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Recipes for Runners: 100 Delicious Dishes for Every Step of the Way

If you’re a runner, you know you need the right fuel to help you have the strength to keep going and ensure that your body recovers after a grueling run. Knowing just what to make, however, can be a bit more complicated. Here are 100 recipes that are perfect for runners, whether you’re in it for your health or to make it to a marathon, that will make cooking up any meal a snap.

Morning Fuel

If you’re a morning runner, use these healthy meals to power up before a run or get you work-ready after a jog.

  1. Runner’s Scones: Start your morning off right with these scones tweaked especially for runners.
  2. Zucchini Bread: This summertime classic is a great morning meal for runners.
  3. Oatmeal Pancakes: Fill up on these whole-grain pancakes for a refuel after a run.
  4. Date-Nut Bread: This rich bread offers up a perfect protein and carb combo for the morning.
  5. Brown Rice Breakfast Porridge: There are few morning meals healthier than porridge, especially when made with brown rice like in this recipe.
  6. Strawberry-Stuffed French Toast: While it might sound rich and decadent, this recipe isn’t as unhealthy as you might think and is a great power-up for a jog.
  7. Walnut and Blueberry Bran Pancakes: These pancakes show that you can still enjoy breakfast favorites with a little bran involved.
  8. Hash Brown Casserole: Carb up on potatoes in this great classic breakfast recipe – just like what you’d get at a restaurant.
  9. Marmalade Flapjacks: This recipe from The Guardian will help get you up and literally running.
  10. Buckwheat Pancakes: Instead of using white flour to make pancakes, this recipe replaces it with buckwheat for a healthier start to your day.
  11. Apple Power Pancakes with Spiced Apple Syrup: These pancakes are runner-approved to fill you up and get you ready for anything.
  12. Power Frittata: Runners of all ages will love this frittata as a weekday breakfast or a weekend brunch.

Athletic Eats

No matter what kind of athlete you are, these recipes will help you build muscle and maintain your endurance.

  1. Spicy Chicken Fingers: This recipe will help you to gain the muscle you need to push through your runs.
  2. Garlic-Spinach Gnocchi with Red Chard, Sun Dried Tomatoes, and Canellini Beans: If you’ve got the time, this gnocchi recipe is not only delicious, it provides the perfect ingredients to power your workouts.
  3. Southwestern Cheese Panini: This panini is a quick and easy way to get the energy to go for a jog.
  4. Arugula-Walnut Pesto: While many recipes for athletes rely on meats for protein, this pesto is delicious without an ounce of meat.
  5. Beef Kebabs: Simple and easy to make, this recipe will become a staple for those in training.
  6. Lean Turkey Breast Roasted with Herbs: You can’t go wrong with this recipe. It’s low cal so you can keep off the pounds, tasty and is great fuel for exercise.
  7. Super Black Bean and Corn Burritos: Here’s another great vegetarian recipe perfect for runners. Better yet, it’s super easy to make.
  8. Tandoori Chicken Skewers: These Indian-inspired skewers will help ensure you have the energy you need to be an endurance runner.
  9. Rigatoni with Salmon & Ricotta: Try out this dish for a different take on pasta and salmon– both great pre- and post-workout eats.
  10. Steak and Ratatouille: Those who are trying to bulk up or build muscle will appreciate this great protein-filled recipe.
  11. Falafel with Tahini-Mint Sauce: This recipe for grilled falafel proves that you can do just as well as an athlete without eating meat.

Marathon Fuel

Preparing to take on multiple miles in a marathon? Cook up one of these meals for pre-run energy.

  1. Quinoa Salad with Chicken, Grapes and Almonds: Give this high-protein grain a try by adding chicken, grapes and almonds for the perfect last meal before a marathon.
  2. Fruit and Yogurt Smoothie: If you’re looking for a quick energy boost before you run, this smoothie is a great way to do it.
  3. Goat Cheese, Avocado, and Turkey Sandwich on Nut Bread: This sandwich has everything you need to get ready for or recover from a long run.
  4. Roasted Bell Peppers Stuffed with Quinoa: Another take on quinoa, this recipe pairs it with peppers for a light, healthy meal perfect for marathoners.
  5. Linguine with Shrimp: It’s basic, classic and great for anyone looking to face an endurance race.
  6. Potato-Watercress Soup: You’ll be happy to indulge in this healthy soup post-race — and so will your body.
  7. Carrot Lentil Casserole: It might sound like an interesting combo, but this recipe is just as delicious as it is nutritious.
  8. Lentil and Tomato Soup: Take your tomato soup up a notch by adding some lentils to get some much-needed protein before a race.
  9. Sticky Lemon and Honey Chicken with Rice: This recipe will help you run faster and longer by providing your body with the fuel it needs to keep going.
  10. Fettuccine Alfredo: Carb up before your race with this great recipe from chef and runner Rocco DiSpirito.
  11. Easy Sweet and Sour Chicken: This simple recipe is perfect for those who are engaging in any kind of intense athletic activity.

For Runners On-the-Go

These recipes are perfect for runners who are pressed for time. All can be made in minutes or left to cook on their own.

  1. Black Bean Crockpot Soup: Make this the night before, and 24 hours later you’ll be enjoying the flavorful and healthy goodness of this soup.
  2. Crockpot Lentil Soup: Cheap, easy and healthy, this recipe is perfect for busy runners who want to eat right, but don’t always have time to cook when they get home.
  3. Corn, Ham and Potato Scallop: Plunked in the crockpot and allowed to cook for 7-9 hours, the ingredients in this recipe come together to provide the perfect after-run meal.
  4. Garlic Lime Chicken: Served with rice, this southwestern chicken requires very little prep and cooks while you’re at work.
  5. Microwave Vegetarian Chili: Think you have to let chili simmer for hours for it to be good? This microwave recipe proves otherwise, making you dinner in under an hour, provided you prep ahead.
  6. Crockpot Lasagna: Try out this classic recipe in a crockpot, so dinner can cook while you work or run a marathon.
  7. Crockpot Cioppino: If you’re a seafood lover, then you’ll appreciate this recipe that lets you whip up a delicious cioppino with minimal work.
  8. Grilled Salmon with Lentil Tabouli: Ready in just twenty minutes, this recipe is a perfect for busy nights when you don’t really have time to cook. If you don’t like fish, use chicken instead.
  9. Green Chili Enchiladas: Whip this Mexican favorite up in under thirty for a delicious vegetarian weeknight treat.
  10. Black Bean, Corn, and Zucchini Enchiladas: Here’s another great enchilada recipe from Cooking Light that proves that you don’t have to slave away in the kitchen to eat well.
  11. Easy, All-Day Meatloaf and Vegetables: Start this meatloaf before you leave for work and you’ll have a healthy and runner-approved meal waiting when you get home.

After Run Meals

Give your body the nutrients it needs to recover after a run by whipping up one of these entrees.

  1. Low-Fat Chili: You can’t go wrong with eating right when it comes to making chili, and this recipe won’t disappoint in flavor or nutrition.
  2. Chicken Not Pie: Forget about those pesky pie crusts and try out this post-run recipe from Mark Bittman.
  3. Pork Tenderloin with Winter Vegetables: Easy to cook and filled will the things your body needs post-workout, don’t miss out on this recipe.
  4. Post-Workout Tuna Salad: Designed with the athlete in mind, this post-workout meal is light on calories but full of taste.
  5. Ginger and Melon Rescue Remedy: Need a quick boost after a particularly hard run? This recipe could be just what you’re looking for.
  6. Meat and Grain Burger: You could eat a regular burger, but then you’d be missing out on all the benefits throwing in a bit of grain has to offer.
  7. Baked Pasta with Chicken Sausage: When you’re feeling beat after a long run, this comforting meal will help you perk up and feel good.
  8. Thai Beef Salad: Great for lunch or dinner, this recipe is light, healthy and full of great proteins.
  9. Chicken Noodle Soup: It’s not just for when you’re sick. This homemade classic will warm you up and make your body feel great at the same time.
  10. Tarahumara Pinole: If you’re super serious about your running regimen, then try out this recipe for post-workout super fuel.
  11. Frijoles Antioquenos: Beans are an amazing source of vitamins and proteins, and this recipe will make it hard to resist eating them.


If you’re looking to load up on carbs before a run, these choices will all fit the bill.

  1. Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Penne: Runners of all ages will love this flavorful and healthy pasta dish.
  2. Pasta Pomodoro: Runner’s World offers up this recipe for the perfect post-run pasta sauce and entree.
  3. Asparagus and Mushroom Rigatoni: Restaurateur Joe Bastianich shares his favorite carb-loaded meal, a simple, light rigatoni.
  4. Ravioli with Pork, Fennel, and Shiitake Sauce: These amazing little raviolis will have you begging for more.
  5. Vegetable Lasagna: Filled not only with great veggies, but also the carbs you need to fuel your runs, this recipe is a real winner for any runner or athlete.
  6. Pizzichi with Spring Veggies: This whole-grain pasta gets a boost from turkey bacon, asparagus and green beans.
  7. Black Pepper Pappardelle with Prosciutto: Make your own fresh pasta and pair it with cured ham and leeks for an amazing dinner.
  8. Butternut Squash and Potato Curry: If you prefer potatoes to pasta, then try out this recipe for a fall-perfect curry.
  9. Black Bean Lasagna: Runner Dude names this bean-filled lasagna as one of his favorites to please the kids and fuel his training.
  10. Turkey Macaroni: In desperate need of some comfort food? You won’t do much better than this meaty, cheesy concoction. It’s surprisingly low in fat and calories and high in protein.
  11. Pasta Ponza: Billed as being the perfect pasta for marathon runners, this dish combines tomatoes, capers, bread crumbs, pasta and herbs to make a stellar dish.

Snacks and Desserts

Indulge your sweet tooth and stay energized throughout the day with these great recipes.

  1. Multigrain Energy Bars: You could just buy energy bars at the store, but they wouldn’t be half as delicious as this homemade version. Plus, you can tweak the ingredients to your liking.
  2. Guava Smoothie: Power up in the morning or afternoon with this smoothie, blending together guava, OJ, banana and lemon.
  3. Lemon Cloud Rice Pudding: Getting in shape through running doesn’t mean having to give up all desserts. This recipe is full of complex carbs that can help you recover after run.
  4. Cranberry Pumpkin Granola: This granola offers up seasonal flavors and some healthy crunch that can beat a mid-afternoon slump.
  5. Sticky Date Pudding: This dessert might look too rich to be part of a runner’s diet, but look again. While it’s certainly not health food, the carbs it contains can easily be run off if you have a small piece.
  6. Warm and Nutty Cinnamon Quinoa Recipe: You might not have considered quinoa as a dessert food before, but this recipe proves that the grain is incredibly versatile.
  7. Coconut Almond Bars: The addition of almonds into this recipe gives it a dash or protein that helps make it a bit healthier and great for after a long run.
  8. Brown Rice Pudding with Banana: There’s not really much in this dessert that’s bad for you, so indulge (in moderation) at will.
  9. Rice Cake Stacks: Help make those rice cakes a little less boring with this recipe that pairs them with peanut butter and banana.
  10. Fresh Fruit Tart with Almond Crust: Bringing together fresh fruit and nuts, this whole-food recipe is surprisingly healthy without forgoing any taste.
  11. Pumpernickel Rye Bread: Dark breads have the hearty, healthy ingredients you need for staying strong on a run, so try this recipe to bake up your own.
  12. Black Bean Brownies: Want to have brownies without the guilt? This recipe replaces some of the bad stuff with healthy black beans.

Training Foods

Whether you’re training for a marathon, biathlon, triathlon or just for fun, these recipes are perfect for keeping you in shape.

  1. Super Soup: Check out this video to learn how to turn an average can of soup into the perfect training food by adding great sources of fiber.
  2. Carbo Calm Chowder: Carb up before your training program with this recipe for runner’s clam chowder.
  3. Savory Beef Stew: This beef stew recipe has all the essentials you’ll need to power through an intense training program.
  4. Ground Turkey Meatloaf: This isn’t your grandmother’s meatloaf. It’s been retooled in this recipe to be lighter, healthier and perfect for athletes.
  5. Baked Fish and Green Salad: It’s hardly possible to create a meal that’s not only better for you, but provides more of what you need to get through long workouts with ease.
  6. Protein Fudge Nuggets: If you’re busy training, you’ll want to keep your strength up throughout the day. These small snacks make that easy and delicious.
  7. Pancetta Spaghetti: Give your pasta a little something more by adding in pancetta, a type of Italian bacon, helping to balance out the carbs with some much-needed protein.
  8. Beef and Sun-dried Tomato Flatbread Pizza: Take a different route with your pizza and try out this recipe, a favorite post-marathon treat of chef Bobby Flay.
  9. Baked Mac and Cheese: Looking for comfort food to ease the pain of your aching muscles? This recipe has it all, with pasta and cheesy deliciousness.
  10. Southwestern Stuffed Acorn Squash: If you’re training in the cool fall weather, treat yourself to this seasonal squash, filled with turkey sausage, onions, peppers, black beans and tomatoes.
  11. Curry Chicken: Endorsed by body builders, this recipe is easy to make and offers up 35 grams of carbs and 32 grams of protein– perfect for training.

Weight Loss

Some runners are in it to lose weight. These recipes will give you the healthy basis you need to keep running without loading you up with extra calories.

  1. Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Vegetable Marinara: If you don’t want all the carbs from pasta, try out this vegetable replacement in this amazing recipe from Running Foodie.
  2. Carrot Ginger Soup: This blend of nutritious carrots and invigorating ginger will help you lose weight and stay healthy.
  3. Chipotle Black Bean Salad: Black beans are a great source of protein and are low-cal to boot, making this salad a perfect choice for runners on the weight loss path.
  4. Balsamic Roast Chicken: You can’t get much healthier than a simple roast chicken. This recipe helps you maintain that health without sacrificing taste.
  5. Spicy Thai Chicken and Vegetables: Check out this Asian-inspired recipe to get all the protein, vitamins and minerals you need without all the fat.
  6. Chicken or Beef Fajitas: They’re basic, delicious and pretty darn good for you, so be sure to try out this recipe for fajitas.
  7. Squash and Chickpea Moroccan Stew: Not only is this recipe incredibly healthy, it’s full of great ingredients that will help power your run.
  8. Pasta with Portobello Mushroom Recipe: Indulge in pasta the healthy way with this athlete-approved recipe.
  9. Mushu Tofu Stir Fry: Kick the meat to the curb and try out this recipe from Runner’s World that brings together, tofu, cabbage, scallions, and bok choy in an easy-to-eat wrap.
  10. Beet Walnut Salad: Whether you eat it as a main dish or just as a side, this salad is low on fat and calories (just 89 per serving) and high on all the things your body needs to keep going through a run.

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