Low-Calorie Weekday Meals

Good Nutrition Made Possible for a Busy Schedule

What low-calorie meals can you make on weeknights when you want a satisfying meal that won't break your calorie budget? These five low-calorie meals are easy to prepare and provide plenty of healthy vegetables in addition to the protein you need. You can make your shopping list from these five ideas, and have a week full of meals ready to prepare. That's less thinking after a long day.

  • 01 of 05

    Chicken Cordon Bleu

    Chicken cordon bleu on a plate with rice and vegetables

    Sarah Bossert / Getty Images

    Serve an elegant meal that is good enough for company or simply please your family and yourself. It takes only 20 minutes to prepare and 40 minutes to bake this chicken cordon bleu that is lower in calories. Ordinarily, calories are added by frying and serving it with a creamy sauce. By baking the dish with a crispy cornflake crust, you get the crunch with fewer calories. Serve it with seasonal steamed vegetables such as asparagus, cauliflower, or broccoli to give color to the plate. Boil some orzo pasta or couscous to serve alongside. 

  • 02 of 05

    Low Calorie Meatloaf Dinner

    Southwestern-Style Meat Loaf
    Southwestern-Style Meat Loaf.

    Diana Rattray

    Use lean ground beef and add vegetables to make a lighter meatloaf that is packed with nutrition. It's an all-American meal. While you are watching your calories, the rest of your family won't feel like they are missing out on a hearty dinner. You can serve it with cauliflower mashed potatoes if you want to lighten that traditional side, or simply enjoy mashed cauliflower. A green salad or steamed vegetables can round out your meal.

  • 03 of 05

    Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry

    Healthy beef and broccoli stir fry

    The Spruce


    In less than half an hour, you can enjoy this healthy Asian-inspired dish that is low in calories and packed with nutrition. The fun part is that you aren't just limited to broccoli. If you have "aspirational vegetables" that are getting a bit limp in your vegetable crisper, you can use them in this dish. Peppers, onions, scallions, carrots, caulflower, pea pods, and even greens such as spinach and kale can be added as you fry. You don't need a lot of oil to make a stir-fry. Team it with steamed brown rice and enjoy.

  • 04 of 05

    Sandwich Night

    Low Calorie Panini

    John Kelly / Getty Images

    When you've had a busy day and want a simple supper, a sandwich is usually the item to fit the bill. But you don't have to settle for cold cuts. Enjoy a hot panini sandwich. Serve with a side of light coleslaw for a well-balanced, low-calorie meal.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Soup Supper

    Bowl of vegetarian minestrone soup on a white table

    The Spruce 

    Soup makes a comforting meal. This hearty version of minestrone is full of vegetables. You may wish to accompany it with a lighter cornbread. You may save enough calories to splurge on some ​low-calorie banana bread for dessert