300-Calorie Dinners

We gave these recipes a real workout: very satisfying food, very light.

300-Calorie Recipes

Photo: Francesco Tonelli

Full Flavor, No Guilt

We're not interested in low-calorie eating for low-calorie's sake. The first principle is taste. But with so much fresh produce around, it's a pure pleasure to cook this way.

First up is our Tomato Tart.

A summery spectacular, but also a creamy, cheesy calorie and sat-fat bomb. Ours is meat-free and cream-free, but olives add satisfying richness.

View Recipe: Tomato Tart

Chicken, Potato, and Leek Pie

Photo: Francesco Tonelli

Chicken, Potato, and Leek Pie

Fast-food chicken pies can contain 800 calories per serving. We deploy full-flavored chicken thighs and smoky bacon to add depth. Store-bought piecrust keeps prep easy.

View Recipe: Chicken, Potato, and Leek Pie

Sweet and Spicy Shrimp with Rice Noodles

Photo: Francesco Tonelli

Sweet and Spicy Shrimp with Rice Noodles

A healthy take on pad thai, this dish stretches 12 ounces of shrimp to feed four and keeps the noodle portion in check. Sauce has some pumped-up kicks, comparable to many restaurant versions.

View Recipe: Sweet and Spicy Shrimp with Rice Noodles

Grilled Skirt Steak and Roasted Tomatillo Sauce

Photo: Francesco Tonelli

Grilled Skirt Steak and Roasted Tomatillo Sauce

Satisfy beef cravings with skirt steak, an ultra-flavorful cut that does well on the grill in no time. The veggie-based sauce with tangy tomatillos is a perfect match for charred beefiness.

View Recipe: Grilled Skirt Steak and Roasted Tomatillo Sauce

Stone Fruit Chicken-Rice Salad

Photo: Francesco Tonelli

Stone Fruit Chicken-Rice Salad

Chicken is pure lean protein (use a good brand for chickeny flavor). Cherries and nectarines lend a sweet-tart counterpoint. Brown rice adds whole-grain goodness.

View Recipe: Stone Fruit Chicken-Rice Salad

Barbecue Salmon and Snap Pea Slaw

Photo: Francesco Tonelli

Barbecue Salmon and Snap Pea Slaw

Salmon is low in calories and rich in healthy fats, and goes beautifully with a sweet, salty, spicy glaze and this ingenious summery slaw.

View Recipe: Barbecue Salmon and Snap Pea Slaw

Broiled Tilapia with Frisée-Apple Salad and Mustard-Parsley Sauce

Photo: Marcus Nilsson

Broiled Tilapia with Frisée-Apple Salad and Mustard-Parsley Sauce

Because it's sustainably farm-raised and widely available, tilapia is a great option. And since it doesn't have an assertive flavor, it pairs well with a variety of ingredients.

View Recipe: Broiled Tilapia with Frisée-Apple Salad and Mustard-Parsley Sauce

Shrimp Tacos with Green Apple Salsa

Photo: Randy Mayor

Shrimp Tacos with Green Apple Salsa

This unexpected taco filling is crunchy and delicious. Serve with mashed black beans.

View Recipe: Shrimp Tacos with Green Apple Salsa

Pork Chops Stuffed with Feta and Spinach

Photo: Lee Harrelson

Pork Chops Stuffed with Feta and Spinach

Don't let the low-calorie count fool you, these Greek-inspired spinach- and feta cheese-stuffed pork chops have earned rave reviews from our readers.

View Recipe: Pork Chops Stuffed with Feta and Spinach

Filet Mignon with Fresh Herb and Garlic Rub

Photo: Randy Mayor

Filet Mignon with Fresh Herb and Garlic Rub

Filet mignon is extra delicious with a rub of herbs and garlic. Serve this quick-fix recipe with roasted red potato wedges and steamed broccoli florets.

View Recipe: Filet Mignon with Fresh Herb and Garlic Rub

Polynesian Flank Steak

Photo: Randy Mayor

Polynesian Flank Steak

Turning the steak on the grill about every five minutes helps keep the marinade from scorching as the meat cooks. Garnish the serving platter with chopped green onions.

View Recipe: Polynesian Flank Steak

Pan-Roasted Fish with Mediterranean Tomato Sauce

Photo: John Autry

Pan-Roasted Fish with Mediterranean Tomato Sauce

Chef Ed Kenney uses Hawaiian fish such as mahimahi and onaga (long-tailed snapper), but any type of meaty, white fish like snapper will work in this low-calorie recipe.

View Recipe: Pan-Roasted Fish with Mediterranean Tomato Sauce

Soba Noodle Salad with Seared Tuna

Photo: Randy Mayor

Soba Noodle Salad with Seared Tuna

Look for Japanese soba noodles in the ethnic-food section of your supermarket. At just 256 calories per serving, this is one dinner recipe that you can indulge in.

View Recipe: Soba Noodle Salad with Seared Tuna

Brined Pork Tenderloin with Plum and Jicama Relish

Photo: Gentyl & Hyers

Brined Pork Tenderloin with Plum and Jicama Relish

A quick brine keeps the pork moist and juicy, while the Plum and Jicama Relish provides sweet and spicy flavors.

View Recipe: Brined Pork Tenderloin with Plum and Jicama Relish

Tuscan Pork Kebabs

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Tuscan Pork Kebabs

Coming in at under 200 calories per serving, this colorful grilled summer dish is perfect for a light picnic on the patio. Sautéed chard makes a simple side.

View Recipe: Tuscan Pork Kebabs

Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

The rich flavors of chicken and goat cheese join forces in this impressive 5-star, low-calorie main dish. Serve with orzo or rice to soak up the shallot-thyme sauce, but keep portions in check to keep this a low-calorie meal.

View Recipe: Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Grilled Jicama, Radishes, Scallions, and Chicken with Asian-Style "Chimichurri"

Photo: Randy Mayor

Grilled Jicama, Radishes, Scallions, and Chicken with Asian-Style "Chimichurri"

This piquant herb sauce gets depth from anchovies and brightness from lime juice. To tone down the contrast, start by using less of each and taste and add as you go. If your grill is large enough, you can cook the vegetables and chicken all at once. Serve with a scoop of brown rice, and you're all set.

View Recipe: Grilled Jicama, Radishes, Scallions, and Chicken with Asian-Style "Chimichurri"

Poached Halibut with Lemon-Herb Sauce

Photo: Anna Williams

Poached Halibut with Lemon-Herb Sauce

Flaky halibut is dressed with light and refreshing lemon-herb sauce for a delicious dish that will only take 22 minutes to prepare. Serve with a side vegetable and a cold glass of wine for a satisfying meal.

View Recipe: Poached Halibut with Lemon-Herb Sauce

Sautéed Halibut with Romesco Sauce

Photo: John Autry

Sautéed Halibut with Romesco Sauce

Highlight the sweet and subtle flavor of halibut with a smoky homemade romesco sauce.

View Recipe: Sautéed Halibut with Romesco Sauce

Grilled Steak with Baby Arugula and Parmesan Salad

Photo: John Autry

Grilled Steak with Baby Arugula and Parmesan Salad

Peppery arugula is a fantastic bed for grilled steak. Don't skip on the shaved Parmesan, it gives a salty bite.

View Recipe: Grilled Steak with Baby Arugula and Parmesan Salad

Mahimahi with Bacon-Tomato Butter

Photo: John Autry

Mahimahi with Bacon-Tomato Butter

Mahimahi is simple and easy to prepare, as is the bacon-tomato butter. It's rich and sweet, and the dish is great served with a salad, pasta, or fresh vegetables.

View Recipe: Mahimahi with Bacon-Tomato Butter

Pork and Ancho Chile Tamales with Mexican Red Sauce

Photo: Lee Harrelson

Pork and Ancho Chile Tamales with Mexican Red Sauce

Who says dinner party food can't be low-calorie? For ease, make the pork mixture for these tamales a day or two ahead. The recipe makes quite a few servings; serve with Spanish saffron-flavored rice for a fun evening with friends.

View Recipe: Pork and Ancho Chile Tamales with Mexican Red Sauce

Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad

Photo: John Autry

Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad

This salad dressing mimics the flavor of a typical Caesar but in a vinaigrette form that allows this salad to stay under 300 calories.

View Recipe: Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad

Seared Scallops with Wilted Watercress and Bacon

Photo: John Autry

Seared Scallops with Wilted Watercress and Bacon

Watercress offers a refreshing change from spinach and other greens. Scallops are a sustainable buy, but for the best choice, pick diver-caught scallops from Mexico.

View Recipe: Seared Scallops with Wilted Watercress and Bacon

Marinated Lamb Chops

Photo: John Autry

Marinated Lamb Chops

Chermoula, a North African herb and spice paste, imparts bold flavors with minimal effort. This low-calorie recipe will need to marinate for 8 hours or overnight, so be sure to plan ahead.

View Recipe: Marinated Lamb Chops

Lemony Orzo-Veggie Salad with Chicken

Photo: John Autry

Lemony Orzo-Veggie Salad with Chicken

Fresh and light describe the flavors of this salad. With pops of green onions, herbs and cucumber, and bright red bell pepper, this dish will be a delight for both the eyes and the palate.

View Recipe: Lemony Orzo-Veggie Salad with Chicken

Corn Fritters with Roasted Tomatoes and Lime Aioli

Photo: John Autry

Corn Fritters with Roasted Tomatoes and Lime Aioli

For convenience, you can make the tomatoes and fritters in advance, then reheat them to serve. Reheating the fritters in an oven or toaster oven will keep them from being soggy.

View Recipe: Corn Fritters with Roasted Tomatoes and Lime Aioli

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