[Last updated: August 11th, 2016: We have now added 10 more recipes to make it 32, Enjoy!]
Want some easy to make and healthy meals for two? Getting in shape has been a global challenge specially when it comes to picking the right food to eat for a family. The difficulty of finding the right type of food has always been one of the many banes of trying to lose weight. And we all know that exercise alone, even if you clock in hours of gym time every week, is not enough. There’s also this acceptable theory that losing weight is 80% diet and 20% exercise and let’s not even get started on how much calories we need to shed off per day. This makes losing weight all the more frustrating because you literally have to pick the food you stuff inside your mouth and this can be so stressful which makes most people quit the diet altogether. But it doesn’t always have to be this way.
…But We’re Here To Help
We recognize this difficulty so we took it upon ourselves to compile the 22 healthiest dinners which are under 500 calories. You read that right: stuff yourselves full with just 500 calories of food. All you need to know is pick the right recipe and learn to prepare it yourself. Not only will you eventually lose weight but you’ll also acquire a pretty handy cooking skill too!
This seafood dish features the flavors of Southeast Asia and India with its blend of curry spices and large prawns. Use fresh ingredients like lemongrass, chiles, shallots, and ginger root as the base of your coconut milk rue to highlight the king prawns and bring out their essence. This tasty dish serves 3-4 people and can make a delicious under 500 calorie main dish for the family or a special dinner for two with leftovers to take to lunch the next day.
Tuna-infused Cabbage Soup
Take a traditional hearty cabbage soup and infuse it with tuna to give this dish a healthy reboot of seafood goodness. As a cooking hack use can packed albacore tuna as a substitute for fresh tuna steaks you purchase from your local fishmonger. If you are feeling more adventurous and enjoy the challenge of preparing the tuna fresh yourself, by all means have at it and bring a level of adventure to your sea inspired fare. Be sure to use the freshest possible tuna in this dish and avoid the runny, over processed can tuna that may cause your soup to lack the punch necessary to feed your brood.
Chicken Wraps Under 500 Calories
Chicken wraps are a fast and simple way to prepare a hearty meal that is filling and healthy for you and your family to enjoy. This recipe is a simple chicken wrap consisting of fresh vegetables that is under 20 minutes to prepare and 500 calories to enjoy. Include in this recipe a variety of colors through the use of yellow, red, and green peppers, tomatoes and other fresh vegetables. This recipe may also be prepared a day ahead of time and packed into bags as a healthy lunch alternative to fast food and other on-the-go options.
Low-Calorie Chicken Drumstick
Love the taste of chicken drumsticks but hate the calories? Here is a simple recipe that capitalizes on your love for chicken drumsticks but helps to reduce your caloric intake. This under 500 calorie recipe provides you with a different way to prepare this classic American dish without the added calories that it is often associated with. Try these drumsticks with a side of cooked carrots and rice. It is sure to be a crowd pleaser and a hit with your family or guests.
Budapest’s Best Beef Ghoulash
The key to this take on a traditional Hungarian ghoulash is that it is prepared in a slow cooker. This is a recipe that can be started before you go off to work in the morning and, after setting the cook temperature to low for 6-8 hours, you can come home to a delicious meal that is freshly prepared and under 500 calories. If you prefer to stand over the cooker and watch it do its thing, set to medium-high for 3-4 hours in order to get the same results for your low-calorie, slow cooked meal.
Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps
This lettuce wrap eliminated the need for frying and is a healthy alternative that is easy to prepare and under 500 calories. This dish is an easy way to feed a large family or can be created as an intimate meal between you and a spouse, partner, or significant other. Using fresh iceberg lettuce as your wrapper, simply mix other vegetables combined with lean ground beef for a delicious take on an Asian inspired lettuce wrap that may become your new guilty pleasure.
Low Calorie Squash
Here is an easy and effective way to prepare butternut squash that is delicious, nutritious and under the 500 calorie count. Keep this dish as low calorie and low fat as possible by substituting butter with canola or extra virgin olive oil and try not to go over board with salt in order to maintain the natural flavor of the squash, which is the star of the dish!
Vegetable Au gratin
A fresh take on an Au gratin recipe that highlights different vegetables. This dinner is easy to prepare and can provide your family with a healthy alternative to what they may be used to when thinking about this type of dish. Prepare with a creamy white sauce – if you like you can substitute whole milk with soy milk or other dairy substitute for those who are lactose intolerant or unable to ingest certain types of dairy foods.
Try going meatless with this take on lasagne. This vegetable lasagne has all of the elements of a classic lasagne dish with a twist – there is no meat. This low calorie alternative (under 500 calories) takes 35 minutes to prepare and packs all of the punch of a regular lasagne you may prepare with Italian sausage or ground beef.
Low Calorie Chicken Breast
Here is a chicken breast recipe that is flavorful and easy to prepare. More importantly it is under 500 calories and satisfies all appetites. Serve with a lightly dressed arugula salad and wait for the applause from you appreciative guests or family.
This black bean specialty uses a lot of black beans which are rich in lots of fiber, and protein, the key elements in stuffing yourself without eating too much calories. This soupd consists of only 333 calories but it won’t leave you hungry for sure.
Craving for some meat? Try this easy to prepare steak dish. It only uses about 3 ingredients but the meal will definitely satisfy your cravings for lean meat through it’s simple but delicious combination of Flank steak, Cilantro leaves, and Salsa Verde. It only has 212 calories per serving!
You know avocados are healthy for you because of their healthy fat content? And fat is responsible for tricking our brains into thinking we’re not that hungry, right? Combine that with beans and a good wrap and you got yourself this delicious meal which only has 424 calories!
Salmons are among the healthiest type of fish to eat. If you want a bit of salmon with a zest to it, then try this 259-calorie dish which includes lime juice and pepper.
You’d never really run out of uses for chicken meat. This meal, which only has 252 calories, utilizes fresh apricots to add to the savory taste of chicken we’ve grown to love. As a bonus, this meal is packed with a hefty amount of Vitamin A too.
With only 282 calories, this meal fuses our all-time favorite scrambled eggs with a good amount of artichokes which is known for its folate and dietary fiber content. You can serve this with tossed salad or roasted potatoes.
Steaks and onions, you really can’t help but love their complementing combination. If you’re an avid fan of caramelized onions and steak, then this meal is for you. Boasting only of 306 calories, this meal will not only fill you up but will definitely be an enjoyable treat specially if you’re trying to keep a diet with lots of protein included.
For those looking for a meal that relaxes them at night, then this fragrant fish soup is for you. Consisting of only 239 calories, this meal uses jasmine rice which is known to smell nice when cooked.
Most people would rather have a sandwich. For a quick and healthy bite, this delicious 287-calorie steak sandwich will serve your sandwich cravings the right way.
Salads are known for their myriad of healthy ingredients specially with right dressing. This chicken-rich salad only consists of 343 calories and will definitely make you feel full in no time as it has a lot of romaine lettuce with a possibility of adding in broccoli to make this salad even healthier.
White beans, tomatoes, and a whole lot of chard, this little dish boasts of flavor and fiber. Not to mention the use of olive oil which makes this 325-calorie simple skillet meal a healthy treat indeed.
You read that right. This is pizza in a sense that you baked it that way. But don’t be fooled; this delicious meal only consists of 316 calories which is a far-cry from most pizza products. Not to mention how it uses black beans and corn, two healthy foods that help curb the hunger pangs.
Sweet potatoes are among the healthiest sources of carbohydrates. Add that with a bit of spinach and you got yourself a pretty healthy meal with lots of iron. This quesadilla recipe only consists of 391 healthy and satiating calories.
Eating spaghetti at dinner time may seem like a bad idea but it’s not when you see the recipe for this healthy and carbohydrate-filled meal. Spinach, walnuts, and a good helping of eggs will make this whopping 439-calorie meal fill your stomach until morning and then some!
Brown rice is the healthier alternative to your common rice. Top it off with good turkey and you got yourself a protein and fiber rich meal with only 486 calories.
Who says you can’t eat burgers at dinner? This little monster may not seem much but trust us when we say that this burger is the perfect substitute to your conventional fastfood-style burger. Loaded with mushrooms and lean beef sandwiched by whole wheat buns, you wouldn’t believe this meal only has 473 calories!
You know the studies surrounding barley and how healthy it is? Well why not have a good meal with it for dinner? This delicious recipe has all sorts of healthy spices which makes this 382-calorie meal a healthy and tasty way to end the day.
This is your traditional, home-cooked spaghetti and meatballs. It may look like the instant version but it’s 100% natural and the ingredients are all healthy and picked to ensure you’re not packing on the extra calories. You won’t believe this meal only has 496 calories!
Spaghetti squash has been picking up the pace recently as more health-conscious people are trying to live a healthy life. Why not savor a healthy meal yourself? This recipe calls for a lot of chicken meat, tomato sauce, and spaghetti squash as the main recipes garnished with some olive oil. This savory chicken meal only has 399 calories.
You surely think cheeseburger pasta isn’t healthy but this one is. Using only healthy ingredients such as whole wheat penne pasta and lean ground beef, this 391-calorie meal is set to make you satisfy your hungry belly without bloating it.
Pork chops! Aren’t those just delish? Don’t stay away from them just because you’re on a strict diet. In fact, this meal makes you eat your favorite pork chops without making you gain the extra calories! Believe it or not, this meal only has 201 calories!
Lasagna has earned its reputation for having quite the massive calorie count. But this recipe won’t make you feel guilty at all. In fact, believe it or not, one full serving is only 323 calories and you’ll definitely be stuffed for sure.
Being on a controlled diet doesn’t have to be torture. It can be a good way to be creative as well. You already have an idea where to get your recipes so why not try some of these out yourself? Once you know how to cook a few, you’re worries about calorie counting would be over and you’re a step closer to getting your target weight.