Carbs are delicious. But if you’re trying to limit them, you may want to do it at dinner.
Carbs are meant to fuel your body, registered dietitian Erica Giovinazzo tells BuzzFeed Health. But because most people sit around after dinner, there usually isn’t much to fuel for, which means those unused carbs will be stored as fat.
So if your goal is to cut down on body fat, it would help to focus on eating more protein and fat at dinner, which take longer to digest than carbs and will keep you fuller longer, Giovinazzo explains.
Here are some easy dinner options all under 500 calories, with less than 25 grams of carbs per serving.
Plus, they look delicious. Dig in!
1. Pesto Zoodles With Chicken
Swap pasta for zucchini noodles for a lighter, greener dinner. Get the recipe here.
2. Mushroom and Spinach Cauliflower Pilau
This vegetarian medley is as nutritious as it looks. Get the recipe here.
3. Green Chile Chicken Enchilada–Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
No tortillas, no problem. Mix your chicken enchilada fillings with the spaghetti squash strands and then bake with extra cheese. You won’t even notice you’re eating vegetables. Get the recipe here.
4. Ginger Peanut Lettuce Wraps
These lettuce wraps are light, refreshing, and taste amazing dipped in the ginger peanut sauce. Get the recipe here.
5. Beef Burgers With Jerk Onions & Cucumber Avocado Salad
Looks complicated, but only takes about 30 minutes. Get the recipe here.
6. Zucchini Pizza Casserole
All the pizza taste without all the carbs, and it packs 26 grams of protein per serving. Get the recipe here.
7. Spiralized Zucchini Casserole With Red Peppers, Spinach, and Artichokes
Good for dinner, but also great for breakfast. Get the recipe.
8. Sriracha Almond-Crusted Pork Chops With Spicy Honey Mustard Sauce
Sriracha. Almond. Crusted. Pork chops. PEOPLE. Get the recipe here.
9. Hamburger Soup
After a long day, a warm bowl of this hearty, protein-packed soup will hit the spot. Get the recipe here.
10. Sesame Beef Strips and Stir-Fry Vegetables
It’s a flavorful, easy stir-fry that’s perfect for busy weeknights. Get the recipe here.
11. Corona Steamed Mussels with Corn and Chorizo
Mussels sounds fancy and like a whole ordeal to make, but you can actually whip up a batch of these in just 10 minutes. Get the recipe here.
12. Cauliflower Fried Rice
OK it’s not actually rice, but this garlicky goodness will satisfy your sweet and salty fix. Get the recipe here.
13. Sesame Salmon and Cucumber Salad
This easy recipe is made up entirely of whole foods and takes less than 15 minutes to make. Get the recipe here.
14. Spicy Shrimp and Cabbage Stir-Fry
Instead of ordering takeout, toss together some shrimp, cabbage, soy sauce, Sriracha, seasame oil, and a few additional fixings to get this delicious stir-fry. Get the recipe here.
15. Mexican Chipotle Beef–Stuffed Peppers
You won’t even miss the tortillas. Get the recipe here.
16. One-Pot Turkey Taco Skillet
A great alternative for ~Taco Tuesdays~. Get the recipe here.
17. Crab-Stuffed Whitefish
If you’re looking to switch it up, try serving this buttery stuffed-fish recipe with a side of steamed broccoli. Get the recipe here.
18. Cheesy Spaghetti Squash Boats With Chicken & Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce
Delicious sautéed chicken mixed with a roasted red pepper cream sauce and then baked in a spaghetti squash bowl and covered in melted cheese. What more could you want? Get the recipe here.
19. One-Pot Steamed Garlic and Herb Scallops With Veggies
OK, so this is a splurge meal, but it will be damn delicious. Get the recipe here.
20. Skillet Sausage and Shrimp
All hail one-skillet meals. Get the recipe here.
21. Mozzarella Chicken in Tomato Sauce
No noodles, no problem. Get the recipe here.
22. Mexican Tuna Salad With Avocado
Take a break from your usual avo toasts by making this tuna salad combo. Get the recipe here.