Hunger is a common issue when trying to lose weight, here are 15 Filling Low-Calorie Recipes To Burn Fat Fast without blowing your diet.
When it comes to fat loss, remember that it’s all about calories in vs calories out. Of course, factors like ratio of protein, carbs and fat matter as well, but overall calorie count is the most important of all.
However, eating less does not necessarily entail starving yourself. There are quite a few recipes, in fact, that are quite satiating and healthy despite being fairly low in calories.
This will help you stay within your calorie requirement when it’s a low-calorie day.
1. Buffalo Cauliflower with Blue Cheese Sauce
Here is a delicious snack and a nice alternative to the typical veggie tray with dip.
Cauliflower, like most other cruciferous vegetables, is high in dietary fiber, magnesium, and vitamins C and B6. Being that it’s a veggie, it’s also very low in calories.
The blue cheese provides a hearty dip. Just be careful not to double dip to prevent the calories from racking up.
For the Buffalo Cauliflower:
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup hot sauce
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Kosher salt
- 8 cups cauliflower florets
For the Cheese Sauce:
- 1/3 cup nonfat sour cream
- 2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese
- 1 tablespoon skim milk
- 2 teaspoons mayonnaise
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2. Breakfast Taco
photo: A Tiger in the Kitchen
This breakfast taco is not to be confused with the conventional breakfast burrito, which is often filled with calorie-dense fillings like sausage and ranch sauce.
This version utilizes fluffy egg substitute, reduced-fat cheddar cheese, and tangy salsa.
You can also swap for egg whites, which contain a lot less calories than regular eggs.
You can top off this recipe with a serving of vegetables on the side to help reach a feeling of satiation in your belly without really contributing to the calorie count.
- 2 corn tortillas
- 2 tablespoons shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
- ½ cup liquid egg substitute
- 1 tablespoon salsa
3. Garlicky Grilled Tilapia With Couscous
Photo: Real Simple
Fish normally has less calories than meat or poultry but has just as much if not more protein, hence why you will see them in many low-calorie recipes.
This recipe utilizes tilapia infused with a zesty garlic flavor. This is served alongside a portion of couscous, which is a nice alternative to the more conventional brown rice or baked beans.
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus wedges for serving
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 46-ounce tilapia fillets, split lengthwise
- 1 cup couscous
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomatoes
4. Turkey Lettuce Wraps
Here is a low-calorie meal that also has very low carbs.
The turkey provides ample protein, while the tomato, onions, and other seasonings provide additional taste and texture. This is all wrapped in a large piece of lettuce leaf, which replaces the more conventional tortilla or flatbread.
For the lettuce, you have several options. Iceberg is a common choice for a recipe like this, though a selection like Romaine lettuce may be a better option as its darker texture means it is more nutrient-packed.
- 1 leaf green lettuce
- 2 slices of oven roasted turkey breast
- 2 slices tomatoes
- 1⁄2teaspoon diced red onion
- 1⁄4teaspoon mustard
- 1⁄4teaspoon mayonnaise
- salt and pepper
5. Mini Turkey Meatloaf
In place of regular beef, use ground turkey for making a small portion-sized meatloaf.Serve with a side of sautéed green string beans. This vegetable is often overlooked in favor of choices like steamed broccoli or carrots.
String beans, however, provide an excellent source of vitamin C and are a welcome change if you enjoy switching up your choice of veggies.
- 2 tablespoons minced yellow onion
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 5 ounces lean ground turkey
- 2 teaspoons skim milk
- 1/2 beaten egg
- 3 tablespoons whole wheat bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon capers
- 1 1/2 cups steamed green beans tossed
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- a drizzle of olive oil
6. Vegetable Frittata
Frittatas are similar to omelets. The calories largely depend on the supplementary ingredients you add.
Since you will already be getting plenty of protein from the eggs, the rest of the ingredients in this recipe consist of vegetables for a vitamin-rich meal good for any time of the day (but especially for breakfast).
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
- 1 small red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
- 6 eggs
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 tablespoonvegetable
- 2 medium plum tomatoes, sliced
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
7. Chinese Lo Mein
Lo Mein served at a typical Chinese restaurant is loaded with calories and MSG. This homemade variation, however, is much denser on the vegetables, not to mention it contains lean chicken strips.
Load up on the vegetables for a more nutritious meal and keep the pasta portion on the lower end to keep the calorie and carb count down.
- 1/2 pound angel hair pasta
- 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger
- 1 medium onion, halved lengthwise
- 4 to 5 mushroom caps, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup carrots, thinly sliced
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 1 cup sugar snap pea pods, halved
- 1 (15-ounce) Chinese baby corn
- 1 to 1 1/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast
8. Curried Chicken Pitas
photo: Bev Cooks
Pita bread usually contains fewer calories than sliced bread. With a combination of chicken, cranberries, pears, and curry powder, your taste buds get treated to a pleasant mix of sweet and spicy flavor.
For a crunchy texture, you can add some almonds, though you can omit them if you want to keep the calories down. Nuts and seeds, after all, are quite calorie-dense.
- 6 tablespoons nonfat plain yogurt
- 1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 2 cups cooked, cubed chicken breast
- 1 ripe but firm pear, diced
- 1 stalk celery, finely diced
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup sliced or slivered almonds
- 4 4- to 5-inch whole-wheat pita breads, cut in half
- 2 cups sprouts
9. Greek Bison Burger
It’s hard to imagine that burgers of any kind can be low in calories. It all comes down to how it’s prepared. By sticking to lean ground meat and being selective with your choice of bread and toppings, you can prevent excess calorie buildup.
This recipe uses ground bison meat and feta cheese flavored with yogurt sauce, which contains fewer calories compared to mayonnaise.
For the Bison Meat:
- 1 pound ground bison
- 1/2 cup cooked spinach
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
For the YOGURT SAUCE:
- 3/4 cup nonfat or low-fat Greek-style plain yogurt
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint
- Pinch of kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
10. Fresh Lemon Greek Salad
photo: Damn Delicious
“Salad” and “low-calories” usually don’t need to be uttered in the same sentence since salads are automatically implied to be a low calorie dish. However, this isn’t always the case.
The calorie content can quickly skyrocket if you use heavy sauces and fatty meats. Try this vegetarian salad that uses non-fat yogurt dressing.
It’s much lower in calories compared to the common ranch or blue cheese. You can even omit the yogurt sauce altogether and just rely on the squeezed lemon juice for the flavoring.
- 3 cups torn romaine lettuce
- 1 cup torn escarole or curly endive
- ¼ cup thinly sliced red onions
- ¼ cup thinly sliced radishes
- 1 med tomato, cut into 8 wedges
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp nonfat plain yogurt
- 1 tsp honey
- ¼ tsp dried oregano
- Ground black pepper
11. Zucchini Boats on the Grill
Zucchini as the main ingredient in just about anything is great because of its low-calorie content. With a zucchini boat, you can add just about any ingredient your mind can conjure. For this recipe, you’re going to add additional veggies like green chili, jalapeno peppers, and black olives for a spicy and somewhat tart aftertaste.
- 2 medium zucchini
- 1 slice white bread
- 1/4 cup bacon bits
- 1 tablespoon minced black olives
- 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
- 3 tablespoons diced green chili peppers
- 1/4 cup minced onion
- 1/4 cup chopped tomato
- 6 tablespoons shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
- 1 pinch dried basil
- seasoned salt to taste
- ground black pepper
12. Baked Kale Chips
Ordinary potato chips are full of preservatives and partially hydrogenated oils. While they don’t contain too many calories, the problem is that – as the Ruffles commercial says – you can never eat just one.
A small handful quickly leads to half the bag. For a healthier alternative, try baked chips made from kale. It’s far healthier, free of artificial ingredients, and contains far less calories.
- approx. 1/2 bunch kale leaves
- 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or melted coconut oil
- 1.5 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt or pink Himalayan sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
13. Chicken Banh Mi Sandwich
photo: My Recipes
Banh Mi is a traditional Vietnamese sandwich. If you’ve ever dined at Lee’s sandwiches, then chances are that you’ve eaten a Banh Mi.
Pork is usually the meat used, though for this recipe, pork will be substituted with chicken, given that it contains less fat, and therefore less calories. The addition of pickled vegetables also contributes immensely to the flavor if you feel the chicken is too bland.
For the Banh Mi:
- Four 8-inch baguettes, split and grilled
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 cucumber, thinly sliced lengthwise
- 10 large cilantro sprigs
- 1 jalapeño, thinly sliced
For the Marinade:
- 1 cup Asian fish sauce
- 1 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 8 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 red Thai chiles, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 8 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
For the Pickled Vegetables:
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Pinch of crushed red pepper
- 3 large carrots, julienned
- 1/4 pound daikon radish, julienned
14. Smoked Salmon Spread and Bagels
You don’t need an introduction about the health benefits of salmon. Mashed with cream cheese and reduced-fat sour cream, it makes for a tasty and protein-packed dip.
As for the bagel, well, it’s not exactly the most low-calorie food, but that can easily be remedied by just using one half of the slice, or even swapping it out altogether with an alternative like a pita or flatbread.
- 4 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel)
- 4 oz. smoked salmon
- 1 container reduced-fat sour cream
- 2 tbsp. fresh dill
- 1 tbsp. capers
- salt and pepper
- 1 lemon
- 2 bagels
- ½ small red onion
- ½ English (seedless) cucumber
- 4 red radishes
15. Sweet Potato Wedges with Yogurt Dipping Sauce
photo: Cooking Channel TV
No low-calorie recipe list is complete without at least one dessert. You don’t have to satisfy your sweet tooth by consuming something that’s going to make you feel guilty.
In place of the pecan pie or double fudge chocolate cake, consider sweet potato wedges on a stick with sweet yogurt dipping sauce. In the recipe, the yogurt utilizes cilantro, though you may swap that out with honey or a dash of artificial sweetener.
The wedges themselves will contain added ingredients for a salty taste, so that and the yogurt dip (should you choose to add a sweetener) gives the dessert a sweet/salty combination.
For the Sweet Potato Wedges:
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
For the Yogurt Dip:
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 3 tbsp cilantro, minced
- 1 tbsp mint, minced
- Zest and juice of 1 lime
- 2 tsp honey
- 1/4 tsp salt
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