To help us unpack the health perks of some of the biggest TikTok recipes in the zeitgeist right now, we chatted with Stephanie Nelson, MS, RD, and MyFitnessPal lead nutrition scientist to learn more about her favorite trending dishes. “These viral healthy TikTok videos make it so easy to find creative and tasty recipes,” Nelson says. Clearly, she’s a fan, and she adds that that she loves how many recipes on the app come directly from registered dietitians. “You can find these recipes by searching for the hashtag #dietitianapproved,” she says. And even if you’re not specifically on the hunt for heart- or gut-friendly recipes, there are some simple ways to make many of the other popular dishes even more nutrient-packed. Check out just a few of her favorites below.
The 4 viral food trends from TikTok a dietitian loves most
1. Green goddess salad
“This twist on a green goddess salad is a super creative and delicious way to get more heart-healthy veggies in your diet,” says Nelson. “Traditional green goddess dressing is often made with mayonnaise, which isn’t inherently bad for you, but it does tend to pack quite a bit of saturated fat and preservatives.” This version, on the other hand, uses olive oil and walnuts instead. “These ingredients offer way more health benefits than mayonnaise due to the fiber, omega-3s, and anti-inflammatory fats found in walnuts and olive oil,” Nelson adds.
For maximum health benefits, Nelson suggests playing with the type of greens you use in the base and adding extra leafy greens to the cabbage base. “Green cabbage, kale, spinach, chard, and romaine lettuce all offer different kinds of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, so you can have all your bases covered by mixing different kinds of greens or switching it up every time to make it,” she says. “Also, try adding some sort of protein source if you’re enjoying this as a full meal to make it more balanced and filling. For meat eaters, some marinated chicken breast works well, or marinated tofu for my vegetarians.”
2. Custard toast
While custard toast may sound like a dessert, Nelson notes that there are definitely some healthful elements to this dish, including the protein from both the yogurt and the egg. “Plus, any opportunity to add your favorite fruit to your breakfast is great, and you get a chance to add fiber if you choose whole-wheat bread,” she adds. Keep in mind, she says, that you won’t get the gut benefits of the yogurt, as cooking the egg requires the dish to reach a temperature that kills the probiotics in the yogurt. To get around this snafu and to cut down on the sugar, Nelson suggests trying a deconstructed version: “A scoop of plain Greek yogurt with some fruit and a scrambled egg with toast make a deliciously satisfying, well-balanced breakfast. This way, you don’t have the added sugar and you preserve the probiotics in the yogurt for maximum benefits,” she says.
3. Jennifer Aniston’s salad
“This salad is more balanced, satisfying, and nutrient-dense than your average green salad because of the chickpeas and grains in it—and I am absolutely here for it,” Nelson says. The beans and whole grains both serve as a super source of plant-based protein and fiber, which makes this recipe super heart- and gut-healthy. “Another great thing about this salad is the use of herbs, which add fresh flavor and antioxidants to the dish,” Nelson adds.
Though Jennifer Aniston obviously never got bored of this recipe, if you find yourself feeling meh after the tenth time making it, Nelson suggests swapping out the grains. “Couscous is quick and easy, but try playing around with the grain you use,” she notes. “Whole farro adds a nutty flavor and some protein, while bulgur brings lots of fiber. For a gluten-free option, try quinoa. I also recommend adding some shredded cabbage to it to pack in some extra veggies and keep with the crunchy vibe from the pistachios.”
4. Hailey Bieber’s Pizza Toast
“Pizza toast is one of those who-wouldn’t-love-this dishes,” says Nelson. “It’s a convenient and hearty snack, and provides energy from the carbs in the bread and a little bit of protein from the burrata. The creaminess of the burrata is one of the best comfort foods out there, and the truffle oil adds even more delicious umami-rich flavor. This recipe is pretty high in fat, so this is awesome if you’re going to be busy all afternoon and you need something to keep you full and energized while you handle whatever your crazy day has to offer. Bonus points if you use whole-grain bread, which will have more fiber and help you avoid a sugar crash,” Nelson says.
5. Crab rangoons
“This is the ultimate comfort food, bringing richness from the crab and cream cheese, and who doesn’t love the crunchy texture of crispy wontons,” says Nelson. “Crab meat certainly adds protein, too. This could be a comforting snack on a movie night or a filling mid-afternoon snack if you don’t have time to eat later.” If you’re making crab rangoons at home, Nelson suggests baking them rather than frying the little packets of joy to up the nutrient-density.