dinner party
Low Calorie Dinner Party Menus

Weight Loss Resources nutritionist, Rachael Hill, shares three rather tasty menus for a dinner party on a budget which won’t blow your calorie quota, but will have your guests eating out of your hands!

Low Calorie Dinner Party Menus You (and your friends) can Enjoy

By Rachael Anne Hill (R.P.H.Nutr)

Food on social occasions is often a problem when you're watching the calories. Especially full-on dinner parties, whether you're eating in or out.

There's not a lot you can do if someone else is deciding the menu and/or venue, other than try to be thoughtful about your choices and portions. But when you're feeding friends and family, you're in control.

There's a lot to be said for suggesting eating in, rather than out.

Not only do you get to control the menu (restaurant food is notorious for being too high in calories) it'll also be a lot cheaper for all concerned.

Of course you want everyone to enjoy what you provide and go home satisfied. Preferably raving about your amazing food, rather than muttering about your latest diet.

The only daunting bit can be deciding what to cook that will blow your guests away without blowing your diet out of the water. It's not easy to fit starter, main and pudding into a reasonable number of calories.

That’s why I’ve delved into the hundreds of recipes on the wlr database and create three truly impressive dinner party menus that no-one will realise are low calorie and low fat.

Dinner Party Menu Ideas

There are three 3-course menus here. The first is just about as low in cals as you can go, the second a little more indulgent and the third for if you want your dinner to suit vegetarians.

Menu One

Total calories for the meal: 612, view recipes


Sesame Crab Cakes with Ginger Dipping Sauce

171 calories per serving, 25-30 minutes to prepare and cook.

Main Course:

Sticky Ginger Chicken with Noodles and Pak Choi

338 calories per serving, 35-40 minutes to prepare and cook


Lime and Passion Fruit Souffle

103 calories per serving, 45 minutes to prepare and cook.

Menu Two

Total calories for the meal: 787, view recipes


Sweet Pear and Stilton Melt

226 calories per serving, 15-20 minutes to prepare and cook.

Main Course:

Beef Bourguignon

196 Calories per serving, best to prepare in advance, allow 2 hours 15 minutes. Reheat while the rice and broccoli are cooking.

with Basmati Rice

(calories:134 - 100g cooked rice per person)

and Lightly Steamed Broccoli

(calories: 19 calories – 80g per person)

Total main course calories: 350


Chocolate Pudding

182 calories per serving, 25 minutes to prepare and cook.

with Raspberry Coulis

blend 100g of fresh raspberries with 2g of icing sugar per person.  (calories 30)

and Fresh Mint Sprigs

Serve the chocolate pudding on a white plate, dust lightly with icing sugar, drizzle the coulis around the edge of the pudding and finish by placing a sprig of fresh mint on top.

Total dessert calories: 211

Menu Three (Vegetarian)

Total calories for the meal: 756, view recipes


‘My Watercress Soup’ 

52 calories per serving, 20 minutes to prepare and cook.

Main Course:

Pumpkin and Sage Risotto

Served with a mixed green salad of wild rocket and watercress leaves drizzled in a little good quality balsamic vinegar.

509 calories per serving, just over an hour to prepare and cook.


Tia Maria Gateau

195 calories per serving, 50 minutes to prepare and cook.


Keep Additional Calories to a Minimum

  • Swap a large glass of wine (205 calories) for a spritzer (98 calories) instead.
  • Serve olives (75 calories per 50g) instead of crisps (242 per 50g) or nuts (294 per 50g)
  • Serve pre dinner drinks of champagne (88 calories) or gin and low calorie tonic (75 calories) instead of cocktails that can add up to over 600 calories per glass. 
  • Finally, swap the post dinner cappuccino (approximately 120 calories) or latte (223 calories) for an espresso (11 calories) or peppermint tea (3 calories)

and leave the after dinner chocolates to the guests!


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More Information

What regularly dining out does to your body Insider

Healthy dinner party tips British Heart Foundation

Lose a Stone for Christmas Challenge

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