Skip to main content

23 Recipes To Make You A Lean, Mean, Clean-Eating Machine

Clean Eating is simple. Essentially, clean eating is about eating more healthy foods and fewer unhealthy, heavily processed or refined foods and foods with added sugars and unhealthy fats. We’re talking fresh, whole ingredients, organic and eaten in season when possible, and prepared in unfussy ways that highlight natural flavors.

Roasted Tomato Balsamic Vinaigrette

Photo by lutzflcat

You’ve heard Michael Pollan’s maxim: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” That’s kind of the essence of clean eating, too. And if you're doing the Mediterranean Diet, you're already eating clean.

Clean eating is eating close to nature, without too much human or industrial interference along the way.

Here’s a simple way to determine if food fits the clean-eating concept. Consult the label. For starters, if it has a label, it may not be clean. But if it’s a can of beans or tomatoes with only one or two ingredients, that’s clean. Longer ingredient lists filled with unpronounceable words? Not so much.

There's no rigid regime to follow. Organic produce and grass-fed meats are preferred. Breads are brown and made from whole grains. Healthy fats are favored, including olive and nut oils. Added sugars, salt, and additives are out, as are trans-fats and highly processed and refined foods. Simple ingredients, simple preparations. You get the idea.

Now let’s grab a glass of red wine, sit down with friends and family, and enjoy some good clean recipes.

Main Dishes

Tomato Basil Salmon

"This quick salmon dish is perfect for a weeknight dinner. Serve with a side of sauteed spinach and a glass of pinot noir." -- CHEDDAR97005

Tomato Basil Salmon

Photo by CookinBug

Simple Lemon Herb Chicken

"This is a simple, quick and delicious dish. All you need are a few spices and, of course, the chicken! Add more or less spice according to your taste. Enjoy!" -- Carolyn Stilwell

Simple Lemon Herb Chicken

Photo by Allrecipes

Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Fresh Plum Sauce

This delicious, colorful roasted pork tenderloin dish works great with any stone fruit.

Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Fresh Plum Sauce

Photo by lutzflcat

Lentil Soup

"Hearty lentil soup, chock full of veggies and very yummy." -- Marie

Lentil Soup

Photo by larkspur

Alaskan Cod and Shrimp with Fresh Tomato

"This meal is very yummy, juicy, easy to cook, and convenient. My fiancee loves this recipe and wants it everyday. Try it!" -- maddy cruise

Alaskan Cod and Shrimp with Fresh Tomato

Photo by Spunky Buddy

Grilled Rosemary Chicken Breast

"This easy, quick, and light dish has exceptional flavor. The rosemary plays perfectly with strong garlic flavor and a hint of lemon for bright fresh flavor." -- Semigourmet

Grilled Rosemary Chicken Breast

Photo by Deb C

Very Easy Mushroom Barley Soup

"I love mushroom barley soup and I was originally making one that took about 3 hours to cook. This one is so simple and easy and takes a third of the time. If you like mushroom barley soup, you will really like this. It's perfect for a cold winter night." -- SANDI149

Mushroom Barley Soup

Photo by lutzflcat

Greek Island Chicken Shish Kebabs

"Excellent served with pita bread, a garlicky tzatziki, and a Greek salad. Lamb can be substituted for the chicken, and many variations on vegetables can be used." -- Dolce Cuoco

Greek Island Chicken Shish Kebabs

Photo by CookinBug

Summer Chicken Burgers

Mouthwatering grilled chicken burgers with caramelized onion, provolone cheese, and avocado.

Summer Chicken Burger

Photo by Allrecipes

Side Dishes

Bilo Walter's Easy Herb Potatoes

Grill or bake red potatoes with Vidalia onion wedges and carrots marinated in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic salt, and rosemary.

Bilo Walter's Easy Herb Potatoes

Photo by larkspur

Fresh Green Bean Salad

"A crisp, fresh-vegetable salad with a simple oil-and-vinegar dressing." -- Coyote House

Fresh Green Bean Salad

Photo by lutzflcat

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower

Cauliflower is tossed with olive oil and garlic sprinkled with Parmesan and broiled until tender and golden brown.

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower

Photo by KGora

Greek-Style Lemon Roasted Potatoes

"A great complement with souvlaki. All you need is a great Greek salad for a full meal!" -- koko

Greek Style Lemon Roasted Potatoes

Photo by lutzflcat

Butternut Squash with Grapes

In this savory side dish, butternut squash, seedless red grapes, and sweet onions are roasted with pine nuts and sage leaves.

Butternut Squash with Grapes

Photo by lutzflcat

Grilled Green Beans

So easy. Simply season green beans with salt and minced garlic, then toss on the hot grill.

Grilled Green Beans

Photo by LilSnoo

Salads

Cranberry and Cilantro Quinoa Salad

Toss cooked, cooled quinoa with toasted almonds, dried cranberries, colorful bell peppers, and red onions and dress with a curry powder, cilantro, and lime juice dressing.

Cranberry and Cilantro Quinoa Salad

Photo by Clarisa

Zucchini Mint Salad

A refreshing zucchini salad dressed with a fresh mint, lemon juice, and olive oil dressing.

Zucchini Mint Salad

Photo by lutzflcat

Crunchy Cauliflower and Tomato Salad

Cherry tomatoes and crunchy cauliflower combine for a festive salad with a light, lemon juice, white wine vinegar, and olive oil dressing.

Crunchy Cauliflower and Tomato Salad

Photo by lutzflcat

Mediterranean Bean Salad

"This is an easy, healthy salad that is a great side dish to BBQ chicken, beef or fish! It can also be easily adapted to a Tex-Mex style by changing the lemon to lime, parsley to cilantro and adding ground cumin and/or chili powder!" -- sourdough girl

Mediterranean Bean

Photo by naples34102

Breakfast and Lunch

Megan's Granola

A tasty homemade granola with oats, nuts, seeds, and dried fruits.

Megan's Granola

Photo by CCLoves2Bake

Tomato and Egg Stir Fry

A quick-and-easy egg and tomato stir fry in avocado oil.

Tomato and Egg Stir Fry

Photo by LilSnoo

Mini Frittatas with Quinoa

Simple savory bites of quinoa, zucchini, ham, egg, and cheese.

Mini Frittatas with Quinoa

Photo by jenjen

Homemade Peanut Butter

Peanut oil and honey roasted peanuts whirled around in a food processor until smooth -- it's so easy to make your own peanut butter.

Homemade Peanut Butter

Photo by KGora


Check out more Clean Eating Recipes


Get more cooking tips and awesome food finds.


Carl Hanson

About Carl Hanson

Carl will eat that. Share with him @CarlNo9 on Twitter.