Some people aren’t a fan of leftovers or batch cooking, and that’s okay! We all live our lives differently, and that’s what makes us interesting.
Recipes that use a protein like chicken breasts, or salmon fillets work really well if this is your goal because you can choose the amount of breasts or fillets, and then cook a side to go with it.
For those who don’t want big traybakes like a giant lasagna, here are some healthy dinner ideas for 2. No leftovers! These recipes are easily portioned out for two people.
This is a very healthy and low-calorie dish using salmon as the protein. It’s flavored with cilantro, lime, garlic, onion, and chili pepper. Using fresh, high-quality salmon is essential for this dish because ceviche is essentially raw fish. The lemon juice ‘cooks’ the salmon so it is safe to eat, but it won’t save you from poor quality fish!
Salmon is a wonderful choice if you’re looking to eat healthily, as it’s packed full of omegas and healthy fats. It’s also super easy to portion out, so even if you literally buy an entire salmon, you can just cut two fillets the size you desire. Maple glaze is one of the tastiest ways to flavor salmon, and The Almond Eater gives all the tips and tricks on maximizing deliciousness.
Kitchen Sanctuary shares a delectable recipe for baked salmon, using honey, garlic, and butter to flavor it. It gives just the right amount of sweetness to balance out the garlic. Another bonus of cooking with salmon is that it cooks really quickly, so if you’re looking for a meal for two after work, this is a perfect option.
What is hibachi, I hear you ask? And why should I be using it on my salmon? It’s a flavor used in Japanese steakhouses, and Weekday Pescatarian helps bring that flavor to your house. It works really well cooked on a grill or griddle and is typically served with a side of rice and vegetables.
Dinner At The Zoo shares a variation of honey garlic salmon by adding soy sauce to the marinade. That salty seasoning perfectly compliments the natural flavors of the salmon and works well served with brown rice or quinoa, alongside your choice of vegetable.
An easy way to keep food healthy and reduce added fat content is to use an air fryer. This recipe from Platings and Pairings cooks chicken breasts with this method, follow her instructions to ensure a tender and moist chicken. Seasoned simply with garlic, paprika, oregano, salt, and pepper, it’s easy to pull off and pairs well with vegetables like asparagus.
Omnivore’s Cookbook provides a recipe for black pepper chicken that’s guaranteed to be more healthy than your local Chinese take-out joint. By making this kind of dish at home you can easily and dramatically reduce the fat, sodium, and sugar content without really trying. Serve with rice or noodles, and add in as many vegetables with the chicken as you prefer.
Natasha’a Kitchen shares a simple yet delicious chicken pasta dish perfect for two. If you want to lighten up this dish, consider subbing the heavy cream for low-fat milk, or even just omitting the sauce and serving the spaghetti and cajun chicken drizzled with olive oil.
An easy way to get a hit of nutrients from vegetables is to literally stuff them inside your protein. That way you’re sure to eat them! That Low Carb Life gives a wonderful recipe for spinach-stuffed chicken that keeps the carbs at bay while providing a satisfying meal.
Like salmon fillet, chicken breasts are another great ingredient when cooking meals for two. This is because you can simply take two chicken breasts, rather than worry about being stuck with an entire chicken curry leftover. Using just the breast, you can then add a simple side for a meal that lasts just one night! Salt and Lavender share how to crust your chicken with parmesan for that delicious flavor, without all the calories.
Creme De La Crumb is right in thinking that chicken and mustard go well together. So well that this entire meal revolves around the concept. It’s a one-pot meal, so throw in a couple of chicken breasts and as many potatoes as you both want and cook them in this deliciously tangy sauce.
For those with a bit of a sweet tooth, Babaganosh has created a deliciously sticky bourbon sauce for chicken. It’ll remind you of Chinese take-out food, but again, is a lot healthier than ordering in. It can be served over rice, but if you want to cut out the carbs and calories, stir-fried vegetables can be served instead.
White fish is another great option when looking for healthy dinner ideas for two. Taste and See shares how to whip up the perfect pan-seared halibut. It’s served over a delicious white bean concoction and then sprinkled with gremolata for the finishing touch.
Thin white fish gives you the best result for this piccata recipe, something like tilapia or barramundi. Belly Full recommends serving this dish with roasted asparagus, and we recommend pouring yourself a glass of the white wine as you splash it into the fish sauce!
Is there a type of meat that ginger and soy sauce don’t go with? Fish is no exception, with this beautiful Asian fusion fish dish from Delightful Plate. This is a Vietnamese-style recipe, and the fish is served with plenty of shredded, raw vegetables.
Chili lime is such a fantastic flavor combination and works so well with white fish because it’s as light as the meat. Recipe Bungalow shares how to use it to its full potential on mahi mahi. Almost as good as the main event, is the blackened broccoli it pairs with.
17. Ginger Soy Fish
Similar to the recipe from Delightful Plate, Rasa Malaysia takes ginger and soy sauce fish and pan-fries it instead of steaming, giving it a yummy crispy texture. They also serve it with strips of fried ginger laid on top, plus slices of green chili. At under 400 calories per serving, it’s the perfect healthy dinner.
Another classic, foolproof flavor combo, lemon, and pepper works beautifully with white fish. Whether on the grill, in a pan, or on your grill, it’ll always taste delicious. Stay Snatched shows us how to make a crispy fish fillet, and serves it with mashed potatoes and asparagus.
The meal is almost always a healthy choice when you’re using a tomato basil sauce rather than a creamy one. Baker by Nature shows us how to pan-sear cod fillets in a healthy sauce, with a splash of white wine for extra flavor.
20. Boston Roll
Of course, sushi is a healthy option, but making it yourself can seem daunting to some. Izzy Cooking shares how to make a ‘Boston Roll’ isn’t as scary because you’re not actually using raw fish, but imitation crab and poached shrimp. It’s an impressive dish to make if you’re looking to big impact on your date.
21. Skinny Alfredo
Chicken Alfredo is a delicious meal, but often comes at a heavy calorie-tag. Lite Cravings shares some tips on how to lighten up the sauce. The main of which is using almond milk for the sauce due to its incredibly low-calorie count, which rivals even non-fat milk.
Often stuffed pepper recipes are loaded with white rice or ground beef. Delish keeps it healthy by using a Greek-inspired filling of olives, feta, and plenty of vegetables like zucchini. Of course, protein is important in a meal, so chicken and cous cous are also added into the mix.
23. Korean Beef Bowl
Making ‘bowls’ at home is a great way to make dinner for two, and Half Baked Harvest shows us how to make a pretty darn tasty one. Using the traditional bulgogi flavor so tasty, your mind will be transported to a side street in Korea while you enjoy this dish!
Another ‘bowl’ idea from Half Baked Harvest is this chicken tzatziki dish. The reason it’s so simple to make for two is that you make the base of the bowls, cook up a couple of chicken breasts to add, and top with the other ingredients. You’re not making a huge tray or pot of it, it’s pretty much automatically individualized.
Cooking With Manali shares the secret of a perfect biriyani, and it’s in the little details. Think crunchy cashew nuts and warm spices like saffron. Curries can be difficult to prepare for just two, normally you end up making a huge batch. Biriyanis are a bit different because everything is incorporated into one dish, so it’s much easier to prepare the right amount to minimize a huge amount of leftovers.
Risotto is another dish perfect for two. Julia’s Album keeps it healthy by using tomatoes and spinach instead of lashing of cheese and cream. Instead, a sprinkling of parmesan is used, and a splash of white wine. Leaving the rest of the bottle to complete your dinner for two!
26 Simple Healthy Dinner Ideas For 2
- 500 g salmon fillets or steaks
- 1 red onion 80 g
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 1 clove garlic
- ⅓ cup of lime juice 80 ml
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 7 chili peppers some mild
- Salt to taste
- Cut the salmon into small, bite-sized pieces. To get a more uniform ceviche, try to cut the salmon pieces to the same size. This will ensure that they cook evenly in the lemon juice.
- Finely chop the red onion, cilantro, and garlic. Finely chopped ingredients will marinate more evenly and have a more pleasant texture.
- Add the chopped chili peppers to the salmon and stir well. The chili will add a touch of spiciness to the ceviche. If you don't like spicy food, you can omit the chilies or add only one.
- Pour in the lemon juice, olive oil, and salt to taste. The lemon juice will cook the salmon and give it a sour and refreshing flavor. The olive oil will add a touch of richness and the salt will highlight the flavors of the salmon and the other ingredients.
- Mix well and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 hours. The marinating time may vary depending on the thickness of the salmon. Thicker salmon will need to marinate for longer, while thinner salmon can marinate for less time. Serve the ceviche cold.