10 Dinners Under 500 Calories
It’s easy to find a low-calorie breakfast wrap, snack bar, or salad, but finding a hearty dinner that’s less than 500 calories per serving — that’s not so easy. When trying to cut calories, dinner is often the meal that suffers the most, and after a long day of work the last thing we want to sit down to is a restrained salad, a dehydrated turkey burger, or a low-calorie frozen dinner. Fortunately, there are an abundance of recipes that allow you to eat fantastic, flavorful, filling dinners without breaking your calorie budget.
The secret is all in the seasonings. Dried spices, fresh herbs, and citrus juices add a brightness and complexity to normally bland foods that makes us want to go in for another bite. A normally tasteless carbohydrate like brown rice or a simple baked potato is elevated by a sprinkle of cumin, a squeeze of lime, a chiffonade of tarragon, or a squirt of sriracha.
And if you’re thinking carbohydrates are the enemy, think again. Not all calories are created equal, and the 161 calories from a baked potato provide much more nutrients and satiating fiber than the 229 calories derived from a small serving of McDonald’s French fries.
If any of these recipes seem incomplete on their own, simply add to your plate a bed of salad greens, a side of steamed or lightly sautéed vegetables, or a complex carbohydrate like brown rice, a potato, a sweet potato, or a chunk of whole-grain bread.
Here are 10 dinners under 500 calories.