Tommy's PregnancyHub

7 simple dinner recipes

These healthy pregnancy recipes are great for your main meal of the day, when you have a little more time to prepare, cook and eat food.

It’s important to try to eat well during pregnancy so you and your baby get all the energy and nutrients you need. This means trying to eat a variety of foods from each of the different food groups each day. We have more information about how to eat well during pregnancy.

These recipe ideas are great for your main meal of the day. You can make extra portions and keep in the freezer for times when you don’t have the time or feel like cooking. Always take care when preparing defrosted food

We also have some great tips if you are trying to eat well on budget

Meatballs in tomato sauce

    

Meatballs on a plate with broccoli and mashed potatoes. There is a glass of water and cutlery on the table.

This recipe makes 4 portions of about 180g.

Ingredients

300g beef mince

1 egg, beaten

1/2 teaspoon black pepper powder

1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 large (400g) can chopped tomatoes

100ml water

Method

  1. Put the mince, egg and pepper into a large bowl and, using your hands, mix together thoroughly.
  2. Roll the mixture between your hands to make about 12 small balls.
  3. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the onions and meatballs until browned.
  4. Add the tomatoes and water and simmer for 30 minutes. 
  5. Serve with a side of mashed potatoes and a few pieces of broccoli. 

African beef stew

    

Image of stew on a plate with plantains and mashed potato. There is glass of water and cutlery on the table.

This recipe makes 4 portions of about 160g.

Ingredients

350g lean beef stewing steak

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1/2 medium onion, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon fresh root ginger, peeled and grated

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 small (200g) can chopped tomatoes

1/2 medium green pepper, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

100g spinach leaves, chopped

Method

  1. Cut the meat into thin strips.
  2. Heat the oil over a medium heat and fry the onion without browning.
  3. Add the meat, ginger and garlic and fry until the meat browns.
  4. Add the tomatoes, green pepper and cayenne pepper and continue cooking for about 40 minutes until the meat is tender.
  5. Add the spinach and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  6. Serve with some baked plantain or potato side.
     

Tuna and tomato pasta

     

Image of tuna pasta on a plate with a side salad and glass of water.

This recipe makes 4 portions of about 300g.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 medium onion, diced

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 1/2 large (400g) cans chopped tomatoes with herbs (total of 600g)

1 teaspoon sugar

250g dried pasta shapes such as penne

1 1/2 cans (185g) tuna in spring water, drained (210g drained weight) (Buy fish from sustainable sources where possible)

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan and cook the onion until softened.
  2. Add the chopped garlic and cook for a further minute.
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes and sugar and bring to the boil.
  4. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer without a lid for about 12 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in boiling water, following the instructions on the packet.
  6. Flake the drained tuna with a fork and stir into the pasta sauce to warm through.
  7. Drain the cooked pasta well and return it to the pot, pour the sauce over the pasta and mix gently.
  8. Serve with a side salad of lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber to help you get your 5-a-day. 
     
Note!

You should limit how much tuna you eat, because it has more mercury in it than other fish. If you eat too much mercury, it can be harmful to your unborn baby. You should eat no more than 2 tuna steaks (about 140g cooked or 170g raw) or 4 medium-size cans of tuna (about 140g when drained) per week.

Homemade fish fingers

     

Fish fingers on a plate with a side salad and chips. There is a glass of water and cutlery on the table.

This recipe makes 4 portions of about 90g.

Ingredients

350g salmon or cod fillet (either fresh, or frozen and thoroughly defrosted) (Buy fish from sustainable sources where possible)

2 eggs

3 slices of bread, crumbed

Side salad of lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber. 

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 190°C / 375°F / Gas 5.
  2. Cut the salmon fillet into 12 even-sized strips.
  3. Beat the eggs in a shallow dish to make an egg wash.
  4. Dip the salmon strips in the egg wash and then roll the strips in the breadcrumbs until fully coated.
  5. Place the coated strips on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
  6. Side salad of lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber. 

Note: When serving fish, make sure that all bones are removed. 
 

Jerk chicken, rice and peas and callaloo

     

Jerk chicken on a plate with rice and peas and callaloo. There is a glass of water and cutlery on the table.

Jerk chicken

This recipe makes 4 portions of about 100g.

Ingredients

4 chicken breasts, skin removed

For the jerk seasoning:

1 tablespoon ground allspice

1 tablespoon dried thyme

2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

2 teaspoons garlic granules

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Method

  1. Place the chicken in a shallow bowl.
  2. Mix together the jerk seasoning ingredients and then pour the mixture over the chicken breasts. Stir them around to cover them with the mixture. Cover and leave to marinade for at least one hour in the fridge.
  3. Remove the chicken from the fridge and cook on both sides under a hot grill for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat and grill for a further 20 to 25 minutes, turning occasionally.
  4. Serve with rice and peas and some callaloo.

Rice and peas

This recipe makes 4 portions of about 180g.

Ingredients

1 small can (220g) kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon white pepper

1/2 small onion, diced

400ml water

200g long grain rice

Method

  1. Place all the ingredients except for the rice into a saucepan and bring to the boil.
  2. Add the rice and stir.
  3. Boil rapidly for 3 to 4 minutes then lower the heat and simmer gently for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender.
     

Vegetable curry with lentil dahl and rice

    

Vegetable curry and lentil dahl on a plate with rice. There is glass of water and cutlery on the table.

This recipe makes 4 portions of about 200g.

Vegetable curry

Ingredients

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 medium onion, peeled and sliced

2 teaspoons curry powder

1 clove garlic, finely chopped 150ml water

2 medium carrots, peeled and diced

1/2 small head of cauliflower, florets only

1 large potato, peeled and cubed

1 small (200g) can sweetcorn (about 160g when drained)

1/2 small (150g) carton low-fat natural yoghurt

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan and cook the onion until softened and beginning to brown.
  2. Add the curry powder and garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add the water.
  4. Add the carrots, cauliflower, potato and sweetcorn and bring to the boil.
  5. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Remove from the heat and stir in the yoghurt. Return the pan to a low heat and cook gently for 2 minutes.

Lentil dahl

This recipe makes 4 portions of about 80g.

Ingredients

150g split red lentils

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1/2 small onion, diced

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon mild chilli powder

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 small tomato, diced

150ml water

Method

  1. Boil the lentils in water until tender. Drain off any excess water.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan and fry the cumin seeds for about a minute, until they ‘pop’.
  3. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, chilli powder and turmeric and fry for several minutes until the onions soften.
  4. Add the cooked lentils to the pan, along with the diced tomato and the water, and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Jacket potato with roasted vegetable and tomato filling and vegetable sticks

     

Jacket potato with vegetable filling on a plate with cutlery and glass of water.

Roasted vegetable and tomato filling

This recipe makes 4 portions of about 130g.

Ingredients

1 medium courgette

8 medium mushrooms

1 medium onion

1 small red pepper

1 small yellow pepper

1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 can (400g) chopped tomatoes

(optional) 60g Cheddar cheese or vegan cheese, grated

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas 4.
  2. Cut the vegetables into chunks.
  3. Place all the vegetables except for the tomatoes on a baking tray, sprinkle on the mixed herbs, and drizzle with the oil.
  4. Roast for 25 minutes until tender. Add the tomato, mix well and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle over the cheese, or vegan cheese, just before serving.
     

Thanks to Dr Helen Crawley from the First Steps Nutrition Trust for allowing us to use recipes from her guide Eating well for a healthy pregnancy.

 

Review dates

Last reviewed: 5 March 2021
Next review: 5 March 2024