Share with:

Eating healthy can be a challenge during pregnancy because—despite the fact you know it’s important—you may be too fatigued to cook.

It can be overwhelming knowing that every night, you or your partner need to plan, cook and do dishes on top of every other responsibility.

That’s why we’re helping you out by providing 10 pregnancy dinner recipes that are easy and quick to make while still being healthy. Best of all, they’re delicious!

You can try some out and see which work for you. Then, start creating a file of your favorites so they’re handy to turn to when you go grocery shopping and aren’t sure what to cook. Having recipes printed out, bookmarked or saved links makes it more likely that you’ll cook something healthy versus eating out or popping a frozen pizza in the oven.

What Makes a Healthy Pregnancy Dinner Recipe?

When selecting any recipe, you should factor in what it fulfills in your list of daily requirements. During pregnancy, your needs change and your body needs more of some vitamins and nutrients in order to make a healthy baby. Taking a prenatal vitamin is a wise choice because it gives you many of the most important requirements. However, these are meant to supplement your diet, meaning that your meals should still be nutritious. That means trying to avoid unhealthy fats, bad carbohydrates and refined sugars. Unfortunately, these are often common in convenient pre-packed foods or take-out.

Prenatal vitamins don’t give you every nutrient you need, so you’ll want to get some through your diet, too (e.g. Iron). Here’s our Full Guide to Vitamins for a Safe Pregnancy and how much you need of each nutrient.

Here’s some general advice on what to look for in a recipe:

  • Protein— Dinner recipes should be packed with protein to help keep you full throughout the evening. Meat, beans, salmon, nuts, nut butters and cottage cheese are good sources.
  • Calcium— Pregnant women need to consume more calcium while expecting. Good sources include milk, yogurt, tofu, eggs and leafy green vegetables.
  • Folate—Folate is essential during pregnancy to prevent neural tube defects that affect the brain and spinal cord of the baby. Good sources include eggs, nuts and nut butters, leafy dark green vegetables, lentils and beans and liver.
  • Iron—You need more iron during pregnancy because it helps increase blood flow, providing extra oxygen for your baby. Good sources include leafy green vegetables, fortified breads and cereals, beef and chicken, eggs and citrus or dried fruits.

10 Healthy Pregnancy Dinner Recipes

These recipes provide a good helping of the nutrients you need for a healthy pregnancy. You should also pair these with other foods to ensure a balanced diet.

#1 Slow Cooker Beef Stew

View the Recipe on Allrecipes

What It Is: A savory stew with carrots, celery, potatoes, herbs and hearty beef chunks.

Why It’s Healthy: Some people think that rare beef has more iron because it’s bloody. Luckily, that’s untrue; cooking steak doesn’t change the iron content. That’s good news for pregnant women since it’s safest not to eat undercooked meat during this time. This recipe has 6mg of iron per serving.

Why It’s Easy: All you need to do is prep the ingredients and throw it in a slow cooker for 4 to 12 hours.

Active Prep Time: 20 mins.

#2 One-Pan Balsamic Chicken and Asparagus

View the Recipe on Delish

What It Is: Tomatoes, asparagus and chicken with a delicious balsamic vinegar sauce. If you wish, you can serve this with rice.

Why It’s Healthy: Asparagus is one of the highest sources of folate. The tomatoes and chicken help round out the meal to provide protein and extra nutrients.

Why It’s Easy: The recipe comes together in under a half-hour and only involves one pan, meaning fewer dishes.

Active Prep Time: 20 mins.

#3 Parmesan + Garlic Sautéed Spinach

View the Recipe on Allrecipes

What It Is: Spinach with olive oil and garlic salt, served with parmesan cheese.

Why It’s Healthy: Dark leafy green vegetables like spinach provide iron and folate, which you need extra of for the baby. In fact, one serving makes up over 1/4th of your folate for the day.

Why It’s Easy: You can prepare this side dish while cooking your source of protein. It’s simple to make and uses easy ingredients.

Active Prep Time: 15 mins.

#4 Slow Cooker Chicken Lentil Soup

View the Recipe on Show Me The Yummy

What It Is: A low-calorie and low-fat make-ahead soup served with creamy Greek yogurt.

Why It’s Healthy: This recipe is protein-packed and will fill you up with 28 grams per serving. You’ll be getting extra folate with the lentils and the Greek yogurt will boost your calcium intake.

Why It’s Easy: Simply put the ingredients in the crockpot and leave it to cook for several hours before shredding the chicken and serving.

Active Prep Time: 5 mins.

#5 Walnut Crusted Chicken

View the Recipe on Sally’s Baking Addiction

What It Is: A great idea for those with nut pregnancy cravings, this makes a crispy chicken that’s still healthy and unfried. Consider pairing this with rice and the Parmesan and Garlic Spinach recipe above.

Why It’s Healthy: Walnuts add more protein and healthy fats to this dish. They also provide some extra folate. Even though it’s not fried, it still gives you that satisfying crispy crunch.

Why It’s Easy: The flavor is made by marinating the chicken overnight and simply coating and cooking it the next day.

Active Prep Time: 30 mins. on night of.

#6 Creamy Yogurt Cucumber Salad

View the Recipe on Simply Recipes 

What It Is: A great choice for those who find salads boring, this is the perfect side dish on a hot summer night.

Why It’s Healthy: It has a rich creaminess that provides calcium and the cucumbers are great for hydration.

Why It’s Easy: Few ingredients are required and all you need to do is mix!

Active Prep Time: 5 mins.

#7 Mexican Bean Salad

View the Recipe on Allrecipes

What It Is: A mix of peppers, corn and a variety of beans.

Why It’s Healthy: This recipe is filled with protein because of the beans, so eaten alone, it could fill you up quickly. Beans are also a good source of folate.

Why It’s Easy: All you need to do is open the cans, whisk the dressing, mix and let sit.

Active Prep Time: 15 mins.

#8 Slow Cooker Salmon

View the Recipe on Delish

What It Is: A good base for an easy slow cooker recipe. You can add your own herbs or citrus slices. Combine with vegetables and a grain to balance out the meal.

Why It’s Healthy: Fish is safe to have during pregnancy as long as you limit your servings. Salmon is a good source of protein and one of the best foods to get DHA.

 Why It’s Easy: Simply add the salmon, liquid, season and leave it for 2 hours.

Active Prep Time: 10 mins.

#9 Best Liver and Onions

View the Recipe on Allrecipes

What It Is: This recipe claims to turn liver haters into converts.

Why It’s Healthy: Liver is one of the best sources of iron. Serving it on a bed of greens helps you balance out the meal and even out the richness.

Why It’s Easy: The trick to delicious liver is 3 simple steps: Soak in milk, barley turn when cooking and don’t overcook.

 Active Prep Time: 20 mins.

#10 Easy Shakshuka with Feta

View the Recipe on A Couple Cooks

What It Is: White beans and eggs poached in a tomato sauce and topped with feta.

Why It’s Healthy: Eggs are a good source of protein and iron. White beans further bump up the protein content, and the cheese provides some extra calcium for a delicious finish.

Why It’s Easy: It’s ready in under 30 minutes and only requires one pan.

Active Prep Time: 10 mins.


When considering what to make for dinner, look at the nutritional requirements you get throughout the day. During pregnancy, your needs change and committing to eating well is an act of care for your baby too. Collecting a file of easy and healthy recipes ahead of time will make you more likely to stick to a balanced diet. The recipes included in this post can be made in under 30 minutes or left alone to cook in a slow cooker while you relax, do chores, or run errands.

P.S. Have you tried a fetal doppler yet? These are handheld devices that allow you to monitor your baby’s heartbeat from home. They’re helpful to have between in-person appointments so your doctor can provide feedback without being there. Many couples also find it a heartwarming bonding experience.

Monitor Your Pregnancy with Your Doctor Between In-Person Appointments with the BabyDoppler.

Share with:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *