31 Healthy Comfort Foods for People Who Love to Eat
Dieting is hard. Luckily, these healthy comfort food recipes make it easy to eat better.
My wife created this recipe as a healthy way to use up Thanksgiving leftovers. It’s a nice alternative to the typical fare, and it’s so easy. Our family looks forward to this soup every year. —Matthew Szyndler, Maumee, Ohio.
One of our favorite comfort food dinners is spaghetti and meatballs. We’re crazy about this lightened-up, healthier version featuring so many veggies. The same beloved flavors with more nutritious ingredients! — Courtney Stultz, Weir, Kansas
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
My family gave these cheesy quesadillas oohs and aahs. Remove the spinach from the heat as soon as it wilts so it keeps a little bit of crunch. —Pam Kaiser, Mansfield, Missouri
No matter how you toss ’em up, shrimp and thyme play nicely with any spring-fresh vegetable. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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
This veggie-packed casserole hits the spot on chilly nights. But it’s equally good any time I have a taste for Mexican food with all the fixings, too. —Patricia Gale, Monticello, Illinois
This mild, homemade tuna casserole will truly satisfy your family’s craving for comfort food without all the fat! —Colleen Willey, Hamburg, New York
My from-scratch pizza has a whole wheat crust flavored with beer. Top it with spinach, artichoke hearts and tomatoes, then add chicken or ham and fresh basil if you want to include meat. —Raymonde Bourgeois, Swastika, Ontario
It takes a little longer to make baked spaghetti, but the difference in taste, texture and richness is well worth the time. I serve this lasagna-style dish with a tossed green salad and breadsticks for a hearty, healthy meal. —Betty Rabe, Mahtomedi, Minnesota
This busy-day chili is packed with flavor. We make it ahead and freeze some to eat later. —Marisela Segovia, Miami, Florida
I’ve been cooking this strata for years, and my family just can’t get enough! The fresh basil gives this healthy brunch dish an added flavor boost. —Jean L. Ecos, Hartland, Wisconsin.
My mother-in-law shared the recipe for this unique pizza with me. It’s just right for brunch, lunch or a light supper. Loosen the nutritious zucchini crust from the pan with a metal spatula. —Ruth Denomme, Englehart, Ontario
This zesty pasta dish is ideal for busy weeknights. It’s low on ingredients, easy to prep and tastes so comforting when the weather turns cool. A salad on the side makes it a meal. —Stacey Brown, Spring, Texas
I came up with this recipe when our garden was brimming with butternut squash. This is now our favorite way to use it. —Christine Wood, Tipton, Iowa
This recipe combines delicious whole wheat pasta with the best of fresh garden produce. It’s tossed with heart-healthy olive oil, and a little feta cheese gives it bite. —Angela Spengler, Tampa, Florida
I asked my grandmother for this recipe after trying these irresistible spice cupcakes at her home. I love their creamy caramel frosting. They’re such a scrumptious dessert you actually forget you’re eating your vegetables, too! —Virginia Lapierre, Greensboro Bend, Vermont
If you like a good stir-fry, this dish will definitely satisfy. I discovered the recipe at an international luncheon, and it’s now a favorite go-to meal. —Denise Patterson, Bainbridge, Ohio
Tender, hearty and flavorful, this recipe is one of my favorites! Garlic and a splash of lemon add to the fresh taste and heart-healthy benefits of shrimp. —Sarah Hummel, Moon Township, Pennsylvania
I found something similar to this years ago and have recently added my own spin. Here’s the outcome: an easy, cheesy meal your family can’t get enough of. We don’t have to tell them it’s healthy. —Deborah Williams, Peoria, Arizona
It was such a joy to come home and find my mom making spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. This recipe has always been dear to my heart. —Debbie Heggie, Laramie, Wyoming
To fix a large batch of tender pancakes for my five children, I rely on this fuss-free recipe. It calls for whole wheat flour and buttermilk, which make the pancakes very filling but also very light. Serve them with hot chocolate for a breakfast that’s sure to delight little ones. —Line Walter, Wayne, Pennsylvania