You need to save this collection of easy and filling low-calorie dinner ideas because they’re quick to make and taste amazing.
Those fitness and weight loss goals aren’t going to achieve themselves, so let’s start cooking! Take a look through this list of flavorful filling low-cal meals and print out the ones that make your mouth water. The recipe collection includes healthy lettuce wraps, chicken recipes, easy stir-fries, delicious vegetarian soups, as well as light pasta dishes, all ready in 15-30 minutes.
With a focus on nutrient-dense foods, these low-calorie healthy dinner recipes will help you stay on track with your diet, so that you can feel better, more functional, more beautiful and more alive in your body.
Calories Matter, But Aren’t Everything
If your goal is to lose weight, sustainably and long-term, you need to learn how to eat healthy and enjoy it. There’s no reason to not eat, but you need to be wise about what you put into your body.
You can follow a low-calorie diet and eat a cheeseburger and nothing else today. But, remember that your body needs nutrients, not just calories. So make your meals low-calorie AND nutrient-dense. Bulk them up with lots of vegetables, add in some protein, healthy fats and slow carbs to the mix.
Go for high-fiber and high-protein foods to keep you satiated for longer periods. This way you will consume fewer calories throughout the day, but won’t feel deprived and your body will not be deprived of essential nutrients either.
These are exactly the type of recipes you will find in this list of healthy dinners under 400 calories.
One-Pan Low Calorie Dinners
1. Mediterranean Chicken Skillet
Sneak some Mediterranean flavor into your diet with this healthy chicken recipe. Made with feta cheese, olives, garlic, chicken and lots of vegetables this healthy dinner is absolutely amazing. Recipe here.
Calories per serving: 352
2. 15-Minute Spicy Chicken and Chickpeas
Herbs, spices, chicken and canned chickpeas all get stirred around in a nonstick pan at medium-high heat to get this meal on your dinner table in 15 minutes. At only 273 calories per serving, this chicken dinner provides 35g of protein to keep you full and satiated! Recipe here.
Calories per serving: 273
3. Vegetarian Quinoa Fried Rice
Eat your fried rice, but make it better. Use cooked quinoa and cut down on calories by using less oil and adding in some extra vegetables. You wouldn’t believe how good this healthy version of vegetable fried rice actually is. And it’s done in 15 minutes. Recipe here.
Calories per serving: 323
4. 15-Minute Spicy Shrimp And Veg Stir-Fry
Green beans, shrimp, broccoli, more vegetables and some tamari sauce are needed for this tasty and quick stir-fry. At just 289 calories per serving this healthy dinner recipe provides 33g of protein and 6g of fiber and is bursting with flavor. Recipe here.
Calories per serving: 289
5. Spicy Feta Pasta
Feta pasta, but better. Make it spicy, make it low cal by adding in more vegetables, and enjoy every bite of this fantastic vegetarian meal! You can make it in less than 15 minutes on the stove with fresh and healthy ingredients that you probably already have at home. Recipe here.
Calories per serving: 388
6. 20-Minute Ground Beef and Broccoli Fried Quinoa
Healthy broccoli, some cooked quinoa, spinach and ground beef or turkey are the main ingredients in 372-calorie dinner! The recipe is ready in about 15-20 minutes and is super filling and satisfying. Recipe here.
Calories per serving: 372
7. Cheesy and Spicy Cauliflower Rice
Whenever you need something comforting and all you have is cauliflower, vegetables and some cheese at home, this is the meal you make. This quick cauliflower recipe is genius! You can eat the whole thing, or one serving with some protein on the side. Recipe here.
Calories per serving: 212
8. Garlic Shrimp and Broccoli
A nonstick pan, some broccoli, cream cheese, garlic, shrimp and BOOM! 15 minutes later you’ve got yourself this super yummy shrimp and broccoli recipe! It’s so flavorful, satisfying and light at the same time. Recipe here.
Calories per serving: 381
9. Mediterranean Chickpea Skillet
Whenever you want to prep a flavorful Mediterranean-inspired meatless dinner, remember this easy chickpea recipe! All you need to do is open a can of chickpeas and saute them on the stove with vegetables, garlic and feta. So easy, so delicious. Recipe here.
Calories per serving: 291
10. Hidden Veggie Creamy Pesto Pasta
If you value pasta as much as we do, you are going to enjoy this simple healthy pasta recipe made with hidden cauliflower, arugula and pesto. Even my 4-year old absolutely loves it. Adding those veggies in, really helps to lighten up the recipe and reduce the calories, so you can enjoy ACTUAL pasta for dinner even when you’re trying to lose weight. Recipe here.
Calories per serving: 376
Easy Low-Calorie Soup Recipes
When prepared without cream and all the extras, soups are low in calories, filling and super satiating. This can help with reducing your overall caloric intake and makes soups the perfect choice for weight loss. These are some of my favorite healthy soup recipes, all under 400 calories, all full of deliciousness!
11. 30-Minute Ground Beef And Cabbage Soup
I know. You hear cabbage soup and roll your eyes. But this one is different. You will love this cabbage and ground beef soup whether you’re on a low calorie diet or not. It’s lightly spiced, super tasty and ready in about 30 minutes when you make it from scratch. Recipe here.
Calories per serving: 252
12. Creamy Shrimp Coconut Curry Soup
This is my favorite creamy coconut curry soup to make when I have some coconut milk and red curry paste at home. You can definitely make it with other vegetables and protein too. It’s so creamy, so fresh, so delicious and ready for dinner in about 15 minutes. Recipe here.
Calories per serving: 358
13. Easy Lentil Vegetable Soup
Vegetable soup is so much better when you add in some high-protein high-fiber lentils! You can use up whatever vegetables you have at home to make this easy delicious soup. Recipe here.
Calories per serving: 209
14. Protein-Packed Homemade Chicken Soup
Chicken soup is my kind of soup, nothing more comforting than homemade chicken soup. This recipe is made with noodles and chickpeas for some extra fiber and protein, but it’s still just under 300 calories per serving. The recipe is here.
Calories per serving: 284
15. 30-Minute Butternut Squash Lentil Soup
Coconut cream, spices, red lentils and butternut squash are some of the ingredients you need for this tasty vegan soup! It tastes fresh, creamy and lightly sweet, you need to try it. Recipe here.
Calories per serving: 281
16. 20-Minute Chickpea Soup
Canned chickpeas to the rescue! You can seriously make this satisfying chickpea soup in just about 20 minutes. It’s 300 calories of warming, flavorful deliciousness. Recipe here.
Calories per serving: 298
17. Ground Turkey and Mushroom Soup
Mushrooms, turkey, zucchini and carrots are some of the main ingredients of this healing ground turkey soup. It is light, yet satisfying – the perfect healthy dinner. Recipe here.
Calories per serving: 310
Flavorful Low-Calorie Bowls, Wraps & Salads
18. Chickpea Tuna Meal Prep Bowls
Canned tuna, chickpeas and hummus are some of the ingredients in these easy meal prep bowls. You wouldn’t believe, but they taste SO wonderful and are only 334 calories per serving! You’ll be so happy you made them! Recipe here.
Calories per serving: 334
19. Mediterranean Chicken Lettuce Wraps
These Mediterranean chicken lettuce wraps are a lightened up version of gyros. So good, they make a fresh, flavorful and easy healthy dinner with only 338 calories per serving! Recipe here.
Calories per serving: 338
20. Mediterranean Black Bean Salad
Use a can of black beans, feta cheese, herbs, greens and tomatoes and make this super tasty vegetarian salad. The combination of different flavors here is just wonderful. Recipe here.
Calories per serving: 245
21. Shredded Chicken and Roasted Veg Bowls
Roasted zucchini, cauliflower and peppers, shredded chicken and some fresh tomato cucumber salad make these bowls a healthy and flavorful dinner! Recipe here.
Calories per serving: 318
22. 8-Minute High-Fiber Salad
This veggie-loaded high-fiber salad with beans and corn is ready in no time! It is a super filling vegan meal that will leave you satisfied and feeling light. Recipe here.
Calories per serving: 383
These are some examples of healthy and nutritious foods that are perfect for a low calorie diet:
- Non-starchy vegetables: broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, arugula, spinach, onions, garlic, zucchini, eggplant, cucumber, carrots, green beans and peas
- Protein: Tofu, chicken, ground beef (every once in a while) or ground turkey are all great sources of protein to keep you satiated for longer
- Legumes. These foods are low in calories, high in protein and rich in fiber, and therefore a great addition to low calorie meals.
- Whole grains: quinoa, barley and oats. These high-fiber foods are great to have on a healthy diet. If you have insulin resistance like myself, you will need to watch your servings with these.
- Nuts and seeds. Nuts and seeds are high-fiber, proteins, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. They are incredibly healthy, but if you’re going for a low-calorie diet you want to consume only small amounts. Also, I would go for the whole nut, rather than the butter (e.g. almonds and not almond butter).
How To Lose Weight Sustainably
I highly recommend you make a meal plan for the week and keep track of your meals.
Whenever you feel ready, you can also start incorporating some workouts into your daily routine, keep it simple and remember, 10 minutes every day is better than 60 minutes once a week.
Something that can really help on your weight loss journey, that I’ve used to lose 40 pounds after having a baby is this fitness planner. It truly helps you with everything you need to maintain a healthy body – meal planning, planning your workouts, keeping track of your habits, meals, your gratitude and mental health. Set your goals in different areas of life and work on them. You can find the planner inserts here, make sure to use the code NTB20 for 20% off your purchase.
More Easy Recipes For Weight Loss:
- 12 Easy High-Protein Low-Carb Meals
- 22 Easy Healthy & Delicious Meal Prep Dinners
- 13 Easy Keto Dinner Recipes
I hope you got some low cal meal ideas, as you can see there are many options when it comes to eating better!
- 2 cups whole grain pasta
- 1 cup milk
- ⅔ cup mozzarella cheese
- 2 tbsp red pesto
- 2 tbsp green pesto
- ½ cup cauliflower
- handful arugula
- 2 cloves garlic
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes
- salt and black pepper to taste
- Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Cook pasta with salted water in a pan according to package instructions in a nonstick pan.
- Shred cauliflower to cauliflower rice. Wash chop thinly arugula and cherry tomatoes, peel and mince garlic.
- Once the pasta is almost cooked, add the pesto, garlic, cauliflower, and ½ of the milk. Mix together and cover with a lid for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the mozzarella and the rest of the milk, salt, and black pepper. Stir continuously until creamy.
- Finally add the chopped tomatoes and arugula. Stir in and serve immediately with Parmesan cheese on top if desired.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 372Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 541mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 5gSugar: 7gProtein: 17g