19 High-Protein Low-Calorie Dinners You'll Want to Make This Fall
If you're aiming to add some protein to your diet this fall, look no further than these delicious, seasonally-flavored meals. Whether you're looking to support your bone health, improve your digestion or repair your muscles after a workout, enjoying these low-calorie dinners will help you reap the benefits of a protein-rich diet. Recipes like our Maple-Roasted Chicken Thighs with Sweet Potato Wedges and Brussels Sprouts and Butternut Squash Soup with Apple Grilled Cheese Sandwiches contain fewer than 575 calories and more than 15 grams of protein per serving.
Maple-Roasted Chicken Thighs with Sweet Potato Wedges and Brussels Sprouts
This easy sheet-pan recipe brings together many fall favorites into a hearty dinner.
Butternut Squash Soup with Apple Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Layering apple slices into grilled cheese sandwiches adds a little crunch to a favorite soup dipper. And creamy butternut squash soup with ginger, cumin and turmeric is a nice change of pace from grilled cheese's usual tomato soup partner. Serve the duo for a comforting and easy weeknight dinner for the family. The soup keeps well in the fridge, so save leftovers for lunch or dinner later in the week.
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.
Chicken & Stuffing Casserole
Stuffing is not just for Thanksgiving with this easy chicken and stuffing casserole. And speaking of Thanksgiving, if you have leftover turkey, feel free to substitute it for the chicken in this comforting and healthy recipe. It's also a great use for extra carrots, celery, onions and day-old bread you might have on hand around the holidays. There's no boxed stuffing mix or canned soup in this lighter take on the comfort-food casserole, but it's still super-easy to make. Poultry seasoning helps humble bread to taste like stuffing, while thickened chicken broth takes the place of canned soup. There are plenty of veggies in this one, too, making this a healthy casserole you can feel good about serving year-round.
Roast Chicken & Sweet Potatoes
This sheet-pan dinner combines chicken thighs and sweet potatoes for a healthy dinner that cooks up fast in a very hot oven. Serve with a fall salad of mixed greens, sliced apples and blue cheese.
Lemon-Garlic Dump Dinner with Chicken, Potatoes & Brussels Sprouts
Tender chicken breast is bathed in a lemony marinade that brings a bright pop of flavor to this one-dish meal. The vegetables get crispy edges and, along with the juicy chicken, make this a winning combo.
Chicken Fajita Bowls
These satisfying bowls are chock full of protein and fiber, thanks to chicken breast, black beans, sweet potatoes and bulgur--a versatile grain that has about 15 g fewer carbs (and more than twice the fiber) per cup than brown rice.
Quinoa Power Salad
Make this satisfying salad in the evening and enjoy one portion for dinner, then pack the remaining portion for lunch the next day. Loaded with protein- and fiber-rich ingredients like chicken, sweet potato and quinoa plus power greens, this meal is nutrition-packed!
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.
Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie
Fresh herbs, Worcestershire sauce and ground pepper carry the flavor in this quick-cooking shepherd's pie with a sweet potato topping. Ground beef adds a rich, savory flavor, but ground turkey or ground meat substitute would work well too.
Slow-Cooker Turkey Chili with Butternut Squash
This slow-cooker turkey and butternut squash chili is the perfect balance of sweet and spicy. The sweetness of the butternut squash tames the kick from cayenne, making this easy crock-pot chili just right for kids and adults alike. For those who prefer a spicier chili, just pass hot sauce at the table.
Butternut Squash Carbonara with Broccoli
You've never had carbonara quite like this! Loaded with veggies, this spiralized veggie noodle recipe is a healthy copycat of a traditional carbonara recipe. Butternut squash gets spiralized into long, tender noodles for a lower-carb version of this creamy, cheesy pasta dish. Look for a squash with a large, straight neck to make the longest veggie noodles.
Paprika Chicken Thighs with Brussels Sprouts
In this healthy chicken recipe, paprika-rubbed chicken thighs are nestled into Brussels sprouts and shallots and roasted on a sheet pan in the oven for an easy, healthy dinner. As the chicken thighs roast, the garlicky drippings flavor the Brussels sprouts and shallots. Delicious one-pan cooking! Smoked paprika adds a touch of smoky flavor--look for it at well-stocked supermarkets or in the bulk-spice section at natural-foods markets. Regular paprika can be used in its place, but doesn't add the hint of smoke.
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.
Garlic Roasted Salmon & Brussels Sprouts
Roasting salmon on top of Brussels sprouts and garlic, flavored with wine and fresh oregano, is simple enough for a weeknight meal yet sophisticated enough to serve to company. Serve with whole-wheat couscous.
Sheet-Pan Chicken & Brussels Sprouts
Roasted Brussels sprouts and chicken thighs are a match we go back to over and over again in the Test Kitchen. Paired with cumin, thyme, sweet potatoes and a hit of sherry vinegar, they create one of our favorite easy dinner recipes.
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.
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.
Chicken, Arugula & Butternut Squash Salad with Brussels Sprouts
Hot roasted vegetables lightly wilt the arugula in this healthy dinner salad recipe. Keep prep time minimal with leftover chicken, precut butternut squash and trimmed Brussels sprouts.