By Carl Hanson

Here are healthy makeovers of a dozen of our most popular recipes. We've gathered them together side by side -- the original top-rated recipe beside its healthier alter-ego -- so you can easily compare and contrast them. But no matter which recipe you choose, you can't go wrong! The healthy updates were created courtesy of Allrecipes home cook MakeItHealthy.

1. Slow-Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

"This tortilla soup tastes better than anything you can get at a restaurant," says Elena. "Don't let the long list of ingredients fool you. All you do is dump everything into the slow cooker and walk away. Garnish with grated Cheddar, avocados, and a splash of fresh lime juice."

Healthier Slow-Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

"Some simple modifications can make this delicious soup even healthier!" says MakeItHealthy. "I reduce the sodium by using low-sodium chicken broth and fresh chilies instead of canned. Adding some tasty fresh toppings helps my family get more vitamins. I also reduce fat by using boneless, skinless chicken breasts."

Healthier Slow-Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup | Photo by pelicangal

2. Chicken Pot Pie IX

Here's a delicious homemade chicken pie made with carrots, peas, and cubes of chicken breast in a prepared pie crust.

Healthier Chicken Pot Pie IX

More carrots, some parsley, low-fat milk and a little less butter make this delicious chicken pot pie a bit healthier.

Healthier Chicken Pot Pie IX | Photo by linda2d

3. Marie's Easy Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Chuck roast is browned on the stovetop and finished in the slow cooker with carrots, onions, and potatoes.

Healthier Marie's Easy Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Moist and juicy pot roast is made a touch healthier by switching the ratio of meat to veggies -- a little less meat and LOTS of fresh veggies and seasonings.

Marie's Easy Slow Cooker Pot Roast | Photo by Lisa

4. Baked Ziti I

Spaghetti sauce and three kinds of Italian cheese create a quick baked ziti that's budget-friendly and perfect for a weeknight meal. "The favorite of all my dinner guests," says Collleen B. Smith. "It's great for a covered dish dinner too. I have made this also without the meat, and it is well received.

Healthier Baked Ziti I

"I love pasta," says MakeItHealthy, "but it is not always the healthiest thing to have for dinner. To make this one a little less guilty, I use turkey and add a carrot to the sauce. So tasty!"

Baked Ziti I | Photo by chibi chef

5. Delicious Ham and Potato Soup

"This is a delicious recipe for ham and potato soup," says ELLIE11. "It is very easy and the great thing about it is that you can add additional ingredients, more ham, potatoes, etc., and it still turns out great."

Healthier Delicious Ham and Potato Soup

"This soup was great, so creamy," says MakeItHealthy. "I used non-fat milk and added some carrots and green beans to it and it has a little more fiber and a little more heartiness to it."

Delicious Ham and Potato Soup | Photo by Lori

6. Chicken Enchiladas I

Cubed chicken and a sour cream and tomato sauce are rolled up in tortillas and baked. "This is a quick and easy recipe," says Debbie Donham. "Good for quick suppers."

Healthier Chicken Enchiladas I

"I've always liked this recipe because it is quick and easy," says MakeItHealthy. "I'm always looking for ways to cut out excess fat, so I use reduced-fat cheese and sour cream. I also like to add fiber to make the meal a little healthier, so I add black beans and some bell peppers. To make it super healthy I use whole-wheat flour tortillas. And it still tastes just as delicious!

Healthier Chicken Enchiladas I | Photo by Jennifer

7. Slow Cooker Beef Stew I

A hearty, savory slow cooker beef stew featuring potatoes, carrots, celery, broth, herbs, and spices.

Healthier Slow Cooker Beef Stew I

"This hearty and delicious stew is perfect for the rainy days of fall," says MakeItHealthy. "By adding more vegetables and using reduced-sodium beef broth, I make this recipe extra healthy for my family. Increasing the amount of garlic also helps ward off any colds!"

Healthier Slow Cooker Beef Stew I | Photo by Baking Nana

8. Eggplant Parmesan II

You'll dip slices of eggplant into egg and bread crumbs and then bake them instead of fried. Layer the eggplant with spaghetti sauce and mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. "This is a no fry variation of this popular dish," says Dolores Gentner-Ryan, "and is just as delicious!"

Healthier Eggplant Parmesan II

"I like this recipe because it is not fried and very tasty," says MakeItHealthy. "I like to make it healthier by using whole wheat breadcrumbs and reducing the amount of fat. Also, by using mostly egg-whites instead of whole eggs I am able to reduce the cholesterol level."

Eggplant Parmesan II | Photo by lutzflcat

9. Boilermaker Tailgate Chili

This chili features lots of flavor and spices with ground beef, Italian sausage, beans, and a tomato base. "This is a combination of many different tomato-based chili recipes," says MIGHTYPURDUE22. "It's the chili recipe the gang eats at Purdue Boilermaker football games. I always prep and cook the chili the night before and then reheat the next day."

Healthier Boilermaker Tailgate Chili

MakeItHealthy makes this chili a little healthier by reducing the fat and sodium content -- using Italian chicken sausage and extra-lean ground beef.

Healthier Boilermaker Tailgate Chili | Photo by Allrecipes Magazine

10. Brown Sugar Meatloaf

This moist and tangy meatloaf calls for lean ground beef and a brown sugar and ketchup glaze. "This is an easy tasty meatloaf," says tangastar. "It tastes as good as it smells!"

Healthier Brown Sugar Meatloaf

"This is an easy tasty meatloaf made healthier with less sugar, low-fat milk, added parsley and whole wheat bread crumbs," says tangastar.

Healthier Brown Sugar Meatloaf | Photo by Holiday Baker

11. Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings

A comfort food classic, creamy chicken and dumplings made from refrigerator biscuits get the slow-cooker treatment. "This is an easy slow cooker recipe that cooks while you are at work," says Janiece Mason. "It is wonderful on a cold, snowy day. I have four children who are picky eaters, and they LOVE this! Enjoy!"

Healthier Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings

MakeItHealthy adds more veggies and uses natural (not condensed) soup to make this recipe healthier.

Healthier Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings | Photo by Traci G

12. Sloppy Joes II

Ground beef, onions, and green peppers are seasoned with ketchup and garlic powder and sweetened with brown sugar. "This is the recipe my mother used for sloppy joes and it always gets compliments!"

Healthier Sloppy Joes II

MakeItHealthy adds more veggies and uses real garlic and serves these lean joes on whole wheat buns.

Healthier Sloppy Joes II | Photo by Paula


Check out our collection of Healthy Main Dish Recipes.


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