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Your Low-Calorie Meal Plan for October

Looking for something healthy to dig into this fall? Try our low-calorie October meal plan—every recipe is 350 calories or less!

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October 1: Pressure-Cooker Tequila Salsa ChickenTaste of Home

October 1: Pressure-Cooker Tequila Salsa Chicken

I had this dish at a local Mexican restaurant when celebrating a friend's birthday. I fell in love with the spicy, smoky flavor from the tequila and decided to try Instant Pot salsa chicken at home. Boy, was it a success! It's also great stuffed into flour tortillas or for making nachos. —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho

Goes great with: Avocado Salsa

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October 2: Easy Butternut Squash SoupTaste of Home

October 2: Easy Butternut Squash Soup

When the weather turns cold, get cozy with a bowl of this butternut squash soup. This recipe is super easy. The cream adds richness, but if you're looking to cut calories, it can be omitted. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Goes great with: Basic Homemade Bread

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October 3: One-Dish Ground Turkey Sweet Potato SkilletTaste of Home

October 3: One-Dish Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Skillet

I'm still settling into married life and learning how to balance our busy schedules. This quick one-dish ground turkey sweet potato skillet helps keep us on track throughout the week. —Shannon Barden, Alpharetta, Georgia

Goes great with: Wild Rice and Squash Pilaf

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October 4: Mac & Cheese Pork SlidersTaste of Home

October 4: Mac & Cheese Pork Sliders

I love pork sliders! This sweet and savory recipe was created out of leftover ingredients I had in my fridge. It is perfect for a weeknight meal or special-occasion potluck. —Rashanda Cobbins, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Goes great with: Spaghetti Squash with Tomatoes and Olives

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October 5: Spicy Chicken Pumpkin PizzaTaste of Home

October 5: Spicy Chicken Pumpkin Pizza

Think pizza and pumpkin can’t go together? This chicken pumpkin pizza will change your mind. The sweetness of the pumpkin paired with the spice of the chipotle peppers makes for a delicious, balanced sauce. I love that this recipe incorporates healthy ingredients in a fun, family-friendly way. —Julie Peterson, Crofton, Maryland

Goes great with: Eggplant Fries

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October 6: Kimchi Cauliflower Fried RiceTaste of Home

October 6: Kimchi Cauliflower Fried Rice

This healthier take on kimchi fried rice is one of my favorite recipes because it's customizable. If there's a vegetarian in the family, leave out the bacon and add your favorite veggies. —Stefanie Schaldenbrand, Los Angeles, California

Goes great with: Baked Egg Rolls

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October 7: Comforting Tuna PattiesTaste of Home

October 7: Comforting Tuna Patties

My grandmother and mother made these tuna patties on Fridays during Lent. I'm not the biggest fan of tuna, but it's perfect in this dish. These patties are even good cold the next day, if there are any leftovers. —Ann Marie Eberhart, Gig Harbor, Washington

Goes great with: Honey Butter Peas and Carrots

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October 8: Taco Skillet Pizza with Cornbread CrustTaste of Home

October 8: Taco Skillet Pizza with Cornbread Crust

Our family loves taco pizza, and I have made so many versions of it. This recipe is like a deep-dish skillet pizza. It's a hearty meal and can be served straight out of the pan. — Pamela Shank, Parkersburg, West Virginia

Goes great with: Green & Gold Salsa

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October 9: Pressure-Cooker CaponataTaste of Home

October 9: Pressure-Cooker Caponata

This Italian eggplant dip preps quickly and actually gets better as it stands. Serve it warm or at room temperature. Try adding a little leftover caponata to scrambled eggs for a savory breakfast. —Nancy Beckman, Helena, Montana

Goes great with: Classic Cobb Salad

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October 10: Pressure-Cooker English Pub Split Pea SoupTaste of Home

October 10: Pressure-Cooker English Pub Split Pea Soup

This family favorite is the same recipe my grandmother used. Now with the magic of today's appliances, I can spend 15 minutes putting it together, walk away for a bit and then it's "soup's on!" Finish it with more milk if you like your soup a bit thinner. —Judy Batson, Tampa, Florida

Goes great with: Hearty Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing

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October 11: Slow-Cooked Ropa ViejaTaste of Home

October 11: Slow-Cooked Ropa Vieja

I traveled to Cuba a few years ago and had some of the best food imaginable. This dish stuck out, and when I returned home I began to experiment with making ropa vieja in the slow cooker. I hope you enjoy the flavors of Cuba as much as I do. —Joshua Boyer, Traverse City, Michigan

Goes great with: Cilantro Lime Rice

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October 12: Mushroom and Sweet Potato PotpieTaste of Home

October 12: Mushroom and Sweet Potato Potpie

The last time I was in the U.S., I had an amazing mushroom and beer pot pie at a small brewpub. It was so rich and comforting. I tried numerous versions when I got home and I think I've come pretty close! — Iben Ravn, Copenhagen, Denmark

Goes great with: Zesty Garlic Green Beans

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October 13: Butternut and Chard Pasta BakeTaste of Home

October 13: Butternut and Chard Pasta Bake

This recipe is made for butternut squash lovers, with pureed squash in the sauce and squash pieces in the casserole alongside an ideal companion, Swiss chard. This is a very veggie hybrid of ever-popular holiday sides. —Arlene Erlbach, Morton Grove, Illinois

Goes great with: That Good Salad

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October 14: Pressure-Cooker Turkey with Berry CompoteTaste of Home

October 14: Pressure-Cooker Turkey with Berry Compote

This delicious dish gives you a way to get all that yummy turkey flavor without heating up the house, and the berries make the perfect summer sauce. For a browner turkey, just broil it for a few minutes before serving. —Margaret Bracher, Robertsdale, Alabama

Goes great with: Colcannon Irish Potatoes

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October 15: Pressure Cooker Chicken Tikka MasalaTaste of Home

October 15: Pressure Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

The flavors of this Indian-style entree keep me coming back for more. The dish isn’t fancy, and it’s simply spiced—but it’s simply amazing. —Jaclyn Bell, Logan, Utah

Goes great with: Homemade Guacamole

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October 16: Spicy Lime ChickenTaste of Home

October 16: Spicy Lime Chicken

I've been turning this spicy lime chicken into tacos for years, but it was my son Austin who put it on cooked rice with all his favorite taco toppings. A family favorite was created out of leftovers! —Christine Hair, Odessa, Florida

Goes great with: Texas-Style Spanish Rice

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October 17: Beef Roast DinnerTaste of Home

October 17: Beef Roast Dinner

Because this healthy dish is slow-cooked, you can use less expensive roasts with results as mouthwatering as the more costly cuts. Change up the veggies for variety, nutrition or to suit your tastes!—Sandra Dudley, Bemidji, Minnesota

Goes great with: Easy Beans & Potatoes with Bacon

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October 18: Slow-Cooker Jambalaya RisottoTaste of Home

October 18: Slow-Cooker Jambalaya Risotto

I love risotto, but I don't always love the time and stirring it takes to get the creamy goodness. I found a slow-cooker risotto recipe and thought it was too good to be true. I decided to adapt a jambalaya recipe for this dish. —Angela Westra, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Goes great with: Yogurt Cornbread

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October 19: Fall Vegetable Sloppy JoesTaste of Home

October 19: Fall Vegetable Sloppy Joes

I make this dish in the fall and sneak grated vegetables into the sloppy joe mixture. It’s especially good when children don’t like to eat their vegetables! Just walk away until the end of the day and let the slow cooker do all the work. Also delicious: Top the filling with a little shredded cheese before serving. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada

Goes great with: Garlic Corn on the Cob

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October 20: Pressure-Cooker Kielbasa and CabbageTaste of Home

October 20: Pressure-Cooker Kielbasa and Cabbage

My grandmother was Polish and made this often. It’s great for a one-pot meal. We like our veggies soft, but if you like them a bit crisp, cook for 5 minutes. Also, you can sub in any precooked sausage for the kielbasa. —Beverly Dolfini, Surprise, Arizona

Goes great with: Homemade Polish Pierogi

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October 21: Perfect Four-Cheese LasagnaTaste of Home

October 21: Perfect Four-Cheese Lasagna

Lasagna is one of my favorite meals, and this is the recipe I’ve been making since I was a teenager. It’s a tantalizing combo of pasta, meat sauce, cheese and more cheese that really lives up to its name! —Lauren Delaney-Wallace, Glen Carbon, Illinois

Goes great with: Chive Garlic Bread

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October 22: Chicken and Lentil ChiliTaste of Home

October 22: Chicken and Lentil Chili

I like to make a simple, hearty slow-cooked recipe at least once a week. You can mix this up the night before and throw it into the crock on your way out the door. Use hotter tomatoes and chilies or salsa if you like more zing. —Laurie Stout-Letz, Bountiful, Utah

Goes great with: Garden Vegetable Cornbread

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October 23: Luau Pork Lettuce WrapsTaste of Home

October 23: Luau Pork Lettuce Wraps

I first made this recipe when our family took a trip to a beach house in Florida. On my night to cook, I did a luau theme and used this recipe as the appetizer. These are still a favorite today! —Joyce Conway, Westerville, Ohio

Goes great with: Tasty Marinated Tomatoes

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October 24: Turkey & Pork MeatballsTaste of Home

October 24: Turkey & Pork Meatballs

Treat yourself to homemade meatballs, already simmering in sauce, at the end of a busy day. —Suzanne Wagg, Madison, Maine

Goes great with: Oven-Roasted Asparagus

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October 25: Arugula PizzaTaste of Home

October 25: Arugula Pizza

This pizza is great served as an appetizer when family or friends get together. My girlfriends and I love it because it has that sophisticated gourmet touch, and it's healthy, too! This also serves 4 for a main course. —Annette Riva, Naperville, Illinois

Goes great with: Best Ever Stuffed Mushrooms

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October 26: Taco Turkey Meat LoafTaste of Home

October 26: Taco Turkey Meat Loaf

After buying a supersized package of ground turkey, I made this spicy taco turkey meat loaf using what I had on hand. It's now become a family favorite! I serve it for tailgating parties and it's delicious the next day for sandwiches. —Holly Battiste, Barrington, New Jersey

Goes great with: Garlic Green Bean Medley

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October 27: Grandma's Pressure-Cooker Chicken Noodle SoupTaste of Home

October 27: Grandma's Pressure-Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

I've made this soup weekly since I modified my grandma's recipe for my pressure cooker. Chicken soup, especially this one, is quick to make and budget-friendly for any large family. —Tammy Stanko, Greensburg, Pennsylvania

Goes great with: Best Ever Breadsticks

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October 28: Pressure-Cooker SauerbratenTaste of Home

October 28: Pressure-Cooker Sauerbraten

One of my all-time favorite German dishes is sauerbraten, but I don't love that it normally takes five to 10 days to make. Using an electric pressure cooker, I think I've captured that same distinctive flavor in less than two hours. —James Schend, Deputy Editor, Taste of Home

Goes great with: Roasted Tater Round with Green Onions & Tarragon

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October 29: Cajun Pork Loin with Sweet Potato PureeTaste of Home

October 29: Cajun Pork Loin with Sweet Potato Puree

A sauce made with sweet potatoes gives a golden look to this cajun pork loin recipe. It will be your new fall favorite. —Holly Ottum, Racine, Wisconsin

Goes great with: Parmesan Roasted Broccoli

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October 30: Creamy Pumpkin GnocchiTaste of Home

October 30: Creamy Pumpkin Gnocchi

We had homemade gnocchi frequently while growing up. This creamy pumpkin gnocchi recipe was always my favorite. They do require some time to make, but they're worth it! —Shawn Barto, Winter Garden, Florida

Goes great with: Garlic Bread Spirals

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October 31: Pressure-Cooker Smoked Salmon PastaTaste of Home

October 31: Pressure-Cooker Smoked Salmon Pasta

I love making one-pot pastas in my pressure cooker. Every noodle soaks up the flavors of the delicious ingredients you throw in. I tried this version with some leftover smoked fish and fresh dill, and boom—this smoked salmon pasta was born. It's become a staple in our house because it's on the table in half an hour and the kids love it! —Shannon Dobos, Calgary, Alberta

Goes great with: Baked Parmesan Breaded Squash

Laurie Dixon
Having a passion for writing her whole life, Laurie joined the Taste of Home team to bring together her two favorite things—creative writing and food. She spends most of her time playing with her dog, drafting up short stories and, of course, trying out new recipes.

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