Nothing is quite as heart-warming as a creamy bowl of mac and cheese on a chilly day. The problem is, the holiday season tends to bring on a few unwanted pounds, and comfort foods are often to blame. But rest assured, we’ve got ten lightened-up comfort food recipes that your taste buds will approve of.
What makes it healthier: Sweet potatoes pack this cheesy classic with beta-carotene, which helps keep your skin healthy.
Why we like it: Mac and cheese that helps your skin look better? Win-win.
What makes it healthier: Veggies like zucchini lend their heart-healthy fiber, while lean turkey helps cut down on the calories.
Why we like it: You can serve it for dinner alongside roasted potatoes and use the leftovers to make a tasty lunch sandwich.
What makes it healthier: Veggies like mushrooms, eggplant and swiss chard add a host of vitamins to this lightened-up lasagna, while whole wheat noodles bump up its fiber content.
Why we like it: This recipe was created by yours truly, and I can vouch for its tastiness.
What makes it healthier: This “fried” chicken is actually baked in the oven with a crispy panko breadcrumb crust.
Why we like it: We’re always up for a new way to cook up boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
What makes it healthier: These pancakes are made from white whole-wheat flour, which has the fluffiness of white flour but the nutrient profile of whole-grain flour.
Why we like it: Who says you can’t have chocolate for breakfast?
What makes it healthier: Lean ground beef and a host of veggies add a mix of protein and fiber to the filling.
Why we like it: Nothing says “comfort food” more than beef with creamy mashed potatoes.
What makes it healthier: The turkey sausage cuts down on some of the calories and fat, while the okra and brown rice provide fiber and antioxidants.
Why we like it: This gumbo is the perfect addition to any chilly evening, without compromising on the nutrients.
What makes it healthier: Avocado gives this soup its creaminess, while kale and spinach bring plenty of antioxidants and fiber.
Why we like it: It’s the green, nutrient-packed version of creamy potato soup.
For more delicious inspiration, browse our entire collection of comfort food recipes.