500 Calorie Meals: 26 Outstanding Recipes You Need to Make

Picture of Mohanned Alazzawi

Mohanned Alazzawi

Medical Doctor & Cofounder at CalorieAid

Creating a well-balanced, nutritious meal takes work. You want to get your necessary nutrients, but at the same time, you don’t want to compromise taste. I have been cooking healthy meals for 6 years, and overcoming food boredom is always challenging. However, I managed to cook a nutritious, calorie-fit diet somehow always. In this article, I will discuss the nutrition your body needs, how a healthy meal should be structured, and a list of 500 calorie meals to help you in the kitchen, so let’s begin.

Table of Contents

Are 500 Calorie Meals Suitable For Me?

Eating food with fewer calories than your daily needs is unhealthy, even if you’re trying to lose weight. The reason for this is that your body will lose muscle mass, and won’t perform bodily functions properly.

The amount of calories your body needs ranges from 1200-2500 kcal daily depending on your age, height, build, and physical activity. The macros your body needs come with a caloric price tag. To find out how much nutrition your body needs, see my other post about the rules for a healthy diet. If on the other hand, you’re trying to gain weight, then you’ll need more calories than your daily expenditure, and you might need more than 500 calories per meal depending on your mentioned body characteristics.

500 Calorie Meals Recipes

Without any further ado, here are some 500 calorie meals recipes that I curated for you to add to your kitchen repertoire.


Soups can be very filling and hydrate you well. Because most of the soup is water, they’re usually low on calories considering their size. Keep in mind that thin soups have more water than thick soups and probably fewer calories.

1. Spicy Miso Ramen

Ramen is the king of all soups. I have everything, a slice of your favorite protein, carbs in the form of noodles, rich umami taste, and intense flavor. You can always make ahead the broth and enjoy it whenever you feel like it.

2. Avgolemono Greek Lemon Chicken Soup

Another great soup that will make you feel warm inside is the Greek avgolemono soup. It has chicken breast, pasta, eggs and lemon. It is a true comfort food with an added lemony flavor.

3. Winter Minestrone

If you’re craving a soup with Italian flavor, then minestrone is the right choice for you. It is easy to make and you can put anything in it, so it is really hard to mess up a minestrone. A great option if you’re looking for a filling, healthy, and hearty soup.

Minestrone Soup

4. Moroccan Harira

A pretty solid option for fibers in your diet, Harira is a spicy, warm lentil and chickpeas Moroccan soup that can up your nutritional game. Harira is high in protein because it has beef or lamb as an ingredient in addition to the protein that you will get from the legumes.

Morrocan Harira

5. Bouillabaisse (Classic French Fish Soup)

This classic French soup contains the amazing taste of the sea and is served with toast and a special sauce. Perfect for a special occasion, it always delivers successfully due to its stunning presentation.

Bouillabaisse (Classic French Fish Soup)


If you can chop with a knife, you can make a salad. They’re incredibly easy and quick to make, don’t need cooking most of the time, and are perfect for picky eaters for two reasons: they’re highly customizable, and they can take out of the salad what they don’t like if they want to eat it. Meal prep is done anytime and can be made ahead and perfect lunch on the go in sealable plastic containers.

1. Steak Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing

Definitely not a conventional salad, this recipe perfectly stands out. An assortment of healthy, vibrant veggies topped with pan-seared flank steak and covered in a blue cheese dressing. It is surprisingly an easy and quick recipe that gets you a high protein lunch fix in no time.


2. Traditional Salad Nicoise

This authentic French recipe contains two types of proteins (tuna and eggs), potatoes, tomatoes, olives, and lots of green. That’s why this is a very filling recipe. Another quick and easy healthy recipe to make at home.

3. Thai Chopped Chicken Salad with Peanut Vinegarette

Ready in 20 minutes, this crunchy, high protein salad will stimulate your taste buds with its Asian flavors. This salad consists of roasted chicken with mixed veggies and topped with peanuts and a vinaigrette made of Thai peanut sauce and zesty lime juice.

Thai Chopped Chicken Salad with Peanut Vinaigrette

4. Caesar Salad

Who doesn’t like this classic? A grilled chicken breast covered with classic Caesar dressing and maybe some parmesan cheese, this high protein salad never fails to impress.

Caesar Salad with Grilled Caesar Chicken

5. German Potato Salad

A Perfect side dish for your steak or just fine as it is, this salad is an amazing option when you’re thinking of potatoes. A very easy and quick recipe that is also cheap and can be made on a budget.

German Potato Salad

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Roasts or Baked

Although they might take time, baked or roasted recipes have minimal preparation most of the time. Make ahead these slow-cooked recipes and relax or watch TV while they take their time in the oven. These 500 calorie meals can be the protein source for your diet and unlike frying, they need a small amount of fat.

1. Garlic Herb Butter Roast Chicken

Having a roasted whole chicken recipe in your repertoire is a must, especially if you have a large family. This is a recipe for a garlicky, buttery moist whole roast chicken that will help you on many occasions, and look stunning at the center of the table.

2. Classic Pot Roast

A slow-cooked pot roast with beef and veggies is perfect when you want to make ahead your lunch. It goes perfectly with rice, salad, or just on its own. A truly ultimate comfort dish.

3. Simple Ground Beef Casserole

Baked cheesy pasta casserole always has a special place in my heart, so I figured out that there’s no way I can make this list without adding one. They usually take time to prepare but they are worth the wait.

Simple Ground Beef Casserole

4. Mediterranean-Style Roasted Leg Of Lamb

This a breathtaking recipe that is suitable for special occasions. You’re guaranteed to impress your guest when you carve that juicy leg of lamb in front of everyone to start dinner service. Slow-cooked to perfection, a leg of lamb can make everyone talk about your culinary skills for days.

Mediterranean-Style Roasted Leg Of Lamb

5. Potato Gratin Dauphinois

Potato gratin is the most classical French potato side dish and can be perfectly served next to your roast chicken. You already pre-heated the oven, so why not finish everything in one go?

6. Southern Style Meatloaf

Here’s a recipe for a juicy, glazed meatloaf if you need a recipe that uses ground beef. What can be better than a meatloaf served next to two sides of mashed potatoes and a low-calorie healthy green Salad?



Most Grilled recipes are high in protein because you’re usually grilling one. Just like roasted recipes, they are really healthy because you are adding a minimal amount of fat. You don’t have to fire up the grill every time, just get a grill pan and do your cooking inside.

1. Beef Kofta Kebabs with Tzatziki

If you’re looking for a recipe to grill ground beef, then look no further. These amazing koftas combined with fresh, cool tzatziki sauce will make you addicted, and they’re easy to make. Only 30 minutes.

Beef Kofta Kebabs with Tzatziki

2. Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken

Grilling chicken is one of the stables of grilling, and I am here to give you a recipe for it. These are zesty, sweet, and savory flavorful chicken thighs that have an added smoky flavor. It is also quick and easy to prepare and can be served in many ways.

3. Grilled Salmon Steak Medallions

Moving on to grilling fish, what better fish to grill than salmon? Here’s a recipe for it, with an amazing teriyaki flavor. One bonus to this recipe is that salmon medallions are boneless and easy to eat.

Grilled Salmon Steak Medallions

4. Brazilian Grilled Flank Steak

Having your steak with a smokey flavor is guaranteed to satisfy you always, and it can work with many other sauces. Here’s a recipe for a grilled flank steak paired with grilled pineapples, peaches, and an added Brazilian twist.

Brazilian Grilled Flank Steak

5. Chimichurri Chicken Recipe

Enter the magic sauce, chimichurri. It can pair well with everything and every cooking method. When paired with grilling, its freshness counters the depth of smokiness that comes from the grill. Here’s how to pair it with grilled chicken breasts.

Chimichurri Chicken Recipe


If you’re looking for lunch on the go, make ahead, and simple and quick meals then sandwiches are the best option for you. Most of these are ready within minutes, and the ones that take a long time are really flavorful.

1. Southwest Turkey Burgers with Guacamole

Ground Turkey and Avocado? These are simple ingredients that will result in a juicy burger that will tickle your taste buds, and they’re healthy too. The added kick from the Jalapeno is the final addition that gives its unique flavor.

Southwest Turkey Burgers With Guacamole

2. Chicken Parmesan Sandwich

Juicy, crispy chicken breasts with rich tomato sauce milky mozzarella cheese, and basil pesto mayo. A great sandwich that can be prepared ahead and taken on the go.

3. Dr. Pepper Sloppy Joes

Ground beef sandwich with a spicy and sweet Dr. Pepper BBQ sauce, ready in only 30 minutes and perfect for lunch and dinner. Being easy and quick to make, this sandwich can easily be put on your repertoire to save you when you’re short on time.

4. Caribbean Pork Burger

A mouth-watering juicy burger with bold jerk seasoning and thick slices of grilled pineapples. A great sandwich to consider if you’re thinking of burgers.


5. Chicken Shwarma Sandwich

A classic shawarma sandwich has to be featured here, an amazing source of protein and an interesting flavor profile. Here’s a spicy chicken shawarma recipe wrapped in flatbread and rich tahini sauce.

Help me grow this 500 Calorie Meals list!

We reached the end of this post. I hope you like my list of 500 calorie meals recipes. If you have a recipe on your blog that you would like to share, please contact me. If you want me to find you a recipe for a dish that you like and contains only 500 calories, let me know below in the comments!

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