Classic comfort foods can transport us back to our childhood, when things were simpler and a batch of Mom’s mac and cheese could cure just about anything. Mom might not be cooking for us anymore, but that doesn’t mean we still can’t have the same comforts. These lightened up recipes are perfect when you want a little taste of home, without all the calories.
Lighter Baked Macaroni and Cheese via Skinny Taste
This favorite is lightened up by reducing dairy and adding baby spinach for volume. At only 300 calories per serving, this recipe is the cheesy goodness you remember with a grown-up twist.
Healthy Sloppy Joes via Wine and Glue
Sloppy Joes are an American classic and may take you (for better or worse) back to the school cafeteria. This childhood favorite is lightened up by replacing ground beef with lean ground turkey. With all the flavor of the original, this recipe is sure to satisfy.
Baked Fried Chicken via Well Plated
This take on the Southern classic is so full of flavor, no good ol’ boy would be able to resist it. A buttermilk marinade keeps the chicken moist while crushed cornflakes give the exterior an irresistible crunch and a hint of spice gives the chicken just the right amount of kick.
Roasted Vegetable Whole Wheat Pizza via Sally’s Baking Addiction
This tasty pizza is made on a healthy whole wheat crust. Top with your favorite vegetables to create a pizza that is all your own. Yum!
Baked Chicken Tenders via 2 Teaspoons
You’ll never believe that these juicy tenders aren’t fried. Revamping this quintessential meal, Karen of 2 Teaspoons covers pieces of boneless, skinless chicken breasts with Panko bread crumbs to give the illusion of fried chicken tenders with a fraction of the fat.
Skinny Fettuccine Alfredo via Love Grows Wild
There’s nothing quite like a big bowl of pasta covered in cream sauce. Except for a big bowl of pasta with cream sauce that’s actually good for you! This dish is big on flavor without using the usual stick of butter and heavy cream. A sprinkle of flour thickens up a mix of chicken broth, low-fat milk, and garlic to create the alfredo taste you love without the calories that you don’t.
Creamy Broccoli Soup via The Iron You
Broccoli-cheddar soup is a classic for a reason. There’s something so comforting about a creamy bowl of piping hot soup to warm you up from the inside out. This version gets its creaminess from full-fat coconut milk and replaces cheese in the soup with cheesy cheddar crisps.
Mock Mashed Potatoes via Pickles N Honey
Nothing says ‘comfort food’ quite like mashed potatoes. This mock version uses cauliflower plus cannellini beans to get the perfect rich and creamy texture. Plus, the beans pack a super-filling protein punch!
Flourless Chocolate Chip Brownie Pie via Chocolate Covered Katie
With less than 250 calories per serving, this decadent chocolate chip brownie pie is swoon-worthy. Made with a creative array of ingredients, you would never know that this rich pie is actually a certified health food!
Guiltless Honey Bunches Apple Crisp via It’s Always Autumn
Apple pie is a timeless dessert staple. This inventive recipe mixes sweet and tart apples with cinnamon, then tops with Honey Bunches of Oats cereal and a bit of butter. The mix is then baked to create tender, flavorful apples balanced out by a perfectly crunchy, sweet topping.
Carrot Cake Cupcakes via Glow Kitchen
This whole-wheat carrot cupcake is sugar-free, fat-free, egg-free, and dairy-free. Don’t dismiss this cupcake just yet though! This recipe is all about simplicity — using natural ingredients to create something delicious. Carrot, raisins, figs, orange juice, and applesauce are mixed with whole-wheat flour to create moist cupcakes that are great for your health. Mmmmm.