It can be challenging to find tasty, healthy meals when you’re watching your weight. That’s why we compiled this great list of easy Low Calorie Meals for you!
These healthy dinners are all under 500 calories per serving, but still taste great! You’ll find light pastas, cozy soups, meatless mains and so much more.
All of these family friendly, low cal meals taste great, while still being light and healthy. Cook your way through all, we’re sure many will find their way into your regular rotation. Enjoy!
Benefits of a Low Calorie Diet
There are an array of health benefits to reducing calories. Here are a few.
- Weight Loss
- Improved Heart Health
- Better Blood Sugar Control
- Enhanced Mental Health
- Lower Cancer Risk
- Boosted Energy Levels
- Reduced Inflammation
- Improved Digestion
How Many Calories Should I Eat in a Day?
The number of calories you should eat in a day varies based on several factors such as age, sex, weight, height, and activity level. Here’s a general approximation for your maintenance calorie level, meaning you will neither gain or lose weight:
- Sedentary (little or no exercise): Caloric maintenance = BMR x 1.2
- Lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week): Caloric maintenance = BMR x 1.375
- Moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week): Caloric maintenance = BMR x 1.55
- Very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week): Caloric maintenance = BMR x 1.725
- Super active (very hard exercise/sports & physical job or 2x training): Caloric maintenance = BMR x 1.9
To find your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate), you can use the Harris-Benedict equation:
- Men: BMR = 88.362 + (13.397 x weight in kg) + (4.799 x height in cm) – (5.677 x age in years)
- Women: BMR = 447.593 + (9.247 x weight in kg) + (3.098 x height in cm) – (4.330 x age in years)
However, for a more accurate measurement, it’s always best to consult a doctor or a registered dietitian. They can provide a tailored plan that considers your medical history and lifestyle.
Now, enough of that science stuff, let’s get to some delicious food!
Low Calorie Dinner Ideas
This Mediterranean Pasta is your new weeknight best friend. It’s super quick, like 20 minutes quick, has great flavors the whole family will love, and comes in at only 302 calories per serving!
Albondigas Soup – This one is Delicious. This is the soup for your soul. Plump meatballs floating in a hearty tomato infused flavorful broth, loaded with tons of veggies. That’s sopa de albondigas for you!
Shrimp Saganaki – This classic Greek dish has some incredible flavors with plump shrimp in a garlicky, savory tomato sauce and finished off with salty feta cheese! One of our very favorite love calorie meals!
Take a peek into my pot. Beautiful golden brown chicken braised in white wine, nestled between eye catching olives, plump cherry tomatoes, oh-so French shallots, tangy capers and plenty of garlic and herbs. Life can’t be more beautiful!
Quick, easy, healthy… this vegetarian black bean chili, based on Panera’s black bean soup, whips up in half hour or less. Plus, it has less than 300 calories per serving!
Put your holiday leftovers to good use with this Ham Bone Soup. It’s a hearty slow cooker meal loaded with veggies and great flavors!
Paneer Jalfrezi is a quick and easy stir fry featuring cottage cheese veggies like bell peppers, and great Indian spices. It’s a simple low calorie meatless dinner for busy weeknights.
This easy Baked Sockeye Salmon recipe is perfect for a quick and easy and low cal dinner.
It’s brushed with a honey mustard glaze that perfectly compliments the natural flavor of the fish, then baked in foil to keep the flesh moist, and for easy cleanup.
This quick and easy Albacore Tuna Tataki Bowl is full of your favorite Asian flavors. Skip the sushi restaurant and make this great meal in your own home!
These quick Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas are the perfect family dinner, full of flavor and easy on the cleanup!
Well seasoned chicken and veggies all cook on a single baking sheet, and the end result is so succulent and delicious that you’ll want to make this recipe again and again.
Add a gourmet flair to your holiday spread with these fancy looking, yet easy to cook, pork pinwheels. Goes great with a variety of side dishes, today we are going low carb with zoodles!
Add some island flair to your fried rice. This quick and easy one pot meal is loaded with flavors and whips up in 20 minutes or less!
Sweet and savory, these tacos are so tasty you will want to go back for seconds, maybe thirds! And they are so quick, they just might become a weeknight staple.
This Scallop Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes is one of our favorite new recipes. It’s super quick and easy, in about 20 minutes you have a restaurant quality, low calorie meal on your table.
This Cauliflower Peas Masala, or Gobi Matar, is a classic example of homestyle Indian vegetables. At less than 300 calories per serving, it’s simple, tasty and healthy. Try this dish and experience the flavors of an everyday Indian household!
These super tasty lettuce wraps are a great light meal. They’re low in carbs and have only 318 calories per serving. Plus, they’re super quick and easy. Perfect weeknight option!
How does a nice hearty bowl of seafood goodness sound? Don’t let the name deceive you, this Bahamian staple is anything but boring! Hearty, flaky fish simmered in a delicious broth with potatoes, onions, tons of lime juice and a bit of hot kick. This is classic island comfort food!
18. Hunan Shrimp
These fiery Hunan shrimp are super quick and super tasty. This easy, low cal stir fry whips up in about 25 minutes!
19. Kedjenou Chicken
Kedjenou is a beloved stew in the Ivory Coast. It’s so simple, yet so spectacularly tasty. It’s loaded with tons of nutritious veggies!
This tomato basil chicken is a quick, light and tasty weekday meal. The sweetness from the orange marmalade is a great complement to the freshness of the tomatoes and basil!
Quick, easy, and very colorful. Take it to your next pot-luck, or make a big batch and have low calorie meals ready to eat for days!
22. Aloo Palak
Do you like spinach? Do you like potatoes? They pair up so well in this simple, homestyle, Indian aloo palak!
Sheet Pan dinners, the perfect answer to fuss free weeknight meals! This Sheet Pan Chicken with colorful veggies not only looks very inviting, but every single bite is bursting with flavor.
24. Balela Salad
Let me present you Balela deliciousness!! So colorful, so easy, so refreshing… This hearty colorful salad comes from many Middle Eastern countries and is bursting with flavors and textures.
25. Sopa de Fideo
Everyones favorite Tomato Soup gets an upgrade with noodles. Tomato Noodle Soup? You got it right. Sopa de Fideo is Mexico’s version of everyone’s beloved tomato soup.
With its simple ingredients – thin noodles and a flavorful tomato broth – this dish is the epitome of comfort food.
26. Pasta e Piselli
This Pasta e Piselli recipe is perfect for those last minute weeknight dinners, when you want something tasty and comforting, without a lot of hassle.
A simple Neapolitan dish of Pasta and Peas, it’s a light one pot meal that you can have on the table in about 25 minutes.
And it’s only 390 calories per serving!
27. Jerk Shrimp
Juicy, plump shrimp with BOLD island flavors… Jerk Shrimp! Caribbean style.
Spicy, balanced with the right amount of sweetness and loads of zesty, bright flavors. Just a few simple ingredients from your pantry and you can create an amazingly delicious shrimp recipe in under 20 minutes.
Pinchos are just your simple meat-on-a-stick meal, but these tender bites are super delicious. Get ready to grill one of the most popular street foods out of Puerto Rico… Pinchos De Pollo!!
The snuggly threaded chicken cubes are marinated in amazing island flavors and grilled to perfection, then slathered with BBQ sauce. Yes, very unique chicken kebabs!
29. Chicken Shawarma
This easy Chicken Shawarma brings the flavors, big time!
Marinated with vibrant and aromatic spices, it can be your easy weeknight dinner which is great low calorie meal option.
Shrimp Fra Diavolo is a dish of plump shrimp in a spicy tomato sauce. It’s a great meal that whips up in about 30 minutes!
31. Chicken Tacos
Don’t we all love tacos?These easy authentic Mexican Street Style Chicken Tacos are packed with flavor from a great marinade, and can be your easy weeknight dinner, meal prep, or feed a crowd!
At 353 calories, these Ground Turkey Stuffed Peppers are a light and healthy dinner full of great Mediterranean inspired flavors.
How about a restaurant quality Italian dinner on the table in about 25 minutes? Well that’s our Pasta Puttanesca recipe!
It’s light, yet boldly flavored with garlic, anchovies, olives and capers. Easy enough for a busy weeknight, puttanesca is also company worthy.
364 calories per serving.
There is plenty to love about flatbreads. They’re one of the quickest meals on planet Earth, they are super delish, and they come out good looking, too.
They are perfect any time meals, and act as superb, easy appetizers for your company.
35. Wonton Soup
This Wonton Soup recipe is super quick and light, and brimming with warm and comforting Asian Flavors. It’s a 15 minute soup perfect for busy weeknights.
Give your classic comfort food a new twist, and make this Chicken Meatball Noodle Soup. It has all the flavors you love, but is somehow more fun!
A homemade, easy to make Chicken Meatball Noodle Soup is perfect for any day of the week.
37. Caldo de Pollo
Caldo de Pollo, simply Chicken Soup in Spanish, is an ode to Homestyle Cooking.
A big pot of Caldo simmering for hours, loaded with tons of veggies and chicken, literally creates magic.
You don’t need fancy ingredients, no extravagant spices, and no complex cooking style. Just a regular soup pot and plenty of patience to make the tastiest, delicate chicken broth with plenty of veggies to munch on.
This Cannellini Beans recipe is the best, hands down! Creamy, buttery beans are enhanced with plenty of fresh herbs, garlic, parmesan, cherry tomatoes, and a good dousing of good ol’ EVOO.
It can be your favorite new meatless main dish, or you can serve it as a side. And it whips up in next to no time.
39. Shoyu Chicken
How can Soy Sauce Chicken be so phenomenal, and one of the most beloved dishes out of Hawaii? But it is… A simple chicken dish but ultimate Umami Bomb!
This Shoyu Chicken, simply meaning “Soy Sauce Chicken”, is one of the island favorites that you can spot in many laid-back luaus and local restaurants.
Coming in at only 8 grams of fat per serving, this one is a can’t miss!
40. Fricase de Pollo
This Fricase de Pollo recipe is a hearty and delicious stew, where tender chicken thighs braise in a well seasoned, wine-infused broth.
The Cuban version of Chicken Fricassee, it is a beautiful combination of flavors, and gets further bulked up with potatoes, carrots, bell peppers and olives.
Serve it up with white rice and tostones, and you have a Latin dinner that’s hard to beat!
Let’s round our our list of low calorie dinner ideas with a famous French stew that comes in at only 255 cal per serving.
This easy Ratatouille recipe stars a variety of fresh summer veggies. It’s a classic French stew that’s perfect for a meatless dinner, or as a side dish.
So there you go, thirty five great Low Calorie Meals, all under 500 calories for you to cook. Who says healthy can’t be tasty? The only question now is, which to try first?
Pin or bookmark this collection of great recipes so you always know where to find it. And be sure to subscribe to GypsyPlate, we’re always cooking up new easy recipes for you!
- Mediterranean Pasta
- Albondigas Soup
- Shrimp Saganaki
- Chicken Provençal
- Vegetarian Black Bean Chili
- Low Calorie Ham Bone Soup
- Paneer Jalfrezi
- Baked Sockeye Salmon
- Tuna Tataki Bowl
- Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas
- Pork Pinwheels with Zoodles
- Hawaiian Pineapple Fried Rice
- Chili Lime Shrimp Tacos
- Scallop Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes
- Cauliflower Peas Masala
- Low Calorie Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Bahamian Boiled Fish
- Hunan Shrimp
- Kedjenou Chicken
- Tomato Basil Chicken
- Rainbow Pasta Salad
- Aloo Palak
- Sheet Pan Chicken and Veggies
- Balela Salad
- Sopa de Fideo
- Pasta e Piselli
- Jerk Shrimp
- Chicken Shawarma
- Shrimp fra Diavolo
- Chicken Tacos (Mexican Street Style)
- Ground Turkey Stuffed Peppers
- Low Calorie Pasta Puttanesca
- Mediterranean Flatbread
- Wonton Soup
- Chicken Meatball Noodle Soup
- Caldo de Pollo
- Mediterranean Cannellini Beans
- Shoyu Chicken
- Fricase de Pollo
- Pick a low cal recipe that looks delicious.
- Gather ingredients.
- Cook your family a healthy and tasty meal.
- Let me know which recipes you try, I love hearing from you!
Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.
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