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15 Best Lean Meal Recipes

Have you ever wanted to eat lean meals before but instantly thought, “It’s not going to taste great”? Naturally, we associate cutting carbs and clean eating recipes with a lack of flavor, not enough food, among other common misconceptions.

Lean Meal Recipes

But with this list of the best 15 lean meal recipes, all those worries go right out the window.

Clean food recipes sometimes do require a lot of prep and time but with a lot of these recipes, you will notice how easy they are.

The best part? Most of them give you leftovers to share or to keep for a few days.

Let’s dive in! into the 15 best lean meal recipes!

1. Chicken Enchilada Rollups

When Taco Tuesday comes around most of us end up adding the calories with lots of queso, salty margaritas, and more! But what if you could celebrate Taco Tuesday without all the fat and carbs?

Chicken Enchilada Rollups is the perfect way to do that and feed your friends and family! This four-serving dish offers a ton of flavor with spices such as garlic powder, oregano, and cumin.

You can always use regular garlic and chop it up finely if you don’t have powder on hand. Add it with the red and green sauce and you have all the tasty flavor without the carbs!

2. Bacon Cheeseburger Bites

Sinking your teeth into a juicy burger always hits the spot. Never felt like you could really indulge without feeling guilty? Not anymore because these bite-size burger bites give you all the yums without the yucks.

Easy to make and affordable all you need is 30 minutes and a few ingredients. The best part is you can pop them in and out of the oven and into your mouth.

The recipe makes 24 lean protein burger bites with tomato, cheese, pickles, and all your favorites! Or dress it up grilled onions or avocado substitutes!

This is the perfect recipe for a healthy party app as well

3. Pesto Chicken Tortellini and Veggies

Pasta lovers rejoice! Who doesn’t love a good one-pan recipe?

This dish is an easy-Mediterranean-inspired dish with our favorite veggies like cherry tomatoes and asparagus. The basil not only marinates the juicy chicken but pairs well with the pesto tortellini.

The best part of this meal is it hits all the sections of a balanced meal with just enough carbs to keep us full and colorful veggies to provide all of our needed vitamins.

If you don’t like tortellini, ravioli is a good option just check its filling so it remains on our list of lean recipes.

Throw all the ingredients in together to take advantage of this quick-prep meal.

4. Skinny Chicken and Roasted Potato Bowl

Eating clean makes us feel clean which is why this makes the list of lean dinner ideas. Don’t let the three staples of potatoes, broccoli, and chicken fool you. It’s still packed with flavor thanks to the paprika and chili powder.

The no-sugar barbecue sauce is what really makes this meal a lean option but if you don’t have the barbecue sauce don’t fret. You can also use a Terryiaki!

Looking to make it even skinner? Try more broccoli instead of potatoes.

5. Meaty Taco Dip

Incorporating healthy fat into our healthy lean meals can be the success for a good meal that tastes good and feels good. This ultimate party dish has all our favorites from a tasty dipping sauce to packed veggies.

With softened cream cheese, plain Greek yogurt, and taco seasoning, you have the ultimate creamy topping to your lean meat, cheese, and chili combo.

The key is to keep the spice with fresh jalapenos, peppers, and taco seasoning. But if you’d rather not light the roof on fire substitute a mild pico in it’s the place!

6. Grilled Lemon-Herb Meditteranean Chicken Salad

Looking for the perfect lunch salad?

Look no further because this light yet delicious salad is something we could eat seven days a week. And because the marinade and salad dressing are one in the same, it’s a quick 25-minute meal.

Lemon flavored zest is what makes this recipe rock but if you are looking for a change-up from the chicken every once in a while, steak tips do great as well!

This is the absolute perfect protein-packed salad that is a go-to any day of the week.

7. Lemon Pepper Salmon and Parmesan Asparagus

Fish has so many health benefits and when it comes to a lemon pepper salmon we can’t resist. Especially when it’s a one-pan dish that tingles our taste buds.

The trick is making sure to place the salmon in the center of the pan so it not only bakes the perfect amount but also really absorbs lemon, garlic, and dijon.

Parmesan really compliments both the Salmon and vegetables but for anyone looking for a change-up, Pecorino Romano is a great sub. It’s salty and acidic while working great for the recipe.

8. Garlic Butter Turkey Meatballs with Lemon Zucchini Noodles

Garlic and butter have always been a fan favorite combination. That’s why this flavor completely solves the lack of flavor lean turkey has! You get the flavor without the fat or regular meatballs.

Zucchini pasta is the perfect way to also cheat the system by having that pasta-like consistency without all the carbs.

Not a fan of zucchini? No problem yellow squash also makes a great noodle for this recipe.

The secret sauce for the noodles to compliment the entire dish is surprisingly a little bit of hot sauce. Trust us!

9. Vegan Cauliflower Tacos

Vegan recipes are hard to come by sometimes. But this cauliflower taco combo makes our mouths water! Why? Because they are a buffalo garlic sauce with a crispy coating that makes us feel like we’re eating buffalo bites.

What tops this recipe off is the vegan yogurt garlic sauce. If you aren’t into coconut yogurt you’ll need something a little sweet for a substitute. Cashew yogurt works.

Tip: the more you coat the buffalo cauliflower in panko breadcrumbs the crispier they will be adding more crunch to your tacos and dishes.

10. Spring Quinoa Salad With Honey Lemon Vinaigrette

Lemon is in season all year long with these recipes. This is a great dish for lunch or a side salad accompanied with dinner. It’s also a fantastic choice for those who are gluten-free!

This is a different kind of recipe as you’ll notice there are no leaves! Snow peas and quinoa are the bases for this with a secret ingredient of crushed almonds!

If you’d rather not use almost walnuts will make a great option! This is because it goes great with honey dressing.

11. Spring Detox Cauliflower Salad

Cauliflower is making a comeback and where it concerns this salad it’s a real winner. Do we have any crunch lovers in the house?

Then this salad is for you. This ultimate plant-based salad packs a serious punch in the health and protein category. From apples to raw cauliflower you get a lot of bites.

But you also get a lot of tangy flavor from dressing that mixes sweet and sour with honey and lime. If you are not a lime person try lemon!

Of course, providing the ultimate ingredient avocados for healthy fat.

12. Grilled Rosemary Chicken Salad

Salad 100 different ways is a great way to keep it interesting which is why the Grilled Rosemary Chicken Salad is a big health hit.

Savory rosemary chicken breast is the real winner of this dish but doesn’t overlook the avocado, grape tomatoes, and eggs, adding not only flavor but protein and healthy fats.

While this salad is built on a bed of romaine, kale is a great way to up the nutritional gains. Adding sliced almonds is also a great way to bring in more crunch.

13. Baked Ranch Chicken Tenders and Veggies

How could we ever give up chicken tenders? Well, with this recipe you can have much more of what you love when you love! These crispy tenders hit the spot.

You get the protein from this meal while also cutting down on fat by replacing fries with veggies. The best part of this recipe is the ranch dressing that gets mixed with the cornflakes before dipping.

If you’d like to sub out the potatoes for something else, zucchini and yellow squash are a great combination!

14. Buffalo Chicken Cauli Pizza

Never thought you’d see pizza on this list huh? Well, it’s here baby and it’s one of the best recipes.

With cauliflower crust, you are cutting out some of the unhealthy dough which means there is room for blue cheese crumbles and mozz. This pairs unbelievably well with the buffalo sauce-dipped chicken slices.

If you want to sub out the mozzarella for another cheese that tastes great is Gouda or Havarti.

Ironically for such a small ingredient, the scallions topping it off makes it all come together!

15. Easy Rainbow Chicken Salad

You can really taste the rainbow here and no we aren’t talking about skittles. We are talking about color and delicious rainbow chicken salad.

Despite being a salad this has a lot of fiber to keep you full during the day. The reason for this? Low-fat cottage cheese and non-fat Greek Yogurt.

Pair these two with tri-color bell peppers, celery, grape tomatoes, and more and you have the full rainbow!

If you don’t love the idea of cottage cheese you can always use a non-fat sour cream or a light sour cream but this does add a little more flavor.

Lean Meal Recipes

15 Best Lean Meal Recipes

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans
  • 1 (15 oz) can kidney beans
  • 1 (15 oz) can of cannellini beans
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 (10 oz) package frozen corn kernels
  • 1 red onion
  • ½ c olive oil
  • 2 tbsps fresh lime juice
  • ½ c red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsps white sugar
  • 1 tbsps lemon juice
  • ½ tbsps ground cumin
  • 1 tbsps salt
  • ¼ c chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 clove crushed garlic
  • ½ tbsps ground black pepper
  • 1 dash of hot pepper sauce
  • ½ tsp chili powder

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl combine the drained beans, chopped bell peppers, thawed corn, and diced red onion. Mix with a spoon to spread the ingredients evenly.
  2. In a separate smaller bowl combine olive oil, red wine vinegar, line juice, lemon juice, sugar, salt, garlic, cilantro, cumin, and black pepper. Whisk thoroughly to all ingredients that are mixed well.
  3. In the small bowl add hot sauce and chili powder to season. Whisk thoroughly till all is combined.
  4. Pour the wet mixture over the vegetable mix and combine well. Once combined put in the refrigerator to chill for 20 minutes and serve cold!

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