10 Classic Comfort Food Recipes Made Healthy (2024)

Who doesn't love comfort food? It immediately makes you feel cozy, nostalgic and... hungry. But if [...]

Who doesn't love comfort food? It immediately makes you feel cozy, nostalgic and... hungry. But if you're watching your waistline, comfort foods are usually a no-no due to the high fat and calorie content.

But wait! We have ten of your favorite comfort foods all made healthy! You won't find one recipe over 400 calories. So go ahead — dig on in.

Recipe: Lightened-Up Salisbury Steak

10 Classic Comfort Food Recipes Made Healthy (1)

This hearty meal made skinny is just as delicious as the version you remember from your childhood. Serve this lightened-up salisbury steak over a quarter-cup of mashed potatoes (or even rice) to soak up the gravy. It pairs perfectly with a vegetable, like steamed broccoli or carrots. We used steamed fresh string beans in these photos!

Prep time: 15 minute
Cook time: 30-35 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
Serving size: 1 salisbury steak

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground beef (90/10-lean)
  • 1 onion, half sliced and half diced
  • ¼ cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons white whole-wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the beef, the diced onions, bread crumbs, Worcestershire, Dijon, garlic powder, and egg whites. Mix together with clean hands and shape into 6 equal-sized oval patties.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and grease with nonstick cooking spray. Brown the patties for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until almost done. Reserve the browned patties on a plate.
  3. To the same skillet, add the oil, the sliced onions, and mushrooms. Cook until the onions are very soft and translucent, 10-12 minutes. (If the patties left bits of beef stuck to the skillet, add a tablespoon of water at a time and scrape it with a wooden spoon to deglaze the pan. Do not discard the stuck-on bits; this will help to flavor the sauce.)
  4. Whisk the flour into the beef broth until it is dissolved, and add it to the skillet. Stir in the tomato paste, salt, and black pepper and bring the sauce to a boil.
  5. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and add the browned patties back to the skillet in the sauce.
  6. Simmer until the patties are cooked through and the sauce has thickened, 10-12 minutes.

Nutrition Information
Per Serving: (1 salisbury steak), Calories: 183, Calories from fat: 70, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 40mg, Sodium: 217mg, Carbohydrates: 11g, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Protein: 19g, SmartPoints: 5

Recipe: Lean Turkey and Spinach Lasagna

10 Classic Comfort Food Recipes Made Healthy (2)

This dish tastes so good that it's hard to believe it's healthy! Under 350 calories per serving, this lasagna combines all of our favorite things in one place: cheese, turkey, spinach and noodles, and turns them into something fabulous that your entire family will love. Even the pickiest of eaters will ask for seconds!

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Yield: 8 servings
Serving size: Approximately 1½ cups

Ingredients

  • 9 whole wheat lasagna noodles
  • ½ cup onion, chopped
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 23 oz jar reduced-sugar pasta sauce
  • ½ cup white mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 3 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 6 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • 2 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups low moisture, part-skim, mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat a 9x13 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Cook lasagna noodles according to box directions until al denté. Drain noodles and rinse with cold water.
    Lightly coat a large, deep skillet with nonstick cooking spray and saute onions until transparent.
  3. Add turkey and garlic and cook until turkey is browned, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add pasta sauce, mushrooms, Italian seasoning and pepper, simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  5. In a bowl, combine chopped spinach and ricotta.
  6. In your baking dish, arrange ⅓ of noodles (3) in bottom of dish. Spread ⅓ of ricotta mixture, ⅓ turkey mixture and ⅓ of the mozzarella. Repeat 2x, ending with mozzarella.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes or until cheese becomes bubbly. Sprinkle parsley on top. Cool for 5 minutes before cutting.

Nutrition Information
Per Serving: (Approximately 1½ cups): Calories: 337, Calories from fat: 91, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 81mg, Sodium: 667mg, Carbohydrates: 28g, Fiber: 4g, Sugar 8g, Protein: 27g, SmartPoints: 10

Recipe: Healthy Stovetop Mac and Cheese

10 Classic Comfort Food Recipes Made Healthy (3)

Are you hesitant to feed your child neon-orange macaroni from a box? If the answer is yes, then you've stumbled into the right place, because we've created a healthier version of mac-n-cheese that the kids are sure to love. You'll know all the ingredients that go into this yummy dish, and we all know that makes a mom happy.

Prep time:

5 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
Serving size: 1 cup

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces whole wheat elbow macaroni, dry
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup reduced-fat mild cheddar shredded cheese
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the macaroni according to package directions for al dente.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the butter and onion, and cook until the onions are translucent, 4-6 minutes.
  3. Stir in the flour and cook for about 1 minute. Increase the heat to medium-high and whisk in the milk and chicken broth. Stir frequently until the sauce starts to thicken, 10-12 minutes.
  4. Stir in the cheese, salt, and black pepper.
  5. Add the cheese sauce to the drained macaroni, and stir to evenly coat.

Nutrition Information
Per Serving: (1 cup), Calories: 304, Calories from fat: 82, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 23mg, Sodium: 358mg, Carbohydrates: 45g, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 4g, Protein: 16g, SmartPoints: 9

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Recipe: Slow-Cooker Beef Stroganoff

10 Classic Comfort Food Recipes Made Healthy (4)

This dinner is as cozy as slipping into your favorite, soft winter sweater — and it's just about as easy to make too! This one will warm you up and fill your kitchen with the most mouth-watering scents of fork-tender beef and mushrooms stewing atop whole-grain noodles and a flavorful sauce in your slow cooker. It's as simple as throwing all the ingredients in, turning on the slow cooker, and letting that bad boy work its magic!

Prep time:

10 minutes
Cook time: 3 hours on high or 6 hours on low

Yield:

8 servings

Serving size:

Heaping 1½ cupsIngredients

  • 1½ pounds lean stew beef, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 (8-ounce) containers baby bella (cremini) mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 (10.5-ounce) can Campbell's® Healthy Request® Condensed cream of mushroom Soup
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • ¾ cup low-sodium beef broth (I like Pacific® Organic)
  • 2 tablespoons cooking sherry or low-sodium beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 12 ounces whole grain egg noodles, dry
  • 1 cup plain 0% Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  1. Place the meat, mushrooms, mushroom soup, onion, beef broth, sherry, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, salt, and black pepper in the slow cooker and stir together.
  2. Cook on high for 3 hours or low heat for 6 hours. About 30 minutes before cooking time is up, cook bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook the noodles to al dente according to package directions.
  3. Drain the noodles and add to the slow cooker along with the yogurt. Stir to combine and heat through on low heat before serving.
  4. Serve garnished with the parsley.

Nutrition Information
Per Serving: (Heaping 1½ cups), Calories: 323, Fat: 8g, Carbohydrates: 40g, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 4g, Protein: 29g, SmartPoints: 7

Recipe: Southern 'Fried' Chicken

10 Classic Comfort Food Recipes Made Healthy (5)

Make a healthier version of this comfort food classic without using a deep fryer! Nosh on three pieces for only 165 calories.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
Serving size: 3 pieces chicken

Ingredients

  • 4 (4-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • ¾ cup fat-free milk
  • 1 tablespoon Frank's RedHot sauce
  • 1 cup cornflakes
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs

Instructions

  1. Place the chicken breasts between 2 pieces of wax paper and gently pound with flat side of meat mallet or rolling pin until the breasts are about ½ inch thick. Cut each breast into 3 equal pieces.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the milk and hot sauce.
  3. Place the chicken pieces in a large resealable bag and pour in the milk mixture. Squeeze out excess air, seal the bag, and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours and up to overnight (depending on how much time you have).
  4. When you're ready to cook, preheat oven to 400° F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  5. In a food processor, combine ½ cup of the cornflakes, the paprika, salt, and pepper. Pulse until the cornflakes become crumbs. Pour them into a shallow baking dish and stir in the panko.
  6. In a small resealable bag, gently crush the remaining ½ cup cornflakes by hand into small pieces. Transfer the hand-crushed cornflakes to the panko-crumb mixture.
  7. Remove the chicken pieces one at a time from the marinade and place in the cornflake mixture. Evenly cover each piece of chicken.
  8. Arrange the chicken in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes at 400° F, then reduce the oven temperature to 350° F and bake until the chicken is cooked through and crispy, 5 to 10 minutes longer.

Nutrition Information
Per Serving (3 pieces chicken): Calories: 165, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Carbohydrates: 14g, Fiber: 0g, Sugar: 3g, Protein: 25g, SmartPoints: 3

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Recipe: Lean Turkey Chili

10 Classic Comfort Food Recipes Made Healthy (6)

It's a chilly Sunday afternoon. The football game plays on TV, your family cheers on your team and you sit warmly wrapped in a blanket on the couch. A rare relaxing moment interrupted only by getting up to check on the hot pot of chili simmering on the stove. Serving up a bowl of our Lean Turkey Chili will become a Sunday tradition as soon as your family gets a whiff of the warm, hearty aroma — not to mention a taste! And at 240 calories per cup of chili, you won't even feel bad going back for seconds.

Prep time: Less than 10 minutes
Cook time: 25-30 minutes
Yield: 9 servings
Serving size: 1 cup

Ingredients

  • ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 14.5-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 14.5-ounce can reduced-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 14.5-ounce can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • Two 14.5-ounce reduced-sodium diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Heat a large stockpot over medium-high heat, add the oil and cook the garlic, onion, and turkey for about 6-8 minutes until the turkey is cooked and the onions are translucent. Use a wooden spoon to break the turkey up as it cooks.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients to the pot and bring to a boil over high heat.
  3. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Serve with optional toppings as desired.

Nutrition Information
Per Serving: (1 cup), Calories: 240, Calories from fat: 42, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 36mg, Sodium: 587mg, Carbohydrates: 34g, Fiber: 10g, Sugar 6g, Protein: 18g, SmartPoints: 5

Recipe: Sour Cream Enchiladas

10 Classic Comfort Food Recipes Made Healthy (7)

Have a food fiesta by serving up these Sour Cream Enchiladas! They'll be ready in only 45 minutes, giving you just enough time to prep a side of Quinoa Mexi-Lime Salad. These enchiladas will cure all your cravings for Mexican food and you can safely avoid that endless tortilla chip basket.

Prep time:

10 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Yield: 8 servings
Serving size: 1 enchilada

Ingredients

  • 1 (10-ounce) can green enchilada sauce
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • ½ cup light sour cream
  • 1 (10.5-ounce) can Campbell's® Healthy Request® condensed cream of chicken soup
  • ⅓ cup fat-free milk
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 (10-ounce) can Ro*Tel® "Original" diced tomatoes and green chilies
  • 1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chilies
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 large low-carb, high-fiber tortillas, warmed (I like La Tortilla Factory®)
  • ¾ cup shredded reduced-fat four-cheese Mexican blend (I like Sargento®)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Coat a 13x9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium skillet, heat the enchilada sauce over medium-high heat. Add the chicken breasts and cook until cooked through, 7 to 8 minutes per side.
  3. Transfer the chicken breasts to a plate to cool. After the chicken has slightly cooled, use two forks to shred the chicken and set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, return the skillet of enchilada sauce to low heat. Add the sour cream, chicken soup, and fat-free milk. Stir frequently for 2 to 3 minutes, then remove from the heat.
  5. In a separate large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the diced tomatoes, green chilies, cumin, salt, pepper, and the shredded chicken. Continue to stir frequently until the mixture is heated through, 2 to 3 minutes, then remove from heat.
  6. To assemble, fill each tortilla with a heaping ⅓ cup of the chicken mixture. Tightly roll each tortilla and place seam side down in the prepared baking dish.
  7. Pour and evenly spread the sour cream sauce over the enchiladas and sprinkle with the cheese. Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly, 18 to 20 minutes.
  8. Serve garnished with the cilantro.

Nutrition Information
Per Serving: (1 enchilada), Calories: 250, Fat: 10g, Carbohydrates: 28g, Fiber: 13g, Sugar: 5g, Protein: 36g, SmartPoints:5

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Recipe: BBQ Turkey Meatloaf Cups with Mashed Cauliflower

10 Classic Comfort Food Recipes Made Healthy (8)

Looking for some creative new recipes? Or are your kids just sick and tired of that meatloaf you keep churning out week after week? These adorable, bite-sized goodies are packed full with protein for a healthy after-school snack or dinner for the family.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
Serving size: 2 muffins

Ingredients

  • 1½ pounds lean ground turkey
  • 2 egg whites
  • ½ cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup onion, diced
  • ½ cup green pepper, diced
  • ½ cup carrot, grated
  • ½ cup low sugar tomato ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup low-sugar BBQ sauce
  • 1 medium head cauliflower
  • 1/3 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons light sour cream
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • chopped parsley or chives for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400º F.
  2. Lightly coat a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix turkey, egg whites, breadcrumbs, onion, green pepper, carrots, ketchup, mustard, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, salt, and pepper with your hands. Once mixture is thoroughly combined, fill each tin cup with about 2 ounces of turkey mixture.
  4. Brush 2 tablespoons of BBQ sauce onto the tops of each turkey muffin.
  5. Lightly coat a piece of aluminum foil with cooking spray and cover muffin tin. Bake cups for 15 minutes.
  6. Once turkey cups are in the oven, start your cauliflower mash: cut cauliflower heads into small florets. Place the cauliflower florets in a microwave-safe bowl with 1/4-1/2 cup water, cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 3 to 5 minutes, or until fork-tender.
  7. Place the cauliflower in a food processor. Add chicken broth, sour cream, salt and pepper; puree until creamy.
  8. Remove meatloaf cups from oven and remove foil cover; set aside.
  9. Scoop mashed cauliflower into a piping bag and pipe mashed cauliflower onto each individual turkey cup.
  10. Place turkey cups back into the oven and bake uncovered for an additional 20 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165º F.
  11. Garnish with parsley and/or chives and drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of BBQ sauce onto the tops.
  12. Serve turkey cups hot along with the extra mashed cauliflower!
  13. Make It Easy Tip: Don't have a decorating bag? Place the mashed cauliflower in a large resealable plastic bag. Snip off one corner of the bag and viola…a makeshift decorating bag!

Nutrition Information
Per Serving (2 muffins): Calories: 285, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Carbohydrates: 17g, Fiber: 2g, Sugars: 6g, Protein: 27g, SmartPoints: 8

Recipe: Slow-Cooker Chicken Pot Pie

10 Classic Comfort Food Recipes Made Healthy (9)

This meal couldn't get much simpler thanks to your magic slow cooker. Just toss the ingredients in and dinner cooks while you're out and about. The comforting smells of this chicken pot pie will welcome you home and you can indulge within minutes.

Prep time:

10 minutes
Cook time: 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low
Yield: 6 servings
Serving size: Heaping 1 cup and 1 biscuit

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3½ celery stalks, diced
  • 2 (10.5-ounce) cans Campbell's® Healthy Request condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (16-ounce) bag frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 (12-ounce) can Pillsbury® Grands!® Jr. Golden Layers Flaky Biscuits

Instructions

  1. Place the chicken breasts in a slow cooker. Top the chicken with the onion and celery.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the chicken soup, milk, garlic powder, thyme, salt and pepper and whisk until mixed well. Pour the mixture into the slow cooker.
  3. Cover and cook on high heat for 4 hours or on low heat for 8 hours.
  4. About 30 minutes before serving, remove the chicken from the slow cooker with a slotted spoon and shred with two forks. Return the shredded chicken to the slow cooker and stir in the vegetables and parsley. Cook for an additional 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400° F.
  6. Bake the biscuits according to the package directions.
  7. To serve, place a heaping 1 cup of the chicken mixture in each bowl and top with a biscuit.

Nutrition Information
Per Serving: (Heaping 1 cup and 1 biscuit), Calories: 380, Fat: 8g, Carbohydrates: 47g, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 12g, Protein: 26g, SmartPoints: 9

Recipe: Slow Cooker Fall-Off-The-Bone Ribs

10 Classic Comfort Food Recipes Made Healthy (10)

Let your slow-cooker do all the hard work and you get to come home to delicious, sticky, fall-off-the-bone ribs.

Prep time:

15 minutes
Cook time: 4-6 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low
Yield: 8 servings
Serving size: 2 ribs

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2½ pounds pork baby back ribs (about 16)
  • ⅔ cup reduced-sugar BBQ sauce

Instructions

  1. Remove the outer membrane on the bone side of the ribs, if not already removed. Do this by flipping the ribs over so they're bone-side up and pat them dry with paper towels. Starting at the end of the rack, slide the tip of a paring knife between the membrane and the bone, then lift and cut through the membrane. Hold the end of the membrane with a paper towel, pull it toward the other end of the rack and completely remove it and discard.
  2. Place the ribs on a baking sheet and cut the rack in half so it fits in the slow cooker. Pat dry the ribs dry with paper towels to remove any moisture.
  3. Mix all of the dry rub ingredients together and pat on both sides of the ribs.
  4. Spray a slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray and stand the ribs around the sides of it.
  5. Cover and cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 6-8 hours, or until the meat is tender and falls off easily.
  6. Carefully remove the ribs from the slow cooker with tongs. Transfer to a clean baking sheet and brush with BBQ sauce. Optional: Place under the broiler for 1-2 minutes to caramelize the BBQ sauce.

Nutrition Information
Calories: 289, Calories from fat: 177, Fat: 19g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 81mg, Sodium: 876mg, Carbohydrates: 6g, Fiber: 0g, Sugar:3g, Protein: 23g, SmartPoints: 9

The nutrition content of recipes on PopCulture.com has been calculated by Registered Dietitian, Jessica Penner, of Smart Nutrition.

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10 Classic Comfort Food Recipes Made Healthy (2024)
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