Simple Healthy Recipes for Chicken, Soup, Grain Bowls, and One-Pan Meals

You've worked all day. You're tired. You've been busy. But that doesn't mean you can't come home and make a good dinner. Eating well starts with good, wholesome ingredients — and not just exotic ones that you have to go to four stores to find. You can eat well shopping anywhere you can find fresh, healthy foods. These simple, healthy recipes are proof of that.

But where do you start? First, we’ll teach you some tips for making a healthy meal with simple ingredients like bell peppers, creamy avocado, green beans, and more. Then check out the dinner recipes for even more ideas, split up into four categories: one-pan recipes, chicken recipes, soup recipes, and grain bowl recipes.

Tips for Making Simple, Healthy Recipes

  • Work With the Flavors: Rely on the natural flavors of food, enhancing them with simple seasonings like salt, pepper, garlic, and herbs. Natural ingredients like red peppers, black beans, tomatoes, and broccoli are robust on their own. Combine them for delightful tastes and add seasonings to enhance those flavors, not mask them.
  • Combine Contrasting Ingredients: Consider how you can combine sweet and savory flavors to make a simple, healthy recipe stand out. Or add sweet and spicy ingredients for a nice zing — fruits like mango, pineapple, and strawberry are excellent with spicy hot peppers, for example.
  • Do More With Less: You don’t need 20 ingredients for a delicious, healthy meal. Just a few classic touches enhance simple vegetables and meats. Try roasting vegetables instead of boiling them to bring out their delicious flavor. Drizzle olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper on top before roasting for a rich, savory taste with a hint of sweetness in your vegetables.
  • Plan Ahead: A few minutes of planning on the weekend for your dinners will ensure you have all the ingredients on hand for your meals, making it even easier to get dinner on the table quickly. When you plan ahead you can factor in important elements of cooking like prep time so you are ready for those busy nights.
  • Be Open to Fresh Dinner Ideas: You might have grown up eating meat, potatoes, and a vegetable for dinners, but don't feel like you need to stick to that meal makeup now. Switch up your dinner routine with whole grains, zucchini noodles, stir-fry, and more to keep dinners healthy and interesting.

Healthy One-Pan Recipes

Sheet Pan Dinner — Cashew Chicken Recipe

Simple healthy recipes: Cashew chicken
Image: Powered by Mom

Sheet pan meals cook all the ingredients together in the oven, creating a whole meal with minimal cleanup. In this sheet pan cashew chicken recipe, chicken breasts are cooked with cashews, vegetables, and a sweet-zesty sauce. A delicious, healthy dinner made easy? Sign us up!

Baked Spaghetti and Meatballs

Simple healthy recipes: Baked spaghetti
Image: I Believe I Can Fry

Can comfort food be healthy? It can when eaten in moderation, and this recipe for baked spaghetti and meatballs is a great example of that. The super easy recipe makes six servings that include appropriately portioned amounts of pasta, meat, and other ingredients. The best part? The entire thing — from cooking the pasta to baking the meatballs — happens all at once in a single pan.

One-Pot Brown Rice & Mushroom Pilaf

Simple healthy recipes: Brown rice and mushroom pilaf
Image: Piping Pot Curry

With just five main ingredients, this brown rice and mushroom pilaf recipe is easy and simple but also loaded with flavor. Sauteed mushrooms, onions, garlic, and brown rice are cooked together. Then it’s served topped with earthy green onions. Yum!

Easy Vegan Peanut Stew Recipe

Simple healthy recipes: Vegan peanut stew
Image: Veggie Desserts

Easy, fast (this cooks in just 25 minutes!), and packed with veggies, beans, and spices, this vegan peanut stew recipe is inspired by a West African dish. Fans of recipes like sesame noodles and chicken satay may enjoy the peanut butter-based creamy sauce in this as well. Serve it with chopped peanuts and parsley for a pretty (and tasty) presentation!

One Pan Smoky Citrus Shrimp Pasta

Simple healthy recipes: Smoky citrus shrimp pasta
Image: The Starving Chef

Sweetness and tang meet in this creative smoky citrus shrimp pasta recipe. Shells are combined with fresh spring veggies like red onions and asparagus and then mixed with a sauce featuring oranges, lemons, heavy cream, garlic, and liquid smoke. But it’s the shrimp that really stars in this smoky pasta dish.

Healthy Chicken Recipes

Singapore Chicken Satay Skewers With Peanut Sauce

Simple healthy recipes: Chicken satay skewers
Image: Christina’s Cucina

Who doesn’t love flavorful chicken recipes? It’s even better when it’s served on a stick, like in this easy chicken satay recipe. This delicious Asian recipe was inspired by the food of Singapore. Strips of chicken breasts are marinated, skewered, and cooked (grilling is recommended, but you could bake them too). They’re served with a flavorful peanut sauce.

Rainbow Greek Chicken Salad

Simple healthy recipes: Greek chicken salad
Image: Jersey Girl Cooks

It doesn’t get much easier than this lovely salad recipe. It’s a composed salad, meaning that the ingredients are arranged artfully on a platter rather than mixed like a tossed salad or cut into tiny pieces like a chopped salad. And not only is it pretty, but this Greek salad recipe is a rainbow of healthy ingredients like red peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, and chicken. This recipe can even be made with rotisserie chicken, making it even simpler.

6-Ingredient Easy White Bean Chicken Chili Recipe

Simple healthy recipes: Easy white bean chicken chili
Image: Attainable Sustainable

With a cast of simple but flavorful ingredients, this white bean chicken chili recipe can come together quickly with big flavor. Using onions, spicy peppers, chicken, and canned great northern beans (including the juice), this recipe is wholesome and filling, but also simple to prepare.

Mexican Chicken Zucchini Skillet

Simple healthy recipes: Mexican chicken zucchini skillet
Image: To Simply Inspire

The best thing about skillet meals is that everything cooks together resulting in an easy dinner that’s both well-seasoned and hearty — perfect for busy nights. In this Mexican chicken zucchini skillet, a colorful array of perfectly cooked al dente vegetables combine with chicken, tomato, seasonings, and cilantro. This easy, low-carb meal can be made in less than 30 minutes.

Healthy Soup Recipes

Coconut Chicken Soup

Simple healthy recipes: Coconut chicken soup
Image: Diabetes Strong

This is comfort food with a twist. The flavors of classic chicken soup — fresh veggies, chicken, and chicken broth — meet coconut milk in this creamy coconut chicken soup recipe. Finish it off with a little lime and cilantro for a delightful healthy soup dinner.

Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Simple healthy recipes: Creamy roasted cauliflower soup
Image: Street Smart Nutrition

You’re guaranteed to love your dish if you start with the tantalizing, sweet-savory flavor of cauliflower. This veggie is incredible all on its own, and it's even better when combined with flavors like cumin, garlic, and thyme in this recipe. This creamy roasted cauliflower soup recipe is wonderful for cold days and the crispy chickpea topping adds a lovely texture element too. Delightful!

Simple Pumpkin Cream Soup

Simple healthy recipes: Simple pumpkin cream soup
Image: My Pure Plants

This soup has lovely fall flavors but is perfect for any time. The ingredients in this vegan pumpkin soup recipe are pumpkin, onion, garlic, potatoes, and vegetable broth. Garnish with seeds or plant-based cream for a soup that’s as pretty as it is tasty.

Chicken Detox Soup With Cannellini Beans and Kale

Simple healthy recipes: Chicken detox soup
Image: Billy Parisi

This chicken detox soup is a perfect end to a busy, chilly day. Packed with veggies, flavorful chicken, fresh thyme, garlic, and more, this lovely soup is rich in potassium and vitamin A. Plus the leafy greens (kale!) are excellent for a healthy mind and body.

Healthy Grain Bowl Recipes

Savory Pesto Oatmeal Bowl

Simple healthy recipes: Savory pesto oatmeal bowl
Image: Street Smart Nutrition

Who says oatmeal has to be sweet? Certainly not this savory pesto oatmeal bowl recipe, which combines pesto, sundried tomatoes, spinach, and a fried egg for a delightful alternative to the maple brown sugar oatmeal of childhood. You’ll love this creative way to enjoy a grain bowl with oats.

Protein-Rich Lemon Chicken Quinoa Bowls

Simple healthy recipes: Lemon chicken quinoa bowl
Image: Foodal

Did you know that quinoa isn’t really a grain, though it is often treated as one? It’s actually a protein-rich seed — and the basis for this lemon chicken grain bowl recipe. Chicken marinated with lemon, ginger, and soy sauce combines with colorful vegetables and quinoa. Then it’s finished off with a squeeze of lemon.

Healthy Grilled Chicken Fajita Bowls

Simple healthy recipes: Grilled chicken fajita bowl
Image: Easy Family Recipe Ideas

Fajita bowls are a quick and easy weeknight dinner that can also be very flexible. Feel free to add or subtract ingredients to your liking. A nod to the Mexican favorite, these hearty grilled chicken fajita bowls feature roasted bell peppers, cilantro lime rice, grilled chicken, and fresh avocado.

Time to Get Cooking

These tips and recipes can make dinnertime a breeze — even on the busiest of nights. But let’s face it: Sometimes even an easy recipe is too much for a busy night. It helps to have a little helper who can do it for you. Let Tovala rescue you on nights when you don’t want to cook but still want an incredible meal, fast.

Tovala features chef-prepared, healthy meals with wholesome ingredients. And they are delivered right to your doorstep and cooked automatically in 20 minutes or less. How easy is that?

You can also do your meal planning with the Tovala App, which features healthy, easy recipes without a lot of prep work.