How to Turn a Bag of Frozen Veggies Into 6 Dinners Under 500 Calories

Get closer to meeting your essential nutrient needs every day with these veggie-packed dinner recipes.
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Making dinner each night can seem daunting: It involves coming up with an idea (hopefully one the majority favors) and then trying to make it balanced and healthy.


Does it have enough fiber, servings of vegetables, protein — and actually tastes good? And none of this includes the actual shopping, cooking or clean-up.

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Save yourself the headache by relying on a bag of frozen vegetables.

Wait, hear us out. We're not talking about the frozen veg you might have grown up on that was seasoned with a little salt and pepper and nuked in the micorwave.

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These six healthy dinners all start with at least one bag (in some cases, two bags) of frozen vegetables and they come together with whole grains, fresh vegetables and/or lean proteins to create a balanced meal.


Trust us, you'll want to add these veggie-packed dinners to your weekly meal rotation time and time again.

1. Pot Pie Soup

This recipe combines two ultimate comfort foods — pot pies and soup.

Frozen veggies you'll need:


  • Frozen corn
  • Frozen peas

Think of this as a healthier spin on one of the ultimate comfort foods, deconstructed into a warming bowl of soup. Genius!

It's also vegan, if that's your thing. And if not, it's still delicious.

Need more convincing? Eating soup may help you with your weight loss goals, depending on the ingredients of course. (Sorry broccoli cheese soup lovers!)



An April 2014 paper in the British Journal of Nutrition compared people who ate soup to those who didn't. The study found that regular soup sippers eat fewer calories per day on average and have smaller waistlines.

This wasn't a clinical trial so it doesn't show cause and effect, but rather an association.

But the findings are in line with an older clinical trial from April 2007 study in Appetite, which found that eating soup before a meal can help you eat less overall but still feel just as satisfied.


Get the Pot Pie Soup recipe and nutrition info here.

2. Supper Veggie Fried Rice

Try this tasty verions of fried rice with fewer calories, carbs and sodium.

Frozen veggies you'll need:


  • Frozen peas
  • Frozen carrots

Did you know the takeout veggie fried rice side dish you're used to looks more like an entire meal when you read the nutrition facts?

For example, a side of fried rice from Panda Express clocks in at over 500 calories and with 85 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber and 11 grams of protein. Plus, it's high in sodium.


This Supper Veggie Fried Rice isn't just super easy to make, it's much healthier too. With less than 300 calories, almost half the carbs and seven times the fiber per serving, your body will thank you.

Plus, you'll get whole grains and four different vegetables. This recipe is a little light on the protein so feel free to add edamame or cubed tofu to the dish.


Get the Supper Veggie Fried Rice recipe and nutrition info here.

3. Veggie-Packed Meatloaf

This meatloaf features four different vegetables.
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Frozen veggies you'll need:

  • Frozen spinach

Whether you have picky eaters at home or if you're just trying to eat more veggies yourself, this Veggie-Packed Meatloaf is the answer.

It secretly features frozen spinach, red bell pepper, onion and an entire zucchini.

We could all show vegetables a little more love. Only about one out of 10 Americans eats enough on a daily basis, according to a November 2017 report by the Centers for Disease Control.

This may be why our fiber intake is also so low. (We only eat about 16 grams a day, per USDA data, when we should be aiming for 25 to 38 grams.)

Vegetables are an excellent source of fiber, along with vitamins, minerals and other phytonutrients.

Get the Veggie-Packed Meatloaf recipe and nutrition info here.

4. Vietnamese Edamame Pho With Egg and Basil

Making pho just got a whole lot easier with frozen edamame.
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Frozen veggies you'll need:


  • Frozen edamame

This dish features frozen shelled edamame, aka immature soybeans, a unique vegetable thanks in part to its high protein content.

Most vegetables are full of phytonutrients and fiber but are typically not high in protein. This is not the case for edamame.

A cup of cooked edamame has less than 200 calories but provides 19 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber.

Edamame is also an excellent source of vitamin K (34 percent Daily Value), magnesium (24 percent DV) and iron (20 percent DV). Iron is an important mineral for plant-based eaters to make sure they're getting enough of on a daily basis.

Get the Vietnamese Edamame Pho With Egg and Basil recipe and nutrition info here.

5. Zucchini Noodles With Spinach Pesto and Peas

Get your greens with peas, zucchini and spinach in this delish recipe.
Image Credit: Sarah Pflugradt/ Livestrong

Frozen veggies you'll need:

  • Frozen peas

This dish is the epitome of "eat your greens." Frozen peas, zucchini and spinach are the main components of this recipe, along with walnuts and olive oil.

It's important to eat a variety of colorful fruit and vegetables but green veggies are especially important because they're loaded with vitamins A and C, folate, potassium and fiber, according to the Produce for Better Health Foundation.


Green produce is tied to helping reduce the risk of some types of cancer, promoting strong teeth and bones as well as supporting eye health and good vision.

This specific dish is a little light on calories and protein to constitute a full meal, so we suggest adding a lean protein like grilled chicken breast or edamame (for even more green!).

Get the Zucchini Noodles With Spinach Pesto and Peas recipe and nutrition info here.

6. Spicy Rainbow Quinoa Buddah Bowl

Frozen peas are at the center of this easy recipe that's served in a bowl.

Frozen veggies you'll need:

  • Frozen peas

It can be hard to find fresh shelled peas but you can likely find shelled peas in most supermarkets' freezer section.

Frozen peas might be even better than fresh because they last longer and they retain their nutrients, according to the USDA. This makes frozen peas an easy and convenient protein source to always keep on hand.

A January 2018 study in Nutrients found that both plant and animal proteins are comparable when it comes to satiety.

The researchers fed two groups diets that were matched for protein and calories, but the sources of protein differed: One group ate plant proteins and the other, primarily animal proteins.

It turns out that the plant-based protein eaters felt just as satiated and ate the same amount as the animal-protein-based group.

Get the Spicy Rainbow Quinoa Buddah Bowl recipe and nutrition info here.




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