ThePrep: 400-Calorie Dinners for Fall

This healthy 400-calorie dinners prove that you can enjoy the comfort you crave this time of the year, without going overboard.


Our column, ThePrep, has everything you'll need to make meal planning and meal prep as easy as can be. Sign up here to get a meal plan delivered to your inbox every Saturday!

Comforting doesn't need to mean unhealthy. There are plenty of ways you can tweak recipes to help make them a little bit healthier, while still delivering that cozy flavor we crave in the fall. This week's dinners deliver on that promise with delicious comfort-food recipes that clock in right around 400 calories to help you feel your best all week long.

Your Meal Plan

Spaghetti with Quick Meat Sauce

Sunday's dinner mashes up the classic flavors of spinach and artichoke dip with chicken and rice casserole to make for a seriously delicious start to the week. It's comforting, yet still on the lighter side as we used cauliflower rice in place of regular rice, which also ups the veggie count of this healthy meal. Cauliflower rice comes into play again on Tuesday. It's served with the yummy 20-minute Sesame Shrimp Stir-Fry with Spinach for a healthy, veggie-packed dinner.

Wednesday's Spaghetti with Quick Meat Sauce might be one of my all-time favorite comfort food dinners. I love spaghetti in general and the easy meat sauce that goes with it is super satisfying. We finish off the week with Friday's Creamy White Chili with Cream Cheese. This chili gets a spicy kick from canned green chiles, and a little bit of cream cheese goes a long way to make the broth silky and smooth. This recipe serves six, which means in my house, we'll have leftovers for the weekend. Enjoy!

Sunday: Spinach & Artichoke Casserole with Chicken and Cauliflower Rice (396 calories)

Monday: Roasted Red Pepper & Peanut Soup with Crispy Spiced Chickpeas with ½ (4-in.) whole-wheat pita (389 calories)

Tuesday: Sesame Shrimp Stir-Fry with Spinach over 1 ½ cups riced cauliflower (369 calories)

Wednesday: Spaghetti with Quick Meat Sauce (389 calories)

Thursday: Roasted Salmon & Butternut Squash Salad (422 calories)

Friday: Creamy White Chili with Cream Cheese with 1 (1-in.) slice baguette (371 calories)

Get the printable shopping list here

Meal-Prep Snack

Tart Cherry Nice Cream
Andrea Mathis

I'm needing an after-dinner treat that will satisfy the craving for something sweet but without the sugar rush. This no-sugar-added tart cherry nice cream seems like it will do the trick! And as an added bonus, tart cherries deliver a boost of melatonin that may help you get a more restful night's sleep.

Get the Recipe: Tart Cherry Nice Cream

Treat Yourself

Slow-Cooker Hot Cider with Brandy

This Slow-Cooker Hot Cider with Brandy is one of my favorite big-batch drinks to make this time of the year. It's warm, cozy and a definite crowd pleaser! I'm hoping to have some friends over this weekend for a fire in the backyard and this warm cocktail will help keep us nice and toasty as we enjoy the evening.

Get the Recipe: Slow-Cooker Hot Cider with Brandy

I hope you all have a fun and happy week, and if you have any questions or requests for future newsletters, please let me know by emailing!

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles