20 Quick And Healthy Low Calorie Dinner Recipes August 28, 2017

Trying to cut back on calories to lose weight? Or just looking for healthy recipes that are light and easy to make? Then you’ve landed in the right place. Because when I was struggling to lose weight and get healthy, I learned to prepare various delicious yet easy-to-make low-calorie recipes. Today, I am going to share 20 of those recipes with you. These healthy low calorie dinner recipes taste better than takeaways and also offer various health benefits, including weight loss. So without much ado, find out how you can cut the calories without compromising on taste and have a satisfying dinner.

1. Salmon With Kale And Apple Salad

Image: Shutterstock

Prep Time – 10 min  Cook Time – 15 min  Total Time – 25 min  Serves – 6

Ingredients

  • 6 oz 2 salmon fillets
  • 2 small apples
  • ½ cup of shredded cheese
  • Handful of almonds
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil

How To Prepare

  1. Make sure your salmon isn’t too cold. Let it stay outside the fridge for ten minutes before cooking.
  2. On the other hand, get hold of a bowl. Whisk some lemon juice with olive oil and salt. Toss the kale and mix. Let it stay for ten minutes.
  3. Chop the apples and add them to the kale. You could also add shredded cheese and almonds.
  4. Use pepper for seasoning.
  5. Place your salmon on a heated pan with one tablespoon of olive oil.
  6. Cook till both sides are brown.
  7. It shouldn’t take longer than three minutes.
  8. Now, divide the salmon into three pieces.
  9. Serve with the fresh salad you just prepared.

Interesting Fact

Almonds contain monosaturated fats that prevent heart diseases (1).

2. Slow Cooker Pork Tacos

Image: Shutterstock

Prep Time – 20 min  Cook Time – 30 min  Total Time – 50 min  Serves – 3

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds of fatless pork ribs
  • Pepper
  • Bay leaves
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Corn tortillas
  • Taco toppings
  • Salt
  • 3 ancho chilies
  • 3 pasilla chilies
  • 3 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil.
  • 2 teaspoons of dried oregano
  • Medium onion, chopped
  • Garlic

How To Prepare

  1. Place garlic, anchos, and chilies in a bowl.
  2. Now add 3 tablespoons of water.
  3. Microwave for 2 minutes.
  4. Peel off the garlic.
  5. Add the garlic and chilies to the blender.
  6. Add onion, olive oil, honey, vinegar, and chipotles.
  7. The oregano and salt come next.
  8. Blend all.
  9. Add a teaspoon of oil.
  10. Take a large skillet and add a tablespoon of oil in it.
  11. Next, comes chili sauce.
  12. Fry until thick.
  13. Pour the broth and add the pork ribs.
  14. Add salt and season.
  15. Bay leaves and cinnamon stick come next.
  16. Cook for 5 hours.
  17. Shred the pork and discard the leaves.
  18. Add them to the tortillas with toppings.

Interesting Fact:

Pork contains thiamine which is essential for increasing the functioning of the brain (2).

3. Chicken Fajitas

Image: Shutterstock

Prep Time – 20 min  Cook Time – 20 min  Total Time – 40 min  Serves -3

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons of canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of seasoned salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of dried oregano
  • 1 ½ ground cumin
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1 ½ pounds of boneless shredded chicken
  • ½ sweet red bell pepper
  • ½ medium green bell pepper
  • ½ teaspoon of paprika
  • ½ teaspoon of chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 4 green onions
  • 6 tortillas

How To Prepare

  1. Get hold of a small re-sealable bag. Add two tablespoons of oil, lemon juice, chicken, and seasonings. Seal it well and cover it for a few hours.
  2. Grab a large skillet next. Sauté both onion and peppers. Wait till they turn golden.
  3. Add marinade. Cook the chicken for about 5 to 6 minutes. Remember to use the same skillet. Add the pepper mixture to the pan.
  4. Now, fill up the tortillas with the chicken you just made. Serve with salsa sauce for more taste.

Interesting Fact

Chicken contains zinc which helps you maintain a healthy appetite. (3)

4. Beef Stuffed Zucchini Recipe

Image: Shutterstock

Prep Time – 15 min  Cook Time – 20 min  Total Time – 35 min Serves – 3

Ingredients

  • 4 medium sized zucchinis
  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • ½ cup of chopped onion
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¾ cup of spaghetti sauce
  • ¼ cup of seasoned bread crumbs
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon of pepper
  • 1 cup of shredded jack cheese

How To Prepare

  1. Cut out the zucchinis according to their length and remove the seeds.
  2. Place them in the microwave and let them warm for a few minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the beef and onion in a skillet. Wait till they have turned pink.
  4. Remove heat and add sauce, egg, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper.
  5. Cover the zucchinis with the spread you just made.
  6. Microwave for a couple of minutes.
  7. Serve with sauce.

Interesting Fact

Beef is nutritious. It contains nutrients such as zinc, iron, protein and Vitamin B. (4)

5. Chicken With Rosemary Butter Sauce

Image: Shutterstock

Prep Time – 5 min Cook Time – 15 min Total Time – 20 min Serves – 2

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breast halves
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • ½ cup of white wine
  • ½ cup of whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary

How To Prepare

  1. Cook chicken with butter for 5 minutes in a skillet. Remove and keep warm once cooking is completed.
  2. Now, add some wine and cream to a pan. Reduce the heat and cook until it has become thick.
  3. Add rosemary and the leftover butter. Serve the sauce with chicken.

Interesting Fact

Rosemary contains anti-cancerous compounds which protect your body against skin cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer and leukemia (5).

6. Penne Gorgonzola With Chicken Recipe

Image: Shutterstock

Prep Time – 25 min Cook Time – 15 min Total Time – 40 min Serves – 2

Ingredients

  • 1 package of penne pasta
  • 1 pound of shredded boneless chicken
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 large minced garlic clove
  • ¼ cup of white wine
  • ½ cup of heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup of chicken broth
  • 1 cup of cheese
  • 6 freshly sliced sage leaves
  • Salt

How To Prepare

  1. Cook pasta according to the directions given on the package.
  2. Meanwhile, cook chicken in a skillet.
  3. Add some garlic and cook for a bit longer.
  4. Add cheese, sage, salt and pepper.
  5. Drain the pasta, toss it with sauce and sprinkle cheese and parsley.

Interesting Fact

Salt regulates blood pressure, reduces irregular heartbeats and extracts acidity from your body cells (6).

7. Turkey Burgers

Image: Shutterstock

Prep Time – 20 min Cook Time – 30 min Total Time – 50 min Serves – 2

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces of ground turkey
  • 1 cup of breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¼ cup of green onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of mustard
  • ½ tablespoons of margarine.
  • ½ cup of chicken broth.

How To Prepare

  1. Mix turkey with eggs, onions, mustard and bread crumbs. Shape them into patties.
  2. Use a large skillet to melt the margarine. Add the patty to cook. Cook till it’s golden.
  3. Remove from the skillet and keep aside on a plate.
  4. Serve in buns using lettuce, tomato, and cucumber slices.

Interesting Fact

Turkey breast is low in cholesterol and is good for your heart. (7)

8. Stir Fry Beef With Avocado Salad

Image: Shutterstock

Prep Time – 15 min Cook Time – 20 min Total Time – 35 min Serves – 3

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces of beef cut off into thin strips
  • ¼ cup of lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon of chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • Sliced sweet onions
  • Red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 poblano
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of pepper
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 avocado, dried
  • ½ cup of crumbled cheese
  • ¼ cup of cilantro

How To Prepare

  1. Combine beef, lime juice and chili powder in a bowl.
  2. Add oil to a skillet and add onions and bell peppers to it. Sauté for a few minutes.
  3. Add beef and marinade next. Cook for a couple of minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, add avocado, cheese, and cilantro to another bowl.
  5. Garnish beef and veggies with the remaining cilantro.
  6. Serve with avocado salad.

Interesting Fact

Avocado contains potassium, folate, magnesium, Vitamin C, lutein and Vitamin B6. (8)

9. South Western Pizza

Image: Shutterstock

Prep Time – 15 min Cook Time – 20 min Total Time – 35 min Serves – 6

Ingredients

  • Whole wheat pizza crust
  • 1 cup of prepared tomato salsa
  • 11 ½ cups of shredded mozzarella
  • 11 ½ cups of canned black beans
  • 1 sweet red bell pepper
  • 2 scallions
  • ¼ cup of coriander leaves

How To Prepare

  1. Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Use baking and cooking spray.
  2. Place crust and sheet on top using some salsa.
  3. Add the cheese, beans, sliced bell peppers, scallions.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes until the pizza has melted.
  5. Garnish with coriander.

Interesting Fact

Coriander leaves aid digestion and have been used traditionally for their anti-inflammatory properties (9).

10. Chicken Breast With Brussels Sprouts

Image: Shutterstock

Prep Time – 15 min Cook Time – 25 min Total Time – 40 min Serves – 2

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces of boneless chicken
  • 3 teaspoons of salt
  • 2 stems of broccoli
  • 2 spoons of olive oil
  • 2 spoons of fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ spoon of freshly grounded pepper
  • 3 cups of thinly Brussels sprouts
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • ¼ cup of hazel stalks
  • ¼ cup of flat leaf parsley
  • 1 ounce of parmesan cheese

How To Prepare

  1. Cook chicken with salt in a saucepan. Cover with water and let it boil.
  2. Let it stand for 15 minutes.
  3. Drain the chicken and let it cool aside.
  4. Remove broccoli stems on the other hand.
  5. Whisk lemon juice, oil, celery, salt and pepper.
  6. Add the broccoli stems and Brussels sprouts next.
  7. Add hazel and parsley too.
  8. Add chicken with dressing.
  9. Divide among 4 bowls.

Interesting Fact

Parsley contains flavonoids that make you less prone to cancer (10).

11. Chicken, Squash And Chickpea Salad

Image: Shutterstock

Prep Time – 15 min Cook Time – 50 min Total Time – 65 min Serves – 2

Ingredients

  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 4 ounces of chicken breast
  • 1/3 cup of sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1 cup of broken pita chips
  • 2 ounces of chickpeas
  • 12 ounces of romaine hearts
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice

How To Prepare

  1. Heat your oven first to 425 degrees. Get hold of a baking sheet and toss some oil, squash, salt and pepper. Let it roast for 25 to 30 minutes.
  2. Now, place the chicken on a second rimmed sheet and one tablespoon of the leftover oil. Season with salt and pepper. Let it roast for 20 minutes. Cook well and slice.
  3. Get hold of a small bowl. Add some Tahini, lemon juice and oregano. Add some oil and water to it. Now, divide the lettuce among four plates. Divide the spread you just made. Don’t forget the dressing.

Interesting Fact

Chickpeas contain iron in abundance which leads to the production of blood (11).

12. Creamy Wild Rice And Mushroom Soup

Image: Shutterstock

Prep Time – 15 min Cook Time – 10 min Total Time – 25 min Serves – 2

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil
  • 1 pound of chopped mushrooms
  • 1 celery, chopped
  • 1 medium shallot, chopped
  • Salt and pepper for taste
  • 1/4 cup of flour
  • 1/3 cup of white wine
  • 1 tsp of dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons of fresh parsley
  • 1 ounce of cooked brown rice

How To Prepare

  1. Heat some oil in a large skillet. Add celery, mushrooms, carrots and shallots. Keep cooking for 5 minutes. Add some flour, salt and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes.
  2. Add white wine and increase the heat and cook for 2 more minutes.
  3. Add more broth and let the mixture boil.
  4. Add rice now and cook for a couple more minutes.
  5. Garnish with sour cream and parsley.

Interesting Fact

Mushrooms fight infections and power up the immune system (12).

13. Veg Fettuccine Alfredo Pasta

Image: Shutterstock

Prep Time – 15 min Cook Time – 30 min Total Time – 45 min Serves – 2

Ingredients

  • 70 grams of onions
  • 2 cloves or garlic
  • A dab of oil
  • ½ cup of soy milk
  • ½ cup of soy creamer
  • Nutmeg
  • 1 cup of yeast
  • Miracle noodles
  • 1 teaspoon of garbanzo bean flour

How To Prepare

  1. Drain the noodles first and microwave for a minute.
  2. Add some oil in a saucepan meanwhile.
  3. Cook till the onions have become translucent.
  4. Add more garlic and cook for a minute.
  5. Let it simmer and add margarine.
  6. Next, add nutritional yeast.
  7. Stir and add a dash of nutmeg.
  8. Season with salt and pepper.

Interesting fact

Onions contain calcium, potassium, and magnesium in abundance which boosts health (13).

14. Greek Garbanzo Salad

Image: Shutterstock

Prep Time – 25 min Cook Time – 5 min Total Time – 30 min Serves – 3

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of garbanzo beans
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 3 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley leaves
  • 1 tablespoon of minced fresh oregano
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • ½ a teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh basil leaves

How To Prepare

  1. Mix some garbanzos, diced onion, celery, olives and lemon juice in a bowl.
  2. Now chop the parsley, oregano. Mince the garlic.
  3. Add salt and oil for taste.
  4. Stir tomato and basil before serving.
  5. Serve chilled.

Interesting Fact

Lemon juice contains pectin that helps you lose and maintain body weight (14).

15. Chicken Broccoli Casserole

Image: iStock

Prep Time – 15 min Cook Time – 40 min Total Time – 55 min Serves – 6

Ingredients

  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sliced button mushrooms
  • 1 ½ cup low-fat milk
  • 12 oz skinless chicken breast
  • ½ cup low-fat yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons grated cheddar cheese
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper powder
  • Salt to taste

How To Prepare

  1. Blanch the broccoli.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and add chopped onions and mushrooms. Cook till the water from the mushroom evaporates.
  3. Add all-purpose flour and cook for a minute.
  4. Now, stir in the milk and cook until it starts to bubble.
  5. Remove from flame and stir in the yogurt, pepper, salt, and cheese.
  6. Preheat the oven to 370 degrees Celsius.
  7. In a casserole pan, add the chicken and broccoli.
  8. Top it with the creamy mushroom sauce.
  9. Sprinkle a little pepper and grated cheese.
  10. Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown.

Interesting Fact

Rich in nutrients, broccoli can help fight cancer, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, and aid weight loss (15).

16. Quick Pan-Fried Fish With Mediterranean Sauce

Prep Time – 15 min Cook Time – 40 min Total Time – 55 min Serves – 4

Ingredients

  • 6 oz salmon fillets (with skin)
  • 2 cups seeded and chopped tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoon chopped capers
  • 1 ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 ½ teaspoons minced chives
  • 1 ½ teaspoons minced parsley
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt to taste

How To Prepare

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and butter in a pan and add tomatoes. Cook for 6 minutes.
  2. Stir in the capers, minced garlic, and Dijon mustard. Bring it to a boil.
  3. Remove from heat and add parsley, tarragon, parsley, black pepper, red pepper, and salt. Mix well.
  4. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper on the fish fillets.
  5. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a pan and add fish to the pan, skin down. Cook for 3 minutes.
  6. Turn the fish over and cook for 2 minutes.
  7. Place the fish on a plate, add the sauce, and serve hot.

Interesting Fact

Salmon is rich in omega-3-fatty acids, which help reduce the risk of heart disease and inflammation-induced obesity (16).

17. Delicious Shrimp Tostada

Image: iStock

Prep Time – 10 min Cook Time – 15 min Total Time – 25 min Serves – 1

Ingredients

  • 1 whole grain corn tortilla
  • 2 oz grilled shrimp
  • ½ cup chopped lettuce
  • ¼ cup shredded purple cabbage
  • ¼ cup cubed avocado
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • Handful of cilantro

How To Prepare

  1. Bake the tortilla in an oven at 350 degrees Celsius for 8-10 minutes.
  2. Mash the avocado and add sour cream, lemon, salt, and black pepper. Mix well.
  3. Add the shredded cabbage, chopped lettuce, grilled shrimps and avocado mix, top it with cilantro, and take a bite!

Interesting Fact

Avocados are loaded with fat but this fat helps to reduce weight, protects you from cardiovascular disease, and slows down aging (17).

18. Mushroom Quinoa In Lemon Butter

Prep Time – 15 min Cook Time – 15 min Total Time – 30 min Serves – 4

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup sliced button mushroom
  • ½ cup chopped carrots
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon chili flakes
  • Salt to taste

How To Prepare

  1. Cook the quinoa in 2 cups of water and transfer it into a large bowl.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan and saute onion, carrots, kale, mushroom, and salt.
  3. Remove from the pan and add it to the bowl containing quinoa.
  4. Add butter to the same pan and toss the minced garlic and saute for 10 seconds.
  5. Now, add the lemon juice and chili flakes.
  6. Immediately pour it over the quinoa.
  7. Give it a quick toss, and it’s ready to eat!

Interesting Fact

Consuming quinoa can help improve your lipid profile, help flush out toxins, and also help reduce weight (18).

19. Healthy Chicken Sausage & Bean Stew

Image: iStock

Prep Time – 20 min Cook Time – 15 min Total Time – 35 min Serves – 4

Ingredients

  • 1 cup thick slices of chicken sausage
  • 1 ½ cup black boiled eyed peas
  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • ½ cup chopped tomato
  • 2 cups chopped kale
  • 1 cup cubed carrots
  • ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups bone broth
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • ½ teaspoon grated ginger
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • Salt if required

How To Prepare

  1. In a soup pot, add the chicken and bone both.
  2. Add chopped onion, cubed carrot, tomato, ginger, garlic, black-eyed peas, and chicken sausage.
  3. Cover with a lid and simmer for 7 minutes.
  4. Add the kale and stir and cook for 4 minutes.

Interesting Fact

Onions have anti-cancer, antibiotic, antiasthmatic, and antiplatelet properties. Therefore, include onions in at least one meal per day (19).

20. Honey Mustard Chicken

Image: iStock

Prep Time – 20 min Cook Time – 15 min Total Time – 35 min Serves – 4

Ingredients

  • 4 skinless chicken breast halves
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon mustard paste
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice
  • Salt to taste

How To Prepare

  1. Marinate the chicken breasts with lime juice, honey, parsley, dried oregano, mustard, salt, and pepper for 10 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 175 degree Celsius.
  3. Put the chicken breasts on a baking tray and bake for 15 minutes.
  4. Turn the chicken breasts, apply a coat or two of the marinade on the other side with a brush and bake for 20 minutes more.
  5. Take out and transfer to a plate and sprinkle chili flakes.

Interesting Fact

Oregano is loaded with phytonutrients that have antibacterial, antifungal, blood count improving, and immunity boosting properties (20).

These 20 delicious low-cal recipes will keep you satisfied, full, and light. What else do you need? You will lose weight without having the feeling of being on a diet! So, go on try these recipes today. Take care.

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Profile photo of Charushila Biswas
Charushila is an ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition and a full-time contributor to Diet & Weight Loss at Stylecraze. She believes that food has healing powers and eating good food is the best way to lose weight. A binge eater-turned-fitness enthusiast, Charushila likes to share her knowledge and experience with the world. When she is not working, she loves to cook healthy food, watch movies, travel, workout, and read Bengali literature.