30+ Weight Loss Dinner Meal Plan and Recipes

WEIGHT LOSS DINNER MEAL PLAN – When you get home after a long day at work, it can be so tempting to grab takeout or heat up a frozen meal instead of making dinner completely from scratch.

After all, you might feel like you don’t have time (or the energy!) to cook a whole meal from start to finish on a weeknight, not to mention clean up all of those dishes. Besides, how many healthy dinner recipes are actually easy?

We get it, we really do. But the fact remains that cooking at home is generally a healthier bet than ordering delivery or heating up a microwave dinner. You have direct control over fat, calories, sugar, and sodium because you’re preparing it yourself.

Plus, your homemade portions make more sense than the supersized fare you see at many restaurants. All of this is key for anyone looking to make healthy eating a priority, but is especially critical when you’re looking to lose weight in a sustainable way.

30 Weight Loss Dinner Meal Plan and Recips

So the question remains: How do you make time for healthy cooking? Meal-preppingon the weekends—batch cooking proteins, veggies, and grains ahead of time to use in meals throughout the week—is a great bet. Not only will this help take some stress out of your weeknight, but a 2017 study found that meal prepping makes people cook at home more often, lowering their odds of being overweight. Try these genius hacks from Redditors to make your meal-prepping sessions even easier.

And for truly easy, healthy dinner recipes, scroll on for 30 (yes, 30!) different ideas. All of these tasty dinners have minimal ingredients and preparation, and use foods proven to help with weight loss, like lean proteins and fiber-filled vegetables. And they’re all low in calories—in fact, nearly all of them are under 500 calories per meal. Enjoy any one of these easy dinners to help you shed weight all month long.

1. Loaded Spaghetti

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Source: womenshealthmag.com
  • 1 cup sliced bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup sliced red onion
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 cup cooked whole-wheat spaghetti
  • 2/3 cup cooked edamame

Sauté peppers and onions in oil until onions are translucent. Toss with pasta and edamame.

Total: 420 calories

Soybeans are brimming with hunger-satiating protein and fiber, making them a great pasta topper.

2. Cookout For One

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Source: womenshealthmag.com
  • 1 organic beef hot dog
  • 1/2 cup organic baked beans
  • 1 whole-wheat hot dog bun
  • 1/2 Tbsp whole-grain mustard
  • 1/2 Tbsp sweet relish
  • 1 cup sliced honeydew melon

Cook hot dog, and heat baked beans in a saucepan. Serve hot dog in the bun, topped with mustard and relish, with beans and melon on the side.

Total: 490 calories

Your hot dog doesn’t have to be a diet-breaker, so long as you load up on healthy toppings instead of chili and cheese, which can beef up your dog with saturated fat, excess calories, and tons of sodium.

3. Summer Farrotto

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Source: womenshealthmag.com
  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast (3 oz)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup sliced red onion
  • 1 cup diced yellow squash
  • 1/2 cup dry farro
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Pan-sear chicken in 1 Tbsp oil, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste, then dice. Sauté onion and squash with remaining oil. Stir in farro until coated in oil. Add 2/3 cup water, bring to a boil, stir, reduce heat, and cover. Cook 20 minutes or until soft. Stir in chicken, parsley, and cheese, and serve.

TOTAL: 490 calories

Haven’t tried farro? It’s an Italian grain with a nutty flavor that is packed full of essential nutrients such as magnesium, B vitamins, niacin, zinc, protein, and fiber.

4. Beef And Veggie Salad Bowl

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Source: womenshealthmag.com
  • 2 Tbsp dry red quinoa
  • 2 cups mesclun greens
  • 3 oz cooked lean beef, cubed
  • 1/2 cup chopped broccoli florets
  • 1/4 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar

Cook quinoa as directed. Toss with greens, beef, broccoli, and pepper in a bowl. Whisk oil and vinegar for dressing.

Total: 320 calories

5. Bow Ties With Spring Vegetables

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Source: womenshealthmag.com
  • 2 oz dry whole-grain farfalle pasta
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup artichoke hearts
  • 1/4 cup sliced red onion
  • 1/4 cup peas
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh mint

Cook pasta as directed and toss with oil, vegetables, and mint. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

TOTAL: 370 calories

Full of fiber, those artichoke hearts will help you fill up faster—and stay full. Bye, midnight snacking!

6. Half-homemade Soup Whith Asparagus

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Source: womenshealthmag.com
  • 4 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 cup Amy’s Organic Chunky Vegetable soup
  • 2 Tbsp dry quinoa
  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • 10 small asparagus spears
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/8 tsp grated fresh ginger

Bake chicken at 350°F for 25 minutes, then shred with a fork. Meanwhile, combine soup, quinoa, and kale in a saucepan, bring to a boil, and simmer until quinoa is done, about 15 minutes. Add chicken. Steam asparagus, then toss with soy sauce and ginger. Serve asparagus on the side.

TOTAL: 330 calories

A proven anti-inflammatory, fresh ginger is full of antioxidants that boost your immunity, so this soup is perfect for a warm meal when you’re feeling under the weather.

7. Pork With Veggies

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Source: womenshealthmag.com
  • 1 pork tenderloin (4 oz)
  • 1 cup steamed green beans
  • 2 Tbsp sliced almonds
  • 1 baked sweet potato

Season pork with salt and pepper, sear in an ovenproof skillet coated with cooking spray, and transfer to a 450°F oven for 15 minutes. Slice and serve with green beans topped with almonds, and a sweet potato.

Total: 370 calories

Did you know that sweet potatoes pack 438 percent of your daily value of infection-fighting vitamin A? Not bad for a delicious side dish.

8. Pizza Party

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Source: womenshealthmag.com
  • 1 Amy’s Light ‘N Lean Italian Vegetable Pizza
  • 3 oz broccoli slaw
  • 1/4 cup black beans
  • 1/4 cup sliced scallions
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 oz lemon juice

Bake pizza. Blend slaw, beans, scallions, oil, and lemon juice, and serve on the side.

Total: 400 calories

This pizza only costs you 280 calories. A fast-food personal pie? Double that.

9. Baked Chicken With Mushroom and Sweet Potato

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Source: womenshealthmag.com
  • 1/2 skinless chicken breast
  • 1 cup baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp chives
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet potato

In a 350°F oven, bake chicken, topped with mushrooms, chives, and oil, for 15 minutes. Microwave sweet potato for five to seven minutes.

Total: 382 calories

Sweet potatoes have a lower glycemic index than white spuds do, so they’re gentler on your blood sugar—and potentially your waistline.

10. Shrimp Ceviche

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Source: womenshealthmag.com
  • 1/2 cup chopped cucumber
  • 1/3 cup chopped jicama
  • 1/3 cup chopped mango
  • 1 Tbsp chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup sliced avocado
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 1 cup cooked shrimp
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tsp red pepper
  • Toss together, and dress with lemon juice.

Total: 430 calories

Avocado’s monounsaturated fats may play a role in warding off belly fat.

11. Light Lasagna

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Source: womenshealthmag.com
  • 1/2 cup cooked whole-wheat spaghetti
  • 1/4 cup part-skim ricotta
  • 1/3 cup prepared tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red chili flakes
  • 1 Coleman Natural Mild Italian Chicken Sausage link, cooked
  • 2 cups spinach

Combine pasta, ricotta, sauce, and chili flakes, then crumble sausage on top. Add spinach, and let wilt.

Total: 350 calories

Whole-wheat pastas have more fiber than their empty-calorie, white-flour counterparts.

12. Cilantro Shrimp With Squash, Chard, and Wild Rice

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Source: womenshealthmag.com
  • 8 large shrimp
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp fresh cilantro
  • 2 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 yellow squash, sliced
  • 1 cup Swiss chard
  • 1/4 cup dry wild rice blend

Sear shrimp in olive oil over medium heat for three to four minutes, seasoning with cilantro and lime juice. Steam squash and chard for five to seven minutes, and cook rice according to package directions.

Total: 370 calories

With fewer calories per ounce than most fish, shrimp are the ideal seafood if you’re trying to slim down.

13. Lemon Chicken With Gazpacho

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Source: womenshealthmag.com
  • 3 1/2 oz chicken breast
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon, sliced
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary


  • 1 cup stewed tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cucumber, chopped
  • 1/4 cup green pepper, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar

Coat chicken with olive oil. Cover with lemon slices and rosemary, and bake at 350°F for 25 to 30 minutes. Combine gazpacho ingredients in a blender, then serve at room temperature with chicken.

Total: 414 calories

Garlic does more than add flavor: It may help boost weight loss and reduce body fat.

14. Zesty Tofu and Quinoa

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Source: womenshealthmag.com
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 2 oz extra-firm tofu, cubed
  • 3 Tbsp diced red pepper
  • 3 Tbsp diced green pepper
  • 1 tsp cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp diced avocado
  • 2 tsp fresh lime juice
  • Combine all ingredients.

Total: 320 calories

Lime juice not only adds zing to this dish—it also adds antioxidants that can wipe out stress, fight the signs of aging, and rejuvenate your body and mind.

15. Confetti Pesto Pasta

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Source: womenshealthmag.com
  • 1/4 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup cooked green beans
  • 1/3 cup diced chicken breast
  • 1/4 cup pesto sauce
  • 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 1 cup cooked linguine
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan

Combine tomatoes, cooked green beans, diced chicken breast, pesto sauce, and salt and pepper in a bowl. Add cooked linguine. Garnish with shredded Parmesan.

Total: 417 calories

This easy dish can be made in under five minutes!

16. Asian Turkey Lettuce Cups

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Source: womenshealthmag.com
  • 4 oz ground lean turkey
  • 1/2 cup white mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup shelled and cooked edamame
  • 2 Boston lettuce leaves
  • 2 Tbsp sliced scallion


  • 1/2 Tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp rice vinegar

Asian Slaw

  • 1/2 cup shredded red cabbage and green cabbage
  • 1/4 cup sliced jicama
  • 1/4 cup grated carrot
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp rice vinegar

In a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, sauté first three ingredients for five minutes. Add edamame, scoop mix onto lettuce, top with scallion, and wrap up. Drizzle with sauce, and serve slaw on the side.

Total: 329 calories

Substituting mushrooms for some of the meat in the dish saves fat and calories. Plus, you won’t compensate by eating more later, a 2008 study reported.

17. Pork With Roasted Vegetables

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Source: womenshealthmag.com
  • 3 oz pork tenderloin
  • 1 cup baked cubed butternut squash
  • 2 cups brussels sprouts cooked in 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Roast pork tenderloin at 375°F, then serve with vegetables.

Total: 405 calories

Brussels sprouts contain quercetin, a flavonol that may reduce belly fat and help you fend off extra pounds.

18. Mushroom Bison Burger

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Source: womenshealthmag.com
  • 4 oz grass-fed bison burger
  • 1 portobello mushroom, grilled
  • 1 slice red onion
  • 2 slices tomato
  • 2 lettuce leaves
  • 1 Arnold Artisan Ovens Multi-Grain Flatbreat

Grill mushroom and burger, and top with onion, tomato, and lettuce on flatbread.

Total: 374 calories

Grass-fed bison meat contains less fat than both ground chicken and grass-fed beef—plus it has more protein.

19. Salmon With Lemon and Dill

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Source: womenshealthmag.com
  • 5 oz wild Atlantic salmon
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp dill
  • 2/3 cup parsnips
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped broccoli, steamed

Sprinkle salmon with lemon juice and dill and bake for 15 minutes at 225°F.

Total: 261 calories

Chow down—broccoli contains quercetin, which inhibits the maturation of fat cells.

20. Shrimp Pasta With Salad

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Source: womenshealthmag.com
  • 1/2 cup dry rigatoni, cooked
  • 3 oz shrimp, poached
  • 1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and pureed
  • 3 large black olives, sliced
  • 1/2 Tbsp pine nuts
  • 2 tsp grated Parmesan


  • 1 cup romaine lettuce
  • 1/4 cup chopped tomato
  • 1/2 cup sliced cucumber
  • 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Toss pasta with shrimp, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, and pine nuts. Top with Parmesan. Serve alongside the salad.

Total: 465 calories

Pine nuts increase your body’s secretion of satiety hormones and may short-circuit your appetite.

21. Seared Scallops With Lemon Juice And Sage

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Source: womenshealthmag.com
  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 3 oz sea scallops
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp ground sage
  • 1 1/2 cups cubed roasted acorn squash
  • 2 cups kale sautéed in 2 tsp olive oil

Heat canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add scallops and cook without stirring until well browned, around two minutes. Flip scallops and cook until the sides are firm and centers opaque, 30 to 90 seconds. Drizzle with lemon juice, and sprinkle sage on top. Serve with squash and kale.

Total: 496 calories

These mollusks are high in satisfying protein and can help you lose weight: In a University of Washington School of Medicine study, people who increased their protein intake from 15 percent to 30 percent of their daily calories lost eight pounds of fat in 12 weeks.

22. Cheesy Veggie Pasta

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Source: womenshealthmag.com
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat macaroni
  • 1 cup crushed whole, peeled canned tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 cup chopped spinach
  • 1 cup zucchini wedges
  • 2 tsp olive oil

Cook vegetables over medium-high heat, then combine with cooked macaroni and cheese.

Total: 439 calories

Go meatless once a week! According to a study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating less meat may help keep your weight in check.

23. Teriyaki Beef With Veggies

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Source: womenshealthmag.com
  • 3 oz grass-fed beef tenderloin, cubed
  • 2 Tbsp reduced-sodium teriyaki sauce
  • 1 Tbsp light honey-mustard dressing
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup sliced carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped broccoli
  • 1/4 cup sliced water chestnuts
  • 1/4 cup sliced peppers
  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice

Marinate beef in teriyaki and dressing for 30 minutes. Heat olive oil in a pan, and cook beef one to two minutes. Add veggies, and cook for another five to seven minutes until beef is browned. Serve over rice.

Total: 506 calories

Beef from cows that graze on grass has higher amounts of conjugated linoleic acid, which can help fight body fat.

24. shrimp and Broccoli Pasta Salad

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Source: womenshealthmag.com
  • 4 oz cooked shrimp
  • 1/2 cup cooked whole-wheat elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 steamed broccoli
  • 4 sun-dried tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tsp capers
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp oregano

Toss all ingredients, and serve cold.

Total: 312 calories

Shrimp is high in omega-3’s, and according to a study in the journal Appetite, people who ate omega-3-diets were most likely to feel satiated.

25. Chicken Paramigiana With Penne

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Source: womenshealthmag.com
  • 4 oz grilled chicken, diced
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat penne
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp grated Parmesan

Sauté spinach in one teaspoon olive oil, and toss with chicken, penne, and tomato sauce. Top with Parmesan.

Total: 437 calories

Spinach contains lipoic acid, which plays a role in energy production and may help regulate blood sugar levels.

26. Beef Stir Fry With Butternut Squash Soup

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Source: womenshealthmag.com
  • 3 oz steak tenderloin fillet, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup cooked bulgur

Butternut Squash Soup

  • 1/2 cup Pacific Natural Foods organic light-sodium butternut squash soup
  • Stir-fry beef, onion, and mushroom, and serve over bulgur.

Total: 450 calories

Bulgur is a quick-cooking, nutty-tasting whole grain that’s lower in calories and fat than brown rice.

27. Asian Snapper

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Source: womenshealthmag.com
  • 1/4 cup raw pistachios
  • 1/2 cup cooked millet
  • 1/2 cup bok choy
  • 6 oz cooked snapper
  • 4 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup sugar snap peas, cooked

Mix pistachios into millet. Top millet with bok choy and then snapper. Drizzle snapper with soy sauce, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve sugar snap peas on the side.

Total: 561 calories

In a study, those who added pistachios to their diet lowered their body-mass indexes more than those who ate pretzels instead.

28. Jambalaya Blend With Veggies

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Source: womenshealthmag.com
  • 1 veggie burger
  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
  • 2 Tbsp corn
  • 2 Tbsp salsa
  • 1/2 cup chopped red, green, or yellow bell peppers
  • 3/4 cup diced squash
  • 3/4 cup diced zucchini
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Salt, to taste

Cook burger in pan spritzed with cooking spray, then chop burger and combine with rice, corn, and salsa. Toss veggies with oil and salt, roast for 15 to 20 minutes, and serve on the side.

Total: 360 calories

Fill up with brown rice. It has more than five times the fiber of the white stuff.

29. Cod With Rosemary Polenta and Beans

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Source: womenshealthmag.com
  • 3 oz cod
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh parsley
  • Dash of salt
  • Dash of pepper
  • 1/4 cup dry polenta
  • 1/2 cup 1 percent milk
  • 1 Tbsp pine nuts
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary
  • 1/2 cup cooked green beans

Season cod with parsley, salt, and pepper, then steam for eight minutes. Cook polenta with milk, per package instructions, then top with pine nuts and rosemary. Serve with green beans.

Total: 352 calories

30. Chicken With Cheesy Broccoli Soup

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Source: womenshealthmag.com
  • 1 cup chopped broccoli
  • 1 cup chopped parsnips
  • 3/4 cup nonfat chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup low-fat shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 Tbsp sliced almonds
  • 4 oz chicken breast
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Steam broccoli and parsnips, then puree with stock and cheddar; sprinkle with nuts. Bake chicken, top with lemon juice, and season.

Total: 360 calories

Clear soups can help fill you up, but pureed ones taste richer, which can be more satiating. (Learn how bone broth can help you lose weight with Women’s Health’s Bone Broth Diet.)

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