37 Low-Calorie Dinner Recipes on the Table in 30 Minutes
Instead of ordering takeout, you can whip up a delicious dinner with these low-calorie dinner ideas. These recipes are packed with protein and vegetables to create a well-rounded meal that's on the table in 30 minutes or less. Recipes like Chipotle Chicken Quinoa Burrito Bowl and Beef & Bean Chile Verde are flavorful and fast.
Chipotle Chicken Quinoa Burrito Bowl
This chipotle-flavored burrito bowl recipe is even better than takeout and just as fast. Loading it with vegetables and using quinoa in place of rice adds nutrition for a healthy dinner.
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.
Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad Wrap
This chicken Caesar salad wrap recipe is elevated by the irresistible smoky flavor of grilled chicken and grilled romaine. Whisk together this easy Caesar salad dressing, toss with the grilled chicken and romaine and wrap it all together for a delicious lunch or dinner.
Five-Spice Turkey & Lettuce Wraps
Based on a popular Chinese dish, these fun wraps also make appealing appetizers for entertaining. Make it a meal: Serve with chile-garlic sauce and rice vinegar for extra zip; toss diced mango and strawberries with lime juice for a quick dessert.
Spaghetti Squash Lo Mein
Swap regular noodles for veggie "noodles" in this low-calorie, healthy spaghetti squash recipe. For a fun presentation, serve the lo mein in the hollowed-out spaghetti squash boat. If you like it hot, serve with extra Sriracha.
Hawaiian Steak Fajitas with Grilled Pineapple Salsa
Prepeeled pineapple, presliced peppers and onions and fresh pico de gallo help this quick, healthy dinner recipe come together in a flash. Chicken tenders are a good substitute for the steak if you prefer. Blend up some margaritas and call it a party.
Garlic Shrimp with Cilantro Spaghetti Squash
Garlicky shrimp are served on top of buttery, cilantro-flecked spaghetti squash in this quick, healthy dinner recipe inspired by shrimp scampi. Pair with a side of sautéed greens, such as kale, collards or spinach.
Thai Chicken Stir-Fry with Basil & Cashews
This quick chicken stir-fry recipe is flavored with classic Thai ingredients: savory fish sauce balanced with tangy lime juice and plenty of fresh basil. Have all the ingredients prepared and ready to add to the wok before you turn on the heat. Serve with brown rice.
Szechuan Tofu & Green Bean Stir-Fry
This spicy vegetarian stir-fry is a great way to use green beans when they're bountiful and inexpensive at the supermarket. You can also try it with other vegetables, such as broccoli or peppers, just make sure to cut them into small pieces so that they cook quickly. Coating the tofu in cornstarch before you cook it gives it a light crust.
Easy Miso-Chicken Ramen
Warm up a chilly evening with this healthy chicken-and-vegetable ramen noodle bowl recipe. For a little spice, top with hot sauce, such as Sriracha. Look for dried curly Chinese-style noodles near other Asian ingredients in most well-stocked supermarkets. For a substitute, try whole-wheat angel hair pasta and cook for a few minutes longer.
Vegetarian Spinach Enchiladas
This vegetarian enchilada recipe is weeknight-fast when you skip the step of filling and rolling the enchiladas and make a stacked enchilada casserole instead. Just layer the tortillas, sauce and cheesy spinach filling the way you would lasagna and have the casserole in the oven in 20 minutes.
Here's a burrito inspired by San Francisco's super burritos that come packed with meat, beans, rice, cheese, guacamole and salsa. We've kept this home-style version a bit simpler to make and a whole lot healthier with brown rice, whole-wheat tortillas and a more reasonable serving size. We recommend wrapping it in foil--the traditional way to serve it--so you can pick the burrito up and eat it without it falling apart, peeling back the foil as you go. Serve with a cold beer and vinegar-dressed slaw.
Peanut Noodles with Shredded Chicken & Vegetables
If you can't find a bagged vegetable medley for this easy noodle bowl, choose 12 ounces of cut vegetables from your market's salad bar and create your own mix.
A tandoori-inspired spice rub and smokiness from the grill flavor these tofu "steaks." While you're there, grill some vegetables, too, to serve alongside. Serve with: Grilled eggplant and cherry tomato skewers and brown basmati rice.
The EatingWell Taco
Building the perfect taco is a very personal task--cheese under meat, cheese on top, no cheese at all? This is just our recommendation.
Beef & Bean Chile Verde
Chile Verde, usually a slow-cooked stew of pork, jalapeños and tomatillos, becomes an easy weeknight meal with quick-cooking ground beef and store-bought green salsa. Make it a Meal: Serve with fresh cilantro, red onion and Monterey Jack. Add cornbread on the side and your favorite hot sauce.
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.
Grilled Skirt Steak with Corn-Tomato Relish
Corn, tomato and basil scream summer, but simplicity makes this easy dinner recipe perfect for the season. Serve the grilled skirt steak and relish with salad greens for a quick and healthy dinner you'll want to make over and over.
Chicken Tomato Tortilla Soup
Transform canned tomato soup by adding chicken, black beans and corn for a filling and quick lunch or dinner. Garnish with your favorite toppings, such as sour cream, avocado and tortilla chips.
Philly Cheese Steak Sloppy Joes
Two of our favorite comfort-food sandwiches join forces in these family-friendly dinner sandwiches. We found that softer buns make this easier to eat, and it's all the better when wrapped takeout-style in a sheet of foil.
3-Ingredient Chicken Salad Tostadas
For this three-ingredient dinner, a premade salad kit is the perfect shortcut because it has everything you need in one bag, including the dressing. Swap in canned black beans for the chicken to make this vegetarian.
California Turkey Burgers & Baked Sweet Potato Fries
Inspired by an option at the West Coast chain In-N-Out Burger, this turkey burger recipe keeps the carbs in check with a lettuce wrap instead of a bun. The side of sweet potato fries bakes while you prep the burgers, so this entire healthy dinner is ready in under 30 minutes.
3-Ingredient Teriyaki Edamame Sauté
Whip up this high-fiber, plant-based stir-fry for a quick and convenient dinner. Look for bottled teriyaki sauce labeled less sodium or reduced sodium to cut back on the salt without sacrificing flavor.
Spicy Shrimp Tacos
These spicy shrimp tacos owe their kick to a smoky chipotle shrimp seasoning blend. Cooling avocado and tangy pico de gallo round out the flavor. This vibrant, easy dinner comes together in a flash, making it perfect for busy weeknights.
Scrambled Egg Curry
This mildly spiced Indian scrambled egg recipe makes a great light lunch or light dinner. Tuck the curried eggs into a warm whole-wheat tortilla or an Indian flatbread, like paratha, which can be found in the freezer case at Indian markets. Serve with a dollop of yogurt.
Honey Walnut Shrimp
Walnuts are given a brown sugar coating that pairs nicely with sweet and savory shrimp in our version of this popular restaurant dish. Serve the shrimp with rice and steamed veggies to make it a full, healthy meal. This ultra-quick dinner recipe is sure to become a new weeknight favorite.
Cheeseburger Stuffed Baked Potatoes
Skip the bun and serve all of your favorite cheeseburger ingredients--beef, cheese, tomatoes, red onions and lettuce--with baked potatoes for a hearty and easy dinner recipe that kids and adults will love. Feel free to swap out the ground beef for ground turkey or tofu crumbles.
Zucchini Noodle Primavera
This primavera recipe cuts carbs by swapping out the pasta for zucchini "noodles." This quick vegetarian dinner is chock-full of colorful vegetables smothered in a light, creamy sauce. We like using prepackaged spiralized zucchini noodles to keep this recipe ultra-fast, but if you have a spiralizer and zucchini on hand, you can easily make your own.
Sweet & Sour Chicken with Broccoli
This easy chicken and broccoli recipe makes a delicious, healthier alternative to Chinese takeout--and it takes just 20 minutes to make, so it's ideal for an easy weeknight dinner. When toasted, ramen noodles make a tasty, crunchy topping for a stir-fry or salad.
Cauliflower Tikka Masala with Chickpeas
In this vegetarian riff on a popular Indian dish, we swap in cauliflower and chickpeas for the chicken in tikka masala. The cauliflower's nooks and crannies are particularly good at soaking up all the intense flavors of the sauce. Serve over rice for an easy healthy dinner that's ready in just 20 minutes.
Vegetarian All-American Portobello Burgers
Portobello mushrooms stand in for meat patties in this recipe for veggie burgers with all the fixings. Mushrooms are a source of glutamate, a naturally occurring compound that gives the fungi their umami flavor. But to really give these "patties" a savory boost, we brush them with steak sauce. Add a simple side salad or some grilled veggies for a satisfying and easy dinner on the grill.
Greek Salad Nachos
This vegetarian nacho recipe is a fun combination of two favorites--nachos and Greek salad. It uses whole-grain pita chips instead of the tortilla chips used in traditional nacho recipes, and it's loaded with the classic fresh vegetables in Greek salad as well as creamy hummus and salty feta cheese. And it doesn't even need the oven! Easily doubled, this makes a great appetizer or light dinner.
Prosciutto Pizza with Corn & Arugula
This grilled prosciutto and arugula pizza makes the perfect summer dinner. If you have time, let the dough stand at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes to make rolling it out easier in this 20-minute healthy pizza recipe. Thawed frozen corn works in place of fresh, just pat it dry before sprinkling it on the pizza.
Molletes (Cheesy Mexican Bean Sandwiches)
These hearty open-face sandwiches are ready in no time and can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch or dinner. They're typically made with refried beans; here we use pureed black beans scented with cumin and oregano instead for a similar effect.
Beef Stir-Fry with Baby Bok Choy & Ginger
All the ingredients for this easy beef stir-fry recipe are cooked in one wok (or skillet), so not only is the meal-prep fast for this healthy dinner, cleanup is quick too. Look for Lee Kum Kee Premium oyster-flavored sauce in the Asian-foods aisle of your grocery store. It has the most concentrated oyster flavor.
Chicken & Shrimp Alfredo
This easy pasta with creamy homemade Alfredo sauce, chicken and shrimp is your classic fettuccine Alfredo done one better--and it takes less than 30 minutes to make! Add a simple green salad and you have a family-friendly weeknight dinner that you'd be happy to serve to company.
Sheet-Pan Chili-Lime Salmon with Potatoes & Peppers
Busy weeknights beg for something simple like this salmon sheet-pan dinner. Like the name suggests, it's all cooked on one pan. The potatoes get a head start, followed by sweet bell peppers and finally chili-coated salmon fillets. It's a complete meal with easy cleanup!