10 Easy Clean Eating Dinner Recipes & Meal Ideas

I get a lot of questions about what I eat, now that I’m doing more of a clean eating lifestyle, and people are especially looking for dinner recipes. I get it. I’m almost always at a loss for what to make for dinner, despite the fact that I have a huge resource of recipes right here on my own site. It just gets so old, trying to come up with what to make for dinner every night, and when you impose certain restrictions on what you eat, it’s even more difficult to keep coming up with new ideas.

These are some of my family’s favorite tried and true recipes, so maybe they will give you some dinnertime inspiration. I actually forgot about some of these, so this has been helpful for me too!

First, to explain how we eat. I call it clean eating since it’s not strictly paleo, although I do try to avoid added sugars and most grains. I draw the line at eliminating wine and dairy products. I love cream in my coffee and butter in… well, everything! I also just don’t think they’re bad for you. (I try to buy local and organic.) And I think the wine is self-explanatory, amIright?

Basically we eat all kinds of meat and seafood, all vegetables (including white potatoes), and occasionally rice. We eat a ton of eggs, a little fruit, and some dairy. I try to buy as much organic as possible. I cook with olive oil, lard, and butter. I stay away from most vegetable oils, although I’m not opposed to coconut oil. I just prefer other flavors. I try to steer clear of pasta, beans, and most grains. My son has a tree nut and sesame allergy, so those are pretty much out, even though they are nutritious.

We aren’t legalistic about any of this, but the more I stick with those guidelines, the better I feel, and the easier it is to maintain my ideal weight.

Also, this is mostly how I eat and what I cook for dinner. I keep pasta and snack food in the pantry for the kids, and I buy bread for their sandwiches and toast. We don’t do a lot of box cereals, but sometimes I buy the healthy-ish ones for the kids. They usually prefer eggs or bagels or toast for breakfast.

The nice thing about having older kids is they can cook for themselves. They eat what we eat for dinner, but they often make their own breakfasts and lunches from what’s in the pantry.

With all that said, here are 10 of our favorite dinner recipes. These are all fairly easy and don’t require a ton of crazy ingredients. I’ll also try to give you side dish suggestions so you have 10 complete meals. You can see all my recipes in the recipe section of my blog.

10 Easy Clean Eating Dinner Recipes & Meal Ideas

#1. Baked Lemon Chicken: Super easy oven recipe. I prefer to grill my chicken in the warmer months, but when it’s too cold for grilling, this is easy to throw together. I usually serve it with a side of roasted potatoes and a steamed or roasted veggie such as broccoli.

#2. Baked Salmon with Caper Lemon Butter: We love this; I make it pretty much every week. My favorite type of salmon is wild coho. Don’t skip the capers! It’s wonderful with sautéed swiss chard on the side.

Baked Salmon with Lemon Caper Butter

#3. Shepherd’s Pie: comfort food at its finest; this is one of my favorite winter meals. I serve it with a salad or a steamed green veggie on the side.

#4. Shrimp Scampi with Zucchini Noodles: This is light and easy to throw together at the last minute, plus it’s a one dish meal. Score!

#5. Chicken and Spinach Stuffed Sweet Potatoes: This one is a hit with our whole family, and it’s super easy to make. In fact, it’s on the menu for tonight!

#6. Pan Roasted Pork Loin with Leeks (and a side of Roasted Brussels Sprouts): An oldie but goodie. I got the pork recipe from Cooking Light many moons ago. Super easy, only 4 ingredients.

#7. Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps: This recipe uses ground chicken and comes together really fast. It’s very tasty, but it’s light, so if the kids are hungry later, they can grab a snack.

Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps

#8. Ground Beef Taco Filling: Our family loves this taco filling recipe; it’s another one I make almost every night. The kids and my husband put it on taco shells, and I make a salad out of it.

#9. Rockfish with Lemon Butter & Sage: You can make this with virtually any fish, including salmon, but it’s especially good with Rockfish.

Rockfish with Lemon Butter & Sage

#10. Slow Cooker Chicken Curry: This is soooo good, and the best part is, you make it entirely in your slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Chicken Curry

I’d love to hear from you. If you’ve got a good, easy, healthy dinner recipe to share, leave it in the comments.

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46 Responses

  1. And your kids eat these too? That’s impressive. I used to be such a picky eater as a kid. Although I’m happy to report that I’m not anymore, and I will try anything!!
    We try to eat mostly clean also.
    But it’s always a struggle on the dinner meals—thanks for these ideas! We still have pork chops leftover for tonight, but I may try the lettuce wraps tomorrow!!

  2. Thank you so much! This is super timely for my family as we began, about 2 weeks ago, trying to eat more healthy/clean. This was so helpful! Have a great day!

  3. I am on my last few days of the Whole30 — and what I missed the most was the creamer in my coffee 🙂 I will continue to eat clean like this and add a few things back in………..I wanted to ask if you’ve heard of Ghee ? It is clarified butter and I’ve used it during my Whole30 and love it……….it is a bit pricey but so worth the purchase. Thanks for sharing you recipes.

  4. Salmon Patties are our family favorite once a week. We have mashed potatoes and a salad.
    I’m gluten free so I use corn chips in place of crackers.
    I love this post! Thank you!

    1. We love salmon patties too! I cheat and buy them at my health food store. They’re my go-to easy weeknight dinner when I have NO time to prepare anything, I just fry them up and steam some broccoli, and done! If I have time, I make rice for the kids, but I don’t miss it.

  5. What is lard, I know what it was when I was a child, where do you get it and how do you use? Love these ideas, thanks now I don’t have to Meal plan for 2 weeks!

  6. Love the recipes on your site! In fact, made the White Bean and Bacon Soup last night (from a previous post). Can’t wait to try some of the ones mentioned in this post too.

  7. I LOOOOOVE this post and thank you for sharing!! I would love to see more posts like this in the future 🙂 I have really enjoyed the content of your blog this month!! The gluten free banana bread recipe on the sidebar just caught my eye as well! My son was diagnosed with celiac disease at the end of August and so we have all gone gluten free at home. I will give that bread recipe a try (but I might add chocolate chips!!)

  8. Thanks for the ideas. I’ve been following a low fodmap diet for digestive issues. It’s been soooooo tough and I’m losing willpower. For me that means I’m constantly thinking about candy. Coming up with new dinner ideas is especially difficult so I will give your recipes a try!

  9. We strive for clean eating too. All these recipes look yummy and I love easy! I will make some of these. We also like tamale pie.

  10. Please tell us more about cooking with lard. I’ve been interested in using lard, but have only seen hydrogenated lard at my stores. I have an acquaintance who raises hogs and renders her own, but that’s totally out of my league! Do you use hydrogenated or non? If non, where do you find it?

    1. I am pretty sure it is not hydrogenated. I get it at a local health food store, and they source it from a local farm. I use it to brown meat, like you would a vegetable oil or olive oil. It has a higher smoke point than olive oil and is better to use when cooking meat on high heat.

  11. I love this! Of course I love fashion but I am also very interested in healthy eating and cooking. Like everyone, we are super busy and often eating in shifts which I hate! We make a point for family dinners on the weekend. Thank you for sharing these dinners. Looking forward to trying some of these!

  12. These recipes look yummy. We are mostly vegetarians but we do eat fish on occasion. We stay away from a lot of processed foods. I tried veganism but I like cheese and it was causing me to fixate on food instead of enjoying it. I have struggled with an eating disorder in the past and the constant trying to figure out how to cook that way stirred those old control issues so I had to stop. Clean eating is the way to go. All things in moderation. And like you, I am a demi permanent color girl. I like the idea of it gradually washing out and not being so noticeable. I was beginning to think I was the only one that went this route.

    1. Oh I would not want to live without cheese either! 🙂 I do find that I don’t need it as often as I used to have it. I love snacking on popcorn. It gives me the crunch I need (and some extra fiber) and the calories are minimal.

  13. Thanks for these great recipes! It’s so easy to get in a dinner rut. I think I’ll do the lemon chicken tonight!

    1. It’s a good one! I personally get a little wigged out with baked chicken, so I like to flatten it some before I cook it. I feel like it absorbs the flavors better, and I prefer the texture. Of course, it doesn’t take quite as long to cook that way either.

  14. Thanks so much for this post and the recipe ideas! I am really trying to clean up my eating by cutting out (or down) sugar and processed everything. It’s going pretty well and I definitely feel better. I actually don’t miss bread and pasta that much!
    I have a question about snacks. I know Whole3o discourages snacking but sometimes I just need a little something;) If you eat little fruit, what do you snack on, if anything? An apple, orange or banana are my “go to” but sometimes I’ll have 3-4 pieces of fruit, including on salads, in a day and I know that’s getting into the high sugar range – even though it’s natural sugar. Just curious.

    Thanks again. Look forward to your blog everyday!

    1. I don’t eat much fruit. Sometimes I’ll have a banana before a workout or a run, or I’ll have some berries to wash down a meal. 🙂 I snack on popcorn (not Whole30 approved, but it’s another concession I make) and sometimes raw cheddar. I have popcorn almost every afternoon. 🙂

  15. Great recipe! I love this one.

    Halibut Baked in Parchment with Olives and Thyme

    2 (5 ounce) portions of halibut
    1/4 cup of pitted, halved kalamata olives
    2 sprigs of thyme
    1 lemon, sliced thinly in discs, skin on
    1 zucchini, sliced thin diagonally
    2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    Sea salt
    Parchment paper cut into two (2) 12-inch circles

    1. Heat oven to 425º F.
    2. Brush each parchment sheet with oil.
    3. Place one piece of halibut in the middle of each sheet.
    4. Season with sea salt.
    5. On top of the fish place three thin slices of lemon and three slices of zucchini between the slices of lemon, then top with a sprig of thyme.
    6. Sprinkle the olives over the top and drizzle with olive oil.
    7. Pull the sides of the parchment together like a calzone. Fold paper over and crinkle together to seal.
    8. Place each package on a baking tray and place in the lower third of the oven.
    9. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes; the paper will puff up and brown lightly.
    10. Remove from oven and place on plates to serve. Open packages at the table.

      1. Sharon Bryan I would imagine you can, maybe sword fish? I live in So California so getting fresh halibut is not a problem when it is available. I have friends in New Mexico who when visit here and we go for sushi always want it as they canot getit fresh.

  16. Yay!!!! So excited to see some healthy recipes on here today!!! I am forever in a “what am I going to fix for dinner tonight” … these all look yummy and maybe the most important part … NOT TOO DIFFICULT 🙂 🙂 hmmmm.. which one to try first

  17. Hello, Jo-Lynne!

    Happy New Year to you and yours! Thank you kindly for sharing these wonderful recipes! Cannot wait to try them!

  18. Hi!! I love reading your posts. I can’t believe your son has an allergy to sesame seeds and tree nuts. My son has the exact same allergies. This is the first time I have heard of anyone having those same allergies! We found out when he was 9 years old and he is now 22. It has been quite interesting. I find that there is hidden sesame oil in many products and the nuts…, very hard to find hidden nut remains. How are you finding life with food allergies? How old is your son?
    Thanks!! Sheila

    1. Hi Sheila, it really is an odd combination isn’t it??? We discovered it when he was 3. He’s never been able to tolerate either. Life with food allergies is like most things, I guess, you just get used to it. 🙂 He’s 17 now. I wish he were more diligent about checking ingredients, but so far we haven’t had to use the Epipen. Benadryl usually does the trick, but it’s not pleasant. He hasn’t had a reaction in several years, thankfully.

  19. Hi Jolynne! Love all the meal suggestions as I’m trying to get healthier! I’m curious at what kind of popcorn you are eating….I’ve been comparing nutrition info on packaging but just curious as to what kind you eat. Love your blog! My morning is not complete until I read my devotion first while enjoying my coffee and then check out my “trusted friend’s blog” ,.. it is such an inspiration! Have a blessed day!

  20. This might be a silly question…I’m looking at the pork loin recipe.  What if I don’t have a Dutch Oven?  

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