They’re generally synonymous with indulgence rather than health, which is why comfort food dishes often get a bad rap as being not so great for you. Here’s the truth: Healthier dishes can be very comforting, especially when they evoke memories of some of our favorite recipes. Rather than deny yourself a comforting craving, try these meals that lean on lower fat meats and vegetable-packed ingredient lists.
When it comes to lighter versions of classics, taking out some of the carbs helps you enjoy each bite and let go of the guilt. For this technique, cauliflower is king! We’ve jumped on the trend swapping out pizza dough for a cauliflower crust in a Cauliflower Crust Pizza Margherita and rice for cauliflower rice in a sheet-pan dinner of Wild Salmon with Edamame-Cauliflower Rice. Cauliflower really has a way of making you feel you’re eating the real deal.
Then there’s eggplant, a meaty vegetable for sure. If you’re a fan of eggplant Parmesan, you’ll want to give our healthy riff, Crispy Lemon-Parmesan Eggplant, a try. This delightfully indulgent (but surprisingly healthy!) dish is pictured here, and it takes just as good as it looks.
Meat isn’t out of the picture when it comes to healthy comfort foods, either. Leaner chicken, turkey, and tuna are fabulous ways to stay healthy while enjoying animal protein and are loaded with good for you fat; salmon is, too. Our Turkey and Mushroom Bolognese is leaner but just as mouthwatering and satisfying as some of the original recipes. And, of course, there couldn’t anything more soothing than a bowl of soup, and our Saffron Chicken Noodle Soup always hits the spot.
Another way to indulge in comfort food without the guilt is to riff on classic recipes by swapping vegetables for meat. Broccoli shines in our Broccoli-and-Chickpea Parmesan, Brussels sprouts are a fantastic stuffing for Brussels-Sprout Tacos, and chili doesn’t require meat to taste hearty, as our quick cooking Weeknight Vegetarian Chili proves. If you’re ready to try more healthy comfort foods, read on for our delicious feel-good recipes.