500 Calories or Less: Chicken & Mushroom Casserole

500 Calories or Less: Chicken & Mushroom Casserole

This is one of our favourite less than 500 calorie meals. It’s perfect if you’re looking for 5:2 diet plan ideas or just fancy something lighter for dinner. The 500 calories fast days are obviously the hardest part of the diet. The point of the 5:2 diet is that you give your body 2 fast days and 5 days where you eat normally, albeit slightly healthier. The diet has become one of the nation’s favourite weight-loss options and the fast days needn’t be as scary as they sound.

This is delicious comfort food packed with veg, so it can really help you and your family up your 5-a-day intake. You can use all different cuts of chicken in this recipe – try chicken breast meat, thighs or drumsticks. If you have any leftovers, make sure you store them in an airtight container in the fridge. Use within 2 days and thoroughly reheat in the microwave or oven before serving again.

Being on a diet doesn’t mean missing out on your favourite treats. We’ve got lots of low calorie versions of classic meals including curry, stir-fries, sandwiches and more. And of course, we’d love to hear how you’re getting on with your 5:2 diet progress so feel free to comment below and let us know all about it.

Serves: 6
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 50 minutes
Calories: 390 per serving


• 1kg chicken thighs, (boneless, skinless)
• 100g streaky bacon, chopped
• 25g soft butter, plus extra for the sauce
• 2 red onions, chopped
• 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 250g mushrooms
• 2 carrots, cut into chunks
• 1 stick celery, cut into chunks
• Bouquet garni (bay leaf, thyme, parsley stalks, black peppercorns)
• 500ml chicken stock
• 300ml white wine
• 25g plain flour
• 2tbsp double cream
• Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
• Olive oil


In a large cast-iron casserole dish, heat a little olive oil and brown the chicken thighs all over, then transfer to a plate.

Next, cook the bacon and put on the plate with the chicken. Add a knob of butter to the oil in the casserole and add the garlic. Once fragrant, gently brown the onions and mushrooms, before adding the chicken and bacon back into the casserole.

Add the carrot, celery, bouquet garni, chicken stock and wine to the chicken and season. Cover and transfer to a preheated oven at 170ºC (325ºF, gas mark 3) for 40 minutes. If you prefer to use a slow cooker, at this point add everything to your slow cooker and cook on low for 7-8 hours.

With a slotted spoon, remove the chicken and vegetables and place in a large dish. Keep warm.

Mix the flour and butter together to form a paste.

Bring the sauce in the casserole dish to the boil and add a small amount of the paste to it, whisking continuously until dissolved.

The mixture will begin to thicken, gradually. Add the rest of the paste a little at a time until you have reached the desired consistency.

Finally, stir in the double cream, then pour over the chicken and sprinkle with some chopped parsley. Enjoy!


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