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7 Dinner Recipes to Help with Your Weight Loss Goals

Was “lose weight” one of your New Years' Resolutions? Losing weight can be tough, especially when you have to make family dinners that everyone will eat. Here are 14 recipes from 400 Calories or Less with Our Best Bites to help you feed the family and lose the weight. The best part? The nutritional information is already calculated for you.


Pizza Pasta Bake

7 Dinner Recipes to Help with Your Weight Loss Goals

Calories: 335 Fat: 11g Carbs: 39g Fiber: 4g Sugars: 7g Protein: 21g

MAKES 6 (1½-CUP) SERVINGS
“Pizza” in the title of any recipe is always a good thing. This dish takes all of the classic pizza pie flavors and packs them into one hearty, cheesy, family-friendly casserole.

  • 3 cups rotini pasta
  • 1½ teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 medium green pepper, diced
  • 1½ cups sliced mushrooms
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces Italian turkey sausage links, casings removed
  • 2 ounces turkey pepperoni, cut into quarters (about 1 cup)
  • 1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • ½ tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon marjoram
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.

3. Heat an extra-large skillet to medium-high heat, add olive oil. Add onion and green pepper and stir frequently for about 5 minutes, until softened. Add mushrooms and garlic and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring often. Move vegetables to one side of pan and add sausage.

4. Use a spatula to break up meat into small pieces and continue cooking until cooked through. Add pepperoni and stir everything to combine.

5. Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, balsamic vinegar, Italian seasoning, marjoram, and salt. Bring tomato mixture to a low simmer and cook for 2–3 minutes. Turn off heat and add pasta, stirring to combine all ingredients.

6. Transfer mixture to a 9x13-inch baking dish and top with cheese. Bake for 30 minutes until cheese is melted and casserole is hot and bubbly throughout. Remove from oven and let rest for 5–10 minutes before serving.


Pad Thai

7 Dinner Recipes to Help with Your Weight Loss Goals

Calories: 253 Fat: 9g Carbs: 36g Fiber: 2g Sugars: 4g Protein: 8g

MAKES 6 SERVINGS
We cut down on the sugar and oil to lighten up this Asian favorite, but all the flavor is still there! Feel free to add shrimp, thinly sliced steak, or chicken breast to round out this tangy, slightly spicy meal.

SAUCE

  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ cup tamarind or mango nectar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce or fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice (about 1 small lime)
  • ½–1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce

NOODLES

  • 1 (12 oz.) package rice noodles
  • 1½ teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • ¼ cup plus 2–3 tablespoons green onions, divided
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 (8 oz.) package fresh mung bean sprouts
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons roasted salted peanuts, chopped and divided
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1½ limes, cut into 6 wedges

1. Bring 6 cups of water to a boil. While the water is heating, whisk together the sauce ingredients and set aside.

2. When the water begins to boil, place the rice noodles in a medium-sized, heat-safe bowl and pour water over noodles. Let them stand 6–8 minutes, stirring halfway through. Noodles should be not quite done; they’ll finish cooking in the sauce.

3. While the noodles are cooking, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and green onions and cook for about 1 minute or until fragrant. Heat the remaining ½ teaspoon oil in the pan.

4. When hot, add eggs, water, and salt and cook for about 30 seconds, then, using a spatula, drag eggs across the pan to scramble them. Cook until just scrambled, then remove eggs and onions from the pan and set aside.

5. Add sauce ingredients to the pan and bring to a boil. When noodles are done softening, rinse immediately in cold water, then add to the boiling sauce.

6. Add mung bean sprouts and ¼ cup chopped peanuts. Cook until noodles are just barely tender. Return eggs to the pan and toss to combine. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and chopped peanuts. Serve immediately with lime wedges.


Chipotle Chicken Corn Chowder

7 Dinner Recipes to Help with Your Weight Loss Goals

Calories: 272 Fat: 7g Carbs: 33g Fiber: 4g Sugars: 8g Protein: 18g

MAKES 10 (11/3-CUP) SERVINGS

This thick and hearty soup has a little bit of everything—smoky chipotle, black beans, sweet corn, baby potatoes, and tender bites of chicken. It’s perfect for a cool fall or winter night!

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 6–7 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 red, yellow, or orange bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 chipotle chili, chopped (seeded to reduce heat)
  • ½ heaping cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 5 cups 1% milk
  • 3 small red potatoes, chopped (about 8–10 ounces, cut into ½-inch cubes)
  • 8 ounces skinless rotisserie chicken breast, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2–3 teaspoons adobo sauce from canned chipotle chilies, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Chipotle hot sauce, to taste (like Tabasco)

1. Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Sauté onion, garlic, bell peppers, and chipotle chili until the vegetables are tender.

2. Reduce heat and add the flour. Cook 2–3 minutes. Add broth and cook until flour is smooth and broth is starting to thicken. Add milk and bring to a low simmer. You may need to increase heat to medium-low or medium.

3. Add potatoes and simmer for 30–35 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally to make sure milk isn’t burning. Add chicken, corn, black beans, and a small amount of adobo sauce a teaspoon at a time, and any additional salt to taste. If you’d like, add more chicken broth after cooking until desired consistency is reached. Serve with chipotle hot sauce.


Cheddar Bacon Burgers with Caramelized Onions

7 Dinner Recipes to Help with Your Weight Loss Goals

Calories: 380 Fat: 16g Carbs: 27g Fiber: 4g Sugars: 5g Protein: 31g

MAKES 5 SERVINGS
Sometimes eating healthy makes you feel like you have to give up everything you love. Cure that mentality with this juicy, flavorful burger. Real beef, cheese, and even bacon make appearances here, reminding you that calorie-counting can still taste amazing.

  • 1 pound 96% lean ground beef
  • 8 ounces small brown mushrooms, such as cremini or baby bella
  • 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tablespoon Creole mustard (or any coarse grain or Dijon mustard)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups thinly sliced onion
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon light mayonnaise
  • 5 lettuce leaves
  • 10 slices ripe tomato
  • 5 slices precooked thin cut bacon, heated according to package instructions
  • 5 whole-grain rolls or buns, 3–4 inches in diameter

1. Place beef in a mixing bowl and break up with a fork very gently. Set aside.

2. Remove stems from mushrooms and finely mince. You may use a food processor for this step if you choose, pulsing several times until mushrooms are finely chopped. Heat a medium-sized skillet to medium heat. Add 1½ teaspoons olive oil and minced mushrooms. Stir occasionally until mushrooms are golden brown and fragrant, about 4–5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

3. To make burgers, add Worcestershire, mustard, garlic, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper to beef. Add in cooked mushrooms. Use a fork to very gently combine ingredients, but don’t overmix.

4. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Return pan used for mushrooms to medium heat and add remaining 1½ teaspoons olive oil. Add onions and stir often until soft and golden, about 15 minutes. Season with a pinch of kosher salt.

5. While onions are cooking, form beef mixture into 5 equal patties, about 4 inches in diameter. Grill 3–5 minutes, then flip once and continue cooking until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F. Turn off heat and sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of cheese onto each patty.

6. If desired, toast buns on hot grill or hot pan. Spread 1 teaspoon of light mayo on each half. Place lettuce leaves on bottom bun, top with 2 tomato slices, burger, and one slice bacon, cut in half. Divide onions evenly among burgers and top with top half of bun.


Grilled Vegetable Flatbread Pizza

7 Dinner Recipes to Help with Your Weight Loss Goals

Calories: 238 Fat: 11g Carbs: 25g Fiber: 1g Sugars: 3g Protein: 9g

MAKES 6 SERVINGS
Soft, Indian-style flatbreads make the perfect base for savory grilled vegetables and melted cheese. Pair with a nice salad or fruit dish for a light dinner, or cut into small servings for a great party appetizer.

  • 2 store-bought Naan-style flatbreads, about 8–9 ounces total
  • Nonstick canola or olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 small to medium zucchini, sliced diagonally in 1/8-inch slices
  • 3 horizontal slices red onion, ¼-inch thick (keep rings intact)
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons pesto
  • 4 tablespoons part-skim ricotta cheese
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced extra thin
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced extra thin
  • 2–3 tablespoons chopped basil
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place flatbreads on a baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven.

2. Heat a large indoor grill pan (or outdoor barbecue grill) to medium heat. Lightly spray one side of zucchini and onion rings and sprinkle with salt and pepper. When grill pan is hot, place zucchini and onion, oil-side-down, on grill pan and cook 3–5 minutes or until slightly softened and grill marks appear.

3. Spray remaining side with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Flip vegetables and cook an additional 3–5 minutes. Work in batches if necessary.

4. While vegetables are cooking, combine pesto, ricotta, garlic, and lemon juice in a small bowl. Spread mixture on baked flatbreads. Layer grilled zucchini and onion, along with tomatoes and mozzarella, on the flatbreads.

5. Return flatbreads to oven and bake 10–12 minutes, until edges appear toasted and cheese is melted. Remove from oven, sprinkle with basil and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.


Slow Cooker Pot Roast

7 Dinner Recipes to Help with Your Weight Loss Goals

Calories: 239 Fat: 10g Carbs: 5g Fiber: 1g Sugars: 2g Protein: 30g

MAKES 12 SERVINGS
Everyone needs an easy, melt-in-your-mouth pot roast in their arsenal of recipes! At our house, we’ll serve this with Italian Roasted Vegetables the first day, then use the leftover roast for sandwiches, tacos, or salads another day.

  • 1 tablespoon steak seasoning (like McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning)
  • 3½ pounds bottom round roast
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 (1 oz.) packet onion soup mix
  • 1 large sweet onion, sliced
  • 10 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar

1. Sprinkle steak seasoning over roast and use your hands to rub it into the meat. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over high heat. When very hot, carefully add the roast and sear 2–3 minutes on each side, until browned. Place the seared roast in a slow cooker.

2. Sprinkle onion soup mix over roast and cover with sliced onion and garlic. Add vegetable broth and red wine vinegar.

3. Cook roast on high 4–6 hours or on low 6–8 hours or until the roast shreds easily with a fork.


Crispy Baked Fish and Chips

7 Dinner Recipes to Help with Your Weight Loss Goals

Calories: 361 Fat: 9g Carbs: 41g Fiber: 3g Sugars: 3g Protein: 22g

MAKES 6 SERVINGS
Traditional fish and chips are a beloved splurge, but it’s hard to justify them on a regular basis! Until now. Crispy rice cereal helps keep the coating airy and light, and the crispy roasted potatoes are every bit as good as the ones that come from a fryer. Be sure to serve this dish with a bottle of malt vinegar on the table.

CHIPS

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 pound russet potatoes, scrubbed

TARTAR SAUCE

  • ¼ cup light mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon low-fat sour cream
  • ⅛ teaspoon dried dill
  • ¼ teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced onion
  • 1½ teaspoons minced dill pickle
  • Pinch seasoned salt
  • ½–1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon
  • juice, to taste

FISH

  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 2 cups crispy rice cereal
  • 20 ounces firm white fish fillets (cod, halibut, or haddock)

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

2. Line two baking sheets with slightly crumpled aluminum foil. (This will allow the air to circulate under the foil during cooking and help ensure a crispier end product.) Coat sheet with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

3. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together olive oil, cornstarch, and salt. Set aside.

4. Cut potatoes horizontally into 5–6 slices and then again vertically, making French fry-shaped pieces of potato. Place potato pieces in olive oil mixture and toss to combine. Place potatoes on one of the prepared baking sheets and place baking sheet on the lower rack of oven. Bake 20 minutes. Remove pan from oven, flip potatoes, then return pan to oven for another 15–25 minutes or until potatoes are crispy and golden brown.

5. While the potatoes are cooking, whisk together tartar sauce ingredients and set aside.

6. About 20 minutes before potatoes are finished baking, prepare batter for fish by whisking together flour, salt, and pepper in a shallow bowl or pie plate. Crack egg in another small bowl and whisk it. In a third shallow bowl or pie plate, place the crispy rice cereal and lightly crush about 1⁄3 of it with your hands.

7. Working with one piece of fish at a time, coat the fish in the flour mixture. Transfer the fish to your other hand and coat it in the egg, then transfer it to the bowl of cereal and used your first hand to coat the fish in the cereal. (This is so only one hand touches the raw egg).

8. Place fish on the other prepared baking sheet and repeat with the remaining fish. Bake for 12 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork (or an internal temperature reads 155 degrees F.). Serve immediately with tartar sauce, malt vinegar, and chips on the side.


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7 Dinner Recipes to Help with Your Weight Loss Goals

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