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    The 45+ BEST Light Dinner Ideas

    Light Dinner Ideas – Do you sometimes feel like eating something light, healthy yet something mouthwateringly delicious after a few nights of heavy binging on cheesy, calorie bomb meals?

    Are you on a clean lifestyle diet and looking for some light meal ideas that you can whip up in few minutes? Then you have all come to the right place!

    We have compiled this amazing list of Light Dinners just for you. There are many options that you can make, from chicken, to fish, to shrimp or even go meatless and still end up with a cracker awesome meal.

    And to make it even easier for you, we’ve sorted this recipe collection into categories: soups, pastas, salads, poultry, meatless and seafood!

    Eating healthy during those busy weeknights really doesn’t have to be hard. All of these light dinner options can actually be easy and fun for anyone to enjoy.

    Light dinner ideas pin.

    Go through all and we are sure they will become your constant companions. We believe that light and healthy don’t have to be bland and boring… Period!

    Light Soups

    Welcome to the world of light soups, where flavor meets nourishment without weighing you down.

    These soup recipes are not just low in calories but are also packed with essential nutrients and layers of flavor. Trust me, they’re so good you won’t believe they’re “light!”

    Caldo de Pollo

    Caldo de pollo.

    Caldo de Pollo, simply Chicken Soup in Spanish, is an ode to Homestyle Cooking.

    A big pot of Caldo simmering for hours, loaded with tons of veggies and chicken, literally creates magic.

    You don’t need fancy ingredients, no extravagant spices, and no complex cooking style. Just a regular soup pot and plenty of patience to make the tastiest, delicate chicken broth with plenty of veggies to munch on.

    Get the Recipe: Caldo de Pollo

    Fasolada (Greek White Bean Soup)

    The 35 BEST Light Dinner Ideas - fasolada.

    If you’re looking for a meatless option, try this Greek white bean soup. It’s amazingly jam packed flavors.

    Even with a big bowlful, you will feel great knowing you’re eating something healthy.

    Get the Recipe: Fasolada

    Chicken Meatball Noodle Soup

    Chicken meatball noodle soup.

    Give your classic comfort food a new twist, and make this Chicken Meatball Noodle Soup. It has all the flavors you love, but is somehow more fun!

    Perfect for when the temperatures start to dip, the whole family is going to love slurping this tasty soup down.

    Make a huge pot of this deliciousness, and cozy up to the biggest bowl you can find!

    Get the Recipe: Chicken Meatball Noodle Soup

    Sopa de Fideo

    Sopa de fideo.

    Everyone’s favorite Tomato Soup gets an upgrade with noodles. Tomato Noodle Soup? You got it right. Sopa de Fideo is Mexico’s version of everyone’s beloved tomato soup.

    With its simple ingredients – thin noodles and a flavorful tomato broth – this dish is the epitome of comfort food. Sopa de Fideo is an easy and quick recipe, perfect for busy weeknights or whenever you need a soothing meal.

    Get the Recipe: Sopa de Fideo

    Moroccan Lentil Soup

    The 35 BEST Light Dinner Ideas - Moroccan lentil soup.

    Give your regular lentils an exotic makeover with this delectable soup. The warm and flavorful combination of Moroccan spices will forever change your idea of a bowl of lentils.

    Great for making a huge batch and saving it for leftover lunches.

    Get the Recipe: Moroccan Lentil Soup

    Bahamian Fish Soup

    The 35 BEST Healthy Dinner Ideas - boiled fish.

    How does a nice hearty bowl of seafood goodness sound? Don’t let the name deceive you, this Bahamian staple is anything but boring!

    Hearty, flaky fish simmered in a delicious broth with potatoes, onions, tons of lime juice and a bit of hot kick. This is classic island comfort food!

    Get the Recipe: Bahamian Fish Soup

    Egg Roll Soup

    The 35 BEST Healthy Dinner Ideas - egg roll soup.

    This Egg Roll Soup is everything you dream about in your beloved egg roll, but in a cozy, delicious soupified way.

    What a fun and delicious soup!

    Get the Recipe: Egg Roll Soup

    Greek Lemon Chicken Soup

    The 35 BEST Healthy Dinner Ideas - avgolemono.

    Meet your new go to comfort food. This Avgolemono Soup is your chicken noodle soup taken to the next level. It’s silky and smooth and oh so delicious!

    Give it a try, we bet you’ll love it!

    Get the Recipe: Greek Lemon Chicken Soup

    Pastas that Won’t Weigh You Down

    Who says you can’t enjoy pasta while keeping things light? Say goodbye to the heavy cream sauces and say hello to fresh, vibrant flavors.

    These pasta recipes are as colorful as they are flavorful, all while keeping your calorie count in check.

    Orecchiette with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe

    Orecchiette pasta.

    If you’ve never tried Orecchiette with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe, you need to add this easy pasta recipe to your collection. Like, yesterday.

    Combining a variety of distinctive flavors, this dish comes together beautifully. No wonder this super regional dish from the southeast corner of Italy has spread so far!

    Get the Recipe: Orecchiette Pasta

    Pasta Puttanesca

    Pasta puttanesca.

    How about a restaurant quality Italian dinner on the table in about 25 minutes? Well that’s our Pasta Puttanesca recipe!

    It’s light, yet boldly flavored with garlic, anchovies, olives and capers. Easy enough for a busy weeknight, puttanesca is also company worthy.

    Get the Recipe: Pasta Puttanesca

    Pasta e Piselli

    pasta e piselli.

    This Pasta e Piselli recipe is perfect for those last minute weeknight dinners, when you want something tasty and comforting, without a lot of hassle.

    A simple Neapolitan dish of Pasta and Peas, it’s a light one pot meal that you can have on the table in about 25 minutes.

    Get the Recipe: Pasta e Piselli

    Mediterranean Pasta

    Mediterranean pasta.

    This Mediterranean Pasta will be your new favorite weeknight meatless meal. It’s loaded with great flavors and is ready in just 20 minutes!

    Boil the pasta, chop a few ingredients, mix , and your pasta is ready! The simple combination of ingredients gives so much flavor to this healthy meal.

    This light and refreshing dish is perfect for busy weeknights but is also fancy enough for special occasions. Try it!

    Get the Recipe: Mediterranean Pasta

    Rainbow Pasta Salad

    The 35 BEST Light Dinner Ideas - rainbow pasta salad.

    Quick, easy, and very colorful. This pasta salad is your answer if you want to keep your dinner simple. You can mix and match with any protein you have.

    Make a big batch, it’s a great meal prep contender.

    Get the Recipe: Rainbow Pasta Salad

    Scallop Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes

    The 35 BEST Healthy Dinner Ideas - scallop pasta.

    This Scallop Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes is one of our favorite new recipes. It’s super quick and easy, in about 20 minutes you have a restaurant quality meal on your table.

    This elegant dish is sure to impress guests, but it’s so quick to whip up it’s even great for busy weeknights.

    Get the Recipe: Scallop Pasta

    Salads for Dinner

    Salads aren’t just side dishes anymore. These recipes are main-event material, especially when you’re looking for a lighter dinner option!

    Packed with leafy greens, crunchy veggies, whole grains and lean protein sources, these salads are hearty enough to stand on their own.

    Jennifer Aniston Salad

    Jennifer aniston salad.

    Tabbouleh getting a starry make over… That’s Jennifer Aniston Salad for you! A taste of Hollywood’s healthy living. Who wouldn’t want to dine like a Hollywood star?

    Inspired by the famous Jennifer Aniston salad myth, this bulgur-based salad is a delightful combination of taste and wellness.

    Get the Recipe: Jennifer Aniston Salad

    Vietnamese Chicken Salad

    Vietnamese chicken salad.

    This Vietnamese Chicken Salad is a vibrant bowl that’s loaded with sweet and umami flavors and an amazing crunchy texture. Its also known as Gỏi Gà Bắp Cải.

    In a large bowl, mix fresh veggies, herbs, and cooked shredded chicken and drizzle with sweet, spicy, and tangy Nuoc Cham dressing, which makes the salad delicious. Don’t forget to add peanuts!

    It certainly is not your usual chicken salad recipe, but it’s packed with the goodness of Vietnamese flavors that you don’t want to miss.

    Get the Recipe: Vietnamese Chicken Salad

    Farro Salad with Roasted Vegetables

    Farro salad.

    We’re starting this list with something easy, quick, light and extremely delicious. You will love this Farro Salad with Roasted Vegetables recipe!

    It’s so refreshing, a perfect alternative to those summer burgers. Perfect light dinner recipe for busy weeknights.

    Get the Recipe: Farro Salad

    Hawaiian Chicken Salad

    Hawaiian chicken salad.

    Give this refreshing Hawaiian Chicken Salad a sure try tonight, and enjoy the best tropical flavors with everyone.

    The marinade makes the chicken simply scrumptious, and other healthy salad fillings make this bowl just spot on.

    You can whip it up in about half an hour. Just marinate the chicken in the morning and you are all set for a delicious salad dinner.

    Get the Recipe: Hawaiian Chicken Salad

    Fall Pasta Salad

    Fall pasta salad.

    Don’t limit your pasta salads only to summer, as our Fall Pasta Salad is full of autumn’s delicious flavors.

    This is one bowl where every bite brings a new combination of flavors, like perfectly roasted veggies, crispy apples, sweet dried cranberries, and more.

    Add this fantastic Fall salad to your holiday spread, and watch it disappear!

    Get the Recipe: Fall Pasta Salad

    Greek Steak Salad

    The 35 BEST Light Dinner Ideas - Greek steak salad.

    Imagine crunchy veggies… tender steak… chewy grains… salty olives… creamy feta… all in one big bowl! That’s my Greek Steak Salad Bowl!

    Packed with colorful, crunchy veggies, protein, whole grain, and yummy feta cheese, this Greek Steak Salad Bowl is sure to leave you satisfied!

    Get the Recipe: Greek Steak Salad

    Light Chicken and Turkey Dinners

    If you’re a fan of poultry but want to keep things on the lighter side, you’ve come to the right place.

    This category features scrumptious chicken and turkey recipes that are high in protein and low in fat.

    Chicken Lettuce Wraps

    The 35 BEST Light Dinner Ideas - chicken lettuce wraps.

    There is nothing as light and tasty as lettuce wraps. They are a huge favorites to so many. These super quick chicken lettuce wraps are inspired by P.F.Chang.

    They are bursting with flavors in every single bite and adorned by a delicious peanut sauce.

    Get the Recipe: Chicken Lettuce Wraps

    Greek Chicken Souvlaki

    Chicken souvlaki.

    The Mediterranean diet is so refreshing, light and healthy. These flavorful Greek Chicken Kabobs are marinated with zesty lemon juice, garlic and fresh herbs and served with delicious homemade tzatziki dipping sauce!

    Light dinners could be so flavorful and interesting when you try different world cuisines.

    Get the Recipe: Chicken Souvlaki

    Ground Turkey Tacos

    Ground turkey tacos.

    Add this Ground Turkey Tacos recipe to your Taco Tuesday collection. It’s a fun, hand-held treat that gets ready in no time!

    This healthier, lighter version of tacos is loaded with amazingly delicious flavors of ground turkey and your favorite Mexican toppings, making a great family meal.

    Once you make the ground turkey, you can make many other dishes to give your family something new and flavorful every night. So when you have lots of ground turkey, plan your meals with this recipe.

    Get the Recipe: Ground Turkey Tacos

    Sheet Pan Chicken and Veggies

    Sheet pan chicken.

    Sheet Pan dinners, the perfect answer to fuss free weeknight meals! This Sheet Pan Chicken with colorful veggies not only looks very inviting, but every single bite is bursting with flavor.

    Here, chicken bites and veggies are seasoned well with a zesty, herby marinade and cook on a sheet pan in about 30 minutes.

    Get the Recipe: Sheet Pan Chicken

    Thai Cashew Chicken

    Thai cashew chicken.

    Give your stir fry night a new twist with this Thai Cashew Chicken. It’s an easy dish that’s bursting with layers of flavor and texture.

    Just a little chopping, mix up a sauce, and a quick stir fry is all the effort needed to put this tasty and nutritious dinner on the table. Sounds like a great weeknight dinner option!

    Get the Recipe: Thai Cashew Chicken

    Pesto Bruschetta Chicken

    The 35 BEST Light Dinner Ideas - bruschetta chicken.

    This gorgeous dish highlights two summer favorites: fresh basil and vine ripe tomatoes!

    It’s a great keto meal prep option, only 10 minutes of prep time and then your trusty old oven does the rest!

    Get the Recipe: Pesto Bruschetta Chicken

    Ground Turkey Stir Fry

    Ground turkey stir fry.

    Ground Turkey Stir Fry – So, who is ready for the easiest weeknight dinner ever? It’s easy, super fast, sneaks in loads of veggies, and is made with leanest protein out there…

    You guessed it right… Turkey it is! Healthy looks so colorful!

    Get the Recipe: Ground Turkey Stir Fry

    Grilled Chicken Tacos

    Grilled Chicken tacos.

    These Grilled Chicken Tacos are the best! Perfectly marinated chicken nestled in warm corn tortillas, along with simple toppings that compliment the chicken without overpowering.

    Give these quick, easy and budget friendly chicken tacos a try on your busy weeknights, and get ready for rave reviews!

    Get the Recipe: Grilled Chicken Tacos

    Ground Turkey Stuffed Peppers

    Ground turkey stuffed peppers.
    Tracking Pixel

    These easy Ground Turkey Stuffed Peppers are a hit! Brimming with Mediterranean flavors, even your picky eaters won’t mind their veggies.

    With hearty wild rice, sweet cherry tomatoes, briny olives, nutty pine nuts, and plenty of great seasonings, they’re a meal that you’ll want to make again and again.

    Get the Recipe: Turkey Stuffed Peppers

    Chicken Buddha Bowl

    The 35 BEST Light Dinner Ideas - chicken Buddha bowl.

    Need a healthy meal to wash away those summer hamburgers and ice cream cones? Try this light and tasty Buddha Bowl.

    In case you haven’t heard, Buddha Bowls are the big thing now!

    Get the Recipe: Chicken Buddha Bowl

    Thai Basil Chicken

    The 35 BEST Light Dinner Ideas - Thai basil chicken.

    Are you looking for a really, really fast meal that’s really, really tasty and at the same time light as well?

    Not only is this Thai Basil Chicken, AKA Pad Krapow Gai, bursting with flavor, you can whip it up in 15 minutes or less.

    Get the Recipe: Thai Basil Chicken

    Meatless Main Dishes

    Meatless doesn’t mean tasteless, especially with these light yet satisfying meatless main dishes!

    Whether you’re a vegetarian or just trying to incorporate more plant-based meals into your routine, these recipes are for you.

    These dishes are full of flavors, textures, and colors that will make you forget all about meat.



    Ratatouille sounds fancy, but at its core it’s just a simple, hearty and rustic dish out of the South of France.

    This classic Provencal dish is a medley of summer vegetables accentuating all the Mediterranean flavors.

    Melt in your mouth chunks of beautifully cooked eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash in a tomato sauce spiked with fresh herbs and olive oil. That’s Ratatouille for you!!

    Get the Recipe: Ratatouille

    Fasolakia (Greek Stewed Green Beans)


    Fasolakia, or Greek Green Beans, will make you wonder how simple green beans can be so wonderfully delicious. But believe me, this Greek recipe might change the way you think about this humble vegetable.

    Known locally as Fasolakia Lathera, it is a delightful and comforting Greek dish that’s perfect for those who crave wholesome, home-cooked flavors.

    Get the Recipe: Fasolakia

    Cauliflower Peas Masala

    The 35 BEST Light Dinner Ideas - cauliflower peas masala.

    Indian cuisine has so many healthy and tasty way to eat vegetables. This Cauliflower Peas Masala is a classic example of homestyle Indian vegetables.

    Simple, tasty and healthy. Try this dish and experience the flavors of an everyday Indian household!

    Get the Recipe: Cauliflower Peas Masala

    Cannellini Beans

    Cannellini beans.

    This Cannellini Beans recipe is the best, hands down! Creamy, buttery beans are enhanced with plenty of fresh herbs, garlic, parmesan, cherry tomatoes, and a good dousing of good ol’ EVOO.

    Give your favorite white beans a big time upgrade. We think you’re going to come back to this one again and again…

    Get the Recipe: Cannellini Beans Recipe

    Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

    caprese portobello mushrooms.

    Your meatless night never looked so fancy and tasty! These Caprese Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms are what my dream looks like when I steer away from protein some days.

    These big ol’ mushrooms are tender, fleshy goodness stuffed to the brim with everyone’s classic favorite… Caprese!! A simple mix of vibrant cherry tomatoes, gooey mozzarella balls and fresh basil.

    Get the Recipe: Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

    Mediterranean Flatbread

    Mediterranean flatbread.

    There is plenty to love about flatbreads. They’re one of the quickest meals on planet Earth, they are super delish, and they come out good looking, too. They are perfect any time meals, and act as superb, easy appetizers for your company.

    This Mediterranean Flatbread is loaded with all the Mediterranean staples, full of delicious flavors in every single bite.

    Get the Recipe: Mediterranean Flatbread

    Paneer Jalfrezi

    Paneer jalfrezi.

    Want to make a meatless meal? Try this popular dish from India, Paneer Jalfrezi.

    It’s similar to stir-fry but with Indian flavors and spices. Easy stir-fry veggies and paneer (Indian cottage cheese) are tossed in spiced onion tomato gravy, turning it into a fantastic dish.

    This flavorful dish is served with roti, paratha, and naan, but it tastes great with rice too. Leftovers pair well with pita pockets or stuffed in burritos. Make a huge batch to for many tasty meals throughout the week!

    Get the Recipe: Paneer Jalfrezi

    Seafood Dishes

    Embrace the ocean’s bounty in the most delicious and light way possible. This category is a treasure trove of light seafood recipes that are as good for your body as they are for your soul.

    Dive in and discover how you can make your dinners both healthy and delectable!

    Shrimp Foil Packets with Summer Veggies

    Shrimp foil packs.

    These Shrimp Foil Packets are a delicious, healthy-ish, light meal with all your favorite summer veggies.

    Ready in just 12 minutes on your grill, campfire or even in the oven, this is great meal prep for all your future camp outs, Sunday cookouts, or simply great weeknight dinners.

    Get the Recipe: Shrimp Foil Packs

    Mediterranean Fish

    Mediterranean fish.

    Give your fish a Mediterranean makeover with this tapenade topped beauty. So gourmet, yet so easy! It has a good dose of heart healthy olive oil.

    This is one of our favorite light dinners.

    Get the Recipe: Mediterranean Fish Recipe

    Baked Sockeye Salmon

    Sockeye salmon.

    This easy Baked Sockeye Salmon recipe is perfect for a quick and easy dinner, or company meal!

    It’s brushed with a honey mustard glaze that perfectly compliments the natural flavor of the fish, then baked in foil to keep the flesh moist, and for easy cleanup.

    Get the Recipe: Sockeye Salmon Recipe

    Spicy Shrimp Bowl

    Spicy shrimp bowl.

    Get ready, this Spicy Shrimp Bowl is going to be you new weeknight addiction! Super easy and nutritious, it has a variety of flavors and textures that are just spot on.

    Plump, juicy shrimp, chewy quinoa, creamy avocado and cool Mango Salad all combine for bowl meal that can’t be beat.

    Get the Recipe: Spicy Shrimp Bowl

    Fish en Papillote

    Fish en papillote.

    This Fish en Papillote recipe may sound fancy, but it may be the easiest dinner ever!

    Loaded with fresh veggies and herbs, this Mediterranean inspired fish recipe may be the perfect light summertime meal.

    It’s a great make ahead dish, and can easily be customized. Best of all, there’s hardly any cleanup. Sounds like a winner to us!

    Get the Recipe: Fish en Papillote

    Shrimp Remoulade Cups

    The 35 BEST Light Dinner Ideas -  shrimp remoulade lettuce cups.

    Shrimp remoulade is New Orleans classic. These lettuce cups are adorned with plump succulent shrimp, tossed generously with my favorite Louisiana style remoulade.

    Accompany it with some boiled eggs, olives and avocado and it could be your everyday salad for light lunch or dinner option.

    Get the Recipe: Shrimp Remoulade

    Firecracker Salmon

    Firecracker salmon.

    This Firecracker Salmon is a super easy and super delish meal that must become part of your rotation. It has an amazing Asian sauce and whips up in about 20 minutes.

    If you’re looking for a new recipe to really jazz up your salmon, this is it! It’s salty, it’s sweet, and it’s a little bit spicy! Firecracker salmon just may become one of your new go-to recipes.

    Get the Recipe: Firecracker Salmon

    Tuna Tataki Bowl

    The 35 BEST Healthy Dinner Ideas - tuna tataki.

    This quick and easy Albacore Tuna Tataki Bowl is full of your favorite Asian flavors and healthy ingredients.

    Skip the sushi restaurant and make this great meal in your own home!

    Get the Recipe: Tuna Tataki Bowl

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What qualifies a dinner recipe as “light”?

    A “light” dinner recipe usually means it’s low in calories and fat but high in nutrients. These recipes focus on lean proteins, vegetables, and whole grains while minimizing ingredients like heavy cream or large amounts of sugar.

    Can I make these light dinner recipes ahead of time?

    Absolutely! Many of these recipes are perfect for meal prepping. Make sure to check each individual recipe for storage and reheating instructions to keep the dish as fresh and flavorful as possible.

    Are these recipes suitable for vegetarians or vegans?

    While not all recipes are vegetarian or vegan, the “Meatless Main Dishes” category is tailored specifically for those following a plant-based diet. Other recipes can often be adapted to suit vegetarian or vegan needs.

    Are these recipes kid-friendly?

    Many of these recipes are kid-friendly or can easily be adapted to be so. For instance, you can make a simple pasta recipe more appealing to kids by using fun-shaped pasta.


    Don’t they all look fantastic? Now all you need to do is come back to these simple, yet delicious light dinner ideas whenever you want to go easy after some heavy feasts. Save this page by either pinning or bookmarking it in your favorite food folder.

    As I said earlier, healthy doesn’t have to be bland and boring. Have fun and feel light after a plateful of any of these super duper delicious dinners…

    featured image for light dinner ideas post.

    45+ BEST Light Dinner Ideas

    Yield: 6 servings
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 20 minutes
    Total Time: 30 minutes

    This collection great Light Dinner Ideas will give you plenty of options when you crave an easy and healthy dinner.


    • lean protein
    • veggies
    • grains
    • seasonings


    1. Choose a recipe that looks tasty. Try something you haven't had before, it's fun to experiment!
    2. Make a shopping list and buy the ingredients.
    3. Cook your new favorite Light Dinner Recipe!


    1. Let me know which recipes you try, I love hearing from you!

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

    Picture of Alpana, blogger and recipe developer at GypsyPlate

    Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.

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