The holidays are always a great time, but when it’s all said and done and the calendar turns over while the weather starts to get warmer, many of us are looking to shed a few of the pounds that typically come with the holiday season. That means having to say goodbye to those high calorie meals, but thankfully we don’t have to say goodbye to good tasting food! Quite the opposite actually, as I’ve found a recipe that’s helped me out tremendously when I’m looking to shed some quick weight.

It’s not easy to find a meal that not only tastes great while also being low in calories, but this one is only 300 calories per serving. You won’t be craving any side dishes that can add in calories, either, as it’s a hearty and filling meal. The lower calorie version of this recipe that we’re using uses lean ground turkey as the main ingredient, but you can add ground beef (including lean ground beef) if you want to mix it up.

Lean beef surprisingly doesn’t have many more calories than ground turkey per serving, so if you go that route, you’re still going to be well under 400 calories per serving. Even that’s not too bad if you’re trying to watch your weight! Most of the other ingredients outside of the meat and tomatoes are things that you can find in your home already, including tomato sauce, cheese, rice and seasonings. That’s just the cherry on top to this already tremendous low-cal recipe.

As if you needed another reason to love this recipe, it’s also incredibly easy to follow and will take you less than an hour from start to finish. Really, is there anything about this dish that’s not to love? You can even save more calories by using less cheese, or no cheese at all! Just as a tip; parmesan cheese is among the lowest calorie options, with only 20 calories per tablespoon!

So what all are you going to need to get started with this dish that might sound too good to be true, how exactly do you make it and how good does it taste? I can tell you first hand that the answer to that last question is that it tastes fantastic! As for the other two questions, it’s simple!

Keep reading for the ingredients and directions that you and your family are sure to love! There’s enough servings for up to five people so the whole family is able to enjoy it. I know that when I’m eating healthy, that means everyone else in the house is eating healthy, too! The good news is, they don’t mind having to eat healthier when it comes to making this meal!

Preparation Time: 45-55 Minutes

Serves: Up to Five People

Nutrition (Per Serving):

Calories: 300
Fat: 25 g
Protein: 120 g
Carbohydrates: 25 g
Sodium: 720 mg
Cholesterol: 35 mg

What You’ll Need:

  • 1.5 Pounds of Lean Ground Turkey
  • 1 Cup of Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 Cup of Sugar-Free Tomato Sauce
  • 1 Cup of Shredded Cheese (Your Choice)
  • 1 Cup of Brown Rice
  • 1 Teaspoon of Dried Dill
  • ½ Teaspoon of Onion Powder
  • ½ Teaspoon of Garlic Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon of Fresh Parsley
  • ¼ Teaspoon of Sea Salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon of Black Pepper

Cooking Directions:

  1. Before getting started, make sure to preheat your oven to 350 degrees (175 celsius). While it’s warming up, set your stovetop to medium-high heat so we can get ready to make the turkey.
  2. On the stovetop skillet, add in your 1.5 pounds of lean ground turkey. Mix it around until it’s browned all the way through, leaving no pink. If you prefer to use beef, the same idea applies. While the turkey is cooking, bring a pot of water (2 cups) to a boil on one of your other stovetop burners.
  3. Once the water boils, add in the cup of brown rice (or you can use quinoa if you have it on hand), covering the pot and reducing the heat to a simmer. Allow the rice to cook for around 45 minutes without taking off the cover. After 45 minutes, turn off the heat on the pot and let it sit for another 15 minutes while still not taking off the cover.
  4. Turning our attention back to the turkey while the rice is cooking, the turkey should now be browned. When it is, bring the heat to low and add in a cup of diced tomatoes and cup of tomato sauce.
  5. Add in your dried dill, onion powder, garlic powder, parsley, sea salt and black pepper to the turkey, tomatoes and sauce. Mix them all together once more, and then wait for the rice to finish cooking.
  6. Now that the rice is done, add it in with the rest of the ingredients, mixing well. Then, take a 9×13 inch baking pan and spread out the mixture evenly. Take your cup of shredded cheese and spread it out evenly over the mixture. Place it into the oven for 15 to 20 minutes until the cheese has melted.
  7. Alternatively, if you want crispier cheese, you can use the last couple of minutes of cooking time to set the oven to broil. This will make your dish a little easier to cut. Now you’re all set! Just allow it to cool for a few minutes while the cheese settles, and you’ll have enough for up to five people! The leftovers will be able to hold up well in a tupperware container, allowing you to get multiple meals if you’re by yourself or have a smaller family!