30-Day Weight Loss Dinner Plan
From sheet-pan dinners to cozy soups and everything in between, all of these delicious weight-loss dinner recipes clock in at 500 calories or less to help you lose weight the healthy way. Plus they’re packed with nutrient dense ingredients that aid in weight loss—like lean protein, nutrient-packed veggies, and fiber-rich whole grains—for a month of satisfying meals.
Day 1: Mediterranean Slow-Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup
This slow-cooker chicken noodle soup fits nicely into the Mediterranean diet thanks to plenty of vegetables, lean chicken breast and whole-wheat pasta. Pair it with a salad and toasted whole-grain bread for an easy, healthy dinner.
Day 2: Spaghetti Squash Lasagna with Broccolini
In this low-carb spaghetti squash lasagna recipe, garlicky broccolini, spaghetti squash and cheese are combined for a healthy take on a favorite casserole. This bakes right in the squash shells for a fun presentation. Serve with a big Caesar salad and some warm and crusty whole-grain bread.
Day 3: Mediterranean Stuffed Chicken Breasts
Feta cheese, roasted peppers, spinach and more flavors from the Mediterranean fill these easy stuffed chicken breasts. Browning the chicken in a skillet before baking gives it a beautiful golden color, and finishing it in the oven ensures that this healthy baked chicken recipe cooks evenly throughout.
Day 4: Garlic-Lime Pork with Farro & Spinach
In this easy main dish recipe, pork chops are paired with farro and spinach in a zesty peanut butter-lime sauce. This one-skillet meal will be on the table in under 30 minutes and requires minimal cleanup.
Day 5: Roasted Root Veggies & Greens over Spiced Lentils
This earthy bowl of lentils bursting with Middle Eastern flavors is topped with leftover roasted root veggies from a large batch for an easy weeknight dinner. Keep it vegan or add a drizzle of plain yogurt for extra richness.
Day 6: Honey-Garlic Chicken Thighs with Carrots & Broccoli
In this easy and healthy dinner recipe, sweet and savory baked honey-garlic chicken thighs come with a side of veggies that cook on the same sheet pan as the chicken. The honey-soy-garlic marinade for the chicken does double duty as an irresistible sauce to drizzle over everything. Lining your baking sheet with foil will protect your pan from the sticky honey-soy-garlic sauce, so cleanup will be a breeze too. If you can't find small carrots, cut medium carrots in half lengthwise.
Day 7: Shrimp Cauliflower Fried Rice
Cut down on carbs and amp up your veggie servings with this healthy cauliflower fried rice with shrimp, broccoli, bell peppers and garlic. Everything is cooked in one wok or skillet, but in stages, so each element keeps its integrity in the finished dish instead of being all mushed together--it may seem fussy, but it's worth it and actually quite easy. Resist the urge to stir the cauliflower rice right away; letting it cook undisturbed for a few minutes allows it to brown and develop sweet, nutty flavors. This better-than-takeout healthy dinner comes together in just 25 minutes, so it's perfect for busy weeknights.
Day 8: Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup with Kale
This healthy, easy soup is loaded with vegetables, protein and fiber to keep you full and fueled. Serve this winter soup topped with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, and a side of garlic toast.
Day 9: Salt & Vinegar Sheet-Pan Chicken & Brussels Sprouts
A strong vinegar, like malt or sherry, gives this baked chicken recipe a pucker factor reminiscent of salt-and-vinegar chips. Everything cooks on one pan, making this chicken sheet-pan dinner perfect for weeknights when you want big results for little effort (so, pretty much every weeknight!).
Day 10: Seared Scallops with White Bean Ragu & Charred Lemon
This recipe for seared scallops with white beans and spinach turns out a healthy dinner that looks impressive (and tastes great) in just 25 minutes. Giving lemons a quick sizzle in the skillet amps up the flavor of this piccata-inspired dish. The heat helps release even more citrus juice and sweetens it too. When shopping for scallops, look for ones labeled "dry." Some scallops are soaked in a solution that prevents them from searing properly and can give them a soapy flavor.
Day 11: 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.
Day 12: Roasted Chicken & Winter Squash over Mixed Greens
This hearty salad comes together with little effort, since the squash and chicken can roast together on the same sheet pan. Prep the dressing and the salad greens while the chicken is roasting.
Day 13: Spaghetti Squash Casserole
Strands of tender squash replace pasta for a more flavorful version of spaghetti pie casserole. Not to mention, spaghetti squash is a low-carb alternative to pasta and saves more than 150 calories per serving compared to a traditional recipe. A sprinkling of nutty fontina cheese melts into a gooey topping.
Day 14: Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Apricots & Olives
This healthy chicken stew is full of warming, spicy flavor thanks to ras el hanout, an aromatic Moroccan spice blend. You can find it in well-stocked grocery stores--or substitute 1/2 tsp. each ground cumin and ginger and 1/4 tsp. each ground cinnamon, coriander and allspice.
Day 15: Slow-Cooker Mediterranean Stew
This Mediterranean stew is a healthy dinner chock-full of vegetables and hearty chickpeas. A drizzle of olive oil to finish carries the flavors of this easy vegan crock-pot stew. Swap out the chickpeas for white beans for a different twist, or try collards or spinach in place of the kale. Any way you vary it, this stew is sure to go into heavy rotation when you are looking for healthy crock-pot recipes.
Day 16: Spinach Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes, White Beans & Basil
Roasted sweet potatoes are paired with spinach, cabbage and white beans and tossed together with a bright basil dressing in this healthy main dish salad.
Day 17: Slow-Cooker Chicken Marsala
This slow-cooker chicken Marsala recipe gets its full flavor from plenty of mushrooms and fragrant shallots. Whole-wheat pasta soaks up the rich sauce. Round it out with a simple green salad for a comforting healthy dinner.
Day 18: Quinoa Avocado Salad with Buttermilk Dressing
Persimmons add sweetness to this tossed green salad that sports a healthy salad dressing. A sprinkling of crispy fried quinoa adds unexpected crunch, putting the salad over the top in the best way.
Day 19: Vegan Jambalaya
You won't miss the meat in this healthy jambalaya recipe. Vegan smoked sausage takes its place while the classic "trinity" of vegetables--onion, red bell pepper and celery--get a kick from jalapeño peppers. And everything is cooked in one skillet, which means cleanup is a breeze!
Day 20: Baked Halibut with Brussels Sprouts & Quinoa
Fish plus two sides? It seems fancy but this healthy dinner comes together in just 30 minutes.
Day 21: Stuffed Potatoes with Salsa & Beans
Taco night meets baked potato night with this simple recipe for loaded baked potatoes with salsa, beans and avocado. This easy, healthy family dinner comes together with just 10 minutes of active time, so you can make it on even the busiest of weeknights. This recipe is just as delicious with sweet potatoes in place of russets.
Day 22: Mushroom & Tofu Stir-Fry
This tofu veggie stir-fry is quick and easy, making it a great go-to weeknight meal. Baked tofu has a firm, toothsome texture that crisps well in a hot pan. You can find it in flavors like teriyaki and sesame, both of which are delicious here. Or opt for a smoked version, which has the same texture with a more robust flavor. Serve over brown rice.
Day 23: Italian Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Vegetables & Quinoa
For the best flavor in this easy roasted pork tenderloin dish, start marinating the pork the night before or get it going before you head off to work in the morning. Then, when you get home, all that's left to do is roast the pork and vegetables and prepare the quinoa for this easy healthy dinner. This recipe makes extra quinoa--use the leftovers as a base for easy meal-prep lunches, salads, stir-fries later in the week.
Day 24: Bruschetta Chicken Pasta
This healthy chicken pasta recipe is jazzed up with traditional bruschetta toppers, including cherry tomatoes, garlic and basil. Multicolored cherry tomatoes look pretty, but you can use all one color of tomato too. Either way, you've got an easy weeknight dinner that's ready in 25 minutes. We've called for spaghettini (thin spaghetti) in this recipe, but feel free to use your favorite shape of pasta.
Day 25: Coconut-Curry Cod Stew with Sweet Potato & Rice
This hearty coconut curry is warm and comforting, thanks to tender sweet potatoes and a hint of spice. This easy curry recipe can be on the table in less than an hour.
Day 26: Sheet-Pan Chicken Fajita Bowls
Skip the tortillas in favor of this warm fajita salad, which features a nutritious medley of chicken with roasted kale, bell peppers and black beans. The chicken, beans and vegetables are all cooked on the same pan, so this healthy dinner is easy to make and the cleanup is easy too.
Day 27: Instant Pot Vegetarian White Chili
Parsnips lend a wonderful sweet and nutty flavor to this healthy white bean chili. Using an Instant Pot (or any other pressure cooker) means this hearty chili can be ready in under an hour, but it still tastes like it's simmered away for hours. Pureeing some of the chili gives the stew a nice creaminess, but feel free to skip that step to save time. Garnish the chili with cheese and sour cream for a richer meal, or serve it as-is to keep it vegan.
Day 28: Kale, Sausage & Pepper Pasta
This entire healthy pasta recipe cooks in one skillet, so there's only one pot to clean! Try it with any greens you have in the fridge, such as chard or spinach.
Day 29: Paprika Baked Pork Tenderloin with Potatoes & Broccoli
You'd never guess that this elegant meal comes together on just one baking sheet. While the pork rests, whip together an easy red pepper sauce to complete this impressive and healthy dinner. The sauce would also be delicious with chicken. We're willing to bet this easy sheet-pan dinner recipe will go into heavy rotation on your kitchen playlist.
Day 30: Chickpea Salad with Broccoli & Golden Milk-Poached Chicken
Poaching chicken in turmeric-infused milk for this healthy salad recipe yields tender results with a golden hue. Bright yellow turmeric has been used for centuries in traditional Indian medicine. The early spice's potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound, curcumin, shows promise in fighting certain cancers, including breast, pancreatic, colorectal, lung and prostate. (See Tip to learn more about turmeric's health benefits.) Don't toss the cooking liquid: some of it goes into the salad dressing and you can use what remains to cook grains or as a soup base. Make sure to use whole milk and don't go beyond a bare simmer, otherwise it may curdle.