14 Satisfying 400-Calorie Meals

400 Calorie Meals

Each of these meals are vegetarian or vegan and contain about 400 calories.  (The calories in these meals range from 347 calories to 450 calories.) I created this set to show that meatless, low calorie meals do not need to be boring.

I used EasyLunchboxes and Mini Dippers (when applicable) for each of the meals in this article.

I am not temperature sensitive with food. I often enjoy cooked food at room temperature. When I want to heat part of a meal I use silicone cups to make removing an item easy. Sometimes I put the item to be heated in a silicone cup. Sometimes I put the item I don’t want to heat in a silicone cup. I also use silicone cups to separate items.

Rice and Beans

Rice and Beans

I used a cookie cutter to cut a heart shape from a green bell pepper. It added a fun element to this vegan meal.

This recipe makes 6 servings. I halved the recipe so that it made 3 servings.

1 serving Low Calorie Rice and Beans (259 calories)

11g TJ’s Freeze Dried Cranberries (40 calories)

10 (14 g) Pecan halves (100 calories)

Total: 399 calories

Chili and Cornbread

Vegetarian Chili and Cornbread Muffin

I used a cornbread recipe to make cornbread muffins. The muffins were delicious with the vegetarian chili.

The cornbread recipe makes 16 servings. The optional ingredients in the recipe were not counted in the calorie count so I did not use the whole corn but I did use some jalapeno pepper. I halved the recipe and divided the batter into 8 muffin cups. I baked the muffins for about 10 minutes.

I made a few changes to the chili recipe. I only used yellow bell pepper, did not use the brown sugar, and did not use pinto beans.

1 cup Chunky Vegetarian Chili (257 calories)

1 Cornbread Muffin (86 calories)

1 Orange (60 calories)

Total: 403 calories

Dijon Lentil Salad

Dijon Lentil Salad

This meal could easily be vegan if you replace the chocolate with something else.

The recipe included Dijon mustard in the directions but not the ingredient list. I did not measure but put in quite a bit of Dijon. It added an robust flavor to this salad.

1 1/2 cups Dijon Lentil Salad (326 calories)

14 small (40 g) Grapes (30 calories)

1 square Ghirardelli Dark 60% Cacao (53 calories)

Total: 409 calories

English Muffin Pizza

Assemble Your Own English Muffin Cream Cheese Pizza

I enjoyed making and eating this vegetarian non-traditional pizza meal. Assemble these pizzas at lunch and eat it in any combination that pleases you.

3 English Muffin Halves (180 calories)

1 oz 1/3 Less Cream Cheese with dried dill and garlic powder to taste (70 calories)

1 oz Low Moisture Part Skim Mozzarella cheese (80 calories)

10 Snow Peas (14 calories)

1 Orange Bell Pepper (35 calories)

1/4 cup Freeze Dried Crunchies Blueberries (20 calories)

Total: 399 calories

Hummus with Pita

Hummus and Pita

I purchased individual packs of Sabra hummus and whole wheat pita to make this delicious vegan lunch. The panda picks added a touch of whimsy.

Hummus (150 calories)

1 Wheat Pita (150 calories)

1/2 cup Spinach (4 calories)

1 medium Tomato (22 calories)

1/2 cup Mandarin Oranges (90 calories)

Total: 416 calories

PB Sandwich

Peanut Butter Sandwich

I do not often eat sandwiches with store bought bread but this vegan lunch was quick to make and satisfying. I used celery and star picks as garnish.

2 pieces of Wheat Bread (130 calories)

2 tablespoons Peanut Butter (200 calories)

80 g Celery (12 calories)

100 g Apple stars (53 calories)

1/8 teaspoon Cinnamon (0 calories)

Total: 395 calories

Polenta with Spinach and White Beans

Polenta with Spinach and White Beans

This vegetarian meal is one of my favorite meals from this article. Usually I make my own polenta but I followed the recipe and used packaged pre-made polenta. It made the recipe quick to make and was delicious.

2 cups Polenta with Spinach and White Beans (249 calories)

1 cup Raspberries (60 calories)

1/2 cup Snow Peas (21 calories)

7 Hazelnuts (70 calories)

Total: 400 calories

Quinoa with Dried Cherries and Pistachios

Quinoa with Dried Cherries and Pistachios

This vegan meal with quinoa made a fulfilling lunch.

I made a few changes to the recipe. I used onion instead of shallots, vermouth instead of the white wine, and did not use mint.

1 cup Quinoa with Dried Cherries and Pistachios (341 calories)

1 Kiwi (42 calories)

1 cup Spinach (7 calories)

2 Radishes (2 calories)

Total: 392 calories

Vegetarian Salad Shells

Vegetarian Salad Shells

I developed the recipe for these vegetarian salad shells. It was a visually appealing and satisfying meal.

Cook extra pasta shells because some will break while cooking. Divide ingredients among pasta shells and place extra ingredients around the filled pasta shells.

4 cooked large Pasta Shells (140 calories)

1 cup shredded Lettuce (5 calories)

6 small Black Olives – sliced (25 calories)

1 oz Feta cheese crumbled (70 calories)

1 medium Tomato (22 calories)

3 (36 g) Strawberries (12 calories)

1/2 cup air-popped Popcorn (15 calories)

Pomegranate Vinaigrette (122 calories)

Total: 411 calories

Pomegranate Vinaigrette

1 tablespoon Olive Oil

1 teaspoon TJ Pomegranate Vinegar

Combine olive oil and vinegar. Put in a small container with lid. Shake to combine and then pour over salad shells before serving.

Stuffed Zucchini

Persian Rice Stuffed Zucchini with Pistachios and Dill

Try this beautiful vegan meal for lunch or dinner.

2 Persian Rice Stuffed Zucchini (265 calories)

1 oz Pretzels (110 calories)

1 Kiwi (42 calories)

Total: 417 calories

Spaghetti with Broccoli and Cheese

Spaghetti with Broccoli and Cheese

This quick vegetarian meal was easily made with ingredients found in my house.

1.5 oz dry Spaghetti (cooked) (189 calories)

2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese (40 calories)

1 cup Broccoli (31 calories)

3 oz Carrots (35 calories)

1/2 Grapefruit (52 calories)

Total: 347 calories

Spanish Garbanzo Beans

Garbanzo Beans with Tomato and Peppers

I used a cookie cutter to cut a star shapes from a green bell pepper. You will feel like a star for eating this healthy vegan meal.

1 cup Garbanzo Beans with Green Pepper and Tomatoes (345 calories)

20 g Dried Apricot (55 calories)

16 Pistachio Nuts (50 calories)

Total: 450 calories

Garbanzo Beans with Green Pepper and Tomatoes

2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 small onion – chopped, 1 medium green pepper – chopped, 16 oz tomato sauce, 15 oz can garbanzo beans – rinsed

In a medium frying pan, heat olive oil until medium hot. Saute onion and pepper until tender. Add tomato sauce. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes.

Add garbanzo beans. Cook over low heat for about 10 minutes.

Sweet Potato Lunch

Sweet Potato with Spinach and Walnuts

This vegetarian meal contains many flavors. I created the star shape by filling a cookie cutter with with hot paprika.

6 oz baked Sweet Potato (146 calories)

Breakstone’s Individual Cottage Cheese (90 calories)

2 tablespoons chopped Walnuts (100 calories)

1 cup Spinach with 1 teaspoon Olive Oil pan fried until wilted (41 calories)

1 Kiwi (42 calories)

Total: 419 calories

Falafel Meal

Baked Falafel


I made baked Falafel for this satisfying vegan meal. When forming the falafel balls you do need to make them carefully as the recipe suggests. I used a small ice cream scoop to form the Falafel.

3 Falafel balls (154 calories)

1 Wheat Pita (150 calories)

1 medium Tomato (22 calories)

1 oz Sprouts (7 calories)

1/2 cup sliced Cucumber (8 calories)

1 tablespoons Hummus (25 calories)

14 small (40 g) Grapes (30 calories)

Total: 396 calories


I am not a nutritionist. I planned these meals based on previous knowledge and internet research. Since many sources have varying nutritional information for the same item, I do not guarantee the calorie counts.

For many of the recipes I used my food scale to weigh items. If you care about calorie counts I recommend buying a food scale. If you do not have a food scale, you can make the same meal in an EasyLunchboxes. You can then reference my photos for food quantities when making your meal.

About eclecticlamb

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18 Responses to 14 Satisfying 400-Calorie Meals

  1. kathysnest32 says:

    love this post. i might make a few. looks delicious. kathy

  2. I love this collection of lunches, they look so delicious and healthy!:)

  3. KP says:

    Thanks for this. Hubs likes his veggies and this just gave me a ton of ideas on what to make him.

  4. eclecticlamb says:

    I am so glad to hear this. Thanks!

  5. Wow! Not boring at all. YUM!!! Thank you for this wonderful collection Kathy!

  6. Oh!Bento UK says:

    I love how varied and delicious they all look!!

    And as a fan of meat I can tell you I probably wouldn’t miss it all that much if I got to eat these!

  7. eclecticlamb says:

    Thank you so much!

  8. What wonderful collection of delicious looking lunches! and so healthy, too! Love that they’re all under 400 calories. THanks so much for sharing w/ us! 🙂

  9. eclecticlamb says:

    Thank you so much! They were so much fun to make and eat.

  10. bentodays says:

    Wow! These look delicious and love how healthy they are too! Thanks for sharing!

  11. How delicious! I’m inspired to try a few healthy alternatives to my regular pie and pop 😉

  12. Anon says:

    Parmesan cheese isn’t vegetarian. It is made using animal rennet.

  13. eclecticlamb says:

    It is possible to find vegetarian Parmesan cheese – Trader Joes is one example. http://www.vegetariantimes.com/blog/parmesan-cheese-veg-or-not/

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