17 Excellent Family-Friendly Meals Every Dieter Will Love

Article posted in: Diet & Nutrition

Short on time with picky eaters to feed? Sounds like a recipe for dinner disaster. That is, unless you’re armed and ready with family-friendly meal ideas that are tasty, healthy and simple to make.

Whether it’s lasagna for the pasta-lovers in your family, a meat-and-potatoes dish for your meat-and-potatoes kind of guy, or chili or chowder—you’re sure to find something here to please even your most finicky eaters, while keeping your health goals on track.

The best part? Each recipe makes several servings—perfect to feed the whole gang, or enjoy again the next day.

1. Quinoa Carrot Breakfast Bowl

Quinoa Carrot Breakfast Bowl Family-Friendly Meals

Make your morning great again with this sweet and healthy breakfast treat. Not only do you get a ton of protein from the quinoa, nutrients from the carrots and zucchini and deliciousness from the coconut flakes and spices, but, make it once, and you have enough servings for more than one morning. Oh, and it tastes just like carrot cake. (Seriously.) Click here for the full recipe >

2. Vegetable Lasagna Bake

Family-Friendly Meal Vegetable Lasagna Bake

It looks like lasagna. It’s got wide noodles and melted mozzarella, like a good lasagna should. And it packs delicious flavor into every gooey bite. But, by replacing lasagna meat with lots of veggies, and keeping the cheeses lean, you can enjoy this healthier version without packing on pounds. Click here for the full recipe >

3. Slow Cooker Chicken Gumbo

Family-Friendly Meals Slow Cooker Chicken Gumbo

Enjoy a little New Orleans spice from the comfort of your home. Toss the gumbo ingredients—chicken, diced tomatoes, onion, peppers, celery, corn and spices—into the slow cooker and let it do its thing. This set-it-and-forget-it recipe makes enough for dinner tonight and tomorrow at six servings. Click here for the full recipe >

4. 10-Minute Shrimp Fajitas

10-Minute Shrimp Fajitas Family-Friendly Meal

The time is in the title because that’s pretty much all it takes to get shrimp (coated in cumin, chili powder, and smoked paprika), bell peppers and sweet onions, roasted to perfection, on to your plate. Scoop a serving into a warm whole wheat tortilla for a high-protein, flavor-packed Mexican-inspired meal. There are six whole servings and each clocks in at less than 300 calories! Click here for the full recipe >

5. Meat and Potato Casserole

Family-Friendly Meals Meat Potato Casserole

Nothing says good ole’ fashioned comfort like a casserole—especially when it’s stuffed with meat and potatoes. Lean ground turkey, egg whites and whole grain flour help you feel full, while lightening the calorie load. Prep the casserole ahead of time for a quick and hearty heat-and-eat dinner. Click here for the full recipe >

6. Stuffed Acorn Squash

Family-Friendly Meals Stuffed Acorn Squash

This one takes the win for the prettiest dish: Quinoa mixed with bright and tangy pomegranate seeds and chopped walnuts, all nestled in a scooped-out circle of squash, is not only beautiful, but also delicious. A little coriander and sprinkle of dried parsley rounds out this side dish. Click here for the full recipe >

7. Marinated Greek Chicken Skewers

Family-Friendly Meals Marinated Greek Chicken Skewers

Food served on a stick is just fun—and you can’t go wrong when it’s healthy, too. These easy-to-eat skewers are stacked with chicken, onions and brightly-colored, bell peppers bursting with vitamin c. When paired with some hearty, brown rice, this family-friendly meal provides wide-ranging nourishment. On Nutrisystem, two kebabs and a half cup of rice counts as one SmartCarb two PowerFuels, one Vegetable and three Extras. Click here for the full recipe >

8. Sweet Potato Noodle Bowl with Creamy Almond Butter Sauce

Family Friendly Meals Sweet Potato Noodle Bowl with Creamy Almond Butter Sauce

If you don’t have a spiralizer (that cool tool that turns veggies into long, thin noodles), grab a vegetable peeler and go to town on some sweet potatoes. Combined with shrimp, spinach and a ridiculously smooth and satisfying sauce, this pasta swap will please your most discerning customers. Click here for the full recipe >

9. Seafood Paella

Family-Friendly Meals Seafood Paella

Shrimp, mussels and smoky spices—oh my! There’s ‘no place like home’ to eat when paella is on the menu. A staple in Spain, this one-dish meal is vibrant and nourishing, flavorful and filling, and makes a great foundation for a flex meal if you’re on Nutrisystem. Click here for the full recipe >

10. Moroccan Tempeh Vegetable Stew

Family-Friendly Meals Moroccan Tempeh Vegetable Stew

Made of cooked, fermented soybeans, tempeh is an alternative to meat that can be grilled, pan-fried or baked. Though it’s higher in calories than the tofu you may be more familiar with, tempeh is jam-packed with protein, and makes a most excellent addition to this hearty stew of sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, kale and coconut milk. Expect some “help” in the kitchen when the aroma of spices start wafting from the pot. Click here for the full recipe >

11. Old Bay Salmon Cakes

Family-Friendly Meals Old Bay Salmon Cakes

Transform cans of salmon into patties of goodness with diced yellow peppers, red onions and thin slices of kale—all seasoned with the one, the only, the iconic Old Bay. Swaps like whole-wheat breadcrumbs for regular and nonfat Greek yogurt in place of butter give these cakes a healthy edge. Make a bunch at once—they’ll keep in the fridge until you’re ready to bake and eat. Click here for the full recipe >

12. Easy Chicken Fajita Bake

Family-Friendly Meals Easy Chicken Fajita Bake

This family-friendly meal is perfect for a midweek dinner because it couldn’t be easier to make. It’s also a safe bet for your taste buds, as it’s packed with plenty of savory Mexican flavors. This one even works for your most finicky eaters because you can substitute your favorite vegetables and experiment with seasonings—with it all still tasting delicious. When you find the version your family likes best, double or triple the recipe and look forward to leftovers. Click here for the full recipe >

13. Lemon Garlic Shrimp Kebabs

Family-Friendly Meals Lemon Garlic Shrimp Kebabs

Feel free to pretend these kebabs are as fancy and involved as they sound (a little extra appreciation never hurt anyone). The truth is, as far as healthy shrimp recipes go, this one is as simple as they come. All you need is garlic, lemon, butter and some dried seasonings to turn low-cal shellfish into an impressive meal for 10! Each person gets two skewers, for just one PowerFuel and one SmartCarb. Click here for the full recipe >

14. Butternut Squash Turkey Chili

Family-Friendly Meals Butternut Squash Turkey Chili

How better to warm your bones than with a steaming bowl of chili! Lean turkey, a bunch of butternut squash, beans and other veggies make this meal as healthy as it is hearty. Plus, it’s got a little kick, with serrano peppers, chili powder and cayenne as ingredients. Prepare a big batch and freeze it so you have some ready when the night is cold, but your time is short. Click here for the full recipe >

15. Italian Vegetable Quinoa Bake

Family-Friendly Meals Italian Vegetable Quinoa Bake

Know how to say ‘quinoa’ in Italian? We don’t either. But what we do know is that when you mix these quintessential, Italian ingredients—tomato sauce, shredded mozzarella, oregano and fresh basil—into a veggie-packed quinoa casserole and take your first bite, two things are likely to happen: You’ll say “arrivederci” to that plain old bowl of pasta soaked in sauce from a jar and sing “that’s amore” to your new and inspired dish. Click here for the full recipe >

16. Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas

Family-Friendly Meals Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas

Fajitas from a slow cooker? Sure! Chicken, salsa, onions, garlic and beans go in… four or so hours later you’ve got a delicious blend of tortilla filling to feed your whole family. Click here for the full recipe >

17. Butternut Squash Chicken Chowder

Family-Friendly Meals Butternut Squash Chicken Chowder

Prepare to lick your bowl (or six…). This creamy chowder is heavy on the flavor, but light in fat. With the chicken and squash, you also get carrots, celery and turnips—along with all of their nutrients—in a fresh spin on a cozy classic. This dish counts as one SmartCarb, one PowerFuel and, of course, one Vegetable. Get your family to eat their veggies the delicious way with this sensational entrée. Click here for the full recipe >