10 DASH Diet Meals to Help Lower Blood Pressure

Kale and lentil stuffed sweet potatoes

Kaleigh McMordie, MCN, RDN, LD / Verywell Fit

The DASH Diet was created in the 1990s as a means of stopping hypertension—hence its acronymic name (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension). Since that time, abundant research has shown that this eating plan holds true to its original purpose.

Studies reveal that people with hypertension who adhere to DASH diet principles can often bring down their blood pressure readings significantly more than by following other diets. A typical DASH diet meal plan involves plenty of fruits and vegetables, fish, poultry, whole grains, legumes, and low- or no-fat dairy products. The diet also recommends limiting sugar-sweetened beverages and sweets, alcohol, and foods high in saturated fat and sodium.

If your doctor or dietitian has recommended you try a DASH diet to lower your blood pressure, you can expect plenty of nutritious options to choose from. Because there are not usually calorie restrictions on this eating plan—and no foods are technically eliminated—you will not feel deprived. If you are planning to try the DASH diet, there are a number of breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks to try including these 10 tasty, nutrient-dense recipes.

Rainbow Vegetable Soup

Rainbow vegetable soup

B. Sporrer/J.Skowronek/Getty Images

Many canned (and even homemade) soups are packed with sodium—sometimes taking you over your daily target in just one bowl. This rainbow vegetable soup keeps sodium in check by using no-salt-added diced tomatoes and low-sodium vegetable stock.

Meanwhile, it is bursting with vegetables like carrots, bell peppers, summer squash, leeks, fennel, and celery. Its rainbow of colors are an indicator of the many disease-fighting antioxidants these veggies provide.

Kale and Lentil Stuffed Sweet Potato

Kale and lentil stuffed sweet potato

Kaleigh McMordie, MCN, RDN, LD / Verywell Fit

On a DASH diet, you have the freedom to include lean meats and seafood regularly, but you certainly do not have to eat animal protein at every meal. For a meatless option, try this kale and lentil stuffed sweet potato.

Here, tender roasted sweet potatoes get treated to a stuffing of garlicky kale and lentils, then topped with a dollop of low-fat Greek yogurt and a sprinkle of parsley. The finished product contains 10 grams of heart-healthy fiber and just 65 milligrams of sodium.

Because this recipe serves two, you can either share or save the other potato for a nutritious, plant-based lunch the next day.

Lighter Avocado Chicken Salad

Lighter avocado chicken salad

Kaleigh McMordie, MCN, RDN, LD / Verywell Fit

This lighter avocado chicken salad is an excellent alternative to the usual high-fat, high-sodium chicken salad you may find at the deli counter. By subbing nonfat Greek yogurt and mashed avocado for full-fat mayonnaise, you will replace saturated fats with unsaturated ones.

Diced onion and a rib of celery add crunch and a bit of extra fiber. Enjoy this emerald-tinged chicken salad by itself or wrap it in a whole wheat tortilla for a serving of whole grains.

Banana Chai Oatmeal Smoothie

Banana chai oatmeal smoothie

Kaleigh McMordie, MCN, RDN, LD / Verywell Fit

Getting five or more servings of fruit and veggies each day can be a challenge. That is why it’s smart to work produce in at breakfast time.

This cool and creamy banana chai oatmeal smoothie starts with a whole banana and adds low-fat vanilla Greek yogurt, oats, and earthy spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom. It is a tasty mashup of oatmeal and smoothie for those days when you would like the whole grain goodness of oatmeal without the need for heat.

Low-Sodium Chicken, Broccoli, and Rice Casserole

Healthier Chicken, Broccoli, and Rice Casserole

Kaleigh McMordie, MCN, RDN, LD / Verywell Fit

Even comfort food is possible on a DASH diet. This low-sodium chicken, broccoli, and rice casserole gives you the stick-to-your-ribs texture you may crave on a chilly evening—without the excess saturated fat and sodium. And because it features a filling combo of whole grains, vegetables, lean meat, and dairy, it is a convenient one-dish meal that needs no sides.

Crustless Salmon, Spinach, and Mushroom Quiche

Crustless salmon, spinach, and mushroom quiche

Traveling Light

The DASH diet promotes eating plenty of seafood for its anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids and high-quality protein. This crustless salmon, spinach, and mushroom quiche multiplies your omega-3 potential even further if you choose omega-3 eggs. Plus, it loads you up on veggies, including spinach, mushrooms, and leeks. To make this brunch favorite even more DASH-appropriate, substitute low-fat milk for whole milk.

Creamy Slaw and Veggie Wrap

Creamy slaw and veggie wrap

Vicki Shanta Retelny, RDN / Verywell Fit

For a low-stress lunch that will aid your efforts to lower blood pressure, check out this creamy slaw and veggie wrap. A bag of store-bought carrot and broccoli slaw gets things started on a simple, convenient note.

From there, you will assemble your wrap with marinated artichoke hearts, cilantro, and a creamy homemade dressing. A half-cup of black beans brings extra bulk, making this vegetarian lunch surprisingly filling.

Brown Sugar Baked Citrus with Honeyed Yogurt

Brown sugar baked citrus with honeyed yogurt

Stephanie Lang, MS, RDN, CDN / Verywell Fit

Broiled grapefruit makes a tangy, tasty way to eat fruit at breakfast. But let’s face it—carving out each individual segment with a grapefruit spoon is often a pain. This brown sugar baked citrus with honeyed yogurt incorporates the caramelized sweetness and high micronutrient content of ruby grapefruit and orange without the hassle.

Rather than broil an entire grapefruit half, you will first supreme the fruit—or remove its peel, pith, and membranes. Then roast the citrus segments with a sprinkle of brown sugar and pair with lightly sweetened low-fat Greek yogurt and handful of granola. Because the fruit and yogurt are already sweetened, opt for a low-sugar granola, if possible.

Roasted Red Pepper Lentil Hummus

Roasted red pepper and lentil hummus

Kaleigh McMordie, MCN, RDN, LD / Verywell Fit

This roasted red pepper lentil hummus calls for just six ingredients. But it creates an irresistibly piquant, colorful spread. Between roasting peppers and cooking lentils, this recipe does take some time—but a few simple workarounds cut down on time and effort.

Store-bought red peppers will work just fine here, as will leftover lentils. Once you have made these shortcuts, you can get dipping even sooner with a variety of whole-grain crackers and fresh vegetables.

Strawberry and Turkey Balsamic Salad

Strawberry and turkey balsamic salad

Patsy Catsos, MS, RDN, LD / Verywell Fit

You can, of course, check multiple food group boxes with separate courses in a meal, but some recipes are a one-stop-shop for vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy, and lean protein. This strawberry and turkey balsamic salad is one that fits the bill.

With a mix of greens, radishes, fresh strawberries, goat cheese, roasted turkey breast, and walnuts, a single serving provides 22 grams of protein and just 8% of the daily value of sodium. Arrange the ingredients in pretty layers or toss them all together. Then, dress the whole thing with a DIY balsamic vinaigrette that uses just a half-teaspoon sugar and a pinch of salt.

A Word From Verywell

The DASH diet provides a number of nutritious options, so if your healthcare provider has recommended this plan, it is highly unlikely you will feel deprived. Plus, with easy-to-use recipes like the ones provided above, you will have a meal on the table in a matter of minutes.

1 Source
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Schwingshackl L, Chaimani A, Schwedhelm C, Toledo E, Pünsch M, Hoffmann G & Boeing H. Comparative effects of different dietary approaches on blood pressure in hypertensive and pre-hypertensive patients: A systematic review and network meta-analysisCritical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 2019;59:16, 2674-2687, DOI: 10.1080/10408398.2018.1463967

By Sarah Garone, NDTR
Sarah Garone, NDTR, is a freelance health and wellness writer who runs a food blog.