Heart-healthy recipes typically include foods that are unlikely to contribute to blood pressure or cholesterol levels. They often contain lean sources of protein, vegetables, whole grains, and unsaturated fats.

Eating these foods can play a key role in lowering a person’s risk of cardiovascular disease. It can also keep existing conditions under control, such as high blood pressure. It is also important for people to avoid excessive salt, added sugars, alcohol, and tobacco.

Read on for heart-healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes.

A person chopping onions on a wooden board for a heart healthy recipe.Share on Pinterest
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For a heart-healthy breakfast, try these spinach muffins from the United Kingdom charity, British Heart Foundation.

Spinach muffins

Servings: 6


  • 5 1/2 oz (150 g) of self-raising white flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 oz (40 g) sunflower spread
  • pinch of dried red chili flakes
  • 1 3/4 oz (50 g) baby spinach leaves, shredded
  • 2 oz (55 g) half-fat mature Cheddar cheese, finely grated
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4 fl oz (125 ml) of 2% fat milk

Steps to prepare

  1. Preheat the oven to 374°F (190°C), or for fan ovens, 338°F (170°C).
  2. Line six cups of a muffin tin with paper muffin cases. Set aside.
  3. Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Lightly rub in sunflower spread until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  4. Stir in chili flakes, spinach, cheese, and black pepper. Add egg and milk. Stir gently to mix well. The mixture should look fairly lumpy. Over-mixing makes heavy muffins.
  5. Divide the mixture evenly between the six muffin cups. Bake for 25–30 minutes or until risen, golden brown, and firm to the touch.
  6. Transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm or cold. If serving warm, allow the muffins to cool for 20–30 minutes beforehand.

Lean poultry recipes can form part of a heart-healthy menu. Try this chicken dish from the American Heart Association (AHA). Note that this recipe requires a pressure cooker.

Chicken shawarma

Servings: 4


  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 lb (453 g) of skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup fat-free, low sodium chicken broth
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp freshly cracked pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups torn romaine lettuce
  • 1 medium tomato, sliced
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 medium unpeeled cucumber, sliced
  • 1/2 medium unpeeled cucumber, chopped
  • 2 tbsp crumbled low fat feta cheese
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley

Steps to prepare

  1. Remove all visible fat from the chicken and cut it into strips.
  2. Heat the oil in the pressure cooker using the sauté setting. Cook the onion for 3 minutes, or until soft, stirring frequently.
  3. Add the chicken. Cook the chicken for 4–6 minutes, or until lightly browned. Stir frequently to prevent it from sticking. Turn off the pressure cooker.
  4. Stir in the broth, garlic, cumin, paprika, turmeric, pepper, and salt. Secure the lid.
  5. Cook on high pressure for 4 minutes. Quickly release the pressure.
  6. Arrange the lettuce, sliced tomato, and sliced cucumber on a platter and place the chicken on top. Add the remaining chopped cucumber and tomato as a topping, along with the feta cheese and parsley.

Fish provides another heart-healthy source of protein. This recipe from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada also helps to boost vegetable intake.

Cod fish with potatoes, fennel, and carrots

Servings: 4


  • 2 tbsp (25 ml) canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into thin slices, reserving a few strands of the fine leafy part
  • 4 small potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and shaved into large pieces
  • 3/4 cup (175 ml) low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp (25 ml) tomato paste
  • 3 wide strips orange peel, white pith removed
  • 4 cod fish filets, 4 oz (125 g) each

Steps to prepare

  1. In a large nonstick pan, heat the canola oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until the onion is soft. This should take 6–7 minutes.
  2. Add the fennel and continue to cook until it is tender and crisp, which should take 4–5 minutes. Add the potatoes and carrots.
  3. Whisk together the chicken broth and tomato paste in a mixing bowl. Add to pan along with the orange peel. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove the lid from the pan and place the cod fillets on top of the vegetables. Cover again and cook for 10 minutes longer, or until the fish is done.
  5. Use a spoon to serve the vegetables, placing one fillet of cod on top of each dish. Garnish with fennel fronds.

Vegetables are incredibly versatile ingredients. Try this Moroccan dish from the AHA.

Moroccan lentil stew with butternut squash

Servings: 8


  • 1 tsp canola oil or corn oil
  • 1 medium onion (yellow preferred), diced
  • 2 medium garlic cloves or 1 tsp jarred minced garlic — optional
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 lb (907 g) of peeled butternut squash, chopped into 1 in (2.5 cm) cubes, or 20 oz of frozen butternut squash cubes
  • 5 cups of low sodium vegetable broth
  • 28 oz can of no-salt-added diced tomatoes
  • 15 oz can of no-salt-added lentils, or 3/4 cup dried lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest

Steps to prepare

  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat, swirling to coat the bottom of the pot.
  2. Add the onions and cook for 3 minutes, or until soft, while stirring frequently.
  3. Stir in the garlic, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Cook for 1 minute, or until the garlic and spices are fragrant.
  4. Stir in the butternut squash, broth, tomatoes, and lentils. Bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot with a lid and simmer for 40 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.
  6. Sprinkle with the cilantro and lemon zest to serve.

Following a low sodium diet does not need to mean flavorless meals. Try this recipe from the AHA’s Low-Salt Cookbook.

Chicken with ginger and snow peas

Servings: 5


  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup (118 ml) fat-free, low sodium chicken broth
  • an additional 1–2 tbsp of fat-free, low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce — use the lowest sodium available
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp canola or corn oil
  • 1 1/4 lb (566 g) chicken breast tenders with visible fat discarded
  • 6 oz trimmed snow peas
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp minced, peeled ginger root

Steps to prepare

  1. Put the cornstarch in a small bowl. Add 1/2 cup of chicken broth, the soy sauce, and pepper. Whisk to dissolve the cornstarch and then set aside.
  2. In a large, heavy skillet, heat the oil over high heat, swirling to coat the bottom. Cook the chicken for 4 minutes while stirring frequently.
  3. Stir in the snow peas, garlic, and ginger root. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Add the broth mixture. Cook for 2–3 minutes, or until the sauce thickens and the chicken is no longer pink in the center, while stirring constantly. If the mixture begins to burn, remove from the heat for a moment or stir in the additional broth.

The food a person eats can play a key role in lowering their risk of cardiovascular disease. It can also help control existing conditions, such as high blood pressure.

Heart-healthy recipes can make it easier for a person to eat foods that support heart health. Other factors, such as stopping smoking, regular exercise, and maintaining a moderate weight, are also important.

Visit Medical News Today’s cardiovascular hub for more advice on heart health.