16 Low Sodium Recipe Ideas

If a health professional has advised you to follow a low sodium diet, it may be challenging to find meals that are not too high in salt. Many popular foods, including restaurant meals and packaged foods, can be high in sodium.

Making homemade meals with whole ingredients and non-salt seasonings can help you reduce the amount of sodium you eat. To make low sodium eating a reality, it’s helpful to have a list of recipes on hand.

Here are some of our favorite low sodium recipes, including vegetarian options and some with beef, chicken, and salmon, for you to enjoy.

Plant foods — especially fresh vegetables, fruits, and whole grains — are naturally low in sodium.

Canned beans and legumes are often higher in sodium than dried types prepared without added salt. However, it’s easy to keep sodium in check by rinsing canned beans before using them in recipes or purchasing low sodium or no-salt-added varieties.

Nuts and seeds are another category of plant foods that may contain added sodium. Look for low sodium and no-salt-added varieties of these foods if you’re watching your sodium intake.

1. Sweet potato and chickpea curry

Salt contributes a lot of flavor to meals but also increases the sodium content. However, there are plenty of delicious herbs and spices that provide great taste without adding salt.

Curry dishes, in particular, are often bursting with flavor from non-salt seasonings. Although some versions may still contain a lot of sodium depending on the ingredients, this sweet potato and chickpea curry has only 513 milligrams (mg) of sodium per serving.

If you use canned chickpeas for the recipe, look for a low sodium or no-salt-added variety. You can also rinse the chickpeas under running water to remove excess sodium. You can also consider using low sodium vegetable stock in place of regular.

2. Low sodium orange tofu

Soy sauce is a high sodium ingredient commonly used in stir-fries and other dishes from Asian cuisines. If you love these kinds of dishes, it can be hard to find a low sodium version.

This recipe for orange tofu uses liquid aminos, a sauce that tastes similar to soy sauce and may contain just as much sodium. For a lower sodium option, you can substitute coconut aminos, a non-soy-based product that has significantly less sodium than liquid aminos.

The other seasonings in the recipe — garlic, ginger, turmeric, orange juice, and chili flakes — contribute a lot of flavor without excess sodium.

3. Lentil walnut taco meat

Tacos made with beans and vegetables make a delicious plant-based meal, but a lot of taco seasonings are high in sodium.

For a low sodium option, check out my recipe for lentil taco “meat.” It’s packed with flavor from walnuts, parsley, garlic, vegetables, dried seasonings, and a small amount of salt.

What’s more, lentils are extremely nutritious. They provide fiber, protein, and several micronutrients. In fact, lentils are one of the best vegetarian sources of iron, an important mineral for transporting oxygen in the blood.

4. Baked falafel

Falafel is another plant-based dish with lots of flavor from non-salt seasonings. But the sodium content varies depending on the ingredients.

This baked falafel by The Foodie Physician has just under 500 mg of sodium per serving (about 3 falafel). Be sure to use low sodium or no-salt-added chickpeas and rinse them before use.

The tahini yogurt sauce included in the recipe is also low in sodium, especially compared to many store-bought condiments.

5. Low sodium vegetarian chili

If you’re looking for a flavorful vegetarian meal, chili is a great option. However, like many soups, it can be loaded with sodium.

You can make chili with low sodium ingredients and non-salt seasonings to yield a delicious meal that does not have too much sodium. This chili recipe uses no-salt-added diced tomatoes and black beans, unsalted broth, and lots of flavorful spices.

Chili is a balanced and nutritious meal. It’s loaded with vegetables that provide fiber, vitamins, and minerals and contains protein-rich beans. The veggies typically used in chili are high in vitamin C, a water-soluble nutrient that supports skin health and immunity.

Chicken breast and turkey are lean proteins that make a healthy addition to low sodium recipes. These meats contain some sodium, but most of the sodium in recipes that use them comes from adding salt and other salt-containing ingredients.

Solutions made with salt may also be used in meat processing.

When purchasing meats, look for options that are labeled as low sodium. They are not always easy to find, but some brands are widely available. Smart Chicken, for example, does not use sodium-containing solutions during processing.

6. Instant Pot low sodium chicken noodle soup

Canned soups are often very high in sodium. In fact, 1 cup of canned chicken noodle soup may contain more than 700 mg of sodium. If you eat 2 cups of it, that puts the sodium content at more than 1,400 mg.

If you love chicken noodle soup but are watching your sodium intake, check out this low sodium version with approximately 104 mg of sodium in 2 cups. It uses several flavorful herbs and no-sodium chicken bouillon.

7. Low sodium butter chicken

Chicken breast is a great base for low sodium meals. It’s packed with protein, which is important for maintaining and building muscle.

Butter chicken is an Indian dish featuring chicken breast cooked in a spicy tomato sauce. Packed with seasonings like garam masala, curry powder, garlic, and ginger, it’s very flavorful and can be made to fit a low sodium diet with the right ingredients.

This recipe for low sodium butter chicken uses no-salt-added diced tomatoes and tomato paste to keep the salt content in check. Before you make the dish, double-check the labels of the curry powder and garam masala you use to make sure they don’t have added salt.

8. Homemade turkey lunch meat

Lunch meats such as turkey and ham are typically high in sodium. Luckily, you can make homemade versions that do not contain as much salt and are still delicious.

Follow the instructions in this recipe post for homemade turkey lunch meat to learn how to make low sodium deli meat in your own kitchen. The key is to use herbs and spices and include little or no added salt.

9. Healthy grilled turkey burgers

Ground turkey is a good base for burgers. You can easily add lots of flavor to turkey burgers with low sodium or salt-free seasonings.

This recipe for healthy turkey burgers calls for garlic and onion powders, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, and a small amount of salt. The burgers are easy to make and can be grilled or baked.

Beef is loaded with nutrients, but it’s often prepared in less healthy ways. For example, beef is used in dishes such as nachos, burgers, and stir-fries, which may contain ingredients that are high in sodium.

When prepared the right way, however, beef can be a great base for low sodium meals.

10. Low-sodium sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes are a classic meal. Their main ingredient is ground beef, which is high in protein and contains iron for healthy blood, vitamin B12 to support the nervous system, and zinc for immunity.

Sloppy Joes typically include some high sodium ingredients. But, with a few ingredient tweaks, you can make a low sodium version that’s just as tasty. Check out this recipe from The Kidney Dietitian to learn how to do it.

11. Stir-fry ground beef and broccoli

Beef and broccoli are a delicious combination. Not only does the dish contain a lot of filling protein, but it’s also a great way to eat more health-promoting vegetables. Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables contain compounds that may have anticancer effects.

It can be hard to make beef and broccoli without adding sodium from soy sauce. This healthy version uses coconut aminos as a lower sodium base for the sauce and gets additional flavor from apple cider vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, and honey.

Salmon provides protein and heart-healthy, anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. Incorporating fish into low sodium recipes is a good way to eat more of these nutrients while cutting back on salt.

All types of seafood naturally contain some sodium, but the amount varies depending on the type. Salmon is lower in sodium than shellfish and canned fish, so it’s one of the best low sodium options. Cod, halibut, and catfish are other low sodium varieties of fish.

12. Dijon mustard salmon with walnuts

Salmon with walnuts is a very nutritious meal that’s not loaded with sodium. Plus, both walnuts and salmon contain omega-3 fats. Eating these foods has been linked to improved heart health.

With the help of dill, lemon, and Dijon mustard, walnut-crusted salmon is very flavorful. Get the full recipe here.

13. Salmon soup

Low sodium cooking with salmon does not just mean making baked salmon. Salmon can also be used to make healthy soups that include vegetables and other low sodium ingredients.

This recipe for salmon soup from The Mediterranean Dish features tons of veggies, non-salt seasonings, and low sodium broth. Each serving contains just over 200 mg of sodium.

Store-bought condiments and sauces can be very high in sodium. For example, ketchup, spaghetti sauce, salsa, hot sauce, salad dressings, and barbecue sauce may all have more sodium than you realize.

While it may seem intimidating to make homemade versions of these convenience items, it’s not difficult to do. Consider making them in bulk so that you always have a low sodium version of what you need on hand.

14. Low sodium ketchup

If you love ketchup but are watching your sodium intake, you can try making a homemade version that relies on spices and other seasonings without salt.

A spice blend of onion and garlic powders, celery seed, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice contributes a ton of flavor to this low sodium ketchup. To keep the sodium content down, be sure to use no-salt-added tomato sauce and tomato paste as the recipe suggests.

15. Low sodium spaghetti sauce

Making your own spaghetti sauce allows you to control its ingredients and avoid high sodium store-bought versions.

In addition to being lower in sodium, homemade spaghetti sauce is loaded with nutrients such as lycopene, an antioxidant in tomatoes that may help prevent heart disease.

Many good recipes for low sodium spaghetti sauce are available on the internet, including this one from Being Nutritious and this option from Recipe Diaries.

16. White balsamic vinaigrette

Salads made with fresh vegetables and other plant foods are great options for low sodium eating since many salad ingredients are naturally low in sodium. But using a store-bought salad dressing can add more sodium than you might think.

Instead, you can make a homemade dressing without any added salt to avoid overdoing it on sodium when eating a salad. In this recipe for white balsamic vinaigrette, vinegar, dried herbs, and lemon juice provide a lot of flavor.

While sodium is not inherently harmful, some people need to be mindful of how much of it they eat to help manage or prevent a health condition.

Sodium is an essential mineral and plays many important roles in the body. It acts as an electrolyte and helps maintain nerve impulses, fluid balance, and muscle movements.

Everyone needs to get some sodium from foods to support health. However, consuming too much sodium may contribute to health conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease, and liver damage.

The American Heart Association recommends that adults consume no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day. For those with high blood pressure, sodium intake should be less than 1,500 mg per day.

The primary source of sodium in the food supply is salt. Some foods, such as celery, beets, and seafood, contain naturally occurring sodium.

However, the vast majority of the sodium people consume comes from salt that’s added to foods. That’s why making dishes like the ones in this article — with minimal or no added salt or salt-containing ingredients — can be an effective way to reduce sodium intake.

According to the American Heart Association, foods that are labeled low sodium have 140 mg of sodium or less per serving. Around 500 mg of sodium or less per serving is typically considered low sodium for a full meal, although there is no official definition.

Eating a low sodium diet may seem difficult at first, especially since many popular foods are high in sodium. However, it can be easy and delicious when you know what type of recipes to make.

You can try one of the recipes on this list to make nutritious, low sodium food at home. Whether you want a vegetarian option, a meal with meat or salmon, or a low sodium condiment to use with many dishes, there’s something for everyone.

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