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Delish 400-calorie dinner recipes

Michele Borboa, MS is a freelance writer and editor specializing in health, fitness, food, lifestyle, and pets. Michele is a health and wellness expert, personal chef, cookbook author, and pet-lover based in Bozeman, Montana. She is also...

Fabulously filling 400-calorie dinners

If you’re counting calories as part of your weight loss program, put these healthy 400-calorie dinner recipes on your meal plan. They are packed with lean protein, high-fiber grains and vegetables and a delicious variety of everyday ingredients that come together quickly so you can get a wholesome homemade dinner to the table in a fast and easy fashion.

Fabulously filling 400-calorie dinners

Chipotle turkey burger recipe

Chipotle's distinctive taste transforms mild-tasting ground turkey into a zesty low-fat burger that fills you up without filling you out.

Serves 4


  • 1-1/4 pounds extra lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons chipotle in adobo sauce, minced
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced cilantro
  • 4 thin slices Monterey Jack cheese
  • 4 sprouted wheat burger buns or whole wheat buns, split, toasted
  • 4 tablespoons light mayonnaise made with olive oil
  • Tomato slices
  • Spinach leaves


  1. In a large bowl, mix turkey, salt, pepper, chipotle, red onion and cilantro.
  2. Divide mixture into four equal-sized patties about 3/4-inch thick.
  3. Preheat grill or grill pan to medium-high and lightly oil.
  4. Grill patties for three minutes. Flip and grill another three minutes. Place cheese on patties and cook until cheese begins to melt.
  5. Serve patties with burger buns topped with tomato slices and spinach leaves.

Whole wheat penne with smoked salmon and peas recipe

Smoked salmon is loaded with protein, omega-3 fatty acids and fabulous flavor. Tossing this rich-tasting fish with hearty whole wheat pasta gives you a protein and fiber boost that will stabilize your blood sugar so you stay full through the evening.

Serves 4


  • 8 ounces whole wheat penne
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups frozen (thawed) or fresh peas
  • 12 ounces smoked salmon, flaked
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese


  1. In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook penne according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water.
  2. Place the empty pot over medium heat and add oil and garlic. When heated, stir in peas, salmon and pasta, tossing to combine. Add some of the pasta water until pasta is moistened.
  3. Stir in basil, divide among four serving bowls and garnish with cheese to serve.

Slow cooker beef and wheat berry soup recipe

If your family frequently clamors "Where's the beef?" you'll get accolades for serving this hearty slow cooker soup recipe.

Serves 4


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1-1/4 pounds sirloin, trimmed, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3/4 cup wheat berries, soaked overnight in water, drained
  • 2 parsnips, trimmed, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 6 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 tablespoons light sour cream or plain Greek yogurt


  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sirloin and cook, stirring, until browned. Transfer to a slow cooker.
  2. Add wheat berries, parsnips, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, seasoning, broth, a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper.
  3. Cook on LOW for eight hours or on HIGH for four hours. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.
  4. Serve hot topped with sour cream or yogurt.

More low-cal meal ideas

Lower-fat Paula Deen favorites
1,500 Calorie full day menu
Low-carb lunch recipes under 400 calories

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