400-Calorie 20-Minute Dinner Plan
Whether you're trying to lose weight, or simply need to get a healthy meal on the table, the key to making it happen is to keep things as easy as possible. These 20-minute dinners can help. With easy shortcut ingredients (like ready-made ravioli and pre-chopped veggies) and quick cooking techniques, you'll get a healthy dinner on the table in no time.
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What's more, these dinners clock in at a calorie level—400 calories—that can help aid in weight loss. Rather than counting calories all day, simply sticking with 400 calorie dinners every night can help do the trick. Losing weight or not, these healthy 400-calorie, 20-minute dinners will please everyone.
Day 1: Butternut Squash Ravioli with Chicken Sausage & Kale
Butternut Squash Ravioli with Chicken Sausage & Kale: What's the secret to making store-bought butternut squash ravioli even more delicious? Add apple-chicken sausage, tender greens and lots of caramelized onions. We add a bit of sugar to help the onions caramelize faster, but feel free to omit it (just cook the onions a bit longer if you do). Buy prewashed chopped kale to cut down on prep time. It all adds up to an easy dinner that's ready in just 20 minutes.
Total: 408 calories
Day 2: Creamy Lemon Pasta with Shrimp
Creamy Lemon Pasta with Shrimp: Yogurt makes a fine substitute for cream in the sauce for this easy pasta recipe. Just warm the yogurt (do not boil) and add some pasta-cooking water to thin it out. Lemon and fresh basil brighten up the whole-wheat pasta and complement the shrimp in this quick 20-minute dinner recipe.
Total: 403 calories
Day 3: Skillet Eggs with Sausage & Tomato Aioli
Skillet Eggs with Sausage & Tomato Aioli: This breakfast-for-dinner fried egg skillet is a no-brainer alternative to takeout when you're rushed. The sausage and dark leafy greens are cooked in the same pan as the eggs, so cleanup is a cinch. Loading kale into this quick dinner recipe provides some calcium as well as vitamins and fiber. Go for a bag of pre-washed, chopped kale to cut down even more on prep time. Serve with whole-grain toast and simple tomato aioli for a weeknight dinner that's ready in 20 minutes.
Total: 390 calories
Day 4: Easy Italian Wedding Soup
Easy Italian Wedding Soup: Forget the marble-size meatballs you find in many versions of this soup. In this easy recipe, they're full-size, full-flavored and plenty filling. We suggest going with a healthy frozen brand of meatballs, rather than making them on your own to keep this easy dinner at 20 minutes total time.
Total: 415 calories
Day 5: Chicken Cutlets with Sun-Dried Tomato Cream Sauce
Chicken Cutlets with Sun-Dried Tomato Cream Sauce: This recipe shows how to make chicken cutlets with double the deliciousness in a quick 20 minutes. A jar of sun-dried tomatoes does double duty for this healthy dinner recipe. The flavorful oil they're packed in is used to sauté the chicken, and the tomatoes go into the cream sauce. Serve over 1 cup riced cauliflower to round out this meal and get it up to 400 calories per serving.
Total: 404 calories
Day 6: Beef & Bean Sloppy Joes
Beef & Bean Sloppy Joes: This healthy copycat recipe of the comfort food classic trades beans for some of the meat to bump up fiber by 7 grams—a strategy that's also helpful if you're trying to lose weight. We also cut back on the sugar and ketchup in this Sloppy Joe recipe makeover to save you 12 grams of added sugar. Ready in just 20 minutes, the whole family—both kids and adults—will love this dinner.
Total: 411 calories
Day 7: Crispy Gnocchi Pasta with Tomatoes & Leeks
Crispy Gnocchi Pasta with Tomatoes & Leeks: These gnocchi are crispy on the outside, tender on the inside because you sauté them in hot oil. Plus, they leave a little fond (crispy brown bits) in the pan that adds toasty flavor to the tomato and leek sauce, which is cooked in the same pan. Since this easy gnocchi recipe calls for store-bought shelf-stable gnocchi, it's quick to prepare—just 20 minutes, start to finish. Opt for whole-wheat gnocchi to get 2 extra grams of fiber per serving compared to white.
Total: 399 calories