Really tasty low cal/healthy dinner recipes

I have decided we should start eating more vegetables and less meat, especially red meat.
I’m hoping this thread will help me (and others) find some really good, healthy dishes. I’m particularly interested in things to be served for dinner, but if others want to post other meals, that’s fine too.

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You might check out recipes on Skinnytaste.


Any other dietary restrictions or preferences? We rarely eat red meat and stick to mostly fish and white meat but I control calories by portion size, not necessarily what’s in the dish so I’m not sure it would “count” as low cal.

Tonight we’re having fish cakes with sides of snow peas and spicy corn.

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I made this tonight. We enjoyed it.


We had a quick and tasty dinner last night that was pretty healthy.

Had lots of veggies. Sautéed broccoli, carrot, mushroom, peppers and leeks with a tablespoon full of harissa paste. Cooked up plain quinoa. Put it all on top of greens with a fried egg on top. It was gorgeous.

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One thing everyone in my family likes are tortilla pizzas - we call them tortizzas.

We buy the large flour burrito tortillas and top them with Full Circle salsa (mild or medium based upon preferences - fewer calories than most pizza sauces and plenty of flavor). Full Circle is an organic, but not terribly expensive, brand. They make many things, some we like, others not so much. The salsa makes great pizza sauce for our palates.

Then everyone can add as much - or little - cheese, vegetables, and/or fruit that they want. I like mild sauce, green peppers, sliced tomatoes, sweet onions, mushrooms, and spinach on mine with about half the cheese a pizza place would put on one. Farming boy adds homegrown spices to all of ours too - basil, chives, and probably a couple of others.

H puts them in the oven at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes.

Super quick, super easy, customizable, and quite healthy.


I make a tasty quinoa chili with vegetarian fake ground beef crumbles. Sometimes I add some veggies like green peas or corn.


Try this- ridiculously easy, pretty fast, very healthy, and a full meal in itself.

Skillet Lemon Chicken (for 4)

Chicken thighs or chicken breasts

1 lb baby potatoes, halved (lengthwise if they are oval!)

1/2 cup broth (chicken / mushroom / whatever you like)

1 lemon, sliced in thin rounds

4 cloves of garlic

Tarragon (amount depends on fresh/dried)

6 cups baby kale or spinach

Preheat oven to 400F

Heat some oil in a cast-iron (or oven proof) skillet. Season the chicken with S&P, and brown on both sides. Remove the chicken, add more oil if needed, and the potatoes (cut side down). Season with S&P and let cook until the potatoes are brown, then stir in the broth, garlic and tarragon. Add the lemon slices and top with the chicken. Put the pan in the oven until the chicken & potatoes are cooked through (~15 minutes). Stir in the kale or spinach and cook another 3-4 minutes until wilted.

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This recipe that @abasket shared on the cooking thread is a regular in our rotation - it is my D24’s favorite meal. It’s not low cal, but it is super healthy.


Here’s another dinner salad idea that is awesome: The Ultimate Fall Salad - Making Thyme for Health

You can add chicken to bulk it up further if you want to add more protein.

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another favorite in our house (can you tell we love sweet potatoes?): Sweet Potato Tacos with Lime Crema - Budget Bytes


I am all here for butternut squash! One of my very favorite autumn dinners (called a salad- but so much more :slight_smile:

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Thanks everyone. I’ve heard the Skinnytaste recipes are good, and I’m in line at the library to borrow a Skinnytaste cookbook.


I use One and Done the most. I don’t care for the latest meal prep book but that may be because a lot of the recipes are reiterations of what is on the website.

Meals from the website that are in regular rotation at our house:
Taco Chili
Chick-Fil-A hack chicken sandwich
Carnitas - I simmer down the juice at the end and put the air fryer lid on to make it crisp.
Chicken Enchiladas - This one takes a while to prep. I use rotisserie chicken to make it easier. It is an easy recipe to load with hidden vegetables (onion, bell pepper, zucchini, etc.)
Lasagna Soup - Doesn’t keep well for leftovers but is oh so good when it is fresh!
Korean beef bowls - We use ground turkey

Do you have an Instant Pot, Air Fryer and/or Crock Pot?

No instapot or air fryer. I do have a crock pot, that’s been in my attic (unopened) for probably 15 years. I am considering pulling it out this year. I am thinking some hearty soups might be a good idea.


4-6 cups sliced zucchini
1 medium onion chopped
mushrooms to taste, sliced
garlic pods to taste, sliced
1 large can diced or peeled tomatoes 28 oz.
1 can light red kidney beans 15 oz.
provolone or mozzarella cheese to cover
1-2 Tbsp. oregano, to taste
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Saute the zucchini, onion and mushrooms till crisp-tender
Add in garlic for a bit, stirring.
Add tomatoes and beans and oregano, salt and pepper. Let simmer to meld the tastes for a few minutes. Add more liquid if needed such as tomato juice or V-8.

Transfer to a casserole dish, top with cheese and bake for about 20-25 min. till cheese melts.
Use broiler to brown cheese if desired.
Great with garlic bread.


You can build your own healthy meal with NOT-a-recipe!

Heat up cast iron skillet.
Chop up a couple cups of whatever vegetables you have in the refrigerator. Broccoli, mushrooms, onions, potatoes, peppers, etc….
If you want a lean meat dice or slice in small pieces - smaller pieces will give you the flavor of the meat without needing so much meat!

If using meat/poultry, add olive oil or avocado oil to the hot skillet. Stir fry the protein. Remove from skillet. Do the same to the vegetables.

Add the protein back in and season with salt/pepper, fresh herbs. Add a low cal sauce if you like. Serve over a bed of massaged kale or other greens.

As much protein as you want, as much vegetables as you want. You could even use shrimp.


Alternative method to the recipe above. Also add in a grain like brown rice or quinoa or something and make it into a bowl!

Really most any recipe just cut down on the protein and increase the amount of vegetables. If you like 4 things on your plate make one of them a protein (small portion baked or grilled), add a whole grain if you like and then pile on the vegetables - 2 or more servings or varieties.

Roasting a whole pan of vegetables one night can just be paired with a protein OR a grain for a few nights in a row.

LAST comment for a bit. SHEET PAN recipes. Lots of vegetables, lean meat, one pan.


I like cooking chicken breasts on a sheet pan with sweet potatoes. Preheat the oven to 425. Cut the sweet potatoes into 1 inch chunks, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with some sea salt and garlic powder. I put lemon zest, olive oil and garlic powder on the chicken and cook for about 30 minutes.

You can also sub fish like salmon for the chicken. The fish only needs to cook about 12-14 minutes. As for seasoning for the fish, I use a variety of stuff - just google healthy bakes salmon and all kinds of good suggestions will pop up.

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