Low-Calorie Make Ahead Recipes

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

Staff Picks

Cabbage Diet Soup

Rating: 4.33 stars 6
Loaded with cabbage, carrots, bell pepper, tomato and plenty of seasoning, this healthy vegetable soup packs in lots of flavor and is ultra-satisfying. This easy recipe makes a big batch for lunches or veggie-packed snacks all week. If you want to bump up the satisfaction factor even more, top with a little cheese or avocado.

 Spicy Weight-Loss Cabbage Soup

Rating: 4.78 stars 31
Based on a popular weight-loss plan, this healthy cabbage soup recipe gets tons of flavor and a metabolism-boosting kick from spicy chiles.

Hearty Chickpea & Spinach Stew

Rating: 4.2 stars 14
This satisfying stew comes together in a snap. Mashed chickpeas add body to the broth, and tomato paste adds a savory note without piling on the sodium. To simplify the prep, look for chopped fresh onion and shredded carrot or a soup starter mix in the produce section.

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Onions

Rating: 4.93 stars 11
Fresh herbs, onion and bacon sauté alongside Brussels sprouts in this easy vegetable side dish recipe. This savory dish is delicious in the fall and winter months, when Brussels sprouts are in season. If you can find them still attached to the stalk, don't be intimidated--buy them, as they're likely more fresh. Recipe adapted from The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters.

Veggie & Hummus Sandwich

Rating: 4.92 stars 13
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.

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili

Rating: 4.52 stars 87
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.

Peanut Butter Energy Balls

Rating: 4.2 stars 5
These healthy peanut butter and chocolate energy balls deliver a mixture of simple and complex carbohydrates to help fuel you up whenever you need a little boost. They're no-bake and easy to make with ingredients you probably have on hand, like oats and nut butter. Feel free to experiment with different mix-ins--for example, dried fruit or chopped nuts--in place of the chocolate chips and coconut.

Baked Banana-Nut Oatmeal Cups

Rating: 4.17 stars 23
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.

Greek Meatball Mezze Bowls

Rating: 5 stars 6
With a variety of flavors and textures (and a whopping 30 grams of protein!), these Mediterranean-inspired meal-prep bowls will keep you fueled all afternoon. The turkey meatballs are adapted from Greek Turkey Burgers with Spinach, Feta & Tzatziki by Hilary Meyer. Look for premade tzatziki near the specialty cheeses and dips at your grocery store or make your own (see Associated Recipes).

Mediterranean Chickpea Quinoa Bowl

Rating: 4.64 stars 12
Quinoa and chickpeas pack this vegetarian grain bowl with plenty of plant-based protein. Whip up a batch of these Mediterranean meals and pack in containers with lids to stash in the fridge for easy, healthy grab & go lunches all week long.

Black Bean-Quinoa Bowl

Rating: 3.86 stars 9
This black bean and quinoa bowl has many of the usual hallmarks of a taco salad, minus the fried bowl. We've loaded it up with pico de gallo, fresh cilantro and avocado plus an easy hummus dressing to drizzle on top.
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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.
Easy Loaded Baked Omelet Muffins
Rating: 4.55 stars
15

Protein-packed omelet muffins, or baked mini omelets, are a perfect breakfast for busy mornings. Make a batch ahead and freeze for the days when you don't have time for your typical bowl of oatmeal. You can also serve these fresh with fruit salad for a simple weekend brunch.