66 Refreshing Healthy Lemon Recipes

Updated: Jun. 25, 2024

Add a bit of citrus to your life with one of these healthy lemon recipes. From main dishes to dessert, these recipes are sure to brighten your day.

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Lemon-Parsley Baked Cod

After trying a few baked cod recipes, this was the first fish recipe that got two thumbs up from my picky meat-only eaters. The tangy lemon gives the cod fish some oomph. —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho.

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Lemon-Apricot Fruit Pops

With just 31 calories, 4 teaspoons of sugar total and lots of vitamin C, this is one light and refreshing summer dessert everyone can find room for! —Aysha Schurman, Ammon, Idaho
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Lemony Zucchini Ribbons

Fresh zucchini gets a shave and a drizzle of lemony goodness in this fab salad. Sprinkle the goat cheese or feta on top and dive in. —Ellie Martin Cliffe, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Try out more of these recipes using lemons.
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Slow-Cooked Lemon Chicken

Garlic, oregano and lemon juice give spark to this memorable main dish. It's easy to fix—just brown the chicken in a skillet, then let the slow cooker do the work. I like to serve this dish to company. —Walter Powell, Wilmington, Delaware
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Lemon Couscous with Broccoli

I combined two recipes to create this side with broccoli and pasta. The splash of lemon adds nice flavor. Instead of toasted almonds, you could also sprinkle servings with grated Parmesan cheese. —Beth Dauenhauer, Pueblo, Colorado
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Cajun Grilled Shrimp

The kicked-up marinade on these shrimp makes this a flavor-packed dish. Serve over rice, and make sure to squeeze those charred lemons over top—that makes them taste extra bright and delicious. —Sharon Delaney-Chronis, South Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Lemony Scallops with Angel Hair Pasta

This delicate dish tastes so bright with a touch of lemon and tender sauteed scallops. Serve with crusty whole grain bread, and you have an impressive dinner that comes together in a flash. —Thomas Faglon, Somerset, New Jersey
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Fresh Artichokes with Lemon-Yogurt Dip

Artichokes are at their best when you prepare them simply, without a lot of fuss or seasonings to overdress them. Many people dip the petals in melted butter or mayonnaise, but I think you'll love my tangy lemon-yogurt dip. —Jill Haapaniemi, Brooklyn, New York
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Lemon-Dijon Pork Sheet-Pan Supper

Most nights I need something that I can get on the table with minimal effort and delicious results. This sheet-pan supper has become an all-time favorite, not only because of its bright flavors but also because of its speedy cleanup time. —Elisabeth Larsen, Pleasant Grove, Utah
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Lemon & Garlic New Potatoes

This is a simplified version of a dish my Costa Rican host sister used to make when I was in the Peace Corps. It has become a favorite side dish at my house. —Katie Bartle, Parkville, Missouri
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Lemon Salmon with Basil

At our house we opt for healthy foods, and this lemony salmon with basil is a knockout in the good-for-you category. We have it with asparagus or zucchini. —Shanna Belz, Prineville, Oregon
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Mixed Fruit with Lemon-Basil Dressing

A slightly savory dressing really complements the sweet fruit in this recipe. I also use the dressing on salad greens. —Dixie Terry, Goreville, Illinois
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Lemon Chicken & Rice Soup

Years ago, I fell hard for a lemony Greek soup at Panera Bread. It was just a special back then, but I re-created it at home so we could eat it whenever a craving hit! —Kristin Cherry, Bothell, Washington
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Lemon Mushroom Chicken

There's a lot of flavor in this dish. The best part? It doesn't seem light at all! —Carrie Palmquist, Canova, South Dakota
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Spicy Lemon Chicken Kabobs

When I see Meyer lemons in the store, it must be spring. I like using them for these easy chicken kabobs, but regular grilled lemons still add the signature smoky tang. —Terri Crandall, Gardnerville, Nevada
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Lemony Garbanzo Salad

Everybody goes for this super fresh salad with the cumin-coriander dressing, especially on warm days. —Sonya Labbe, West Hollywood, California
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Crispy Dill Tilapia

Every week I try to serve a new healthy fish. With its fresh dill and delicious panko bread crumb herb crust, this dish with mild tilapia is a winner. —Tamara Huron, New Market, Alabama
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Honey-Lemon Asparagus

Everyone who tastes my glazed asparagus takes a second helping, so I usually double the recipe. For another option, try using a root vegetable such as turnip or parsnip. —Lorraine Caland, Shuniah, Ontario
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Lemony Shrimp & Tomatoes

I created this recipe for my family because they love grilled shrimp. I love it because it's quick, delicious and good for us. —Lisa Speer, Palm Beach, Florida
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Lemony Mushroom-Orzo Soup for Two

Here's a versatile soup that works as an appetizer or as a side for a sandwich lunch. It's loaded with mushrooms and orzo pasta—and lemon livens up its mild flavor.—Edrie O'Brien, Denver, Colorado
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Lemon-Caper Pork Medallions

For an elegant but easy dinner you can put together in a twinkling for guests or unexpected visitors, these lightly breaded medallions are truly something special! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Lemon Vinaigrette

Versatile and delicious, this lemon vinaigrette is a favorite among homemade salad dressings. The fresh lemon flavor brightens up simple green salads as a dressing but it's also a lively addition to fresh steamed vegetables, like broccoli, green beans or cauliflower. —Sarah Farmer, Taste of Home Culinary Director
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Pressure-Cooker Lemon Chicken with Basil

No matter when I eat it, this tangy chicken dish always reminds me of summer meals with friends and family. The recipe produces a lot of lovely sauce; serve it as is or spoon it over some lightly herbed couscous. —Deborah Posey, Virginia Beach, Virginia
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Citrus Salmon en Papillote

Salmon en papillote, or salmon cooked in parchment paper, is so easy to make yet so delicious, elegant and impressive. —Dahlia Abrams, Detroit, Michigan
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Crunchy Lemon-Pesto Garden Salad

I love using fresh vegetables straight from the garden to prepare this salad. If I pick the squash and cucumbers early enough, their skins are so tender that there's no need to remove them! Best yet, the salad is easily adaptable—any fresh veggie from the garden can be put in with delicious results. —Carmell Childs, Orangeville, Utah
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Lemon-Parsley Tilapia

I like to include seafood in our weekly dinner rotation but don't want to bother with anything complicated (and it had better taste good or the family will riot). This herbed fish does the trick. —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho
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Grilled Lemon-Rosemary Chicken

Broiled or grilled, this simple chicken recipe has been a favorite for years. Try it with your favorite herbs. —Rebecca Sodergren, Centerville, Ohio
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Frozen Watermelon Lemon Cream Tarts

These fruit tarts are so refreshing on a hot summer day! They are extremely healthy and convenient, and just a few ingredients means they're easy to make, too. —Bethany DiCarlo, Harleysville, Pennsylvania
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Lemon-Basil Grilled Shrimp & Couscous

The basil and lemon in this dish complement each other so nicely. Using fresh ingredients really makes a big difference. —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho
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Mediterranean Baked Chicken with Lemon

While visiting our daughters in Ohio, we celebrated by cooking a wonderful Lebanese dinner. I showed my daughters how to bake chicken with garlic roasted potatoes. We finished with our homemade baklava. —Shirley Glaab, Hattiesburg, Mississippi
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Lemon-Pepper Tilapia with Mushrooms

My husband and I are trying to add more fish and healthy entrees to our diet and this one makes it easy. It comes together in less than 30 minutes, so it's perfect for hectic weeknights. —Donna McDonald, Lake Elsinore, California
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Marinated Oranges

This flavorful fruit was actually the topping in a cake recipe. But I didn't want all the calories or fat from the cake—and the oranges are a good dessert all by themselves! The dash of vanilla extract brings out the fruit's sweetness. —Carol Poindexter, Norridge, Illinois
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Lemony Green Beans

You can throw together this dish in minutes using ingredients you probably already have on hand. That’s the beauty of it. —Jennifer Tarantino, Rutherford, New Jersey
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Parmesan Chicken with Lemon Rice

I like the challenge of inventing recipes with ingredients I have on hand. This easy-peasy meal fits the bill. —Colleen Doucette, Truro, Nova Scotia
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Turkey Cutlets in Lemon Wine Sauce

After I ate something like this at a local Italian restaurant, I figured out how to make it at home for my family. Now I serve it a lot since it's so quick to make—and they're so happy I do. —Kathie Wilson, Warrenton, Virginia
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Lemon Basil Salmon

My husband came up with this easy, foil-packet recipe for flaky, fork-tender salmon. This recipe is a winner. —Marianne Bauman Modesto, CA
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Lemon-Garlic Lima Beans

When I was growing up on Cyprus, my mother would often make this side dish to have with roast lamb. Although I hated lima beans when I was a kid (who didn't?), I love them now. They always remind me of home. —Paris Paraskeva, San Francisco, California
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Lemon Garlic Mushrooms

I baste whole mushrooms with a lemony sauce to prepare this simple side dish. Using skewers or a basket makes it easy to turn them as they grill to perfection. —Diane Hixon, Niceville, Florida
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Lemon-Olive Chicken with Orzo

This quick skillet recipe is a healthy all-in-one meal. I just add a tossed salad for a menu the entire family loves. —Nancy Brown, Dahinda, Illinois
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Lemon-Basil Roasted Potatoes

Two of my favorite ingredients, onion and garlic, make lemony herbed potatoes even more delicious. The versatile side dish will complement just about any main course.
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Lemon-Garlic Pork Chops

My son James created these zesty chops spiced with paprika and cayenne. He keeps the spice rub in a jar to use with chops or chicken. —Molly Seidel, Edgewood, New Mexico
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Roasted Herb & Lemon Cauliflower

A standout cauliflower side is easy to prepare with just a few ingredients. Crushed red pepper flakes add a touch of heat. —Susan Hein, Burlington, Wisconsin
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Light & Lemony Scampi

A touch more lemon helped me trim the calories in our favorite shrimp scampi recipe. For those who want to indulge, pass around the Parmesan. —Ann Sheehy, Lawrence, Massachusetts
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Lemony Parsley Baked Cod

The trick to avoid overcooking a good piece of fish is to cook it at a high temperature for a short amount of time. Do that and the fish stays moist and tender. —Sherry Day, Pinckney, Michigan
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Beet Salad with Lemon Dressing

I was looking for a recipe for pickled beets and saw one with lemon instead of vinegar. I immediately thought of making a tabbouleh-inspired salad with beets instead of tomatoes. —Ann Sheehy, Lawrence, Massachusetts
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Grilled Lemon-Dill Shrimp

This grilled shrimp is one of my go-to recipes when I stare at the freezer and draw a blank. Add veggies if desired, but grill them separately. —Jane Whittaker, Pensacola, Florida
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Slow-Cooked Lemony Spring Veggies

These spuds do a slow simmer with carrots and onion for a comfort side that bucks up any entree. Finish the dish with a sprinkle of chives. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Tuscan Fish Packets

My husband does a lot of fishing, so I'm always looking for different ways to serve his catches. A professional chef was kind enough to share this recipe with me, and I played around with some different veggie combinations until I found the one my family liked best. —Kathy Morrow, Hubbard, Ohio
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Lemon Cranberry Quinoa Salad

As the family cook, I appreciate how easy this is to throw together on a busy weeknight. Plus, this salad never gets boring. One of my favorite variations is to substitute diced fresh mango for the cranberries, cilantro for the parsley, and lime for the lemon juice and zest. —Mary Shenk, DeKalb, Illinois
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Zesty Marinated Shrimp

These easy shrimp look impressive on a buffet table and taste even better! The zesty sauce has a wonderful spicy citrus flavor. I especially like this recipe because I can prepare it ahead of time. —Mary Jane Guest, Alamosa, Colorado
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Honey-Lemon Asparagus

Everyone who tastes my glazed asparagus takes a second helping, so I usually double the recipe. For another option, try using a root vegetable such as turnip or parsnip. —Lorraine Caland, Shuniah, Ontario
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Lemon-Dill Salmon Packets

Grilling in foil is an easy technique I use with foods that cook quickly, like fish, shrimp, bite-sized meats and fresh veggies. The options are endless—and the cleanup is easy. —A.J. Weinhold, McArthur, California
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Mixed Greens with Lemon Champagne Vinaigrette

Simple and delicious, this champagne vinaigrette recipe pairs perfectly with mixed greens or a salad of your choice. —Ray Uyeda, Mountain View, California
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Pesto Shrimp Pasta

Fresh basil and dash of red pepper puts zip in this lively shrimp pesto pasta. — Gloria Jones Grenga, Newnan, Georgia
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Cod with Sweet Peppers

This quick and delicious recipe is a long-time family favorite. I like to use three or four different-colored peppers for an extra-pretty presentation. Then serve with couscous or brown rice to round out the meal. —Judy Grebetz, Racine, Wisconsin.
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Tilapia with Lemon Caper Sauce

My husband and I are always trying to increase the amount of fish in our diet. This recipe is fast, easy and enjoyable, even for non-fish lovers. —Catherine Jensen, Blytheville, Arkansas
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Roasted Cauliflower

Roasting is a simple way to prepare cauliflower. Seasoned with a wonderful blend of herbs, this side is easy enough for weeknight dinners. It's one of the best baked cauliflower recipes I've found. —Leslie Palmer, Swampscott, Massachusetts
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Lemon Oregano Potatoes

My husband, Tom, made these tender potatoes when we were first married. They've remained a family favorite to this day. —Kate Hilts, Grand Rapids, Michigan
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Grilled Lemon-Garlic Salmon

A lot of people fish here on the shore of Lake Michigan, so I've developed quite a few recipes for it, including this grilled salmon recipe. I love it, and so do my friends and family. When it's out of season, I look for wild-caught fresh Alaskan salmon at the grocery store. —Diane Nemitz, Ludington, Michigan
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Lemon Parmesan Orzo

A splash of lemon and a shower of chopped parsley make this orzo one of my family's most requested springtime sides. It's fantastic with chicken, pork and fish, or you can eat it on its own as a light lunch. —Leslie Palmer, Swampscott, Massachusetts
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Lemony Chickpeas

These saucy chickpeas add just a little heat to meatless Mondays. They're especially good over hot, fluffy brown rice. —April Strevell, Red Bank, New Jersey
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Lemon-Pepper Tilapia

I usually have the ingredients on hand for this lemony dish that’s ready in a jiff. I use tilapia, but this method peps up any whitefish. —Jill Thomas, Washington, Indiana
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Saucy Spiced Pears

We serve these tangy, saucy pears over angel food cake, pound cake or with a little yogurt or vanilla ice cream. Sprinkle with a favorite topping. —Joy Zacharia, Clearwater, Florida