Chinese Vegetable Chow Mein
Calories: 195 Fat: 6.6g Carbs: 27.1g Protein: 6.1g 5-a-day: 1
Skill level: Easy Serves: 4-5 Cooking time: 5 mins
At just 195 calories per portion, this classic Chinese dish is a family dinner well under 500 calories. The groundnut oil, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and lime give this meal a real punch of flavour.
This vegetarian recipe is meat-free, which means you avoid any extra calories or fat some meat can contain. We’ve loaded this stir-fry with heaps of vegetables instead so you’ve got plenty of nutrients. We’ve also used egg noodles, which are around 144 calories per 100g, which are around 28 calories less than rice noodles . One of our easiest low calorie meals to make.
Ideal as a midweek option when youre short on time as it takes just two steps to make. This meal is also a great lower calorie substitute for a Chinese takeaway.
Get the recipe: Chinese vegetable chow mein
Easy Low Calorie Dinner Recipes
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Watching your weight? Ive got you covered with these 10 Easy Low Calorie Dinner Recipes! Delicious weight friendly dinners all under 400 calories and made with wholesome and filling ingredients.
These are my personal favorites that I make for myself all the time. When it comes to dinner, I like to keep things simple and uncomplicated. Yes, from time to time I love making an extravagant meal but truthfully, I feel simple is best when it comes to food. I believe the more you over think healthy meals, the less likely you are to do them.
This is something I go over in detail in my online group program where I show you how to flip your mindset and plate for weight loss and what the right portions are to eat at every meal so you dont have to count calories.
So get your dinner pants on friends! Today is all about Easy Low Calorie Dinner Recipes. If you havent already, check my Beginners Guide To Easy Meal Planning.
Chickpea And Spinach Curry
Chickpeas are a vegetarians dream because they add a ton of texture to a dish but you can also sub it for some proteins youd find in other dishes.
This chickpea and spinach curry recipe has a ton of flavor so even the pickiest eaters will love this one.
You can make this ahead of time and then just warm it up when youre ready to eat.
Its a perfect dish to bring to work or school with you because it wont spoil and its easy to reheat.
Plus, there are so many different spices in this recipe that youll never get bored of it.
Its one of those low calorie filling meals that you can make a ton of at the beginning of the week so you can use it with several other dishes in your rotation.
Its perfect for summer with the combination of lemon and fresh herbs.
Just be sure to keep your portion size in check so you stand under the 300 calories youre eating for the day.
Having the grill going can be great for your sides too, because veggies taste delicious with some smoky flavor added.
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Mexican Stuffed Chicken With Red Rice
Calories: 479 Fat: 11.8g Carbs: 42.7g Protein: 53g 5-a-day: 3
Skill level: Easy Serves: 4 Cooking time: 25 mins
Our Mexican stuffed chicken with red rice is packed with jalapeño peppers, spinach, and Lancashire cheese. This mouth-watering recipe is ready in 30 minutes and is perfect served with fresh salad.
Chicken breasts are much lower in fat and calories than thighs for example, which is why they make a great choice in this recipe. Choosing to make flavoured rice from scratch is also a good way to cut calories and fat as some packet rice has high nutritional values.
As this dish is predominantly made with chicken, it is a high protein option keeping you fuller for longer. The spinach, tomatoes and peppers total three of your five a day in just one portion.
Get the recipe: Mexican stuffed chicken with red rice
Tips For Preparing Low
There are many ways to cook low-calorie dinners for weight loss:
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Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Skillet
This recipe is incredibly good for you because it includes sweet potatoes, ground turkey, and a variety of spices.
The sweet potato flavors mix perfectly with the turkey and its a great combination to have for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
You could easily eat this every night of the week because there are so many different vegetables you can add in.
If you want a heartier meal, then switch out the ground turkey for some beef or pork too. You can use whatever kind of meat your family likes but just make sure its not adding too many calories.
This is a big skillet dish so youll likely have some extra to pick off throughout the week.
This is one of the low calorie dinner recipes youll end up adding to your regular rotation because its so good.
All you need is a good quality steak, some greens, and a delicious dressing.
You can use a ton of different dressings that will compliment the steak perfectly and itll just depend on your personal taste what you prefer.
You can also add in any other ingredients you like such as roasted cherry tomatoes, onions, or crumbled blue cheese to really take this recipe up a notch.
Make yourself an extra steak too so that you can slice it up to have for lunch or dinner throughout the week.
Chicken And Chorizo Filo Pie
Calories: 426 Fat: 25g Carbs: 24.9g Protein: 23.9g 5-a-day: 0
Skill level: Easy Serves: 6 Cooking time: 1hr 50 mins
This low calorie meals is infused with chorizo and topped with crisp, golden filo pastry. A rich tomato-infused sauce brings this pie together nicely. Serve with new potatoes.
Filo pastry is a much lower-fat option than shortcrust pastry and is lighter too so you won’t feel overfull or bloated after eating it. The pine nuts add a bonus of nutrients including Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and calcium.
Both the chicken and chorizo are an excellent source of protein meaning there will be no snacking after this dinner. This recipe serves six.
Get the recipe: Chicken and chorizo filo pie
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Roast Chicken With Potato Wedges
Calories: 378 Fat: 14.6g Carbs: 39.5g Protein: 23g 5-a-day: 1
Skill level: Easy Serves: 2 Cooking time: 1 hour
This roasted one-pot is well worth the wait at just 378 calories per portion. Infused with lemon and parsley.
A chicken leg contains less fat when it comes to choosing which cut of chicken is the healthiest. It has around three times less saturated fat than chicken breast. The savoy cabbage is a great source of vitamin C which protects skin integrity.
This recipe serves two but can easily be doubled to feed a larger family. Its the perfect Sunday roast dinner alternative if youre looking for a lighter option. A favourite on our low calorie meals list.
Get the recipe: Roast chicken with potato wedges
Healthy Shrimp & Grits
Image credit: Shutterstock
Shrimp and grits is classic Southern comfort food, but the truth is, you can make an absolutely delicious version of it for just 330 calories a serving. Surprisingly, ¼ cup of grits made with seasoned chicken broth is somehow only 45 calories, and large shrimp are about 10 calories each. So if you swap a traditional, cheese-laden recipe for this umami-packed mushroom version, you can enjoy a really satisfying meal including six to eight large shrimp.
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Warm Chicken And Barley Salad
Calories: 313 Fat: 18.5g Carbs: 14.2g Protein: 23 5-a-day: 0
Skill level: Easy Serves: 4 Cooking time: 40 mins
Not only is this dish light on the calories, but it also works out as under £1 a head for a family of four. With fresh spinach, flaked almonds, and pearl barley, this warm chicken and barley salad is ideal for a hearty lunch.
Claire says “The mix of barley and chicken means that you have a high fibre meal made from two low calorie ingredients, with very little else to bulk up the numbers. Barley is high in fibre, especially beta-glucan, which can reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels. It may also aid weight loss and improve digestion. Almonds have a high fibre and salt content, so removing them will lower the calorie levels slightly.”
This dish is ideal if youre looking to get your protein fix as its packed full of lean-protein from the chicken. This recipe is also so simple to make ready in just four easy steps.
Get the recipe: Warm chicken and barley salad
Sweet Chilli Prawn Stir
Calories: 220 Fat: 4.8g Carbs: 23.6g Protein: 20.4g 5-a-day: 0
Skill level: Easy Serves: 4 Cooking time: 12 mins
Ready in under 20 minutes, this speedy stir-fry brings prawns, noodles, and Thai sweet chilli sauce together to make one flavoursome dish.
Typically youd associate stir fry with chicken or other meats, however swapping for prawn instead is a much less calorific option and lower in fat too. Not only are prawns lower in calories than other meat, but theyre also full of vitamins cut as vitamin A, E, B12, B6, and more. They are also high in calcium which helps build and maintain strong bones.
It takes just three steps to make this stir-fry serving four. A great amongst our low calorie meals.
Get the recipe: Sweet chilli prawn stir-fry
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Use A Little Less Oil
A recipe may ask for a splash of oil or a few tablespoons but you can usually get away with using a lot less think teaspoons rather than tablespoons. A good tip is to use a non-stick frying pan as things are less likely to stick to the surface. You can also use water instead of oil when frying ingredients such as onions. This helps soften the onion then evaporates so they can then start to take on colour. If using oil when roasting, try adding the ingredients to a bowl first, before drizzling in a little oil and tossing well. Youll find that a little oil goes a long way when done like this. Putting the ingredient into the tray first, then drizzling with oil often leads to an excess of oil being used.
Low Calorie Dinner Ideas For Your Low Calorie Diet
Theres so many funny memes out there about making dinner that Im sure youve seen before.
My favorite one says Who knew the hardest part of being an adult is figuring out what to cook for dinner every single night for the rest of your life until you die.
But theres good news! If youre sick and tired of having to come up with ideas for low calorie meals, Ive put a bunch of my favorite low calorie dinner ideas all in one place to help you stay on track with your low calorie diet.
This list of low calorie dinner recipes will be frequently updated so be sure to pin it so you can refer back to it as often as you need!
PS if youre looking for low calorie sheet pan meals, be sure to check out my post for Healthy Sheet Pan Dinners. Its 100% dedicated to sheet pan dinner recipes for quick and easy low calorie dinners!
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Keto Salmon Cakes With Mustard Dill Sauce
Image credit: Simply So Healthy
These salmon cakes are one of our favorite low-calorie dinner recipes: theyre gluten-free, keto-friendly, protein-packed, and take 23 minutes from start to finish. Thats the kind of simple, healthy, quick meal we love for a weeknight. Wed serve over a salad of mixed baby greens, letting the mustard-dill sauce double as a salad dressing.
Wholewheat Spaghetti With Roasted Veg
Calories: 379 Fat: 11.7g Carbs: 60.2g Protein: 12.4g 5-a-day: 2
Skill level: Easy Serves: 6 Cooking time: 15 mins
This wholewheat spaghetti with roasted veg is really easy to make, packed with aubergines, drizzled in olive oil, and flavoured with a squeeze of lemon and sprinkle of fresh basil and mint.
Claire, a nutritionist for LastVerdict , says “A portion of wholewheat spaghetti contains as little as 174 calories, as well as 6g of fibre to help fill you up. Everything in this meal is low-calorie based, with not one cheat component. Aubergines are a high-fibre, low-calorie based food that is rich in nutrients and comes with many positive health benefits such as a decrease in risk of heart disease, controlling blood sugar levels and weight loss.”
This dish can easily be prepared ahead and served as a speedy, low calorie lunch option too. Leftovers can easily be stored in the fridge and reheated the next day.
Get the recipe: Wholewheat spaghetti with roasted veg
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Lemony Tagliatelle With Meatballs
Calories: 350 Fat: 21g Carbs: 18.5g Protein: 22.2g 5-a-day: 1
Skill level: Easy Serves: 2-3 Cooking time: 25 mins
Serve your meatballs differently with this simple lemon meatballs tagliatelle. The meatballs are infused with lemon and tossed with courgette strips and fresh tagliatelle.
Making meatballs is a great way to limit the amount of meat you have in a portion. Opt for turkey mince when making the meatballs as it’s lower in fat and calories than beef or pork mince. We’ve used full fat crème fraîche but this could easily be swapped for a half fat version.
Prepare this low calorie meal in just 20 minutes. This zingy dish serves two to three people depending on your preferred portion size.
Get the recipe: Lemony tagliatelle with meatballs
Vegan Paella With Tofu
Image credit: The Picky eater
Yes, paella is traditionally made with tons of seafood and chicken thighs, but this vegan paella recipe is seriously delicious, the spicing is true to the Spanish classic, and its also a great opportunity to test out some vegan seafood options. While this low calorie dinner recipe only calls for tofu, there are a growing number of vegan seafood options you could include in here, including these vegan dusted scallops from Mind Blown and plant-based shrimp from BeLeaf.
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Pasta Shells With Crayfish
Calories: 321 Fat: 13.4g Carbs: 36.4g Protein: 12.7g 5-a-day: 0
Skill level: Easy Serves: 3-4 Cooking time: 15 mins
Lemon butter is all the accompaniment you need for this crayfish and pasta pairing. Its simple, delicious, and ready in just two quick steps. This easy dish uses just six ingredients, two of which are herbs and seasoning, meaning the calories are well under the 500 mark.
Claire says “A serving of crayfishs calorie content can be as low as 70 and are a good source of protein as well as providing essential vitamins and minerals. A butter substitute such as olive oil can lower the fat component considerably.”
Get the recipe: Pasta shells with crayfish
Squash And Pepper Risotto
Calories: 367 Fat: 4.4g Carbs: 71.4g Protein: 11.6g 5-a-day: 3
Skill level: Easy Serves: 4 Cooking time: 35 mins
Well under the 500 calorie limit, this filling squash and pepper risotto contains three of your 5-a-day.
The onion, butternut squash, and pepper add nutrition to this recipe, particularly the squash which is packed full of vitamin C, vitamin A and calcium too. In this recipe weve used a minimum amount of Parmesan cheese as it’s quite high in fat but the stronger the cheese, the less youll need to use to add flavour. Therefore cutting the calorie and fat count too.
It takes just five ingredients and 10 minutes to prep to make this speedy midweek meal.
Get the recipe: Squash and pepper risotto
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Smokey Cheese Bacon And Potato Tart
Calories: 324 Fat: 21.3g Carbs: 20.4g Protein: 11.6g 5-a-day: 0
Skill level: Easy Serves: 6-8 Cooking time: 1hr
This smokey cheese bacon and potato tart recipe is just 355 calories per serving making it a great low calorie meals option. Made with ready-made shortcrust pastry, this tart is topped with potatoes, bacon, leeks, and creamy mustard-infused filling.
Cut the calories even further in this dish by opting for homemade shortcrust pastry as its often lower in calories and fat than readymade. You could also swap the single cream for reduced-fat cream to improve the fat content.
Perfect not just as a summery dinner but as a filling picnic option too. A slice of this mouthwatering tart counts towards one of your five-a-day.
Get the recipe: Smokey cheese bacon and potato tart
Low Calorie Tuna Pasta
Calories: 249 Fat: 3.4g Carbs: 20.3g Protein: 33.7g 5-a-day: 0
Skill level: Easy Serves: 1 Cooking time: 20 mins
Chunks of meaty tuna, green beans, and a light cream cheese dressing, this pasta has subtle flavours but is super satisfying. The calorie count is kept low in this dish thanks to the low fat cream cheese, wholewheat pasta and skimmed milk.
Claire says “Tuna calories per 100g are 132, which is very low considering that also provide massive health benefits. Tuna, as with nearly all fish, is packed full of omega-3 acids that help reduce cholesterol, resulting in a lesser risk of heart attacks.”
Weve used fresh tuna in this recipe but you could easily use tinned tuna for quickness – it may also be slightly cheaper than fresh if youre catering on a budget. Perfect for both lunch and dinner taking just five minutes to prepare.
Get the recipe: Tuna pasta
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