Top 10 Low Calorie Dinners
Going on a diet and trying to lose weight does not mean you are going to skip dinnertime and go to sleep on an empty stomach. Most experts don’t recommend skipping mealtimes like lunch or dinner. Some studies actually suggest that skipping meals can contribute more to weight gain. The best ways to lose weight is to exercise daily, be more active, and reduce your calorie intake. Here are 10 simple and easy to cook low calorie dinners that you can make at home. They are packed with essential vitamins and minerals, and they also have very low calorie count, which means you can eat a lot of portions without worrying about getting fat.
1Creamy Chicken & Mushroom
If you love mushrooms, this is a delicious, creamy, and healthy dinner recipe for you. One serving offers 325 calories.
- Four 5-ounce chicken cutlets
- 4 cups of mixed mushrooms, slice the large mushrooms
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
- Sprinkle each chicken cutlet with kosher salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Cook the chicken until brown, turning once for 7 to 10 minutes. Set aside on a plate.
- Add 1 tablespoon oil and mushroom to the pan and stir occasionally for 4 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated. Reduce to medium heat, add the cream, as well as the juice from the chicken, and ¼ teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Put back the chicken in the pan and turn to coat with the sauce.
- Serve the chicken topped with the creamy sauce and sprinkle with parsley.
2Seared Salmon with Strawberry Basil Relish
Salmon and basil are given a sweet new twist with a relish of strawberries. This recipe contains only 215 calories.
- Six 4-ounce salmon fillets
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- 1 ¼ cup strawberries, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon minced basil
- A dash of ground pepper
- Brush the salmon fillets with melted butter and sprinkle on top with salt and pepper.
- Heat a skillet over medium-high heat, and then add the fillets to the skin side up.
- Cook in batches if necessary, and cook the fillets 2 to 3 minutes per side.
- Toss together the strawberries, basil, honey, and pepper in a small bowl.
- Serve the salmon with the strawberry relish.
3Pork & Ramen Stir-Fry
This recipe is a low-calorie Asian cuisine that deserves a spot on our top low calorie dinners list. One serving of this meal offers about 354 calories.
- Two 3-ounce packages of ramen noodles
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- ¼ cup soy sauce, reduced-sodium
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, crushed
- 3 teaspoons canola oil, divided
- 1 pound pork loin chops, boneless, and cut into ½ inch strips
- 4 cups coleslaw mix
- 1 can bamboo shoots, drained
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, and pepper flakes. In a large skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add and stir-fry the pork for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the skillet.
- In the same pan, stir-fry the broccoli in the remaining oil for 3 minutes, and then add the coleslaw mix, bamboo shoots, and garlic. Stir-fry for 3 minutes or until the broccoli is crisp and tender. Mix in the soy sauce mixture and pork.
- Cook the ramen noodles according to package directions. Drain the noodles and add to the pork. Toss to combine and serve.
4Salmon with Lemon, Capers, and Rosemary
This recipe offers a light salmon dinner with only 377 calories per serving. Salmon provides high levels of protein and healthy fats.
- Four 6-ounce salmon fillets
- 1 tablespoon rosemary leaves, minced
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- 8 lemon slices
- ¼ cup juice of lemon
- 4 teaspoons capers
- ½ cup Marsala wine or white wine
- 4 pieces of aluminum foil
- Brush the salmon fillets with olive oil and season with rosemary, salt, and pepper.
- Place the salmon fillets on each of the aluminum foils large enough to fold and seal.
- Top salmon with 2 slices of lemon, 2 tablespoons of wine, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon of capers. And then wrap the salmon with the foil tightly.
- Preheat a gas or charcoal grill. You can also place a grill pan over medium-high heat. Place the foil packets with salmon on top of the grill and cook for 10 minutes.
- Serve salmon in foil packets.
5Low-Calorie Fettuccine Alfredo
This low-calorie version of fettuccine alfredo is perfect for pasta lovers who want to shed off some pounds.
- 12-ounces of fettuccine
- ¾ cup parmesan cheese, grated, plus more for toppings
- 1 tablespoon butter, unsalted
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest, grated
- 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons parsley, chopped
- Kosher salt and ground pepper
- 1 cup low-fat milk
- 2 tablespoons low-fat cream cheese
For the Sauce
- Melt the butter in the skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, along with the lemon zest and cook for 1 minute. Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and ¾ teaspoon of salt, and whisk until thickened for about 3 minutes. Add the cream cheese and parmesan cheese and whisk until melted for about 1 minute. Stir in the chopped parsley.
- Cook the fettuccine until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of cooking water and drain the pasta. Add the sauce and the reserved ½ cup cooking water to the pasta and toss gently to combine. If it is too thick, you can add more cooking water to loosen. Season with salt.
- Serve with parmesan and pepper.
6Szechuan Tofu and Green Bean Stir-Fry
This all-vegetarian stir-fry has a little bit of spice with a lot of flavors. One serving size or 1 ½ cups yields 216 calories.
- One 14-ounce extra-firm tofu, drained
- 4 cups of green beans, trimmed and cut in half
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons ginger, minced
- 1 teaspoon plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch, divided
- ½ cup water, divided
- ¼ cup soy sauce, low-sodium
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons Chinkiang vinegar or balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons of sugar
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon red pepper, crushed
- In a small bowl, whisk ¼ cup water, tomato paste, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, crushed red pepper, and 1 teaspoon of cornstarch. Set aside.
- Cut tofu into ½ inch cubes and pat dry. Toss the tofu together with 2 tablespoons cornstarch in a separate bowl.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and cook for 2 minutes. Turn and stir the tofu gently for 2 to 3 minutes more until lightly browned and crispy. Transfer the tofu to a plate.
- Lower the heat to medium and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan. Stir in the green beans, ginger, and garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the remaining ¼ cup water and cook for 2 to 4 minutes until the green beans are crisp and tender. Stir in the soy sauce mixture and pour it on the green beans. Cook and stir until thickened for about 1 minute.
- Add the tofu and cook, stirring for about 1 minute more.
7Massaged Kale Salad
This is another vegetarian dish that is perfect for a light, low-calorie, and healthy dinner for you. It contains 269 calories per serving.
- 1 bunch of kale, stalks removed and leaves sliced thinly
- Small handful or 2 rounded tablespoons of toasted pepitas or pumpkin seeds
- 1 lemon, juiced
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons of honey
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 mango, diced
- In a large bowl, add kale, ½ of the lemon juice, a little of kosher salt, and a drizzle of oil. Massage the kale for 2 to 3 minutes until it softens and wilts. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk the remaining lemon juice, honey, and ground black pepper. Stream in the ¼ cup of oil while whisking until the dressing forms. You can also adjust the taste. Pour the dressing over the kale, add the diced mangoes, and pepitas. Toss and serve.
8Baked Honey Garlic Chicken
Low calorie dinners are usually easy to prepare and simple but full of exciting flavors, just like this baked honey garlic chicken.
- 1 pound chicken breast, boneless and skinless
- ¼ cup soy sauce, low-sodium
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 teaspoon of sriracha
- Sesame seeds and scallions for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. First, make the glaze by whisking together the soy sauce, lime juice, garlic, honey, Sriracha, cornstarch, and 1 tablespoon sesame oil.
- Season the chicken breast with salt and pepper. Heat oil in an oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the chicken and cook for 4 minutes or until golden, then flip and cook 4 minutes more. Pour the glaze on top and transfer to the oven.
- Bake for 25 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Heat the broiler.
- Glaze the chicken once again and broil for 2 minutes. Garnish with sesame seeds and scallions. Serve and enjoy.
9Chorizo, Seafood, and Vegetable Stew
This is a complete and healthy dinner meal for the whole family.
- 2-ounces Spanish chorizo
- ½ pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 stalks of celery
- 1 bulb fennel
- 2 cloves garlic
- ¾ cup dry white wine
- 1 can whole peeled tomatoes in juice
- 1 cod fillet
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped
- Crusty bread
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo, cook and stir for 1 minute.
- Add the fennel, celery, and garlic, cook, and cover, stirring occasionally for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Crush the tomatoes and add to the pan with the juices.
- Add the wine and bring to a boil.
- Add the shrimp and cod, and cook covered for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring only once.
- Remove from the heat and mix in the vinegar and tarragon.
- Serve with bread.
10Miso Chicken Ramen
Low calorie dinners, like this miso chicken ramen recipe, are high in nutritional bonus such as vitamin A, C, and folate. It contains only 383 calories per serving.
- 1 ¼ pounds chicken thighs, boneless, skinless, and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 4-ounces dried Chinese noodles, broken in half
- 4-ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
- 1 ½ tablespoon soy sauce, low-sodium
- 8 cups bok choy, chopped
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil, divided
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bunch of scallions, sliced and white and green parts removed
- 1 tablespoon ginger, finely grated
- 4 cups of water
- 3 tablespoons white miso
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a dutch oven or large pan over medium-high heat. Add the scallion whites, ginger, and garlic, and cook for 1 minute.
- Add water, soy sauce, miso, and the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Bring to a boil.
- Mix in the chicken, bok choy, mushrooms, and noodles. Cover and let it boil.
- Remove the cover and reduce heat to medium. Cook and stir for 3 to 5 minutes or until the chicken and vegetables are cooked.
- Sprinkle with scallion greens and serve.