22 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 recipes. 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 Sesame Noodles with Baked Tofu 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.
Vietnamese Spiralized Sesame Noodles with Scallops
Spiralized zucchini noodles are the base for this healthy sesame noodle recipe. Shrimp or baked tofu can be swapped for the scallops if you prefer.
Sesame Noodles with Baked Tofu
Chinese hoisin sauce gives this healthy sesame noodle recipe just a touch of sweetness. Be sure to rinse the noodles until they're cold, then give them a good shake in the colander until they're well drained. Are you a spiralizing pro? Swap 5 cups of raw zucchini, carrot or other veggie “noodles” for the cooked pasta.
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.
Barbecued Chicken Burritos
These burritos are something of a Tex-Mex wonder: tangy barbecue sauce, some roast chicken (or rotisserie chicken) and vegetables, all wrapped up in tortillas. For the best taste, look for a fiery barbecue sauce without added corn syrup.
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.
Beef Chow Fun
Brown sugar added to black bean-garlic sauce is what gives this stir-fry its unmistakable Chinese takeout flavor. The recipe for beef chow fun works equally well with tofu for a vegetarian meal or boneless, skinless chicken breast. Serve with sliced cucumbers tossed with rice vinegar, sesame seeds and a pinch of salt.
Chilled Maine Shrimp with Cabbage & Peanuts, Vietnamese-Style
This Vietnamese-inspired shrimp salad is perfect if you're looking for something different to bring to a summer potluck or a light dish for warm-weather entertaining at home. This recipe calls for Asian hot chile sauce. The different styles and brands of sauce have varying heat levels, so taste as you go. Recipe adapted from The Summer Shack Cookbook by Jasper White (W.W. Norton, 2007).
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.