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31 Healthy Comfort Foods for People Who Love to Eat

Dieting is hard. Luckily, these healthy comfort food recipes make it easy to eat better.

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Turkey Tortilla Soup

My wife created this recipe as a healthy way to use up Thanksgiving leftovers. It’s a nice alternative to the typical fare, and it’s so easy. Our family looks forward to this soup every year. —Matthew Szyndler, Maumee, Ohio.
2 / 31
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Spaghetti Squash Meatball Casserole

One of our favorite comfort-food dinners is spaghetti and meatballs. We're crazy about this lighter, healthier version that features so many veggies. It has the same beloved flavors with more nutritious ingredients! —Courtney Stultz, Weir, Kansas
3 / 31
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Potato-Topped Ground Beef Skillet

Compared to other ground beef skillet recipes, the depth of flavor in this recipe is amazing, and I never have leftovers when I take it to potlucks. I love recipes that I can cook and serve in the same skillet. If your butcher has chili grind beef, which is coarsely ground, go for that; it lends an extra meaty texture. —Fay Moreland, Wichita Falls, Texas
4 / 31
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Spinach Quesadillas

My family gave these cheesy quesadillas oohs and aahs. Remove the spinach from the heat as soon as it wilts so it keeps a little bit of crunch. —Pam Kaiser, Mansfield, Missouri
5 / 31
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Shrimp Tortellini Pasta Toss

No matter how you toss 'em up, shrimp and thyme play nicely with any spring-fresh vegetable. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
6 / 31
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Pumpkin Lasagna

I especially like this comforting fall dish because it's vegetarian. Even friends who aren't big fans of pumpkin are surprised by this delectable lasagna. Canned pumpkin and no-cook noodles make it a cinch to prepare. —Tamara Huron, New Market, Alabama
7 / 31
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Colcannon Potatoes

Every Irish family has its own colcannon recipe, since it's a classic dish. My recipe comes from my father's family in Ireland. It's part of my St. Pat's menu, along with lamb chops, carrots and soda bread. —Marilou Robinson, Portland, Oregon
8 / 31
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Southwest Vegetarian Bake

This veggie-packed casserole hits the spot on chilly nights. It's a healthy canned vegetable recipe that's great for any time I have a taste for Mexican food with all the fixings. —Patricia Gale, Monticello, Illinois
9 / 31
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Easy White Chicken Chili

Chili is one of our best cold-weather strategies. We use chicken and white beans for a twist on the regular bowl of red. It’s soothing comfort food. —Rachel Lewis, Danville, Virginia
10 / 31
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De-Lightful Tuna Casserole

This mild, homemade tuna casserole will truly satisfy your family's craving for comfort food without all the fat! —Colleen Willey, Hamburg, New York
11 / 31
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Spinach and Artichoke Pizza

My from-scratch pizza has a whole wheat crust flavored with beer. Top it with spinach, artichoke hearts and tomatoes, then add chicken or ham and fresh basil if you want to include meat. —Raymonde Bourgeois, Swastika, Ontario
12 / 31
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Rich Baked Spaghetti

It takes a little longer to make baked spaghetti, but the difference in taste, texture and richness is well worth the time. I serve this lasagna-style dish with a tossed green salad and breadsticks for a hearty, healthy meal. —Betty Rabe, Mahtomedi, Minnesota
13 / 31
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Black Bean Turkey Chili

This busy-day chili is packed with flavor. We make it ahead and freeze some to eat later. —Marisela Segovia, Miami, Florida
14 / 31

Basil Vegetable Strata

I've been cooking this strata for years, and my family just can't get enough! The fresh basil gives this healthy brunch dish an added flavor boost. —Jean L. Ecos, Hartland, Wisconsin.
15 / 31
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Creamy Braised Chicken

A smooth, delicate cream sauce gives a special taste to these tender chicken breasts accompanied by pearl onions and sauteed mushrooms. This dish is so rich-tasting, you'll want to serve it to company. —Margaret Haugh Heilman, Houston, Texas
16 / 31
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Zucchini Crust Pizza

My mother-in-law shared the recipe for this unique pizza with me. It's just right for brunch, lunch or a light supper. Loosen the nutritious zucchini crust from the pan with a metal spatula. —Ruth Denomme, Englehart, Ontario
17 / 31
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Weeknight Pasta Squiggles

This zesty pasta dish is ideal for busy weeknights. It's low on ingredients and easy to prep, and it tastes so comforting when the weather turns cool. A salad on the side makes this healthy pasta recipe a meal. —Stacey Brown, Spring, Texas
18 / 31
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Weeknight Ravioli Lasagna

My husband and I love lasagna, but it's time-consuming to build and we always end up with too much. Using frozen ravioli solves everything. —Pamela Nicholson, Festus, Missouri
19 / 31
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Rosemary Butternut Squash Lasagna

I came up with this recipe when our garden was brimming with butternut squash. This is now our favorite way to use it. —Christine Wood, Tipton, Iowa
20 / 31
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Fresh Corn and Tomato Fettuccine

This recipe combines delicious whole wheat pasta with the best of fresh garden produce. It's tossed with heart-healthy olive oil, and a little feta cheese gives it bite. —Angela Spengler, Tampa, Florida
21 / 31
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Chicken and Dumplings

Perfect for chilly winter nights, this main course is speedy, low in fat and a delicious one-dish meal. —Nancy Tuck, Elk Falls, Kansas
22 / 31
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Zucchini Cupcakes

I asked my grandmother for this recipe after trying these irresistible spice cupcakes at her home. I love their creamy caramel frosting. They're such a scrumptious dessert, you actually forget you're eating your vegetables, too! —Virginia Lapierre, Greensboro Bend, Vermont
23 / 31
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Beef & Spinach Lo Mein

If you like a good stir-fry, this dish will definitely satisfy. I discovered the recipe at an international luncheon, and it's now a favorite go-to meal. —Denise Patterson, Bainbridge, Ohio
24 / 31
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Chicken Tacos with Avocado Salsa

A few people in my family have special dietary needs, but luckily, these chicken tacos work for all of us. I toss up a simple green salad and have a meal we can all enjoy together. —Christine Schenher, Exeter, California
25 / 31
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Shrimp Orzo with Feta

Tender, hearty and flavorful, this recipe is one of my favorites! Garlic and a splash of lemon add to the fresh taste and heart-healthy benefits of shrimp. —Sarah Hummel, Moon Township, Pennsylvania
26 / 31
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Skillet Beef Tamales

I found something similar to this years ago and have recently added my own spin. Here’s the outcome: an easy, cheesy meal your family can't get enough of. We don't have to tell them it's healthy. —Deborah Williams, Peoria, Arizona
27 / 31

BLT Skillet

This quick weeknight meal reminds me of a BLT, with its chunks of bacon and tomato. The whole wheat linguine gives the skillet dish extra flavor and texture. —Edrie O'Brien, Denver, Colorado
28 / 31

Spaghetti Meatball Supper

It was such a joy to come home and find my mom making spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. This recipe has always been dear to my heart. —Debbie Heggie, Laramie, Wyoming
29 / 31
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Whole Wheat Pancakes

To fix a large batch of tender pancakes for my five children, I rely on this quick and wholesome recipe. It calls for whole wheat flour and buttermilk, which make the pancakes filling but also light. Serve them with hot chocolate for a breakfast that's sure to delight little ones. —Line Walter, Wayne, Pennsylvania
30 / 31
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Vegetarian Black Bean Pasta

This was something I created as a teenager, back when I was a vegetarian. Now that my daughter doesn't eat meat, she asks for this dinner several times a week. —Ashlynn Azar, Beaverton, Oregon
31 / 31

Makeover Red Velvet Cake

I’ve had this recipe for over 45 years and it has become our family’s favorite cake, but I would love to see it get a light makeover. —Betty Selchow, White Bear Lake, Minnesota

Alexa Erickson
Inspired by balance, Alexa finds that her true inner peace comes from executing a well-rounded lifestyle. An avid yogi, hiker, beach bum, music and art enthusiast, salad aficionado, adventure seeker, animal lover, and professional writer, she is an active individual who loves to express herself through the power of words. Follow her adventures on Instagram: @lextraordinary1, and follow her work at: alexaerickson.contently.com.

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