Low calorie meals: 63 easy dinners under 500 calories
From sausage gnocchi to butternut squash risotto, from beef burritos to vegetable tagine, our collection of low calorie meals are all under 500 calories.
When it comes to losing weight, eating a lighter, low calorie dinner in the evening can be beneficial. Choosing to eat low calorie meals at dinner time is easier for your body to digest. It is less likely to make you bloat or cause discomfort too, which can interrupt sleep. The best time to eat dinner if you want to lose weight is earlier rather than later in the day so opt for a 5 pm dinner instead of a 9 pm one for example.
These low calorie dinners are not just about losing weight. All of our recipes are packed full of nutrient-rich vegetables. Most are high in protein, keeping you fuller for longer as well as assisting your metabolism energy. And just like our low calorie lunches, these low calorie meals don’t shy away from flavour either as most are infused with a variety of calorie-free herbs and spices.
Registered dietician and nutritionist Claire Murphy told us: “Low calorie meals are often crammed full of lean protein like beans, lentils or chicken breast for example, which are filling as well as low in elements that produce fat in the body. When looking for good low calorie meals try to pick ones with high-water contents as well, such as steamed or boiled vegetables, as this will naturally make you feel full.”
Low calorie meals
1. Vegetarian pie
Calories: 303 | Fat: 9g per portion
First on our list of low calorie meals is this delicious pie. Made with ready-made filo pastry, protein-rich lentils, and plenty of sweet roasted vegetables this dish is delicious simply served with a salad or steamed veggies.
Choosing filo pastry over shortcrust keeps both the calorie and fat count down in this recipe. Lentils are not only an excellent source of protein but are low calorie too at just 14 calories per one tablespoon.
Get the recipe: Vegetarian pie
2. Spring chicken tray bake with green vegetables
Calories: 270 | Fat: 15.8g per portion
Ready in just 30 minutes, it’s so easy to throw this spring chicken tray bake together in just one pot. You can mix and match the vegetables in this recipe with whatever you have in your fridge.
Small chicken thighs are used in this recipe to keep the calorie count down. To reduce it even further swap for skinless chicken thighs or chicken breasts, which on average are around 30 calories less than thighs (based on 85g of meat).
Get the recipe: Spring chicken tray bake with green vegetables
3. Baked sausage and gnocchi gratin
Calories: 426 | Fat: 21g per portion
This hearty baked sausage and gnocchi gratin is infused with fennel, chilli flakes, and fresh herbs. Gnocchi is commonly thought to be a high-calorie food but in this recipe, we’ve limited the amount per person to around 80g each; that’s 131 calories and 0.2g of fat per portion of gnocchi.
Claire says; “Gnocchi is an ideal substitute for high-calorie pasta options and is perfectly suited to mixing in vegetables and grain. Fennel is a high fibre contribution that makes you feel fuller for longer and has been shown to help moderate blood sugar release as part of a meal. To reduce the calories, swap out the sausage for super firm tofu substitute, which is rich in protein.”
Get the recipe: Baked sausage and fennel gnocchi gratin
4. Wholewheat spaghetti with roasted veg
Calories: 400 | Fat: 10g per portion
This wholewheat spaghetti with roasted veg is really easy to make, packed with aubergines, drizzled in olive oil, and flavoured with a squeeze of lemon and sprinkle of fresh basil and mint.
Claire, a nutritionist for LastVerdict, says; “A portion of wholewheat spaghetti contains as little as 174 calories, as well as 6g of fibre to help fill you up. Everything in this meal is low-calorie based, with not one ‘cheat’ component. Aubergines are a high-fibre, low-calorie based food that is rich in nutrients and comes with many positive health benefits such as a decrease in risk of heart disease, controlling blood sugar levels and weight loss.”
Get the recipe: Wholewheat spaghetti with roasted veg
5. Mexican stuffed chicken with red rice
Calories: 467 | Fat: 11g per portion
Our Mexican stuffed chicken with red rice is packed with jalapeño peppers, spinach, and Lancashire cheese. This mouth-watering recipe is ready in 30 minutes and is perfectly served with fresh salad.
Chicken breasts are much lower in fat and calories than thighs for example, which is why they make a great choice in this recipe. Choosing to make flavoured rice from scratch is also a good way to cut calories and fat as some packet rice has high nutritional values.
Get the recipe: Mexican stuffed chicken with red rice
6. Chicken and chorizo filo pie
Calories: 384 Fat: 21g per portion
This low calorie dinner is infused with chorizo and topped with crisp, golden filo pastry. A rich tomato-infused sauce brings this pie together nicely. Serve with new potatoes.
Filo pastry is a much lower-fat option than shortcrust pastry and is lighter too so you won’t feel overfull or bloated after eating it. The pine nuts add a bonus of nutrients including Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and calcium.
Get the recipe: Chicken and chorizo filo pie
7. Butternut squash risotto with crispy sage and pancetta
Calories: 408 | Fat: 13g per portion
If you’re looking for a risotto with a difference this butternut squash risotto with crispy sage and pancetta is the perfect option. The soft and sweetness of the butternut squash pairs perfectly with the salty pancetta.
Butternut squash is a great low calorie option. This recipe contains 350g of squash, which is just 126 calories and 0.3g of fat. This vibrant, orange vegetable has a variety of health benefits too loaded with antioxidants, including vitamin C and vitamin E.
Get the recipe: Butternut squash risotto with crispy sage, and pancetta
8. Stuffed peppers with couscous, courgette and mozzarella
Calories: 243 | Fat: 13.2g per portion
These stuffed peppers are so simple to make ready in just five easy steps. These sweet, refreshing peppers will keep you fuller for longer and count towards your five-a-day too.
Not only is couscous low calorie at just 178 calories per 100g, but it is also an excellent source of selenium. Selenium is a mineral with powerful antioxidant properties. It is known to help reduce cancer and heart disease risks.
Get the recipe: Stuffed peppers with couscous, courgette and mozzarella
9. One-pot sausage and squash roast
Calories: 423 | Fat: 26g per portion
You can prepare this one-pot sausage and squash roast in just 10 minutes. All roasted together the sausages, squash, and new potatoes are infused in paprika and drizzled in lemon. Choosing good quality sausages will ensure that both the fat and calorie count are kept low. Replace the crème fraiche with a low-fat yogurt if you’re looking to reduce the fat content.
Claire says; “Root vegetables are high in figure and low in fat, and are a perfect addition to a healthy meal. 200g of cooked butternut squash has just 80 calories and offers 7g of fibre, making it a brilliant choice if you’re looking to maintain a low-fat diet. Squash is rich in vitamin B6 and can help combat the risk of developing mental health concerns such as depression.”
Get the recipe: One-pot sausage and squash roast
10. Wild mushroom risotto
Calories: 314 | Fat: 16g per portion
This wild mushroom risotto is bursting with flavour thanks to the garlic, almond milk, and a variety of mushrooms including porcini and chestnut.
In this recipe, we have swapped cream for almond milk instead. Cream is a much more calorific option and contains approximately eight times more calories than almond milk (based on 300ml). Almond milk is also more health beneficial containing nutrients such as vitamin D, which helps regulate the amount of calcium in the body, and vitamin E, which helps maintain healthy skin and eyes.
Get the recipe: Wild mushroom risotto
11. Sage pork chop with vegetable pasta
Calories: 487 | Fat: 15g per portion
Our sage pork chops with vegetable pasta recipe is a great source of protein that will keep you fuller for longer. The sundried tomatoes paste, sliced black olives and sage leaves give this dish plenty of flavour.
Carbs like pasta and rice tend to have a high calorie count. In this recipe, we have been clever and have limited the pasta to just 50g per person, which is just 71 calories per portion. We have then bulked up the pasta by adding a variety of vegetables such as carrot, celery, and pepper.
Get the recipe: Sage pork chop with vegetable pasta
12. One-pot tuna pasta puttanesca
Calories: 429 | Fat: 7.5g per portion
Ready in just 30 minutes, this one-pot tuna pasta puttanesca is a speedy mid-week option. You can use whatever pasta shapes you have in the cupboard. Top with grated cheddar and mozzarella and serve.
Our one-pot tuna pasta puttanesca recipe has a homemade sauce made from chopped tomatoes and flavoured with basil, capers, and garlic. Choosing to make sauce from scratch is a much healthier and lower calorie option as you can control the ingredients and amount of salt in your food too.
Get the recipe: One-pot tuna pasta puttanesca
13. Homemade beans on toast
Calories: 382 | Fat: 13g per portion
Our homemade baked beans serve four and will take just 20 minutes to prepare and cook. The mixed beans make this brunch option extra filling, making it ideal as a low calorie dinner.
Beans are packed full of protein. Protein is important for building and repairing muscles and bodily tissues. As well as being an excellent vegan protein, butterbeans are rich in folate (vitamin B9) and iron which can help to prevent anaemia.
Get the recipe: Homemade beans on toast
14. Sweet potato and courgette fish cakes
Calories: 321 | Fat: 7g per portion
These filling sweet potato and courgette fish cakes are bursting with flavour thanks to the splash of lime juice and a dusting of smoked paprika. Two fish cakes work out at just 321 calories, so you can easily serve with a side salad and still keep it under 500 calories total.
Made with both sweet potato and baking potatoes, along with courgette these cod-based fish cakes work out as two of your five-a-day per portion. As most of the ingredients are vegetables, the calorie count will naturally be lower.
Get the recipe: Sweet potato and courgette fish cakes
15. Cornflake chicken dippers
Calories: 61 per dipper | Fat: 2.4g per portion
With a golden Cornflake coating, each chicken piece is tender on the inside, crunchy on the outside and has to be one of our favourite low calorie meals. Serve with salad and dip and you could even whip up some homemade chips or potato wedges too.
If you’re serving this recipe for a family of four, you could have six pieces of chicken each. That works out at just 366 calories for six leaving you plenty of calories for sides. Of course, cut the calorie down further by eating less dippers. Four dippers per person is just 244 calories per serving.
Get the recipe: Cornflake chicken dippers
16. Greek-style chicken and salad
Calories: 313 | Fat: 12g per portion
Each succulent chicken breast is stuffed with a spinach, shallot, mint and feta cheese mix which is bursting with flavour. Serve with a freshly prepared salad of peppers, tomatoes and cucumber.
Opting for chicken breast instead of thigh or wing cuts the calorie count down as chicken breast is much lower in calories and fat than other cuts. Serving protein with vegetabels, particularly a salad, is a great way to keep the count low too. Cucumber is just 14 calories per 100g, tomatoes are just 22 calories per 100g and pepper is just 21 calories per 100g.
Get the recipe: Greek-style stuffed chicken and salad
17. Mini roasted cauliflowers with tomato sauce
Calories: 407 | Fat: 22g per portion
Each cauliflower is topped with a thick tomato sauce and topped with plenty of cheese too. The pancetta and hint of Worcestershire sauce add a real depth of flavour to this family bake.
Cauliflower is a great substitute for rice, pasta, or potatoes. It’s just a filling, keeping you fuller for longer but without the added calorie count. On average a small cauliflower (at 250g per head) is just 75 calories and 1g of fat.
Get the recipe: Mini roasted cauliflowers with tomato sauce
18. Leek, asparagus, and pea pasta
Calories: 418 | Fat: 11g per portion
Made with three different types of greens; leek, asparagus, and pea, this pasta recipe is topped with a little Parmesan for extra flavour and is just 418 calories per serving.
Other than being one of our top low calorie meals, this dish is also bursting with nutrients. Leeks are a great source of magnesium, asparagus is high in fiber and folate, and peas are a good source of plant-based protein. This dish also includes at least one of your five-a-day.
Get the recipe: Leek, asparagus, and pea pasta
19. Lemon chicken and rice stir-fry
Calories: 204 | Fat: 7g fat per portion
This lemon chicken and rice stir-fry recipe is made with ginger and lemon-infused chicken and quickly cooked veggies like sugar snaps and sweetcorn. Drizzle in soy sauce.
Claire says: “Stir-frying food is a great way of keeping the fat levels low in your food. The method results in tender-crisp vegetables that keep more nutrients than if they were boiled, and the process means you only use a small amount of fatty oil. 50g of chicken only contains 120 calories in total. Because of the high levels of vegetables, this meal can be enjoyed without the chicken, and would still retain all the favours.”
Get the recipe: Lemon chicken and rice stir-fry
20. Cheese, tomato and ham deli tart
Calories: 476 | Fat: 28g per portion
Topped with smoked Parma ham, tangy sun-blushed tomatoes, and a light cheese spread, this cheese, tomato, and ham deli tart can be on the table in just 35 minutes.
Fewer ingredients mean fewer calories and it takes just five ingredients to make this delicious tart. We’ve used curd cheese to coat the puff pastry. Swap this for a lower fat version to cut the calories further.
Get the recipe: Cheese, tomato and ham deli tart
21. Sausage and spinach frittata
Calories: 360 | Fat: 27g per portion
This mouth-watering sausage and spinach frittata is packed with sausages, red onion, cherry tomatoes, spinach, and plenty of eggs. Serve with salad for one of our light yet filling low calorie meals.
This frittata is made with six eggs. Eggs are a great source of protein and are low calorie too. One medium egg contains just 66 calories. Research suggests that eggs also aid weight loss as they help to boost metabolism.
Get the recipe: Sausage and spinach frittata
22. Open Mediterranean lasagne
Calories: 402 | Fat: 29g per portion
Substituting your meat for juicy aubergine is an easy way to reduce the calorie count in your lasagne. This open lasagne also has a lighter way of making the classic cheesy sauce.
Claire says; “The main component of this meal is aubergines, which are notoriously low in fat and high in fibre. All the ingredients in this meal provide a good balance, so as a meal it works perfectly well together. Red onions are packed with antioxidants, such as quercetin, which combats inflammation and boosts the immune system. Cut the calories by switching to a light cheese as opposed to mozzarella.”
Get the recipe: Open Mediterranean lasagne
23. Farmhouse chicken braise
Calories: 454 | Fat: 28.5g per portion
It takes just 15 minutes to prepare this hearty chicken braise made with chicken thighs, carrot, and leek. Coated in a rich, double cream jus, it’s hard to believe that this dish is under 500 calories.
If the fat count is a little high for you, you can use lower-fat cream or crème fraiche instead – this will cut the calories too. We’ve used chicken thighs for this recipe, which are a much cheaper option but if you want to reduce the calorie count further, swap for chicken breasts.
Get the recipe: Farmhouse chicken braise
24. Cheese and spinach pasta bake
Calories: 490 | Fat: 31g per portion
One of our favourite low calorie meals, this dish serves four to six people and is suitable for vegetarians. This bake has a light, fluffy texture as it’s made with an eggy omlette-style mix. It also has a rich, creamy flavour thanks to the homemade cheese sauce.
The homemade cheese sauce keeps the calorie count under 500 calories for this recipe. This dinner has heaps of fresh spinach, which is packed full of nutrients, but you can easily add other vegetables too such as broccoli or kale to up your five-a-day count even further.
Get the recipe: Cheese and spinach pasta bake
25. Spicy pepper pulled pork
Calories: 290 | Fat: 17g per portion
Made with a hint of spice, this succulent pork works out at just 290 calories per serving which means you can serve with homemade potato wedges or chips and salad and still be under the 500 calories limit.
This recipe opts for a homemade sauce, which not only infuses the pork with plenty of flavour, it also keeps the calorie count low. We’ve made sure to avoid any added sugar or salt in this recipe too.
Get the recipe: Spicy pepper pulled pork
26. Warm chicken and barley salad
Calories: 383 | Fat: 17g per portion
Not only is this dish light on the calories, but it also works out as under £1 a head for a family of four. With fresh spinach, flaked almonds, and pearl barley, this warm chicken and barley salad is ideal for a hearty lunch.
Claire says; “The mix of barley and chicken means that you have a high fibre meal made from two low calorie ingredients, with very little else to bulk up the numbers.
Barley is high in fibre, especially beta-glucan, which can reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels. It may also aid weight loss and improve digestion. Almonds have a high fibre and salt content, so removing them will lower the calorie levels slightly.”
Get the recipe: Warm chicken and barley salad
Calories: 423 | Fat: 16.5g per portion
Next on our list of low calorie meals are these hearty burritos. This recipe brings a lot of healthy ingredients together like lean minced beef, pinto beans and sun-dried tomato pasta. With thin tortilla wraps, this dish is light and full of flavour.
Claire says; “Pan-frying the meal means that you burn off all the excess fat. Try to look for minced or shredded beef with low fat content, as although it mainly burns off during cooking, it still adds calories to the meal. Pinto beans are an excellent source of protein, fibre and provide improved levels of blood sugar control and heart health. Reducing the soured cream will take off around 40 calories from each portion.”
Get the recipe: Burritos
28. Turkey cottage pie with carrot and potato topping
Calories: 338 | Fat: 2.7g per portion
This warming cottage pie is prepped in just 10 minutes. This dish is infused with Worcestershire sauce, tomatoes and swaps classic beef mince for the lighter, low calorie option of turkey mince. Top with carrot and potato mash and serve with a drizzle of gravy.
Adding vegetables such as carrot or sweet potato to a classic potato topping is a great way to get more vegetables into your family’s diet and up their five-a-day count. The calories in this dish can be reduced further by choosing a lower fat or reduced turkey mince. You could also try Quorn mince for a vegetarian version.
Get the recipe: Turkey cottage pie with carrot and potato topping
29. Vegetable macaroni cheese
Calories: 400 | Fat: 13g per portion
This mouthwatering vegetable macaroni cheese is a surprising contender in our low calorie meals collection. It has a golden, crisp cheese topping. Hiding vegetables such as tomatoes, leeks and broccoli, this recipe adds to your five-a-day count.
Macaroni and cheese may seem like a high-calorie option but this clever meal keeps the calorie count down by using semi-skimmed milk and an extra-strong cheese to make the cheese sauce. Using an extra-strong cheese will ensure that you don’t use too much as you’ll have plenty of flavour, but half to amount compared to a mild cheese for example.
Get the recipe: Vegetable macaroni cheese
30. Chorizo and bean salad
Calories: 300 | Fat: 12.4g per portion
Perfect for those warmer, summer evenings when you’re looking for something easy to cook. This lightly spiced salad boasts Mediterranean flavours like chorizo, sweet peppers, and sun-blush tomatoes. Add a dash of white wine as a treat and enjoy.
All of the fresh vegetables in this recipe keep the calories low. Chorizo alongside cannellini beans are both a great source of protein and will keep you fuller for longer. Cannellini beans also provide you with plenty of fibre and vitamin C meaning that are nutritionally beneficial too.
Get the recipe: Chorizo and bean salad
31. Pasta shells with crayfish
Calories: 305 | Fat: 13.5g per portion
Lemon butter is all the accompaniment you need for this crayfish and pasta pairing. It’s simple, delicious, and ready in just two quick steps. This easy dish uses just six ingredients, two of which are herbs and seasoning, meaning the calories are well under the 500 mark.
Claire says; “A serving of crayfish’s calorie content can be as low as 70 and are a good source of protein as well as providing essential vitamins and minerals. A butter substitute such as olive oil can lower the fat component considerably.”
Get the recipe: Pasta shells with crayfish
32. Pork ragu enchiladas
Calories: 400 | Fat: 17g per portion
This mouthwatering dish serves eight, will take 15 minutes to prepare and is one of our favourite low calorie meals. Each tortilla wrap is packed with minced pork, a variety of peppers and infused with garlic, cumin, and coriander all in a rich tomato-based sauce.
As no ingredients are substituted for lower-fat versions, it’s hard to believe that this meal is just 400 calories per serving. Choosing pork mince over beef ensures that the calories and saturated fat are a little lower. Pork also has 30 times more vitamin B1 than beef mince, which is an important nutrient to help cells in the body convert food into energy.
Get the recipe: Pork ragu enchiladas
33. Linguine with crab and mint
Calories: 484 | Fat: 16g per portion
Bursting with minty flavour this delicious recipe brings together dried linguine, white breadcrumbs, dried chilli flakes, and white crabmeat to make a very healthy and low-cal dish.
Crab is a great low calorie alternative to meats. On average a 100g portion of crab contains 115 calories, that’s 38 calories less than a cooked skinless chicken breast (153 cals per 100g) Crab is full of important nutrients too; omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, and selenium.
Get the recipe: Linguine with crab and mint
34. Fish wraps
Calories: 444 | Fat: 12g per portion
The perfect alternative to a burger, these fish wraps swap a meaty, high-fat beef pattie for a lightly battered piece of fish. Wrapped in a fresh tortilla, instead of a buttery burger bun and you’ve got one of our best low calorie meals.
We’ve used coley in this recipe, but you could easily swap for other white fish instead. Coley is just 100 calories per 100g of fish. Cod is also a great choice as its low in calories but high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which has a variety of health benefits including lowering blood pressure.
Get the recipe: Fish wraps
35. Low calorie tuna pasta
Calories: 349 | Fat: 8g per portion
Chunks of meaty tuna, green beans, and a light cream cheese dressing, this pasta has subtle flavours but is super satisfying. The calorie count is kept low in this dish thanks to the low fat cream cheese, wholewheat pasta and skimmed milk.
Claire says; “Tuna calories per 100g are 132, which is very low considering that also provide massive health benefits. Tuna, as with nearly all fish, is packed full of omega-3 acids that help reduce cholesterol, resulting in a lesser risk of heart attacks.”
Get the recipe: Tuna pasta
36. Turkish halloumi bake
Calories: 461 | Fat: 20g per portion
Sweet potatoes and lentils make this dish nice and filling as well as making it one of our low calorie meals too. The salty halloumi packs this dish with flavour alongside the sweet peppers, fennel, and fresh parsley.
The vegetables in this dish ensure you’re getting at least one of your five-a-day count as well as plenty of nutrients too. The lentils provide lean protein keeping the calorie count low but also keeping you fuller for longer. Lentils are rich in fiber, folate, and potassium, which makes them a great choice for the heart and for managing cholesterol and blood pressure.
Get the recipe: Turkish halloumi bake
37. Thai curried noodles
Calories: 307 | Fat: 14g per portion
Packed full of Oriental flavour, this delicious dish is sweet and spicy in one. You can add as many vegetables as you like but this recipe includes butternut squash, soya beans, and pak choi.
Just like soup, the liquid in this dish will help to fill you up without pushing you over the 500 calorie mark. Coconut milk is a perfect option as it’s both low calorie at 20 calories per 100ml, and has a variety of health benefits too. It aids in weight loss, contains antioxidants, and can help to strengthen the immune system according to recent studies.
Get the recipe: Thai curried noodles
38. Asian prawns stir-fry with Jasmine rice
Calories: 499 | Fat: 17g per portion
This Asian prawns stir-fry with Jasmine rice is a quick and easy meal to make ready in just 15 minutes. This dish has a delicious teriyaki sauce and is packed with plenty of stir-fry veg.
Keep the amount of sauce you use in this dish to a minimum as both teriyaki and soy sauce tend to have a high salt count, which in turn can mean higher calories. Prawns are very low in calories at just 70 calories per 100g. You could however lower the calorie count further by leaving the prawns out.
Get the recipe: Asian prawns stir-fry with Jasmine rice
39. Beef in black bean sauce
Calories: 200 | Fat: 10g per portion
This version of the Chinese classic is so low in calories you can add a serving of rice or noodles to it and still come in at under 500 calories. Infused with soy sauce, fresh ginger and red chilli, this is one of our favourite midweek low calorie meals.
In this recipe, we’ve used a readymade sachet of black bean stir-fry sauce. When purchasing your sauce, make sure you look for a sauce that has a low fat and salt content otherwise the calories will differ. You could also swap the beef in this recipe for chicken instead, this will reduce the calorie count even further as chicken is much lower in calories than beef.
Get the recipe: Beef in black bean sauce
40. Moroccan root tagine with couscous
Calories: 300 | Fat: 4.8g per portion
Leeks, courgette, and carrots, this tagine takes three hearty root veg and gives them a lovely exotic flavour by combining them with warm Moroccan spices such as turmeric and cumin.
Choosing couscous over rice or pasta is a great way to keep the calorie count low. As this dish is packed full of vegetables too, it ensures the calories are well under the 500 calorie meals limit. Couscous is also an excellent source of magnesium, iron, zinc, and potassium.
Get the recipe: Moroccan root tagine with couscous
41. Spanish beef
Calories: 391 | Fat: 18.4g per portion
This mouthwatering Spanish beef is made with peppers, onions, chorizo, dried chillies, and tender chunks of braising steak. The rich tomato-based stock is infused with paprika and cumin. This dish serves 8-10 people.
We’ve kept the portion sizes small to keep the calorie count low and as the calories are under 500 you could easily serve this dish with couscous, rice, or wholewheat pasta. This dish also has nearly 70% of your recommended daily allowance of protein as it’s packed with mixed beans as well as beef. This ensures that even though portions are smaller, it’s still a filling meal.
Get the recipe: Spanish beef
42. Smokey cheese bacon and potato tart
Calories: 355 | Fat: 24.5g per portion
This smokey cheese bacon and potato tart recipe is just 355 calories per serving making it a great low calorie meals option. Made with ready-made shortcrust pastry, this tart is topped with potatoes, bacon, leeks, and creamy mustard-infused filling.
Cut the calories even further in this dish by opting for homemade shortcrust pastry as it’s often lower in calories and fat than readymade. You could also swap the single cream for reduced-fat cream to improve the fat content.
Get the recipe: Smokey cheese bacon and potato tart
43. Tandoori fish bites
Calories: 333 | Fat: 12g per portion
These speedy 15-minute fish bites are ideal served on a bed of rice with a freshly made salad. You can use fresh haddock loin or monkfish tail as your fish bites.
Choosing to make a homemade sauce or marinade is a great way to guarantee you’ll be eating fresh ingredients with no added salt or sugar. Other than being high in omega-3 fatty acids, fish is a great lower calorie option when compared to chicken or other grilled meats.
Get the recipe: Tandoori fish bites
44. Spanish stir-fry chicken
Calories: 370 | Fat: 20g per portion
Succulent chicken thighs, spicy chorizo sausage, and a romano red pepper are cooked together to make one hearty and flavoursome low calorie meals. A portion of this dinner is just 370 calories per serving.
It is recommended to use chicken thighs in this recipe but if you want to reduce the calories further choose skinless chicken thighs or even swap for breasts instead. As chorizo is a rather fatty sausage, you could alternatively use a teaspoon of paprika instead to get that warm smokey favour and leave the chorizo out.
Get the recipe: Spanish stir-fry chicken
45. Moroccan chicken salad
Calories: 377 | Fat: 20g per portion
This tasty Moroccan chicken salad has a slight spice thanks to the harissa paste. Chunks of ciabatta as croutons, a handful or two of watercress, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar give this salad plenty of flavour.
This recipe uses lean protein, chicken breasts, and flavours the chicken with a selection of low calorie, low fat seasonings, herbs, and spices such as harissa paste, watercress, balsamic vinegar, and garlic chives. Cut the calories further by removing the ciabatta.
Get the recipe: Moroccan chicken salad
46. Tomato and pepper galettes
Calories: 371 | Fat: 25g per portion
Light and summery, this tomato tart would make a lovely dinner served with fresh salad or new potatoes. This recipe serves four and takes just five minutes to prepare.
Choosing puff pastry is a great option if you’re looking to make a tart or pie with pastry but you want to avoid the calories. Heaps of fresh veg like peppers, onion, tomatoes, and olives keep the calorie count low too.
Get the recipe: Tomato and pepper galettes
47. Chinese vegetable chow mein
Calories: 195 | Fat: 6.6g per portion
At just 195 calories per portion, this classic Chinese dish is a family dinner well under 500 calories. The groundnut oil, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and lime give this meal a real punch of flavour.
This vegetarian recipe is meat-free, which means you avoid any extra calories or fat some meat can contain. We’ve loaded this stir-fry with heaps of vegetables instead so you’ve got plenty of nutrients. We’ve also used egg noodles, which are around 144 calories per 100g, which are around 28 calories less than rice noodles (172 calories per 100g). One of our easiest low calorie meals to make.
Get the recipe: Chinese vegetable chow mein
48. Lemony tagliatelle with meatballs
Calories: 384 | Fat: 17g per portion
Serve your meatballs differently with this simple lemon meatballs tagliatelle. The meatballs are infused with lemon and tossed with courgette strips and fresh tagliatelle.
Making meatballs is a great way to limit the amount of meat you have in a portion. Opt for turkey mince when making the meatballs as it’s lower in fat and calories than beef or pork mince. We’ve used full fat crème fraîche but this could easily be swapped for a half fat version.
Get the recipe: Lemony tagliatelle with meatballs
49. Winter root vegetable tagine
Calories: 353 | Fat: 6.5g per portion
As one of our best low calorie meals, this hearty vegetable tagine has a healthy dose of vegetables and protein thanks to chickpeas. The slightly spiced Moroccan tomato sauce gives this dish plenty of flavour.
Chickpeas are a great meat replacement as they’re full of protein. A portion of chickpeas in this recipe is just 77 calories and around 19g of protein, which is just under half your recommended daily allowance. The masses of vegetables in this dish also count towards your five-a-day.
Get the recipe: Winter root vegetable tagine
50. Chicken pilaf
Calories: 400 | Fat: 9g per portion
Combine chicken with rice and vegetables for one of our filling, healthy low calorie meals. This dish is infused with garlic, chilli, and cinnamon and is topped with dried apricots and pistachios for added nutrients.
Choosing skinless chicken thighs over skin-on is a much lower calorie option as the skin often holds most of the fat content. You could easily make this dish without the chicken too, which would of course lower the calorie count by about 162 calories per portion, so a portion of this dish would be just under 240 calories per serving.
Get the recipe: Chicken pilaf
51. Italian-style chicken with olives
Calories: 353 | Fat: 12g per portion
This one-pot Italian-style chicken with olives is infused with summer flavours. The sweetness of the olives, tomatoes and white wine makes this dish irresistible.
A homemade tomato sauce made from chopped tomatoes, sun-dried tomato paste, red wine vinegar, white wine, and garlic is a much healthier option than buying a readymade jar of sauce. This dish also uses free-range chicken, which is something to certainly keep in mind when buying chicken. Free-range chicken tends to be less fatty and contains more nutrients than caged hens.
Get the recipe: Italian-style chicken with olives
52. Tomato and sweetcorn flan
Calories: 385 | Fat: 20g per portion
The recipe includes succulent shredded ham and juicy medium-sized tomatoes. If you’re cooking for vegetarians you can take out the ham and replace it with a vegetable such as red pepper or onion. We’d recommend serving this low calorie meals with a salad or new potatoes to keep this recipe under the 500 calorie mark.
This flan is entirely made from scratch. The pastry is made from just three ingredients; flour, butter, and salt, all of which can be substituted for healthier alternatives. You can remove the salt, opt for a low fat butter, or nut butter alternative and you can swap the plain white flour for spelt or rye flour instead, which are lower in calories.
Get the recipe: Tomato and sweetcorn flan
53. Smoked salmon stir-fry
Calories: 429 | Fat: 13g per portion
This simple smoked salmon stir-fry takes 30 minutes to prepare and cook. Packed full of vegetables like ginger, red onion, and Tenderstem broccoli and served with rice noodles make this dish light and healthy.
A 100g portion of smoked salmon is roughly 180 calories. Salmon is packed full of omega-3 fatty acids, which have a variety of different health benefits including supporting heart health and brain function. It also contains antioxidants, which can help to improve cholesterol. Salmon is a super food and this recipe ensures you make the most of it.
Get the recipe: Smoked salmon stir-fry
54. Pot-roasted lamb with potatoes and rosemary
Calories: 381 | Fat: 10g per portion
This succulent pot-roasted lamb with potatoes and rosemary is a great alternative to your Sunday roast dinner. It combines shoulder of lamb, sweet red onions, and rustic in a meaty flavoursome stock.
It’s hard to believe that this pot-roasted lamb is one of our low calorie meals but it is at just 381 calories per portion. Trimming the fat off the shoulder of lamb before cooking is a good way to ensure you avoid any extra fat or added calories.
Get the recipe: Pot-roasted lamb with potatoes
55. Chicken, pea, and noodle salad
Calories: 408 | Fat: 10g per portion
Prep this easy noodle salad in just five minutes. Tender chunks of chicken drizzled in a punchy soy sauce and lime dressing, which adds plenty of flavour without raising the calorie count.
This recipe requires just two chicken breasts, that’s just half a portion of chicken per person which is a good way of keeping the calories down. The noodles and fresh veg such as pea shoots and sugar snap peas make this dish filling and wholesome.
Get the recipe: Chicken, pea and noodle salad
56. Chilli beef noodles
Calories: 412 | Fat: 22g per portion
Chilli beef noodles are quick and easy to make. All you need is rump steak, a mixed bag of stir-fried vegetables, fresh chillies, and a collection of herbs and spices from your spice-rack. Cook in a wok and it’ll be ready to eat in 20 minutes.
Another one of our low calorie meals which includes noodles, meat, and heaps of fresh vegetables. We’ve removed the fat from the rump steak in this recipe before cooking. We’ve also chosen udon noodles, which are about 127 calories per 100g. This type of noodle is very low in calories compared to egg noodles at 144 calories per 100g and rice noodles at 172 calories per 100g.
Get the recipe: Chilli beef noodles
57. Cheese and tomato bake
Calories: 481 | Fat: 26g per portion
Suitable for vegetarians, this delicious cheese and tomato bake is made with white bread, sweet tomatoes, cheesy cheddar, and a hint of pesto.
This recipe serves two but portions could easily be halved and served with a fresh salad instead. This would half the amount of calories and fat per portion. Choose brown bread over white for a healthier choice and choose a strong cheddar cheese so you don’t have to use as much.
Get the recipe: Cheese and tomato bake
58. Sausage, mushroom, and bean stew
Calories: 440 | Fat: 27g per portion
For this recipe, we’ve opted for Toulouse or chorizo style sausages but you can choose classic sausages like herby pork if preferred. The rich tomato sauce is complete with flageolet beans, celery, onion, and chestnut mushrooms making this one mouthwatering low calorie meals.
This stew is bursting with protein thanks to the sausages and beans. It will ensure you stay fuller for longer meaning you’re less likely to need a big portion of this dish and could easily cut the portion sizes in half if need be. Swap the meat sausages for Quorn or turkey for a much lower fat option. Or substitute a few of the sausages for extra mushrooms instead.
Get the recipe: Sausage, mushroom, and bean stew
59. Beef and pepper stir-fry
Calories: 495 | Fat: 15g per portion
This meaty beef and pepper stir-fry is quick, easy, and can be made in 15 minutes. This stir-fry includes garlic, ginger, mushrooms, and bean sprouts.
Frying all the veg in just five minutes ensures that they keep as many nutrients and vitamins as they have fresh. The more al dente the vegetables, the better as raw vegetables are much more nutritional. The ginger and garlic are both high antioxidants, which may help your body fight high blood pressure, heart disease, as well as promote healthy ageing.
Get the recipe: Beef and pepper stir-fry
60. Vegetable tortilla
Calories: 390 | Fat: 25g per portion
This vegetable-packed tortilla is perfect for sharing as it can feed up to ten people. As it’s well under the 500 calorie limit it can be served with a salad. The eggs in this recipe provide plenty of protein.
Cut the calorie and fat count down drastically by reducing the double cream to single or a low-fat option. A portion of double cream in this recipe is about 140 calories per person, swapping this to single will cut the calorie count per person down to just 58 calories.
Get the recipe: Vegetable tortilla
61. Garlic, ginger, and chilli prawns
Calories: 196 | Fat: 7g fat per portion
This garlic, ginger, and chilli prawn dish is packed full of Asian flavours and is under 200 calories. It takes just three simple steps to make one of our top low calorie meals.
The prawns in this meal are full of calcium, vitamin B12 and are an excellent source of iron, which helps boost the production of red blood cells. As this dish is well under 500 calories, you could serve with udon noodles (127 calories per 100g), rice (117 calories per 100g), or couscous (178 calories per 100g).
Get the recipe: Garlic, ginger, and chilli prawns
62. Mexican-style pork with corn salsa
Calories: 386 | Fat: 11g per portion
We love the zesty corn salsa with this Mexican-style pork dish ready in less than 30 minutes. Each tender pork chop is infused with paprika.
Pork chop is a lean cut of pork that is classed as an excellent source of high-quality protein. Cutting any fat from the pork chops is a great way to ensure the fat count is as low as it can be. The paprika in this recipe has antioxidant properties, which can help reduce the number of diseases, improve general health as well as digestion.
Get the recipe: Mexican-stye pork with corn salsa
63. Greek lamb with warm beans
Calories: 323 | Fat: 19g fat per portion
The final of our low calorie meals collection is this mouthwatering Greek lamb. The lamb is marinated in a four-ingredient marinade of olive oil, lemon, oregano, and seasoning. A warm bean salad is a nutritious alternative to rice, potato, or pasta side in this delicious Greek lamb dish.
The lamb and cannellini beans provide the protein in this recipe. Reduce the salt by making your own chicken stock by stewing leftover chicken cuts in boiled water. You could also swap the knob of butter for oil instead as it’s much less fatty.
Get the recipe: Greek lamb with warm beans
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