Calories Matter But Arent Everything
If your goal is to lose weight, sustainably and long-term, you need to learn how to eat healthy and enjoy it. Theres 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 wont 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.
Stuffed Peppers With Couscous Courgette And Mozzarella
Calories: 243 Fat: 13.2g Carbs: 19.5g Protein: 11.2g 5-a-day: 1
Skill level: Easy Serves: 4 Cooking time: 20 mins
These stuffed peppers are so simple to make ready in just five easy steps. These sweet, refreshing peppers will keep you fuller for longer and count towards your five-a-day too.
Not only is couscous low calorie at just 178 calories per 100g, but it is also an excellent source of selenium. Selenium is a mineral with powerful antioxidant properties. It is known to help reduce cancer and heart disease risks.
Our stuffed peppers are packed with couscous, courgette and mozzarella but you could try stuffing them with rice, leftover chicken and different cheeses too. This recipe serves four but can easily be doubled to feed a larger family.
Get the recipe: Stuffed peppers with couscous, courgette and mozzarella
Glazed Chicken With Peaches
Peaches are the perfect spring and summer fruit to add to your low-calorie meals with chicken. This chicken recipe calls for fresh peaches, olive oil, soy sauce, garlic, mustard, salt and pepper. Grill your chicken as you normally would and top with your peach mixture.
Calories per serving: ~503
Time to make: 30 minutes
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Spicy Lamb Meatballs In Sherry Sauce
Calories: 344 Fat: 19.9g Carbs: 8.6g Protein: 27.5g 5-a-day: 1
Skill level: Medium Serves: 6 Cooking time: 25 mins
These tender lamb meatballs are cooked in a rich tomato sauce infused with garlic, onion, sherry, and dried chilli flakes.
These meatballs are a little higher in fat than some of the other recipes in this collection as they are made with standard lamb mince, however, you could easily swap for lean lamb mince, lean beef, or lean turkey for even less fat and calories. The rich tomato sauce is made from scratch. Tomatoes are an excellent source of the antioxidant lycopene which has a variety of health benefits including reducing the risk of heart diseases, and cancer. Tomatoes are also packed with vitamin C, K, and potassium.
Our spicy lamb meatballs in sherry sauce are 344 calories per serving – well under 500 calories.
Get the recipe: Spicy lamb meatballs in sherry sauce
Low Cal Chicken Noodle Soup
Homemade chicken noodle soup loaded with vegetables and a delicious broth made from scratch! One pot only 243 calories per serving! A homemade, easy to make Chicken Noodle Soup is perfect for any day of the week!
So there you go, thirty five great Low Calorie Meals, all under 400 calories for you to cook. Who says healthy cant be tasty? The only question now is, which to try first?
Pin or bookmark this collection of great recipes so you always know where to find it. And be sure to to GypsyPlate, were always cooking up new easy recipes for you!
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Healthy Kung Pao Chicken
Kung Pao chicken is a delicious meal, but the traditional dish can be high in calories. Swap your standard sauce for low-sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos to reduce calories. Choose brown rice over white rice for higher fiber, and add a side of sauteed broccoli or stir fry vegetables.
Calories per serving: ~367
Time to make: 60 minutes
Spring Chicken Tray Bake With Green Vegetables
Calories: 270 Fat: 15.8g Carbs: 14.5g Protein: 17.1g 5-a-day: 1
Skill level: Easy Serves: 4-6 Cooking time: 25 mins
Ready in just 30 minutes, its so easy to throw this spring chicken tray bake together in just one pot. You can mix and match the vegetables in this recipe with whatever you have in your fridge.
Small chicken thighs are used in this recipe to keep the calorie count down. To reduce it even further swap for skinless chicken thighs or chicken breasts, which on average are around 30 calories less than thighs .
With the added greens, a portion of this traybake counts towards one of your five-a-day. A speedy midweek choice taking just 5 minutes to prep.
Get the recipe: Spring chicken tray bake with green vegetables
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Chicken And Spring Onion Pancakes
Calories: 298 Fat: 12.9g Carbs: 24.6g Protein: 20.2g 5-a-day: 0
Skill level: Easy Serves: 1 Cooking time: 5 mins
Not just for Pancake Day, these savoury chicken and spring onion pancakes are the perfect low calorie option that will keep you fuller for longer.
The protein in the chicken ensures youll be full after enjoying a portion of this recipe. At just 298 calories, serve these pancakes with a side salad or portion of sweet potatoes. Choose semi-skimmed milk over full fat to keep the fat count low, you could also choose skimmed milk as an alternative too. The spring onions add a zing of flavour to each bite, as well as being rich in fiber helping to aid digestion.
These pancakes are best made and eaten on the same day for the freshest flavour and taste.
Get the recipe: Chicken and spring onion pancakes
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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Roasted Tomato Baked Chicken
Chicken with roasted tomatoes is a simple yet delicious low-calorie meal anyone can cook. Combine cherry tomatoes, olive oil and fresh herbs to create your roasted tomato sauce. Bake both the chicken and tomatoes for 15 minutes until golden and serve with chopped parsley.
Calories per serving: ~217
Time to make: 25 minutes
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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Split Pea And Vegetable Curry
Calories: 288 Fat: 18.6g Carbs: 15.2g Protein: 12.9g 5-a-day: 1
Skill level: Easy Serves: 6 Cooking time: 30 mins
This deliciously spiced curry is packed with garlic, onion, coriander, cumin, turmeric, and heaps of low calorie herbs and spices.
Swapping full-fat coconut milk for the light version is a great way to cut down both fat and calorie content. The paneer cheese in this recipe is not only suitable for vegetarians but is a great choice of cheese as it’s packed full of protein keeping you fuller for longer and if you choose the lower fat kind, made with low-fat milk, its also low calorie too.
It takes just 30 minutes to cook this mouthwatering curry. This recipe serves 6 – ideal for bigger families or if youre a fan of bulk cooking. One of our best low calorie meals.
Get the recipe: Split pea and vegetable curry
Shrimp Tacos With Cilantro Lime Sauce
Tacos are one of the best dishes for families because they are super simple to make.
Just chop up your ingredients, cook up the shrimp, and then heat up some tortillas and youre ready to go.
Just remember to use a corn tortilla to cut down on carbs for your meal and it wont leave your stomach feeling as bloated.
The sauce in this recipe is best if its homemade because it will be incredibly fresh and youll be able to taste it in the taco.
Shrimp doesnt stay as good as some other proteins so you wont want to keep it too long as leftovers if you have some extras.
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Mini Roasted Cauliflowers With Tomato Sauce
Calories: 243 Fat: 15.7g Carbs: 13.2g Protein: 11.8g 5-a-day: 3
Skill level: Easy Serves: 4 Cooking time: 30 mins
Each cauliflower is topped with a thick tomato sauce and topped with plenty of cheese too. The pancetta and hint of Worcestershire sauce add a real depth of flavour to this family bake.
Cauliflower is a great substitute for rice, pasta, or potatoes. It’s just a filling, keeping you fuller for longer but without the added calorie count. On average a small cauliflower is just 75 calories and 1g of fat.
This dish is so easy you could even get the kids involved in the preparation stages as we demo in the recipe video. A portion of this dinner is three of your five-a-day.
Get the recipe: Mini roasted cauliflowers with tomato sauce
Healthy Turkey Meatloaf Muffins
Thanksgiving turkey doesnt have to come only once a year with these healthy turkey meatloaf muffins. Combine ground turkey with breadcrumbs and seasoning, then add them to muffin tins. Cook these bites for 45 minutes or until golden brown and enjoy.
Calories per serving: ~255
Time to make: 65 minutes
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Meals Under 300 Calories
If you’re trying to lose weight or simply watching your calorie intake, you’ll want to make sure you eat low-calorie dinners.
Meals under 300 calories are a great way to enjoy a healthy and filling meal without going over your daily calorie limit.
These recipes below are sure to be low-calorie dinner recipes that are perfect for you!
Check them out:
Tips For Preparing Low
There are many ways to cook low-calorie dinners for weight loss:
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Vegan Sweet Potato Curry
Image credit: Shutterstock
With chickpeas, cauliflower, and sweet potatoes, this is a seriously filling meal full of protein, fiber, and healthy fats not to mention, this dish makes great leftovers. Pro tip: never buy low-fat coconut milk. Its just coconut milk thats had water added to it, and it costs the same amount as the regular kind. We feel pretty confident in our ability to water down coconut milk all on our own, then save the rest for another dish later in the week.
Cashew Chicken Bake 277 Calories
Cashew chicken and I are like two peas in a pod except the take out kind is usually not so healthy so I came up with my own version so I wouldnt feel deprived. I like making this when I have a busy week ahead of me because it makes a ton. I use Minute Instant Brown Rice so that it bakes easily in the casserole. So filling and delicious and one of my most popular recipes!
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Meal Prep Margarita Chicken
Low Carb + Paleo + Low Calorie + Gluten Free
Get the recipe from Skinny Fitalicious
Its perfect for a hectic weekday! Low Carbohydrate + Paleo + Low Calorie + Gluten Free
In 30 minutes, this quick dinner prep is made in a pan. The chicken can alternatively be baked or grilled. But because of the heat, I try not to use the oven in the summer.
It would also work in an Instant Pot or a Crockpot.
Get the recipe fromI Food Real
This cheesy, herby Zucchini Tomato Bake is a delicious way to enjoy the crisp aromas of summer fruit.
For a tasty, healthful side meal the whole family will adore, just 6 ingredients and 30 minutes are required.
This zucchini tomato bake, which combines zucchini with delicious baked tomatoes and a blend of herbs, garlic, and cheese, may be part of your healthy side dish rotation for a variety of meals!
Plus, this casserole can be made any time of year as long as you have access to zucchini and fresh, ripe tomatoes.
Itll be a family favorite whether you use homegrown vegetables or buy them somewhere.
Get the recipe fromChelseas Messy Oven
Talking about sandwiches, this Low-Calorie Chicken Salad Sandwich is delicious, fast, and easy to make!
It has luscious grapes, crisp celery, dried sweet cranberries, shreds of chicken, and sliced almonds. It is dressed with a three-ingredient, mayo-free sauce.
It has no mayo or Greek yogurt. So whats the secret to these lightened-up chicken salad sandwiches?
Baked Tilapia With Lemon & Capers
Baking Tilapia is incredibly easy and adding in some lemon with capers sauce really turns it into a tasty dish.
The lemon sauce adds citrus notes and mixed with the salty capers, youll have a bright and light meal that is perfect for warmer days when you need a refreshing dish.
The best part about this recipe is how easy it is to whip up. You simply mix the capers, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a small bowl then spread it over your tilapia filet.
Toss it all in the oven and then wait for perfection to unfold. The entire family will enjoy this flavor profile because its probably a good variety from your usual meals.
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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
Batch Cooking And Freezing
Having a few meals stashed away in the freezer will help if youve had a busy day and need something extra-quick for dinner. Lots of these recipes are easily doubled so you can cook a big batch then portion out and freeze. Remember to label your plastic containers so you can tell the difference between a chilli and pasta sauce. Our chicken saag, beef bourguignon, lamb stew and lentil bolognese recipes will all freeze brilliantly.
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Ground Turkey With Baked Spaghetti Squash And Veggies
Spaghetti squash is an excellent substitute for pasta with its stringy texture. When you add ground turkey, veggies and a choice of sauce to your baked squash, you wont even notice you arent eating actual spaghetti. Try out this healthy, low-calorie recipe to reach your daily protein goal.
Protein per serving: 27g
Time to make: 25 minutes
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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