50 of the Best-Ever Comfort Foods Got a Healthy Makeover

| Diet & Nutrition

Sometimes you just crave a hearty meal, and it's not until after the indulgence that you think about how many calories you've just consumed. Next time you need a big bowl of mac and cheese or some classic fried chicken, look for some of these skinny alternatives for your favorite comfort foods!

1. Oven Baked Chicken and Waffles: Chicken and waffles is a classic recipe, especially if you're from the South. It is not however, a healthy meal exactly. With some modifications, you can now enjoy it for only 265 calories. Click here to check out this recipe.

chicken and waffles

2. Healthy Stovetop Mac & Cheese: Your kids love nights when mom doesn't have time to make a proper meal, because it usually means they'll get some boxed mac and cheese. Next time, swap it out for this healthier version that both you and the kids will love! Get this recipe by clicking here. 

stovetop mac and cheese

3. Skinny 3-Cheese Penne: Pasta is a well-loved dish that you've been eating your whole life. Just because you're dieting doesn't mean you have to stop! This cheesy dish has only 284 calories. Click here for this recipe.

3-cheese-penne

4. Skinny Banana French Toast Bake: This is a great breakfast dish if you have overnight guests. It's a filling, tasty dish that tastes like it's packed with calories, but each serving is under 300! Get more nutritional information here.

french toast bake

5. Skinny Shrimp Scampi: Instead of going out for dinner, cook a meal that tastes like it! This Skinny Shrimp Scampi has restaurant quality taste with diet-friendly nutrition! You can check it out here.

shrimp scampi

6. Oven Baked Crispy Fried Chicken: Nothing could offer quite the level of satisfaction as a big mouthful of fried chicken – until now! This chicken gives you the crunch you’ve been craving with its extra crispy, no-butter-or-oil-necessary coating. Get the recipe and nutrition info here.

oven baked crispy chicken

7. Skinny Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie: Using a slow cooker is great for busy families, and this recipe is no exception! Put your ingredients into the slow cooker in the morning, go about your day and when you return, you need to add only the frozen veggies! Get the step-by-step instructions here.

chicken pot pie

8. Skinny Manicotti: Cheesy and delicious, your kids will never realize that you've packed this meal with 10 ounces of spinach! It's a healthy dish moms love and a tasty dish the kids will gladly eat! Get the recipe here.

skinny manicotti

9. Skinny Shepherd's Pie: One of the best parts of this dish is our Skinny Chipotle Mashed Potatoes on top! They bring the spice! And when mixed with with raisins and cinnamon in the beef mixture, they make for the perfect balance of heat and sweet! For the full recipe, click here.

shepherds pie

10. Skinny Hot Wings: Next time you're hosting on game day, make sure you make these hot wings in bulk because they are so good they'll go fast! No one will realize just how many calories you've saved them. Get the nutrition for this recipe here.

skinny hot wings

11. Skinny Cheeseburger Casserole: It's only 258 calories per serving and a HUGE hit with kids. Think Hamburger Helper Cheeseburger Macaroni, but healthier and WAY tastier. Get this recipe here.

cheeseburger casserole

12. Pasta Pizza Casserole: Pasta and pizza all in one? It's meaty, juicy and cheesy. This casserole will soon become a family favorite, not just for its taste, but also because it's easy to make! Click here for the full recipe.

Supreme Pizza Pasta Casserole

13. Open-Faced Turkey Patty Melt: Give your turkey sandwich a seriously good makeover with our Open-Faced Turkey Patty Melt. Ricotta cheese is a great flavor enhancer and adds the perfect amount of juiciness to the patty, and the caramelized onions provide the traditional patty melt flavor we all know and love. Get the step-by-step instructions here.

open-face turkey patty melt

14. Skinny Lasagna: We've got a lasagna that tastes just as good as your mom's! Lean ground sirloin, turkey sausage, and cheeses made with part skim milk are easy swaps that make a big difference when it comes to calories and fat! It makes 12 servings (perfect for leftovers) at only 312 calories each. Get more information on this recipe here.

skinny lasagna

15. Skinny Turkey Meatloaf: You’re going to love this American favorite in just five easy steps with healthy alternatives like ground turkey! Pair this with mashed cauliflower or a light noodle casserole on the side, and you'll have leftovers for lunch the next day. Get the recipe by clicking here.

turkey meatloaf

16. Skinny Shrimp and Grits: Warm and comforting, this dish is exactly what your inner southern belle is craving. Our version is slimmed down but doesn't lose out on taste or texture! Check it out here.

skinny shrimp and grits

17. Baked Chicken Parmesan: The traditional version of this meal was a little too unhealthy for us, so we made a skinnier version! Making a simple swap from frying the chicken breast to baking it instead makes a huge difference in fat and calories, while keeping this dinner bursting with flavor! Click here to be taken to the recipe.

baked chicken parmesan
(Photo: SkinnyTaste)

18. Philly Cheese Turkey Sloppy Joes: Sloppy Joes were probably a staple in your home growing up, so pass down the tradition with this healthier alternative! Get the recipe here.

sloppy joe

19. Skinny (Gluten-Free) UN-Fried Chicken: This is a quick and easy 30-minute dinner, that will make your kids think they are getting fried chicken tenders, while you have the peace of mind know they are baked! Get full instructions for this meal here.

un-fried chicken

20. Chicken Fettuccine with Broccoli and Bacon: You've probably been trying to avoid creamy sauces like Alfredo ever since your diet started, but this recipe is a tasty, light version of the classic dish with less than 400 calories in a serving. Get the recipe here.

chicken fettuccine

21. Skinny Mini Turkey Burgers: Fire up the grill and cook up some of our Skinny Mini Turkey Burgers. These minis make fun, tasty, and healthy appetizers perfect for the whole family. Your kids will especially love eating these perfectly sized mini burgers. Get the nutrition information here.

mini turkey burgers

22. Cheesy Garlic Pork Chops: Pork chops have been a staple in many homes for a long time. Not only is this recipe healthy (under 400 calories and 18 grams of protein), but it's also full of flavor! This is a recipe your hungry husband will definitely request again. Get it here.

cheesy garlic pork chops

23. Skinny Texas Cheese Fries: This is comfort food at its finest! If you're anything like us, your mouth is watering after reading the words Texas Cheese Fries! This scrumptious recipe won't let you down. Every bite is more delicious than the last, and we can almost guarantee there will be some finger licking happening with this dish!

skinny texas cheese fries
(Photo: Skinnytaste)

24. Skinny Chicken Noodle Soup: Whenever you're feeling under the weather, you'll want to be comforted by this classic soup. We've cut out all the unnecessary calories so you can enjoy the classic taste without the guilt! Get the recipe here.

Chicken Noodle Soup

25. Skinny Baked Mac & Cheese with Broccoli: Even without a lean protein, this dish is totally filling and perfect for one of those nights when you just need a cheesy, warm meal! It'll soon become a family favorite! Get the recipe here.

skinny baked mac and cheese broccoli

26. Skinny Baked Burritos: Bring back burrito night with this healthy and filling recipe! Each burrito tastes like a cheat meal, but you're actually consuming less than 300 calories. Don't believe it? Check out the nutrition here.

skinny baked burrito

27. Spinach Stuffed Shells with Meat Sauce: Big jumbo pasta shells filled with spinach and creamy ricotta cheese make the base for the recipe. Finish this recipe with our Skinny Meat Pasta Sauce or to save time, you can easily top this recipe with your own homemade sauce or a reduced-sugar spaghetti sauce bought at the grocery store. Get the recipe by clicking here.

spinach stuffed shells

28. Skinny Baked Corn Dogs: You can buy them in the freezer section, at the fair or in a theme park. But would you ever eat them when you're counting calories? Probably not. Until now that is! This recipe allows for two corn dogs for only 180 calories! Get the recipe here.

Baked Corn Dogs

29. Slow Cooker Fall-Off-The-Bone Ribs: Gone are the days where you had to go out to eat for a good plate of ribs. This tender recipe is delicious and simple! Simply mix together a rub, put it on the meat, stick it in the slow cooker and go about your day. Come home to meat falling off the bone, add your BBQ sauce and eat! Get full instructions here.

slow cooker ribs

30. Skinny Minestrone Soup: This warm, filling vegetarian dinner packs in 16 grams of protein per serving thanks to white beans and kidney beans! This soup is easy to freeze and reheat for a lunch at work or home. Get the recipe by clicking here.

minestrone soup

31. Skinny Zucchini Bread: Whether it's for breakfast or an afternoon snack, zucchini bread is always tasty, especially because it tastes like indulgence. Your taste buds will have no idea how many calories this recipe saved you! Check it out here.

zucchini bread

32. Loaded Cauliflower "Mash" Bake: This recipe looks like it would be loaded with fat, but its main ingredient is cauliflower, and it has just over 100 calories per serving! This recipe is a great alternative to a loaded baked potato and the perfect way to get your kids to eat their veggies. See it here!

loaded cauliflower mash bake
(Photo: Skinnytaste)

33. Skinny Fish Sticks: Who doesn’t love the taste of a good, deep-fried fish stick?! Well, rather than deep-frying these scrumptious sticks, we used a skillet with a touch of canola oil so you can enjoy the same crave-worthy taste without all the added fat and calories. Click here to be taken to this recipe.

skinny fish sticks

34. Easy Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff: This one will warm you up and fill your kitchen with the most mouthwatering scents of beef and mushrooms stewing 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! Get the recipe here.

beef stroganoff

35. Cheesy Twice-Baked Potato and Broccoli Casserole: Twice-baked potatoes aren't exactly healthy, as they are usually loaded with bacon, cheese, butter and sour cream. This casserole, however, is a great alternative, especially with the added veggies! Click here for the recipe.

cheesy twice baked potato broccoli casserole

36. Lightened-Up Broccoli Cheddar Soup: No need to run to Panera anymore for your fix of this fan-favorite soup! It's a warm, delicious soup great for long days and cold nights! Get our recipe here.

broccoli cheddar soup

37. Turkey Enchilada Casserole: Most families love to have a Mexican night, but instead of going out to eat, make some for yourself! It's always healthier to cook at home because you can control portions and ingredients. Try out this low-cal recipe!

turkey enchilada casserole

38. Skinny French Onion Soup: While so many soups are a totally safe option for a healthy dinner, French onion soup is not one of them! Traditional versions of this soup are absolute calorie-monsters, with some coming in close to 600 calories a serving! In our skinny version, some simple swaps make a world of difference! Get this recipe here.

french onion soup

39. Quinoa Brownies: Is there any food more comforting than chocolate? Doubtful. These brownies are made with quinoa, which is a superfood. You can get your chocolate cravings in check while giving your body a nutrition boost! Get the recipe here!

quinoa brownies
(Photo: Nosh and Nourish)

40. Biscuits and Gravy: It's hard to turn down a heaping plate of biscuits and gravy, and now you don't have to! This is a simple recipe that you and the family can enjoy! (via The Pioneer Woman)

biscuits and gravy
(Photo: The Pioneer Woman)

41. Skinny Cinnamon Rolls: Waking up to the smell of fresh baked cinnamon rolls is a great start to a good day. Treat your family to a tasty breakfast. They'll never realize you've made a skinny dish! (via Honey and Fig)

skinny cinnamon roll
(Photo: Honey and Fig)

42. Baked Chicken Cordon Bleu: This is a great chicken dish to serve to the family because it's a great source of protein and is very filling. You can feel good about this tasty dish! (via Honey and Fig)

chicken cordon bleu
(Photo: Honey and Fig)

43. Healthy Fettuccine Alfredo with Cauliflower Sauce and Sweet Peas: Alfredo has never been considered "skinny," so  finding a recipe that won't kill your diet is pretty exciting. You can still have the things you love without the guilt! (via Julia's Album)

healthy fettuccine
(Photo: Julia's Album)

44. Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna: This healthy lasagna recipe brings a delicious twist of flavors. It's great for dishing up to house guests! (via Julia's Album)

buttnut squah spinach lasagna
(Photo: Julia's Album)

45. Baked Onion Rings: Served with a sloppy sandwich, burger or just eaten as an appetizer, onion rings are a delicious and greasy snack. But this recipe spares the fat and bakes the onions instead! (via Smith's Vegan Kitchen)

baked onion ring
(Photo: Smith's Vegan Kitchen)

46. Baked Fish and Chips: Fish and chips is a great meal when you're ready to end the evening with really greasy fingers. But not this time! This recipe swapped out the bad stuff and made it a bit more health-friendly. (via Food Network)

fish and chips
(Photo: Food Network)

47. New England Clam Chowder: This recipe has all the taste of traditional clam chowder, but is made skinny so you can enjoy it without any guilt. We'll think of it as NEW New England Clam Chowder! (via Healthy Delicious)

new england clam chowder
(Photo: Healthy Delicious)

48. Extra Crispy Oven Baked Fries: Crispy on the outside, warm and tender on the inside, just like every French fry should be. Unlike most fries however, this recipe is baked, not fried. (via Layers of Happiness)

Crispy Parmesan French Fries
(Photo: Layers of Happiness)

49. Skinny Eggs Benedict: Eggs Benedict is a delicious dish thanks to hollandaise sauce! Unfortunately that yummy sauce is what usually packs on the calories. This recipe created a "mock" version to keep the great taste while making it guilt-free. (via Skinny Kitchen)

Eggs Benedict

50. Skinny Mozzarella Cheese Sticks: This recipe calls for only two ingredients with each cheese stick containing only 110 calories. If those two points aren't convincing enough, just keep in mind that this is also a kid-friendly meal! (via Averie Cooks)

cheesesticks
(Photo: Averie Cooks)