French fries, chili, pasta, chocolate…our list of comfort foods could go on and on. And with winter in full swing, it’s all that’s on our minds. We’re talking about the hearty, indulgent dishes that are not only delicious but satisfying — the recipes you turn to when you crave a really good meal or a decadent dessert on a cold, blustery day. Comfort food isn’t usually known for being healthy (enter heavy cream, butter, cheese), but it can be and we’ve rounded up a mix of dishes that proves that to be true, thanks to some of our favorite food bloggers. These 9 nutritious, flavorful recipes will not only hit the spot, they may just change how you define comfort food altogether.
Chicken Bacon BBQ Fries
Who ever thought this indulgent recipe could be healthy? Purely Twins wows with this spin on a loved side. These fries are made from plantains, which are rich in potassium, fiber, and vitamins A and C, are low in sugar, and have a great starchy texture like potatoes.
Chickpea Miso Noodle Soup
Whether you’re under the weather or looking for a light, delicious lunch, this chickpea miso noodle soup by Love and Lemons is sure to hit the spot. The lemon and garlic not only add great flavor, they work together to soothe a sore throat and clear your sinuses. Plus, chickpeas provide protein, fiber, manganese and folate. Comforting and good for you!
Simple Tofu Chilaquiles
Minimalist Baker’s twist on traditional chilaquiles is the perfect meatless hearty meal. This simple dish is full of nutrients such as vitamin C, chromium, carotenoids and sulfur from the tomatoes, onion and garlic. There’s also a whopping 32 grams of protein! When you incorporate the spices with the tofu, this dish is savory, spicy and satisfying all in one.
If you love lasagna, you’ve got to try this unique transformation of the traditional dish. By using low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth and whole wheat or gluten-free lasagna noodles, Skinnytaste turned a casserole favorite into a healthy soup that boasts all the flavor and comfort you’re craving.
White Chicken Chili
Chili doesn’t always have to include red meat. This chicken recipe from The Lean Green Bean offers a lighter, healthier alternative and is full of protein, vitamin C, chromium and other nutrients. Stir up a big pot and on a cold winter day — the leftovers will taste just as good as that first bowl!
Butternut Squash Wheatberry Mock Risotto
Risotto defines comfort food and this mock recipe from Peanut Butter Fingers will make you think you’re eating the real thing. It’s completely vegetarian, and has a texture similar to risotto thanks to the wheatberries. The butternut squash adds another layer of healthy, hearty goodness with lots of fiber and little fat.
Apple and Arugula Bison Burgers
Talk about taking a burger to the next level: paleOMG’s bison burgers will surprise your taste buds with hints of apple and arugula — great sources of phytochemicals, antioxidants, flavonoids and fiber — within the patty itself! Plus, bison meat has all the benefits of beef without the extra fat. Go ahead, take a big bite.
Spaghetti and Meatballs
It may not be exactly like the classic dish, but this paleo spaghetti and meatballs tastes just as good. Against All Grain’s version uses zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash instead of regular pasta, and the sauce includes generous helpings of fresh tomatoes full of carotenoids. Even the pickiest of children will gobble this up!
Vegan Chocolate Taco Shake
You didn’t think we forgot about dessert, did you? Healthy Happy Life throws any unhealthy associations you may have with milkshakes out the window with this amazing vegan chocolate shake. Frozen bananas, watermelons and non-dairy milk create that irresistible creamy consistency. Add some peanut butter and dark chocolate? Sold!
Looking for more healthy comfort food recipes? Try these: