Here Are Dozens of 400-Calorie Meals to Help You Lose Weight
Here Are Dozens of 400-Calorie Meals to Help You Lose Weight
Instant Pot Turkey-Stuffed Peppers
Don’t have an Instant Pot? No worries! Make this recipe in your Dutch oven instead. Preheat the oven to 350°F, make the peppers as instructed, then place in your Dutch oven with 1/2 to 1 cup water (depending on size of Dutch oven). Cover and bake until cooked through, about 45 to 50 minutes.
Apricot-Sage Chicken with Carrots
Dinner doesn't get much easier than this eight-ingredient, one-pan dish. The secret is jarred apricot preserves; much more than a spread for toast, it balances the earthy sage and pungent mustard in the pan sauce and gives everything a glossy coat. You can also thin the preserves in a small saucepan over medium heat and brush over roasted pork tenderloin, salmon fillets, or a rustic apple tart. A little butter stirred in at the end adds body to the sauce.
When it comes to meat sauces, Bolognese is the heavyweight champion of the pasta world, clocking in at over 800 calories with almost 1,800mg sodium. The traditional dish has a rich cast of characters—up to three kinds of meat, cream, cheese, pasta—and packs half a day’s worth of sat fat into just one serving. Here, tempeh and two types of mushrooms mimic the texture of ground meat while adding plenty of savory depth. By upping the veggies and nixing the cream, we leave plenty of room for the good stuff—Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
Seared Sea Bass with Lemon-Olive White Beans
Here’s a lovely way to incorporate more fish into your diet. Beautifully browned sea bass fillets nestle into a brothy bean mixture for an elegant, speedy dinner. Castelvetrano olives are meaty, buttery, and lower in sodium than many other olives. They pair particularly well with rich sea bass and creamy white beans, but if you can’t find them, you can use any olive you like. Serve with a simple side salad, a chunk of crusty whole-grain bread, and a glass of wine.
Korean Barbecue Pizza
We gave a crowd-pleasing classic like barbecue chicken pizza a Korean spin. Fresh mozzarella is mild enough to complement the caramel and chile notes in the sauce and is a great canvas for the fresh carrot and radish salad on top. Roll out and build the pizza on a large sheet of parchment paper so you can place both directly on the hot pizza stone. The bottom of the crust will still be crisp, and you’ll avoid any potential flops from counter to oven.
20-Minute Chicken Enchiladas
We hacked this Mexican favorite in July 2013 to get it to the table with lightning speed. One richly spiced sauce doubles as the filling and the topper to save time. And since every element is already cooked, the dish needs just three minutes under the broiler to melt the cheese.
Slow Cooker Thai Beef Curry
We start with big flavor from a large amount of curry paste and fish sauce, and we finish with fresh touches of cilantro and lime juice that perk up the taste of the whole dish. Serve over a bed of brown rice or brown rice noodles to catch all the sauce.
Traditional versions of this dish can tip the scales at nearly 1,000 calories and 30g sat fat per serving. This makeover cuts that by more than two-thirds and still has plenty of marinara, melty cheese, and crispy baked eggplant.
Creamy Chicken Quesadillas
A creamy base helps the cheese go further and keeps the chicken moist. For a crisp exterior, coat the filled tortillas with cooking spray instead of coating the pan.
Spice-Roasted Salmon with Roasted Cauliflower
Moroccan spices blend earthy (cumin) with warm and fragrant (coriander and allspice). Salmon and cauliflower embrace these flavors well. Look for thicker salmon fillets from the upper portion of the fish rather than thinner tail pieces.
Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
Go ahead and flag this recipe—it's sure to become a family favorite. For convenience, we call for precooked wild rice; if you can't find it, you can substitute 2 cups of your own cooked wild rice or a package of precooked brown rice.
Mostly Veggie Pasta with Sausage
Beyond pasta, spoon this veggie-packed sauce over breaded and baked eggplant slices or roasted spaghetti squash halves.
Pork Medallions with Fennel-Apple Slaw
Thin foods cook faster. Pork medallions get better browning than a whole tenderloin; potato slices get crispier than wedges. Thinly sliced apple, fennel, and shallots absorb more vinaigrette without losing crunch.
Egg Foo Young With Mushroom Sauce
Think of egg foo young as a cross between an American-style omelet and a crispy Chinese pancake, loaded with vegetables and topped with a savory mushroom “gravy.” It’s a super-speedy meal thanks to packaged broccoli slaw, matchstick-cut carrots, and microwaveable brown rice. A smaller (8- to 10-inch) skillet will make for a taller, fluffier pancake. Tamari sauce is slightly thicker than soy sauce with a more robust flavor (many brands are also gluten-free). Use anywhere you’d use soy sauce, especially in meat marinades.
Quick Mongolian Beef Stir-Fry
Make your own version of this takeout classic in a flash, no special equipment required.
Sweet Potato-and-Red Lentil Curry
This fragrant, Indian-style stew hits all the right notes with aromatic garam masala, fresh ginger, and concentrated red curry paste. The coconut milk mellows and loosens the potato and lentil mixture just enough so that it can be spooned over rice.
Seared Salmon Salad with Beets and Blackberries
A lime-forward vinaigrette adds pucker and punch to the salmon and salad, rounded out by earthy-sweet beets and juicy blackberries. Mint with blackberries is a favorite cocktail combo that also works in a fresh entrée salad. If you have leftover mint leaves, steep in simple syrup and refrigerate for sweetening lemonade or tossing with fresh fruit for a brunch salad. The trick to perfectly cooked salmon on the stove is to keep the heat no higher than medium. This allows the skin to crisp slowly while the fish cooks to the perfect doneness.
15-Minute Chicken Shawarma Bowls
This Middle Eastern-inspired bowl is all about big flavor with minimal effort. A garlicky, tahini-spiked yogurt brings all the elements together and takes just minutes to make. Assemble a few bowls at the beginnings of the week for easy make-ahead lunches.
Pork Chile Verde
If you're not a morning person and struggle to wake up early enough to do all the prep, then make a recipe that gets better with age, such as chili or brisket. Cook it overnight while you sleep. In the morning, cool it slightly, get it in the fridge, and reheat it later for dinner. We keep prep to a minimum, but if you have more time, brown the meat for deeper flavor.
The Big Omega Sandwich
Our supercharged salmon sandwich gives delicious incentive to ditch its fast-food counterparts. Wild-caught salmon is infused with a wealth of smoky, spicy, and deliciously tangy ingredients before being pan-seared to crisp, golden perfection. We found that broiling the salmon results in the ultimate melt-in-your-mouth, buttery tenderness. In place of standard tartar sauce, we top each patty with a generous dollop of spicy, yogurt-blended aioli.
Chicken and Poblano Stew with Polenta
Poblano chiles become smoky and lose some of their intensity when broiled. Wrap the peppers in the same foil used to line the pan, and let stand so that the steam can loosen the skins before you peel them.
Arugula Pesto Pizza
Wide ribbons of fresh butternut squash become tender while the pizza bakes, a colorful and faintly sweet contrast to the peppery arugula pesto.
White Cheddar and Bacon Risotto
With a flavor reminiscent of loaded potatoes, kids are bound to love this risotto. Frozen peas cook in just two minutes and add a sweet, fresh pop to the dish.
Sheet Pan Baked Tilapia with Roasted Vegetables
Arrange the fish and the broccoli-carrot mixture on the same pan for quick cleanup. Add lemon wedges and bring to the table for a gorgeous presentation.
Avocado-and-Pea Salmon Tartines
Elevate your avocado toast with silky smoked salmon for a lunch worth bragging about. This recipe delivers a double dose of heart-healthy unsaturated fats from both salmon and avocado, plus 35% of your daily fiber goal. Be sure to look for salmon that's labeled "wild Alaskan." That way you can be sure you're getting sustainable seafood.
Cheesy Chicken-and-Spinach Stromboli Ring
Instead of serving pizza, shake up dinner with a gorgeous stromboli ring. Though it may look difficult to make, it's actually an easy process (see our step-by-step instructions). Most store-bought pizza dough comes in 1-or 1 1/2-pound portions, but you only need 12 ounces for this recipe. Use the leftovers to make breadsticks or flatbread the next day.
Turkey and Swiss Sloppy Joes
This twist on a classic sandwich swaps the sweet, barbecue-style sauce for a white sauce enriched with nutty Swiss cheese.
Tortellini, Chicken, and Arugula Salad
Quality meets convenience in this speedy springtime main. This salad fits right into your weekday lineup with minimal effort and maximum flavor. Prewashed greens let you grab a handful and go. Build a salad, wilt into sautés, or blend into a pesto. Look to Buitoni pasta packs for quick meals on their own or to help you elevate salads and soups. Rotisserie chicken is one of your best supermarket allies for fast and fresh weeknight meals.
Family-Style Meatball "Fondue"
We're using the term "fondue" loosely; the idea is that everyone scoops into a skillet of cheesy meatballs with hearty bread slices. The meatballs are more tender than traditional versions because they don't include breadcrumbs; we like the softer texture for this type of dish, where you want them to give way easily on the bread.
Sesame-Ginger-Chickpea-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Sesame, especially toasted sesame oil, is a key flavor in many Asian cuisines. It makes sense that tahini would fit here too, especially as a finishing touch for roasted sweet potatoes with Sriracha.
Greek Chopped Salad with Grilled Pita
We take the extra step of grilling the bell peppers along with the pita wedges to add a big of char and smoky depth to the salad. You could also broil the peppers in the oven until blackened and peel them, and then toast the pita until browned.
Tangy Chicken-Farro Bowl
If you have trouble finding lingonberry, cranberry preserves are a fine substitute.
Dilly Salmon Packets with Asparagus
Adding the orange slices to the packets will perfume the fish and make the slices easier to squeeze after grilling. Remove the foil and arrange fillets over asparagus for a lovely presentation. No grill? Bake the packets at 425° for 15 minutes or until desired degree of doneness.
Provolone and Broccoli Rabe Beef Sliders
Pleasantly bitter broccoli rabe gives sliders a sophisticated edge and introduces a likely unfamiliar veggie in a delicious way. The Italian flavors of broccoli rabe and provolone cheese may sound like an unlikely combination but make for a truly great family-friendly meal. Simply seasoned with salt and pepper, paprika, and Worcestershire, these succulent sliders are flavorful enough to please both kids and parents. Use Broccolini for a milder flavor. To create a truly terrific burger use quality 93% lean ground sirloin and premium whole wheat buns. Lean ground sirloin and reduced-fat cheese help keep fat and calories in check.
BBQ Chicken with Peach and Feta Slaw
This summery crunch-tastic slaw is guaranteed to find its way into your recipe rotation for the rest of the season. Using ripe, juicy peaches, it's the perfect sweet-salty side dish for any number of grilled or smoked proteins.
Mini Veggie Tlayudas
Mole aside, tlayudas are the Oaxacan dish. Imagine grilled pizza with corn tortilla crust and bean puree instead of tomato sauce, topped with cabbage and avocado. It's as healthy as it is tasty. A whiff of robust smoke flavor gives this vegetarian dish a meaty feel. We love drizzling on a little of the Salsa Tatemada for a nice juicy kick.
Family-Style Chicken Spaghetti
A family favorite swaps jarred sauce for fresh—which requires just a few ingredients and less than 10 minutes.
Honey-Ginger Glazed Salmon
The sweet-sticky glaze makes this salmon dinner a winner with the kids. The honey-ginger glazes packs a ton of flavor without a long list of ingredients or extra time in the kitchen. With such little preparation, these salmon filets are the perfect weeknight meal that you can easily add into your cooking rotation. Complete the meal with a side of roasted or steamed carrots and a hearty spoonful of brown rice for a well-balanced meal.
Pasta with Prosciutto, Cherry Tomatoes, and Asiago
This quick pasta toss is all about the play of textures: crispy bits of prosciutto, snappy squash, and blistered cherry tomatoes. Sauté the zucchini for just a minute—you want it to lose its raw bite but not brown. It will be perfectly crispy-tender when the pasta is done.
Peruvian Steak and Roasted Sweet Potato Bowl
A little meat travels far since there's no center stage in a bowl. Here, a few ounces of Peruvian steak works wonders on top. Season well, and shred or finely chop to get a little in each bite.
Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas
Chipotles can be a touch spicy but you can use only half of what's called for to decrease heat and still get great smoky flavor.
Lemony Roasted Salmon with White Wine Couscous
The tangy herbed yogurt sauce also moistens the salmon during cooking.
Tofu and Edamame Noodle Bowl with Caramelized Coconut Broth
Grating jalapeño, ginger, and garlic allows them to infuse the coconut milk with bold flavor quickly, while caramelizing the mixture intensifies the savory-sweet appeal of this saucy noodle bowl.
Korean Shrimp BBQ Bowl
This is a great way to make use of leftover veggies. Mushrooms, cabbage, spinach and carrots are topped with a fried egg and drizzled with a spicy aioli sauce for an irresistible meal.
In Latin cuisine, a little bit of blistering on tortillas, peppers, onions, and garlic adds pleasant smoke and incredible complexity to a dish. The marinade for our Steak Tacos depends on this for bold taste that can stand up to the Toasted Chile Salsa.
If you're ready for a real game changer, make your own homemade tortillas instead of buying the bagged kind. If you're in a pinch, the La Tortilla Factory corn tortillas are the next best thing to homemade.
Thai Crunch Bowl with Salmon
Add bright, bold colors to your palate with this nutty dinner. The sesame-peanut sauce is so downright delicious, you'll want to drizzle it over every meal.
Carnitas Tacos with Pickled Red Onion
The pork gets a big flavor boost from achiote paste, a mix of ground annatto seeds, vinegar, salt, and spices. Find it at Latin markets.
Creamy Asparagus, Herb, and Pea Pasta
Mascarpone cheese, unsalted chicken stock, and 1/3-less-fat cream cheese create a smooth and creamy sauce that pairs beautifully with asparagus, herbs, peas, and pappardelle pasta.
Grilled Hawaiian Bowl
Serve yourself the perfect summer bowl for one. Sweet grilled pineapple complements the juicy pork tenderloin perfectly.
Mu Shu Pork Wraps
Chinese restaurants serve mu shu pork with Mandarin pancakes. On a busy weeknight, whole-wheat tortillas are an easy sub. Look for trimmed boneless pork shoulder. If all you see are large cuts, ask your butcher to cut off a 1-pound portion.
Strawberry-Chicken Salad with Pecans
Make extra strawberry-vinegar mixture and spoon over frozen Greek yogurt, pound cake, or whipped ricotta cheese.
Southern Barbecue Bowl
Bread-and-butter pickles, pinto beans, coleslaw and pulled pork unite for a true Southern twist, y'all.
Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
We love the heat level in this slow cooker take on tikka masala to fend off winter chill. If the spice kick is too much for your family, you can cut the red pepper down by half without losing any of the dynamic flavor layers.
Collard Greens Sauté with Chicken and White Beans
Rotisserie chicken speeds up prep for this quick weeknight meal, which features last night’s beans as well as bacon, red onion, and collard greens.
Smoky Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Sweet Potatoes
A generous amount of smoked paprika forms a nice crust on the pork as it sears in the pan, while also contributing big, bold, smoky flavor. If you haven't invested in a jar or tin of this powerhouse ingredient, we suggest that you add it to your pantry: It’s great in spice rubs for meat; stirred into chili or other soups that could use a lift; sprinkled on oven fries; or dusted onto hummus for a flavor boost. The pork cooks to perfection using a two-step method. First, it’s seared in a skillet until beautifully browned, and then it’s finished in the oven until done to the perfect temperature for juicy results.
Easy Thai Steak Noodle Bowl
This recipe gives you the flavors you love with easy-to-find supermarket ingredients, so you can satisfy your cravings for Thai food at home.
Spaghetti with Pistachio-Mint Pesto and Spinach
Pistachios lend deep, earthy flavors to this pasta dish that is ideal for potlucks and feeding large crowds.
Buffalo Quinoa Burgers
Make your own veggie burgers—they come together quickly and easily with the help of a food processor. You can form the patties ahead of time: Wrap them in plastic wrap and refrigerate up to two days. They’ll end up holding their shape even better in the pan. If serving to kids or folks with sensitive palates, you can omit the hot sauce mixture and simply serve the patties on buns with the usual burger condiments: ketchup, mustard, mayo. Serve with veggies and ranch dressing for a fun and lighter alternative to fries.
Spinach Pesto Pasta with Shrimp
Pesto tends to go army green if made ahead. We blanch the spinach and basil to preserve color without diluting flavor. Fresh tomato adds moisture and a mild acidity to the sauce.
Veggie Fried Rice with Crispy Ham
For this quick family dinner, a small amount of salty ham is crisped and used as a topping. That way you can use far less and still get a big flavor impact.