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 serving 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.

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  • 1 of 27

    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.

  • 2 of 27

    Cheeseburger Soup

    If cheeseburgers and thick, warming soups rank high on your list of comfort food favorites, you'll want to try this healthy soup recipe pronto. This creamy, low-calorie soup is packed with protein and bursting with delicious veggies -- mushrooms, spinach, and sweet peppers, just to name a few!

  • 3 of 27

    Green Chile Chicken Tortilla Casserole

    So long, calorie-laden casseroles! This 253-calorie bubbly bake is easy on the lips AND the hips. Our better-for-you casserole recipe features shredded chicken breast for lean protein, along with reduced-fat shredded Mexican-style cheese for gooeyness without the guilt.

  • 4 of 27

    All-American Sloppy Joes

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

  • 5 of 27

    Healthy Quesadillas? Yep, We Went There!

    If you grew up loving cheesy quesadillas, these veggie-stuffed Fajita-Style Quesadillas might just become your new fave. Click to see how it's done!

  • 6 of 27

    Oriental Beef Brisket

    You can't get any closer to classic comfort food than meat and potatoes. We used sweet potatoes (which load 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.

  • 7 of 27

    Peppers Stuffed with Quinoa and Spinach

    Craving all the hearty goodness of classic stuffed peppers but want it healthier? You've got it! We filled our peppers with fiber- and protein-packed quinoa, savory mushrooms, and nutrient-rich spinach before topping them off with melty Monterey Jack cheese.

  • 8 of 27

    Best Meat Loaf

    Bold claim? Maybe -- but we stand behind it! For the best meat loaf recipe ever, you just need a hearty mix of beef, finely shredded veggies, and standout flavors like mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar. We topped ours with strawberry glaze, but try any of our three glaze options to jazz up your loaf!



    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.

  • 9 of 27

    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 topped off with snipped fresh thyme for added flavor.

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

  • 10 of 27

    One-Pan Chicken-Noodle Soup

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

  • 11 of 27

    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 fruity relish. Bonus: This tasty pork recipe is low in sodium and high in potassium.

  • 12 of 27

    Philly Steak Sandwiches

    No lie -- these mouthwatering Philly steak sandwiches, featuring juicy steak, melty cheddar, and piles of sauteed onions and peppers inside toasted whole-wheat frankfurter buns, clock in at a smidge less than 300 calories. Make them now; thank us later.

  • 13 of 27

    Tuscan Cheese Potato Bake

    Cheesy potato casserole is a traditional 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.

  • 14 of 27

    Four-Cheese White Pizza

    When you're craving pizza, try this homemade recipe. We added spinach for color and essential nutrients but didn't skimp on cheese: You'll taste mozzarella, provolone, Asiago, and ricotta in every gooey bite.

    Editor's Tip: Make your own pizza dough for a special touch, or use store-bought dough to save time. It's delicious either way!

  • 15 of 27

    Avocado Ranch Tuna Melts

    Full-fat tuna melts, eat your heart out. These open-face sandwiches sport two layers of goodness: a creamy-crunchy base of broccoli slaw, mashed avocado, and fat-free ranch dressing topped with a lemony, low-fat tuna mixture. Ultra-thin slices of cheddar add a lot of melt but very few calories.

  • 16 of 27

    Beef Bourguignon Pot Pie

    Beef bourguignon, a traditional French recipe, is usually made as a stew, but it's equally delicious as a healthy casserole. We didn't stray far from traditional ingredients, but we couldn't resist adding a flaky topper of cubed croissants over the beef-and-veggie mixture.

  • 17 of 27

    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 needs just 25 minutes of hands-on time before settling in for a long simmer in the slow cooker. It's a no-maintenance dinner that’s ready when you get home from work!

  • 18 of 27

    Gorgeous George Burger

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

  • 19 of 27

    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 takes only 20 minutes of prep time, which means it's a great choice for a healthy weeknight dinner. (Psst...chop the veggies the night before to make things even easier!)

  • 20 of 27

    Oven-Fried Chicken

    Believe it or not, 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 flavorful with crushed cornflakes, thyme, paprika for a bit of kick, salt, and pepper.

  • 21 of 27

    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!

  • 22 of 27

    Poblano-Chorizo Strata

    If you love breakfast for dinner, take note: You can get your breakfast casserole fix with this low-cal recipe. The mouthwatering south-of-the-border flavors come from poblano peppers, chorizo sausage, and salty queso fresco.


  • 23 of 27

    Breaded Chicken Strips and Sweet Potato Fries

    This kid-friendly sheet pan supper makes eating healthy a breeze. Wedges of vitamin A-packed sweet potatoes are baked to crispy perfection alongside chicken tenders covered in a crunchy coating of cornflakes and a few key seasonings. And the secret to the chicken's amazing juiciness? A nice, long soak in low-fat buttermilk.

  • 24 of 27

    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 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.

  • 25 of 27

    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 sauce. It serves enough to feed a small crowd.

  • 26 of 27

    Quick Salmon Chowder

    Inspired by the famous chowders served in New England's port cities, this simple soup calls for omega-3-rich salmon instead of clams. A few prepared ingredients will help you pull it together in less than 30 minutes -- with just one pan to clean afterward!

  • Next Slideshow Fresh and Light Dinner Recipes

    Fresh and Light Dinner Recipes

    From salads to pastas to sandwiches, we've compiled a list of our favorite easy and light dinner recipes. We even have ideas for making steak into a light and refreshing meal! Plus, these recipes are filled with fresh ingredients, making them extra tasty and nutritious. These recipes prove that dinner doesn't have to be a covered in mounds of cheese and dripping with butter to be satisfying!
    Begin Slideshow »

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