Adding a cup of veggies to dinner doesn’t have to be a big production. Run your eyes down this list and find a few options that sound easy and appealing. Then take the next step: Add the vegetable(s) to your grocery list and name which day — today? tomorrow? — you’ll incorporate them in your evening meal.
No time to read through 50 ideas? Our favorites are highlighted in bold for faster scanning.
1. For spaghetti fans: Add shredded carrots to your marinara sauce.
2. When eating burgers, swap the bun for romaine or butter lettuce.
3. Stock up on frozen veggies, steam them in the microwave, and season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.
4. Make a batch of “veggie fries’ (i.e. slice beets, carrots, or squash into French fry-sized pieces, then roast in the oven).
5. Try using spaghetti squash or spiralized zucchini as noodles in place of pasta.
6. Boost your chili or stew with some diced carrots or squash.
7. Dining out? Eat a side salad before starting your main course.
8. Serve pieces of rotisserie chicken on a bed of spinach, spooning juices from the bottom of the chicken container over everything.
9. Slice fresh tomatoes, top with salt and pepper, and serve as a side.
10. Add diced peppers to ground turkey or chicken.
11. Add diced cucumber or celery to tuna, chicken, or egg salad.
12. Mix broccoli florets into intact grains (e.g. brown rice, quinoa).
13. Try cauliflower or broccoli “rice” instead of traditional rice.
14. Sauté your favorite vegetables lightly in ½ teaspoon olive oil.
15. Like cheese and crackers? Top thick slices of cucumber with cheese instead.
16. Add chopped mushrooms or spinach to meatloaf.
17. Add finely grated zucchini to sauces.
18. Serve mashed cauliflower in place of mashed potatoes.
19. Add chopped spinach when making meatballs.
20. Try using thinly sliced zucchini in place of lasagna noodles.
21. Add minced broccoli to your scrambled eggs or omelet.
22. Top steak or fish with fresh pico de gallo salsa.
23. Roast kale in olive oil for a healthy, crunchy chip.
24. Sneak a few cups of spinach into any smoothie.
25. Shred veggies like carrots and cabbage for a simple slaw with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
26. Puree carrots to mix into your soups and stews.
27. Have a cup of veggie soup before your main course.
28. Throw thick-sliced zucchini, yellow squash, or cauliflower on the grill with your protein.
29. Saute cherry tomatoes in olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and pour over a lean steak.
30. Use mini sweet peppers as a scoop for dips like guacamole or hummus.
31. Add diced celery and carrots to your chicken soup.
32. Top your baked potato with steamed broccoli.
33. Top your tacos with sliced radishes or jicama for some crunch.
34. Add spinach, tomatoes, onions, or chopped mushrooms to your pizza slice.
35. Put a few pickles on your plate.
36. Blend mushrooms and spinach into your gravy.
37. Place baked fish on a bed of mixed greens.
38. Serve chicken, egg, or tuna salad in an avocado half instead of on bread.
39. Stir a handful of fresh baby spinach into the curry you ordered in a hurry.
40. Roast carrots with olive oil and cinnamon.
41. Sauté veggies like bell pepper, mushrooms and spinach in pre-made pesto.
42. Add a handful of spinach and sliced cucumbers to a wrap/sandwich.
43. Make an easy salad with sliced tomato, basil, and cucumber (season with salt and pepper).
44. Order the veggie burger.
45. Make a veggie omelet for dinner.
46. Steam artichokes and dip in italian salad dressing.
47. Add sautéed mushrooms to an intact grain like brown rice or barley.
48. Make a bright salad with spinach, mandarins, and slivered almonds.
49. Serve seasoned ground beef in hollowed out peppers.
50. Snack on raw veggies with hummus while you’re prepping dinner.