Many food components can influence satiety or energy intake. Combined together, these food components could represent an interesting dietary strategy in the prevention and treatment of obesity. The aims of this study were: 1) to determine the effect of a functional food in the form of a healthy meal course on subsequent energy intake and satiety; 2) to verify if it is possible to maintain palatability while preserving the satiating effects of the test meal. Thirteen subjects were invited to eat two lunch sessions: healthy and control meal courses (2090 kJ/meal). Anthropometric and ad libitum food intake measurements, and visual analogue scales (VAS) were performed during the two lunch sessions. The healthy main course acutely decreased energy intake during the rest of the meal ( − 744 kJ, P ≤ 0·0001) and lipid ( − 6 %, P ≤ 0·0001) compared with the control meal. VAS ratings during the course of the testing showed a meal effect for hunger, desire to eat and prospective food consumption (P ≤ 0·05) and a time effect for all appetite sensations (P ≤ 0·0001). VAS scores on hunger ratings were lower for the healthy meal (P ≤ 0·05), whereas fullness ratings were higher shortly after the healthy main course (P ≤ 0·05). The healthy meal produced a slightly higher palatability rating but this effect was not statistically significant. These results suggest that it is possible to design a healthy meal that decreases spontaneous energy intake and hunger without compromising palatability.