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Start 2022 off right: 8 low-cal dinner recipes that are actually tasty

Although it’s a bit of a cliché, the new year can in effect give you a clean slate, and an opportunity for changes — both big and small — that will make this year your best ever. We all over-indulge a bit during the holidays. Between the baking, the parties, and the cocktails, the average American puts on about five pounds during the holiday season. 

If you’re trying to drop a few pounds in 2022, you’re not alone. Eating healthier and/or losing weight is the number one most common New Year’s resolution. But going from sugar cookies and eggnog to a diet of celery and lettuce is way too drastic a jump for most people. That’s why we think you’re going to love our assortment of yummy, healthy, low-calorie meals that are super tasty — and easy to make. 

Healthy dinner recipes 

If eating healthier is one of your New Year’s resolutions, know that you don’t have to sacrifice taste to do it. Get ready to trim down — and wow your tastebuds — with these healthy dinner recipes.

Sheet-pan sesame beef and broccoli

Craving Chinese takeout? No need. This delicious, healthy twist on the takeout classic is every bit as good, and you won’t miss the carbs one little bit. Throw together all the ingredients of this sweet and savory sesame-and-soy-sauce marinade using some basic kitchen staples, and then let your sheet pan handle the rest. With just six ingredients in total, 25 minutes of cook time, and one pan to clean, you’ll satisfy your craving at just 280 calories per serving. 

Baked sausage and gnocchi gratin

This healthy recipe mixes tender chunks of sausage and melt-in-your-mouth gnocchi with finely chopped fennel, spicy chili flakes, and creamy Gruyère cheese. Hearty, tasty, and easy-to-make, this family-size meal bakes in just 25 minutes and can serve four to six people. It’s so delicious, you won’t believe it’s just 457 calories per serving.

Slow-cooker Mediterranean braised chicken

All the healthy goodness of the Mediterranean diet in one mouth-watering recipe. Throw together the ingredients in the morning, and let your slow cooker get to work while you’re away. In a few hours, you’ll enjoy an aromatic masterpiece of chicken, garlic, olives, artichoke, and a splash of wine. It’s just 390 calories per serving, but no one will know it! 

Garlic shrimp with cilantro spaghetti squash

Buttery cilantro-flecked spaghetti squash topped with succulent garlicky shrimp is a quick ’n’ healthy alternative to classic (and calorie-laden) shrimp scampi. Add a side dish of sautéed greens — such as spinach or kale — and you’ve got a filling and nutritious meal that’s long on taste but short on calories (just 266 per serving).  

Butternut squash risotto with crispy sage and pancetta

This butternut squash risotto with crispy sage and pancetta is exactly the risotto-with-a-twist recipe you’ve been searching for. It’s a perfect marriage between the salty goodness of the pancetta and the sweet creaminess of the butternut squash. Although some risottos are difficult to make, this one is great for beginners, and it takes just five minutes to prepare. So good, and just 377 calories per serving. 

Note: For a meat-free option, swap out the chicken stock with vegetable stock and eliminate the pancetta.

Low-calorie meat-free recipes your whole family will love!

Make vegetarian recipes a part of your healthy eating plan by designating at least one day a week for meat-free meals. We’ve chosen three of our favorites that are so good, you won’t even miss the meat!

Vegetarian pie

Ready-made phyllo pastry cuts down on the prep time and fat content for this tasty vegetarian pie. The recipe calls for Mediterranean-style roasted veggies, but you can swap out for whatever vegetables you have in the fridge, including peas, eggplant, carrots, and others. Protein-rich lentils add a nutty, wholesome taste and texture. At just 303 calories per serving, this is destined to fall into your regular meal rotation.

Vegetarian spinach enchiladas

Low-calorie enchiladas? Absolutely! This vegetarian recipe is destined to become a weeknight favorite and can be super fast to make when you skip the filling and rolling and opt instead for a stacked enchilada casserole. Simply layer the tortillas, sauce, and cheesy spinach — just like you would for a lasagna — and in just 20 minutes, it’s ready for the oven. With just 325 calories per serving, this one begs to be made again and again. 

Easy pesto pizza

Anytime we can have low-calorie pizza, count us in! This one features a crust made by kneading basil, oregano, and Parmesan cheese into pre-packaged bread dough, and a jarred pesto-sauce topping that’s packed with flavor and so convenient — not to mention just 259 calories per slice. You might even be able to go for seconds!

Getting healthier, and losing some of those post-holiday pounds, doesn’t have to be a chore. Our delicious and filling recipes are packed with taste but not with calories, so you can indulge your tastebuds, without worrying about your waistline.

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