Salt & Wind Travel

More Than 20 Healthy Winter Recipes to Eat Better (2024)

Holidays are fun but frenetic — perfect for packing on the pounds. Enter these more than 20 healthy winter recipes that you can eat from now til spring for anything from a dinner party to a holiday menu or just a weeknight meal.

We’re no strangers to indulgence, but there’s only so much a person’s body can take on before saying, “Nope. No thanks.” Not something you want to happen halfway through December!

So we’re planning healthy winter recipes to get us through to the end—but they’ve got to pass a litmus test of being both delicious and easy. Though these recipes might have passed too quickly—we can imagine eating them right into the new year!

Healthy Winter Recipes
Table of Contents

More Than 20 Of Our Best Healthy Winter Recipes

Here are 20 of our best healthy winter recipes, many of which can be made ahead, others assembled in minutes, and all delicious. 

Coconut Cacao Nib Date Balls Recipe

Healthy Winter Recipes: Breakfast & Snacks

Apple Cinnamon Coconut Oatmeal Recipe

dairy-free, gluten-free, vegetarian

Around here, winter is when we get outdoors to ski, which means a healthy winter recipe for breakfast is key to starting the day right. This recipe is for you if your go-to packaged oatmeal is Apple Cinnamon. It takes just a few more minutes than the package but is way less sweet, healthier, and, to be honest, tastes better too! 

Carrot, Orange, & Pineapple Juice Recipe

dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, vegetarian

While we’re generally anti-juices (especially if it’s the only thing you’re eating for a meal), we are more than happy to make an exception. And one such exception was at Rancho Pescadero, where we fell head-over-heels for this juice. This Wake Up Juice recipe is a little sweet, totally refreshing, and has enough ginger to get you going.

Date Coconut Cacao Nib Truffles Recipe

dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, vegetarian

It’s hard to snack healthy when you’re always on the go, especially when everything around you tells you it’s the season to indulge. Luckily, Aida’s been there many times, and—as our resident chocolate fiend—her Date Coconut Cacao Nib Truffles are the perfect antidote for snack attacks coupled with a sweet tooth.

Overnight Oats Recipe

dairy-free, gluten-free, vegetarian

We’re big fans of overnight oats. First, oats are the perfect platform for seasonal, sweet, and savory flavors. Second, preparing your breakfast the night before ensures that no matter how many times you hit the snooze button, you’ll be powered up to power through the day. 

Spiced Walnut Date Smoothie Recipe

gluten-free, vegetarian

Almost nothing beats a smoothie when it comes to quick and healthy breakfasts. But with the beautiful produce of spring and summer long behind us, keeping less-than-optimal fruits and veggies around isn’t ideal. Good thing this smoothie is pantry-perfect, with most of the ingredients non-perishable. Plus, it’s got the bonus of tasting like a milkshake.

Tropical Citrus Ginger Smoothie

dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, vegetarian

One of our favorite places to get a smoothie in SoCal is at Backyard Bowls in Santa Barbara —  everything is fresh and flavorful but never too sweet. We like their Tropical Smoothie so much that we made our own version!

Smørrebrød Recipe

gluten-free (if made with gluten-free bread), nut-free

Make toast the most powerful tool in your breakfast arsenal if you crave something with a little crunch. Choose (or bake!) dark, seeded rye, as the Scandinavians do, and top with ingredients packed with protein and good fats to keep you satiated ’till snack time.

Some good ones to keep on hand that are quick and easy to throw together on a plate: smoked fish, avocado, boiled eggs, plain nonfat yogurt, lean cold cuts, pickles, and fresh cucumbers. Adding fresh dill and radish is always a welcome flavor addition. Hello, quick trip to Sweden!

Healthy Chopped Salad with Buttermilk-Peppercorn Dressing Recipe

Healthy Winter Recipes: Lunch

Chopped Salad with Buttermilk-Peppercorn Dressing Recipe

gluten-free, vegetarian

We first had a healthy but delicious version of this healthy winter recipe at the macrobiotic spot called M Cafe in Los Angeles. Our take on their chopped salad includes a full-fat diary (so it’s not macrobiotic), and it has crunch, color, and enough substance to keep you full.

Healthy Chicken Salad With Miso-Mustard Dressing Recipe

dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free

A 2020s take on the Asian chicken salad, we use frizzled shallots in place of fried wontons and a crave-worthy miso-mustard dressing in place of the sesame-soy combo. If you ask us, it’s a welcome twist!

Green Falafel Lettuce Wraps Recipe

gluten-free, vegetarian

Keep chickpea flour in your pantry and some fresh veg in the crisper drawer, and you’ll be able to make a version of this healthy winter recipe almost anytime. We pan fry the falafel in olive oil but feel free to bake them to make it even healthier. 

Oil-Packed Tuna And Arugula Salad Recipe

dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free

We’re always searching for a lunch recipe that will keep us full until dinner, and this salad fits the bill. Mix it up and use hot-smoked salmon or brown rice instead of tuna and quinoa. 

Peanut Chicken Collard Greens Wraps Recipe

dairy-free, gluten-free

Grab a rotisserie chicken or use leftover roast chicken to make even quicker work of this already-fast healthy winter recipe. Oh, and be sure to make extra of the peanut dressing — it goes fast!

Pomegranate, Persimmon, and Pistachio Wild Rice Salad Recipe

dairy-free, gluten-free, vegetarian

Prepping something that’s pretty as well as healthy ensures you’ll be excited to eat it, so take advantage of some of the loveliest winter produce, and you’ll avoid a midday meltdown come lunchtime.

Pomegranates and persimmons will likely end up on one (or more!) of your holiday menus this season. They are easy enough to toss together with some greens (kale and winter spinach would be perfection) and some hearty wild rice to satisfy you. Pistachios add a dose of healthy fat and crunch, making this dish a tantalizing tour for your taste buds.

Split Pea Veggie Wrap with Cilantro-Mint Chutney Recipe


Split peas don’t get nearly enough attention if you ask us. They’re packed with protein and healthy nutrients and are quick to cook. Make all the parts of this wrap ahead of time so you can assemble them as hunger strikes. 

Chicken Tinga Tostadas With Radish Pico De Gallo Salsa Recipe

Healthy Winter Recipes: Dinner

Acorn Squash with Wheatberry Apple Walnut Stuffing Recipe

dairy-free, gluten-free, vegetarian

When it comes to eating healthy for dinner, nothing beats making a big batch of something hearty and healthy. To make things even easier, try this super simple healthy winter recipe. It’s filling, flavorful, and just the kind of dish you want to come home to after a long day.

Mediterranean Brown Rice Salad Recipe

dairy fee, gluten-free, vegetarian

Another grain salad we turn to a ton in the colder months is this easy brown rice salad recipe. The addition of loads of herbs and cucumbers gives you something feel fresh and light even on the snowiest of days. 

Black Bean And Sweet Potato Chili Recipe

gluten-free, nut-free, vegetarian

One of the all-time most popular recipes on our site, this chili is adaptable. It can be made in as little as 30 minutes, or you can toss it in the slow cooker and let it go all day. If you want more protein, cook 2 pounds of ground turkey and stir it in!

Chicken Tinga Tostadas Recipe

gluten-free, nut-free

Like the chili, this can be made on the stovetop or in a slow cooker. Around here, we also call this the slow cooker chicken dish because the chicken recipe ends up in there the most. Use it to top a taco salad, as part of a grain bowl, in your next burrito, or on top of mini tostadas for a quick app. 

Classic Potato Leek Soup Recipe

dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, vegetarian

This classic French recipe is totally creamy in texture but is classically made without cream. Meaning it’s probably healthier than you would have thought. Leave off the drizzle of cream to make it dairy-free, and nix the croutons to make it gluten-free. 

Salt and Pepper Shrimp Recipe

gluten-free, nut-free

When you’ve got approximately 0.8 seconds for dinner, think small—specifically, we mean to reach for shrimp! Nothing could be faster—or easier—than these little guys, and they’ll work with practically anything you’ve got currently in your fridge. Try out a simple salt and pepper recipe, add a dash of this and top it over a bit, and a healthy, satisfying dinner is served.

Sauteed Mushrooms And Creamy Polenta Recipe

gluten-free, vegetarian

This is one of our top choices for healthy winter recipes because it’s so satisfying and filling. Make the polenta without dairy (use more vegetable broth or plant-based butter) to make it healthier and vegan. 

Smothered Black Bean Enchiladas Recipe

dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, vegetarian

If you leave off the crema drizzle that this recipe calls for, this dish ends up being quite healthy. The combination of corn tortillas dipped in a spicy bean sauce means it’s loaded with fiber, protein, and all sorts of goodness. 

Okay, that’s it for our best healthy winter recipes. Be sure to visit our shop to stock up on any equipment you may need, then head into the kitchen to cook and tag @saltandwind to share your creations!

15 Healthy Recipes

Other Healthy Eating Tips

Here are a few of our favorite other tips for eating healthy:

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