25 Healthy Low Calorie Meals That Fill You Up

By: Chris Freytag, CPT // May 16, 2024

Use my filling low calorie meals to pack your day with nutrients and flavor, all while staying on track with your health goals!

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’ll be hungry all the time.

Thankfully, that’s not the case! There are so many healthy, filling recipes that satisfy your taste buds without packing a ton of calories.

Whether it’s savory chili or a comforting shepherd’s pie (yes, really!), you don’t have to sacrifice your fullness for the sake of healthiness. The following are 25 of my favorite healthy lunch or dinner meals that are low in calories and packed with deliciously healthy ingredients. 


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    1. Golden Turmeric Chicken Soup

    There’s nothing more comforting than a steaming bowl of nutritious soup—especially when we’re talking about this golden turmeric chickpea chicken soup!

    bowl of healthy turmeric soup

    It’s packed with flavor and antioxidants, thanks to the turmeric and ginger. Add in boneless skinless chicken breasts, chickpeas, chicken broth, onions, carrots, celery, and spices, coconut milk, and boom—talk about a hearty bowl of deliciousness. 

    As a bonus, this soup also freezes well in case you want to make it ahead of time!

    2. Healthy Shrimp Alfredo

    Good news—even traditional Alfredo can be made into a healthy dinner! This version of the classic Alfredo sauce skips the heavy cream and uses low-fat milk and a bit of cream cheese, and swaps pasta for zucchini noodles.

    Top with a hearty serving of tender shrimp, and this dish may change the way you think about pasta! (In a good way, of course.)

    3. Wild Rice Salad with Chicken

    This healthy wild rice salad with chicken, pecans, and cranberries is tossed in a tangy dressing made with dijon mustard, rice vinegar, and lemon juice. Who knew healthy eating could be this delicious?

    If vegan recipes are more your style, no problem—simply skip the chicken and use maple syrup instead of honey for the dressing.

    4. Healthy Eggplant Parmesan

    The classic eggplant parmesan, while tasty, can be pretty heavy since it’s higher in fat and calories. So, we’ve lightened it up by baking the eggplant slices (rather than frying), using lower fat mozzarella and parmesan cheese, and topping it with delicious marinara sauce.

    low calorie meal eggplant parmesan on plate

    These simple swaps help make this dish healthier than the original but still packed with flavor!

    5. Low Calorie Southwestern Chicken Soup

    This low-calorie southwestern chicken soup recipe has been a family favorite in my house for two decades! With less than 10 ingredients, this simple soup is sure to become a staple in your house, too.

    low calorie filling meal southwestern soup

    It’s also a great way to sneak veggies and fiber into your diet! I love adding shredded zucchini, diced onion, sliced green or red peppers, corn, and even canned pumpkin. 

    As for toppings? Sour cream, cilantro, shredded cheese, tortilla chips, sliced jalapeño pepper, green onions, or lime wedges all make perfect additions. You can double this recipe and prepare portions into airtight containers for an easy meal any day of the week!

    6. Easy Hamburger Soup with Potatoes

    This hamburger soup recipe is simple, inexpensive, and hearty! It’s family-friendly and full of veggies, lean ground beef (or turkey), potatoes, tomato sauce, seasonings, macaroni (or

     brown or white rice), and a little Worcestershire sauce. Simmer all day in the slow cooker or prepare in 35 minutes or less on the stovetop.

    7. Healthy White Chicken Chili

    The secret to making this white chicken chili extra creamy without butter or cream cheese (where the calories typically come from in this dish) is to puree cooked cauliflower and a can of white beans. It adds tons of creaminess without a lot of added fat, and you can sneak in an extra serving of veggies!

    healthy white chicken chili serving in bowl

    This chili recipe is simple to make as a midweek meal for the family or to feed a crowd on game day. For a tangy kick, top it with Greek yogurt!

    8. Orzo Kale Salad

    It doesn’t get much better than this orzo and kale salad! This veggie-based orzo salad recipe features fresh, colorful veggies and a light, zesty lemon dressing.

    The roasted almonds add a flavorful crunch and bonus — you get a ton of nutrients from the heart-healthy kale.

    9. Tuscan Tomato Soup

    If you are looking for a hearty and creamy tomato soup without the need for heavy cream, you’ll love this Tuscan tomato soup!

    low calorie filling tuscan tomato soup recipe

    Use chicken stock or vegetable broth for the base, onion, garlic, and carrot for added flavor, and chickpeas for extra plant-based protein and texture. There’s no need to wait for a cold day to make this soup — you’ll crave it all year round!

    10. Turkey Chili

    Need to cut back on your saturated fat intake? Ground turkey is a great (and heart-healthy) substitute for ground beef. Our turkey chili recipe features fiber-rich black beans, fresh veggies, canned tomatoes, and plenty of seasoning.

    You can make this healthy recipe on the stove in around 30 minutes or let it simmer all day in the slow cooker. 

    11. Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potato Topping

    Our variation on the ever-comforting shepherd’s pie is a great addition to a healthy lifestyle! It features sweet potatoes instead of mashed potatoes and is packed with protein and fiber.

    With seasoned ground beef, herbs like rosemary and thyme, and plenty of veggies, you’ll get a delicious, hearty meal without boosting your calorie intake.

    12. Southwest Quinoa Salad

    Did you know one cup of cooked quinoa offers around 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber? Quinoa is a plant-based, whole-grain superfood that offers plenty of health benefits—and it’s the star of this dish!

    Add in black beans, veggies like red onion and bell pepper, lime juice, and seasonings, and you’ll love this zesty, colorful salad. 

    13. Stuffed Zucchini Boats

    Stuffed zucchini boats are low-carb, gluten-free, protein-filled, and kid-friendly! There are plenty of ingredient substitutions to make them your own, whether you want a “pizza,” “taco,” or vegetarian version.

    It’s a great recipe for eating healthy without feeling like you’re eating healthy.

    14. Pear, Walnut & Gorgonzola Salad

    This pretty pear, walnut, and gorgonzola salad looks impressive, but it’s actually pretty simple to put together!

    low calorie filling meal pear walnut salad

    You can incorporate it as a side dish or feature it as the main meal. The walnuts are a healthy fat for weight loss that will help keep you full!

    This gluten-free dish can be made dairy-free using a vegan feta cheese instead of the gorgonzola or nut-free by skipping the walnuts.

    Remember, women actually need more protein as they get older, so serve it with salmon, chicken, or your favorite lean protein!

    15. Vegetarian Black Bean Enchiladas

    These vegetarian black bean enchiladas are filled with beans, roasted sweet potatoes, peppers, cheese, and, of course—a tasty red enchilada sauce. They are just as filling as the traditional meat-based enchilada but with fewer calories.

    Top with avocado, fresh chopped cherry tomatoes, cilantro, sour cream, or plain Greek yogurt, and take your average at-home taco night to the next level!

    16. Healthy Chipotle Chicken Burrito Bowl

    Why go to Chipotle when you can make your own delicious (and healthier) burrito bowl at home? Skip the high-calorie toppings and unnecessarily large portions with our “skinny” variation that’s just as delicious!

    There’s no waiting in line, and you can cut the calories in half (literally). 

    17. Mahi Mahi Fish Tacos

    Mahi Mahi is a lean white fish with firm flesh and mild flavor—and it’s a great option for tacos. The fish is cooked in heart-healthy olive oil and stuffed into tortillas with cilantro lime slaw and the perfect amount of seasoning.

    Add a chipotle crema for a spicy kick!

    18. Healthy Mexican Pizza (Taco Bell Copycat)

    Who doesn’t crave Taco Bell every now and then? Their Mexican pizza may be delicious, but it’s not the best choice for your calorie intake and overall health.

    So, how about a healthy yet tasty alternative?

    low calorie filling mexican pizza meal

    This lightened-up vegetarian version of the classic features refried beans and extra veggies for more fiber and less fat.

    19. Italian Turkey Meatballs

    Served with pasta or as an appetizer, these easy and healthy turkey meatballs are full of protein and flavored with Italian seasoning and herbs to give them tons of flavor.

    This one-pan recipe gives you super juicy meatballs with minimal clean-up.

    20. Lentil Ham Soup with Vegetables

    Lentils don’t get enough love, so we love adding them to this ham and vegetable soup! These tasty legumes contain plenty of protein, fiber, and vitamins. Our lentil ham soup is made extra flavorful by adding leeks, kale, and fresh thyme.

    Not a meat-eater? It’s just as tasty without the ham.

    21. Chicken Quesadilla (With Black Beans & Acorn Squash)

    The classic chicken quesadilla recipe gets a makeover! This dish features black beans and your choice of acorn squash or sweet potatoes. Plus, we swap out the traditional white flour tortilla with a whole wheat tortilla for added fiber.

    22. Grilled Salmon Topped with Peach Salsa

    Savory grilled salmon smothered with peach salsa is a seriously dreamy combo. Even better? The fish is marinated using a mixture of olive oil, honey, lemon juice, thyme, and a few seasonings.

    Fair warning, though: That peach salsa will have you hooked!

    23. Healthy Chicken Stir-Fry

    Skip the MSG and other additives you might get if you order takeout! Instead, pick your favorite fresh veggies and make our simple stir-fry sauce at home.

    Leave out the rice for a low-carb, high-protein chicken and veggie meal, or substitute it with a more nutritious alternative such as quinoa.

    24. Detox Vegetable Soup

    Clean eating never tasted so good with this colorful vegetable soup. It’s rich in vitamins, low in sugar and calories, and a great way to naturally detoxify your body. For more protein, add a can of garbanzo beans or cooked ground turkey.

    Make a big batch and eat healthy all week!

    25. Spicy Grilled Pork Tenderloin

    Pork tenderloin is an easy way to add protein and vitamins to your overall diet. (Plus, it’s delicious!) This spicy grilled pork tenderloin is marinaded with ingredients like fresh garlic, cumin, paprika, dry mustard, and cilantro.

    Serve it as a weeknight dinner or save it for a special occasion—it’s a crowd-pleaser!

    Cooking Advice, Food, Meal Prep + Plans

    Printed from GetHealthyU.com


    on Reply

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    on Reply

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    on Reply

    Very Veggie Lasagna...but I think that all delicious. I will definitelly try one.Thank you for posting.

      on Reply

      Of course :) Always good to try something new!

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