27 Delicious Low Calorie Meals That (Actually) Fill You Up
There’s often a great divide between the word “healthy” and “filling” when it comes to food. One of the scariest myths about eating better is that, along with giving up the foods we love, we will simply starve. But let’s get real. There are so many incredibly filling healthy foods you can eat, especially at dinnertime, when you’re craving a big meal to satisfy you after a long and eventful day. Whether it’s a comforting casserole or a savory piece of meat you’re craving, you don’t have to sacrifice your fullness for the sake of healthiness. The following foods are packed with deliciously healthy ingredients that won’t break the calorie bank, but will also quiet the tummy grumblings. From 300 calorie meals to 500 calorie meals, you can easily find the recipes you want for your health needs that are both healthy and filling.
Under 300 Calories
There’s no need to give up your favorite comfort food with this delicious spin on pizza! Cauliflower, garlic, egg, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, oregano, parsley and basil combine to make one delicious pie that you don’t have to feel guilty about.
Calories: 284 (for the entire pizza!)
When you want a hearty soup, this is the go-to. Soups work wonders when it comes to filling you up, plus this recipe is packed with incredible Southwestern flavors and healthy vegetables that provide plenty of fiber to fill you up.
Comfort and flavor combine to make a new twist on this traditional dish by using spaghetti squash instead of rice noodles and a gluten-free soy sauce. Filled with tons of flavor, it’s a sure-fire way to skip the take-out and eat healthfully instead.
Burgers are great at filling you up, but not so much at keeping the calorie count in check. This healthier version will give you your burger fix without widening your waistline since it’s made from beets, which just so happen to be a great source of folate, fiber, potassium and vitamin C.
The array of spices used in this vegan, gluten free and dairy free recipe pack tons of flavor yet keep it healthy with the addition of cauliflower rice. The addition of chickpeas will boost your fiber and protein count, too. It’s also extremely easy to make, since you simply stir fry veggies, add spices and chickpeas and cook!
Stews are perfect for a cold night when the need for something hearty and hot is calling your name. Avoid the extra calories with this simply divine Moroccan recipe that fills you up with healthy goodness thanks to the vitamin A-packed butternut squash, and protein-rich chickpeas and lentils.
A sloppy joe is one of those childhood meals you secretly miss, but why keep it a secret, or miss it, when you can make it without all the unhealthy junk? This vegan version is just as good as the original with its incredible taste that won’t even make you crave meat, while the sweet, spicy and saucy mess will bring back many childhood memories while you reach frantically for more napkins.
When Mexican is on your mind but you fear you’ll subject yourself to far too many calories, try this indulgent yet healthy enchilada casserole complete with satisfying sweet potatoes, BBQ sauce, boneless chicken breasts, shredded mozzarella, colby jack cheese, cumin and cilantro.
For a juicy meal that will fill you up without putting you into a food coma, try this baked honey mustard chicken recipe. Simply mix up the marinade, pour it over the chicken and bake. Healthy, delicious and simple. What more can you ask for?
This fun and flavorful take on a traditional meatloaf dish is a must try. Turkey zucchini meatloaf is stuffed with ooey gooey pepper jack cheese, topped with savory sauce and packed with plenty of spices and herbs to round it out.
Under 400 Calories
Pasta is a classic dish in many people’s households, thanks to its ability to combine with so many ingredients to create a variety of filling dishes. But it gets a bad rap for being on the heavier side. This light yet filling recipe is a no-brainer if you’re a pasta person who wants to keep it healthy.
Alfredo sauce is known for its fattening, high-calorie attributes, but it doesn’t have to be like that! This recipe is a low-fat version of the classic and is served over a bed of zucchini noodles. Topped off with hearty shrimp, you’ll feel full and satisfied no doubt.
This healthy version of an Italian classic uses extra-lean ground beef, a no-salt tomato sauce and delectable porcini mushrooms to give you a hearty bowl of heaven without sacrificing flavor.
Why it’s taken cauliflower so long to become the shining star of a meal is shocking, especially when you consider how well it does as a stand-in for its unhealthy alternatives. This recipe uses the vegetable as a replacement for potato mash. The coconut flour pie crust is another fun switch that gives each bite of the pie the desired flakiness without the added guilt.
Mac and cheese, please? If you watch your calories, this might be an off limits dish… until now. A pound of carrots are packed into this unique recipe featuring high fiber pasta shells, reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese and bread crumbs.
Eggplant parm is an Italian must-have, but the classic version is usually fried and packed with fat and calories. This recipe keeps it light and flavorful by using panko bread crumbs that give it a delightful crunchy and crispy texture.
Anything that requires one pan or pot for an entire meal is worth learning about. And when it’s delicious, filling and healthy to boot? Yes please! This recipe is great for you thanks to the quinoa that takes place of the typical rice, while lean ground turkey is utilized over ground beef.
Lasagna is one of Italy’s most beloved comfort foods. When you hear about the carb and calorie count, however, it’s a bit of a turn off if you’re trying to watch your weight or just keep it healthy. This recipe uses spaghetti squash to combine with layers of melted cheese and classic Italian meat sauce for one perfect and filling meal.
Teriyaki chicken isn’t usually associated with a low-calorie meal, but this recipe will surprise you with its flavor and healthy ingredients like low sodium soy sauce, brown sugar, honey, ginger, olive oil and garlic. The chicken, veggies and brown rice really round out the healthfulness of this casserole.
Chili is a cozy bowl of warmth and yumminess, but did you know many classic recipes are full of cream, butter and far too much cheese for one serving? This version is not only lighter but easy, too, while also ensuring you still get that creamy richness in every bite. Using a rotisserie chicken will cut your prep time in half if you really want to keep things simple.
Under 500 Calories
This gluten-free comforting casserole is filled with healthy and wholesome ingredients, including ancient grain pasta that’s made with brown rice, quinoa, amaranth and corn. Chicken breast and cauliflower round out the dish to give you a complete meal.
This pasta is light and healthy, simple to make, and so, so tasty! The sausage and veggies provide vibrant color and bright flavors to the dish. The whole wheat pasta will give you plenty of fiber, and the turkey sausage lots of protein — both of which will work to fill you up.
Classic lasagna is made with meat, but this recipe is rich in so many other ways you certainly won’t miss it. The fresh veggies and tangy tomato sauce mixed with rich and melted cheese are enough to fill you up and satisfy your need for comfort food.
With the name “skinny” in the recipe, there’s no doubt you’ll want to try this healthy low-calorie casserole. This delicious meal is chock-full of fabulous ingredients for filling you up with each scrumptious bite, from the veggies to the protein to the whole grains and the additions of orange juice, chicken broth, soy sauce, honey, garlic, ginger, sriracha and orange zest.
If a one-dish healthy meal is on your mind, but you’re worried it won’t fill you up, look no further than this high-protein option. Cashew, chicken and quinoa combine to provide a flavorful, crunchy and satisfying meal that’s just as simple as it is delicious.
This recipe is just as unique as it is filling, healthy and yummy. The quinoa is made into a fried rice that serves as the base, while stuffed pepper steak lays delicately on top. Everything is made in one pan to make this meal even more enticing.
Paella is a hearty dish packed with flavor, but it’s not always on the healthy side, or easy to whip up at that. This nutritional version requires just one skillet, and requires minimal work to create a meal so delicious, the aroma will fill up the house with delight.