25 Dishes With 100 Calories or Less in Each Serving


View as:

calorie counting chart, green apple and tape measure
Photo credit: Mike Flippo/shutterstock

Burning more calories each day than you take in can be part of a weight loss or management routine, but deprivation can be unhealthy -- so it's good to enjoy low-cal food to the fullest. These 25 dishes made from cheap, healthy whole foods combine a variety of textures and flavors for exciting meals and snacks. As a bonus, smaller portions lower a food budget.

Fruit & Yogurt
Photo credit: Billion Photos/shutterstock

Sweet and satisfying, this nutrition-packed dish can be a go-to breakfast, snack, or dessert. It's so low in calories that the portion could be doubled without breaking 100.

Recipe: Good to Know

Zucchini Parmesan
Photo credit: Nataliya Arzamasova/shutterstock

By omitting breading and unnecessary ingredients, the core of this simple dish shines through with enough calories to spare for a bit of marinara for dunking.

Recipe: Spark Recipes

Mocha Ice Pop
Photo credit: Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

A super-low-calorie frozen treat combines ice cream and coffee. This can stand in for dessert or a midday pick-me-up to offset cravings -- and maybe even for breakfast.

Recipe: Eating Well

Nutella Blondie
Photo credit: MAHATHIR MOHD YASIN/shutterstock

Indulgently gooey and chocolatey, these dessert bars are worth every calorie. The lack of refined flour and the use of beans is what helps keep them nutritious, though it's impossible to guess by tasting them.

Recipe: Chocolate Covered Katie

Corn & Mango Salad
Photo credit: Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

A fresh salad combines sweet corn and mango into a flavorful explosion. Make it in the off-season with inexpensive thawed frozen corn and mango.

Recipe: Food Faith Fitness

Spinach & Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms
Photo credit: Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

Working protein into a dish for less than 100 calories is a feat, but mushrooms are one of the best options. This snack or light meal is stuffed with healthy and low-calorie spinach and tangy feta that is satisfying on many levels.

Recipe: Spark Recipes

Zucchini Ribbon Salad
Photo credit: apolonia/shutterstock

A tasty and beautiful salad that feels much more ample that its caloric load would suggest. Using a vegetable peeler to make pasta-like ribbons from zucchini adds texture and volume.

Recipe: Hungry Girl

Photo credit: etorres/shutterstock

This creamy dip comes in handy when watching calories but still need to participate in social gatherings -- 3 tablespoons of hummus is well below 100 calories. Stretching that with low-calorie celery and cucumber stalks makes it feel more plentiful.

Recipe: Woman's Day

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
Photo credit: Anna Hoychuk/shutterstock

A hearty salad offers a considerable amount of protein, thanks to the chickpeas. Simple and easy to prepare, it works well packed as a snack or midday meal.

Recipe: Prevention

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie
Photo credit: Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

A treat that can be indulged in guilt free -- it's a relatively nutritious cookie, and oat flour helps keep the glycemic index low, which is good for anyone with blood sugar issues.

Recipe: Oatmeal With a Fork

Cinnamon Oranges
Photo credit: Christian Jung/shutterstock

Using spices is a super cheap and low-calorie way to add instant flavor and dimension to simple ingredients. This can be a snack or light and refreshing dessert.

Recipe: Eating Well

Pickled Egg
Photo credit: Ginga85/shutterstock

Pickled eggs are flavorful and filling. Customize them by experimenting with different vinegars and adding fresh or dried chiles for a spicy kick.

Recipe: Fitness

Butternut & Red Pepper Soup
Photo credit: evgenyb/istockphoto

A warming and silky soup ideal for cold weather or when feeling under the weather. Inexpensive and low-calorie squash adds plenty of flavor.

Recipe: Weight Loss Resources

Celery, Onion & Orange Salad
Photo credit: Courtesy of Cheapism

A fresh salad that's tasty and pretty enough to serve at dinner parties and potlucks means being able to participate in social eating without having to worry about deviating from a diet. Substituting fennel and green beans can also work.

Recipe: Weight Loss Resources

Key Lime Pudding
Photo credit: margouillat photo/shutterstock

Calorie counting doesn't have to mean deprivation, as this tantalizing dessert recipe proves. Packed with intense flavors, a little goes a long way, so one serving will be enough to satisfy a sweet tooth.

Recipe: Ready Set Eat

Chicken Paillard
Photo credit: Chicken Paillard by Brenda Benoît Dudley (None)

A mini meal uses most of its calories for high-quality protein, which will help you feel full and satiated. Weighing the chicken cutlets will help keep portions uniform and within the calorie limit.

Recipe: Health.com

BLT Wonton Crunchies
Photo credit: Courtesy of flickr.com

These savory and crunchy bites are low calorie but not especially healthy. Replacing the wheat-based shells with crunchy lettuce reduces the caloric load even more, which means an extra couple of bites.

Recipe: Hungry Girl

Baked Apple
Photo credit: Tatiana Volgutova/shutterstock

A sweet treat that is like the best part of an apple pie, with none of the guilt. Super healthy and satisfying, it's an easy and crowd-pleasing recipe that could outlast the need to calorie count.

Recipe: WebMD

Chocolate Chip Cookie
Photo credit: Brenda Carson/shutterstock

Even people who count calories need a good chocolate chip cookie every once in a while. But make every calorie count and indulge in a single good cookie that will really satisfy.

Recipe: Eating Well

Egg Muffins
Photo credit: Elena Shashkina/shutterstock

Using muffin tins is a genius way to portion out what are essentially mini omelets. Keep some on hand for a quick and easy breakfast, lunch, or snack that is filling as well as filled with protein.

Recipe: Averie Cooks

Strawberry Smoothie
Photo credit: JeniFoto/shutterstock

Smoothies are the healthy cousins of milkshakes, and can be just as tasty. Using frozen strawberries keeps costs low and helps achieve a creamy texture.

Recipe: Cooking With Jax

Zoodle Soup
Photo credit: Chicken and Zoodle soup. by FitnessKelly (None)

Noodles in soup is a classic taste but nearly impossible to do under 100 calories. Luckily, spiralized zucchini noodles take on a similar texture for a satisfying stand-in at no extra cost.

Recipe: Reboot With Joe

Fried Cauliflower With Vegetables
Photo credit: Peredniankina/shutterstock

A twist on fried rice makes use of cauliflower, which is super low calorie and able to absorb flavors just like rice. Turn other rice dishes into calorie-conscious options by following the same principle.

Recipe: Women Daily

Photo credit: Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

A lot of popcorn can fit into a 100-calorie portion -- as much as 6 cups. This go-to snack is ideal for those who love to munch mindlessly and want to feel like they are eating a lot without packing on the pounds.

Banana Ice Cream
Photo credit: DUSAN ZIDAR/shutterstock

How this life hack has eluded generations of people will never be clear, but one thing is for sure: Turning ripe bananas into ultra creamy, satisfying ice cream is a must for calorie counters. This is especially handy when summertime cravings hit.

Recipe: One Ingredient Chef

Cheapism.com participates in affiliate marketing programs, which means we may earn a commission if you choose to purchase a product through a link on our site. This helps support our work and does not influence editorial content.