13 Low Cholesterol Dinner Recipes

Jennifer Huddy, MS, RD

By Jennifer Huddy, MS, RD

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5 from 2 votes

If you’ve been told you need to follow a low-cholesterol diet, it can feel overwhelming to plan your meals with so much conflicting information online. 

A plate with roasted salmon, asparagus, dill, and lemon slices.
Jacek Chabraszewski/Shutterstock

Continue reading to learn about a cholesterol-friendly diet and how to make healthy meal swaps. Plus, you’ll find our list of easy, low-cholesterol dinner recipes to help your meal planning go smoothly. 

The Low Cholesterol Diet

When thinking of a diet to lower blood cholesterol levels, many people think of foods low in dietary cholesterol. Historically, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommended limiting dietary cholesterol to 300 milligrams per day or less (1). 

This guideline led many people to restrict high-cholesterol foods like eggs. However, the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines eliminated this recommendation based on more recent evidence that dietary cholesterol likely does not increase blood cholesterol in healthy individuals (1). 

Current guidelines for lowering blood cholesterol recommend limiting saturated fat and trans fat while increasing fiber intake (2). As always, talk to your doctor or dietitian before making significant dietary changes. 

How to Make a Low-Cholesterol Dinner

Aim to include the following four components to build a heart-healthy, low-cholesterol dinner: 

  1. A lean protein
  2. Whole grains
  3. Vegetables
  4. Healthy fat

Lean Protein

For many people, meat is a major source of saturated fat. Aim to limit red meat and instead focus on poultry, fish, and plant proteins (3). 

  • Use ground chicken or turkey instead of ground beef. 
  • Incorporate more plant-based meals that include beans, lentils, or tofu. 
  • Remove the skin from chicken and turkey and choose white meat. 
  • Aim for at least 8 ounces of fish per week.
  • Limit processed meat, like sausage and hot dogs. 
  • Bake or broil your protein instead of frying. 

Whole Grains

Consider swaps you can make to increase your whole grain and fiber intake at dinner (3).  

  • Brown rice instead of white rice.
  • Whole wheat pasta in place of white pasta.
  • Whole grain bread instead of white bread. 
  • Try recipes with other whole grains like quinoa, farro, and barley. 


Enjoy a variety of vegetables, focusing on minimally processed options. Cook with healthy fats, like olive oil or avocado oil instead of butter, and enhance flavor with herbs, spices, and lemon juice (3).  

Healthy Fats

Consider cooking oils and preparation methods that are lower in saturated fat and cholesterol, such as (3): 

  • Use reduced-fat dairy to make cream sauces and soups. 
  • Cook with olive oil instead of saturated fats like butter, ghee, lard, and coconut oil. 
  • Bake, broil, or sautee foods instead of frying. 
  • Add avocado to sandwiches, salads, and more. 

Low Cholesterol Dinner Recipes

These delicious recipes are low in cholesterol, saturated fat, and trans fat and emphasize heart-healthy whole grains, plant proteins, and vegetables. Enjoy!

1. Walnut-Rosemary Crusted Salmon

This recipe includes salmon and walnuts, two excellent sources of heart-healthy omega-3 fats. It’s also baked instead of fried, making it a lower-fat option. 

For a balanced, low-cholesterol meal, serve over brown rice and roasted vegetables such as asparagus or broccoli. 

These mixed vegetable buddha bowls with tahini miso dressing will make you feel good from the inside out!

2. Vegetable Buddha Bowls

Enjoy this flavor-packed grain bowl featuring plant proteins falafel and quinoa. Though falafel is traditionally fried, try a baked version to make it cholesterol-friendly. 

The creamy dressing is made with tahini and miso paste, which contain minimal saturated fat compared with traditional dairy-based sauces. 

3. Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowl

These slow-cooker burrito bowls involve minimal preparation and are full of cholesterol-friendly ingredients–from boneless skinless chicken breast to black beans to avocado. Be sure to use brown rice to maximize the fiber content of the dish. 

While this recipe calls for store-bought cilantro lime dressing, these products can often be a hidden source of saturated fat. Consider making your own with this simple recipe

4. Teriyaki Turkey Rice Bowls

This veggie-rich recipe stars ground turkey as the protein rather than beef or pork, reducing the saturated fat content of the meal. The homemade teriyaki sauce has much less sugar than traditional bottled sauce, and you can adjust the sugar content down further as desired. 

If you prefer, you could use whole-grain pasta such as soba or buckwheat noodles instead of brown rice. 

Eggplants stuffed with chickpea and quinoa filling on a baking sheet with parchment paper and a ramekin with sauce and a spoon.

5. Quinoa Stuffed Eggplant

This vegan Mediterranean-style dinner recipe is packed with plant proteins, vegetables, and flavor. This dish will become a low-cholesterol favorite with heart-healthy chickpeas, high-fiber quinoa, and a creamy lemon tahini sauce. 

You can even experiment with using other whole grains, such as brown rice or barley, in this recipe. 

honey soy marinated salmon

6. Honey Soy Roasted Salmon

With a simple three-ingredient marinade, this flavorful roasted salmon is sure to make your weekly rotation. Pair the heart-healthy protein with a whole grain, like brown rice, and steamed veggies like broccoli or snow peas. 

7. Bruschetta Chicken

These baked chicken breasts are topped with fresh bruschetta and are bursting with flavor. Serve with whole-grain pasta and a side salad to round out this 30-minute low-cholesterol meal. 

A nutritious kale stir fry with crispy curried tofu, perfect for a quick weeknight fix!

8. Kale Stir Fry with Crispy Curried Tofu

This easy and delicious vegan meal contains tofu, which is low in saturated fat and a great complete protein for plant-based meals. A rainbow of sauteed vegetables adds extra fiber and flavor to the dish. 

For the pasta, you can use whole wheat spaghetti or soba noodles, which are both high in fiber and cholesterol-friendly. 

9. Vegetarian Chili

Though this vegetarian chili omits ground beef, it isn’t lacking in protein or flavor. It’s low in saturated fat and high in fiber because the recipe relies on beans as the protein source. 

Be mindful of the toppings you choose for chili, focusing on healthy fats and veggies, like chopped tomato, red onion, diced avocado, and plain low-fat Greek yogurt. 

A white bowl of pasta made with a dairy-free pasta sauce.

10. Creamy Dairy-Free Pasta

Looking for a cream sauce without the cream? Look no further! This clever recipe uses pureed cauliflower to make a delicious, creamy pasta sauce. Pair with whole wheat pasta and a lean protein, such as chicken breast or white beans, to balance the meal. 

A white bowl filled with a Mediterranean quinoa salad with lemon wedges.
Larisa Blinova/Shutterstock

11. Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

This light Mediterranean recipe is packed with plant protein, fiber, and healthy fats for a cholesterol-friendly dinner. Quinoa, white beans, and avocados come together with a fresh balsamic, lemon, and mint dressing to complete the dish. 

12. Red Lentil Patties

A plant-based alternative to ground beef patties, these lentil burgers are packed with flavor and are low in saturated fat. Serve on a whole wheat bun with avocado to boost the heart-healthy properties of the dish. 

13. Sheet Pan Chili Lime Tilapia 

Ready in less than 25 minutes, this tangy and spicy tilapia is a cholesterol-friendly sheet pan meal. For a fiber-rich, low-mess dinner, cook the broccoli and sweet potatoes on the same baking sheet as the tilapia. 

A plate with roasted salmon, asparagus, dill, and lemon wedges.

13 Low Cholesterol Dinner Recipes

Learn the ins and outs of a low-cholesterol diet and discover healthy and easy dinner swaps to help you meet your health goals. Find a list of delicious low-cholesterol dinner recipes to try today.

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