When it comes to weight loss, cooking at home is always a better option because you have more control over what goes into your meals, helping you manage your fat and calorie intake. If you need to get a meal together quickly and on the table without a lot of effort, you are going to love these 5-ingredient weight loss dinners. When you look at these recipes, pantry items like salt and pepper and other spices, don’t count as one of the five ingredients. Enjoy!
1. Salmon with Pepita Lime Butter
Salmon is the perfect choice for dinner because it contains a ton of healthy fats, which support a healthy brain and heart. It also has so much flavor that you can trick yourself into thinking you had a really indulgent meal when, in fact, you had something low in calories for weight loss.
2 tablespoons unsalted pepitas
1 tablespoon butter
½ teaspoon fresh lime zest
2 tablespoons lime juice
¼ teaspoon chili powder
1 pound skinned salmon, cut into 4 pieces
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
Toast the pepitas and combine them with the butter, lime zest, lime juice and chili powder. Season the salmon with salt and pepper, then place them in a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray. Cook through, about 2 to 4 minutes per side. Remove the salmon from the pan, turn off the heat, then melt the butter mixture in the pan and pour it over the salmon to serve.
2. Veggie Stuffed Calzones
There’s nothing better than a stuffed calzone. They are full of taste and can really satisfy your appetite. This one is filled with veggies to help save you hundreds of fat and calories. Remember, pantry staples don’t count as the five ingredients.
Nonstick cooking spray
1 pound thawed frozen bread dough
¼ cup prepared basil pesto
4 cups thawed frozen mixed veggies
Salt and pepper
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Roll the dough out into a 15 inch circle and spread the pesto, leaving a ½-inch around the edges. Spread the veggies on one half of the dough and top with the mozzarella. Fold the calzone in half and pinch the edges to seal. Spritz with cooking spray and sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Cut into wedges to serve.
3. Pork and Noodle Bowl
Feeling like some takeout? Don’t give in to the temptation because restaurant meals are usually higher in fat and calories than ones you prepare yourself. Whip up this noodle bowl in about as much time as it would take for the delivery guy to show up.
12 ounces pork sirloin chops, cut into strips
½ cup bottled Asian salad dressing
4 ounces whole wheat spaghetti
6 cups shredded broccoli slaw mix
¼ cup toasted sliced almonds
Combine the pork with ¼ cup of the dressing and chill. Cook the pasta, drain, then toss it with the remaining dressing. Cook the pork in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat in a dab of olive oil. Transfer to the pasta and toss. Cook the broccoli slaw in the same skillet for 3 minutes. Add to the pasta and toss. Serve topped with the almonds.
4. Turkey Taco Panini
Tacos are always a crowd pleaser so you can’t go wrong making this for yourself and your family when you’re trying to watch your calorie intake. You’ll want to eat this meal all the time.
1 ½ cups shredded jack cheese with jalapenos
8 ounces shredded cooked turkey
½ cup black bean and corn salsa
½ cup fresh cilantro
Divide the cheese, turkey, salsa and cilantro on one half of each flatbread. Fold the flatbreads in half and spritz both sides with cooking spray. Grill the sandwiches for about 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until golden brown and the cheese melts.
5. Baked Fajita Chicken
Fajitas are a pretty good choice for a weight loss meal plan because chicken, onions and bell peppers are generally low in calories and high in nutrients. This twist puts it all together so you can enjoy a great tasting meal without a ton of effort.
4 chicken breasts
2 bell peppers, sliced
½ onion, sliced
1/3 cup salsa
¼ cup Mexican cheese
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray, lay the chicken in a single layer and season it with salt and pepper. Top with the salsa, peppers and onions. Cook for 30 minutes. Once the chicken is almost done, top with the cheese and melt before serving.
6. Skinny Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken
Creamy is usually not a word you associate with a healthy meal. However, this recipe fits the bill and contains only 5 ingredients. You can serve this and totally satisfy a craving for chicken alfredo. Yum!
1 ½ pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts
½ cup water
8 ounces reduced fat cream cheese
12 ounces frozen broccoli
10. 5 Ounce Can Cream Reduced Fat Cream of Chicken Soup
1 package Italian dressing mix
Put the chicken in your slow cooker. Whisk together the water and dressing mix and pour it over the chicken. Cook on low for 8 hours. Remove the chicken and shred it with a couple of forks. Combine the soup and cream cheese in a small bowl. Pour the cream cheese mixture into the slow cooker and stir with the juices. Stir in the broccoli. Put the chicken back in the slow cooker and stir. Cook for 30 minutes, then serve.
7. Greek Yogurt Mac and Cheese
You don’t have to give up mac and cheese just because you are trying to lose some weight. By making some easy substitutions you can still enjoy your favorite comfort food without any guilt.
8 ounces elbow pasta
8 ounces shredded cheddar
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
2 cups fresh spinach
Salt and pepper
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
Cook the macaroni according to package directions. Put the spinach in a strainer and pour the macaroni over it. Drain, saving about a ½ cup of the pasta water. Put the pasta and spinach back in the pot. Add ¼ cup pasta water and the cheese and stir until melted. Add the salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder and stir to combine. Serve, using more pasta water if you need to.
Which one do you want to try first?