94 Comfort Food Recipes You Won’t Believe Are Diabetic-Friendly

Updated: Jun. 24, 2024

These diabetic-friendly recipes are cozier than your favorite pair of sweatpants.

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The Best Beef Stew

Our stew has tons of flavor thanks to the herbs, red wine and balsamic vinegar. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Family-Favorite Cheeseburger Pasta

I created this cheeseburger pasta recipe to satisfy a craving. What a delicious, healthy classic! —Raquel Haggard, Edmond, Oklahoma
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Never-Fail Scalloped Potatoes

This rich, cheesy take on scalloped potatoes is deceptively simple to make. It comes together in just 25 minutes and then you have an hour to relax (or make the rest of the meal) while it bakes.
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Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

These warm, gooey, indulgent banana chocolate chip cookies can be made in just 35 minutes. Bake a batch of three dozen to nosh on all week long.
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Slow-Cooker Pork Chops

It only takes a few simple ingredients to make these juicy and tender slow-cooker pork chops.
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Sausage and Egg Grits

I always mix my sausage, grits and eggs together so I thought it would be great to make a casserole that did the same. It’s loaded with downhome flavor without using any butter! —Jeannine Quiller, Raleigh, North Carolina
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Clam Chowder

Enjoy a big bowl of award-winning clam chowder, a traditional favorite from the New England coast. It's creamy and chock-full of clams, potatoes, bacon and more.
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Yummy Chocolate Cake

My husband and I are trying to eat lighter but still crave sweets. This moist, healthy chocolate cake really helps with that. With the rich frosting, it makes a decadent treat! —LaDonna Reed, Ponca City, Oklahoma
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Banana Pancakes

Our ultra-fluffy banana pancakes are an easy breakfast to kick off the day on the right foot.
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Hamburger Casserole

This hamburger casserole recipe is such a hit it's traveled all over the country! My mother originated the recipe in Pennsylvania, I brought it to Texas when I married, I'm still making it in California, and my daughter treats her friends to this oldie in Colorado. It's hearty, yet simple to prepare. —Helen Carmichall, Santee, California
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Rolled Buttermilk Biscuits

I scribbled down this recipe when our family visited The Farmers' Museum in Cooperstown, New York, many years ago. I must have gotten it right, because these biscuits turn out wonderful every time. —Patricia Kile, Elizabeth, Pennsylvania
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Gran’s Apple Cake

My grandmother occasionally brought over this wonderful cake warm from the oven. The spicy apple flavor combined with the sweet cream cheese frosting made this recipe one that we treasured. Even though I’ve lightened it up, it’s still a family favorite. —Lauris Conrad, Turlock, California
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Easy Slow-Cooker Pot Roast

I love making this pot roast for a couple of reasons. First, it's delicious. Second, it's so easy! I can't describe the feeling of walking into my house after work and smelling this dish that's been simmering in the slow cooker all day. There's nothing better. —James Schend, Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin
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Oven-Fried Chicken Drumsticks

This fabulous recipe uses Greek yogurt to create an amazing marinade that makes the chicken incredibly moist. No one will guess that it's been lightened up and not even fried! — Kim Wallace, Dennison, Ohio
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Quick Beef and Noodles

We love stroganoff, and this beef and noodles dish is my lightened-up version. Using meat from the deli saves the hours spent cooking a beef roast. I serve this with a salad for a great, homestyle meal. —Pamela Shank, Parkersburg, West Virginia
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Air-Fryer Apple Fritters

These air-fryer apple fritters are healthier than old-fashioned fritters, yet they are still just as delicious. They're a quick and easy dessert that includes a scrumptious brown butter glaze! —Alyssa Castriotta, North Scituate, Rhode Island
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Vegetarian Chili

Vegetarian skillet chili screams comfort food to me. This recipe makes me feel warm and fuzzy, and it's loved by both my vegetarian and non-vegetarian friends. —Casey Hill, London, United Kingdom
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Country-Style Pork Loin

This pork roast is so moist and tender that it melts in your mouth. My son puts it at the top of his list of favorite foods. We like it with mashed potatoes. —Corina Flansberg, Carson City, Nevada
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Brunswick Stew

Brunswick stew dates back to the 1860s, when it was served as a complete meal. We now use it as an accompaniment to barbecues. It is delicious picnic fare when served with country ribs, coleslaw or potato salad. When I make this stew, I double the recipe and freeze small portions so we can enjoy it at several meals. —Alyce Ray, Forest Park, Georgia
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Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I love to serve lighter desserts that will satisfy those with a sweet tooth. I make these every Christmas Eve, but they're marvelous any time of the year. —Sara Pleso, Sparta Tennessee.
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Onion-Garlic Hash Browns

Quick to assemble, this is a simple recipe I’ve cooked many times. Stir in hot sauce if you like a bit of heat. I also like to top the finished dish with a sprinkling of shredded cheddar cheese. —Cindi Hayward-Boger, Ardmore, Alabama
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Banana Blueberry Pancakes

This recipe is a favorite in our home. My kids don’t even realize how healthy it is! —Kelly Reinicke, Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin
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Tuna Noodle Casserole

Families are sure to love the creamy texture and comforting taste of this traditional tuna casserole that goes together in a jiffy. I serve it with a green salad and warm rolls for a nutritious supper. —Ruby Wells, Cynthiana, Kentucky
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Slow-Cooked Beef Tips

These slow-cooked beef tips remind me of a childhood favorite. I cook them with mushrooms and serve over brown rice, noodles or mashed potatoes. —Amy Lents, Grand Forks, North Dakota
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Meatless Chili Mac

I came across this recipe in a newspaper years ago and it’s been a hit at our house ever since. It’s fast and flavorful, and it appeals to all ages. — Cindy Ragan, North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania
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Chai-Spiced Bread Pudding

Nothing says the holidays to me more than the warming spices of chai. This bread pudding incorporates those flavors to make a dessert that everyone raves about. —Jessie Apfe, Berkeley, California

Also check out our diabetic-friendly bread recipes.

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Chicken Creole

I like food with a little zip to it, and this Creole chicken recipe fits the bill. It’s especially good served over rice. —Dolly Hall, Wheelwright, Kentucky
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Pumpkin Banana Muffins

These pumpkin banana muffins are brimming with the most delicious flavors of fall. Make up a batch and have portable snacks ready to go.
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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
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Spicy Cowboy Chili

Toasting the peppers for this chili releases their earthy flavors – but do wear gloves when handling dried peppers and seeds. — Rachel Sprinkel, Hilo, Hawaii

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Sassy Pot Roast

I love walking into my home after a long day and smelling this lovely pot roast. You can add potatoes and carrots to round out the meal, and the leftover meat makes a comforting soup for the next night. —Susan Burkett, Monroeville, Pennsylvania
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Turkey Enchilada Stack

As a child, my husband was one of the pickiest kids around, but my mother-in-law could always get him to dig in to this enchilada dish. —Ashley Wolf, Alabaster, Alabama
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Penne Beef Bake

I had ground beef and veggies on hand so I came up with this pizza-flavored casserole. I never expected my family to love it so much. It's a good way to sneak in some extra veggies for the kids. —Jennifer Wise, Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania
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Healthy Meat Loaf

Welcome your family in from the cold with this moist and delicious meat loaf with wonderful southwestern taco flavor. This is down-home comfort food at its healthy best! —Mary Relyea, Canastota, New York
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Rich & Creamy Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

For special occasions (like my husband’s birthday dinners), I mash potatoes with cream cheese, sour cream and Parmesan. It's divine comfort food. —Jo Ann Burrington, Osceola, Indiana
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Broccoli Tuna Casserole

When I was in the Navy, a co-worker’s wife shared this recipe with me. I’ve tweaked it over the years, but it still brings back memories of my “family” away from home. —Yvonne Cook, Haskins, Ohio
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Ground Beef Stroganoff

This easy ground beef stroganoff is even quicker than the original. In just 30 minutes, you'll have a comforting meal on the table.
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Buffalo Sloppy Joes

Lean ground turkey makes this a lighter sloppy joe than the standard ground beef version. A hefty splash of hot sauce and optional blue cheese provide an authentic Buffalo-style flavor. —Maria Regakis, Saugus, Massachusetts
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Chocolate and Raspberry Cheesecake

You’ll fall in love with this sweet treat. Each silky slice is topped with juicy raspberries. Yes, you can have cheesecake without breaking the calorie budget. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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One-Pot Chili Mac

This hearty entree is low in fat, but full of flavor. I love that you can cook the dried pasta right in the chili. One less pot to wash! This also reheats in the microwave perfectly. —Dawn Forsberg, Saint Joseph, Missouri
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Tasty Turkey and Mushrooms

Fresh mushrooms star in this tender turkey entree that comes together in 15 minutes. Served with a side of brown rice, it makes a light but satisfying dinner. —Nancy Zimmerman, Cape May Court House, New Jersey
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English Pub Split Pea Soup

This family favorite is the same recipe my grandmother used. Now with the magic of the slow cooker, I can spend 15 minutes putting it together, walk away for five hours, and come back to "soup's on." Finish it with more milk if you like your soup a bit thinner. —Judy Batson, Tampa, Florida
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Corn and Broccoli in Cheese Sauce

Save room in the oven by making this savory side in your slow cooker. It is a standby in my house. My daughter likes to add leftover ham to create a hearty main course. —Joyce Johnson, Uniontown, Ohio
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Root Beer Float Pie

This is the kind of recipe your kids will look back on and always remember. And you don't even need to use an oven! —Cindy Reams, Philipsburg, Pennsylvania
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Date Oatmeal Bars

In no time at all, you can treat your family to these bars. They’ll never suspect how light the snacks are. —Helen Cluts of Sioux Falls, South Dakota
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Chicken Corn Soup

This chicken corn soup stands up no matter the weather. It's cozy enough for cold winter nights and light enough for cool spring evenings.
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Colcannon Potatoes

Every Irish family has its own colcannon recipe, since it’s a classic dish. My recipe comes from my father’s family in Ireland. It’s part of my St. Pat’s menu, along with lamb chops, carrots and soda bread. —Marilou Robinson, Portland, Oregon
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Italian Beef on Rolls

This slow-cooker recipe is one of my all-time favorites! With 29 grams of protein per serving, it’s a great way to meet your daily needs. —Jami Hilker, Harrison, Arkansas
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Slow-Cooker Pork and Apple Curry

Here's a gentle curry dish that's sure to please American palates. For fun, try varying the garnish—add a few chopped peanuts or a little chutney. —Nancy Reck, Mill Valley, California
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Spicy Goulash

Ground cumin, chili powder and a can of Mexican diced tomatoes jazz up my goulash recipe. Even the elbow macaroni is prepared in the slow cooker. —Melissa Polk, West Lafayette, Indiana
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Turkey and Mushroom Potpies

I always use the leftovers from our big holiday turkey to prepare this recipe. I think my family enjoys the potpies more than the original feast! —Lily Julow, Lawrenceville, Georgia
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Mushroom Turkey Tetrazzini

This creamy, comforting casserole makes a fantastic way to use up that leftover Thanksgiving turkey. And it’s a real family-pleaser! —Linda Howe, Lisle, Illinois.
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Pastry-Topped Turkey Casserole

My friends tell me this is the best potpie they've ever had. Hearty and full-flavored, my comforting classic never lets on that it’s also low in fat and a good source of fiber. —Agnes Ward, Stratford, Ontario
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Italian Hot Dish

My husband had a poor perception of healthy food until he tried this beefy casserole. The combination of pasta, oregano, mushrooms and green peppers makes it a favorite healthy pasta recipe in our house. —Theresa Smith, Sheboygan, Wisconsin
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Slow-Cooked Turkey Sloppy Joes

This tangy sandwich filling is easy to prepare in the slow cooker, and it goes over so well at gatherings large and small. I frequently take it to potlucks, and I'm always asked what my secret ingredient is! —Marylou LaRue, Freeland, Michigan
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No-Bake Apple Pie

We always have an abundance of apples in the fall, so I like to make this easy pie. My husband has diabetes, and this recipe fits into his diet ... but everyone enjoys it. —Shirley Vredenburg, Ossineke, Michigan
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Maple Apple Baked Oatmeal

I've tried a number of different types of fruit for this recipe, but apple seems to be my family's favorite. I mix the dry and wet ingredients in separate bowls the night before and combine them the next morning when it's time to make breakfast.—Megan Brooks, Saint Lazare, Quebec.
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Potato-Topped Ground Beef Skillet

Compared to other ground beef skillet recipes, the depth of flavor in this recipe is amazing, and I never have leftovers when I take it to potlucks. I love recipes that I can cook and serve in the same skillet. If your butcher has chili grind beef, which is coarsely ground, go for that; it lends an extra meaty texture. —Fay Moreland, Wichita Falls, Texas
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Turkey Dumpling Stew

My mom made this stew when I was young, and it was always a hit. Since it's not time-consuming to make I can fix it on a weekend for our children, who love the tender dumplings. —Becky Mohr, Appleton, Wisconsin
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Onion Yorkshire Puddings

This easy recipe is a cross between traditional Yorkshire pudding and popovers. It makes a perfect complement to prime rib. We also like it with beef stew and steak. Make more than you need, because everyone loves it. —Emily Chaney, Blue Hill, Maine
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Mushroom & Herb Chicken

My easy skillet dish is a comfort food classic. It's also delicious with rice instead of noodles. No one will guess they're eating healthy with this one. —Betsy King, Duluth, Minnesota
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Slow-Cooker Stuffed Shells

There's no need to precook the shells in this simple pasta dish. It's almost like magic when you open the lid and find the deliciousness waiting in the slow cooker. Add garlic bread and you're golden! —Sherry Day, Pinckney, Michigan
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Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

I was raised as a southern girl, with the love of barbecue built into my DNA. This slow-cooker recipe allows me to enjoy the flavors I grew up eating, while still following a healthy diet. —Heidi Mulholland, Cumming, Georgia
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Chocolate-Topped Strawberry Cheesecake

Creamy and airy, this gorgeous dessert is the perfect special something for a summer dinner party. I love the mix of smooth strawberry cheesecake and crumbly chocolate crust—and how elegant it looks on the table. —Kathy Berger, Dry Ridge, Kentucky
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Italian Sausage Breakfast Wraps

My husband leaves for work at 4 a.m., and I want him to have a healthy breakfast to start the day. I usually make half a dozen of these on Sunday and keep them in the fridge so he can grab one and go. —Dauna Harwood, Union, Michigan
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Chicken Corn Soup with Rivels

Traditional chicken soup is rich with a dumplinglike soup stretcher called rivels. This healthy recipe is brimming with chicken, vegetables and herbs. You won't be able to resist it. —Elissa Armbruster, Medford, New Jersey
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Meatball Cabbage Rolls

My mother often had these cabbage rolls simmering in her slow cooker when my family and I arrived at her house for weekend visits. The mouthwatering meatballs tucked inside made these stand out from any other cabbage rolls I've tried. —Betty Buckmaster, Muskogee, Oklahoma
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Sweet Potato Stuffing

Mom likes to make sure there will be enough stuffing to satisfy our large family. For our holiday gatherings, she slow-cooks this tasty sweet potato dressing in addition to the traditional stuffing cooked inside the turkey. —Kelly Pollock, London, Ontario
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Delicious Oven Barbecued Chicken

A friend made this saucy chicken for us when we had our first child. I pared down the recipe to make it lower in fat and calories. Now it's a family favorite, and even the kids ask for this baked bbq chicken breast. —Marge Wagner, Roselle, Illinois
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Cherry & Spice Rice Pudding

I live in Traverse City, the Cherry Capital of the World. What better way to celebrate our wonderful orchards than by using plump, tart dried cherries in my favorite desserts? This slow-cooked rice pudding recipe always turns out wonderful. —Deb Perry, Traverse City, Michigan
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Quick Hawaiian Pizza

Our family never quite liked the taste of canned pizza sauce, so one time I tried mixing some barbecue sauce into spaghetti sauce to add some sweetness. I’ve made my pizzas with this special and easy sauce ever since, and my family loves it! —Tonya Schieler, Carmel, Indiana
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Makeover Slow-Cooked Mac 'n' Cheese

This recipe is a clear example of comfort food at its finest; it's rich, hearty and extra cheesy. And because it's made in the slow cooker, it's also extremely easy. —Shelby Molina, Whitewater, Wisconsin
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Cheese Smashed Potatoes

Who doesn't like mashed potatoes? Try this slimmed-down dish with any entree. —Janet Homes, Surprise, Arizona
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Barley Beef Burgers

Barley adds another dimension to an old-fashioned hamburger. My husband and I really enjoy these juicy patties with onion and barbecue sauce mixed right in. —Rosella Peters, Gull Lake, Saskatchewan
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Makeover Traditional Lasagna

I’ve never been quick to pass along my special recipes, but this one is so good that it’s become our family’s Christmas Eve tradition! —Michelle Behan, Littleton, Colorado
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Black Bean-Tomato Chili

My daughter Kayla saw a black bean chili while watching a cooking show and called me about it because it looked so good. We messed with our own recipe until we got this easy winner. —Lisa Belcastro, Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts
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Warm 'n' Fruity Breakfast Cereal

Sleepyheads will love the heartiness of this nutritious cooked cereal with cinnamon. It's loaded with chopped fruit and nuts. Eat it with plain yogurt and sliced bananas or blueberries. —John Vale, Long Beach, Washington
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Dream Cupcakes

My grandchildren absolutely love these cream-filled cupcakes, and I hope the chocolaty treats become a favorite in your home as well. —Dorothy Bahlmann, Clarksville, Iowa
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Sunday Brunch Egg Casserole

My favorite brunch dish got a makeover with egg substitute and lower-fat cheese. The lightened-up version still tastes delicious, but it won't weigh you down. —Alice Hofmann, Sussex, Wisconsin
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Chocolate Swirled Cheesecake

This cheesecake looks and tastes indulgent, but it's a lightened up version you can feel good about serving your family. —Kathy Shan, Toledo, Ohio
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Gouda Mixed Potato Mash

Everything’s better with cheese, right? This cheesy two-potato mash is no exception. If you cube the cheese, you’ll discover delicious pockets of melted cheese throughout the dish. —Shelby Goddard, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Apple-Sage Sausage Patties

Apple and sausage naturally go together. Add sage, and you’ve got some standout patties. They’re freezer friendly, so I make them ahead and grab when needed. —Scarlett Elrod, Newnan, Georgia
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Biscuits and Sausage Gravy

This biscuits and sausage gravy is an old southern recipe that I’ve adapted. Homemade sausage gravy is a classic, hearty breakfast that takes you on a trip to the South every time it’s served. —Sue Baker, Jonesboro, Arkansas
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Crunchy French Toast

This light version of classic French toast is perfect for quick meals or Sunday brunches. My kids love it, and so do I! —Barbara Arnold, Spokane, Washington.
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Texas Beef Barbecue

A boneless beef roast simmers for hours in a slightly sweet sauce before it's shredded and tucked into rolls to make hearty sandwiches. This is a family favorite. —Jennifer Bauer, Lansing, Michigan
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Terrific Teriyaki Burgers

Golden flecks of pineapple give these burgers a touch of sweetness, while the ginger root adds some spice. Ground chicken works well in this recipe, too. —Margaret Wilson, Hemet, California
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Classic Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes

These make-ahead mashed potatoes save me a ton of time on Christmas Day. No more frantically whipping the potatoes while hungry family and guests hang around the kitchen! —Marty Rummel, Trout Lake, Washington
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Presto Pizza Patties

Craving both beef and pizza? These patties feature both in an open-faced sandwich. And they're lighter than you'd think! —Barbara Schindler, Napoleon, Ohio
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Best Deviled Eggs

Herbs lend amazing flavor to these deviled eggs, which truly are the best you can make! The recipe includes tasty variations that feature bacon, chipotle peppers and crab.—Jesse & Anne Foust, Bluefield, West Virginia
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Pressure-Cooker Black-Eyed Peas with Ham

Here's a regional favorite I grew to love after moving to the South, pressure-cooker black-eyed peas. You'll never want to eat canned black-eyed peas again! Serve the dish as a side with grilled chicken, or make it your main course and round out the meal with greens and cornbread. —Tammie Merrill, Wake Forest, NC
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Bacon & Swiss Chicken Sandwiches

I created this chicken sandwich recipe based on a meal my daughter ordered at a restaurant. She likes to dip her sandwich in the extra honey-mustard sauce. —Marilyn Moberg, Papillion, Nebraska
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Makeover Hash Brown Casserole

I wanted a hash brown casserole I could feel good about eating. This light version keeps the cozy flavor while nixing a lot of the fat. —Kelly Kirby, Westville, Nova Scotia