Are you on a quest for healthier eating without compromising on flavor? Do you find it challenging to maintain a balanced diet while managing your calorie intake? Well, look no further! These 23 Low-Calorie Meal Prep Ideas are a tantalizing array of low-calorie meal prep recipes that will revolutionize the way you approach food.
In today's fast-paced world, finding time to cook healthy meals can be a real struggle. That's where meal prep comes to the rescue! This round-up of low-calorie recipes not only ensures you stay on track with your fitness goals but also saves you precious time and energy. With a little planning and preparation, you can indulge in mouthwatering dishes that won't derail your calorie count.
From vibrant and satisfying salads bursting with flavor to wholesome, nutrient-packed bowls that leave you feeling energized, I’ve got you covered. Whether you're a seasoned meal prepper or just starting, this recipe round-up caters to all skill levels and culinary preferences.
By using low-fat dairy like fat-free sour cream and non-fat Greek yogurt, this recipe saves calories while adding protein and flavor. Think bacon and cheese rather than cauliflower, because those are the main flavors you get. You won’t feel like you’re eating a cauliflower casserole. Add a bit of rotisserie chicken and you’ve got a fantastic low-calorie meal prep dinner.
Another casserole bake that will elevate your meal prep game is this Chicken Enchilada Bubble Up. The base is made with buttery biscuits that “bubble up” as they cook, and the top is covered with enchilada chicken and plenty of cheese. It doesn’t sound low-calorie, but it is! It’s so low in calories, you should have plenty of room to add some sliced avocado and salsa.
Tuna is known for its high protein, low calorie content but it can get boring quickly. That’s what these tuna cakes are for. Tuna cakes have all the flavor you’d get from traditional salmon or crab cakes, but tuna keeps it low in calories. Dip it in a simple sriracha aioli and you’ve got a yummy low-calorie meal prep.
This low-carb, gluten-free cottage cheese tuna salad is an amazing lunch meal prep option. No need to heat it up, you can eat it right from the fridge. One serving has 337 calories and 43 grams of filling protein. The cottage cheese makes it a super creamy tuna salad, without added fat from mayonnaise.
Another creamy tuna salad recipe (because it’s easy to keep it low in calories and high in protein), but this one is made with non-fat Greek yogurt instead of cottage cheese or mayo. Greek yogurt is easy to spice up with different herbs and seasonings. It takes on whatever flavor you give it, so it’s the perfect base for a creamy tuna salad.
We’re on a tuna kick, so why not have sushi in a bowl? Sushi can rack up in calories due to the rice and sauces, but this Tuna Sushi Bowl keeps it low cals by using tons of fresh veggies and cauliflower rice. You’ll even have calorie room to drizzle on a yummy spicy mayo.
It sounds like an oxymoron, but this recipe shows that it’s possible to enjoy your pasta without adding to your waistline. You can have a serving of this low-calorie pasta for just 161 calories. Crazy, right?! The recipe is simple to make as well, with only four ingredients needed.
Pasta salad is such a good meal prep option because it’s easy to make and once it’s made, no other prep or cooking is needed. You can eat it cold or at room temp so it’s great for a meal on the go. This pasta salad is low-calorie with tons of Greek flavor. It’s a fully balanced meal all in one!
This recipe is so much more flavorful than it sounds. Ground chicken and vegetables may sound boring, but this bowl is packed with flavor. By using barbeque sauce, Mrs. Dash seasoning, and a bit of cumin, you can elevate the flavor without adding unnecessary calories. It’s great for a one-dish meal prep too - no separate compartments needed.
Beef and Zucchini Skillet is paleo, Whole 30 compliant, full of protein, and gluten-free. It only takes about 30 minutes to whip up and will cost you less than 400 calories, even with the added potatoes. It’s filling, delicious, and easy - everything you want from a low-calorie meal prep recipe.
If you’re a fan of shrimp, you’ll love this healthy shrimp protein pasta. It’s packed with protein - almost 50 grams per serving - but stays low in calories. You can even make it lower in calories if you switch out the pasta for some shirataki spaghetti noodles. Grab the seven ingredients needed for this recipe, and get to cooking!
I love a sheet pan meal because it’s just a chop, bake, and serve type of meal. This makes it perfect for meal prep lunches. The sausage adds great flavor and protein, and the veggies keep it nutritious. You won’t miss the carbs in this meal! You can even keep the protein and veggies the same, and just change up the spices each week to keep the variety there.
Meal prep breakfast is so needed for those busy, on-the-go mornings. By having these hearty make-ahead breakfast bowls in the fridge ready to go, you may even have time to sit down and drink your coffee. They’re hearty but still low in calories, which is just what we want. 400 calories per serving is enough to keep you in line, but satisfied until lunch.
Just the name sounds amazing, doesn’t it? With this cheeseburger meal prep, you can skip the bun and sugary stir-fry sauces. You can have a whole bowl for just 265 calories - talk about a win! The addition of pickles in this stir fry gives it that traditional cheeseburger flavor you’re looking for.
Two hundred and forty calories will give you a fantastic, traditional Philly cheesesteak flavor in this meal prep recipe. Even if you could have a traditional Philly cheesesteak sandwich, you would still pick this recipe - it’s that good and super simple to make too. The ground beef pairs perfectly with the basmati rice, mushrooms, and provolone cheese to make a delicious meal prep bowl.
Meatballs are the way to go if you want a low-calorie meal prep that doesn’t feel low-calorie. Zucchini noodles give you nutrients and a bit of crunch and pair perfectly with these buttery, garlicky chicken meatballs. Each serving is 326 calories, which is fantastic for a meatball meal.
This chicken cabbage stir fry is Asian-inspired and cooked completely in just one pan. It’s gluten-free, low-carb, and of course, low in calories. Sauteed cabbage takes on the Asian flavors so well, it leaves you with a satisfying crunch. Add a bit of rice if you’ve got the room for it, otherwise, leave it as is for a delicious low-calorie meal prep.
Similar to the Chicken Cabbage Stir Fry, this sauteed dish harnesses all the classic egg roll flavors, but in a bowl. Deconstructed Egg Rolls are 242 calories per serving and 25 grams of protein per serving. You won’t mind that it isn’t deep fried- all the flavors are there!
In case you don’t know, a chaffle is a cheese waffle. That might not sound low-calorie to you, but this recipe keeps it light but flavorful. It’s only 48 calories, so it makes the perfect sandwich “bread” for an egg white breakfast sandwich. All you need is a mini waffle maker, egg whites, and some cheese!
Bang Bang Zucchini Noodles bring the flavor to zoodle meal prep. You can make the bang bang sauce ahead of time and keep it stored in the fridge. That small step saves you tons of time. You can also make large batches of this meal prep so you can have lunch for the whole week. Add any protein that you like- rotisserie chicken, shrimp, or even tilapia - it’ll all be delicious.
Having a healthy breakfast on the go is key for starting your day off on the right foot. These Easy Meal Prep Breakfast Burritos can be stored in the freezer - so make large batches, and you can technically have breakfast prepared a month ahead of time. They’re full of healthy protein and crispy bacon, so you’ll look forward to your breakfast every morning.
Why not have a cookie for breakfast if it’s healthy and keeps on you track? These Healthy Savory Breakfast Cookies are reminiscent of an omelet and a biscuit - but it’s a handheld version. This makes it perfect for a grab-n-go breakfast or snack when you need to get out the door.
Another take on a handheld breakfast option, these healthy, high-protein breakfast sandwiches are 383 calories each. You can meal prep a lot of these and keep them stocked in the freezer. It’s easy to re-heat one at a time as you need them. You can also add the veggies that you prefer, so these are easy to customize.
Say goodbye to bland diet food and hello to a world of taste and creativity. These low-calorie meal prep recipes not only promote a healthy lifestyle but also tickle your taste buds. So, grab your apron and meal prep containers, and let’s get cooking! Your taste buds and waistline will thank you for it.
And I'll leave you with the recipe for my make ahead breakfast sandwiches!
23 Low-Calorie Meal Prep Ideas
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 5 oz chopped fresh spinach *about 2 cups
- ½ cup diced red onion
- 8 eggs
- ¼ cup milk *I used 1%
- ½ cup crumbled light feta cheese
- ½ teaspoon each salt & pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- english muffins
- Preheat the oven to 375F, spray a 9x9 baking dish with some cooking spray, spray it well so the egg mixture does not stick.
- Heat up a skillet over medium-low heat, add in the olive oil. Once hot, add the chopped onions and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add in the spinach and stir, cook until the spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove from the stove and let cool.
- In a bowl whisk the eggs, add in the milk, salt, pepper, and oregano, stir well.
- Add the crumbled feta cheese and the cooled spinach mixture to the eggs and lightly mix to combine it all together.
- Pour the egg mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the eggs are set and firm in the middle. Remove and let cool for a few minutes.
- Cut the egg mixture into 9 equal squares or you can cut into circles like I did (for pictures) Place each piece on the english muffin, wrap with foil and freeze.
- They can be frozen for up to 3 months, let thaw before reheating, you can use the microwave, about 45 seconds or you can pop them in the oven/toaster oven, 350F for 10 minutes. *Be sure to remove foil before using the microwave.
- *Note- if adding any butter, mayonnaise or cheese, I like to add this just before I eat them.