Dinner

9 Cozy Comfort Food Dinners That Are Surprisingly Weight Loss Friendly

The healthiest and most delicious ways to enjoy comfort food.

By: Rebecca Jacobs

If you’re craving some seriously delicious food, you’ve come to the right place. These healthy comfort foods are super easy to make and full of those savory comfort food flavors. We’re sharing how to turn nine comfort food favorites into a wholesome meal you can feel good about enjoying any night of the week! From mac and cheese to chili, tacos, and pizza, this list has you covered. 

RELATED: 23 Easy Swaps For All Of Your Favorite Foods 

9 Healthy Comfort Foods Recipes

#1 Dairy-Free Mac & Cheese 

Turns out healthy mac and cheese does exist! Here’s a healthy take on a traditional comfort food favorite. It’s full of the flavors you love without the added dairy.

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butternut squash, cubed
  • ½ head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ bunch fresh parsley, chopped
  • Sea salt & black pepper, to taste
  • 3 cups gluten free pasta, cooked

Directions:

Step #1: Start by preheating the oven to 180°C or 350°F and line a baking dish with parchment paper.

Step #2: Next, cook the vegetables to your liking and allow to cool.

Step #3: Once cooled, add the cooked vegetables to a food processor or high speed blender and blend until smooth. Add in the nutritional yeast, garlic, and onion powder, salt, and pepper, and blend again.

Step #4: Add the pureed vegetable mixture, chopped parsley, and cooked pasta to a large mixing bowl and stir to coat the pasta.

Step #5: Add the mixture to the baking dish and bake for 15 minutes or until the top is golden.

Step #6: Enjoy!

#2 Delicious Steak Tacos

Taco dinner has never been more delicious. These steak tacos are full of all the traditional taco flavor and paired with avocado, salsa, and cilantro.

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ cup cilantro
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • ½ avocado, chopped
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground chili powder
  • ¼ cup onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • ¼ tsp oregano
  • 1⅓ lbs lean sirloin steak, fat trimmed
  • ½ cup salsa

Directions:

Step #1: Preheat the oven to broil. You can also use a grill.

Step #2: Combine the lime juice and spices. Rub over the steak.

Step #3: Broil (or grill) for 5-6 minutes per side for medium-rare, or to your desired doneness. Let rest for 10 minutes and slice thin or chop into small pieces. You can also chop the steak into smaller pieces and cook it in a skillet. It will take 3-5 minutes in a hot skillet with about one tablespoon of oil.

Step #4: Warm the tortillas and top with cilantro and your other favorite toppings.

#3 Hearty & Healthy Turkey Chili

Chili isn’t just for the chillier times of year — you can enjoy this healthy comfort food dish whenever you’re craving something hearty, filling, and nutrient-dense.

Serves: 4

Ingredients: 

  • 1½ tbsp ground chili powder
  • ½ tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ½ cup celery stalk
  • ½ cup part skim shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 14 oz kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • Sea salt & black pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 14 oz canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp canned chipotle pepper in adobo, diced
  • 1 ½ cups chicken broth
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf

Directions:

Step #1: Heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion, garlic, red pepper, and celery. Cook for 5-8 minutes until onions are beginning to become translucent. Stir in chipotle pepper.

Step #2: Add the turkey, chili powder, oregano, cumin, and bay leaf. Cook for 6-8 minutes, breaking up the turkey, until it is browned.

Step #3: Add the tomatoes and chicken broth. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.

Step #4: Add the beans and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.

Step #5: Serve with shredded cheese and any other favorite toppings.

#4 Portobello Burgers with Roasted Red Peppers, Mozzarella, and Avocado

Love burgers? Good news —healthy burgers do exist! This portobello burger recipe is full of nutritious ingredients and bursting with flavor. Serve with your favorite grain or gluten-free bun or go for a low-carb option and serve with lettuce leaves instead. 

Serves: 4

Ingredients: 

  • ½ red onion
  • Sea salt & black pepper2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tbsp olive oil
  • 4 roasted red peppers
  • 4 reduced calorie hamburger rolls
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 2 oz mozzarella
  • ½ cup basil leaf
  • 1 tomato
  • ½ avocado
  • 4 portobello mushroom
  • ½ tsp oregano

Directions:

Oven option: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Brush the mushrooms with balsamic and olive oil. Sprinkle with oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper. Roast for 10 minutes, flip and roast for 5 more minutes. Top with roasted red peppers and fresh mozzarella and cook until melted, about 5 minutes.

Grill option: Brush the mushrooms with balsamic and olive oil. Sprinkle with oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper. Grill for 5 minutes per side. Top with roasted red peppers and fresh mozzarella and cook until melted, about 2 minutes.3. Serve on toasted rolls with tomato, roasted red pepper, 1/8 avocado, red onion, and fresh basil.

#5 BBQ Black Bean Stuffed Peppers

Filled with black beans, fire roasted tomatoes, and hearty brown rice, these cheesy BBQ vegetarian stuffed peppers make for a filling, family-friendly meal. 

Serves: 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 14 oz canned fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • Sea salt & black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce (no sugar added)
  • 6 red bell peppers
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ cup part skim shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained

Directions:

Step #1: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Cut the tops off the bell peppers and remove the inside. Stand them up in the baking dish. Cook for 10-15 minutes until tender.

Step #2: Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion. Cook for 4-5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and spices. Cook for 1 minute. Add the brown rice, tomatoes, corn, and black beans. Cook 4-5 minutes until warmed through.

Step #3: Turn off the heat and add the barbecue sauce and cilantro. Taste and season as needed.

Step #4: Add this mixture to the peppers and top with cheese. Return to oven and cook for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

#6 Turkey Meatballs With Parmesan Zoodles

This delicious zoodle and meatball dish takes a healthy spin on a traditional comfort food favorite. Skip the cheese for a dairy-free option!

Serves: 3

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz ground turkey
  • ½ yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 28 oz diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 3 cups zucchini noodles
  • Parmesan cheese, grated, to serve
  • Basil leaf, chopped, to serve
  • Sea salt & black pepper, to taste

Step #1: Start by adding the egg to a mixing bowl and whisk well. Add the onion, garlic powder, and parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper and mix well.

Step #2: Add the turkey and mix to combine.

Step #3: Chill the meatball mixture in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Step #4: Remove from the fridge and heat coconut oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Roll the mixture into meatballs and place them in the stockpot. Cook for about 5-7 minutes, turning them frequently to brown on all sides.

Step #5: Add the tomatoes and Italian seasoning to the stockpot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for an additional 15 minutes or until the meatballs are completely cooked through.

Step #6: Serve with the zucchini noodles and garnish with extra grated parmesan cheese and fresh basil.

#7 Guilt-Free Fried Rice

This guilt-free fried rice takes a healthy spin on a traditional favorite. Made with a handful of delicious ingredients, this is an easy weeknight dish you’ll find yourself making time and time again.

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brown rice, cooked
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • ½ yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 cups baby spinach, chopped
  • 2 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 2 eggs
  • Green onion, chopped, to serve
  • Sesame seeds, to serve
  • Chili flakes, to serve
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

Directions:

Step #1: Start by cooking the brown rice according to the packet instructions. Once cooked, set aside.

Step #2: While the rice is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat with coconut oil. Add the onion and saute for 3-5 minutes or until translucent. Add the garlic and saute for another 2 minutes.

Step #3: Add the spinach and stir.

Step #4: Add the cooked rice and saute for 2-3 minutes.

Step #5: Next, crack the eggs into a mixing bowl and whisk. Add to the skillet with the rice and stir until the egg is cooked.

Step #6: Add the coconut aminos and stir well.

Step #7: Divide between two bowls and garnish with the sesame seeds, green onion, and chili flakes.

#8 The Best Cauliflower Pizza

Pizza night just got healthy. This cauliflower pizza comes with all the pizza flavors we love but without the added carbs.

Serves: 3

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1½ tbsp coconut flour
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • 1½ tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup part skim shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 cup pasta sauce
  • 2 tbsp part skim ricotta cheese
  • 2 tbsp pesto
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Basil leaf, to serve

Directions:

Step #1: Start by preheating the oven to 180°C or 350°F and line a pizza pan or large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Step #2: Next, add the cauliflower florets to a food processor and blend until it turns into cauliflower rice.

Step #3: Add the riced cauliflower to the center of a cheesecloth or a clean dish towel and squeeze out the moisture. Add to a large mixing bowl.

Step #4: Whisk the eggs and add to the bowl with the cauliflower along with the almond and coconut flour, seasoning, olive oil, shredded cheese, and salt. Mix well.

Step #5: Add the cauliflower pizza dough to the pizza pan or baking tray and flatten to create a circle. Top with the pizza sauce, ricotta cheese, pesto, and tomatoes.

Step #6: Bake for 30-40 minutes.

Step #7: Serve with fresh basil and allow the pizza to cool for a few minutes before slicing.

Step #8: Enjoy!

#9 Zucchini Veggie Lasagna

This delicious comfort food dish tastes just like the real thing, with a healthier twist. This can be made dairy-free by using dairy-free cheese.

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 5 zucchinis
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup firm tofu, crumbled
  • 1 cup pasta sauce
  • ½ cup mozzarella, shredded
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • Sea salt & black pepper, to taste
  • Basil leaf, chopped, to serve

Directions:

Step #1: Start by preheating the oven to 350°F and line a baking dish with parchment paper.

Step #2: Wash the zucchini and peel into long strips to resemble lasagna noodles.

Step #3: Add a layer of the zucchini noodles to the baking dish and top with ⅓ of the crumbled tofu, cheese, and sauce. Continue layering until all ingredients are used.

Step #4: Add an extra sprinkle of cheese to the top layer and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.

Step #5: Top with fresh basil and enjoy!

The Healthiest Ways to Enjoy Comfort Food 

There you have it — nine mouthwatering delicious healthy comfort foods that prove that healthy eating doesn’t mean deprivation. With some simple and delicious ingredient swaps, you can turn your favorite comfort food into a nourishing dish. 

Pro Tip: Try making a few batches of these yummy recipes on meal prep day to have on hand and reheat during the busy week. And, if you want more healthy eating inspiration, join FitOn PRO and get access to drool-worthy recipes and personalized meal plans.