Easy healthy acid reflux-friendly dinner ideas will help you plan quick weeknight menus that are nutritious and don’t trigger GERD symptoms.
When you’re faced with a new medical diagnosis related to diet, it’s easy to focus on all of the foods you can’t eat. Having to adjust to a new diet is a struggle, even when you know that it’s for the best. Coming up with a rotation of acid reflux-friendly meals that you love will make it easier to stick to a diet that makes you feel great.
Disclaimer: I am not a physician. I’ve had acid reflux my entire life and have been actively treating it through medication, diet, and lifestyle changes my entire adult life. I cite a handful of medical resources in this article. All other information pertaining to acid reflux is based on my own personal experience. Please consult a physician if you have questions about your diet or any other aspect of your GERD treatment.
The best and worst foods for acid reflux
As I compiled acid reflux-friendly dinner ideas, I focused on the best foods for GERD symptoms, taking care to avoid the most common triggers as much as possible.
The best foods for soothing acid reflux symptoms include green vegetables, root vegetables, lean meats and seafood, whole grains, eggs, healthy fats, non-citrus fruits, ginger, fennel, and herbal tea.
The most common triggers for acid reflux include greasy foods, tomatoes, chocolate, citrus fruits, spicy foods, mint, caffeine, alcohol, and carbonated beverages.
I’ve put together a free printable reference with the best and worst foods for acid reflux. Keep it handy in the kitchen to help you plan meals and combat reflux flares.
[Download your FREE printable acid reflux foods reference sheet!]
Eating-related tips to further help reduce symptoms
Developing an acid reflux-friendly diet will go a long way toward eliminating your GERD symptoms. Most likely you’ll have the greatest success with keeping symptoms at bay when you combine an acid reflux-friendly diet with the following eating tips.
- Eat smaller meals
- Eat slowly
- Wait at least two hours to lie down after eating
- Avoid eating at least two or three hours before going to bed
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine, particularly in the evening
Other lifestyle tips to reduce symptoms
The following additional lifestyle tips will help you further reduce acid reflux symptoms.
- Take an antacid
- Avoid tight clothing and high-waisted pants, skirts, and dresses
- Add an extra pillow to your bed to help eliminate symptoms while sleeping
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Steer clear of mint- and peppermint-flavored gum
- Stop smoking
The importance of keeping a food diary
For many people, there are a handful of foods and lifestyle changes that will make a significant difference in their overall gut health. When you’re able to identify these triggers and eliminate them effectively, you don’t have to go full force on other elements of acid reflux management. For example, if your biggest food triggers are tomatoes and chocolate, don’t stress as much about avoiding citrus fruits and spicy foods.
Keep a food diary for at least a week, tracking the following information:
- Foods you eat
- Time of day you eat
- Symptoms you experience
This information will help you make key adjustments to your diet and eating schedule for better acid reflux management.
[Acid reflux sources – 1 | 2 | 3]
Easy healthy acid reflux-friendly dinner ideas
Please note: Most acid reflux food resources will tell you to steer clear of garlic and onions. It’s really difficult to find easy healthy dinner recipes without one or both of these ingredients, especially garlic. I’ve done my best to limit them, but you’ll see them pop up occasionally. If garlic and onion are triggers are for you, I recommend substituting garlic powder and onion powder. You’ll get the flavor you crave without the full acid trigger of fresh garlic and onions.
When I say “easy recipe,” I mean a recipe that comes together quickly (under one hour) with common ingredients. If you don’t already have the ingredients on hand, you’ll be able to find them at most grocery stores or online. If recipes take more than one hour, I promise you’ll be able to do at least part of the prep (i.e., making the pizza dough, baking the spaghetti squash) ahead of time.
1. Maple BBQ Salmon
How Sweet Eat’s maple barbecue salmon with brown butter couscous is the ideal weeknight dinner recipe. The salmon comes together quickly and is packed with flavor, and the brown butter couscous complements it perfectly. Round out the meal with roasted veggies or a green salad.
2. Teriyaki Shrimp Sushi Bowl
I’m all about better-than-takeout recipes. The Almond Eater’s teriyaki shrimp sushi bowl fits the bill perfectly. Erin uses both brown rice and quinoa, which is a great combination, and definitely elevates the restaurant-like quality of the recipe. One or the other on its own works well, too. If you don’t want the sauce to be spicy, simply decrease the amount of sriracha.
3. Cheesy Chicken Pesto Spaghetti Squash
Chicken, pesto, and cheese is one of the all-time best flavor combinations. Pairing it with spaghetti squash for Three Olives Branch’s cheesy chicken pesto spaghetti squash is the perfect way to make it a healthy, low-carb dish. For this type of recipe, I make the chicken ahead of time in the slow cooker, so dinner comes together quickly when you’re ready to eat.
4. Apricot Chicken Thighs with Root Vegetables
I’m one of those annoying people who doesn’t love super sweet desserts but does love sweet savory dishes. Recipe Runner’s apricot chicken thighs with root vegetables is right up my alley. I love root vegetables, but green vegetables or even cauliflower is perfect for this recipe, too.
5. Teriyaki Turkey Skillet with Vegetables
Teriyaki is a bit of a theme among acid reflux-friendly dinner ideas. You get a ton of flavor without straight garlic or onion. The Roasted Root’s teriyaki ground turkey skillet with vegetables comes together quickly and fits a number of popular diets. It works great with ground chicken as well.
6. Banh Mi Bowls with Sticky Tofu
Choosing Chia’s banh mi bowls with sticky tofu are a lightened-up vegetarian version of the banh mi sandwiches that we all love so much. You can easily swap in the meat of your choice for the tofu.
7. Sheet Pan Cashew Chicken
I love the concept of sheet pan dinners, but it’s tough to find ones that allow all the ingredients to cook evenly. The Recipe Critic’s sheet pan cashew chicken is great because you cook the chicken a bit on its own before adding the veggies. The dish can be served over any type of grain.
8. Roasted Vegetable Lasagna
I wanted to make sure that I found a few white sauce versions of popular Italian dishes for acid reflux sufferers looking to steer clear of tomato-based recipes. For the Love of Gourmet’s roasted vegetable lasagna fits the bill perfectly. You won’t miss the tomato sauce at all when there’s so much delicious cheese.
9. Green Pizza with Pesto, Feta, Artichokes, and Broccoli
I never get tired of pesto pizza. Hello Little Home’s green pizza is topped with pesto, feta, artichokes, and broccoli for so much flavor and texture.
10. Chicken Tortellini with Broccoli Bake
Chelsea’s Messy Apron’s chicken tortellini with broccoli bake is comfort food at its best. Cheese tortellini, chicken, and broccoli come together with a cheese sauce. The baked dish is topped with more cheese and a Panko breadcrumb mixture.
11. Balsamic Chicken
I know that I have a lot of Asian-inspired recipes here. If you’re looking for an alternative to Asian sauce for a sheet pan meal, Dinner at the Zoo’s balsamic chicken is a great option. This is another dinner dish where you add the veggies to the sheet pan at the end, so everything cooks evenly.
12. 10-Minute Blackened Tilapia
Gimme Some Oven’s 10-minute blackened tilapia is a recipe that will quickly become a staple in your weeknight dinner rotation. Tilapia is such a versatile entree for just about any veggie or pasta side dish, and you can’t beat a 10-minute prep time.
13. Seared Scallops with Acorn Squash Mash
Scallops are one of those foods I will always go for when I’m eating out at a restaurant. They’re surprising easy to make at home as well. A Cozy Kitchen’s seared scallops are elevated to restaurant level, thanks to the acorn squash mash, which you can prepare ahead of time.
14. Creamy White Sauce Chicken Enchiladas
Enchiladas are another dish that tend to be red sauce-based, which is tough when you have acid reflux. Munchkin Time’s creamy white sauce chicken enchiladas are so good, though, that you’ll never want to eat another enchilada. Making salsa verde from scratch is so easy and brings the entire dish up a notch.
15. Cheesy Broccoli Loaded Baked Potatoes
Potatoes have a ton of health benefits and taste amazing when topped with cheese and roasted broccoli. There is so much flavor in Yes to Yolk’s cheesy broccoli loaded baked potatoes. Skip the green onions if you’re worried they’ll trigger your reflux.
16. Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
Adding butternut squash to macaroni and cheese is one of the easiest ways to boost the nutrition without compromising the flavor. Skinnytaste’s butternut squash macaroni and cheese is about as simple as it gets, which is what you want with macaroni and cheese because there isn’t anything that needs improving with this favorite dish.
17. Baked Chicken Meatballs
Making meatballs from scratch seems intimidating until you try it. Then you’ll be hooked and will start making meatballs from scratch often. I love Pinch of Yum’s baked chicken meatballs recipe because it’s so simple. You can customize the meal however you like with pasta, sauce, veggies, etc.
18. Summer Squash Pasta Skillet
You can never have too many pasta recipes in your life, right? How Sweet Eat’s summer squash pasta skillet is an ideal weeknight dinner recipe packed with flavor and texture thanks to the brown butter, pine nuts, goat cheese, and basil.
19. Quinoa Crusted Salmon
I love The Almond Eater’s quinoa crusted salmon, which has quinoa right in the coating for added texture and nutrition. Most likely you already have everything you need to make this recipe right now. Serve it with a green salad or roasted veggies.
20. One Pan Honey Mustard Chicken and Potatoes
The Endless Meal’s one-pan honey mustard chicken and potatoes only requires about 10 minutes of prep. Then you can walk away while it finishes in the oven, only checking on it once halfway through to add the broccoli.
21. Mushroom Spinach White Pizza
My Eclectic Bite’s mushroom spinach white pizza has a creamy basil Italian ricotta base that you’ll want to start putting on everything. It pairs perfectly with mushrooms, spinach, and mozzarella, but again, is so good and so versatile that you can switch up the toppings easily as you like.
22. Coconut Curry Chicken with Peanut Dipping Sauce
Chelsea’s Messy Apron’s coconut curry chicken is already packed with flavor, and then the peanut dipping sauce takes it up another notch. This easy pantry staple dinner comes together so quickly. You can make the chicken on the stovetop or the grill.
23. Easy Veggie Quesadillas
Gimme Some Oven’s easy veggie quesadillas really couldn’t be simpler and can be customized with whatever veggies you have on hand. She has lots of suggestions for different add-ins as well as toppings.
24. Grilled Tahini-Glazed Salmon with Cucumber Noodles
The tahini in Heather Christo’s grilled tahini-glazed salmon gives the fish such a rich flavor. If you don’t love cucumber noodles, sub in the vegetable noodles or grain of your choosing.
25. Parmesan Orzo with Mushrooms and Spinach
Cheesy orzo is one of my go-to side dishes for tilapia, pork chops, and chicken. For the Love of Gourmet’s Parmesan orzo with mushrooms and spinach is plenty hearty to be the main dish on its own, you can easily add a protein to fill out the meal.
26. 30-Minute Fall Veggie Pizza
Thanks to RapidRise yeast, A Cozy Kitchen’s fall veggie pizza really does come together in just 30 minutes. It’s topped with kale, mushrooms, and squash, which is perfect for cold weather.
27. Green Goddess Chicken Salad Phyllo Cups
I love chicken salad and am always looking for recipes that don’t call for tons of mayo. Yes to Yolk’s green goddess chicken salad has a green goddess sauce, which is delicious and refreshing. I love the aesthetic of serving it in Phyllo cups, but you shouldn’t feel limited to this option. Chicken salad is great on its own, as a sandwich or wrap, over greens, or on crackers or chips.
28. 30-Minute Chicken Stir Fry
Munchkin Time’s 30-minute chicken stir fry is an easy healthy recipe the whole family is sure to love. Fresh veggies come together with sticky chicken and rice noodles. If you’re serving picky eaters, keep the noodles and chicken separate from the veggies.
29. Mediterranean Farro Salad with Arugula and Chickpeas
Aggie Kitchen’s Mediterranean farro salad with arugula and chickpeas is an ideal reset meal after lots of holiday parties, traveling, or eating out. It’s a hearty, healthy vegetarian dish (although you could easily add meat) with lots of protein and fiber.
30. Sesame Encrusted Chicken Tenders
Skinnytaste’s sesame encrusted chicken tenders are a great twist on traditional chicken tenders with sesame seeds and a little soy sauce. You can bake them or cook them in an air fryer.
Don’t forget to grab your FREE printable reference sheet with the best and worst foods for acid reflux!
[Best and Worst Foods for Acid Reflux Reference Sheet]
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31 thoughts on “30 Easy Healthy Acid Reflux-Friendly Dinner Ideas”
An awful lot of these recipes contain ingredients that everyone tells people with GERD not to eat Things like wheat flour, cheese, tomatoes.
Why do you include those things?
There is not a single recipe in this entire post that includes tomatoes or wheat flour. Cheese can trigger reflux symptoms but isn’t a direct trigger like tomatoes or chocolate. Most adults have a limited dairy tolerance anyway, so it’s best not to load up on cheese at every meal.
Check again. Keto Low Carb Cheesy Chicken Pesto Spaghetti Squash includes you own pesto recipe with garlic and shredded mozzarella cheese. Roasted Vegetable Lasagna calls for an onion, flour, garlic and cheese.
There is enough confusion for us out there as it is. I was excited to find what I thought would be good recipes for me. I have GERD like crazy along with many of the things that go with it, like trouble swallowing, hiatal hernia and an ulcer. These recipes read no differently than the ones I already have that have made me sick. Maybe you and a few other people can eat these, but many of us would or could not. There is no mention of substitutes to make these recipes better for us.
I am just disappointed.
Again, none of these recipes contain tomatoes or wheat flour. I have a disclaimer about onions and garlic in the post and offer suggestions/substitutions for the few recipes that do include onions and garlic. Yes, a number of the recipes do include cheese, but again, it isn’t a direct trigger. It’s important for people with GERD to learn their triggers and make modifications to recipes accordingly.
This post has done very well. Many people are getting a lot of benefit from the recipes here. I’m sorry that it isn’t what you were looking for.
Thank you for you GERD recipe suggestions, I appreciate any help with ideas I can get out there. I post my meals on Instagram. They are dishes that have a lot of substitutions or frankensteined together from recipes all over, so glad to have a few more ideas. I used the white pizza here to make a yummy lunch. I would love it if you would add or show your own interpretation or substitution of each recipe here,if you’ve made them yourself. For instance, I’m happy that the enchilada is a white base, but I personally still can’t eat chiles, so an idea how to change that up would be a great addition. A dish already prepared for GERD is a unicorn and much appreciated. There’s definitely a lot of us out there struggling, so thanks again for your blog.
I’m so glad that this post is helpful to you! I agree 100% that personal interpretations or substitutions are really helpful for this type of post. I’ve done my best to find recipes that I believe to be GERD-friendly as is, so people won’t immediately have to make a lot of changes. But obviously, everyone’s restrictions are different, so there will be instances where modifications are still required.
I’m hoping over time to create more round-up posts of this nature as well as create my own GERD-friendly recipes to share here.
Thanks for this list! It’s given me a lot of good inspiration. I see some triggers in a few recipes (namely cheese, butter, etc…and garlic/onion, which yes, you made a note about those), but the recipes are easily modified. For new GERD sufferers, I suggest checking out the Easy Acid Reflux Cookbook and using that for a few weeks (be warned: some of the recipes are mildly soul crushing, lol). Once you get the hang of things and make some pantry substitutions (like garlic infused oil, lemon infused oil, flavored salts, etc), you’ll find it easier to modify “real” recipes. So, I do think this isn’t a super “clean” list of recipes (if you’re being SUPER strict), but a welcome list for those of us who are a bit more in tune with our triggers and used to modifying recipes.
Hi Jenna! I really appreciate the honest feedback on this post as well as the cookbook suggestion! I’m glad you were able to get some new inspiration here.
theres a recipe with sriracha in it though??
Yes. I specifically address the sriracha in my comments for that recipe. It’s a very easy ingredient to leave out or substitute with something acid reflux-friendly.
There are lots of recipes using wheat flour, including the pasta dishes, and sauces made with flour…. people can probably sub with gluten free versions though if they’re avoiding gluten/wheat.
If people are avoiding gluten/wheat, then yes, they’ll have to make some modifications to the recipes in this round-up. Wheat is not a known trigger for acid reflux. Many people with dietary issues do struggle with some level of reflux and are often urged to try going gluten-free to see if it helps, as it may help point to deeper health issues. I know that it can also be problematic because numerous pasta recipes include some combination of tomatoes, onions, and garlic, which can make it difficult to figure out how to prepare pasta dishes that won’t immediately kick reflux into high gear. But it’s ridiculous to claim that all recipes with gluten have no place in an acid-reflux friendly meals collection.
A majority of these recipes are made with flour. How are you missing that? Pasta, puff pastry, orzo, flour tortillas, more pasta, bechamel with flour, chicken dusted with flour, pizza dough, breadcrumbs… all flour. just trying to help you understand what that original poster was getting at.
I did not find these recipes reflux friendly. This is the way I already ate (with even less pasta/gluten and barely any cheese). I looked all over on the internet. People just leave out tomatoes, onions, and garlic and call it reflux friendly. But it’s not 🙁 They might be suitable (although with substitutions). for someone with very little reflux that has already healed. But not for someone that really has reflux symptoms
I’m sorry that this acid reflux recipe round-up wasn’t more helpful for you, Diana. I agree that there is a huge lack of acid reflux-friendly recipes on the internet. I also agree that when your reflux symptoms are in full force, more significant diet modifications may be necessary. As the spectrum of acid reflux symptoms varies so much and many people with reflux are dealing with other health and dietary issues, it’s impossible to give recipe suggestions that will suit everyone with reflux perfectly.
I see what looks like green or red peppers on a couple photos … anything in the pepper family is a bad trigger for most folks with GERD, myself included.
Hot peppers, yes. Sweet peppers are actually one of the best foods you can eat for acid reflux. https://www.uhhospitals.org/Healthy-at-UH/articles/2014/04/best-and-worst-foods-for-acid-reflux
Are any of these actually GERD friendly? I couldn’t find a single one. This site is a farce.
I’m sorry that these recipes aren’t a good fit for you.
Thank you so much for this list! I was recently diagnosed with an ulcer from my NSAIDS, and since I’ve started eating again have been at a (grumpy) loss with what to cook. Most of my dishes are tomato/spice based, and I’ve felt like I hit a brick wall trying to figure out recipes without those components. Can’t wait to try some of these!
I’m so glad to hear it!
Thank you for this roundup of recipes. I agree with you that people might have to modify some but this is a great start. This list avoids most of my trigger (and favorite) foods which are red, tomato based, and spicy. When I am in a flare, I might not be able to do some of these, but if I’m doing overall pretty well these are some great options! And they actually seem easy. Thanks!
There are other specifics that those with reflux need to consider such as eating smaller meals, not eating right before bed, specific individual triggers, etc. but you did include that information in the post as well.
I agree with you. I came here looking for good recipes and got the same junk everyone else posts. We need someone who has this issue to make recipes because cheese is a giant trigger. I don’t know who she consulted but I’ve seen 3 doctors and they all stress cheese is a trigger!
Cheese is an easy ingredient to omit in many recipes. You can also substitute dairy-free cheese. There are so many recipes in this round-up that don’t have any cheese.
Additionally, everyone has different triggers. I’ve suffered from acid reflux for more than half of my life and never dealt with cheese as a trigger.
I think folks with GERD, me included, think we are going to find mainstream recipes for our needs, but the truth is, we have to take those mainstream recipes and reinvent…deconstruct…or eliminate entirely to have the kind of dish we can tolerate. And with each person different, the odds of finding a recipe that fits both you and me are very hard. I suggest you find favorite recipes of your own and make them work for you. An example is roasted red pepper sauce spaghetti instead of tomatoe sauce. But ask me to reinvent a bean chilli…that’s not ever gonna work cause we’ll, chilli is in the name. Find folks on Instagram using hashtag gerd for their recipe ideas.
Thank you for the introduction of a range of information that is very interesting to see in this article. Thanks for sharing this information.
These recipes all look very delicious, unfortunately cheese, garlic, onions and most of the spices used in these recipes sets my stomach on fire.
There are very minimal amounts of garlic, onions, and acid reflux-triggering spices in these recipes. If cheese is a trigger, omit it or swap in dairy-free cheese.
Leave her alone! Everybody has different tolerances to different things. If you are too stupid to modify the recipe a little then why bother even cooking? Then again your looking up others recipes because you cannot think them up on your own anyway!
PS A Hack I learned to reduce acid in tomato sauces and make them not trigger any symptoms is to add baking soda usually the ratio is 1 1/2 tsp per 28oz sauce and add it early on in the cooking process and also add ingredients to your sauces like carrots and celery that will lesson the acidity in your sauce. It works I promise!
I really appreciate your feedback on this post! Thanks so much for sharing your hacks for tomato sauce as well! All great tips.