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65 Healthy Weight Loss Dinner Recipes for Busy Weeknights

Eating healthy during the week can be easy with these quick, weight loss-friendly meal ideas.
FACT CHECKED BY Justine Goodman

A common misconception among people who are trying to lose weight is that it's fine to skip a meal (or simply not eat enough) because it'll help you operate at a calorie deficit, which in turn will help you see faster results. This is categorically false. Regardless of whether or not you're trying to shed pounds, it's crucial that you give your body the calories and nutrients it needs in order to function and feel its best. But the busier life gets, the harder it can be to make sure you're not only eating all of your meals but also consuming food that is healthy and nutritious on a consistent basis. If you have trouble finding the time and energy to make dinner on busy weeknights, read on to get inspired with 65 easy, healthy meals that will support your weight loss goals.

How To Make Healthy Weight Loss Dinners

According to Dr. Lisa R. Young, Ph.D., RDN, author of Finally Full, Finally Slim and The Portion Teller Plan, there are several guidelines you should follow to keep your weight loss goals on track when it comes to preparing a healthy dinner:

  • Try to fill half your plate with colorful vegetables. Include your favorite non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, red pepper, and/or Bok choy.
  • Include healthy proteins such as fish, chicken, beans, tofu, tempeh, and eggs. This should be 1/4 of the plate.
  • Grill or bake your fish or chicken instead of frying it.
  • Include a healthy starch for 1/4 of your plate, such as sweet potato, brown rice, quinoa, kasha, farro, or a baked potato. Limit white flour and practice portion control—you can still include some starch and lose weight, just don't eat too much of it.

    Now that you have a better understanding of some of the ways you can make a healthy dinner on even your busiest nights, check out some of these recipes for inspiration.

    Chicken Burger with Sun-dried Tomato Aioli

    Chicken burger with sundried tomato aolia
    Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

    Total time: ~30 minutes

    For those nights when you're craving a burger, a chicken burger can be an easy (but still delicious) alternative with far less saturated fat than a beef burger. This healthy dinner recipe is ideal because it can be made in 30 minutes or less. You'll have a protein-rich, lower-fat meal on busy nights and you'll still be satisfied.

    Get our recipe for Chicken Burgers.

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    Asian-Inspired Tuna Burger with Wasabi Mayo

    Asian tuna burgers with wasabi mayo
    Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

    Total time: ~45 minutes

    Much like the chicken burger, our recipe for tuna burgers with wasabi mayo makes for a great weight-loss-friendly meal. Tuna is packed with lean protein, which will help you stay full and maintain lean muscle mass, and the wasabi mayo is so flavorful that you won't need to use that much at all.

    Get our recipe for Tuna Burgers.

    Grilled Mahi-Mahi with Salsa Verde

    Grilled mahi mahi with salsa verde
    Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

    Total time: ~30-45 minutes

    Mahi-Mahi is another protein-rich fish you can cook in less than 30 minutes, and because it's high in protein and lower in fat, it makes for a great weight-loss dinner item. You can pair it with some sautéed vegetables or your choice of a salad.

    Get our recipe for Grilled Mahi-Mahi.

    Scallops with Chimichurri

    Paleo scallops with chimichurri
    Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

    Total time: ~30-45 minutes (allows you to let the chimichurri sit for at least 20 minutes)

    Scallops are not only full of flavor and nutrients, but they're extremely easy to cook. Just a few minutes on each side in the skillet, and you'll have perfectly cooked scallops in no time.

    Get our recipe for Scallops with Chimichurri.

    Simple Chicken Scaloppine

    Paleo chicken scaloppine
    Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

    Total time: ~20-30 minutes

    Scaloppine is most often made from a thin slice of chicken or beef and is served with some sort of reduction sauce. This chicken scaloppine recipe uses white wine and is great for those looking for a healthy weight-loss dinner for super busy evenings because it can be made in under 30 minutes.

    Get our recipe for Chicken Scaloppine.

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    Spicy-Sweet Grilled Chicken and Pineapple Sandwich

    Chicken pineapple sandwich
    Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

    Total time: ~20-30 minutes (doesn't include marinade time)

    When searching for a healthy meal for weight loss that you can make in a short amount of time, you'll want to look for things high in protein, on the lower end calorie-wise, and ideally low in added sugars, too. This chicken and pineapple sandwich is ideal because it not only provides protein with very little fat and a moderate amount of calories, but it also provides a tangy sweetness with very little added sugar. The jalapeños also offer up a nice spice to balance out the sweetness.

    Get our recipe for Grilled Chicken and Pineapple Sandwich.

    Grilled Caesar Salad

    Low-calorie grilled caesar salad
    Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

    Total time: ~30 minutes

    This is close to your typical Caesar salad—but better. The lettuce, croutons, and chicken are all grilled, providing a mouthful of flavor in just a little over 400 calories. This is also a great weight loss meal idea because you're giving your body a nice boost of protein and keeping calories, fat, and sugars on the lower end.

    Get our recipe for Grilled Caesar Salad

    Sweet and Spicy Beef Stir-Fry

    Paleo sweet and spicy beef
    Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

    Total time: ~20 minutes

    Stir-fry is one of the easiest and most versatile dinners you can make, and this beef recipe can be made in about 20 minutes. Another perk apart from being delicious and healthy? You'll only have a couple of dishes to wash.

    Get our recipe for Sweet and Spicy Beef.

    Greek Salad with Chicken

    Healthy greek salad
    Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

    Total Time: ~30 minutes (if you want the salad chilled).

    This salad has everything you could want in a healthy meal: loads of vegetables, healthy fats, and lean protein, all without adding high-calorie ingredients…the perfect combination! Plus, you can mix it up within minutes. If you don't feel like waiting for the salad to chill, you can go ahead and dive right in. It'll taste just as good!

    Get our recipe for Greek Salad With Chicken.

    Chicken Fajita Burritos

    Healthy chicken fajita burrito
    Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

    Total Time: ~10-15 minutes

    This protein-packed burrito comes with loaded chicken and beans with cheese on a whole-wheat tortilla. Plus, buying an already-cooked rotisserie chicken will save you a bunch of time. They're super easy to make, so why not have them at home instead of opting for a giant takeout burrito loaded with calories?

    Get our recipe for Chicken Fajita Burritos.

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    Rotisserie Chicken Tacos With Salsa Verde

    Chicken tacos with salsa verde
    Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

    Total Time: ~10-15 minutes

    This quick and easy weight loss dinner uses store-bought everything, so little to no prep is necessary (only if you're heating the tortillas). A recipe so easy, and you'll end up having rotisserie chicken leftovers that you can use for all sorts of things for days!

    Get our recipe for Rotisserie Chicken Tacos with Verde Salsa.

    Butter-Baked Salmon and Asparagus

    keto butter baked salmon with asparagus on the side horizontal
    Waterbury Publications, Inc.

    Total Time: 20 minutes

    This is one of the easiest weeknight meals you can make thanks to the minimal prep required. If you like a simple salmon, this will do the trick. Plus, it's keto-friendly.

    Get our recipe for Butter-Baked Salmon and Asparagus

    Salsa Chicken

    baked salsa chicken with cilantro in a casserole dish
    Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

    Total Time: 20 minutes

    Such an easy protein-packed meal. All you have to do is pick your favorite salsa to smother the chicken in, and top with cheese (The freshly grated stuff is always better than the packaged, so if you have the time to shred, then go for it.)

    Get our recipe for Salsa Chicken.

    Keto Cheeseburger Casserole

    keto cheeseburger casserole 2
    Carlene Thomas/Eat This, Not That!

    Total Time: ~20 minutes

    Mark our words: This healthier version of Hamburger Helper is going to become your new comfort food dinner staple. This fresh version includes a hearty helping of beef as your protein and no-sugar-added sauce, so you know you're getting a good quality dinner. Plus, this is keto-friendly, making it a great addition to your diet.

    Get our recipe for Keto Cheeseburger Casserole.

    Pesto Chicken

    keto pesto chicken
    Waterbury Publications, Inc.

    Total Time: 30 minutes

    As you may have noticed, chicken is all over this list, because it's so versatile, and as we already said, it's an ideal protein source for anyone trying to lose weight. The pesto is the perfect topping as it provides tons of flavor. Fill the other side of your plate with some leafy greens to make a salad, and you've got yourself a filling dish in a flash.

    Get our recipe for Pesto Chicken

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    Lemon Chicken

    baked lemon chicken with parsley
    Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

    Total Time: 20 minutes

    Using lemon juice can be a great way to add loads of flavor without relying on a sugary store-bought marinade or sauce. If you feel like adding something else to the dinner table, try adding in a veggie like broccoli. The floret of the broccoli will soak up the lemon juice nicely.

    Get our recipe for Lemon Chicken.

    Oven-Baked Chicken Fingers With Chipotle Honey Mustard

    Gluten-free chicken fingers with chipotle honey
    Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

    Total Time: ~30 minutes

    These chicken fingers are so good, you'll forget all about your old fast-food favorites. While this recipe is calling to make your chicken fingers from scratch, you can cut the time down even more by purchasing frozen tenders at the store. You can use this recipe as inspiration and still make the delicious chipotle honey mustard sauce for dipping.

    Get our recipe for Oven-Baked Chicken Fingers.

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    Barbecue Chicken

    baked barbecue chicken with red onion and cheddar cheese
    Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

    Total Time: 20 minutes

    Another easy way to coat your protein is by slathering a little barbecue sauce all over your chicken breast (just make sure to choose a better-for-you barbecue sauce). Top with cheese and some red onions (a bonus veggie!) to create a filling meal without the extra calories.

    Get our recipe for Barbecue Chicken.

    Rotisserie Chicken Parm Casserole

    chicken parm casserole
    Gail Watson Photography

    Total Time: 30 minutes

    Once again, what might otherwise be a complicated and time-consuming dish can be easily simplified by using a store-bought rotisserie chicken! You can also use whole wheat pasta as well as part-skim mozzarella cheese to bring out the healthier side of the dish.

    Get Toby Amidor's recipe for Rotisserie Chicken Parmigiana Casserole from The Best Rotisserie Chicken Cookbook.

    Bruschetta Chicken

    baked bruschetta chicken with fresh mozzarella
    Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

    Total Time: 20 minutes

    When you think of bruschetta, you probably think of tomatoes on bread. For this chicken recipe, you're getting the flavors of this Italian topping with the bonus of protein from the chicken. It eliminates those unwanted carbs from the bread and will keep you full and satisfied.

    Get our recipe for Bruschetta Chicken.

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    Pesto Chicken

    baked pesto chicken with mozzarella and fresh pepper
    Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

    Total Time: 20 minutes

    Whether you make your pesto from scratch or buy it in a jar, this delicious chicken dinner recipe brings out a bunch of flavors. The fresh slices of mozzarella add a nice finishing touch, especially when you cut into it and see that stunning cheese pull.

    Get our recipe for Pesto Chicken.

    Paleo Thai Beef Stir-Fry

    Paleo spread stir fry
    Waterbury Publications, Inc.

    Total Time: 35 minutes

    There's so much to love about stir-frys. They don't take any special skills or crazy ingredients and they're really quick to throw together. This paleo version packs protein, veggies, and delicious flavor that will make you feel as if you're eating at a restaurant with better benefits.

    Get our recipe for Paleo Thai Beef Stir-Fry.

    Juicy Asian Chicken and Saucy Slaw

    juicy asian chicken and spicy slaw
    Brie Passano

    Total Time: 25 minutes

    A grill pan provides you with the best Asian takeout—in the comfort of your own home. With the addition of fresh ingredients and a hearty amount of veggies, you'll be cutting down a lot of the sodium. And that's important, because too much sodium may lead to retaining water, and bloating doesn't help when you're trying to lose weight. That's why we love this easy, at-home version!

    Get our recipe for Juicy Asian Chicken and Saucy Slaw.

    Chicken Fried Rice

    Healthy chicken fried rice
    Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

    Total Time: 15-20 minutes

    Another easy weight loss meal that tastes just like takeout, you'll want to swap to this version whenever you're craving fried rice. A mixture of delicious chicken with crunchy veggies and a bit of rice coated in low-sodium soy sauce makes this a dieter's delight.

    Get our recipe for Chicken Fried Rice

    Beef With Broccoli

    Healthy beef with broccoli
    Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

    Total Time: ~45 minutes

    This popular Chinese food staple just got a bit healthier. The tender beef and fresh broccoli are mixed with a flavorful sauce made out of wine and beef stock. If you want to add a healthy starch, serve it over steamed brown rice. Once everything is prepped, this dish is cooked in one pan, making cleanup super easy.

    Get our recipe for Beef With Broccoli.

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    Turkey and Two-Bean Chili

    turkey and two bean chili
    Marty Baldwin

    Total Prep Time: 20 minutes

    The reason this hearty turkey chili makes our list is that although it does take some time to cook, it's so easy to prep, and you can let it sit in the crockpot simmering all day without touching it. By the time you're home for dinner, it'll be ready to devour. You may even have leftovers to eat on another night.

    Get our recipe for Turkey and Two-Bean Chili

    Whole30 Chicken Zoodle Soup

    Whole30 instant pot chicken zoodle soup
    Posie Brien/Eat This, Not That!

    Total Prep Time: 25 minutes

    Who's going to miss the pasta when you can get the same consistency through a vegetable? Zucchini makes for a great alternative to starchy pasta, hence the name "zucchini noodles" (zoodles). It's comforting, filling, and flavorful, and you're getting protein and vegetables in one serving. What more can you ask for?

    Get our recipe for Whole30 Chicken Zoodle Soup.

    Chicken Tortilla Soup

    low-calorie tortilla soup
    Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

    Total Prep Time: ~25 minutes

    You would most likely find tortilla soup at any Mexican restaurant, and this at-home version can rival what you would get elsewhere. You've got chunks of pulled chicken mixed into tomato broth and topped with some avocado, tortilla strips, and even a bit of hot sauce to amp up the flavor. Your taste buds will be bouncing off the walls from the fiesta in your mouth.

    Get our recipe for Chicken Tortilla Soup.

    Low-Calorie Broccoli Cheddar Soup

    Healthy broccoli-cheddar soup
    Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

    Total Prep Time: ~15-20 minutes

    This DIY soup may be your new favorite, even better than Au Bon Pain's or Panera's. You still get all the perks of a cheesy soup, but the broccoli shines, giving you a low-calorie but satisfying meal packed with essential nutrients. And the secret ingredient? Beer! You just can't go wrong with this diet-friendly dinner idea.

    Get our recipe for Low-Calorie Broccoli Cheddar Soup.

    Italian Meatball Soup

    Paleo meatball soup
    Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

    Total Time: ~20 minutes

    Soup is such a comforting food. It's even better when the soup is chock full of meat and vegetables to make you feel full while staying light on the calories. Buy a bag of store-bought meatballs to help this soup come together in minutes.

    Get our recipe for Italian Meatball Soup.

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    Chickpea Quinoa Soup

    chickpea quinoa soup
    Marty Baldwin

    Total Prep Time: 40 minutes

    Meat-lovers and vegetarians alike will fall for this loaded soup packed with 8 grams of protein, great for fat burning. The addition of both chickpeas and quinoa makes this a very nourishing and satisfying comfort soup that you'll want to make all year long.

    Get our recipe for Chickpea Quinoa Soup.

    Sheet-Pan Italian Pork Chops

    sheet pan pork chops
    Waterbury Publications, Inc.

    Total Time: 40 minutes

    These pork chops are loaded with protein. Plus, they're ready to bake in no time and take little to no prep. Baking the pork chops and vegetables together on one sheet makes this easy, from start to finish.

    Get our recipe for Sheet-Pan Italian Pork Chops

    Sweet and Spicy Glazed Salmon with Roasted Veggies

    sweet and spicy glazed salmon with veggies
    Waterbury Publications, Inc.

    Total Time: 40 minutes

    The perfect combination of spicy and sweet that will make your taste buds dance. Enjoy this easy-to-make tasty protein accompanied by crispy baked vegetables, all cooked on one pan for easy cleanup.

    Get our recipe for Sweet and Spicy Glazed Salmon with Roasted Veggies.

    Turkey Sloppy Joe

    Healthy turkey sloppy joes
    Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

    Total Time: ~15 minutes

    As the name suggests, sloppy Joes are a fun, albeit messy, dinner idea. The use of turkey makes for a lean version, and all the ingredients are cooked in one pan, making it easy to make and assemble. Chances are you won't even notice the difference between ground turkey and beef.

    Get our recipe for Turkey Sloppy Joe.

    Chicken Thigh Tzatziki Bowl

    chicken thigh tzatziki bowl recipe
    Courtesy of Lauren Manaker

    Total Time: 25-30 minutes

    Go Greek with this deliciously light and filling bowl. The tzatziki is refreshing and not dense, but still adds the perfect amount of cooling flavor to the warm quinoa and chicken. The other fixings are perfect toppings to make this healthy dish shine.

    Get our recipe for Chicken Thigh Tzatziki Bowl.

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    Whole30 Beef Burrito Bowls

    whole 30 burrito bowl with guacamole on top
    Posie Brien/Eat This, Not That!

    Total Time: 25-30 minutes

    Move over, Chipotle! These make-your-own bowls offer all the best parts of a burrito with none of the extra starch. Instead, you get cauliflower rice incorporated into a hearty bowl of beef, fresh guac, and a bunch of other wholesome ingredients.

    Get our recipe for Whole30 Beef Burrito Bowls.

    Warm Kale-Quinoa Salad

    kale quinoa salad with apples and walnuts in two white bowls
    Waterbury Publications, Inc.

    Total Time: 30 minutes

    Protein from the nuts and chicken, the quinoa as a healthy starch, and an array of greens and fruits…this is the perfect power salad that's easy to make and sweeter to eat.

    Get our recipe for Warm Kale Quinoa Salad.

    Air Fryer Chipotle Chickpea Tacos

    chipotle chickpea tacos
    James Stefiuk

    Total Time: 10 minutes

    Chickpeas are full of nutrients as well as a good source of both fiber and protein, making them a good alternative to meat and a great food for weight loss. Air frying these chickpeas will bring a nice crunch to the taco and the fresh ingredients to top off make for a feel-good dinner.

    Get our recipe for Air Fryer Chipotle Chickpea Tacos.

    Air Fryer Meatballs

    air fryer meatballs
    Carlene Thomas/Eat This, Not That!

    Total Time: ~15-20 minutes

    Thanks to the air fryer, these meatballs come out tender on the inside and lightly crispy on the outside—perfect to eat on their own or with a drizzle of your favorite sauce. The secret? Mushrooms. These fungi help bind the meatballs together while also reducing the overall fat and calorie count.

    Get our recipe for Air Fryer Meatballs

    Instant Pot Tofu Tikka Masala

    instant pot tofu tikka masala
    Courtesy of The Lighter Step-by-Step Instant Pot Cookbook

    Total Time: ~25-30 minutes

    This vegetarian version of tikka masala brings all the flavor of the traditional Indian dish in a flash, thanks to the Instant Pot! Tofu is a wonderful source of protein, and it's great for fat-burning. Mix it with the classic spices and other traditional Indian cuisine ingredients and you've got a perfect masala dinner.

    Get our recipe for Instant Pot Tofu Tikka Masala.

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    Instant Pot Chili

    spoon holding up chili from a bowl
    Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

    Total Time: ~40 minutes

    Not only can you make this in an instant pot for easy cooking, but it's also keto-friendly. This low-carb chili keeps the beans out, and your tastebuds are instead greeted with more meat and spices.

    Get our recipe for Instant Pot Chili.

    Instant Pot Lemon Chicken

    cooked lemon chicken inside an Instant Pot
    Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

    Total Time: 30 minutes

    Remember when we said chicken is versatile? Cooking it in an Instant Pot will soak up all the delicious flavors of the surrounding chicken broth and lemon juice, while ensuring this protein is cooked in full.

    Get our recipe for Instant Pot Lemon Chicken.

    Instant Pot Steak Fajitas

    holding steak fajita filling with tongs from an Instant Pot
    Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

    Total Time: 30 minutes

    Say goodbye to throwing your peppers, onions, and meat onto a burning and sizzling skillet that sets off your fire alarm. This no-mess steak fajita recipe is easy to prep and cook without any hassle. Enjoy it over a bed of lettuce or with a whole wheat tortilla!

    Get our recipe for Instant Pot Steak Fajitas

    Chipotle Shrimp Quesadilla

    Chipotle shrimp quesadilla
    Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

    Total Time: ~35 minutes

    Ordering a quesadilla at a restaurant usually means you'll get a grease bomb loaded with extra fat and calories. This at-home recipe cuts all of that out of the equation. You still get the gooey cheese, spicy shrimp, and caramelized veggies, just without the heaviness.

    Get our recipe for Chipotle Shrimp Quesadillas

    Crispy Quesadillas with Guacamole

    Healthy crispy quesadillas with guacamole
    Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

    Total Time: ~20 minutes

    This is a loaded quesadilla guaranteed to fill you up (and with all good ingredients, too!). Enjoy a tortilla stuffed with chorizo, cheese, and veggies, all with the satisfaction of knowing it's a low-calorie dish that cuts out the grease.

    Get our recipe for Crispy Quesadilla with Guacamole.

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    Lower-Calorie Steak Nachos

    Steak nachos
    Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

    Total Time: ~30 minutes

    Who says you can't turn nachos into dinner? Although normally an app to share, these nachos are loaded with hearty ingredients, including protein-packed steak, reduced-fat cheese, and fiber-filled beans.

    Get our recipe for Lower-Calorie Steak Nachos.

    Chicken Mole Enchiladas

    Low-calorie chicken mole enchiladas
    Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

    Total Time: ~20-25 minutes

    This healthy recipe is very authentic, similar to how it's made in Mexican cities. This particular recipe contains about 30% fewer calories than those you'd find in Mexican-American restaurants, so you can feel better about eating this dish when you're trying to lose weight.

    Get our recipe for Chicken Mole Enchiladas

    Mandarin Orange Chicken Salad

    orange chicken salad with mandarin oranges and bell peppers
    Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

    Total Time: ~15 minutes

    When it comes to healthy meal ideas, salads are always a good option. Served over a bed of greens with mixed vegetables, this one provides all of the nutritional value of a salad, but with a touch of Asian zing. The mandarin oranges also add some extra brightness and flavor.

    Get our recipe for Orange Chicken Salad.

    Pesto Chicken Cauliflower Gnocchi

    pesto cauliflower gnocchi with tomatoes
    Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

    Total Time: ~15 minutes

    The use of Trader Joe's Cauliflower Gnocchi is great because it cuts out the starch from a typical potato gnocchi dish. For this particular pasta, adding cherry tomatoes with a touch of pesto gives you a simple yet delicious taste that isn't loaded with extra calories.

    Get our recipe for Pesto Chicken Cauliflower Gnocchi.

    Chicken Alfredo Gnocchi

    chicken alfredo gnocchi with vegetables
    Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

    Total Time: ~20 minutes

    We know what you're thinking: Alfredo sauce and weight loss don't belong in the same sentence, right? It may seem too good to be true, but thanks to the cauliflower gnocchi and the addition of fiber-filled veggies, you'll be getting a satisfying meal that fills you up without overeating.

    Get our recipe for Chicken Alfredo Gnocchi.

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    Sheet-Pan Gnocchi With Chicken Sausage

    chicken sausage and gnocchi with vegetables
    Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

    Total Time: 30 minutes

    This bright and colorful meal can all be made on a single sheet pan, and you know how much we love that. There's hardly any extra sauce or seasoning to it, making it light on calories. Plus the green beans and tomatoes give you extra nutrients while the sausage gives you protein.

    Get our recipe for Sheet-Pan Gnocchi With Chicken Sausage.

    Arugula and Prosciutto Pizza

    Healthy pizza with arugula, cherry tomatoes, and prosciutto
    Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

    Total Time: ~15-20 minutes

    Grab some pre-made pizza dough at your local pizza place or grocery store for this veggie-loaded pie. This Italian-inspired dish is perfect for pizza night, whether it's for just you or you're making it for the family. The baked cherry tomatoes mix with the slight bitterness of the arugula, and both combine perfectly with the saltiness of the prosciutto. This dish will make you feel like you're sitting in Italy.

    Get our recipe for Arugula and Prosciutto Pizza.

    Turkey Bolognese with Garlic Spaghetti Squash

    Paleo turkey bolognese
    Waterbury Publications, Inc.

    Total Time: ~45 minutes

    Italian dish meets paleo, which is perfect for a diet-based dinner. The lean turkey meat creates a heart bolognese sauce that mixes nicely with a garlic spaghetti squash, a great alternative to your typical pasta! This cuts carbs while still giving you filling protein and fiber.

    Get our recipe for Turkey Bolognese With Spaghetti Squash.

    Loaded Alfredo Pasta With Chicken and Veggies

    Healthy loaded alfredo with chicken and veggies
    Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

    Total Time: ~30 minutes

    This Alfredo dish isn't your classic heavy cream and high-fat sauce. Instead, you substitute in a basic béchamel sauce with flour, milk, butter, and Parmesan. Then, instead of tons of pasta, you add in a lot of other healthier ingredients like chicken, broccoli, mushrooms, and sun-dried tomatoes.

    Get our recipe for Loaded Alfredo Pasta With Chicken and Veggies.

    Homestyle Healthier Baked Ziti

    Healthy baked ziti
    Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

    Total Time: ~40 minutes

    Here's another comfort food classic that doesn't sound like it would be weight-loss-friendly. However, while you do get the pasta, you also get the addition of sausage, which adds protein. This makes for a very filling dish where you won't feel as if you have to eat too much pasta to satisfy you. You can also opt for whole wheat or protein pasta.

    Get our recipe for Homestyle Healthier Baked Ziti

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    Taco Pasta

    one skillet taco pasta with spoon, cotija cheese, and sliced avocado
    Waterbury Publications, Inc.

    Total Time: ~25 minutes

    A delicious blend of Mexican seasonings mixed with pasta, this delicious dish packs 19 grams of protein in under 400 calories per serving. You'll be able to enjoy this fat-burning dinner quickly and efficiently, as all you need is one pot to cook all your ingredients and let those flavors just melt into one another.

    Get our recipe for Taco Pasta

    Keto Charcuterie Platter

    keto charcuterie platter
    Carlene Thomas/Eat This, Not That!

    Total Time: ~5-10 minutes

    You don't have to be on the keto diet to love this gorgeous charcuterie platter, because it requires zero cooking. You might even call it the ultimate 'Girl Dinner.' This weeknight-friendly option provides meats, cheeses, nuts, seeds, and more for a low-carb meal. Remember, there's no rule that says you have to use the stove for a meal to qualify as dinner!

    Get our recipe for Keto Charcuterie Platter.

    Skillet Chipotle Chicken Enchilada Bake

    chicken chipotle enchilada
    Courtesy of What's Gaby Cooking

    Total Time: 30-50 minutes

    This cheesy, eight-ingredient enchilada dish comes together with the help of just two pieces of cookware. The addition of fiber-filled black beans means this meal will keep your belly full and your brain sharp.

    Get the recipe from What's Gaby Cooking.

    One Pot Lemon Herb Chicken and Rice

    lemon herb chicken rice
    Courtesy of Le Creme De La Crumb

    Total Time: 30 minutes

    The fewer ingredients and dishes used, the better! This recipe involves just seven ingredients and one large skillet. You can even swap the white rice for brown rice if you prefer.

    Get the recipe from Le Creme de la Crumb.

    Gnocchi Skillet with Chicken Sausage and Tomatoes

    maple skillet
    Courtesy of The Kitchn

    Total Time: 10-15 minutes

    A sausage dish with under three grams of fat!? Woohoo! Pair it with a simple side salad for a veggie-packed meal even your kids will want to eat.

    Get the recipe from The Kitchn.

    11 Best Soups To Burn Belly Fat

    Creamy Chicken Quinoa Broccoli Casserole

    quinoa casserole
    Courtesy of Pinch of Yum

    Total Time: 45 min

    This cheesy, bacon-topped dish proves you don't need to give up comfort food to lose weight. By using quinoa instead of traditional white rice, you'll get a hearty addition of fiber. And, thanks to the addition of broccoli, this dish provides a fair amount of vitamin C—a nutrient that counteracts cortisol, a stress hormone that can cause stubborn belly fat, among other health problems.

    Get the recipe from Pinch of Yum.

    Mexican Tortilla Casserole

    Gluten-free chicken fingers with chipotle honey
    Courtesy of Savory Simple

    Total Time: 30 minutes

    Make dinner a fiesta with this recipe that relies on canned beans and a combination of frozen and no-chop veggies—ingredients that keep prep time to a quick 10 minutes. Pop in the oven for 20 minutes, and voila, you've got a fiber- and protein-rich meal in a flash.

    Get the recipe from Savory Simple.

    One Pot Lemon Orzo Shrimp

    lemon orzo shrimp
    Courtesy of Damn Delicious

    Total Time: 40 minutes

    This hearty dish has all the makings of a solid, flavor-packed meal. You've got carbs, veggies, shrimp, and a plethora of spices for extra taste. Best of all, it's completely customizable. Not a fan of tomatoes or peas? Add in some of your preferred veggies instead.

    Get the recipe from Damn Delicious.

    5-Ingredient Easy White Chicken Chili

    white chicken chili
    Courtesy of Gimme Some Oven

    Total Time: 15 minutes

    A chili recipe that comes together in just 15 minutes sounds too good to be true, but it's not! Once again, pre-cooked chicken helps to cut the cooking time. Plus, swapping out the sour cream and tortilla chips with avocado and fresh cilantro helps cut calories and fat.

    Get the recipe from Gimme Some Oven.

    8 Old-Fashioned Stews You Need to Know How to Make

    5-Ingredient Chili

    5 ingredient chili
    Courtesy of Gimme Some Oven

    Total Time: 50 minutes

    Another chili that comes together in under an hour! Not only is this chili delicious and super filling, but it's also one of the easiest weight loss dinner recipes to make thanks to its short ingredient list. Along with the beans, which speed up your metabolism, sprinkle on some extra chili powder. The spice gets its heat from a compound called capsaicin, one of nature's most potent fat burners.

    Get the recipe from Gimme Some Oven.

    Kayla Garritano
    Kayla Garritano graduated from Hofstra University, where she majored in Journalism and double minored in Marketing and Creative Writing. Read more about Kayla