Quick & Easy Low-Calorie 20-Minute Dinner Recipes

Find healthy, delicious quick and easy low-calorie 20-minute dinner recipes from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

Panko- & Parmesan-Crusted Baked Scallops

Rating: Unrated
4
These easy baked scallops have a delightful balance of crunchy, golden-brown topping and tender, sweet scallops. They feel decadent like scallops should, thanks to the tasty lemon-butter sauce. Look for uniform scallops; if they're particularly large, you might need to bake them for more than 10 minutes.

Spinach & Artichoke Dip Pasta

Rating: Unrated
7
If you've ever wanted to make a meal out of warm spinach and artichoke dip, this creamy pasta is for you. And here's what's almost as good as the flavor of this comforting dish: the fact that this healthy dinner takes just 20 minutes to prepare.

Baked Lemon-Pepper Chicken

Rating: Unrated
4
Looking for a quick, easy dinner? This baked lemon-pepper chicken recipe is it. Chicken breasts are cooked in a skillet, then finished in the oven with lemon slices that soften and become part of the sauce, with a touch of maple syrup and butter to carry the flavor. It's so simple and delicious, you'll be making this healthy dinner again and again.

Vegan Superfood Buddha Bowls

Rating: Unrated
3
This nutrient-packed vegan Buddha bowl recipe comes together in 15 minutes with the help of a few convenience-food shortcuts like prewashed baby kale, microwavable quinoa and precooked beets. Pack these ahead to keep on hand for easy meal-prep lunches or dinners on busy nights.

Mediterranean Chickpea Quinoa Bowl

Rating: Unrated
10
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.

Vegan Coconut Chickpea Curry

Rating: Unrated
9
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.

Mediterranean Tuna-Spinach Salad

Rating: Unrated
6
This tuna salad recipe gets an upgrade with olives, feta and a tahini dressing. Served over baby spinach, this is the perfect easy and light lunch or dinner salad.

Easy Spicy Salmon Cakes

Looking to add some interest to an easy dinner recipe? Five-spice may be your new best friend. What is five-spice powder? A mixture of these five spices: cinnamon, clove, fennel, star anise and Szechuan peppercorns. (There are regional recipes in China that include more spices, including white pepper, nutmeg and orange peel.) It adds a distinct warm flavor to these healthy salmon cakes.

Salmon-Stuffed Avocados

Rating: Unrated
4
Canned salmon is a valuable pantry staple and a practical way to include heart-healthy omega-3-rich fish in your diet. Here, we combine it with avocados in an easy no-cook meal.

Air-Fryer Scallops

Rating: Unrated
1
A quick and impressive dinner, scallops turn succulent and tender in the air fryer. The lemon-herb sauce is the perfect way to bring zest to each bite. Be sure to cook the scallops to temperature. They may not brown in the fryer, so don't wait for a golden crust to tell you they're ready.

Chickpea & Quinoa Buddha Bowl

Rating: Unrated
4
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!

Black Bean-Quinoa Buddha Bowl

Rating: Unrated
4
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.

Inspiration and Ideas

Make Low-Cal Pineapple & Avocado Salad

This refreshing, simple avocado salad recipe with pineapple and lime captures the flavors of Cuba in just 20 minutes.

What to Eat for Dinner to Lose Weight

Wondering what to eat to lose weight? Learn four ways to enjoy a satisfying low-calorie dinner.

Beef & Bean Sloppy Joes

Rating: Unrated
2

This healthy copycat recipe of the comfort food classic trades beans for some of the meat to bump up fiber by 7 grams. We also cut back on the sugar and ketchup in this Sloppy Joe recipe makeover to save you 12 grams of added sugar.