28 Days of Easy 500-Calorie Dinners
Kickstart healthy eating habits with this month of delicious 500-calorie dinners. These balanced meals are a great choice for anyone looking for healthy dinner options, and can be especially helpful for those trying to lose weight. With the meals already planned for you and the calories tallied up, all that's left to do it cook and enjoy. These 500-calorie meals will keep you satisfied all month long.
Vegan Coconut Chickpea Curry
To make this 20-minute vegan curry even faster, buy precut veggies from the salad bar at the grocery store. To make it a full, satisfying dinner, serve over cooked brown rice. When shopping for simmer sauce, look for one with 400 mg of sodium or less and check the ingredient list for cream or fish sauce if you want to keep this vegan. If you like a spicy kick, add a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce at the end.
Roast Chicken with Parmesan-Herb Sauce
A store-bought rice blend and quick-cooking chicken breast help get this healthy chicken recipe on the dinner table fast. Check the label to avoid excessive sodium or other undesirable ingredients. Other herbs, such as rosemary and sage, are also delicious in this recipe.
Meal-Prep Roasted Vegetable Bowls with Pesto
Your co-workers will be jealous when you pull out this healthy lunch of roasted veggies and brown rice. Put together 4 lunches when you have time and you will have packable lunches (or ready-to-eat dinners) for several days--just grab a container on your way out the door in the morning.
Lemon-Caper Black Cod with Broccoli & Potatoes
In this healthy, 30-minute fish recipe, cooking the fillets skin-side down makes it easy to keep them intact when you flip them. Be sure to pat the fish dry before cooking--it's the key to getting the skin crispy.
Chickpea & Quinoa Buddha Bowl
It seems Buddha bowls have as many variations as there are stars in the sky, and there is no wrong way to build one! But we prefer to keep things classic and simple with hummus, quinoa, avocado and loads of veggies!
Bucatini alla Puttanesca
This classic Italian pasta recipe for bucatini (spaghetti with a hole in the center) with a flavorful tomato sauce, seasoned with olives, anchovy, oregano and capers, comes together in just 30 minutes. Puttanesca was named after the "ladies of the night" who, according to legend, cooked it to seduce their clients. Serve atop sautéed chicken cutlets with a simple tossed salad for a restaurant-worthy meal.
Crispy Oven-Fried Fish Tacos
Fish tacos make a satisfying meal the entire family will love. Many restaurant versions are deep-fried, but our technique includes coating the fish in a seasoned whole-grain breading and spritzing it lightly with cooking spray before baking on a rack until golden brown. The result is a crispy exterior with moist and flaky fish inside.
Quinoa, Chicken & Broccoli Salad with Roasted Lemon Dressing
Roasting lemons mellows their tartness and creates a layer of caramelized flavor that pairs well with the raw broccoli and savory quinoa in this healthy chicken dinner salad. Even better, the chicken and lemons roast on one sheet pan, making cleanup a breeze.
Broccoli Fried Rice
This easy stir-fry is a great healthy dinner for one. Make it your own by choosing between beef and chicken. Vegetarian? Skip the meat altogether, or sub in tofu.
One-Pot Greek Pasta
A little bit of Sunday meal prep goes a long way in this one-dish Mediterranean pasta recipe. The pasta is cooked ahead of time and stored in the fridge to use for meals all week, but any leftover cooked pasta you have on hand will do. Chicken sausage with feta is especially good in this recipe.
Oven-Fried Beef Taquitos
This healthy beef taquitos recipe calls for baking instead of deep-frying, making the taquitos substantially healthier than what you'd get at a restaurant. One order of these little deep-fried, rolled-up tacos at a restaurant can set you back almost 1,000 calories and 60 grams of fat! Don't worry if some of the taquitos crack open while baking--they're still crispy and delicious. Serve with your favorite salsa, guacamole and reduced-fat sour cream.
Veggie Burger Hash
This vegetarian riff on corned beef hash uses frozen black bean veggie burgers for an easy, healthy dinner recipe. Some frozen veggie burgers have a firmer texture than others--the softer ones will crumble more when you mix them into the vegetables. Both taste delicious!
Loaded Mediterranean Chicken-Quinoa Salad
Turn simple precooked ingredients into a delicious one-dish meal, high in fiber and with plenty of protein to keep you feeling satisfied.
Stir-Fried Chicken & Broccoli with Mango Chutney
Resist the urge to make this stir-fry chicken recipe in a skillet instead of a wok, which will hold all your ingredients better. Buy a carbon-steel wok at an Asian market (or online) for around $30 and you'll have it forever. Make one stir-fry and you'll wonder how you survived without it.
Cornbread-Topped Chili Casserole
In this healthy casserole recipe--sometimes called tamale pie--the cornbread gets crusty at the edges, thanks to a cast-iron skillet. For the best texture, use yellow cornmeal with a medium grind. Serve with lime wedges for a little extra tang.
Meal-Prep Cilantro-Lime Chicken Bowls
Prep all four servings of this easy recipe at once for ready-to-eat dinners or packable lunches for the rest of the week. If you don't like a lot of heat, try using mild chili powder, and leave out the jalapeño from the rice.
Cashew Salmon with Apricot Couscous
Yogurt sauce flavored with lemon, cumin and cilantro tops this Indian-inspired grilled salmon.
Honey-Mustard Pork with Spinach & Smashed White Beans
Drizzle the quick honey-mustard pan sauce over the pork and beans in this 30-minute dinner for a comforting, healthy weeknight meal.
Steak & Pepper Tartines with Arugula Salad
These open-face, knife-and-fork steak sandwiches are topped with Gruyère cheese to make them reminiscent of a Philly cheesesteak. If you can't find shaved sandwich steak in your grocery store, try slicing a flank steak very thin.
"Healthify" classic fettuccine Alfredo by adding protein-rich shrimp and using whole-wheat noodles instead of white for extra fiber. We love the full flavor of Asiago cheese in this quick and comforting dinner, but any hard Italian cheese, like Parmigiano Reggiano or Romano, will work well too.
Garlic, Sausage & Kale Naan Pizzas
We love sausage, but it can be high in sodium. In this fast, healthy dinner, we make our own turkey sausage with crushed red pepper, garlic, fennel seeds, paprika and just a touch of salt.
Om Buddha Bowl
This beautiful grain bowl is packed with healthy ingredients like quinoa, chickpeas, kale and cauliflower--all drizzled with a lemony tahini sauce. The fast one-bowl meal makes a satisfying weeknight dinner or packable work lunch. If you don't have za'atar, you can substitute 1/2 teaspoon each ground cumin and coriander.
Roasted Pepper-&-Cheese Stuffed Chicken
A simple mixture of roasted red peppers, provolone cheese and oregano makes these healthy stuffed chicken breasts restaurant-worthy. With olive-studded orzo and broccoli, this healthy dinner recipe is an easy and complete meal.
Black Bean-Quinoa Buddha Bowl
Treat your Buddha bowl to a vacation south of the border! This black bean and quinoa Buddha bowl has the usual hallmarks of a taco salad, minus the greasy fried bowl. We've loaded it up with pico de gallo, fresh cilantro and avocado plus an easy hummus dressing to drizzle on top.
Zucchini, Fennel & White Bean Pasta
Turn humble pasta and beans gourmet by adding roasted vegetables, fresh mint and tangy, salty aged goat cheese. When making a pasta dish with beans, you can use some of the bean-cooking liquid to give the sauce silky body and help it cling to the pasta. If you're using canned beans, use some of the pasta-cooking liquid or just water.
These chickpea burgers are similar to falafel, but with the added whole-grain goodness of brown rice and wheat germ. Serving them on pita breads with thick slices of tomato and a dab of plain yogurt continues the Middle Eastern theme, but if you want to take it even further, drizzle with a little sauce made with minced garlic and tahini thinned with water and lemon juice.
Pressure-Cooker Buddha Bowl
Whip up this healthy vegetarian grain bowl with ease in your Instant Pot. Pressure-cooking the sweet potato is faster and yields the perfect texture. A drizzle of homemade spicy dressing takes this easy dinner to the next level.
Italian Mussels & Pasta
This combination of mussels with plenty of garlic, parsley, saffron and white wine was inspired by the Venetian soup zuppa de peoci, which is usually ladled over sliced crusty bread. Here we serve it over pasta. For a more elegant presentation you can remove the mussels from their shells before serving…but then again, who wants to be elegant? Enjoy!