30 Favorite Comfort Foods, Lightened Up

Updated: Apr. 05, 2024

Healthy comfort food does exist! We've rounded our most delicious sweet and savory dishes to satisfy your cravings (without ruining your diet).

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Makeover Beef Stroganoff

I trimmed the calories, fat and sodium in a classic stroganoff, and my comfy, cozy version still tastes like a Russian masterpiece. —Candace Clark, Connell, Washington
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Enchilada Casser-Ole!

My husband loves this casserole, so it never lasts too long in our house. Packed with black beans, cheese, tomatoes and southwestern flavor, it's an impressive-looking entree that's as simple as it is delicious. —Marsha Wills, Homosassa, Florida
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Makeover Beef & Potato Soup

Slow-cooker easy, this soup is a Christmas Eve tradition after church services at our house. —Sheila Holderman, Berthold, North Dakota
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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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Tortellini Soup

This is my favorite soup recipe. It's quick to fix on a busy night and full of healthy, tasty ingredients. It originally called for spicy sausage links, but I've found that turkey sausage, or even ground turkey breast, is just as good. —Tracy Fasnacht, Irwin, Pennsylvania
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Apple Pancakes with Cider Syrup

Tender pancakes are filled with minced apple and raisin, and drizzled with apple cider syrup. They're wonderful in the summer or on a cool fall morning. —April Harmon, Greeneville, Tennessee
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Chicken Chili with Black Beans

Because it looks different than traditional chili, my family was a little hesitant to try this dish at first. Thanks to the full, hearty flavor, it's become a real favorite around our house. I like to serve it with warm cornbread. —Jeanette Urbom, Louisburg, Kansas
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Light & Lemony Scampi

A touch more lemon helped me trim the calories in our favorite shrimp scampi recipe. For those who want to indulge, pass around the Parmesan. —Ann Sheehy, Lawrence, Massachusetts
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Makeover Turkey Burgers with Peach Mayo

The unique fruit and mayo combination puts this burger over the top. You can also substitute nectarines for the peaches. They're both delicious! —Charlene Chambers, Ormond Beach, Florida
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Makeover Peach Upside-Down Cake

This peachy delight has charmed folks for years. Our lightened version is even better with less fat and calories than other similar recipes.—Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Whole Wheat Snickerdoodles

These soft, chewy cookies make a super snack any time of year. Their light cinnamon-sugar flavor is the perfect complement to a cold glass of milk. —Jana Horsfall, Garden City, Kansas
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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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Fresh Corn and Tomato Fettuccine

This recipe combines delicious whole wheat pasta with fresh garden produce. It's tossed with heart-healthy olive oil, and a sprinkling of feta cheese gives it bite. —Angela Spengler, Tampa, Florida
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Almond Fudge Cake

People are amazed that this luscious, moist and tender cake is a light dessert. I love the rich chocolate flavor and fruity sauce. —Mike Pickerel, Columbia, Missouri
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Buttermilk Pumpkin Waffles

My girlfriend loves pumpkin, so I enjoy making these fluffy pumpkin waffles for her on cool Sunday mornings. —Charles Insler, Silver Spring, Maryland
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Makeover Shrimp Rice Casserole

I am fond of this lighter version of my shrimp casserole. It has only half the calories and sodium and less fat than my original recipe. —Marie Roberts, Lake Charles, Louisiana
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Poached Pears with Orange Cream

End the meal with a flourish with this easy and elegant dessert. A hint of orange lends just enough sweetness to temper the wine's bold taste. —Julianne Schnuck, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Blackberry Frozen Yogurt

You could also use boysenberries, raspberries or strawberries for this delicious dessert. — Rebecca Baird, Salt Lake City, Utah
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Ribbon Pudding Pie

Cool, smooth and creamy, this pretty pie is a slice of heaven for people with diabetes and anyone who likes an easy yet impressive dessert. The lovely pudding layers feature a yummy combination of vanilla, chocolate and butterscotch. —Doris Morgan, Verona, Mississippi
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Strawberry Sorbet Sensation

On hot days in Colorado, we chill out with slices of this berries-and-cream dessert. The layered effect is so much fun. Use any flavor of sorbet you like. —Kendra Doss, Colorado Springs, Colorado
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Light Linguine Carbonara

When we have to rush off at night, I make this speedy pasta with veggies and bacon. Serve with breadsticks or garlic toast, and dinner's done. —Mary Jo Miller, Mansfield, Ohio
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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
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Warm Chocolate Melting Cups

These little cakes have become a favorite of our guests. They are always surprised that such a chocolaty dessert is so light­—less than 200 calories apiece! —Kissa Vaughn, Troy, Texas

Next, try out this healthy snickers recipe.

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Skinny Turkey-Vegetable Soup

The blend of flavors and colors in this hearty soup will bring everyone at the table back for more. —Charlotte Welch, Utica, New York
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Makeover Swiss Chicken Supreme

Stephanie Bell asked our test kitchen to lighten her family-favorite recipe. Even though this makeover recipe is slimmed down, it is still supreme. It has 560 fewer calories, 81 percent less fat and nearly 75 percent less sodium. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Makeover Loaded Pizza

Now everyone can enjoy family pizza night. We lightened up a classic recipe and shaved off half the calories, three-fourths of the saturated fat, two-thirds of the sodium and cholesterol, and ALL of the guilt. We swear that the kids won't even notice the difference! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Chocolate Angel Cake

When I was married in 1944, I could barely boil water. My dear mother-in-law taught me her specialty—making the lightest angel food cakes ever. This chocolate version is an easy, impressive treat. —Joyce Shiffler, Colorado Springs, Colorado
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Brown Sugar Oatmeal Pancakes

My family absolutely loves these oat pancakes. I make them every Saturday and Sunday. If I don't, they don't believe it's the weekend! My son's friends often spend the night, and I think it's because they like these oatmeal pancakes so much. They are especially delicious served with molasses and syrup. —Sharon W. Bickett, Chester, South Carolina
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Cold-Day Chicken Noodle Soup

When I was sick, my mom would make me this heartwarming chicken noodle soup. It was soothing when I had a cold, but this soup is a bowlful of comfort on any chilly day. —Anthony Graham, Ottawa, lllinois