Quick COPD Recipes

For people dealing with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), doing simple tasks can be difficult. Simple tasks such as standing or cooking for long periods of time can be strenuous, so having a few quick cooking recipes handy can be quite helpful for COPD sufferers.

Each recipe below takes less than a half hour and relatively little energy to complete.

Grilled Chicken and Tomato Salad

Serves 4
Cook and Prep Time: 20 minutes

For those looking for a quick lunch with lean protein and veggies, look no further. According to the American Lung Association, it’s recommended to eat good sources of protein twice a day.


  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (6-ounce pieces)
  • 5 cups of arugula salad mix
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halves
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
  • ¼ cup olive oil and vinegar salad dressing, divided
  • 10 pitted and chopped Kalamata olives
  • ½ cup goat cheese crumbles
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Cooking spray


  • Heat grill pan to medium-high heat, spray pan with cooking spray when heated.
  • Season chicken with salt and pepper.
  • Place chicken on grill pan and cook for 6 minutes on each side until cooked.
  • Combine arugula, onion, tomatoes, olives, 3 tablespoons of olive oil and vinegar dressing; toss.
  • Divide salad onto four plates, top salad with 2 tablespoons of goat cheese crumbles.
  • Brush chicken with 1 tablespoon of olive oil/vinegar dressing, cut chicken into slices.
  • Divide chicken on top of the salad plates equally.

Quinoa Black Bean Salad

Severs 4-6
Total prep and cook time: 15 minutes.

Adding high-fiber foods and whole grains, like quinoa, can help make breathing easier versus eating refined carbs, such as white bread. According to Everyday Health, your body produces the most carbon dioxide when metabolizing carbs which puts more stress on your lungs.

So make your carbs count by avoiding bad ones. In recent years, quinoa has become very popular as a superfood as it’s a good source for high protein, complex carbs, fiber, healthy fats, and vitamins and minerals.


  • 1/3 cup quinoa
  • 1 can black beans (15 ounces), rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh minced cilantro
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup diced bell pepper
  • 2 teaspoons minced jalapeno chilies
  • 2 tablespoons minced scallions
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • salt and black pepper


  • Bring quinoa and water to a boil in a medium saucepan, reduce heat to low, cover pan and simmer for 15 minutes or until most of the water has been absorbed/tender. Allow quinoa to cool.
  • Combine oil, lime juice, cumin, coriander, cilantro and scallions in a large bowl.
  • Add tomatoes, peppers, chilies and beans into the same large bowl. Stir.
  • Add cooled quinoa to a large bowl. Stir.
  • Serve cold.

Salmon with a Side Salad of Tomatoes, Oranges, and Olives

Serves 4
Prep and Cook Time: 30 minutes

Having lean protein in your diet regularly, such as fish, chicken, and eggs, is important for fueling your muscles and maintaining your strength. For people with COPD, eating a balanced diet of proteins, fruits and vegetables is essential.


  • 4 pieces of skinless salmon fillets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 navel orange, remove peel, pith, and cut into segments
  • 2 small beefsteak tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro sprigs (with the stem)
  • ¼ cup pitted green olives, cut into halves
  • Salt and black pepper


  • Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet on medium-high heat.
  • Season salmon with ½ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper.
  • Cook salmon in skillet for 4-5 minutes per side, until opaque throughout and golden brown.
  • Gently add tomatoes, olives, cilantro, orange pieces, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and ¼ teaspoon of salt, ¼ teaspoon of pepper.
  • Serve salmon with the side salad.

Fruit Salad with Yogurt

Serves 12
Prep Time: 10 minutes

This tasty fruit dessert requires little time to prepare, perfect for small get-togethers, or can be enjoyed for several days in a covered bowl when kept in the refrigerator.


  • 1 pint fresh strawberries sliced into halves or quarters
  • 1 pound seedless green grapes cut into halves
  • 3 bananas, peeled and sliced into coins
  • 1 container of vanilla yogurt (8 ounces)


  • Mix strawberries, bananas, grapes and vanilla yogurt in a large bowl.

A healthy diet can increase lung function and help relieve breathing difficulty for those suffering from COPD. By following these quick recipes, you’ll be able to eat a healthy meal with little effort. Please consult your doctor about which foods are best for you.