Quick Dinner Ideas for People with Diabetes | Diabetes Health Page

Quick Dinner Ideas for People with Diabetes

By NeNa | Articles

Jun 28

What to eat for dinner? This is one of the most common questions among people with diabetes.

You don’t need a lot of time or energy to make a healthy dinner at the end of the day. On busy days, all you need is few essential ingredients to prepare a healthy meal that won’t raise your blood sugar levels.

Ingredients You Should Always Have in Your Kitchen

Make sure you always have some of the below-listed ingredients for nights you neither have time nor energy to cook meals.

Just remember that a healthy plate for a person with diabetes needs to consist ½ non-starchy vegetables, ¼ whole grains or starchy foods, ¼ lean protein, and some dairy or fruit on the side.

Starchy Foods

  • Canned beans low in sodium – such as black, garbanzo, navy, kidney, etc
  • Pre-cooked brown rice – just heat it up in the microwave
  • Quinoa, whole grain pasta, quick-cooking whole barley, whole wheat couscous
  • Corn tortillas or whole wheat tortillas


  • Frozen and Fresh vegetables – freeze your favorite veggies and keep several of them in the fridge. If you prefer fresh vegetables, a cucumber, few tomatoes, and a bell pepper are good options.
  • Canned tomatoes with low sodium – you can add them to pasta, casseroles, etc.
  • Canned vegetables like roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, and more.

Protein Foods

  • Eggs
  • Rotisserie chicken – add it in pasta, salads, tacos, or sandwiches throughout the week
  • Frozen chicken breasts
  • Frozen fish filets


  • Have some fresh fruit on the side or as a dessert.
  • Canned fruit in juice, not in syrup
  • Keep grapes or berries ready in a bowl
  • Lime and lemon juice to enhance your veggie, chicken, or fish flavor


  • 1 percent or skim milk – good options, especially for lactose intolerant diabetics, are unsweetened soymilk or almond milk
  • Regular or Greek light/non-fat yogurt – those with flavor have more carbohydrate than the plain variety

Some Extra Ingredients to Have Around

  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Light salad dressing
  • Various spices and dried herbs
  • Salsa
  • Nuts – as an addition to salads and other veggie dishes
  • Salt and pepper
  • Minced garlic (jarred)
  • Trans-free margarine

It’s good to plan ahead if you’re short on time during the week.

8 Quick and Nutritious Ideas for Diabetes Dinner

1. Make sure you defrost your frozen fish fillets the evening before using them. Use some olive oil to rub them lightly, and then season with dried herbs such as freshly ground pepper. Bake until done and serve with steamed green beans and half a cup of pre-cooked brown rice.

2. Prepare a salad for your main course. Choose some non-starchy veggie and chop it up. Then serve the vegetable pieces over a bed of greens. Combine with some cottage cheese, rotisserie chicken breast, or another low-fat cheese.

Complete your salad with some fresh fruit or whole wheat garlic on a side.

3. Defrost some frozen chicken or use rotisserie chicken and roast it up. Fill a whole wheat tortilla or corn with shredded chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, black beans, and fresh cilantro. You can top it with some non-fat plain Green yogurt or a spoonful of salsa.

4. Another great idea for quick dinner is scrambled eggs topped with defrosted and heated onions and peppers. Combine with a slice of whole wheat toast with a bit of no-trans-fat margarine.

5. Pasta with vegetables (pasta primavera). Cook your pasta and add some frozen veggies the last few minutes. Then, drain the water and add cooked diced chicken and 2 tablespoons of light salad dressing. But, if you like a red sauce, toss in some pasta sauce.

6. Sauté a frozen stir-fry vegetable medley with vegetable oil and add some heated chicken or frozen shrimp. Then, serve over quinoa, brown rice, or whole farro.

7. A vegetable flatbread. First, you need a premade whole wheat pizza crust. Pile some sautéed fresh or frozen vegetables onto it, and top with low-fat mozzarella and slices of tomato. Bake until the mozzarella melts.

8. Put some canned tomatoes, canned beans, frozen corn, tomato sauce, cumin, garlic, and chili powder in a crockpot in the morning. Cover and cook over low heat for six to eight hours. In this way, you’ll have chili when you return home in the evening.

Also, diced onions, carrots, or bell pepper are other good options to add to this quick dinner.

Source: Diabetes