red curry paste
  • Red bell pepper
  • Orange bell pepper
  • Zucchini
  • Freshly grated ginger
  • Minced garlic
  • Coconut milk
  • Cornstarch
  •  Asian/Thai sweet chili sauce
  • Soy sauce
  • Fish sauce
  • Lime juice
  • Brown sugar
  • Bay leaf
  • Dried basil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sriracha (optional)
  • Lime zest
  • Fresh basil
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Fresh lime juice

Full Recipe

6.Tomato Pesto Salmon and Rice in Foil

Easy and delicious, this tomato pesto salmon recipe from Katerina of Diethood will scratch that seafood itch you’ve been having all week. Nothing is better than unwrapping the foil and breathing in a deep whiff of perfectly cooked salmon. This recipe will also deliver a big serving of healthy omega-3 fats that your body needs to thrive.

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Foil sheets
  • Instant rice
  • Water
  • Salmon fillets
  • Salt and pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sundried tomato pesto
  • Garlic
  • Fresh thyme

Full Recipe

7.Chunky Bean and Chicken Chili

Winter is chili season. If you want to put a tasty twist on this popular meal, try this recipe from Better Homes and Gardens. One thing to note is that this chili typically comes out with a more soup-like consistency, so if your chili is soupy, you didn’t do anything wrong. Slurp to your heart’s content and enjoy healthy lean chicken and cannellini beans.

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Tortilla chips
  • Boneless chicken breasts or thighs
  • Cooking oil
  • Cannellini beans
  • Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeno peppers
  • Diced green chilies
  • Fresh cilantro (optional)

Full Recipe

8.Pork Tenderloin with Quinoa Pilaf

When completed, your perfectly cooked, tender pork tenderloin lies on a fluffy bed of quinoa, offering a wonderful balance of textures and taste. A generous sprinkling of spinach and pomegranate seeds adds a festive touch to the dish. Get ready to share this healthy holiday food idea with your family members. They’ll all be begging for the recipe.

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Quinoa
  • Baby spinach
  • Pork tenderloins
  • Salt and pepper
  • White wine vinegar
  • Orange marmalade
  • Dijon mustard
  • Pomegranate seeds

Full Recipe

9.Chicken with Brussel Sprouts and Apple Cider Sauce

It doesn’t get healthier or yummier than this simple and fast chicken recipe. Those on a low-carb, gluten-free, or Keto diet, in particular, will fall hard for this recipe. The kicker is the apple cider sauce, which pulls the dish together and makes it taste like a culinary masterpiece.

Total time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Brussels sprouts
  • Sweet apples
  • Red onion
  • Sprigs of rosemary
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Unsalted butter
  • Boneless chicken breasts
  • Apple cider
  • Apple cider vinegar

Full Recipe

10.Lemon Ginger Fish

Light and delectable, this lemon ginger fish is also an excellent choice for anyone on a low-carb, gluten-free, or paleo diet. It’s also one of the quickest meals on the list to make. The lemon perfectly complements the flavor of the fish and balances out the spinach. This healthy holiday meal works as either dinner or lunch. Cook up multiple servings to enjoy it again and again during the week.

Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Fresh or frozen cod or other firm white fish
  • Lemons
  • Freshly grated ginger
  • Sugar
  • Butter
  • Baby spinach
  • Water
  • Salt and pepper

Full Recipe

11.Winter Squash and Lentil Stew

Looking for an amazing and healthy meal you can make for the whole family or batch for a week’s worth of tasty lunches or dinners? If you’ve got a pressure cooker, then this winter squash and lentil stew is for you. It will give you all the toe-curling warmth you need to make it through even the coldest winter days. The combination of ginger, coriander, and cardamom gives this stew an unforgettable taste. This is also an excellent healthy dinner idea for vegetarians and vegans.

Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Shallots
  • Ginger
  • Vegetable oil
  • Coriander
  • Cardamom
  • Butternut squash
  • Green lentils
  • Chicken or vegetable broth
  • Packed baby spinach
  • Cider vinegar

Full Recipe

12.Shrimp Tacos

Yes, healthy tacos do exist. This yummy recipe from Blair of the Seasonal Mom is all the proof you need. Not only are these shrimp tacos destined to become a family favorite, but the recipe requires only a single pan, making cleanup fast and simple. To bulk out this meal, consider adding Blair’s recipes for homemade salsa, pico de gallo, and corn salad.

Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Shrimp
  • Olive oil
  • Dry taco seasoning
  • Limes
  • Coleslaw or shredded cabbage
  • Plain Greek yogurt, sour cream, or mayonnaise
  • Honey
  • Salt and pepper
  • Corn or flour tortillas
  • Optional toppings: avocado, salsa, shredded cheddar cheese, cilantro

Full Recipe

13.Chicken Teriyaki Bowls

Got an instant pot handy? You’re going to love this tasty recipe. This quick healthy holiday dinner comes to you courtesy of Taylor Stinson of The Girl on Bloor blog. It’s got everything you need for a hearty and filling meal, including rice, chicken, and a ton of healthy veggies. Throw it all into an instant pot, and dinner will practically cook itself.

Total time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Boneless chicken breast
  • Soy sauce
  • Hoisin sauce
  • Rice vinegar
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Carrots
  • Jasmine rice
  • Broccoli
  • Red pepper
  • Green onions
  • Sesame seeds

Full Recipe

14.Flaxseed-crusted Salmon with Grape and Walnut Sauce

Want to cook to impress without spending the entire day in the kitchen? Make this quick and healthy holiday dinner idea your go-to. Your family will think you slaved away for hours on this delicious and flakey salmon. The grape and walnut sauce combo helps this dish really stand out and gives it some holiday cheer.

Full time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Walnut halves
  • Salmon fillets
  • Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper
  • Flaxseed
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Honey
  • Red grapes
  • Parsley
  • Scallions

Full Recipe

15.Turkey Steaks with Spinach, Pears, and Blue Cheese

Ready to pull out all the stops for tonight’s dinner without giving up your precious time? Then it’s got to be this scrumptious turkey steak recipe. Anyone who tries this meal will be begging for the secret behind this healthy dinner idea. This recipe works for any holiday celebration, but it can be especially perfect for a unique and unforgettable Thanksgiving meal.

Total time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Turkey breast tenderloins
  • Dried sage
  • Salt and pepper
  • Butter
  • Baby spinach
  • Pear
  • Blue cheese

Full recipe

Healthy Holiday Meals to Keep You on Track

Now you’ve got 15 quick and healthy dinner ideas to save you time and help you maintain your health and fitness goals, no matter how hectic the holidays become. Each of these recipes will keep your family merry and free up your schedule. Hey, why not use that extra time to try to get in some holiday workouts or visit an EōS Fitness near you?

My EōS Fitness:

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