Recipes & Cooking
The 15 Best Weight-Loss Recipes You Can Make in 30 Minutes or Less
Who doesn’t want a slimmer waist, flatter tummy, and a jiggle-free rear? Vegan, vegetarian, omnivore—there’s a great weight-loss recipe for every type of eater here.
Thai steak salad
Steak lovers rejoiced in 2015 when research in the International Journal of Obesity proclaimed the high-protein diet was the winner of weight-loss diets. The conclusion: Increasing your protein, dropping your carbs slightly, and focusing on getting higher quality carbohydrates like whole grains and produce helps you lose weight and keep it off. Thats’ where this fresh-tasting weight-loss recipe for Thai steak salad by celebrity Food Network chef Ellie Krieger comes in. It’s brightly flavored with lime juice, ginger, basil, and cilantro, and once the meat is marinated, it comes together in just half an hour. Learn 12 more diet secrets of people who maintained their weight loss.
Red beans and coconut rice
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Forget complicated, expensive diet plans (which don’t work anyway) and just focus on fiber, suggests a recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The findings indicate that making just one dietary change—setting a goal of eating 30 grams of fiber each day—can help you lose weight, lower your blood pressure, and improve your body’s response to insulin. As a shortcut, make a meal of rice and beans, which provides a bowlful of plant-based protein (20 to 25 grams) and fiber (about 15 grams). Beans and rice don’t have to be boring! Make this simply delicious 30-minute island-inspired coconut rice and beans recipe from epicurious.com, using light coconut milk. Don’t miss these other 10 high-fiber recipes that help you lose weight.
Green tea smoothie
You know green tea is good for you because of all its antioxidants, but the combo of caffeine and the free radical-fighting catechin EGCG in green tea has been found to help people lose weight and keep it off, according to a meta-analysis of 11 studies in the International Journal of Obesity. If you’re looking for a cool alternative, try this creamy low-carb green tea smoothie made with matcha.
Red lentil soup
Eating soup is one of the simplest, pain-free ways to drop a size and shed belly fat. In this study from Pennsylvania State University, participants who ate soup before consuming a lunch entrée ended up downing 20 percent fewer calories overall than people who skipped soup. Adding vegetables and protein to your soup also helps keep you fuller longer, so you’ll be less hungry later on. This weight-loss recipe for red lentil soup has a whopping 13 grams of protein per cup and is ready in 25 minutes. Sauté a teaspoon or two of fresh, grated ginger with the onion and add a pinch of cayenne for an extra flavor boost. Add the 16 best protein diet foods for weight loss to your grocery list.
Dzunk it, dzrizzle it, szlather it—no matter what you do with Greek tzatziki, it tastes wonderful. Hard to believe this special sauce is made of just Greek yogurt, cucumbers, garlic, and seasonings—it can transform grilled fish and meat, simple crudités, or a veggie- and lentil-filled pita into an amazing meal. We love this tzatziki recipe with lemon zest and dill from foodnetwork.com. Yogurt can be a key ingredient to any successful diet, as it helps you drop pounds and trim your waistline. Most experts point to the yogurt’s generous amount of protein (about 18 grams per serving) for helping you feel full and satisfied, but the active cultures also could help shed body fat by correcting your gut bacteria. Find out how to pick the best probiotics for weight loss.
Farmers market quinoa salad
How do I love thee, quinoa? Let me count the ways: One, you have almost twice the protein of brown rice; two, your chewy texture and nutty flavor make everything else in the bowl taste better; and three, all that protein and fiber, along with healthy fats and a small dose of carbs, keep my blood sugar steady. Better yet, you cook faster than a pot of rice—quinoa is ready in about 15 minutes. For a quick weight-loss recipe, throw together this farmers market quinoa salad.
Super seedy granola bars
The itsy-bitsy super seeds chia and flax are tiny nutritional powerhouses. They have omega-3 (particularly alpha-linolenic acid) and omega-6 fatty acids, protein, fiber, flavonoids, a host of vitamins and minerals—not to mention great flavor and crunch. In research, the seeds increase a sense of fullness while reducing appetite. And what better way to enjoy them than combined with dates, sunflower and hemp seeds, and nuts for the ultimate homemade granola bar? Check out these easy super seedy granola bars from minimalistbaker.com. Don’t miss these other 50 ways to lose weight without a lick of exercise.
Fried cauliflower rice
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Researchers have found that boosting your intake of clean, fiber-rich veggies is one of the smartest ways to slim and trim your body. A simple way to accomplish this is to make an easy Chinese stir-fried vegetable rice using prepared (or homemade) cauliflower rice as the base. We’re crazy about this flexible-ingredient 15-minute fried cauliflower rice recipe from pinchofyum.com, which has eggs and tofu for protein. Follow the weight-loss recipe verbatim, or add seasonal vegetables and herbs you already have in the crisper. Find out the 15 ingredients doctors always add to their meals.
Yogurt-marinated chicken kebabs
Pure protein marinated in a spicy yogurt sauce to keep it tender and juicy is what weight-loss dreams are made of. Skewering lean chicken or steak tenders is a great way to prepare healthy food fast. This recipe for spicy chicken kebabs from cookbook author Steven Raichland calls for an overnight marinade, but your hands-on time is only about 15 minutes. If you don’t have a grill, you can broil them in your oven. With mouthwatering weight-loss recipes like this, you’ll forget you’re on a diet. Learn 19 tips a weight-loss coach won’t tell you for free.
One thing French women know is how to make the perfect diet plate. Take Nicoise salad: a couple of cans of tuna (in olive oil is best), hard-cooked egg, steamed green beans, tomatoes, and olives, dressed with vinaigrette. It’s heaven on a plate that just happens to be loaded with protein, fiber, and healthy fats. To serve the salad chilled, prep it early or the day before. Martha Stewart makes a mean Nicoise salad you’ll want to make again and again. Note: Your best choice for seafood is chunk light tuna, which comes from the smaller skipjack or yellowfin and has less mercury than canned white albacore tuna.
No-bake vegan chocolate tart
Chocolate lovers, let go of your guilt: Unsweetened cocoa powder has about two grams of fiber per tablespoon, plus iron, manganese, magnesium, and zinc. Cocoa also has high flavonoid content, so it lowers your risk of diabetes and heart disease. If you’re craving chocolate, go ahead and add some cocoa powder to your protein shake. Or if a little just won’t do, try this deep, dark raw vegan chocolate tart from food52.com whipped up with cocoa, avocados, and coconut oil. Learn 12 little weight-loss tricks only nutritionists know.
Cauliflower and kale frittata
This low-cal cauliflower and kale frittata recipe takes just 20 minutes to make and packs a one-two punch of protein and fiber that will keep you satisfied and energized all day. Inspired by a traditional Spanish tortilla (typically studded with starchy potatoes), this healthier frittata has less than 300 calories for a large wedge by swapping in low-carb cauliflower. Serve it with a crisp arugula and radish salad dressed with extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice.
Ready-to-eat berry parfaits
Healthy food that’s quick and convenient means you’re more likely to eat it and stay on a sensible diet plan (as opposed to diving into the box of donuts in the breakroom). You can’t beat the idea of packing superfoods like berries in jars for nutrient-rich snacks and lunches that you can grab and go with. Layer sliced berries with thick Greek yogurt and maple syrup (or your preferred natural sweetener) in a Mason jar. Here are 12 more weight-loss recipes you can eat for breakfast.
Savory vegetable smoothie
Who says all smoothies have to be sweet? Make a savory one and keep it filling by adding power nutrients and fiber. This this vegan smoothie from healthyblenderrecipes.com is packed with vegetables, coconut water, olive oil, and sea salt (you can substitute kosher salt). Non-vegans can pump up the protein with ancientnutrition.com’s Bone Broth Protein Greens, which is rich in collagen, gelatin, glucosamine, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid to support healthy skin, nails, and joints. Whip up these other 16 healthy weight-loss recipes that aren’t salad.