20 Healthy Recipes You Can Make for the Whole FamilyArticle posted in: Diet & Nutrition
Cooking up delicious, nourishing meals for your family is one of the best ways to keep everybody at home healthy and happy. It’s surprisingly easy to make dishes that every member of the family will enjoy while you stay on track to your weight loss goal. To inspire you, we’ve gathered 20 of our favorite healthy family recipes that are Nutrisystem-approved. They’re made with ingredients you can find in any grocery store and they don’t require hours in the kitchen to prepare. Some of them are sure to become new favorites for your family.
Here are 20 healthy recipes the whole family will enjoy:
A warm and hearty family breakfast is the perfect start to a busy day. However, it can be hard to find the time in the morning to cook for your family. When you are all home, you can treat everyone (and yourself) to a skillet full of savory flavors that features everybody’s favorites, bacon and eggs. We made ours with turkey bacon (no one will notice it’s lower in fat than the usual kind) and fragrant peppers and onions. The base is fiber-rich cauliflower rice—now found in the produce and frozen food sections at many supermarkets. It absorbs the rich flavors of the other ingredients and leaves you all feeling full for hours after breakfast time ends.
Bonus: You begin the day with one of your daily four servings of vegetables already done.
The tempting aroma of fresh-from-the-oven chicken nuggets is sure to bring the whole family into the kitchen. With just six healthy ingredients and three easy steps, you can whip up a batch of these nuggets as a delicious meal idea or quick snack recipe your gang will love. The tasty little bites are crispy on the outside and, thanks to the grated zucchini, they stay tender and moist on the inside. You can make them on your stovetop or in the oven.
Bonus: You get to enjoy a serving of six, which has just 138 calories.
Crunchy peppers, creamy cheese and zesty salsa come together to create this fresh take on classic nachos. Each colorful mini pepper is stuffed with avocado, salsa and beans, then topped with cheese. Pop this healthy nacho recipe in the oven for a few minutes to melt the cheese and you’ve got a bite-sized snack for the whole family. These nachos could even be an appetizer before making a low calorie Cinco de Mayo dinner! The kids won’t mind this serving of vegetables and its immune-boosting nutrients.
Bonus: Spice up these nachos with a dash of chili powder to pump up the flavor and boost your metabolism. Learn more about the benefits of spicy food. >
Even when you’re not at the beach, you can bring a little bit of the seashore to your table when you make a batch of this homemade clam chowder. Look near the canned tuna in your supermarket to find minced clams that will give your soup that authentic flavor. For even fewer calories and fat, you can make the soup with unsweetened almond, soy or coconut milk instead of the usual dairy milk.
Bonus: Double up on the recipe and freeze half of the soup to enjoy on a day when you don’t have time to cook.
No need to call for takeout to enjoy this popular Asian-style dish. Make some homemade sweet and sour chicken with tender chunks of lean chicken breast, sweet bell peppers and a tangy sauce that’s simple to whip up. We kept all of the flavor you love but cut out all the excess calories and fats. That way your family will ask for more and you’ll stay on track with your Nutrisystem weight loss plan.
Bonus: Serve this dish over brown instead of white rice for a healthy dose of belly-filling fiber.
Once your family tries this savory cauliflower breadsticks recipe, they’ll ask for it again and again. The base is a perfectly chewy foundation for gooey melted cheese and zesty buffalo sauce. Only you need to know the dish starts with fiber-full cauliflower rice, which you can make yourself or find in the produce or frozen food sections of many grocery stores. The preparation takes a few minutes and these cauliflower breadsticks come out of the oven warm and fragrant in less than 30 minutes.
Bonus: For a different flavor, season these breadsticks with olive oil, garlic and oregano instead of the buffalo sauce and cheese.
An air fryer is a powerful tool for cooking homemade dishes that everyone will be happy to dig into. For instance, you can use it to make these crispy chicken bites paired with the sweet and tangy flavors of honey mustard. The air fryer cooks them quickly and easily but doesn’t load you up with the extra calories and fats you get from deep-fried foods. Each batch makes six delicious servings.
Bonus: With the air fryer, there’s no messy oil to splatter in your kitchen.
Yes, you can enjoy family pizza night and stay on track to your weight loss goal. With this healthy pizza recipe, firm slices of eggplant are the substitute for the carb-heavy dough. They’re topped with zesty marinara sauce and melted cheese and come bubbling out of the oven with just 120 calories per serving. Best of all, you get four (yes four!) slices per serving of this pizza.
Bonus: Eggplant is rich in polyphenols, phytochemicals that can help reduce your risk of diabetes, according to the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.
Vegetables can be a hard sell at many dinner tables. However, we all need the immune-boosting vitamins that you can only get from foods like cauliflower. So, here’s the plan: heat cauliflower florets until they’re as tender as cooked macaroni, then mix them in a cheesy sauce spiked with that spicy Buffalo wing flavor. Wait for the vegetable-haters to ask for seconds.
Bonus: You can use fresh or frozen cauliflower to reduce the carbohydrates in many family recipes.
Zoodles are spiralized zucchini and they’re as much fun to slurp as your family’s favorite spaghetti. You can find zoodles in the produce or frozen foods sections at many supermarkets, or you can make them yourself with a simple tool known as a spiralizer. In this recipe, we tossed zucchini noodles or “zoodles” with melted cheese and sweet and savory vegetables like onions, broccoli and peppers to make a filling dish for hungry families.
Bonus: Make your family recipes even more colorful with noodles made from spiralized carrots or beets.
Is there any place cozier than a home filled with the aroma of chicken slowly roasting in the oven? Maybe that’s because everybody loves tender, juicy chicken, whether it’s the drumsticks and wings or the lean breast meat (AKA the healthiest choice for you). Add carrots and potatoes and you’ve got a meal that will satisfy the hungriest of appetites while leaving plenty of delicious soup options for leftovers!
Bonus: Prepping the whole meal takes minutes, then you get to relax while it all cooks at once.
Brisket is the meat lovers’ choice because it is so flavorful and tender. Plus, it’s loaded with protein, so everyone leaves the table feeling well-fed. A conventional version takes just about all day to cook. But with a handy instant pot and this epic dinner recipe, you get the deep, smoky flavor that meat lovers want in just over an hour. When buying the meat, ask for the leanest option available to keep the saturated fat to a minimum.
Bonus: Leftover brisket is delicious on sandwiches, salads and other family recipes.
When everyone is craving a big, filling bowl of spaghetti, cook up the squash that looks like pasta but comes with less than 25 percent of the calories and carbs you get from conventional noodles, says the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The squash blends in with any flavors you add to it, whether it’s classic tomato sauce or this version served with melt-in-your mouth roasted sweet potato chunks and creamy goat cheese.
Bonus: Make extra spaghetti squash and freeze it for the next time spaghetti is on the dinner menu.
Potato hash makes a filling breakfast to start your day. We took it up a notch by starting with super-nutritious sweet potatoes, along with savory peppers and onions. For a topping, add slices of creamy avocado and an egg made any way you’d like—poached, scrambled or sunny-side up. Season to your family’s taste with chili powder and gather the gang for a sit-down breakfast in the morning.
Bonus: There are no rules against eating breakfast favorites at dinner time.
If your family likes Asian flavors, they’ll wolf down this tasty chicken lettuce wraps recipe. Inside the crunchy lettuce leaves they’ll get bites full of tender chicken, crispy water chestnuts and spunky green onions, all bathed in a tangy dressing made with fresh garlic and ginger. The lean chicken breast keeps the calorie count low without skimping on the satisfaction.
Bonus: For those in the family who don’t care for lettuce wraps, just spoon the filling into any tortilla or wrap.
Fresh seafood can be costly when you’re feeding the whole family. Consider using tuna packed in water, which can create these tasty tuna patties that are crispy on the outside, flaky on the inside and delicious from the first bite to the last. Just mix the tuna with zingy mustard, creamy mayonnaise, an egg, a few herbs and spices and breadcrumbs, then form it into patties. Sauté them for a few minutes and they’re ready to eat on a sandwich, salad or as a dinner entrée like a crab cake!
Bonus: You can make these with canned salmon instead of tuna, if that’s your family’s preference.
When your gang is wishing they could go out to the local bistro for a hot lunch, treat them to this grilled sandwich packed with flavorful tuna, melted cheese and juicy tomato. Instead of high-carb bread, use sandwich thins that get perfectly crispy on the griddle. Look for tuna that’s packed in water and low in sodium to avoid extra oil and salt.
Bonus: If you don’t have a panini maker, you can make this epic tuna melt on your stovetop or grill.
Tired of the same old family recipes for breakfast? These cheese-laden muffins just might become a new go-to breakfast for your family. Made with high-fiber whole wheat flour, they are as filling as they are delicious. Using reduced fat cheese and fat-free milk keeps the calorie count down, so you get to eat two muffins per serving.
Bonus: Bake these muffins when you have the time and store them in the refrigerator (for up to a week) or in the freezer to heat up when you’re ready to eat them.
Many families today include a vegan or two around the table (maybe it’s you), so you need good meal ideas that will please everyone. This pasta dish is made with cashew cream that’s easy to prepare and high in healthy fats from the nuts. Add a few herbs and spices, toss with whole wheat fettuccini, fresh cherry tomatoes and spinach, then get ready to listen to the sound of lips smacking.
Bonus: Add a PowerFuel such as chicken or shrimp for those that crave animal protein.
Sophisticated family recipes don’t have to take hours to prepare or require expert chef skills. You can transform ordinary chicken breasts into an entrée with the robust flavor of French onion soup in less than 45 minutes. You probably even have the required ingredients in your kitchen! Just slice open chicken breasts, fill them with mozzarella cheese and onions, sear them quickly and bake until the chicken is done.
Bonus: Chicken breast is a family-favorite protein, making this a dish that everyone will enjoy.