Popular in Healthy Dinner Recipes

Healthy Comfort Food Dinners

Craving comfort food just like mom used to make? You can enjoy recipes like cheesy chicken casserole, baked mac and cheese, classic lasagna, and sloppy joes -- without the guilt. Each of these healthy comfort food dinner recipes is less than 400 calories, so you can dig into a satisfying meal without worrying about your waistline.


    Everything in this slideshow

    • Three-Cheese Baked Mac

      Not one, not two, but three cheeses (Swiss, sharp cheddar, and Gouda) update the flavor of this classic comfort food that you know and love. Once it's finished baking, turn up the heat to broil for a few minutes to get a browned and bubbly topper.

    • Oriental Beef Brisket

      You can't get any closer to classic comfort food than meat and potatoes. We used sweet potatoes (which loads up the dish with Vitamin A) in addition to russet potatoes, and flavored the beef with an Oriental-style sauce made from hoisin sauce, salsa, and garlic.

    • All-American Sloppy Joes

      Sloppy joes are known for being quick, easy, and a kid-friendly favorite, and our recipe is no different. Just prep the meat, add it to the slow cooker with the other ingredients, walk away, and come back at the end of the day to a healthy dinner.

    • Best Chicken-Noodle Soup

      On a cool day, nothing tastes better than a steaming bowl of homemade chicken-noodle soup. It's loaded with good-for-you veggies and homemade egg noodles (you can easily use dried), and we topped the bowl with snipped fresh thyme for added flavor.

      Editor's Tip: After removing the cooked chicken pieces from your broth, use a large spoon to skim the fat off the surface. Making the broth ahead of time and refrigerating for several hours makes this step a bit easier.

    • One-Pan Chicken-Noodle Soup

      Cook up a pot full of chicken-noodle soup just like Mom used to make -- all in one pan for easy cleanup!

    • Best Meat Loaf

      Our best meat loaf recipe is simple. All it takes is a hearty mix of beef, finely shredded veggies, and standout flavors, such as mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar. We topped ours with a strawberry glaze, but we give you three other options to choose from to enhance the loaf's flavor.


      Editor's Tip: A gentle hand is the key to getting tender, moist meat loaf like you'd find at a diner. Use your fingers to add air and lighten the mixture, and resist packing it down as you mix.

    • Orange-Simmered Pork Chops

      Dinner's on the table in 30 minutes with this flavorful one-pan pork chop recipe. The chops simmer in a mix of orange juice, honey, and chili powder for a sweet-and-spicy flavor, which is enhanced by a fruity relish. Bonus: This pork recipe is low in sodium and high in potassium.

    • Tuscan Cheese Potato Bake

      Cheesy potato casserole is a standard comfort food, but we take it to the next level with fresh thyme and blue cheese mixed in with red potatoes. You can easily make a healthy meal out of this craveworthy casserole by serving it with a leafy green salad.

    • Four-Cheese White Pizza

      When you're craving pizza, try our homemade recipe (you can either make your own dough or use store-bought to save time). We added spinach for color and essential nutrients, but didn't skimp on the cheese -- mozzarella, provolone, Asiago, and ricotta create a delicious blend that will make you want to grab another slice.

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      Beef Bourguignon Pot Pie

      Beef bourguignon, a traditional French recipe, is usually made as a stew, but is equally as delicious in pot pie form. We didn't stray from traditional ingredients, but we added cubed croissants to the top of the beef and vegetable mixture for a slightly crunchy topper to your healthy casserole recipe.

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      Beef and Black Bean Chili

      Cocoa powder, chili powder, and smoked paprika infuse our warm-you-up chili with a bit of sweet heat. This low-cal comfort food takes only 25 minutes to prep, then goes into the slow cooker for a no-maintenance dinner that’s ready when you get home from work.

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      Beef Goulash Soup

      This chunky beef stew calls for cocoa powder, which helps brown and thicken the sauce while offsetting the sweetness of the vegetables. Low-sodium canned tomatoes and light sour cream are two secrets we use to keep this dish healthy without skipping on the flavor.

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      Gorgeous George Burger

      You won't miss the meat in this soy burger because this burger recipe is all about the toppings. Grilled pineapple slices, red onion, and Swiss cheese give the burger standout flavor, and going meatless makes this recipe low in fat and cholesterol.

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      Pizza Slab Pie

      Two cups of high-in-antioxidants spinach go incognito in the filling of this healthy alternative to deep-dish pizza, along with artichoke hearts and olives. Plus, it only takes 20 minutes of prep time (you can chop the veggies the night before to make things even easier), which means it's a great choice for a healthy weeknight dinner.

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      Oven-Fried Chicken

      Yes -- crispy "fried" chicken can be healthy. Our secret? By cooking it in the oven instead of frying it in oil, you shave off calories and fat. We keep the crispy coating simple yet full of flavor with crushed cornflakes, thyme, paprika for a bit of kick, and salt and pepper.

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      Classic Lasagna

      Layer upon layer of melty cheese, lasagna noodles, meat, and tomato sauce are the key to this classic comfort food recipe, but the secret lies in the sauce, which adds a rich, garlicky layer to this decadent pasta. All this for less than 400 calories!

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      Poblano-Chorizo Strata

      If you love breakfast for dinner, take note: You can get your breakfast casserole fix with this low-cal recipe. The South-of-the-Border flavor comes from poblano peppers, chorizo sausage, and queso fresco, and the versatility of the egg-based dish makes it a great hit for any meal.

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      Chipotle Pork Chili

      This good-to-the-last-spoonful chili can be on the table in just 25 minutes. Chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (found in the Mexican aisle at the grocery store) adds a bit of smoky heat, and corn lends a delicious crunch to the final result.


      Editor's Tip: Thick chili or thin? If you like your chili on the thinner side, add a bit of low-sodium broth.

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      Tortellini Vegetable Bake

      This healthy pasta casserole boasts standout flavor and color with a mix of fresh sugar snap peas, cherry tomatoes, sweet peppers, and carrots in a cream cheese-based sauce. It serves enough to feed a small crowd.

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      Chunky Minestrone

      This classic Italian soup combines beans, rice, veggies, and greens for a wholesome yet comforting dinner recipe.

      Editor's Tip: To spend even less time in the kitchen, use quick-cooking rice.

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      Quick Salmon Chowder

      Reminiscent of the soup served in New England's port cities, this simple stew calls for omega-3-rich salmon instead of clams. A few prepared ingredients will help you pull it together in less than 30 minutes (and only use one pan, too).

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      Next Slideshow Healthy Dinner Recipes Under $3

      Healthy Dinner Recipes Under $3

      We all want the same thing: a delicious (and healthy!) inexpensive dinner. Try our recipes, each of which is a healthy dinner idea full of nutrition without skimping on taste. Plus, at less than $3 per serving, our cheap healthy recipes are easy on the wallet and the waistline. These will make you feel good about feeding the family!
      Begin Slideshow »



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