Healthy recipes are hard to come across during the holidays. Personally and without a doubt, my favorite part of the holidays is the food. The indulgent family-style dinners, carb-loaded brunches, holiday cocktails, and never-ending desserts! Truly, nothing makes me happier than a good meal surrounded by the people I love. But when December 26 rolls around, I’m always feeling ready to get back in touch with the clean-eating habits I’ve ignored throughout the holidays. Luckily, you don’t have to sacrifice taste to get your eating back on track thanks to these healthy recipes.
Scroll on for my favorite healthy recipes that I turn to when I’m ready to ease out of holiday indulgences and into my New Year’s state of mind. And, last but not least, if you’re struggling to kick your post-holiday sweet tooth, be sure to check out these healthy ways to satisfy your cravings.
Featured image by Michelle Nash.
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Why We Love It: Figs, banana, tahini, and just a handful of other ingredients come together to make this simple smoothie you’ll want to sip on in the new year. It’s subtly sweet, which is a nice change of pace from holiday indulgences.
Hero Ingredient: Figs are the true hero of this smoothie. They have just the right amount of subtle sweetness that lends itself beautifully to a smoothie.
Why We Love It: It’s no lie that this recipe is straight-up addictive. It’s one of my favorite CS recipes to make during busy weeknights when I don’t feel like cooking, but want something wholesome and full of flavor. The hot honey on the outside of the salmon gets caramelized under the broiler and gives it the perfect layer of crust. Couple that with coconut crunch and a few sweet potato rounds and you’re golden.
Hero Ingredient: Don’t sleep on the coconut crunch. It’s so easy to make and really elevates the bowl.
Why We Love It: There’s little I love more than a recipe that can be made ahead and can be eaten on the go (busy weekday mornings, for the win!). These Banana Pumpkin Muffins check all the boxes. It’s one of my favorite healthy recipes in the Camille Styles repertoire because they’re moist, full of flavor, and call for only clean ingredients. I mean really, how many muffins have you met that are both dairy- and gluten-free?
Hero Ingredient: Ground flaxseed as an egg replacement? Don’t knock it ’til you try it. The swap lends a nice bit of nuttiness to any baked good.
Why We Love It: This “hug in a bowl” kitchari is just that. It’s possibly the most comforting recipe you’ll ever enjoy. It’s made from a combination of lentils and rice cooked in ghee and spices and if that doesn’t sell you, you’ll just have to try it for yourself. The best part? It’s a one-pot wonder that’s easy enough for your busiest nights.
Hero Ingredient: In terms of toppings, you can add a scoop of yogurt over top, extra ghee, fresh cilantro, or finish with roasted veggies! The possibilities are endless and I definitely encourage you to make it how you like it.
Why We Love It: This recipe is the ultimate intersection between healthy and delicious—not to mention, the presentation is truly gorgeous. Layers of butternut squash, sweet potato, and apple are layered together for a show-stopping vegetarian main. Bonus: It calls for a store-bought pie crust, so despite the impressive end result, it couldn’t be easier.
Hero Ingredient: I love sweetening the ricotta with just a touch of honey. It perfectly plays off the squash, potatoes, and apple’s natural sweetness.
Why We Love It: My favorite part about a chopped salad is that everything’s cut to the same size. That means you can scoop up a taste of each ingredient in a single forkful. Which, in this salad, you’ll definitely want to do. It’s inspired by the Jerez Salad from Fresa’s—Austin people, you know what we’re talking about here. Everyone else, I highly encourage you to give it a try and see for yourself!
Hero Ingredient: Shake up some extra Honey-Shallot Vinaigrette to keep on hand for salad dressing throughout the week.
Why We Love It: Few things satisfy as much as a warm bowl of stew on a cold night. In this recipe, it’s all about the veggies. With carrots, potatoes, cauliflower, and chickpeas, it’s hearty and healthy all in one. Plus, it reheats beautifully, so you can enjoy leftovers for days on end. When it comes to healthy recipes, this one’s a star.
Hero Ingredient: The chickpeas drive home that stick-to-your-ribs fiber content.
Why We Love It: After a few days of indulgence, nothing helps me kickstart healthy eating like a greens-filled smoothie. This smoothie is so easy to make, and I bet you have all the ingredients already.
Hero Ingredient: The cocoa nibs are what make this smoothie taste like the best chocolate milkshake you’ve ever sipped. Don’t have cocoa nibs? Simply swap in two teaspoons of unsweetened cocoa powder.
Why We Love It: Rich in Vitamin C and magnesium and low in carbs, this zucchini-based lasagna is sure to be a dinnertime favorite. And for an added bonus, it keeps great in the fridge for leftovers.
Hero Ingredient: Highly recommend using Rao’s for your marinara sauce (there’s a reason it won our best grocery store pasta sauce). It’s a cult favorite for a reason and will fill your lasagna with even more flavor.
Why We Love It: Nothing sounds better on a cold, cozy night at home than a warm bowl of soup, especially one that takes care of all of your vegetable servings for the day. Full of asparagus, broccoli, spinach, ginger, and more, this healthy recipe also gives you the immunity boost we are all needing right about now.
Hero Ingredient: The soaked cashews give this soup its luscious, creamy texture without any cream.
Why We Love It: A mix-and-match bowl is one of the easiest ways to make a healthy dinner filling and this herby kale rice bowl is one of my favorites. I love to top it off with a fried egg and avocado, giving me major Hank’s Pesto Rice Bowl vibes. Healthy recipes to the max.
Hero Ingredient: This is more of a template than a recipe, so use any mix of herbs you prefer. Be sure to include dill to brighten up your bowl with flavor.
Why We Love It: Gluten-free, flavor-packed, and ready in 20 minutes? Yes, please! I’m always prone to a Christmas cold and this soup tastes like an adult version of the chicken noodle soup my mom would make me when I was sick as a kid.
Hero Ingredient: The turmeric root takes this soup up a notch both in nutrition and spice. If you can’t find turmeric root, powder will work just as well.
Why We Love It: I’m home for the holidays and really missing my Sweetgreen lunches, so this healthy bowl of hummus and greens is curbing my cravings. Feel free to make it your own with whatever veggies you have in your fridge and enjoy!
Hero Ingredient: Avocado is buttery, filling, and packed with healthy fats. It’s just about the best thing you can put in a bowl.
Why We Love It: Growing up, I avoided cauliflower at all costs, and now I can’t seem to get enough of it in any shape or form. This cozy and hearty soup is the perfect twist on traditional cauliflower soup and will be sure to warm your soul this winter.
Hero Ingredient: Parsnips are just about the most underrated vegetable there is. This soup gives the starchy and sweet root veggie the spotlight it deserves.
Why We Love It: On their own, under an egg, or in between a hamburger bun, these quinoa cakes are the veggie burger you’ve been looking for. As someone who used to buy frozen veggie burger patties, with this recipe, I am officially converted to a homemade patty girl.
Hero Ingredient: I love adding lemon zest to dishes that lean toward creamy and cheesy. The citrus will bring a fresh, bright flavor to your cakes.
Why We Love It: This salad is a major flavor explosion filled with some of my favorite winter additions—pomegranate seeds, pistachios, and fennel. I’m always looking for a good salad to serve as the main course, and this one takes the cake. When it comes to healthy recipes, this one’s got it going on.
Hero Ingredient: Is there anything prettier than pomegranate seeds? I love the touch of jewel tones the little gems add to this salad, not to mention their refreshing tartness.
Why We Love It: Just thinking about this soup makes me want to cozy up by a fire, watch some football, and chill. This no-stress black bean soup recipe is one of the least intimidating I’ve ever found, and yet, one of the most delicious soups I’ve ever tried. It’s an easy, last-minute dinner must-try.
Hero Ingredient: Red onion is distinctively spicy, crispy, crunchy and contributes to this soup’s zest and kick.
Why We Love It: When I left for college and had my own kitchen, chicken burgers were one of the first things I attempted to cook. Well, let me tell you, this recipe would have made things a whole lot easier! Simplified yet delicious, these burgers are perfect for either lunch or dinner. I love to top my burger with homemade dill pickles, avocado, and cilantro and eat it in a bowl or wrapped in butter lettuce.
Hero Ingredient: The deeply complex, earthy, and sweet flavors of curry powder will inspire you to make burger night every night (if these are on the menu).
Why We Love It: Let’s face it, winter days leave us all in need of a little sunshine, and this colorful salad is guaranteed to add some brightness to your day. This salad is ideal for days when you can’t make it to the grocery store since it’s packed with kitchen staples like cherry tomatoes, carrots, and leafy herbs. Pro tip: Add avocado and extra sunflower seeds if you want the salad to be more of a main dish.
Hero Ingredient: I’m of the opinion that nearly all good creamy salad dressings begin with a base of tahini.
Why We Love It: I think I could eat sushi every day of the week. Because I am way too intimidated to actually attempt to make a sushi roll, this bowl is the ultimate sushi lover’s dream. Light, flavorful, and full of veggies and protein, this salmon bowl will become your favorite weekday lunch or dinner.
Hero Ingredient: Sweet, savory salmon is one of the best alliterations in the food world. Just a teaspoon of honey will give your sushi bowl a delicious touch of sweetness.
Why We Love It: Mexican night happens about once a week at my house, and just because we are wanting to be healthy doesn’t mean we have to skip it. These cauliflower tacos are the perfect way to use up your extra vegetables, too. Complement them with some Green Pea Guacamole and your Mexican night is officially healthified.
Hero Ingredient: Coriander is light, floral, and citrusy, and it gives your cauliflower a slightly sweet spice.
Why We Love It: Nothing balances comforting and nutrient-dense quite as perfectly as a grain bowl. They’re super versatile and can be made with any mix of veggies, grains, and add-ins you’d like. This recipe leans on a vibrant medley of beets, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, and kale, with your pick of quinoa, bulgur, or brown rice for the base. When people talk about tasting the rainbow, here’s what they mean.
Hero Ingredient: The fact that I could eat an entire jar of these quick pickled veggies says it all.
Why We Love It: Full disclosure: This recipe does not adhere to the 90s low-carb cottage cheese craze. Instead, it leans on the protein-packed, mild, and creamy cheese to lend a rich texture to your bowl’s other components. When it comes time to customize your edible creation, dream big folks. You can choose to center it around a color (green!) and add avocado, cucumber, broccolini, and asparagus for the freshest-looking bowl you ever did build.
Hero Ingredient: Because these bowls stray from the strict definition of a recipe, you can mix and match ingredients as your heart desires. Suruchi Avasthi, the recipe’s creator, recommends combining kimchi with a fried egg—and boy oh boy, does it deliver.
Why We Love It: Not sure about you, but I crave Mexican food about once a week (oftentimes, more). The dishes are full of flavor and the colors alone can be satisfying enough. This take on tostadas is genius and uses roasted butternut squash for a delicious and nutrient-packed sauce. Combined with maple syrup, cinnamon, cumin, and any other spices you’d like, the result is butternut squash at its finest. Lime crema, cilantro, toasted pumpkin seeds, and avocado tower the tostada with deliciousness.
Hero Ingredient: Swapping in pitas for the regular tostada shells creates a chewy, fluffy base for all the butternut squash, black beans, and avocado your appetite can handle.
Why We Love It: This soup is the ultimate reset. Not only does it fill your bowl with beta-carotene-packed butternut squash and carrots, but it also goes all-in on the anti-inflammatory turmeric (two tablespoons!). The result is a wonderfully satisfying and nourishing soup that—bonus—also tastes amazing. It’s about as healthy as healthy recipes get, and yet it still satisfies like no other.
Hero Ingredient: While still rich in antioxidants, coconut milk takes this soup from detox to delicious.
Why We Love It: Sometimes, we eat kale salads because we know our body needs them. Other times, we eat kale salads because the dressing and ingredients are so dang good. This is the latter case (though don’t doubt for a second that it’s just about as nutrient-dense as it gets). Kale ranks high on my list of the greens I crave, but when you add a healthy dose of deliciousness in the form of a tahini-mustard vinaigrette, I don’t need much else.
Hero Ingredient: Everything Bagel Seasoning. That’s all.
Why We Love It: In the past, smoothies got a bad rap for being good for you but bad for your tastebuds. Sure, a homogeneous green mass of liquid can look less than appetizing, but nowadays, a smoothie that’s both yummy and packed with superfoods isn’t too hard to come by. Case in point: this island-vibing recipe. While pineapple, strawberries, and orange juice bring all the flavor, you can also sneak in some avocado for all the healthy fats and super creamy texture.
Hero Ingredient: Ginger balances out this super sweet smoothie with a slightly peppery, spicy bite.
This post was originally published on December 26, 2020, and has since been updated.