When it’s cold outside and all you want to do is curl up in front of the fireplace, nothing hits the spot like comfort food. The problem is that, whether your comfort food of choice is elegant risotto or more down-home fare, it’s usually heavy. Luckily, comforting food doesn’t have to be.
If you’re in in the mood to make a recipe that will make you feel more at ease without leaving you feeling weighed down, then these are the recipes for you. These 25 comfort foods have all the flavors you crave, but healthier ingredients, so you can have the best of both worlds.
Chicken Noodle Soup
A childhood classic gets an upgrade when you can make it in your slow cooker. It’s great for busy nights because you can have it cook during the day and then still get to enjoy the flavors of a classic comfort food after you get off work. (via Brit + Co)
Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheddar Mac And Cheese
A classic comfort food like broccoli cheddar soup offers another layer of cozy and cheesy goodness when you swap the soup aspect for mac and cheese. And we’ll never say no to mac and cheese. Sneak some shredded carrots into the recipe for some extra veggies. (via Cozy Cravings)
Meatloaf immediately takes us back to our mom’s kitchen, eating hot meatloaf at dinner and a cold meatloaf sandwich for lunch the next day. It’s already hiding some carrots, but feel free to mix in any other veggies you’d like to. You know it’s a good meatloaf recipe when it doesn’t need anything — except maybe a little bit of salt and pepper. (via B+C Guides)
Baked Turkey Meatballs With Quinoa
Meatballs and pasta are delicious, but best saved for special occasions. These baked turkey meatballs with quinoa, full of lean protein and whole grains, are a lighter version that you can enjoy on a more regular basis. (viaJust a Taste)
Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup
Consider tortilla soup to be taco soup’s sister. This instant pot recipe makes for a super easy and delicious fall dish. Add all your favorite veggies for some extra nutrients, and to make it taste like a taco in a bowl. (via Cilantro Parsley)
Cauliflower gnocchi isn’t just a lighter version of the classic. It’s a praise-worthy dish on its own, especially when topped with colorful kale pesto and it’s a great low-carb comfort food option. (via Kirbie’s Cravings)
Ginger Butternut Squash Soup
Aside from the fact that this comfort food recipe is colorful and only has 110 calories, it also only requires five ingredients and 30 minutes. Talk about a win-win. (via Brit + Co)
Slow Cooker Turkey Chili
Sometimes you just need a hands-off meal, but don’t want to rely on takeout. This slow cooker turkey chili is just the thing — loaded with veggies, beans, and lean ground turkey to keep you full and satisfied. (via Baker by Nature)
High Protein Mac and Cheese
Sometimes our favorite comfort foods just need a little nutritional boost. This macaroni and cheese uses protein-enriched pasta, then makes a sauce from light shredded cheese and fat-free cottage cheese, so you get a ton of protein and flavor, with less fat and calories. (via The Sassy Life)
Lightened Up Chicken Pot Pie
It’s easier than you might think to remake this comfort food classic. It’s made with a whole wheat crust and non-dairy milk, plus the same veggies and lean protein that make the original so tasty. (via Ambitious Kitchen)
Loaded Baked Potato Soup
This Whole 30-approved recipe is delicious and is a healthy comfort food that you won’t be able to turn down. Add all your favorite baked potato garnishes right on top and you’re in store for a delicious meal that goes with rainy days and chilly evenings. (via Brit + Co)
Gluten-Free Smothered Pork Chops
Served with herb whipped parsnips and kale, you’ll rave over these smothered pork chops. In addition to healthy vegetable sides, they’re made with a dairy-free caramelized onion sauce, which makes it a healthier take on the comfort food classic. (via Nyssa’s Kitchen)
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This post has been updated.
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