6 delicious 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.

If you don't want to cook vegetables, have a salad instead, but do try to include a variety of different coloured vegetables. As long as you're getting plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, it's fine.

Meatballs in tomato sauce


This recipe makes 4 portions of about 180g.


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


  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. 

Salmon couscous


This recipe makes 4 portions of about 225g.


1 large (420g) can red salmon, drained (about 350g when drained) (Buy fish from sustainable sources where possible.)

150g couscous

3 spring onions, finely sliced

300ml boiling water

1/2 lemon

1/4 medium cucumber, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon fresh mint, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon fresh parsley, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon fresh coriander, finely chopped


  1. Drain and flake the salmon and keep chilled until required.
  2. Put the couscous in a large bowl and mix in the spring onions.
  3. Bring the water to the boil and pour it over the couscous. Stir gently, cover, and leave for about 4 minutes and then fluff the couscous with a fork.
  4. Zest the lemon (that is, finely grate the outer rind), and squeeze the juice out of the lemon.
  5. Mix the salmon, couscous, cucumber, herbs, lemon zest and lemon juice thoroughly and chill until serving.

Tuna and tomato pasta


This recipe makes 4 portions of about 300g.


2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 medium onion, diced

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

11/2 large (400g) cans chopped tomatoes with herbs (total of 600g)

1 teaspoon sugar250g dried pasta shapes such as penne

11/2 cans (185g) tuna in spring water, drained (210g drained weight) (Buy fish from sustainable sources where possible.)


  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.

Homemade salmon fish fingers


This recipe makes 4 portions of about 90g.


350g salmon fillet (either fresh, or frozen and thoroughly defrosted) (Buy fishfrom sustainable sources where possible.)

2 eggs

3 slices of bread, crumbed


  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.

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

Fish pie


This recipe makes 4 portions of about 300g.


400g frozen or fresh white fish fillets – or a mixed fish pie pack (Choose fish from sustainable sources.)

600g potatoes, peeled and diced 45ml semi-skimmed milk

60g Cheddar cheese

For the sauce:

1 tablespoon vegetable fat spread

1 tablespoon plain flour350ml semi-skimmed milk

1/2 teaspoon white pepper


  1. Heat the oven to 200°C / 400°F / Gas 6.
  2. Poach and flake the fish.
  3. Boil the potatoes and mash with the first quantity of milk.
  4. Melt the vegetable fat spread in a saucepan, and then mix in the flour to make a thick paste. Cook gently for 1 or 2 minutes, stirring all the time.
  5. Slowly add the milk to the flour mixture, stirring continuously to make a smooth sauce. Then season with the pepper.
  6. Add the flaked fish to the sauce.
  7. Place the fish mixture in a dish, cover it with the mashed potatoes and sprinkle with cheese.
  8. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the potatoes are golden.

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

Vegetable curry with lentil dahl and rice


This recipe makes 4 portions of about 200g.

Vegetable curry


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


  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.


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


  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.

 Download Your guide to a healthy diet in pregnancy here.


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  1. 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.


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Last reviewed on August 1st, 2016. Next review date August 1st, 2019.

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