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21 Low-Calorie Meal Prep Ideas

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If you’re tracking your calories, meal prepping can be a savior to your diet! These low-calorie meal prep recipes are easy, nutritious, and super yummy.
low calorie meal preps

Is losing weight one of your goals this year? If so, you want to have low-calorie meals on speed dial.

Eating low-calorie meals helps you lose weight. And of course, look great in those skinny jeans.

But we all live pretty hectic lives. So it’s much easier to reach for convenience foods than cook from scratch every.single.day.

But convenience foods are often loaded with calories. And they’re not healthy to boot.

That’s where having your low-calorie meal prepping comes in handy. You cook once and have food for days.

So, you can skip the takeout and eat your healthy, low-calorie meals instead.

Today, I’m sharing 21 low calorie meal prep ideas. Not only will they make life more convenient, but they will also help you shed those unwanted pounds.

And to keep them tasting great, make sure you store them in good-quality glass food storage containers like these. They’re safe for you and good for the environment as well.

However, if you prefer lighter containers, these BPA-free plastic containers are a great option.

1. Mexican Meal Prep Bowls With Cauliflower Rice

Mexican Meal Prep Bowls With Cauliflower Rice

Credit: allnutritious.com

Do you love Mexican food but want to ditch the carbs? Try these Mexican Meal Prep Bowls.

They’re savory, sweet, and have a bit of heat. They’re also bursting with Mexican Flava.

That because you’re using a ton of spices; 8 to be exact. So, whip out those measuring spoons. I like these ones here because they’re rust-resistant.

To keep the carb count low, you’ll be using cauliflower rice to make your Mexican rice. Besides being low in carbs, cauliflower rice is also low in calories.

In fact, one cup of cauliflower rice contains less than 30 calories. It’s also pretty nutritious too.

It’s rich in Vitamin C, which is vital for a healthy immune system. It is also rich in fiber, which is good for your digestion and helps keep you full.

If you’re in a rush, you can just use prepackaged cauliflower rice like this. However, to save money, you can make it from scratch.

Start by cutting your cauliflower into pieces. Next, place your cauliflower pieces in a food processor and processor until rice-like. This food processor is not only powerful but budget-friendly too.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 406
  • Fats: 17g
  • Protein: 48g
  • Carbs: 17g
  • Fiber: 8g
  • Sugar: 6.2g

Recipe

2. Meal Prep Turkey Taco Bowls

Turkey Taco Bowls

Credit: skinnyfitalicious.com

Do you want some more Mexican eats? I’ve got you covered.

On the menu is taco seasoned ground turkey loaded with veggies like tomatoes, bell peppers, and onions and nestled beside a bed of crispy lettuce.

By using ground turkey instead of ground beef, you’re cutting down on the fat. And less fat equals fewer calories.

Besides being low in calories, ground turkey is good for you too. It contains B vitamins, which boost your mood.

It is also an excellent source of selenium, which is a potent antioxidant. So, eat up that ground turkey.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 143
  • Fats: 1.6g
  • Protein: 27g
  • Carbs: 4.8g
  • Fiber: 1.1g
  • Sugar: 1.7g

Recipe

3. Mediterranean Style Meal Prep Bowls

Mediterranean Style Meal Prep Bowls

Credit: mealpreponfleek.com

Craving some Mediterranean flavors? Try these Mediterranean Style Meal Prep Bowls.

There’s juicy, tender strip steak, fluffy quinoa, creamy feta cheese, salty olives, zucchini, and red bell peppers.

The acidity of the fresh lemon juice ties it all together. You’ll feel like you’re on a Greek island.

Now, you’ll need a grill to make these. However, if you don’t have one, you can simply use a grill pan like this. It works on all types of cooking surfaces and is oven-safe.

Best of all, these meal preep bowls take only 25 minutes to make. So, you can make them in a jiffy.

Now, this dish contains beef, which has a large carbon footprint. So, you may want to eat it just occasionally.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 374
  • Fats: 12g
  • Protein: 37g
  • Carbs: 30g
  • Fiber: 5.1g
  • Sugar: 0g

Recipe

4. Fresh Grilled Shrimp Meal Prep Bowls

Grilled Shrimp Meal Prep Bowls

Credit: fitfoodiefinds.com

I love shrimp, as I’m sure many of you do too. It’s so easy to prepare, and it’s good for you also.

Shrimp is packed with protein yet low in calories. It’s also a good source of B12, which you need for a healthy nervous system.

And it contains iron, which keeps your energy levels up.

These grilled shrimp meal prep bowls are as good as it gets. The shrimp is marinated to perfection before being grilled.

So, they’re juicy and extra flavorful. And the shrimp is accompanied by a yummy black bean corn salad and some rice.

After eating this dish, you’ll be so full. You definitely won’t want any sweets.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 362
  • Fats: 10g
  • Protein: 22g
  • Carbs: 54g
  • Fiber: 6g
  • Sugar: 5g

Recipe

5. Spicy Chickpea Quinoa Bowls

Spicy Chickpea Quinoa Bowls

Credit: eatyourselfskinny.com

A lot of us are adding more plant-based meals to our lives. And for a good reason- eating plant-based has its benefits.

Eating plant-based can improve your health. It can also help you lose weight too.

These chickpea bowls are spicy, warm, and filling. You definitely won’t miss the meat.

Besides being low in calories, these bowls are packed with fiber. In fact, one serving provides more than 40% of your daily fiber needs.

So not only are these bowls good for your tastebuds, they’re good for your digestion too.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 343
  • Fats: 5.9g
  • Protein: 12.4g
  • Carbs: 62.1g
  • Fiber: 10.2g
  • Sugar: 2.2g

Recipe

6. Sante Fe Low Carb Chicken Meal Prep

Sante Fe Low Carb Chicken

Credit: sweetpeasandsaffron.com

Want a chicken meal prep that will make your coworkers envious? Try this Santa Fe Low Carb Chicken.

On the menu are taco-seasoned chicken breasts smothered in ooey-gooey cheese and cilantro cauliflower rice that smells and tastes fantastic.

Your coworkers will think you got it from a fancy restaurant. But you didn’t.

But best of all, this dish is pretty nutritious. It’s rich in immune-boosting vitamins such as Vitamins A and C.

And it has a ton of potassium, which is essential for healthy blood pressure.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 303
  • Fats: 16g
  • Protein: 28g
  • Carbs: 11g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 5g

Recipe

7. Honey Sriracha Glazed Meatballs

Honey Sriracha Glazed Meatballs

Credit: eatyourselfskinny.com

When you’ve had a stressful day, all you want to do when you get home is pig out on some ice cream. It’s for days like that you want these meatballs on hand.

They’re sweet, savory, and super spicy…perfect if you like it spicy. And they’re really comforting.

That’s because these meatballs are made of turkey.

Best of all, these meatballs freeze really well. So, you can put some in the freezer and have them handy for those crazy days.

To make it a meal, serve these meatballs with some brown rice or cauliflower mash. Yum!

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 296
  • Fats: 10.8g
  • Protein: 26.9g
  • Carbs: 18.7g
  • Fiber: 1.4g
  • Sugar: 9g

Recipe

8. Easy Vegan Red Lentil Dal

Vegan Red Lentil Dal

Credit: simplyquinoa.com

Craving Indian takeout? Have some of this dal instead.

It’s creamy and super flavorful. And you can make it faster than takeout.

In fact, it takes only 15 minutes to make from scratch. Making it is quite easy.

Boil some water and add your lentils and coconut milk. Simmer for 10 minutes, then add your spices, and cook for 5 more minutes.

Serve with basmati rice or naan.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 358
  • Fats: 16g
  • Protein: 17g
  • Carbs: 39g
  • Fiber: 18g
  • Sugar: 1g

Recipe

9. Stir-Fried Pork Meal Prep With Ginger & Soy

Stir-Fried Pork Meal Prep

Credit: allnutritious.com

Chicken is great; however, sometimes you need a change. At times like that, pork is an excellent alternative.

Just be sure to use a lean cut of pork, such as pork tenderloin.

This stir-fry is saucy and delicious. The pork is crispy on the outside and tender on the inside-just the way it should be.

And it is packed with veggies. There are red, yellow, and green bell peppers, snow peas, and green beans.

So, there’s a lot of Asian influences.

Now the sodium content is on the higher side. That’s because of the dark soy sauce.

So, if you’re watching your sodium, you can use coconut aminos instead. Coconut aminos contain two-thirds less sodium than soy sauce.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 409
  • Fats: 19g
  • Protein: 32g
  • Carbs: 29g
  • Fiber: 6.8g
  • Sugar: 8g

Recipe

10. Easy Cobb Salad Meal Prep

Cobb Salad

Credit: allthehealthythings.com

Now time for some Cobb Salad. After all, who doesn’t love Cobb Salad?

This Cobb Salad is so addictive. That’s because it combines yummy foods like crispy bacon, hard-boiled eggs, creamy avocado, crisp lettuce, juicy tomatoes, and refreshing avocado.

Besides being rich in protein, this meal prep salad also contains heart-healthy fats. So, you can eat well and feel good.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 394
  • Fats: 27.1g
  • Protein: 29.6g
  • Carbs: 8.3g
  • Fiber: 4.6g
  • Sugar: 2.2g

Recipe

11. Buffalo Chicken Ranch Whole30 Meal Prep

Buffalo Chicken Ranch

Credit: 40aprons.com

Do you love your chicken spicy? Then you’re sure to enjoy this Buffalo Chicken Ranch Meal Prep.

It’s spicy, juicy, and creamy. And the chicken is so tender that you’ll think it was cooking for hours.

But it hasn’t. In fact, it takes only 20 minutes to cook.

That’s because you use an Instant Pot. Besides saving you time, Instant Pots save you money too.

That’s because Instant Pots are perfect for cooking tougher, more affordable cuts of meat. If you’re looking for an Instant Pot, you can get a good one at a great price here.

Check out more instant pot meal prep ideas here.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 287
  • Fats: 21g
  • Protein: 13g
  • Carbs: 13g
  • Fiber: 8g
  • Sugar: 3g

Recipe

12. Chickpea Salad

Chickpea Salad

Credit: chelseasmessyapron.com

Do you find eating your veggies to be a chore? This chickpea salad will have you excited eating them.

This chickpea salad is a rainbow of color and Mediterranean flavors. The cherry tomatoes and roasted red bell peppers’ sweetness is balanced by the kalamata olives’ saltiness.

And the fluffiness of the couscous is balanced by the crispiness of the roasted chickpeas. Who thought canned chickpeas could taste so good?

To make the roasted chickpeas, start by rinsing and draining your canned chickpeas. Next, toss them with olive oil and spices.

Finally, spread them on a baking sheet and bake for about 25 minutes, turning halfway.

This chickpea salad is excellent just the way it is. But if you like, you can top it with a bit of feta cheese.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 228
  • Fats: 13.5g
  • Protein: 4.2g
  • Carbs: 26.1g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Sugar: 13g

Recipe

13. Spicy Pineapple Chicken Meal Prep

Spicy Pineapple Chicken

Credit: allnutritious.com

Are you tired of your same old chicken dinner? Change things up with this Spicy Pineapple Chicken Meal Prep!

This chicken is juicy and full of flavor. The pineapple adds a pleasant sweetness.

This is balanced by the heat from the chili sauce and jalapeno peppers. Meanwhile, the soy sauce adds a nice umami flavor.

Best of all, this dish is a one-pan dish. So you can rest easy knowing that you won’t be stuck in the kitchen doing dish duty.

To make it complete, serve with some rice. Or, to make it even lighter, serve with some cauliflower rice.

Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 324
  • Fats: 10g
  • Protein: 31g
  • Carbs: 29g
  • Fiber: 1.8g
  • Sugar: 23g

Recipe

14. Pineapple BBQ Tofu Bowls

Pineapple BBQ Tofu Bowls

Credit: sweetpeasandsaffron.com

Summer is a great time to enjoy the weather and fire up the grill. But on a diet, you want something lighter than hot dogs and hamburgers.

However, you don’t want to feel like you’re missing out. You definitely won’t feel deprived with these Pineapple BBQ Tofu Bowls.

Tofu is slathered in barbecue sauce and grilled to perfection. This is accompanied by grilled pineapple, zucchini, red onions, and bell peppers.

But that’s not all; there’s quinoa as well. You will definitely feel full after this feast.

To make the barbecued tofu, you’ll want to press your tofu well before brushing it with oil and barbecue sauce.

You can do this by sandwiching your tofu in a kitchen towel and placing a heavy object on it. Or, you can simplify things by using a tofu press. This tofu press is BPA-free, so you can use it care-free.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 301
  • Fats: 7g
  • Protein: 12g
  • Carbs: 47g
  • Fiber: 6g
  • Sugar: 21g

Recipe

15. Spiralized Pad Thai Chicken Meal Prep Bowls

Pad Thai Chicken

Credit: thegirlonbloor.com

When it’s lunchtime, you just want to chow down on your food. Who wants to spend precious minutes waiting in line for the microwave?

That’s why I love these Pad Thai Chicken Bowls. They’re great hot or cold.

And they taste just like Thai takeout, but much healthier for you. That’s because they have way more veggies: veggies like zucchinis, carrots, and red cabbage.

To make it low calorie, you’ll be skipping the noodles and making zucchini noodles instead. So make sure you have a spiralizer. I recommend this one here because it’s quite strong; it can even spiralize sweet potatoes and beets!

For the protein, you’ll be using chicken breasts. However, if you want to make it vegan, you can use tofu instead and omit the fish sauce.

This is a great high protein lunch idea!

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 382
  • Fats: 19g
  • Protein: 30g
  • Carbs: 26g
  • Fiber: 6g
  • Sugar: 14g

Recipe

16. Crispy Sesame Tofu With Zucchini Noodles

Sesame Tofu With Zucchini Noodles

Credit: myfoodstory.com

Looking for some vegan eats? Give this Crispy Sesame Tofu a try.

The tofu is really crispy-perfect for popping in your mouth, and the zucchini noodles keep the dish nice and light.

But the kicker is the sesame peanut sauce. It’s perfect for dipping your tofu, but you’ll want to drink this sauce.

Besides being yummy, this dish is quite filling. That’s because the tofu provides plenty of plant-based protein.

It’s also quite nutritious. The tofu provides several bone-building minerals such as manganese, calcium, and phosphorus.

Meanwhile, the peanut sauce provides heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.

As an added bonus, this dish is great hot or cold.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 397
  • Fats: 31g
  • Protein: 18g
  • Carbs: 16g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 10g

Recipe

17. Fajita Bowls With Cauliflower Rice Meal Prep

Fajita Bowls With Cauliflower Rice

Credit: kirbiecravings.com

Craving some Tex Mex? It’s time for some Fajita Bowls!

These Fajita Bowls are packed with flavor. The beef is perfectly seasoned with a homemade fajita seasoning.

And the red, yellow, green, and orange bell peppers add natural sweetness and pops of color. The cauliflower rice keeps it light and fresh.

And this dish is pretty nutritious. Besides being low calorie, it’s also low carb.

So, it won’t leave you feeling sleepy.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 288
  • Fats: 11.1g
  • Protein: 28g
  • Carbs: 16g
  • Fiber: 6.1g
  • Sugar: 6.6g

Recipe

18. Peanut Chicken Meal Prep Bowls

Peanut Chicken Meal Prep Bowls

Credit: thegirlonbloor.com

Need more veggie-packed meal ideas? Try this Peanut Chicken Meal Prep Bowl.

It has a beautiful array of flavors and textures. The red cabbage, red peppers, carrots, and romaine lettuce add crispness and color.

This is complemented by the tender chicken breasts. And the peanut dressing ties it together beautifully.

It’s creamy, sweet, tangy, savory, and has a bit of heat from the dried ginger. It’s so yummy.

And with all those veggies, you can be sure these bowls are pretty nutritious.

They have a ton of Vitamins A and C, as well as potassium. These are important for healthy immunity and healthy blood pressures.

Best of all, these bowls take only 30 minutes to make. So, they’re ready in a jiffy.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 386
  • Fats: 24g
  • Protein: 30g
  • Carbs: 17g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Sugar: 8g

Recipe

19. Honey Garlic Shrimp Meal Prep

Honey Garlic Shrimp Meal Prep

Credit: asweetpeachef.com

After a good workout, you want to make sure you have a high protein meal. That’s because protein helps your muscles recover.

This honey garlic shrimp meal prep is precisely what the personal trainer ordered. It provides a whopping 29 grams of protein.

So your muscles will be sure to thank you. And so will your tastebuds.

The shrimp is covered in a honey garlic sauce. This makes it really flavorful.

The honey adds sweetness, while the red pepper flakes provide some heat. Meanwhile, the soy sauce adds a pleasant umami taste.

And the sugar snap peas are nice and crispy and complement the juicy shrimp nicely.

Besides containing a ton of protein, this dish is rich in iron too. Iron increases your athletic performance.

It makes you more alert and also regulates your body temperature. It is also good for your immune system too.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 345
  • Fats: 6g
  • Protein: 29g
  • Carbs: 27g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Sugar: 2g

Recipe

20. Greek Chicken Salad Bowls Meal Prep

Greek Chicken Salad Bowls

Credit: primaverakitchen.com

When it’s freezing outside, you start daydreaming of warmer climes; climes like Greece.

This Greek Chicken Salad Bowl is sure to tantalize your taste buds. Moist chicken breasts are tossed with sweet red bell peppers, red onions, refreshing cucumber, creamy feta cheese, and salty olives.

With a salad bowl like this, you may just forget the cold weather. Opa! This is a macro-friendly meal prep the fam will love.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 374
  • Fats: 24g
  • Protein: 30g
  • Carbs: 10g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 5g

Recipe

21. High Protein Spicy Chicken & Chickpeas Recipe

Spicy Chicken & Chickpeas

Credit: hh-hm.com

Sometimes Sunday night rolls around, and you’ve got nothing prepped. That’s when you want a meal prep idea that’s ready in 1, 2, 3.

This dish takes only 15 minutes to make. But even though it’s simple, it’s pretty delicious.

It’s spicy and savory. The addition of lemon juice and fresh herbs brightens up the dish.

And the chicken and chickpeas make it satisfying.

Best of all, this is a one-pan dish. So, you’ll be in and out of the kitchen in no time.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 273
  • Fats: 8g
  • Protein: 35g
  • Carbs: 14g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Sugar: 2g

Recipe

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