June 18, 2024


The food dudes

41 Healthy Snack Ideas to Add to Your Meal Plan

Does anyone else ever feel powerless to the convenience of pre-packaged snacks? With life having picked back up to its usual busyness, making a big spread of healthful food for you and/or your loved ones can feel out of reach sometimes. I often find my pantry is chock-full of cheddar rice puffs, cookies and pretzels, and all I want is to savor an in-between-mealtime snack that involves something a little more wholesome — something homemade. So, what is there to do? How will we refuse the temptation of snack aisle at the grocery store? Well, we find quick, easy healthy snack recipes that are enticing enough to lure us away from it.

Luckily, we are here to help with that!

Making healthy snacks to enjoy at home or on-the-go can be a much easier task than expected. In addition, whipping up something from scratch, whether it’s a simple DIY trail mix or homemade hummus, can be help out our budget, too. Because let’s face it, with inflation causing trips to the grocery store to feel a lot more stressful, avoiding overpriced prepackaged snacks is a money saver.

And if that’s not enough to inspire us to sprint into the kitchen when hunger strikes, remember one of the best things about homemade, healthy foods is that we know exactly what’s in them. That means no sneaky, surprising sugar highs from bagged granola, no heavy sodium levels or added preservatives to increase processed foods’ shelf lives.

So whether you’re a sweet snacker or stick to savory, these healthy snack ideas are about to shake up that before- or after-lunchtime lull.

Healthy snacks for your salty craving

Spiced Roasted Chickpeas

ClarkandCompany / Getty Images

Roasted chickpeas are the new easy-to-make, deliciously addictive snack in town. They are crunchy and tasty with just the right blend of spices. They also pack a ton of nutrients into every bite.

Garam Masala-Spiced Popcorn

TODAY All Day / TODAY All Day

This garam masala-infused olive oil will bring earthy, savory flavors to any plain popcorn. Drizzle it on top of those freshly popped kernels with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast and you’ve got an incredible vegan snack for movie night, work or school.

Turmeric Hummus


Homemade hummus is a cinch to whip up. This recipe gets infused with some turmeric, a spice that makes the dip taste zesty, earthy and will a welcome addition to any meal plan.

Chili-Roasted Pumpkin Seed Munchies

Kevin Curry

Crunching on these spicy seeds on their own for a healthy snack is a deeply satisfying experience. But definitely make a big batch since they’re also great as a topper for a creamy soup or for an added zing to a delicious green salad full of different textures and flavors.

Whipped Feta with Quick-Pickled Vegetables

Will Coleman

Make a veggie-packed dish that is light, fresh and robust in flavor. The sweet and spicy pickled vegetables go along perfectly with this herby and briny feta dip that is a unique, addictive snack that satiates a craving for something salty and cheesy.

No-Cook Refrigerator Cucumber Pickles

Westend61 / Getty Images

This easy pickling method takes just a few minutes, no cooking and absolutely zero skill — the exact vibe we all need when we want something crunchy, tangy and totally satisfying.

The Best, Easiest Deviled Eggs

Courtesy Elena Besser

Deviled eggs aren’t just for entertaining. When you’re tired of throwing plain old hard-boiled eggs in your work bag for a protein-packed snack, make a beautiful batch of these and enjoy them a few days throughout the week when you want something a little heartier between big meals.

Kimbap (Gimbap)

Caroline Choe

These easy, vegetable-packed rice rolls are great for eating on-the-go, bringing to a gathering, enjoying as a snack or for a fast and fun dinner. They’re great for kids because they love helping make them as much as eating them!

Roasted Red Pepper Dip

Samah Dada

To make your own gourmet-style dip, place everything in the oven and blend it all up when it’s finished. Enjoy this versatile recipe with crackers or crudités, as a spread for sandwiches and flatbreads, a topper for salads or whatever else your heart desires!

Al's Garlic Avocado Toast


Avocado toast lovers rejoice! The creamy fruit is a great source of niacin, and also serves up 4.5 grams of heart-healthy fiber in half of an avocado. Al spices his up by rubbing fresh garlic on the toast for some extra zing.

Edamame Guacamole

Maya Visnyei

The avocados in this creamy green dip are already good for your heart, but you can bump it up a notch with the addition of edamame. The soybeans add folic acid, as well as fiber to this tangy favorite.

Winter Crudités with Creamy Herb Dip

Courtesy Donatella Arpaia

Greek yogurt is an amazing base for a heavier store-bought spinach dip because it’s so healthy, but it doesn’t taste so healthy. It’s satisfying and rich, full of great probiotics and it has a luscious mouthfeel. Fresh herbs, garlic and lemon make it really come alive.

Perfect Guacamole with Pico de Gallo

Daniel Alvarez / St. Regis Punta Mita, Mexico

Searching for a fabulous guacamole dip to accompany some fresh veggies, tortilla chips or toast at snack time? Look no further — this one really shines.

Siri Daly's Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

Eating with your hands is always more fun! These lettuce wraps are so easy to make but still have a fancy feel to them. They make a solid snack or even a main dish served alongside white or brown rice.

Cabbage Kimchi

Jean Cazals

Kimchi is one of the cornerstones of Korean cooking, and Koreans consider it vital to their daily diet. Making kimchi may seem daunting, but don’t worry — it’s really very straightforward. The spicy, tangy, slightly crunchy, slightly chewy fermented food is not only an excellent probiotic, but also absolutely delicious on its own or with whatever needs some added fire.

Spiced Cauliflower Poppers


When a craving for something like popcorn chicken strikes, instead of opting for takeout, whip up a quick batch of these vegetarian-friendly poppers made with cauliflower. Tossed in warm, flavorful spices, these bite-sized florets are irresistible when they come sizzling out of the oven when you’re in between meals.

Golden Baked Zucchini Chips

Getty Images

Swap out your standard potato chips for healthy, home-baked zucchini chips! This veggie-based snack works well on its own or as a side dish. Spice things up by creating your own seasoning, which takes the chips from simple and salty to smoky with a little kick.

Air-Fried Cauliflower Tots

Kevin Curry

These tots are great because they’re a perfect munchie without the bloat. They have all the crispness and flavor of potato-based tots but with less carbs and calories.

Easy Egg Bite Muffins

Ghazalle Badiozamani / Instant Loss Eat Real, Lose Weight: How I Lost 125 Pounds–Includes 100+ Recipes

If you have time, making a double batch of these is ideal. Eat some fresh and then freeze the rest for busy days. They’re a great way to start the day with something healthy and filling, or when you just need something nourishing and filling throughout the daily grind.

Dylan's Zucchini Fritters

TODAY Illustration / Alamy Stock Photo

These zucchini fritters are nothing fancy but they’re the perfect finger-food snack. They’re super easy to make with few ingredients and the perfect way to use up that extra zucchini you have lying around. They’re delicious warm and also served at room temperature, which makes them a no-brainer for tasty bites to-go.

Valerie Bertinelli's Hummus

Valerie Bertinelli

If you don’t have the patience to wait for chickpeas to soak overnight, use canned garbanzos for a quicker version. Just toss them in a blender with a few flavorings to get to snacking fast.

Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

Craving something crispy coated in Buffalo sauce, but don’t want wings? This is your recipe. To make it vegan, you can easily swap out the regular milk in this recipe for unsweetened almond or oat milk and you can skip the butter when you add the hot sauce.

Kid-Friendly Beet Hummus

Michele Olivier/Baby Foodie

Beet hummus is a great snack or lunch option for a adults, babies and kids of all ages. Filled with wholesome ingredients and a nutrient-rich veggie, this pink dip is sure to be a hit with little ones. We also love to smear it on a bagel and add some sliced turkey and salad fixings for a fun sandwich.

Healthy snacks for your sweet tooth

Energizing Trail Mix

Courtesy Joy Bauer

Trail mix is a great option for breakfast on-the-run or a grab-and-go snack. Plus, it’s customizable: You can make it your own with so many varieties of nuts, seeds, cereals, dried fruit, popcorn and so much more (yes, even chocolate chips!). There’s no need to refrigerate and it’s filled with healthy fats, fiber and protein.

Crunchy Maple Almond Granola

TODAY All Day / TODAY All Day

Granola is actually super easy to make at home. This recipe a uses pantry staples to create super crunchy clusters of oats and nuts. You can eat it solo or enjoy it as a morning meal with some yogurt and fruit.

Stuffed Dates with Almond Butter and Sea Salt

TODAY All Day / TODAY All Day

Our own Hoda Kotb is obsessed with these warm stuffed dates from Samah Dada. When dates are heated up they get this delicious caramel flavor that’s balanced perfectly by any kind of nut butter. Add a little salt and, if you want, chocolate, and you’ve got yourself an afternoon treat that’s deceptively good for you.

Chocolate-Banana Muffins

Joy Bauer / TODAY

These delectable muffins can be made lickety-split and are so scrumptious. Plus, you can feel good about the ingredients: Cocoa powder provides health-boosting flavanols to enhance brain power, focus and memory, and bananas provide potassium, fiber and natural sweetness.

Banana 'Sushi' Rolls

Courtesy Matt Armendariz

Who knows, maybe this is the gateway snack that familiarizes your kids with sushi. Or maybe it’s just a delightful new take on bananas that gives in to your sweet tooth.

Keto Power Bites

Frances Largeman-Roth

These balls are a little bit higher in carbs than strict keto adherents allow for, but if you stick to the keto guidelines during the rest of the day, these nutty-chocolate bites can definitely fit in for a quick energy boost, pre- or post-workout.

Trail Mix Bark

Courtesy Matt Armendariz

Is this candy or is it a healthy snack? It’s kind of both! The chia seeds provide that hearty dose of daily fiber we all need to maintain productive digestion and a healthy microbiome. This treat is so delicious you won’t know it’s good for you.

Joy Bauer's Healthy Breakfast Nachos

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

We’ve heard of nachos. We’ve even heard of “totchos.” But who says nachos have to be savory? This fruity version is apple-icious and packed with nutritious ingredients to keep everyone feeling full and focused. Serve up a batch for breakfast or as an afternoon snack, and watch ’em all disappear.

Loaded Applesauce Muffins

Chris Andre

Applesauce makes the best, most scrumptious muffins that don’t dry out in a couple of days like other muffins do. This recipe offers a great opportunity to incorporate some other healthy ingredients while convincing the family they’re being spoiled with a sweet treat.

Peanut Butter Protein Balls

Siri Daly

Siri Daly created this yummy recipe as a way to incorporate an added dose of protein and energy to her kids’ picky diets. They make a delicious healthy snack or breakfast and are excellent paired with coffee for all the appropriately aged snackers in the house.

Dylan Dreyer's Oatmeal-Banana Balls with Chocolate Chips

Getty Images

“It’s so easy to get into a processed-food rut with grab-and-go snacks,” says Dylan Dreyer. “This involves three easy ingredients, two of which are healthy, and the chocolate chips make it exciting for Calvin — he thinks he’s getting a special ‘sweet’ snack.'”

Maple-Almond Crunch Bites


Dada is a pro at making snacks leave you feeling light and healthful but taste like a decadent treat. While it may seem like magic, the food blogger turns to some staple ingredients for that natural combination of sweet, rich and salty.

Chocolate Chip-Banana Bread Oatmeal Bars

Samah Dada

If you’ve ever wished your morning bowl of oatmeal was portable and snackable, then you’re in luck! These chocolate chip-oat bars are beyond simple to throw together (you just need one bowl) and they are perfect for a sweet breakfast or delicious snack.

Dylan's Zucchini Bread


Even though it has plenty of zucchini, this bread doesn’t taste like veggies at all. In fact, the water from the vegetable just makes this cake incredibly moist. The sweet apple sauce, warm cinnamon spice and dark chocolate chips give it a lightly sweet and wonderful flavor.

Chocolate Seeded Granola


This recipe is a great mix of protein, slow-burning carbs and good fats that keeps giving energy. It’s ideal in a parfait with vanilla yogurt and berries for a more calorie-dense snack or on its own, one handful at a time, for a nice crunchy fix.

Butternut Squash and Pumpkin Seed Yogurt Parfait

Frances Largeman-Roth

This unique spin on a yogurt parfait combines two potassium rich foods — butternut squash and yogurt. Plus, you’ll get another heart healthy nutrient — niacin — from the pumpkin seeds.

Coconut, Cherry and Almond Granola

Vallery Lomas / Courtesy of Vallery Lomas

Granola has gotten a bad rap because store-bought versions are often too high in added sugar and oils. But when you make it yourself, you can control what’s in it. This one is easy to make and is delicious over yogurt or mixed into high-fiber cereal.

Four-Spice Pear, Apple, and Blackberry Crisp

Shauna Server

Three high-fiber fruits combine in this delicious and healthy crisp. It’s not overly filling but feels a little indulgent, whether you enjoy it before lunch or dinner.