Best Quick Healthy Recipes
Eating a healthy, balanced diet is an important part of maintaining good health, and can help you feel your best.
This means eating a wide variety of foods in the right proportions, and consuming the right amount of food and drink to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.
This page covers healthy eating advice for the general population.
People with special dietary needs or a medical condition should ask their doctor or a registered dietitian for advice.
1. Pea and broad bean couscous
Put equal quantities of frozen peas, frozen broad beans and dried couscous in a saucepan. Cover with boiling water and simmer for 3 minutes. Fluff up with a fork and mix in fresh mint, basil and plenty of black pepper.
Or if you’ve got 10 minutes to spare, try our recipe for carroty couscous salad (pictured), or fish and couscous salad.
2. Beetroot and lentil salad
Mix drained ready cooked beetroot (not in vinegar) with a tin of drained puy lentils (choose one with no added salt), a teaspoon of ready-made horseradish sauce and some chopped spring onion for a substantial salad in moments – perfect for packed lunches.
3. Fast home-made baked beans
Drain a tin of cannellini or butter beans (choose one with no added salt). Heat with tomato passata, and half a teaspoon of smoked paprika. Serve on toast, with a poached egg on top if you feel like it.
Or if you’ve got a bit more time, try our even more delicious recipe for home-made baked beans with poached eggs.
Porridge takes just a few minutes to make in a saucepan, and even less in a microwave. Instead of adding sugar or salt, scatter with a handful (80g) of fresh berries or other fruit to get one of your 5-a-day at the same time.
5. Pasta with cherry tomatoes and rocket
Boil some quick-cook dried spaghetti (or other pasta shape, or fresh pasta) according to the packet instructions. While this is happening, wash a small punnet of cherry tomatoes per person and cut each tomato in half. Drain the pasta and immediately stir in the tomatoes and a handful of rocket per person. Serve straight away. Swap the pasta for couscous, or a pouch of pre-cooked wholegrain rice, if you prefer.
6. Home-made hummus
Hummus is surely the dip of the decade, with no self-respecting picnic or drinks party complete without it. It’s just as good on toast, as a sandwich filling or a jacket potato topping. But why buy it when you can save money and make a healthier version yourself in minutes? Make our classic recipe for hummus or for something a little different, try beetroot hummus (pictured).
7. Smashed avocado and wilted spinach
Microwave the spinach or heat it in a dry pan for 2 minutes or until just wilted. Peel an avocado, add a squeeze of lemon and mash roughly. Pile the avocado and spinach onto toast. You could add some grilled tomato and poached egg on top if you’ve got the time.
8. Cucumber (or potato) raitha
A refreshing dip of yoghurt and cucumber is equally good as a dip for crudités or wholegrain pitta breads, or as a side dish with spicy food. Our recipe for cucumber raitha takes moments to make.
If you have leftover boiled potatoes, you could try our more unusual potato raitha recipe instead.
9. Quick pitta pizzas
Toast wholemeal pitta breads lightly (for ultimate speed, do this in a toaster while you pre-heat the grill). Spread each pitta with tomato puree or passata. Top with a little reduced-fat mozzarella, torn from a ball, and some sliced tomato. Optional extra toppings are tinned sweetcorn (no added salt or sugar), sliced spring onion or sliced button mushrooms. Place under the pre heated grill for 3 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
Like the sound of this? Check out our recipe for chicken and pepper pitta pizzas (pictured).
10. Mexican salad (or wrap)
Mix a tin of drained black beans with halved cherry tomatoes, chopped spring onion (or red onion) and half an avocado, chopped. Stir in some chopped fresh coriander leaves and a good squeeze of lime juice. Serve as it is as a side dish or for a light lunch, or use as a filling for tortilla wraps.
11. Fresh tuna steaks (pan fried)
ducan c / Via Flickr
Fresh tuna should only be cooked briefly, so is perfect for meals in a hurry. Get your griddle pan or non-stick frying pan very hot and cook each steak for one to two minutes each side. It should still be pink or red inside. Serve with green salad, or with the pea and mint couscous above.
12. Puy lentil salad
Drain a tin of puy lentils in water. Mix with halved cherry tomatoes, chopped cucumber, and cubes of reduced-fat feta cheese.
13. Special stir fried rice
Heat a teaspoon of oil in a frying pan. Using a high heat, fry thinly sliced peppers or mushrooms, frozen peas, beansprouts, and sliced spring onions for 2-3 minutes. Stir in some leftover or ready-cooked rice and stir fry for a couple of minutes longer or until the rice is piping hot. Add sesame seeds and hot chilli sauce, if you want to liven it up a bit.
Not in quite such a hurry? Get our recipe for easy egg fried rice (pictured) or special vegetarian stir-fried rice.
14. Super-fast bean chilli
Perhaps not the most gourmet chilli ever made, but it does the trick when time is of the essence. Drain a tin of kidney beans (choose one with no added salt), and put in a pan with a tin of chopped tomatoes, 1 tsp ground coriander, 1 tsp ground cumin, and chilli powder to taste. Boil for five minutes. Eat on its own, or with either ready-cooked wholegrain rice, wholegrain toast or a (microwaved) jacket potato with some chopped fresh tomatoes and cucumber.
15. Smashed peas on toast with poached egg
Heat frozen peas until piping hot – either in a microwave, or in boiling water on the hob – and mash them roughly (or pulse in a blender). Add fresh mint and black pepper. Pile onto hot toast and top with a poached egg. Great for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
16. Sardine pate
A tin of sardines forms the basis for this quick pate which works well for a light lunch or dinner party starter.
17.Egg and tomato wraps
Hard boiled eggs keep for a few days in the fridge. If you’ve got some boiled eggs left over, make these easy egg and tomato wraps (pictured).
18. Tuna and sweetcorn pasta
Boil some quick-cook dried fusilli (or other pasta shape, or fresh pasta) according to the packet instructions. Drain it when cooked, reserving a little pasta water. Over a low heat mix the pasta with low-fat soft cheese, tinned tuna in spring water, tinned sweetcorn (with no added sugar or salt) and freshly ground black pepper, adding a little of the pasta water if you need it. Serve as soon as it is heated through, with a green salad.
19. Beans and greens
Shred a Savoy cabbage and boil for three minutes. Drain and mix with tinned beans or lentils of your choice (choose a variety with no added salt), a chopped tomato (optional), a generous squeeze of lemon juice and plenty of black pepper.
Johnida Dockens / Via Flickr
There are many different versions of gazpacho, a chilled Spanish soup which needs no cooking. You won’t have time to chill it, but it’s sometimes served with ice-cubes (or if your ingredients are straight from the fridge it should be cool enough anyway).
Put very ripe tomatoes in a blender with a red pepper (deseeded), a chunk of cucumber, a garlic clove, half a red onion (or a few spring onions), and a small splash of sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar. Blend well and add cold water if it needs thinning down. Serve cold with a drizzle of olive oil. If you can’t get decent fresh tomatoes, use passata instead.
Not sure about cold soup? If you’ve got a bit more time, try one of our other Mediterranean-inspired soups like Italian bread soup or roasted tomato and lentil soup.
21. Green beans with garlic and ginger
Heat a teaspoon of oil in a pan with some French beans, trimmed, chopped garlic and finely chopped or grated fresh ginger. Stir fry under a high heat for a minute, then add a tablespoon of water, cover, and let steam for three minutes. The beans should still be al dente. Serve as a side dish or with our special stir fried rice (above).
22.Home-made tomato salsa
Alan Levine / Via Flickr
Chop fresh tomatoes (red or green) into small chunks and mix with finely chopped red pepper, red onion and fresh chilli (or chilli powder), and a few coriander leaves (optional). Use as a dip for crudités or bread sticks, or to liven up sandwiches.
23. White bean bruschetta
Toast some rustic style bread. Drain a can of cannellini beans (choose one with no added salt), and add a few ready-roasted red peppers from a jar, cut into small strips. Add some parsley and a teaspoon of olive oil drizzled over the top, if you wish.
24. Avocados with tuna
Peel and halve an avocado. Fill the hollow of each half with tinned tuna in spring water (drained). Drizzle with our Heart Matters lemon-herb salad dressing.
25. Sweetcorn, tomato and avocado wrap
Slice an avocado and squeeze a bit of lemon juice over it. Place into tortilla wraps with tinned sweetcorn (no added sugar or salt) and chopped tomato.
Avocado fusilli pasta
Avocados make salad dressings and ice creams super-creamy, so why not put them in a pasta sauce? It’s a great way of using up overly ripe avocados.
Spiced grains with peas, spinach and jammy eggs
A riot of colour, this buttery freekeh dish is packed with spinach and peas, and flavoured with cumin, coriander and turmeric.
Orzo, bean and tuna salad
Turn storecupboard staples into this vibrant, nutritious orzo pasta salad with roasted red peppers and black olives. On the table in 20.
Healthy salmon pasta
20 minutes is all you need to make Nadine Brown’s simple and creamy (but still healthy) salmon pasta with reduced-fat crème fraîche. Peas and dill add greenery and there’s lemon zest for freshness.
Healthy chicken curry recipe
This 5:2 chicken curry recipe bulks up on veg to keep the calories low. Freeze in portions for quick and healthy dinners. We have lots more healthy chicken recipes, too.
Griddled chicken with mustardy lentil salad
Check out this vibrant chicken salad with crunchy green beans, seasonal mangetout and lentils. This quick and easy salad is low calorie and ready in 30 minutes – the perfect way to start the week.
One-pot paprika cod and chickpeas
Try our punchy paprika cod one-pot with juicy tomatoes. This simple traybake is an easy, low-calorie midweek meal for when you’re short on time but still want something healthy. Discover more of our savoury traybake recipes.
Courgetti with pesto and balsamic tomatoes
Who needs pasta when you can have spiralized courgette? Try our easy ‘courgetti’ recipe, made with baby plum tomatoes, garlic, pesto, pine nuts and a lot of courgette noodles.
Orzo risotto with cavolo nero, peas and chilli
Check out this creamy risotto with cavolo nero, crunchy peas and punchy chilli. This quick and easy veg recipe serves two and is low in calories. Try more of our risotto recipes, including a healthy freekeh risotto with spring greens.
A super quick healthy dinner idea, try this easy alternative to oven-baked moussaka. Ready in just 15 minutes, these healthy vegan bowls contain the flavours and textures of a slow-cooked moussaka, without the wait.
Chargrilled tuna with crunchy lemon bulgar salad
Check out this flavour-packed tuna steak with zingy lemon bulgar wheat salad. Ready in 30 minutes, this low-calorie recipe is a quick and easy midweek meal for two.
Chargrilled chicken chimichurri salad
Try our gluten-free recipe for chargrilled chicken chimichurri salad. This quick and easy dish serves 2 and it’s low in calories, a great midweek meal. Plenty more chicken breast recipes where this came from.
Vegan fajita bowl with cauli rice
Our vegan fajita bowl with cauli rice is a healthy lunch idea which is quick and easy to make, low calorie and 5:2-diet friendly, but still delivers on flavour. Try more of our easy healthy vegan recipes.
Chargrilled tuna with harissa and potato stew
The best way to enjoy a nice tuna steak… alongside harissa potatoes. All the ingredients are easy to get hold of and it’s on the table in 25 minutes for an easy, healthy bowl of comfort.
Coconut and peanut aubergine curry
This creamy coconut and peanut aubergine curry is vegetarian, under 300 calories and ready in just 30 minutes, making it the perfect comforting and healthy meal to make midweek.
Chilli beef and radish noodle soup
This chilli beef and radish noodle soup is quick and easy to prepare and ready in under 500 calories but is packed full of fresh flavours – ideal for a midweek meal. We love noodle soups for a refreshing but healthy dinner.
Sumac chicken and green bean salad
This sumac chicken and green bean salad is ready in just 20 minutes and is a great healthy lunch idea. Check out more of our healthy chicken recipes here.
Healthier pad Thai
This recipe for healthier pad Thai is packed full of authentic Thai flavours but without the high calorie count as we’ve used courgette instead of normal noodles. It’s really easy to make, ready in under 30 minutes and well under 300 calories, perfect for a healthy lunch. We have plenty more courgetti recipes here.
Spring veg and lemon broth
This recipe for spring veg and lemon broth is a quick, easy and a healthy lunch to make midweek. Check out more of our quick and easy lunch ideas.
Chargrilled tuna with warm potato and bean salad
This recipe for chargrilled tuna with warm potato and bean salad is a great healthy dinner option midweek. It’s also ready in under 30 minutes. Try more of our best healthy fish recipes.
Jersey Royals, spring greens and prawn fritteda
A fritteda is a light Italian stew of spring vegetables. Our version uses Jersey Royals, spring greens and prawns for a quick and healthy dinner.
Healthy bean salad
Ready in just 20 minutes, this colourful salad is packed with green beans, kidney beans and cannellini beans, and comes finished with a green tahini dressing to boost the flavour.
Swap chicken for sautéed tofu in this clever vegan twist on a classic, served with a white wine sauce and long-stemmed broccoli.
Stuffed with smoky courgette, zesty black beans, pickled red onion and creamy avocado, these healthy tacos are bursting with flavour – they happen to be vegan and a simple way to bring a variety of veggies to your plate, too
Food shortage has been a big problem throughout history. Many people do not have enough money to buy the food that they need. Bad weather or other problems sometimes destroy the growing food in one part of the world. When people do not have enough food, we say that they are hungry. If they do not eat enough food for a long time, they will become sick and die from starvation. In areas where many people do not have enough food, we say that there is famine there.
Food and water can make people sick if it is contaminated by microorganisms, bad metals, or chemicals.
If people do not eat the right foods, they can become sick.
- If people do not eat enough protein, they get the disease called kwashiorkor.
- If they do not eat enough vitamin B1 (thiamine), they get the disease called beriberi.
- If they do not eat enough vitamin C, they get the disease called scurvy.
- If children do not eat enough vitamin D, they get the disease called rickets.
People may often have a variety of eating disorders that cause them to either eat too much, or not be able to eat certain things or amounts. Common diseases like Coeliac disease or food allergies cause people to experience ill effects from consuming certain foods that are normally safe. If people eat too much food, they can become overweight or obese. This causes numerous health problems. On the other hand, eating too little food, from lack of access or anorexia could cause malnutrition. Therefore, people have to balance the amount, the nutrition, and the type of food to be healthy.