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The 35 Best Light Dinner Ideas

Deciding what to make for dinner each day is a time-consuming and often frustrating process. Factor in a meal that is light, healthy, and will suit the whole family, and you can find yourself with an impossible undertaking. 

Thankfully for you, we’ve spent the time to create an exhaustive list of the best light dinner recipes around that will suit the entire family. We’ve designed a list of light and healthy dinners which are easy to make and can be rotated for no complaints of repetition.

The 35 Best Light Dinner Ideas

From curry to tostadas, to tantalizing egg dishes, healthy eating need never be boring again. All recipes are based on the combination of including a good range of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats to fulfill your hunger and feed your body with the nutrients it needs.

With our list below, eating healthy will never be boring again and you will not substitute taste for health. So let’s get started on our comprehensive list of 35 of the best light dinner ideas to suit the whole family. Ready, Steady, Cook!

1. Katsu Pork Cutlet

This tasty and cheap meal will appeal to all of the family. Topped with a ginger and lime cabbage salad, the breaded pork cutlet is juicy and crispy and will soon become a quick and easy family favorite.

2. Spicy Zucchini Soup

This warm and hearty soup really packs a punch thanks to the red chillies and host of spices and herbs. Served with fresh lime, this delicious soup is a quick and easy choice for a light weekday dinner.

3. Brown Rice Tabbouleh With Eggs & Parsley

This lovely simple dish is full of vitamins and minerals and packed with fiber. Topped off with protein-rich boiled eggs, this brown rice tabbouleh is a perfect choice for a light dinner.

4. Mango And Shrimp Salad

This colorful and refreshing salad is full of fresh fruity flavors and puts a spin on the traditional salad. 

5. Honey Garlic Shrimp

This delicious dish is the perfect recipe for a quick and easy weeknight meal. It is light, quick, and inexpensive to make and will really hit the sweet spot and satisfy those hunger pangs. 

This Asian-inspired dish is made with scallions, red pepper flakes, orange zest, and orange juice to create a sweet, savory, and fiery shrimp dish.

6. Thai Basil Chicken

If you’re looking for a really quick meal to whip up in no time, then this is your dish. Combining ground chicken, basil, garlic, chilies, soy, oyster, and fish sauce, along with a fried egg! Yes, you read that correctly, a fried egg! This extremely light dish is bursting with flavor and is so easy to make you can get the kids involved!

7. Greek Chicken Kabobs 

Let us be honest, what’s not to love about a kabob! Succulent chicken marinated in a zesty lemon, garlic, and herb sauce, sandwiched between vine-ripened tomatoes and eggplant. This tasty dish is served with a homemade tzatziki dipping sauce to create a true Mediterranean light dish.

8. Indian Inspired Frittata

This Indian-inspired dish mixes eggs, chapatis, and a combination of different spices and vegetables to bring a light and flavorful dish.

9. Teriyaki Salmon 

This teriyaki salmon dish can be rustled up in 30 minutes and is a one-skillet dinner that even the most novice cook could rustle up. Mushrooms, tomatoes, and roasted sprouts make a great accompaniment to this lovely dish. 

10. Greek White Bean Soup (Fasolada)

This beautiful veggie-packed soup would not be out of place served at Donna’s Taverna in Mamma Mia! It’s warm and comforting and is perfect for a cold winter’s night by the fire. It is jam-packed with flavors and is a perfect vegetarian offering. 

Extremely light, yet warm, healthy, and extremely satisfying. Serve it with a side of toasted ciabatta for extra substance.

11. Chicken Provencal 

This classic French dish has everything you would expect from a Parisian restaurant! Light and delicious, the chicken thighs are braised with white wine for a succulent and tasty chicken dish. Combined with plenty of shallots, garlic, herbs, a selection of olives, and more white wine, this dish really hits the spot.

12. Moroccan Lentil Soup

This beautiful Moroccan dish is bursting with flavor and originality. Never will you look at a bowl of lentils as boring again!

This soup is a great alternative to your standard lentil broth and is hearty, and creamy, whilst still being healthy and light. Combining a range of lentils with pantry staples such as onions, canned tomatoes, and vegetable broth, it’s a really cheap way to create a tantalizing dish. Quite simply, it’s a winner.

13. Lemon-Thyme Chicken

This dish is not only full of flavor and healthy ingredients, but it is also gluten-free and packed full of body nurturing ingredients. This zingy, juicy, lemon chicken dish is great served with green beans and artichoke roasted with thyme and parmesan. 

It will soon become a family favorite served thyme and thyme again! See what we did there!

14. Moroccan Meatballs With Roasted Tomatoes And Chickpeas

This beautiful dish is hearty and flavorful and is a perfect choice for a quick dinner or lunch. It is low-calorie and contains a great mixture of everything you need from a meal for it to be light, tasty, and nutritious.

This will be a hit with all of the family!

15. Shrimp Scampi With Zoodles

Spiralizing zucchini is a great alternative to traditional pasta with tons of health benefits thrown in too. This dish is light and delicious, and is a perfect go-to meal for a quick and easy dinner.

16. Asado Chicken Breast With Sauteed Lemon Zucchini

This chicken dish is the perfect choice for an elegant and easy dinner-time meal. The zesty zucchini offers a light and healthier alternative to pasta, and the marinated boneless chicken breast is juicy and tender. This recipe is a winner-winner chicken dinner!

17. Sesame Chicken And Chili Lime Slaw

This quick and easy recipe will become a firm family favorite in no time. Taking only 20 minutes to make, this sesame-crusted chicken is perfectly served with this zingy lime and chili slaw.

18. Japanese Tofu Noodle Bowl

A hearty and healthy soup bursting with flavor, and jam-packed with beans, noodles, and fresh vegetables and herbs.

A great option for vegan and vegetarian guests.

19. Chargrilled Vegetable Salad 

This tantalizing dish is a great spin on a traditional salad and can be served as a light dinner option or as a lovely first course.

20. Crunchy Turkey Salad With Oranges 

This crunchy and zingy salad is a great alternative to chicken and is an awesome way to use up the rest of the Thanksgiving Turkey. 

21. Garlic Butter Cod With Lemon Asparagus 

This dish is full of flavor with oodles of garlic and lemon to create a perfect accompaniment to this white fish dish. It’s also quick and easy to make and full of health-kicking nutrients.

22. Firecracker Salmon

Loaded with sriracha, ginger, soy sauce, and maple syrup, this salmon dish is full of flavor and really packs a punch. 

23. Chicken Pasta Salad With Basil, Tomato, And Avocado

This chicken pasta salad is a quick and easy option for a light weekday dinner. It is super simple to make so get the kids involved and enjoy. Packed full of vegetables, protein, carbohydrates, and good fats, this dish is perfect for a nutritionally balanced meal.

24. Chicken Noodle Soup

This healthy classic ticks all of the boxes for a light and nutritious dinner-time meal. Packed full of vegetables, this soup is not only to be eaten when feeling unwell but is perfect for any night of the week, any time of the year.

25. Salsa Chicken Lettuce Wraps

These citrusy, sweet yet fiery wraps are a great alternative to carbohydrate-laden wraps and are also gluten and dairy-free. 

26. Herby Caesar Salad

You can’t go wrong with this timeless classic if you’re looking for a light and easy go-to dinner. The mixture of herbs and spices really adds a spin to this classic salad dish.

27. Skillet-Seared Tilapia In Tomato Basil Sauce 

This one-skillet dish is super quick to rustle up after a busy day. Taking only 25 minutes to cook, this fish dish is both satisfying and healthy.

28. Mediterranean Shrimp

This one-skillet wonder will impress all with its vibrant and flavorful ingredients. Lending itself to its name it contains a host of Mediterranean staples such as oregano, olive oil, feta, and olives. This is a dish not to be missed.

29. Thai Prawn Curry

This Thai-inspired prawn recipe is low-calorie, full of flavor, and is quick and easy to make. With the Thai red curry paste, this curry is full of spice and warmth and will be a sure fire hit with the family.

30. Rainbow Pasta Salad

Quick, easy, and colorful, this pasta salad ticks all of the boxes for an Instagram-worthy salad. Easy to prep and a great choice for bulk prepping for the week, this is a great pasta salad choice for a light meal.

31. Mediterranean Couscous

This light dish is a perfect choice when you’re not that hungry but you are still looking for a small and healthy dinner idea. Lots of fresh herbs and colorful veggies make this a great light dinner choice.

32. Tomato Spinach Sausage Pasta Recipe

This sausage pasta recipe will be a firm family favorite and a go-to for a quick and light evening meal. The fresh spinach, garlic, and tomatoes also make this a great choice to get those vegetables in.

33. Garlic Lemon Herb Chicken With Potatoes

This Mediterranean-inspired dish is wholesome and delicious whilst still light enough to enjoy if you’re counting the calories, or simply not that hungry. 

34. Garlic Mushroom Chicken Bites

These fully loaded chicken bites are a perfect choice if you are looking for a meal that can be skillet cooked and contain everything you need for a meal. The incredible flavors of this dish will blow you away.

35. Asparagus And Potato Galette

This elegant dish is simple and hearty and will impress even the fussiest of guests. This is a great light dinner dish but also lends itself to an impressive first course.

36. Barbecued Chicken Tostadas

This is a great family dish that will appeal to everyone yet still is light and easy. Packed full of hidden veggies and barbecue marinated chicken, this dish is healthy yet super fulfilling. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

What Should I Eat For A Light Dinner

Choosing a meal that is light and healthy for dinner can be a time-consuming and confusing task. If you are looking to improve your health or to slim down, or you’re simply not that hungry, a light and easy dinner choice is a must.

As a rule of thumb, you will need to include a good source of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats to satisfy your hunger and give your body the adequate nutrients it needs to process effectively.

A full salad including lots of vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats such as avocado and salmon, will provide you with a well-balanced and light dinner. Veggie bowls, paellas, and noodle dishes rich in protein and nuts and seeds will provide your body with everything it needs whilst also curbing any cravings.

What Is The Cheapest Light Dinner Option

Even though it is often thought that eating healthy is more expensive than loaded fats and fast foods, this is not the case at all. Making healthy choices and cooking from scratch can have a huge impact on your wallet and your waistline.

Even though prices will vary from store to store, generally speaking, you can whip up a quick and easy light dinner option on a budget by using lots of the following items:

  • Eggs – To make delicious and filling omelets and egg dishes
  • Frozen Vegetables – As an accompaniment to your protein or used to make soups and casseroles
  • Brown Rice – As a great side dish or used in rice salads
  • Potatoes – For baked potatoes with salads, or as an accompaniment to your protein source
  • Frozen Meats And Fish – A much more cost-effective solution to only use what you need

Final Thoughts

So, as you can see, eating a healthy and light dinner does not have to be bland or boring. Neither does it have to be a time-consuming and expensive process to create a meal full of flavor and as part of a healthy, balanced diet.

The list above can be mixed and matched to vary up the offerings and used on a rotational basis to make dinner fun and varied. Many of the options are low fuss and low risk so the kids can get their inner chef on and help out!

There are many health benefits to eating a lighter evening meal, and with these options, you will not substitute on flavor or go to bed hungry. There is something for everyone and will cater to the whole family. We hope you enjoy them! Bon Appetit!

The 35 Best Light Dinner Ideas

5 from 5 votes

Whether you’re looking for a light dinner for two, a light dinner for one, or a light dinner for kids, we’ve got you covered.

Directions

  • Pick a recipe from the list above
  • Click the recipe name and visit the website
  • Collect the ingredients and cook the food
  • Enjoy – don’t forget to leave a review

Recipe Video

Jess Smith
Latest posts by Jess Smith (see all)

Henry

Thursday 25th of August 2022

It looks Yummy! I'll try to make. Thanks for posting.

Daniel Jones

Thursday 25th of August 2022

Great post! Such an informative post you wrote. You described all ideas about light dinner in very well manner. thanks for posting. Keep posting such a good ideas.

Elena

Monday 22nd of August 2022

Hey, I recently cooked your recipe of brown rice tabbouleh with eggs and parsley. It was delicious. My kids and my mom just loved this recipe and they are asking me to make it again some other day.I would definitely try to make some of your other recipes. You should checkout one of my favourites websites for healthy dinner ideas at https://www.dinnerin321.com. She too has really good taste.Hope you will too love her appetising dishes.

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