31 Delicious 400 Calories Meals (2023)
Sad salad? Boring plain chicken breast with steamed broccoli? Er…definitely not! Not in these delicious 400 calorie meals (or less). There is no need to sacrifice flavor and eliminate all your faves.
We have everything from soup meals to comfort food to meat, chicken, fish and veggie meals with low calories, healthy meals and big flavors. Light, filling, vibrant and delish.
My #1 favorite on the list is the vegetarian shepherds pie. It tastes better than regular shepherds pie with the unique, colorful and more nutritious root vegetable mash topping – and it’s pure comfort food. We use plant-based meat for the filling, but regular ground beef is fine too. Not to be missed.
How to cut calories, not flavor
We’re not giving diet advice here. Just a few basic common sense ideas from the professionals:
- Cut down your portions. Eat less. I know no one wants to hear this – especially my husband! But this is one of the easiest ways to reduce calories (ok, easy for the cook, not the eater).
- Include more vegetables and less protein on your plate. Change the ratio.
- Eat less fast foods, high saturated fat foods, highly processed foods and high calorie snacks like chocolate, candy, chips, fries, sour cream.
- Stick to low carb foods or at least ‘good carbs’ such as quinoa, black beans, sweet potatoes, fruit, whole grains like oats, butternut squash, brown rice.
- Check nutrition information on food labels. Sugar hides everywhere.
What you’ll find in our 400 calorie meals
- Main dishes under 400 calories per serving or less (several are under 300 and even 200 calories per serving).
- Low calorie meals with healthy ingredients that are loaded with fresh vegetables, fiber and nutrients. If you read our blog, you know that we add baby spinach in everything possible to boost nutrition and color.
- Soup meals that will give you leftovers for the next day or two. These are great low calorie meal prep ideas.
- Tasty dinners that are stand-alone (no other sides needed). For those that aren’t, we suggest lower calorie side dishes.
- Light and quick recipes, prepared in 30 minutes or less.
- As always, our recipes include:
- easy to follow instructions
- shortcuts where possible
- make ahead, prep ahead and freezer instructions
- lots of variations and substitutes to tailor meals to your taste and what you have on hand.
- For this post, you will see a calorie counter under the recipe picture as well.
What you will not find
- Diet or weight loss advice
- Appetizers, desserts, breakfast items and side dishes (except for suggestions with certain recipes). We’re focusing on main dishes.
Bottom line: We hope you will find a delicious, low-calorie meal or two to add to your rotation that the whole family will enjoy.
Low calorie soup recipes (400 calories or less)
Choose these nutritious soups as complete meals in a bowl for hearty healthy eating. If you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, they make a great healthy lunch too.
Red Lentil Soup with Vegetables
Easy Egg Drop Soup With Vegetables
Root Vegetable Soup
Best Beef Barley Vegetable Soup
Sausage and Bean Soup
Vegetable Wonton Soup
Vegetable Barley Soup
Ground Beef Vegetable Soup Recipe
Chicken Lemon Orzo Soup Thai Style
Healthy Ratatouille Soup
Wedding Soup with Zest
Low calorie vegetarian meals (400 calories or less)
Easy Cast Iron Pizza (22 minutes)
Simple Mediterranean Spaghetti (22 Minutes)
Easy Vegetarian Fajitas Recipe (20 minutes)
Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie
Vegetable Spaghetti Squash Recipe (Mexican-style)
Chinese Egg Fried Rice With Vegetables
Lemon Asparagus Risotto (Instant Pot)
Vegetable Strudel in Puff Pastry
Mushroom Spinach Pasta
Best non-vegetarian dinners (400 calories or less)
Chicken Meatloaf Recipe With Vegetables
Simple Herb Stuffed Salmon Recipe
Roast Chicken Breast with Gravy
Instant Pot Cabbage Rolls Unstuffed
Mediterranean Grilled Chicken
Crispy Baked Fish (20 minutes)
Sous Vide Pork Tenderloin (with Maple Mustard Sauce)
Shrimp Lettuce Wrap with Mango Slaw
Sous Vide Hamburger
Baked Fish Fillets with Cherry Tomato Sauce
Maple Glazed Pork Tenderloin
Chicken Bulgogi Recipe
Low calorie side dishes (under 200 calories)
Here are a few good options for side dishes under 200 calories per serving to go with your low calorie meals.
- mashed potato pancakes
- butternut squash noodle recipe
- creamed spinach
- roasted zucchini with parmesan
- lemon-herb cauliflower rice
- Chinese stir fry green beans
- parmesan roasted cauliflower
- flat green beans (charred)
- BBQ sweet potatoes and apples
- sweet and tangy grilled eggplant
- green beans with panko crumbs
- easy roasted bok choy recipe
- microwave green beans (5 minutes)
- butternut squash salad with warm cinnamon dressing
- mango Thai salad
- butternut squash salad cups
- broccoli and cauliflower salad with avocado dressing
We hope you are convinced that you can cut calories without cutting flavor. And hope you found a new fave!
Hi Jenna and Cheryl.
I have to say that although I’m new to your website I love your recipes. Also the way your recipes are set out , with alternate options, takes a lot of work on your part. I look forward to receiving more of your recipes. Thank you.
Music to our ears Gerry! Thanks so much for leaving such an appreciative comment. It means a lot to us. 🙂