Low calorie meals: 63 easy dinners under 500 calories

Healthy and delicious low calorie meals 500 calories or less...
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  • 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

    Low calorie meals Vegetarian pie

    A crisp, filo pastry pie packed with lentils, courgette, and sweet potato

    1. Vegetarian pie

    Calories: 303
    Fat: 9g
    Carbs: 44.7g
    Protein: 9.8g
    5-a-day: 2

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 6
    Cooking time: 1hr 15 mins

    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.

    This pie is incredibly easy to make taking just 15 minutes to prepare. It serves six making it a perfect family dinner.

    Get the recipe: Vegetarian pie

    Spring chicken tray bake with green vegetables, low calorie meals

    Tender chicken thighs cooked with spring greens and infused with garlic and lemon

    2. Spring chicken tray bake with green vegetables

    Calories: 270
    Fat: 15.8g
    Carbs: 14.5g
    Protein: 17.1g
    5-a-day: 1

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 4-6
    Cooking time: 25 mins

    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).

    With the added greens, a portion of this traybake counts towards one of your five-a-day. A speedy midweek choice taking just 5 minutes to prep.

    Get the recipe: Spring chicken tray bake with green vegetables

    Baked sausage and gnocchi gratin, low calorie meals

    Hearty sausage bake with soft gnocchi and crisp breadcrumb topping

    3. Baked sausage and gnocchi gratin

    Calories: 457
    Fat: 20.9g
    Carbs: 48.4g
    Protein: 19g
    5-a-day: 1

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 6
    Cooking time: 25 mins

    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.”

    This hearty family meal takes just 25 minutes to bake and serves four to six people. A portion of this mouthwatering dish also counts as one of your five-a-day.

    Get the recipe: Baked sausage and fennel gnocchi gratin

    Wholewheat spaghetti with roasted veg, low calorie meals

    Lemon infused wholewheat spaghetti with aubergine and courgette

    4. Wholewheat spaghetti with roasted veg

    Calories: 379
    Fat: 11.7g
    Carbs: 60.2g
    Protein: 12.4g
    5-a-day: 2

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 6
    Cooking time: 15 mins

    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.”

    This dish can easily be prepared ahead and served as a speedy, low calorie lunch option too. Leftovers can easily be stored in the fridge and reheated the next day.

    Get the recipe: Wholewheat spaghetti with roasted veg

    Mexican stuffed chicken with red rice, low calorie meals

    Mexican spiced chicken served with tomato rice

    5. Mexican stuffed chicken with red rice

    Calories: 479
    Fat: 11.8g
    Carbs: 42.7g
    Protein: 53g
    5-a-day: 3

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 4
    Cooking time: 25 mins

    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 perfect 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.

    As this dish is predominantly made with chicken, it is a high protein option keeping you fuller for longer. The spinach, tomatoes and peppers total three of your five a day in just one portion.

    Get the recipe: Mexican stuffed chicken with red rice

    chicken and chorizo filo pie, low calorie meals

    A golden, crispy chicken and chorizo filo pie sprinkled with pine nuts

    6. Chicken and chorizo filo pie

    Calories: 426
    Fat: 25g
    Carbs: 24.9g
    Protein: 23.9g
    5-a-day: 0

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 6
    Cooking time: 1hr 50 mins

    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.

    Both the chicken and chorizo are an excellent source of protein meaning there will be no snacking after this dinner. This recipe serves six.

    Get the recipe: Chicken and chorizo filo pie

    Squash risotto with crispy sage, low calorie meals

    Creamy squash risotto with salty pancetta strips

    7. Butternut squash risotto with crispy sage and pancetta

    Calories: 377
    Fat: 10.9g
    Carbs: 57.1g
    Protein: 10.3g
    5-a-day: 1

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 6
    Cooking time: 25 mins

    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.

    Replace the chicken stock with vegetables and remove the pancetta to make this dish vegetarian-friendly. This risotto is so easy to make and ideal for beginners taking just five minutes to prepare.

    Get the recipe: Butternut squash risotto with crispy sage, and pancetta

    Stuffed peppers with couscous, courgette and mozzarella, low calorie meals

    Roasted red peppers stuffed with couscous and topped with melting cheese

    8. Stuffed peppers with couscous, courgette and mozzarella

    Calories: 243
    Fat: 13.2g
    Carbs: 19.5g
    Protein: 11.2g
    5-a-day: 1

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 4
    Cooking time: 20 mins

    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.

    Our stuffed peppers are packed with couscous, courgette and mozzarella but you could try stuffing them with rice, leftover chicken and different cheeses too. This recipe serves four but can easily be doubled to feed a larger family.

    Get the recipe: Stuffed peppers with couscous, courgette and mozzarella

    One-pot sausage and squash roast, low calorie meals

    Tender sausages cooked with soft new potatoes and butternut squash

    9. One-pot sausage and squash roast

    Calories: 408
    Fat: 23.5g
    Carbs: 34.5g
    Protein: 15.3g
    5-a-day: 1

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 4
    Cooking time: 30 mins

    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.”

    Along with all the nutrients squash promotes, the sausages provide the added protein ideal for fuelling a gym session or stopping any unwanted late-night snacking.

    Get the recipe: One-pot sausage and squash roast

    wild mushroom risotto, low calorie meals

    Creamy wild mushroom risotto infused with almond milk

    10. Wild mushroom risotto

    Calories: 340
    Fat: 19.1g
    Carbs: 36.9g
    Protein: 6.5g
    5-a-day: 1

    Skill level: Medium
    Serves: 3-4
    Cooking time: 40 mins

    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.

    A portion of this mouthwatering mushroom dish is one of your five a day. It will take around 40 minutes to cook this risotto and you will need to stay with it whilst it cooks to make sure there’s no sticking to the pan etc.

    Get the recipe: Wild mushroom risotto

    sage pork chop with vegetable pasta, low calorie meals

    Succulent pork chop served on a bed of simple vegetable pasta

    11. Sage pork chop with vegetable pasta

    Calories: 464
    Fat: 31.5g
    Carbs: 22.8g
    Protein: 22.1g
    5-a-day: 1

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 4
    Cooking time: 35 mins

    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.

    Not only is this low calorie meal healthy, it’s also super easy too taking just 10 minutes to prepare. This recipe is ideal for a family of four.

    Get the recipe: Sage pork chop with vegetable pasta

    One-pot tuna pasta puttanesca

    One-pot tuna pasta puttanesca topped with cheddar, mozzarella, and golden breadcrumbs

    12. One-pot tuna pasta puttanesca

    Calories: 302
    Fat: 7.9g
    Carbs: 42.8
    Protein: 15.8
    5-a-day: 0

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 4
    Cooking time: 20 mins

    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.

    This dinner serves four but any leftovers can easily be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two days. You could serve cold or warm through in the microwave.

    Get the recipe: One-pot tuna pasta puttanesca

    Homemade beans on toast, low calorie meals

    Slices of buttered sourdough topped with homemade baked beans

    13. Homemade beans on toast

    Calories: 360
    Fat: 13.1g
    Carbs: 44.9g
    Protein: 14.8g
    5-a-day: 3

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 4
    Cooking time: 15 mins

    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

    Sweet potato and courgette fish cakes, low calories meals

    Soft, round sweet potato and courgette fish cakes drizzled in lime

    14. Sweet potato and courgette fish cakes

    Calories: 268
    Fat: 7.6g
    Carbs: 35.8g
    Protein: 15.8g
    5-a-day: 1

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 4
    Cooking time: 20 mins

    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

    Cornflake chicken dippers

    Crisp golden Cornflake chicken dippers with a homemade sour cream dip

    15. Cornflake chicken dippers

    Calories: 61
    Fat: 2.4g
    Carbs: 6.3g
    Protein: 3.5g
    5-a-day: 0

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 24
    Cooking time: 15 mins

    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

    Greek-style chicken and salad

    Light and delicious, Greek-style chicken and salad

    16. Greek-style chicken and salad

    Calories: 342
    Fat: 12.9g
    Carbs: 7.2g
    Protein: 48.2g
    5-a-day: 3

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 4
    Cooking time: 30 mins

    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 vegetables, 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.

    This salad serves four and is ideal for both lunch and dinner. A portion of this tasty low calorie meal is three of your five-a-day thanks to the added veg.

    Get the recipe: Greek-style stuffed chicken and salad

    Mini roasted cauliflowers with tomato sauce

    Mini roasted cauliflowers with a rich tomato sauce finished with grated Gruyère

    17. Mini roasted cauliflowers with tomato sauce

    Calories: 243
    Fat: 15.7g
    Carbs: 13.2g
    Protein: 11.8g
    5-a-day: 3

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 4
    Cooking time: 30 mins

    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.

    This dish is so easy you could even get the kids involved in the preparation stages as we demo in the recipe video. A portion of this dinner is three of your five-a-day.

    Get the recipe: Mini roasted cauliflowers with tomato sauce

    Leek, asparagus and pea pasta

    Healthy green leek, asparagus, and pea pasta

    18. Leek, asparagus, and pea pasta

    Calories: 287
    Fat: 13.7g
    Carbs: 29.4g
    Protein: 11.7g
    5-a-day: 3

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 2
    Cooking time: 15 mins

    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 287 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 fibre and folate, and peas are a good source of plant-based protein. This dish also includes at least one of your five-a-day.

    If you want to increase the protein in this dish you could add strips of leftover ham, chicken and beef and warm through. However, keep in mind that adding meat to a recipe will change the nutritional values.

    Get the recipe: Leek, asparagus, and pea pasta

    Lemon chicken and rice stir-fry

    Lemon infused chicken with peas, sugar snaps, sweetcorn, and spring onions

    19. Lemon chicken and rice stir-fry

    Calories: 216
    Fat: 6.8g
    Carbs: 22.4g
    Protein: 17.3g
    5-a-day: 1

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 4
    Cooking time: 10 mins

    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.”

    This super speedy low calorie meal takes just 10 minutes to prepare and 10 minutes to cook making it the ideal midweek meal when you’re in a hurry. It’s also a cheap option if you’re on a budget.

    Get the recipe: Lemon chicken and rice stir-fry

    Cheese, tomato and ham deli tart

    Cheese, tomato and ham deli tart served with freshly prepared rocket

    20. Cheese, tomato and ham deli tart

    Calories: 469
    Fat: 26.3g
    Carbs: 32.2g
    Protein: 25.3g
    5-a-day: 1

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 4
    Cooking time: 25 mins

    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

    Sausage and spinach frittata

    One pot sausage and spinach frittata takes just 10 minutes to prepare

    21. Sausage and spinach frittata

    Calories: 338
    Fat: 23.9g
    Carbs: 10.6g
    Protein: 19.9g
    5-a-day: 1

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 4
    Cooking time: 30 mins

    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

    Open Mediterranean lasagne

    Cheese and aubergine topped open Mediterranean lasagne

    22. Open Mediterranean lasagne

    Calories: 437
    Fat: 31.5g
    Carbs: 21.3g
    Protein: 17.1g
    5-a-day: 1

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 4
    Cooking time: 25 mins

    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

    Farmhouse chicken braise

    Tender chicken thighs baked with carrots and leeks

    23. Farmhouse chicken braise

    Calories: 477
    Fat: 37.4g
    Carbs: 6.7g
    Protein: 28.6g
    5-a-day: 1

    Skill level: Medium
    Serves: 4-6
    Cooking time: 40 mins

    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.

    Ideal as an alternative to Sunday roast dinner, this dinner serves four to six people but can easily be adapted to cater for more. A portion of this traybake works out at just 99p per portion.

    Get the recipe: Farmhouse chicken braise

    Cheese and spinach pasta bake

    Luxurious, golden cheese and spinach pasta bake

    24. Cheese and spinach pasta bake

    Calories: 409
    Fat: 26.9g
    Carbs: 23.6g
    Protein: 18.8g
    5-a-day: 0

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 4
    Cooking time: 55 mins

    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.

    The majority of the time it takes to make this dish is spent in the oven meaning it’s a great option when you’re having a busy evening and just want something easy to rustle up.

    Get the recipe: Cheese and spinach pasta bake

    Spicy pepper pulled pork

    Succulent strips of BBQ pulled pork served with a jacket potato

    25. Spicy pepper pulled pork

    Calories: 465
    Fat: 30.1g
    Carbs: 16.1g
    Protein: 31.5g
    5-a-day: 0

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 6
    Cooking time: 5hr

    Made with a hint of spice, this succulent pork works out at just 465 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.

    We’d recommend preparing this dish ahead and making it in the day time as it takes five hours to slow cook in the oven. That way you’ll guarantee it’s ready to be eaten come dinner time.

    Get the recipe: Spicy pepper pulled pork

    Warm chicken and barley salad

    Chunks of warm chicken on a bed of barley salad

    26. Warm chicken and barley salad

    Calories: 313
    Fat: 18.5g
    Carbs: 14.2g
    Protein: 23
    5-a-day: 0

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 4
    Cooking time: 40 mins

    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.”

    This dish is ideal if you’re looking to get your protein fix as it’s packed full of lean-protein from the chicken. This recipe is also so simple to make ready in just four easy steps.

    Get the recipe: Warm chicken and barley salad

    Burritos

    Beef burritos with sour cream and freshly made salsa

    27. Burritos

    Calories: 423
    Fat: 16.5g
    Carbs: 46.3g
    Protein: 23.2g
    5-a-day: 1

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 8
    Cooking time: 25 mins

    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.”

    Ideal for catering to big families this recipe makes eight burritos. Burritos are a great way to get the kids involved in making their own food as they can add the filling and sauces in themselves.

    Get the recipe: Burritos

    turkey cottage pie

    Creamy carrot and potato mash with turkey mince, onion, and peas

    28. Turkey cottage pie with carrot and potato topping

    Calories: 383
    Fat: 2.7g
    Carbs: 46.1g
    Protein: 33.7g
    5-a-day: 1

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 2
    Cooking time: 40 mins

    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.

    This is a much lower calorie version than classic beef cottage pie as turkey mince has a lower fat content. This recipe serves two people but can easily be doubled to feed a family of four.

    Get the recipe: Turkey cottage pie with carrot and potato topping

    Vegetable macaroni cheese

    Cheese topped macaroni with juicy tomatoes and soft broccoli florets

    29. Vegetable macaroni cheese

    Calories: 458
    Fat: 14.9g
    Carbs: 61.2g
    Protein: 22.4g
    5-a-day: 2

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 4
    Cooking time: 15 mins

    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

    Chorizo and bean salad

    Spiced chorizo and bean salad with celery, peppers, tomato, and onion

    30. Chorizo and bean salad

    Calories: 352
    Fat: 17.6g
    Carbs: 21g
    Protein: 16.6g
    5-a-day: 2

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 4
    Cooking time: 15 mins

    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

    Pasta shells with crayfish

    Pasta shells with lemon-infused crayfish

    31. Pasta shells with crayfish

    Calories: 321
    Fat: 13.4g
    Carbs: 36.4g
    Protein: 12.7g
    5-a-day: 0

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 3-4
    Cooking time: 15 mins

    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

    Pork ragu enchiladas, Low calorie meals

    Delicious, cheese coated pork ragu enchiladas

    32. Pork ragu enchiladas

    Calories: 497
    Fat: 22.6
    Carbs: 34.8
    Protein: 39
    5-a-day: 2

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 8
    Cooking time: 1hr 30 mins

    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

    Linguine with crab and mint

    Light and refreshing linguine with crab and mint

    33. Linguine with crab and mint

    Calories: 386
    Fat: 16.9g
    Carbs: 41.4g
    Protein: 17.2g
    5-a-day: 0

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 2
    Cooking time: 10 mins

    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.

    This speedy low calorie meal takes just 15 minutes to make in total making it an ideal midweek meal for two. Once you’ve mastered this recipe you could try prawns, salmon or white fish instead of crab.

    Get the recipe: Linguine with crab and mint

    Fish wraps

    Golden pieces of white fish wrapped in soft tortillas with crisp lettuce

    34. Fish wraps

    Calories: 415
    Fat: 13.8g
    Carbs: 43.1g
    Protein: 29.4g
    5-a-day: 1

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 4
    Cooking time: 15 mins

    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.

    As it takes just 20 minutes to rustle up this dish, it’s ideal as a quick work lunch as well as a light, however filling, dinner.

    Get the recipe: Fish wraps

    Tuna pasta

    Tender chunks of tuna tossed with pasta and green beans

    35. Low calorie tuna pasta

    Calories: 249
    Fat: 3.4g
    Carbs: 20.3g
    Protein: 33.7g
    5-a-day: 0

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 1
    Cooking time: 20 mins

    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.”

    We’ve used fresh tuna in this recipe but you could easily use tinned tuna for quickness – it may also be slightly cheaper than fresh if you’re catering on a budget. Perfect for both lunch and dinner taking just five minutes to prepare.

    Get the recipe: Tuna pasta

    Turkish halloumi bake

    One pot Turkish halloumi bake topped with warm chunks of salty halloumi

    36. Turkish halloumi bake

    Calories: 413
    Fat: 14.6g
    Carbs: 43.7g
    Protein: 29.2g
    5-a-day: 1

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 4
    Cooking time: 1hr

    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.

    This low calorie meal is easy; ideal for beginners as it takes just three steps to make. Prepare and bake this dish ahead of time as it takes an hour to bake in the oven.

    Get the recipe: Turkish halloumi bake

    Thai curried noodles

    Lightly spiced Thai curried noodles with pak choi

    37. Thai curried noodles

    Calories: 297
    Fat: 11.8g
    Carbs: 35.5g
    Protein: 10.4g
    5-a-day: 1

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 3
    Cooking time: 20 mins

    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

    Asian prawns stir-fry with jasmine rice

    Flavour-packed Asian prawns stir-fry with Jasmine rice

    38. Asian prawns stir-fry with Jasmine rice

    Calories: 488
    Fat: 16.9g
    Carbs: 63.5g
    Protein: 22.8g
    5-a-day: 1

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 2
    Cooking time: 10 mins

    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

    Beef in black bean sauce, Low calorie meals

    Succulent chunks of beef tossed with a rich black bean sauce

    39. Beef in black bean sauce

    Calories: 243
    Fat: 11g
    Carbs: 16.1g
    Protein: 20.3g
    5-a-day: 0

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 4
    Cooking time: 5 mins

    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.

    This dinner takes just five minutes to cook and is ideal for sharing on a Saturday night instead of your average takeaway. It takes just two steps to make this low calorie meal making it a super easy option.

    Get the recipe: Beef in black bean sauce

    Moroccan root tagine with couscous

    A rich tomato-based tagine made with heaps of veg and couscous

    40. Moroccan root tagine with couscous

    Calories: 300
    Fat: 4.8g
    Carbs: 48g
    Protein: 16.8g
    5-a-day: 1

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 2
    Cooking time: 1hr 5 mins

    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.

    A portion of this meal counts as one of your five-a-day. This dish is rather low in protein so you can bulk up by adding lean protein such as beans, chicken or prawns to the mix.

    Get the recipe: Moroccan root tagine with couscous

    Spanish beef, Low calorie meals

    Succulent Spanish beef made with diced braising steak

    41. Spanish beef

    Calories: 391
    Fat: 18.4g
    Carbs: 19.8g
    Protein: 33.8g
    5-a-day: 1

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 8-10
    Cooking time: 2hr

    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.

    This recipe is a great option if you’re not a keen cook as the oven does all the hard work for you. All you have to do is prep the ingredients, which should take around 25 minutes.

    Get the recipe: Spanish beef

    Smokey cheese bacon and potato tart

    Smokey cheese bacon and potato tart infused with wholegrain mustard

    42. Smokey cheese bacon and potato tart

    Calories: 324
    Fat: 21.3g
    Carbs: 20.4g
    Protein: 11.6g
    5-a-day: 0

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 6-8
    Cooking time: 1hr

    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.

    Perfect not just as a summery dinner but as a filling picnic option too. A slice of this mouthwatering tart counts towards one of your five-a-day.

    Get the recipe: Smokey cheese bacon and potato tart

    Tandoori fish bites

    Tandoori fish bites made with tandoori paste, lemon, and yogurt

    43. Tandoori fish bites

    Calories: 293
    Fat: 10.3g
    Carbs: 27.3g
    Protein: 22.4g
    5-a-day: 0

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 2-4
    Cooking time: 5 mins

    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

    Spanish stir-fry chicken

    Chunks of chicken with handfuls of chorizo and soft Romano red pepper

    44. Spanish stir-fry chicken

    Calories: 354
    Fat: 25.9g
    Carbs: 3.3g
    Protein: 25.8g
    5-a-day: 1

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 2
    Cooking time: 10 mins

    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 354 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

    Moroccan chicken salad

    Delicious, filling Moroccan chicken salad

    45. Moroccan chicken salad

    Calories: 236
    Fat: 12.3g
    Carbs: 8.8g
    Protein: 21.2g
    5-a-day: 1

    Skill level: Medium
    Serves: 4
    Cooking time: 20 mins

    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

    Tomato and pepper galettes

    Juicy tomatoes, tangy olives, and sweet peppers topping puff pastry

    46. Tomato and pepper galettes

    Calories: 391
    Fat: 26.7g
    Carbs: 30g
    Protein: 5g
    5-a-day: 2

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 4
    Cooking time: 1hr

    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. Up the protein by topping this tart with strips of cooked chicken – of course keep in mind that this will alter the calorie count.

    Get the recipe: Tomato and pepper galettes

    Chinese vegetable chow mein

    Simple Chinese vegetable chow mein with Tenderstem drizzled in lime

    47. Chinese vegetable chow mein

    Calories: 195
    Fat: 6.6g
    Carbs: 27.1g
    Protein: 6.1g
    5-a-day: 1

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 4-5
    Cooking time: 5 mins

    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.

    Ideal as a midweek option when you’re short on time as it takes just two steps to make. This meal is also a great lower calorie substitute for a Chinese takeaway.

    Get the recipe: Chinese vegetable chow mein

    Lemony tagliatelle with meatballs

    Tender meatballs infused with lemon and tossed with courgette and tagliatelle

    48. Lemony tagliatelle with meatballs

    Calories: 350
    Fat: 21g
    Carbs: 18.5g
    Protein: 22.2g
    5-a-day: 1

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 2-3
    Cooking time: 25 mins

    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.

    Prepare this low calorie meal in just 20 minutes. This zingy dish serves two to three people depending on your preferred portion size.

    Get the recipe: Lemony tagliatelle with meatballs

    Winter root vegetable tagine

    Slow-cooked winter root vegetable tagine with chickpeas

    49. Winter root vegetable tagine

    Calories: 367
    Fat: 8.1g
    Carbs: 63.5g
    Protein: 13.7g
    5-a-day: 3

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 4
    Cooking time: 40 mins

    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.

    This comforting tagine counts as three of your five-a-day and takes 40 minutes to bake in the oven, which is rather quick for a slow cooked meal.

    Get the recipe: Winter root vegetable tagine

    Chicken pilaf

    Chicken pilaf infused with chilli, garlic, and cumin

    50. Chicken pilaf

    Calories: 371
    Fat: 13.8g
    Carbs: 38.6g
    Protein: 25.5g
    5-a-day: 2

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 4
    Cooking time: 27 mins

    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.

    Great for using up leftover chicken, this dish is perfect if you’re looking for a protein packed meal that will keep you full all evening. This recipe would work just as well with beef or lamb.

    Get the recipe: Chicken pilaf

    Italian-style chicken with olives

    A rich tomato-based sauce with tender Italian-style chicken and olives

    51. Italian-style chicken with olives

    Calories: 301
    Fat: 11.5g
    Carbs: 9.3g
    Protein: 35.8g
    5-a-day: 2

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 6
    Cooking time: 40 mins

    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.

    This low calorie meal is ideal for sharing serving six people in total. We’ve also included a method for slow cooking this dish in a slow cooker for three to four hours.

    Get the recipe: Italian-style chicken with olives

    Tomato and sweetcorn flan

    Simple tomato and sweetcorn flan garnished with rocket

    52. Tomato and sweetcorn flan

    Calories: 299
    Fat: 13g
    Carbs: 34g
    Protein: 11.6g
    5-a-day: 2

    Skill level: Medium
    Serves: 4
    Cooking time: 40 mins

    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

    Smoked salmon stir-fry

    Soft chunks of smoked salmon served with onions, Tenderstem, and sesame seeds

    53. Smoked salmon stir-fry

    Calories: 332
    Fat: 15.2g
    Carbs: 30.4g
    Protein: 17.6g
    5-a-day: 1

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 2
    Cooking time: 10 mins

    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

    Pot-roasted lamb with potatoes and rosemary

    Succulent cuts of lamb with golden potatoes and warming rosemary

    54. Pot-roasted lamb with potatoes and rosemary

    Calories: 415
    Fat: 12.3g
    Carbs: 46.4g
    Protein: 29.7g
    5-a-day: 1

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 4
    Cooking time: 3hr

    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 415 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

    Chicken, pea and noodle salad

    A simple chicken, pea, and noodle salad drizzled with soy sauce

    55. Chicken, pea, and noodle salad

    Calories: 296
    Fat: 7.4g
    Carbs: 32.3g
    Protein: 25g
    5-a-day: 0

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 4
    Cooking time: 1hr 10 mins

    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.

    This noodle salad is so easy to prepare in just five minutes and serves four. Leftovers can easily be stored in the fridge and reheated thoroughly before serving again.

    Get the recipe: Chicken, pea and noodle salad

    Chilli beef noodles

    Vibrant and feiry chilli beef noodles

    56. Chilli beef noodles

    Calories: 493
    Fat: 30g
    Carbs: 25.7g
    Protein: 28g
    5-a-day: 1

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 4
    Cooking time: 10 mins

    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.

    This recipe is super speedy ready in under 20 minutes. It’s also packed full of protein thanks to the beef. This recipe serves four.

    Get the recipe: Chilli beef noodles

    Cheese and tomato bake

    Golden, cheesy tomato bake infused with pesto

    57. Cheese and tomato bake

    Calories: 425
    Fat: 21.4g
    Carbs: 37.7g
    Protein: 22.7g
    5-a-day: 0

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 2
    Cooking time: 20 mins

    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.

    The perfect one-pot option you and your partner can enjoy without the expense of endless washing up. This is a carb heavy dinner so choose smaller portions and serve with salad for an even lighter meal.

    Get the recipe: Cheese and tomato bake

    Sausage, mushroom and bean stew

    Hearty, slow-cooked sausage, mushroom, and bean stew

    58. Sausage, mushroom, and bean stew

    Calories: 354
    Fat: 25.6g
    Carbs: 10g
    Protein: 20.4g
    5-a-day: 2

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 3-4
    Cooking time: 2hr

    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.

    The perfect winter warmer serving four. The ideal alternative to a Sunday roast dinner. We would recommend making this dish ahead of time as it takes two hours to bake – and even longer if you opt to cook it in a slow cooker.

    Get the recipe: Sausage, mushroom, and bean stew

    Beef and pepper stir-fry, Low calorie meals

    Beef and pepper stir-fry infused with garlic and ginger

    59. Beef and pepper stir-fry

    Calories: 455
    Fat: 16.4g
    Carbs: 47.4g
    Protein: 25.5g
    5-a-day: 3

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 4
    Cooking time: 10 mins

    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.

    It’s hard to believe that a portion of this delicious stir-fry counts as three of your five-a-day thanks to the variety of vegetables used. A quick, cheap and easy midweek choice prepped in just 10 minutes.

    Get the recipe: Beef and pepper stir-fry

    Vegetable tortilla

    Vegetable tortilla topped with creamy goat’s cheese

    60. Vegetable tortilla

    Calories: 396
    Fat: 26.8g
    Carbs: 23.3g
    Protein: 16g
    5-a-day: 1

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 8-10
    Cooking time: 1hr 30 mins

    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.

    This vegetable tortilla is great food on the go too and can be portioned and served cold as an on the go work lunch, picnic option or kids’ lunch box filler.

    Get the recipe: Vegetable tortilla

    Garlic, ginger and chilli prawns, Low calorie meals

    Garlic, ginger, and chilli prawns with green beans and lime

    61. Garlic, ginger, and chilli prawns

    Calories: 217
    Fat: 6.1g
    Carbs: 3.5g
    Protein: 37.2g
    5-a-day: 0

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 2
    Cooking time: 5 mins

    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).

    This 15-minute wonder serves two and takes just three steps to make. We’d recommend making and eating this prawn dish on the same day to keep the prawns as fresh as possible.

    Get the recipe: Garlic, ginger, and chilli prawns

    Mexican-style pork with corn salsa

    Mexican-style pork with corn salsa served with a tortilla

    62. Mexican-style pork with corn salsa

    Calories: 421
    Fat: 17.4g
    Carbs: 34.4g
    Protein: 29.7g
    5-a-day: 2

    Skill level: Easy
    Serves: 4
    Cooking time: 15 mins

    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.

    This recipe serves four and takes just 15 minutes to cook. A portion of this Mexican-style pork counts as two of your five-a-day thanks mainly to the homemade salsa.

    Get the recipe: Mexican-stye pork with corn salsa

    Greek lamb with warm beans, Low calorie meals

    Succulent Greek lamb with warm beans

    63. Greek lamb with warm beans

    Calories: 343
    Fat: 23.1g
    Carbs: 10.5g
    Protein: 21.4g
    5-a-day: 1

    Skill level: Medium
    Serves: 4
    Cooking time: 20 mins

    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.

    This dish is marked as a medium skill level only because cooking lamb can sometimes be a little tricky. Follow our method carefully to ensure perfectly cooked meat every time.

    Get the recipe: Greek lamb with warm beans

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