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19 Healthy Dinners Under 500 Calories That You'll Actually Want To Eat

It's true!

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Calorie counting is not for everyone! And that's OK. But if you have certain goals, like building muscle, getting leaner, or losing weight, then being mindful of how much you're eating can be super helpful to you.

Something else that's important is to make sure that the foods you eat are high in nutritious value. Nutrients like protein, fiber, and fat can take a while to digest and help you feel satisfied for longer — meaning fewer cravings and lower general hangry-ness. (Here's some more information about how many calories you should be eating, in case you're curious.)

These dinners are all tasty and healthy, and they come with about 500 calories or less. Some may not work with your personal diet (the lower-calorie ones, in particular, may be bad choices for people who only eat three meals a day with no snacks). But you may just find something on this list that you like.


9. Spaghetti Squash With Spinach, Parmesan, and a Fried Egg

Lauren Zaser / Justine Zwiebel / BuzzFeed / Via

This tasty dish is from the BuzzFeed 2015 Clean Eating Challenge. Get the recipe here.

403 calories

22.8 g protein

22 g fat (7.7 g saturated)

31 g carbohydrates (8.1 g fiber, 8.4 g sugars)

205 mg cholesterol


13. Veggie "Sushi" Rolls

Get the recipe here. To get the nutritional info down to around 500 calories, adjust the recipe to just 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast, and 1 teaspoon of tamari sauce. It's just a touch over 500 calories...but it's close enough.

512 calories
14.2 g protein

40.9 g fat (8.5 g saturated)

33.1 g carbohydrates (19.2 g fiber, 6.7 g sugar)

1,321 mg sodium

14. Slow-Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken With Cauliflower Rice & Green Beans

Lauren Zaser / Justine Zwiebel / BuzzFeed / Via

Here's a tasty dinner from BuzzFeed's 2015 Clean Eating Challenge. Get the recipe here.

358.7 calories

32.8 g protein

8.2 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat)

33.2 g carbohydrates (9.1 g dietary fiber, 4 g sugars)

860 mg sodium


18. Chicken and Asparagus Lemon Stir-Fry

Get the recipe here. This one is also not quite under 500 calories, but that's because we calculated nutrition info by doubling portion size recommendations.

536 calories
82 g protein

14 g fat

20 g carbohydrates (6 g fiber)

874 mg sodium