12 Healthy Dinner Ideas for Two – Healthline

It’s common to feel rushed at dinnertime and opt for easy options, such as fast food or frozen meals, even if you’re sharing a meal with just one other person — such as a partner, child, friend, or parent.
If you crave variety and want to spice up your routine, plenty of scrumptious, small-batch dinners take very little time to prepare and are incredibly healthy.
Interestingly, home-cooked meals are associated with improved diet quality, and family meals lead to healthier diets and less weight gain in children and adolescents (1, 2).
Here are 12 nutritious and scrumptious dinner ideas for two.
This quinoa bowl is packed with protein.
In just a 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving, quinoa provides all of the essential amino acids, a good proportion of omega-6 fats, and 10% of the Daily Value (DV) for folate (3, 4, 5, 6).
Chicken is not only low in fat but also high in protein, with 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of breast meat offering 28 grams of protein and 4 grams of fat (7).
This recipe serves two and is ready in under 30 minutes.
Per serving (8):
The healthy secret about this fried-rice dish is that it’s actually baked.
Plus, tofu has been linked to multiple health benefits, including improved fat metabolism, heart health, and blood sugar control (9, 10, 11, 12, 13).
This recipe is vegetarian, although you can swap the tofu for chicken or shrimp if you prefer.
It serves two and takes 1 hour to prepare.
Per serving (8):
These easy fish tacos not only deliver tropical colors and flavors but also heart-healthy fats, such as omega-9 fats like oleic acid.
Oleic acid is recognized for its anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Studies also suggest that it is necessary for proper brain development and function (14, 15, 16, 17).
This recipe serves two and is ready in under 30 minutes.
Per serving (8):
With this sweet-potato-and-broccoli chicken, you’ll enjoy a well-balanced meal that includes starchy carbs, lean protein, vegetables, and healthy fats.
It packs a variety of antioxidants, such as vitamin C, anthocyanins, and flavonoids, from its sweet potatoes, onions, broccoli, and cranberries.
Antioxidants are molecules that help protect your body from free radicals and are linked to multiple health benefits, including anticancer properties and improved heart health (18, 19, 20, 21).
The recipe serves two and is ready in under 30 minutes.
Per serving (8):
This vegetarian meal packs plenty of vegetables and plant-based protein (22).
It also provides a good source of iron, which transports oxygen throughout your body and is commonly lacking in vegetarian diets (23, 24).
The recipe serves two and is ready in 40 minutes.
Per serving (8):
This meal is packed with protein from the tuna and chickpeas. What’s more, it provides a good dose of fiber from the veggies, leaving you feeling full for hours (25, 26, 27).
The recipe serves two and is very easy to make.
Per serving (8):
This delicious salmon-spinach pasta offers a balanced meal loaded with omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fats offer many benefits and have been shown to combat inflammatory conditions and heart disease (28, 29, 30).
The recipe serves two and is ready in under 30 minutes.
Per serving (8):
This shrimp-and-avocado quinoa bowl delivers a high-protein meal with a good amount of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs).
MUFAs promote healthy levels of blood fats and help increase the availability of fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A, D, E, and K (31, 32).
This dish is easy to adjust. You can leave the shrimp out or replace them with your favorite source of protein, such as chicken, eggs, or meat.
The recipe serves two and takes under 20 minutes to make.
Per serving (8):
“Zoodles” are zucchini noodles, which make an excellent low-carb, gluten-free substitute for regular pasta.
The recipe is high in protein and healthy fats from peanut butter, which may protect against heart disease by promoting lower LDL (bad) and total cholesterol (33, 34).
It’s very easy to make and serves two.
Per serving (8):
These beef fajitas are filling and easy to make. The onions and bell peppers pair nicely with the lemon and chili.
You can make a low-carb option by swapping the corn tortillas for lettuce leaves.
The recipe serves two and is ready in under 30 minutes.
Per serving (8):
This spinach-mushroom frittata makes a healthy and simple low-carb dinner that can be enjoyed at breakfast or lunch.
Together, the eggs and spinach provide 26% of the DV for vitamin A per serving. This vitamin plays a key role in eye health by maintaining your eyes’ light-sensing cells and preventing night blindness (37, 38, 39).
The recipe serves two and is ready in under 20 minutes.
Per serving (8):
Cauliflower rice is a great low-carb substitute for rice. You can buy it packaged or make it yourself by finely chopping cauliflower florets into a rice-like consistency.
This meal packs high-quality protein and many vegetables. High vegetable intake may help you meet your nutrient requirements and reduce your risk of heart disease (40, 41).
The recipe serves two and is ready in under 20 minutes.
Per serving (8):
Even if you’re short on time, there are many ways to enjoy a healthy homemade dinner for two.
This list of recipes provides plenty of simple, nutritious ideas and includes several vegetarian and low-carb options. If you crave variety in your routine, try some of them out instead of hitting the drive-through.
Last medically reviewed on October 28, 2019
This article is based on scientific evidence, written by experts and fact checked by experts.
Our team of licensed nutritionists and dietitians strive to be objective, unbiased, honest and to present both sides of the argument.
This article contains scientific references. The numbers in the parentheses (1, 2, 3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.



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