Healthy Dinner Recipes You Need for The New Year

From heart-warming soups, vibrant salads to pressure cooker meals, here you’ll find healthy dinner recipes that will become your favorites year-round! 

easy healthy dinner recipes & lunch ideas

It’s the New Year! Some of us may still be in the celebrating mode, but many of us are also ready to embark on a healthy reset. After all the eating, drinking, and merrymaking, it’s time for a slow down and gives our bodies extra care.

At Just One Cookbook, our focus is always on nourishment and sustenance. So there won’t be any full-on fasting or plain smoothie diet. Instead, we share tasty foods that make you feel good. Think healthy fats, calcium, iron, vitamin D – to help you build stronger immunity and to promote health.

Here, we’ve gathered all the delicious, healthy dinner recipes you need for a healthy new year. Since they are also easy to make, we know they’re going to be your favorites even after the detox month has passed. Cheers to vibrant health!

24 Easy & Healthy Dinner Recipes You Need for the New Year

1. Ochazuke (Japanese Rice Soup with Green Tea)

Japanese tea is poured on top of steamed rice and flaky baked salmon in a rice bowl.

This simple Japanese rice dish soup is topped with salmon, seaweed, herbs and submerged in green tea or dashi. You can switch it up with other savory ingredients or greens like spinach for an extra boost of vitamins. It’s light, easy, and so tasty. Ochazuke is particularly comforting when you feel under the weather. But we can really live on it all year round.

2. Miso Butter Salmon

A white plate containing Miso Butter Salmon served with sautéed shiitake and shimeji mushrooms.

Looking to eat more salmon for those all-important omega-3 fatty acids? Add this Miso Butter Salmon to your weeknight meal routine. Pan-fried in a delicious savory sauce, a healthy dinner meal is done in less than 30 minutes!

3. Japanese-style Tuna Mushroom Pasta

A white ceramic plate containing Japanese-style Tuna Mushroom Pasta garnished with shredded nori and shiso leaves.

With pantry staples like canned seafood and a bottle of mentsuyu (Japanese noodle soup base), you can instantly make delicious pasta for a low-lift, healthy weeknight dinner.

4. Rice Porridge

Japanese rice porridge served in a bowl with salmon, green onion, pickled plums, and shredded seaweed.

For many Asian cultures, rice porridge is chicken noodle soup for the soul. It’s homey, soothing, and ultra comforting. You can keep the rice porridge plain or serve it with simple leftovers like salted salmon, nori, hard-boiled egg, kimchi, or a side of pickles. It will keep you nourished and the chill at bay. 

5. Salad with Carrot Ginger Dressing

Carrot ginger dressing drizzled on the refreshing iceberg lettuce and cucumber slices.

Finely grated carrot and ginger are both super healthy and full of antioxidants! When combined with miso, it makes a flavorful salad dressing that delivers lots of health benefits. Make extra and pack it for your work lunch too.

6. Instant Pot Tonjiru (Pork & Vegetable Miso Soup)

A black bowl containing pork and vegetable miso soup (Tonjiru).

A bowl of warm, hearty soup can boost your energy to face whatever comes your way in the new year. The combination of pork belly and root vegetables provides all the health-promoting nutrients in this flavorful soup. You’ll love that it’s packed with collagen, which is great for the skin.

7. Honey Sesame Shirataki Noodles

A blue bowl containing cold and refreshing shirataki noodles with honey sesame dressing.

Shirataki noodles are gluten-free and low in calories. They make the most refreshing noodle salad topped with powerful veggies and lean protein. 

8. Hot Tofu (Yudofu)

A Japanese ceramic bowl containing hot tofu.

With just tofu and dashi kombu, you can enjoy this warm, protein-rich, and nourishing vegetarian dish at home. If you’d like, bulk it up with vegetables, mushrooms, or other ingredients.

9. Instant Pot Nikujaga

Pressure Cooker Instant Pot Nikujaga (Japanese Meat and Potato Stew) in a white bowl.

When feeding a family, we look for healthy, well-balanced meals that are also simple to prepare. With sliced meat, vegetables, and potatoes simmered in dashi broth, this Instant Pot Nikujaga is going to be your all-time favorite dinner to cook for the family.

10. Niratama Donburi (Chive & Egg Rice Bowl)

A white bowl containing a soft fluffy egg stir fry with Chinese chive served over steamed rice.

Soft fluffy egg stir fry with Chinese chive served over steamed rice – Niratama Donburi is the easiest way to get your protein, vitamins, and fiber. The chives give the omelette a distinct flavor but feel free to replace it with other leafy greens such as spinach, baby kale, pea shoots, etc. If you prefer, you can switch the steamed rice with brown rice or cauliflower rice.

11. Vegetable Miso Soup

Three kinds of vegetable miso soups; each served in a Japanese wooden bowl.

A simple mix of comfort and nutrition, this vegetable miso soup can improve digestion and boost your mood. It’s delicious as breakfast for something savory in the morning or a light dinner with a side of protein like tofu or salmon.

12. Instant Pot Takikomi Gohan (Japanese Mixed Rice)

Black ceramic bowls containing Japanese Mixed Rice (Takikomi Gohan).

All the different colors, flavors, and textures of this one-pot Japanese mixed rice will keep you balanced, full, and happy.

13. Japanese Spinach Salad

Spinach ohitashi in white ceramic plates.

If eating more greens is something you’d like to achieve this year, you can rely on this Japanese Spinach Salad to make it happen! It uses a simple method called the Ohitashi to infuse vegetables with umami and subtle flavor. The salad goes so well with any Japanese or Asian dishes that you can dish up anytime.

14. Zosui (Japanese Rice Soup)

Chicken Zosui (Japanese rice soup) served in a white ceramic bowl along with green onions and sesame seeds in a separate bowl.

Cooked in a savory dashi broth with vegetables, eggs, and whatever you have on hand, this Japanese rice soup is a nourishing meal that helps refuel your energy. Easily customizable and done in 30 minutes!

15. Salmon in Foil

A plate containing Salmon in Foil with ponzu sauce on the side.

Wild-caught salmon with mushrooms and vegetables cooked in foil is an ideal dish for a healthy weeknight meal. The best part is how fast you can pull this together.

16. Tofu Salad with Sesame Ponzu

Refreshing Tofu Salad with Sesame Ponzu Dressing on a Japanese blue platter.

This Japanese Tofu Salad with Sesame Ponzu Dressing is a refreshing salad with leafy greens, tofu, corn, and wakame seaweed. The tangy ponzu sauce is an absolute jam. It is super easy to make and substantial enough to be eaten alone.

17. Oyakodon (Chicken & Egg Bowl)

A Japanese blue and white bowl containing Oyakodon (chicken & egg bowl) served with miso soup.

This one-bowl meal is one of the classics in Japanese home cooking. First, you poach the chicken thighs in dashi with sweet onion, then add in the eggs to create a fluffy sauce. It’s wholesome and utterly comforting!

18. Vegetarian Udon

A white bowl containing Vegetarian Udon Noodle Soup topped with bok choy, fried tofu, minced mushroom, and crispy eggplant.

This is a lighten-up noodle soup that can be enjoyed year-round. Feel free to go with your own favorite toppings, but a side of greens and simple proteins like tofu make great options!

19. Onsen Tamago Over Rice (Hot Spring Egg Rice Bowl)

Onsen Tamago over steamed rice.

Serve this perfectly poached egg with creamy custard-like yolk over steamed rice, then drizzle with soy sauce, and scatter chopped green onion. It is fantastically simple and incredibly satisfying! What more? It’s great as a hearty breakfast, a light lunch or dinner, or a midnight snack!

20. Kakitamajiru (Japanese Egg Drop Soup)

Wooden miso soup bowls containing Kakitamajiru, Japanese egg drop soup.

The Japanese version of egg drop soup is the most soothing soup we can imagine for sick days, cold nights, and any other time you need a little extra comfort.

21. Stir Fry Vegetables

A white plate containing Stir Fry Vegetables (Yasai Itame)

Quick and easy stir fry is our ultimate back-pocket recipe for healthy weeknight dinners. For vegetarian or vegan, you can leave out the meat or swap it with shiitake mushrooms or tofu.

22. Vegan Poke Bowl

A white bowls containing savory pan-fried tofu, cucumber, avocado, edamame, carrot, red cabbage, and watermelon radish over brown rice.

This vegan poke bowl checks all the marks for a well-rounded recipe on flavors, texture, and nutrition. And thanks to its flexibility, it will give you a headstart toward eating well all year long!

23. Japanese Sweet Potato Rice

A rice bowl containing Sweet Potato Rice (Satsumaimo Gohan) sprinkled with gomashio (salt & black sesame seeds).

A healthy dinner is done when you serve this aromatic Japanese Sweet Potato Rice with a side of soup and salmon.

24. Cold Tuna and Tomato Somen 

A glass plate containing Cold Tuna Tomato Somen topped with julienned shiso leaves.

When you want to keep things light without sacrificing flavor and substance, this somen noodle with tuna and tomatoes will hit every note. It’s wonderfully simple to put together!

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on January 7, 2020, and has been republished in January 2022.