5-Ingredient Main Dishes Under 300 Calories
When counting calories, it can feel like every recipe requires half the pantry — and half of your daily calorie allotment. Unusual ingredients, lots of substitutions, and pricey product choices can make low-calorie meals seem out of reach. But not to worry. These 10 recipes all require five ingredients or less (not counting salt, pepper, or oil), and each serving comes in under 300 calories. That leaves you with plenty of leftover calories to enjoy a few sides that can round out your dinner plate.
Simple Meatballs with Zoodles
Seasoned with garlic and onion, these simple meatballs are served atop a nest of zucchini noodles and hearty tomato sauce. "This turned out to be a quick and easy lunch," says reviewer Buckwheat Queen. "Everything was ready in about 30 minutes from the very beginning."
You probably have all the ingredients on hand already to create these flavorful salmon patties. Serve as a main with steamed veggies, or use as a protein-packed salad topper.
Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
The air fryer creates a crispy skin on these tender chicken thighs, which are ready in just half an hour. Smoked paprika in the rub creates an extra depth of savory flavor.
Authentic Mexican Chili Rellenos
An indulgent dish that somehow only clocks in at 263 calories per serving, this chili rellenos recipe will be the star of your next Mexican dinner. Each pepper is stuffed with gooey cheese and fried to golden brown perfection.
Mushroom Pork Chops
A nice change from baked pork chops, in this recipe they're briefly browned before simmering until tender in a creamy mushroom sauce. Recipe creator mmcgee suggests serving it over a bed of brown rice.
Parmesan Crusted Tilapia Fillets
Flaky tilapia is dressed up with salty Parmesan and fresh parsley in this simple dish. "This recipe is quick and easy with plenty of flavor," says France C. "Even my husband (who doesn't like fish that much) went back for seconds!"
Zesty Slow Cooker Chicken Barbecue
It doesn't get much easier than this. Simply put all the ingredients in the slow cooker, stir, and let it simmer for several hours. The finished chicken is delicious in whole-wheat buns or over baked potatoes.
Roasted Cauliflower Steaks
Roasted cauliflower "steaks" make an impressive vegan main dish. Heartily seasoned with lemon pepper and featuring a hint of smokiness from blackening in the oven, these will impress even the staunchest of meat eaters.
Ground Beef and Cabbage
Similar to cabbage rolls but without the extra effort, this hearty ground beef and cabbage dish will stick to your ribs. Serve with a slice of cornbread for a complete meal.
Mississippi Pot Roast
A combination of unique ingredients — including pepperoncinis, gravy mix, and dry ranch seasoning — dress up this delicious pot roast. Reviewer Ron says, "I made this tonight, and it was incredible. The roast was tender beyond comparison. The mixture of au jus, ranch, and pepperocini gave it a deep flavor that ends with a little kick."