Low-Calorie Make Ahead Recipes

Find healthy, delicious low-calorie make ahead recipes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

 Spicy Weight-Loss Cabbage Soup

Rating: 4.78 stars
27
Based on a popular weight-loss plan, this healthy cabbage soup recipe gets tons of flavor and a metabolism-boosting kick from spicy chiles.

Cauliflower Soup

Rating: 5 stars
1
A healthy take on a loaded baked potato, this creamy cauliflower soup recipe has all the fixings of a loaded potato (bacon included) but for way fewer calories and carbs. Ready in a quick 20 minutes, this easy soup is great for busy weeknights or can be meal prepped ahead of time to take for lunch or frozen for a ready-made meal down the road. This recipe was originally made for one serving but can be easily adapted to serve more.

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili

Rating: 4.52 stars
96
Make a double batch of this quick vegetarian chili, full of black beans and sweet potatoes, and eat it for lunch the next day or freeze the extras for another night. We love the smoky heat from the ground chipotle, but omit it if you prefer a mild chili. Serve with tortilla chips or cornbread and coleslaw.

Slow-Cooker Braised Beef with Carrots & Turnips

Rating: 4.86 stars
7
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.

Veggie & Hummus Sandwich

Rating: 4.92 stars
12
This mile-high vegetable and hummus sandwich makes the perfect heart-healthy vegetarian lunch to go. Mix it up with different flavors of hummus and different types of vegetables depending on your mood.

Carrot Soup

Rating: 4.72 stars
36
This easy carrot soup recipe is a great way to use up a bag of carrots that were forgotten in your produce drawer. The carrots cook together with aromatics like onions, garlic and fresh herbs before being puréed into a silky smooth soup that's delicious for dinner or packed up for lunch.

Baked Banana-Nut Oatmeal Cups

Rating: 4.17 stars
18
Muffins meet oatmeal in these moist and tasty grab-and-go oatmeal cups. Feel free to swap out the pecans for any other nut--walnuts would be great--or omit them altogether. Make a batch on the weekend and keep them in your fridge or freezer for quick and easy breakfasts all week. Reheat in the microwave for about 40 seconds.

Roasted Cauliflower & Potato Curry Soup

Rating: 4.8 stars
46
In this healthy cauliflower soup recipe, roasting the cauliflower first adds depth and prevents the florets from turning to mush. A little tomato sauce and coconut milk give the broth a rich, silky texture. Serve with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt, if desired.

Strawberry-Chocolate Greek Yogurt Bark

Rating: 4.5 stars
8
Lightly sweetened Greek yogurt gets studded with fresh strawberries and chocolate chips then frozen so you can break it into chunks just like chocolate bark (but healthier!). This colorful snack or healthy dessert is perfect for kids and adults alike. Use full-fat yogurt to ensure the creamiest bark possible.

Easy Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Rating: 4.29 stars
7
Casseroles make perfect meal-prep dinners--this enchilada version is so easy to prep ahead. The whole casserole can be built and left to hang out in the refrigerator for up to three days. Then all you have to do is bake it off on a busy night and you have a healthy dinner on the table in a jiff. The quick homemade enchilada sauce in this recipe is great when you don't have any of the canned sauce on hand--just season crushed tomatoes with spices and salt for an instant enchilada sauce.

Kale & White Bean Potpie with Chive Biscuits

Rating: 4.67 stars
9
In this vegetarian white bean potpie recipe, kale and hearty white beans are topped with easy, homemade chive biscuits. If desired, add a little shredded Gruyère or Cheddar cheese to the biscuit dough.
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Inspiration and Ideas

Quinoa-Summer Squash Casserole
As this layered slow-cooker squash casserole recipe cooks, the liquid from the tangy tomatillo salsa and summer squash is absorbed by the quinoa.
Roasted Three-Chile Salsa
This hot salsa recipe is typically made in a large molcajete (lava-rock mortar and pestle), but this recipe calls for a food processor to make it easier.

Slow-Cooker Mediterranean Chicken & Chickpea Soup

Rating: 3.5 stars
16

This set-it-and-forget-it slow-cooker recipe simmers away all day so you come home to a warm and healthy dinner the whole family will love. Using bone-in chicken is the key to making rich soup without adding broth.