Healthy 400-Calorie Dinners
Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Tomatoes, Beans & Almond Pesto
Looking at a tangle of spaghetti squash tricks your brain into thinking you're about to eat a serving of eggy noodles, when in fact, you get a nice calorie and carb savings in this healthy recipe. Giving tomatoes a stint in a hot oven makes them candy-sweet.
Curried Cauliflower Steaks with Red Rice & Tzatziki
Gone are the days when your rice choices were limited to white and brown. In this healthy vegetarian dinner recipe, the aromatic flavor of red rice or brown basmati jibes deliciously with fragrant curry powder. Because you need 2 whole heads of cauliflower to get 4 cauliflower steaks, you'll have leftover cauliflower florets to use up. Roast the florets alongside the steaks, then toss them with some chickpeas and tzatziki sauce for a healthy lunch (see Tip, below).
Ancho Chicken Breast with Black Beans, Bell Peppers & Scallions
In this healthy chicken recipe, the meat is rubbed with ancho chile powder, a spice made from dried poblano peppers. It adds mild heat and subtle smokiness to the rub on the chicken, but you can use regular chili powder here instead. This recipe makes an extra 1/2 cup of the black bean mash--try it wrapped into a burrito for lunch or as a taco filling (see Tips, below).
Roasted Gnocchi & Brussels Sprouts with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
In this quick vegetarian dinner recipe, you can skip boiling the gnocchi--they'll cook through while roasting on the sheet pan with the rest of the ingredients. If you can't find Meyer lemons, use 1 small regular lemon in Step 2 and use 4 teaspoons lemon juice and 2 teaspoons orange juice in Step 4.
Orange-Sesame Salmon with Quinoa & Broccolini
A quick Asian orange sauce gives this healthy salmon dinner recipe bright flavor. No broccolini? Swap in 8 ounces broccoli florets and roast for 5 minutes in Step 3.
Salsa-Black Bean Burgers
Salsa and some pantry staples give this vegetarian bean burger recipe tons of flavor. We use crushed tortilla chips to bind the burgers together, making them a great vehicle for using up those crumbs that inevitably fall to the bottom of the bag.
Seared Chicken with Mango Salsa & Spaghetti Squash
A quick mango salsa gives this easy chicken dinner recipe a tropical flavor boost. A generous serving of spaghetti squash rounds out the healthy meal.
Tofu, Chicken & Eggplant Curry
This tofu curry recipe has a rich and spicy tomato-based sauce studded with cubes of pressed, baked tofu. Serve with brown rice and naan bread to sop up any remaining sauce.
Tamari-Ginger Meatball & Eggplant Casserole
Eggplant soaks up the flavors of ginger, garlic and tamari in this Asian-inspired casserole recipe. A hot pepper in the topping adds a bit of heat, but opt for sweet if you prefer.
Pulled Pork with Peppered Vinegar Sauce
To keep sodium in check we've left salt out of the rub in this healthy pulled pork recipe. The vinegary sauce infuses salty goodness throughout the pulled pork rather than just on the surface of the meat. If you have both a charcoal and a gas grill, choose charcoal as it will produce a more authentic smoke flavor. The pork is served here North Carolina–style: with peppered vinegar sauce and slaw.
Sautéed Shrimp with Mango Salsa & Coconut Cauliflower Rice
Shrimp and rice get a tropical makeover in this healthy 400-calorie dinner. Instead of rice, we've combined riced cauliflower and coconut milk for light coconut "rice" topped with spicy shrimp and a juicy mango-avocado salsa to cool it all down. Squeeze on some fresh lime juice before digging in to take this easy meal to the next level.
Mediterranean Chicken with Orzo Salad
Baked chicken breasts cook in the oven while you mix together a Mediterranean salad--packed with veggies, whole-wheat orzo and an easy homemade Greek vinaigrette--for a weekend-worthy dinner on the table in under an hour. The leftovers from this healthy 400-calorie meal make a delicious packable lunch for the next day.
Panko-Crusted Pork Chops with Asian Slaw
Panko breadcrumbs and a high-heat oven lend satisfying crispiness to pork chops without frying. The miso-flavored chops pair with coleslaw, here updated with snow peas, red bell pepper and Asian flavors like ginger, to round out this healthy 400-calorie meal that's ready in under an hour.
Chicken Piccata with Pasta & Mushrooms
Our chicken piccata, served over whole-wheat pasta, has a rich lemon-caper sauce that's made with extra-virgin olive oil and just a touch of butter for flavor. If you like, you can use a mild fish like tilapia or even shrimp instead of chicken breast.
Lamb & Spinach One-Pot Pasta
A few stirs with a wooden spoon and only one pot--that's all you need for this quick weeknight pasta recipe. As the starch cooks off into the pasta water, it creates a creamy sauce to coat your vegetables and meat.
Barbecued Pork Chops with Roasted Potatoes & Kale
Cooking the potatoes and kale in a foil packet in this healthy recipe gives you moist and tender results while using less oil. Choose a barbecue sauce that has the least amount of sodium and added sugars.
Vietnamese Pork & Broccoli "Rice" Bowls
Broccoli gets a whirl in your food processor, with rice-like results, in this healthy dinner recipe. Serve with hot sauce and limes for an extra kick.
Lamb Tagine with Preserved Lemon
Smoky paprika yogurt and an herb and preserved-lemon salsa verde add pops of flavor to this healthy slow-cooker recipe. If you have extra time, brown the lamb and onions, in batches, before adding them to the slow cooker for increased depth of flavor.
Persian Grilled Chicken
This easy grilled chicken recipe owes its tenderness to an overnight soak in a yogurt-lemon juice marinade and its soulful flavor to saffron and onion. A healthy drizzle of saffron-infused butter before serving adds an extra layer of richness. Serve with aromatic rice with pistachios and torshi, Central Asian pickles available at Persian and Middle Eastern grocery stores.
Adobo Chicken & Kale Enchiladas
Put out your favorite toppings for these quick and healthy layered enchiladas. We like cilantro, sour cream, guacamole and jalapeños.
Cocoa-Rubbed Salmon with Orange Salsa
Cocoa gives this versatile rub an almost barbecue-like taste. Serve this healthy baked salmon dinner with a vegetable rice pilaf.
Hasselback Caprese Chicken
Using the hasselback technique (cutting crosswise slits every half-inch along the chicken breast) cooks the chicken faster and ensures you get a burst of flavorful gooey filling with each bite. This quick one-pan high-protein and veggie-packed dinner is easy to make and the whole family will love it.
Creamy Chicken & Mushrooms
Whether you scored wild mushrooms at the farmers' market, found cultivated maitake or shiitake at the supermarket or just have some baby bellas on hand, this healthy creamy chicken recipe is delicious with any of them. Serve over whole-wheat egg noodles or mashed potatoes.
Grilled Tofu with Korean BBQ Glaze & Stir-Fried Napa Cabbage
In this vegetarian grilling recipe, the hot grill gives tofu smokiness and some crispy edges. A BBQ sauce made with gochujang, the hot Korean chile paste, doubles as both a glaze and some sauce to slather on the tofu at the table. Serve with brown rice or farro.
Creamy Chicken, Brussels Sprouts & Mushrooms One-Pot Pasta
You'll only have to dirty one pot in this easy pasta recipe that cooks chicken and vegetables right along with the noodles. Plus, by using the exact amount of water you need to cook the pasta, the starch that usually gets drained off with your pasta water stays in the pot, giving you delectably creamy results.
Chicken & Spinach Soup with Fresh Pesto
This fragrant, Italian-flavored soup takes advantage of quick-cooking ingredients--boneless, skinless chicken breast, bagged baby spinach and canned beans. It features a simple homemade basil pesto swirled in at the end to add a fresh herb flavor. If you are very pressed for time, you can substitute 3 to 4 tablespoons of a store-bought basil pesto. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.
Green Chile Turkey Burgers
These healthy turkey burgers are flavored with the Southwestern triad of chiles verdes, cumin and cilantro. We serve them here on tortillas, but traditionalists can go for a bun.
Honey-Paprika-Glazed Steak & Onions
We love the flavor of grilled onions with the steak in this healthy 5-ingredient recipe (not including oil, salt and pepper) but skewer up any veggies in your fridge--zucchini, cherry tomatoes and eggplant are all good choices. Just adjust the cooking time as necessary. Serve with a baked potato or brown rice pilaf flecked with herbs.
Fish Tacos with Avocado-Lime Crema
If battering and frying fish sounds messy, frozen fish sticks are your fish taco savior in this healthy dinner recipe. Use them for a quick, kid-friendly dinner or try popcorn shrimp. Serve with your favorite salsa and black beans on the side.
Slow-Cooker Braised Beef with Carrots & Turnips
The spice blend in this healthy beef stew recipe--cinnamon, allspice and cloves--may conjure images of apple pie, but the combo is a great fit in savory applications too. Serve over creamy polenta or buttered whole-wheat egg noodles.
Roasted Swordfish & Broccoli Rabe with Piccata Butter
A compound butter made with capers, lemon, garlic and parsley punches up this quick and healthy fish dinner recipe.
Creamy Fettuccine with Brussels Sprouts & Mushrooms
Sliced Brussels sprouts and mushrooms cook quickly and cling to the pasta in our fall version of pasta primavera. Look for presliced mushrooms to cut prep time. Serve with a tossed salad.
In Cincinnati, chili tops spaghetti for an American twist on Bolognese. Add extra toppings to this chili-topped spaghetti recipe as you see fit--sliced scallions, chopped fresh cilantro, diced avocado and sliced jalapeños are all tasty choices.
Quick Beef & Napa Cabbage Pho
Classic Vietnamese noodle soup typically takes hours to make, but this healthy pho recipe gets tons of flavor from cooking the aromatics and spices before adding the broth. Serve with hoisin, Sriracha and lime wedges.
Seared Arctic Char with Bacon-Leek Chard
A cousin of salmon and trout with a milder flavor, Arctic char-both farmed and wild--is recommended as a "Best Choice" by Seafood Watch. It's low in mercury and has almost the same amount of omega-3s per serving as salmon. Try it in this healthy fish recipe with dark leafy greens.
Creamy Parmesan Garlic Mushroom Chicken
A rich and creamy sauce coats chicken breasts in this quick and comforting dinner. If you don't have chicken cutlets (thin-sliced boneless chicken breast) on hand, you can make your own by slicing two 8-ounce chicken breasts in half horizontally.
Creamy Lemon Chicken Parmesan
This riff on classic chicken Parmesan replaces the usual marinara with a luscious lemony cream sauce. We've lightened it up by using half-and-half instead of cream, with just-as-delicious results. Serve this lemony chicken dinner with whole-wheat pasta or brown rice.
Roasted Salmon Rice Bowl with Beets & Brussels
Roasting vegetables and salmon together on one sheet pan while the rice cooks makes an easy, satisfying meal packed with protein, whole grains and veggies. To ensure that you're getting 100 percent whole grains, look for a wild rice blend that consists of wild and brown rice.
Roasted Carrot Tart with Carrot-Green Pesto
In this vegetarian main-dish recipe, you use the entire carrot from root to greens, so there's less waste. Roasted carrots are layered on top of a creamy ricotta base with pesto made using the green tops from carrots. Untrimmed carrots can be tough to find, but when you do, cut off the tops and store them separately or they'll draw moisture from the carrots. If you don't have carrot greens, use 1 cup of parsley instead.
New Mexico Green Chile & Pork Stew
This recipe is best made ahead of time, so the flavors have more time to mingle in the refrigerator. Three types of chiles, both fresh and canned, bring different kinds of heat, earthiness and sweetness to the pot. If you can get Hatch chiles, by all means use them. Pepper aficionados love them so much they travel in droves to a New Mexico festival celebrating their fall harvest. Serve with a dollop of sour cream, if desired.
Edamame & Veggie Rice Bowl
The ingredients in this vegan grain bowl recipe can be prepped ahead for an easy lunch to pack for work. The tangy citrus dressing is a refreshing flavor with the sweet caramel of the roasted sheet-pan veggies.
Farro, Kale & Squash Salad
After a good charring in the skillet, kale stems add a tender-crisp bite and touch of smokiness to this healthy vegetarian kale salad. Feel free to use this healthy recipe as a guide; swap out the farro for any whole grain or the squash for any roasting vegetable, such as cauliflower.
Cauliflower Tortilla Beef Tacos
These full-flavor tacos are wrapped up in sneaky lower carb "tortillas" made from cauliflower. The trick is getting as much moisture out of the cauliflower before mixing it with the cheese and eggs.
Healthy Detox Salad
Skip the cleanse and eat this instead. Packed with veggies, avocado and seeds, this healthy salad recipe is bursting with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Everything can be prepared ahead of time except the avocado. If you love beets, shred one raw and add it to the salad for extra color, crunch and flavor. Excerpted from The Dinner Plan by Kathy Brennan and Caroline Campion, published by ABRAMS © 2017.
Eggplant Lasagna Rolls
Vegetarians and meat-eaters alike will devour these comforting lasagna rolls. We use thinly sliced eggplant in place of pasta to cut the carbs. Preroasting the eggplant helps develop the flavor and softens the slices for easy rolling.
Vegetable & Tofu Fried Rice
Next time you're craving Chinese takeout, make this veggie-packed fried rice recipe in about the same time instead. Tofu and eggs give this vegetarian fried rice staying power from protein, and brown rice boosts fiber.
Chipotle Chicken Burrito Bowl with Cauliflower Rice
This easy-to-make and meal-prep burrito bowl is even better than takeout! You'll never miss the carbs in this protein-packed, super-flavorful meal that replaces the cilantro-lime rice with cauliflower rice. We love this with chicken but it would be just as delicious with shrimp.
Sausage, Brussels Sprout & Potato Soup
Bake up some Manchego cheese toasts and uncork a bottle of Ribera del Duero to enjoy alongside this healthy pot of soup. Both sweet and hot Italian sausage work well.
Salmon Sushi Buddha Bowl
Get all the delicious flavors of sushi without the time-consuming rolling with this quick grain bowl recipe. All you need is 15 minutes to get this healthy dinner on the table or to pack it up for lunch at work.