Low-Calorie Dinner Recipes for Weeknights
Southwest Quinoa Cakes
This healthy quinoa cake recipe is packed with protein from the black beans, eggs, cottage cheese and quinoa. We like to serve the quinoa cakes with a mouthwatering and incredibly easy blender salsa; if you don't like the heat, leave out the chipotle pepper. We like the look of red quinoa, but any color quinoa will work just as well.
Seared Chicken with Lemon-Herb Cream Sauce
In this healthy chicken recipe, chicken breasts are quickly pan-seared and then topped with a lemon-herb cream sauce. The healthy cream sauce recipe uses yogurt and actually contains no cream at all. The cream sauce also pairs well with seasoned pan-seared cod or salmon. Serve the chicken and sauce with steamed broccoli or green beans for a healthy dinner.
Quick Shepherd's Pie
In this simple shepherd's pie recipe, we call for flavorful lean ground lamb, which isn't always easy to find. You can use lean ground beef or turkey instead. If you want to use lamb, ask your butcher to grind it for you or, to make your own ground lamb, start with a lean cut of lamb, such as leg or loin, trimmed of any excess fat and cut into 3/4-inch pieces. Pulse briefly in a food processor just until uniformly ground.
Yogurt-Curry Marinated Chicken Thighs
This healthy chicken thigh recipe is tender and packed with flavor, thanks to a yogurt-based marinade. The healthy yogurt marinade recipe also works well with pork, shrimp, firm fish or tofu. (Divide the recipe in half if marinating 1 pound of chicken thighs.)
Salmon & Asparagus Farro Bowl
In this farro and salmon recipe, salmon is poached in a miso-infused broth with bites of tender asparagus and sautéed leeks. If you use farro that's labeled “pearled,” a faster-cooking farro, to make this recipe, start with a full cup of grains and reduce the cooking time to 15 minutes. To clean the leeks, trim off the green tops and white roots and split lengthwise. Place in a large bowl of water and swish around to release any sand or soil. Repeat until no grit remains.
Quick Fettuccine Alfredo
In this healthy fettuccine Alfredo recipe, the sauce for this classic pasta dish gets a makeover, using yogurt. Although we like to toss this creamy pasta sauce with fettuccine, any whole-wheat pasta can be used.
Honey-Mustard Tofu Tenders
Panko-breaded tofu “tenders” are finger-licking crunchy in this family-friendly tofu recipe. We love the sweet and tangy honey-mustard dipping sauce recipe that goes with it, but feel free to use your favorite dip. No poultry seasoning on hand? Make your own by combining equal amounts of dried sage, thyme, marjoram, black pepper, crushed rosemary and crushed celery seed.
Baked Eggs in Prosciutto-Hash Brown Cups
Wow your brunch guests with this adorable muffin-tin recipe of baked eggs in a “nest” of prosciutto and hash browns. Make sure you really wring out as much liquid as you can from the potatoes before you bake them--it will prevent the cups from sticking in the muffin tin.
Kale Salad with Bacon-Blue Cheese Vinaigrette
Hot roasted potatoes in this healthy kale salad recipe wilt the kale just enough to make it tender. Bacon and blue cheese layer on smoky, salty flavors to stand up to the flavor of the kale. Go for a strong blue cheese--we enjoy the tanginess of Maytag. Serve this salad with steak or chicken.
Mushroom, Squash & Chicken Salad with Sesame Dressing
In this healthy main-course chicken salad recipe, dandelion greens and curly chicory pair marvelously with a wildly flavorful mushroom-sesame dressing, roasted chicken thighs and succulent roasted squash. Toss the salad with the dressing just before serving so the greens don't get too wilted.
Tilapia with Grapefruit-Caper Sauce
In this healthy, quick tilapia recipe, you'll combine grapefruit, shallot, capers, butter and a touch of honey for a rich, bittersweet sauce. Any grapefruit will work, but vibrant ruby-red grapefruit is the prettiest. Serve with whole-wheat couscous and broccolini.
Baked Tilapia Curry
This healthy fish-and-vegetable curry recipe is made with yellow curry paste, but any Thai curry paste--red or green--will work. Serve with sautéed green beans and brown basmati rice to soak up all the delicious sauce.
Quinoa Pilaf with Seared Scallops
Make whole grains the center of your dinner plate with this citrus-studded quinoa pilaf recipe topped with sweet seared sea scallops. Be sure to buy “dry” sea scallops (scallops that have not been treated with sodium tripolyphosphate, or STP). Scallops treated with STP (“wet” scallops) are higher in sodium, have a mushy texture and do not brown properly.
Spaghetti Squash & Meatballs
With this spaghetti squash and meatballs recipe, you can reduce the carbohydrates and increase the vegetable servings by skipping pasta and serving the Italian-seasoned turkey meatballs and quick, homemade marinara sauce over thin strands of cooked spaghetti squash instead. Cooking the squash first in the microwave and then in a skillet to cook off the extra moisture, gives the squash a more spaghetti-like texture.
General Tso's Chicken
In this healthy version of a General Tso's Chicken recipe, we cut the fat and sodium in half from the original version by not frying the chicken and by using half as much soy sauce in this Chinese-takeout favorite. Serve with steamed baby bok choy or sautéed spinach and steamed brown rice.
Chicken Thighs with Couscous & Kale
One-pot meals, like this all-in-one chicken thigh, kale and Israeli couscous recipe, are perfect for nights when you want to keep cleanup to a minimum. Look for Israeli couscous--small pearl-shaped pasta made from semolina flour--near other Middle Eastern dry goods in well-stocked supermarkets or specialty-foods stores.
Vegetarian Tikka Masala
In this vegetarian tikka masala recipe, we combine crisp tofu pieces and vegetables in a spiced tomato sauce to make a healthy and flavorful dish. If you like spicy food, increase the amount of crushed red pepper. Serve with steamed brown rice for a healthier take on a classic takeout dish.
White Turkey Chili
This healthy white turkey chili recipe is gorgeous, with flecks of green from zucchini, oregano and green chiles. To keep the saturated fat low, we use one pound of ground turkey and add whole-grain bulgur to boost the volume and fiber in this chili recipe. After all the ingredients are added to the pot, we like to slowly simmer our chili for close to an hour to develop the best flavor, but if you're in a hurry, reduce the liquid by half and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes.
Curried Shrimp & Potato Kebabs
This curried potato and shrimp kebab recipe cooks in less than 5 minutes on the grill and packs plenty of flavor thanks to a generous amount of curry powder, garlic and cilantro.