Health

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.

6. Shaved Asparagus Salad With Shallots and Fried Eggs

Yael Malka / BuzzFeed / Via buzzfeed.com

Get the recipe here.

395 calories
20.2 g protein

26.6 g fat (7.2 g saturated)

20.7 g carbohydrates (4.3 g fiber, 5.3 g sugar)

336 mg sodium

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

Lauren Zaser / Justine Zwiebel / BuzzFeed / Via buzzfeed.com

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

nutritionstripped.com

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 buzzfeed.com

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

15. Stuffed Winter Squash & Quinoa, Cranberry and Pistachio

thesimpleveganista.blogspot.com

Get the recipe here. Nutritional info is for each half-squash.

443 calories
11.4 g protein

18.2 g fat (2.4 g saturated)

63.8 g carbohydrates (8.8 g fiber, 7.7 g sugar)

18 mg sodium

17. Simple Roasted Salmon With Green Beans and Lentils

Yael Malka / BuzzFeed / Via buzzfeed.com

Get the recipe here.

334 calories
40.1 g protein

5.1 g fat (0.8 g saturated)

31.9 g carbohydrates (11.9 g fiber, 3.1 g sugar)

926 mg sodium

18. Chicken and Asparagus Lemon Stir-Fry

skinnytaste.com

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

19. Black Bean Chili With Greek Yogurt and Zucchini Ribbons

Yael Malka / BuzzFeed / Via buzzfeed.com

Get the recipe here.

358 calories
20.2 g protein

7.7 g fat (1.1 g saturated)

58.5 g carbohydrates (18.5 g fiber, 21.1 g sugar)

823.2 mg sodium