Simple And Delicious Dinners That Are Loaded With Vegetables

Back in 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released some pretty shocking findings: only one in 10 Americans actually got the amount of fruits and vegetables that are recommended for a healthy lifestyle. Depending on the state, that could fall well below the nationwide 10 percent average: in West Virginia, for example, that number fell to just 6 percent of adults who ate enough vegetables and 7 percent who ate enough fruit.

Not getting enough fruits and veggies can cause serious complications and health problems, including things like diabetes, and an increased likelihood of developing heart disease and certain types of cancers.

The CDC also found some of the reasons for this veggie avoidance, and they included things like limited availability in some areas, the cost, and the difficulty of finding the time to get a home-cooked, veggie-filled meal on the table. That last one? We can help with that.

We've put together a list of recipes that are full of all kinds of vegetables, so no matter what your family likes or dislikes, there's something here for them. There's also detailed instructions and — bonus — many of these come together much, much faster than you might think. Even if it seems like there's not enough hours in the day, there's definitely enough time to put together these tasty dishes — especially if you make cooking a family affair.

Pasta primavera

Pasta is a brilliant basis for a dish, especially if you opt for the rotini pasta that our pasta primavera recipe calls for. Why? Not only is it affordable, easy to buy in bulk, and has a long shelf life that helps guarantee you never run out, but it's also the perfect shape for absorbing and capturing all the lovely flavors in the sauce. And yes, there's a ton of veggies: grape tomatoes, zucchini, asparagus, and yellow squash all come together to make this one as colorful as it is delicious.

Beef and broccoli

Broccoli is one of those love-it-or-hate-it veggies, but if your family hates it, we'd like you to give our beef and broccoli recipe a try. One of the things that can be a total turn-off from broccoli is when it's overcooked and mushy, so follow our instructions to make sure that doesn't happen. The hearty sauce and tender chunks of beef are the perfect accompaniment to huge chunks of broccoli, and you can serve this one over either rice or noodles. Cut the beef into thin strips, and within just 30 minutes you'll have dinner.

Shrimp alfredo

If covering broccoli with cheese sauce is the only way you can get some family members to eat their veggies, try our shrimp alfredo recipe for something a little bit lighter and a lot healthier. The Parmesan and butter are still there and provide that dose of luxurious, cheesy goodness, but without dumping your broccoli in a Velveeta bath. Use as much broccoli as you like, and honestly, you might be surprised at how tasty it is. Alfredo sauce goes pretty perfectly with broccoli — stems and all — while the shrimp will undoubtedly help keep everyone happy.


Spanakopita is one of those classic Greek dishes that looks really complicated, but it doesn't have to be. Just check out our spanakopita recipe for some tips and tricks to getting this veggie-laden dish on the table, and here's the thing: the hardest part about it is building the layers of veggie mix and phyllo dough, but once you have your technique down, this one can be prepped and ready to go into the oven in just around 20 minutes. It's a great way to get your family to eat their spinach!

Moo goo gai pan

If there's anyone in your family that complains about eating their vegetables because they're too boring, check out our moo goo gai pan recipe and prove them wrong. In addition to green onions, carrots, snow peas, mushrooms, and water chestnuts, this dish is also filled with traditional flavors like sesame, soy, and fish sauce. Add some chicken strips for protein, and you'll have delicious, veggie-filled bowls on the table in just a little over half an hour. That's faster than you can get take-out!

Chicken stir fry

One of the big complaints family members might have about vegetables is texture, and that's legit: sometimes, cooked vegetables can be just shy of mush. But it definitely doesn't have to be that way! Check out our chicken stir fry recipe for a super easy stir fry that "officially" calls for veggies like carrots, peas, broccoli, and bell peppers, but that can easily be adapted to include whatever veggies you please. Zucchini? Squash? A handful of hot peppers? Throw them in! The sauce will pair well with whatever veggies you choose.

One-pan honey mustard chicken and veggie bake

When it comes to saving time in the kitchen, it's not just prep time we're talking about — it's clean-up time, too. That's why we love one-pan and one-pot dinners, like this honey mustard chicken and veggie bake. There's plenty of sweetness from the honey mustard and the sweet potatoes. And bacon? There's that, too! There's no better way to make Brussels sprouts than with bacon, and you're sure to agree after you try this just once. And clean-up? It's a breeze!

Barbecue chicken casserole

We all have those long days where we just know ahead of time that we're not going to have time to cook. There's no need to resort to take-out, though, not when you can put together our vegetable-filled barbecue chicken casserole. This recipe can be prepped a day in advance, then left in the fridge until you're ready to bake it. It's that easy to get a creamy casserole with chicken, sweet potatoes, peppers, and onions, and on the evening you need it, you won't even have to take off your shoes before you pop it in the oven.

Moroccan chicken with vegetable couscous

Looking for something that's definitely not your regular, boring old chicken-and-veg dish? Check out our Moroccan chicken with roasted vegetable couscous recipe for something with flavors so vibrant they'll be jumping off the plate. The chicken will be spicy, and the couscous on the side will be filled with flavorful roasted veggies like zucchini and tomatoes. Don't worry: you likely have all the spices you need already in your kitchen cabinet, it's just all about the assembly — and we have you covered.

Classic gyros

Dinners don't always have to be heavy and hearty, and if you're looking for something a little lighter that's perfect for warmer days, look no further than our classic gyro recipe. While you'll need some patience when it comes to marinating the steak, the rest of this dish comes together in a snap — including the creamy tzatziki sauce that's an absolute must. Chopped raw veggies add a burst of flavor, and you'll see why this has been such a popular Greek dish for so long.

Spicy noodles

Ramen has something of a reputation as the sort of thing college students heat up and call a meal as they eat it right out of the package, and we're here to change that. Ramen noodles are the basis for our spicy noodle recipe, and it's one that dresses up these ever-popular noodles into something that'll help you get your daily veggies. Chicken joins the noodles, along with green onions, baby bok choy, carrots, and mushrooms, and the whole thing is coated in a sauce so good you'll forget about those little college packets forever.


Pho has been wildly popular for a long time, but there's a chance that you may have never tried this traditional Vietnamese soup. There's no reason that should be the case, and with the help of our pho recipe, you'll be whipping up a hearty, healthy soup that might just be your new go-to. The nice thing about pho is that while there are some things that make it pho and not just any soup, it's also an easy recipe to customize when it comes to adding vegetables. Once your broth and noodles are seasoned, add to your heart's content!

Stuffed peppers and Greek stuffed peppers

When it comes to dishes filled with vegetables, this one's a little different — it's a vegetable filled with the dish! We're talking, of course, about our one-pot stuffed pepper recipe that's just what you need when you don't have a heck of a lot of time. The stuffing for the peppers comes together in just one pot, and then it's time to stuff and bake them. Easy!

If you're already in love with that recipe and you're looking for something with a twist, check out our Greek stuffed peppers. These come with even more veggie goodness, and they're bound to be a win.

Chicken pot pie

Chicken pot pie is another one of those hearty comfort foods that seems like it should come with a huge time investment, but our easy chicken pot pie recipe as a couple shortcuts that will help you get this one on the table with just 15 minutes of prep and half an hour in the oven. That's it! And while the official recipe calls for veggies like celery, carrots, mushrooms, and onions, this is definitely one you can improvise with. Serve this to the kids, and there won't be any protests over eating peas, that's for sure!

Pad see ew

If pad see ew is one of your go-to dishes when you're ordering take-out, you'll need to check out our recipe for this popular Thai noodle dish. You can absolutely make it at home, and it's much easier than you might think. We'll give you some insight into traditional methods of cooking, but we'll also give you some ideas on how to make this much more manageable in your own kitchen — because it's a great way to work vegetables like broccoli and bok choy into your dinner.


Sometimes, you're not craving something heavy, and for those nights you're in the mood for something light and refreshing, our ceviche recipe might be just what you're looking for. This versatile recipe allows you to use your choice of fish (although we recommend salmon), and not just vegetables like radishes and cucumber, but fruits like mango, oranges, and limes, too. Talk about getting your fruits and vegetables for the day — this dish has you covered!


When it comes to meals with a long history, pasties are definitely up there. Originally invented for 19th century miners who needed a way to take a whole meal into the mines, pasties are essentially pastry pockets filled with all kinds of goodness. While there's a wide variety of pasties out there, our pasty recipe calls for chunks of steak mixed with rutabaga, onion, and potatoes for a hearty, stew-like meal in a convenient pocket. If (and when) your family loves this old-timey idea, there's plenty of other ways to mix this up and add all kinds of veggies.