If the cold weather is getting you down, you might want to come home to a big bowl of something warm to keep you feeling cozy and satisfied. You might be guilty of reaching for a bag of chips, a greasy burger, or something quick and easy out of the freezer. Well, there is no need to feel guilty any longer since we’ve found the best comfort foods that are healthy while also satisfying cravings.
Get ready to dig in to some of your favorite dishes, because we’ve put a healthy spin on your classic go-to treats. We also added our own not-so-guilty pleasures that you have probably never thought of having before. We have personally tried each of them, and have hand selected our absolute favorites.
Healthy pot pie, mac and cheese, and hearty pasta dishes are just a few of the classic comfort foods that we’ve turned into healthy treats. If you’re a fan of the sweeter stuff, well, we got your back too as we have an assortment of ooey gooey desserts to choose from.
Whether it is sweet or savory that makes you weak, we have put together the very best of both to give you a wide variety of healthy comfort foods to dig in to. We also understand that not everybody has the same dietary preferences, so what is considered healthy to some may not be the same for others. So we have taken the time to break each option down by dietary category for your convenience.
We’ve assembled a list of the top comfort foods that use whole food ingredients without refined flour, added sugar, or any of the stuff you want to avoid. This makes snacking a pleasurable, guilt-free experience. So go ahead and indulge, because we’ve got you covered.
Low Calorie Comfort Foods
For those trying to shed those last few pounds, or those just starting their weight loss journey, it’s important to find those foods that bust cravings while maintaining your waistline. Luckily for you, we’ve shared our favorite low-cal comfort foods that won’t mess with your diet. So keep your stretchy pants in the closet, because these are all super clean choices.
Hot Fudge Pudding Cake
This is as dense as it is delicious. And no worries, this treat weighs in at a fraction of the regular stuff.
- 1 cup coconut flour
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- 2 tbps Steevia natural sweetener
- ⅓ cup organic cocoa powder
- 2 tsps baking powder
- ½ tsps Himalayan sea salt
- ½ cup skimmed milk
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 2 tbps coconut oil
- 1 tsps vanilla extract
- ¼ cup toasted pecan halves
- 1 ½ cups hot coffee, black
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat a baking dish with natural cooking spray. Combine coconut flour, coconut sugar, organic cocoa, baking powder, and sea salt in a mixing bowl. Combine milk, egg, coconut oil, and vanilla extract in a measuring cup. Form a hole in center of the dry mixture and pour in the milk mixture, then stir until fully mixed. Add in pecans and stir. Spoon into pan and spread evenly across. Dissolve coconut sugar in coffee and spoon into the batter. Bake for 25 minutes.
Gourmet Apple Confit
This is one of our best kept secrets. Well, maybe not anymore. This gooey delight is a crowd pleasure that will satisfy even the toughest of cravings. Plus, it’s super easy to make.
- 3 lbs Granny Smith apples
- ½ cup coconut sugar or Steevia
- ½ tsps ground cinnamon
- 1 tsps vanilla extract
Skin the Granny Smith apples and slice evenly ¼ inch in thickness. Place the slices in a large slow cooker. Add coconut sugar and cinnamon and coat the slices well. After covering, cook on high for 2 to 2 ½ hours. Add vanilla and scoop into bowl before serving.
Veggie ‘Mac’ and Cheese
This is not your mom’s macaroni and cheese. Nope, this one is all green (or, rather, white). We substitute cauliflower for some of the pasta to keep the dish well balanced in nutrients and light on the calories.
- 3 cups frozen cauliflower florets
- 1 cup whole wheat elbow macaroni
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1 can of diced green chiles, drained
- 2 tbsp chopped jalapeno slices (optional)
- 1 ½ tbsps no-fat sour cream
- 4 small wedges Swiss cheese
- 2 slices low-fat processed cheese
Microwave cauliflower florets in large bowl for 5 minutes until hot, stopping to stir once mid-way through. Drain liquid. Chop cauliflower and cover to keep hot. In a large pot, cook pasta and drain before adding to cauliflower. Cook onion until browned on a skillet for 4-5 minutes. Add onion, chiles, and jalapeno to the pasta mixture. In a separate bowl, combine soul cream and cheeses. Microwave until cheese has melted, then stir well. Add cheeses to the large bowl and stir.
Low Carb Comfort Foods
Have a soft side for cheesy, melty goodness but don’t want to splurge on carbohydrates? We have a few solutions for you. Try any of these for a low carb snacking solution.
Cheesy Veggie Breadsticks
No gluten and low on the carbs. This is what healthy comfort foods are made of. And face it, who doesn’t love breadsticks?
- 4 cups riced cauliflower (1 large head)
- 4 whole eggs
- 2 cups mozzarella or Tex-Mex blend
- 3 tsps oregano
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese for topping
Preheat oven to 425 degrees fahrenheit. Prepare 2 long baking sheets with parchment paper. Use food processor to pulse cauliflower florets to resemble rice. Place ‘rice’ in container and microwave on high for 8-10 minutes, then add in eggs, 2 cups of mozza, sea salt, and the various spices. Mix well. Pour the mixture onto the two baking sheets and shape into rectangular pizza crust. Bake the crust for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Once browned, top the crust with the remaining mozza cheese and bake for another 5 minutes. Slice and enjoy.
This one’s super easy, and one of our favorite healthy late night snacks. The only thing you need to do is mix all ingredients into your food processor and blend until the mixture is nice and smooth. Serve fresh with gluten free chips.
- 2 cups drained garbanzo beans
- ½ cup tahini
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- Paprika and sea salt to taste
Mouth-Watering Mushroom Jalapeno Poppers
If you’re a fan of spicy food and need to stick to a low carb diet plan, this is for you. These little guys are the perfect substitute for crunch candies and junk foods.
- 1 dozen baby bella mushrooms
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- 4-5 fresh jalapenos, sliced
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Carefully rinse and dry off mushrooms. Coat mushrooms with olive oil, then stuff with shredded cheese. Top with jalapenos before baking for 15 minutes or cheese is melted throughout.
Low Fat Comfort Foods
Healthy comfort meals should be delicious, but also low in fat. Check out these extra light treats to come home to after a long day. The only fats you’ll find in these are the healthy kind, with omega-3s and other fatty acids that fuel your brain.
Cottage-Style Meat Pie
A year-round favorite. Enjoy this dish in the heat of summer or dead of winter—pot pie is always in season.
- 400g minced beef
- 400g chunky lamb and vege soup
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 x 450g packs of cheddar mash
Preheat oven to 220 degrees Celsius. Cook minced beef in a pan for 10 minutes or until brown. Season the beef, stir in the soup and Worcestershire sauce. Pour the mixture into an oven-safe dish and top with cheddar mash. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden.
Potato Saute Salmon
This one is especially appropriate for fancier meals or if you’re entertaining guests. These babies are loaded with all the protein and nutrients you need in healthy comfort foods.
- 3 tbsp groundnut oil
- 4 Pacific salmon fillets, halved
- 2 crushed garlic cloves
- 600g peeled and sliced potatoes
- 350g halved cherry tomatoes
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 chopped basil leaves
Heat groundnut oil is a pan and fry potatoes until browned on both sides. Add garlic once browned. Season the fillets, then add to pan and cook for 2-3 minutes per side. Move potatoes on to 4 plates and add tomatoes and balsamic to pan, cooking for a couple minutes until syrupy. Add to salmon dishes and serve with basil.
The Ultimate High Protein Comfort Food
Good comfort food is loaded with protein. This is why beef jerky—yup, even the bagged kind from the supermarket—is the most underrated comfort food out there. Beef jerky pieces are super high in amino-acid complete proteins and healthy natural fats with zero carbs. Best of all, there’s no prep time. If you’re after healthy salty snacks then beef jerky is the choice for you.