Whether you’re hosting a summer cookout or making dinner for one, preparing a meal doesn’t have to be complicated or cause you stress! As temperatures continue to rise, you can cool down with these 12 colorful recipes that are light on calories but still full on flavor.
12 Flavorful and Filling Low-Cal Recipes
If you’re tired of cooking ‘the same old thing’ and need inspiration for your next family dinner or neighborhood get-together, the following recipes are a healthy way to satisfy the cravings of a multitude of tastes.
1. Zoodles with Summer Vegetables
Few meals are healthier (or prettier) than a plate full of summer vegetables, and this zoodle recipe from Pure Wow checks all those boxes and more. With less than ten ingredients, only four steps to follow, and just 240 calories per serving, these zoodles are a quick and delicious dish you’ll definitely want in your recipe repertoire.
2. Shrimp and Corn Stir Fry
If you’re already growing squash or tomatoes in your garden, these summer staples make a lovely complement to the seasoned shrimp in Taste of Home’s stir fry. This recipe can be ready in 20 minutes (prep included), making it a great go-to for those nights when you want to whip something up in a flash.
3. Peach and Prosciutto Flatbread
Fresh peaches are a summer favorite, and this flatbread from Delish is a wonderful way to enjoy them. By using whole wheat naan for the crust, you’ll save on calories without sacrificing on taste thanks to the sweetness of the fruit paired with the saltiness of the prosciutto.
4. Rainbow Panzanella Salad
This beautiful panzanella salad from Healthy Seasonal Recipes is full of tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and onion to give it ample flavor, color, and crunch. It’s the perfect meal to bring to summer potlucks and events, and you’re likely to have others asking for the recipe after they’ve tried it.
5. Easy Tilapia Tacos
If you’re in search of easy dinner recipes for beginners, look no further than this fish taco recipe from Tasty. With a 98% positive rating, you know it has to be good! Not only are there simple steps for preparation, but many of the ingredients you likely already have on hand, which means Taco Tuesdays can now be a weekly tradition.
6. Chicken, Tomatoes, and Corn Foil Packets
When it comes to delicious healthy chicken recipes, few dinners are simpler or more satisfying than these foil packets from Delish. What’s more, this recipe is a great excuse to fire up the grill for the ultimate fast and fresh summer meal!
7. Homemade Artisan Bread
Looking for something to serve alongside a salad or meaty main dish? This easy bread making recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction will give you a lovely artisan loaf, even if you’re a bread beginner. With only four ingredients and no special pans or mixer required, this base recipe is soon to be on repeat in your kitchen.
8. Mediterranean Pork and Orzo
This Mediterrean-inspired meal from Taste of Home is incredibly quick to put together, leaving a lot more time to enjoy the people gathered around your table. Although it has a humble 372 calories per serving, this protein-packed entrée is sure to leave you feeling full and nourished.
9. Salmon Burgers
The salmon burgers from My Recipes will feel like a gourmet meal despite being so simple to prepare. They’re ready in ten minutes, and would work well alongside a green salad and a low calorie cocktail to make your summer entertaining complete.
10. Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas
If you’re on the hunt for healthy, one-pan recipes, check out the sheet pan fajitas from The Modern Proper. These fajitas are a foolproof dinner your family or friends will love, not to mention the colors in the finished product are definitely photo-worthy.
11. Cherry Tomato Couscous Salad
The Israeli couscous salad from Love & Lemons can be a terrific light lunch or an appetizing accompaniment to your main course at dinnertime. But just because couscous is low-calorie doesn’t mean you’ll be left wanting! This versatile grain will surprise you with how filling it can be.
12. Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream
Ice cream is practically synonymous with summer, and this recipe from Pinch of Yum is sure to please any sweet tooth (without ending in a sugar crash). For a fun easy dessert recipe, whip up this peanut butter banana potion right at home and see if you don’t finish it all before it makes it back to the freezer.
Share Your Culinary Creations with Your Friends
Spending time in your kitchen shouldn’t feel overwhelming or intimidating, so hopefully these low-cal recipes have given you more confidence about mealtime. And once you’ve mastered your cooking skills, why not explore your inner artist? Grab a few friends and head over to Painting with a Twist to share your culinary creations while painting an original artwork at the very same time!