Heart-Healthy Takes on Comfort Food Favorites

"Skinny" Chicken Tacos
Photo: Buckwheat Queen

Comfort food is the best. But you know what's even better? Comfort food that's also good for you! Now that's true comfort. These recipes are top-rated healthy takes on some of our favorite comfort foods, tweaked to be heart healthy as well as delicious. Lean meatloaf, veggie-packed stews, soups, enchiladas, and more, they're all designed to make a heart-healthy lifestyle taste great!

01 of 16

Turkey and Quinoa Meatloaf

Turkey and Quinoa Meatloaf
Allrecipes Magazine

"The secret is the quinoa, which adds wonderful texture and is much nuttier than breadcrumbs," says Andrew Benoit. "This version has a great texture and a surprisingly good flavor (my brother couldn't even tell that it wasn't beef)!"

02 of 16

Garlic Chicken Fried Brown Rice

side view of a plate of fried rice with cubed chicken, peas, and carrots
Fit&Healthy Mom

Leftover brown rice is reborn in this chicken fried rice with sweet red bell peppers, green onions, and skinless, boneless chicken breast meat. "Black pepper, paprika, or dried parsley may be used to season after this is cooked," says JOYCE.

03 of 16

Vegetarian Enchiladas

Vegetarian Enchiladas
Kerry McClellan Lipitz

These hearty vegetarian enchiladas are filled with pinto beans, spinach, cheese, and fresh corn, and topped with enchilada sauce. "These delicious, meatless enchiladas are a terrific vegetarian option," says Kerry McClellan Lipitz. "Serve with avocado slices and sour cream."

04 of 16

Healthy Turmeric Chicken Stew

colorful chicken stew with vegetables
Buckwheat Queen

Skinless, boneless chicken breasts are cubed and stewed with sweet potato, eggplant, and red onions in a piquant, colorful sauce of turmeric, ginger, and garlic. "This is one of my favorite 30-minute weeknight recipes," says Stephanie. "Turmeric (curcuma) is a bright yellow spice primarily found in India and Indonesia and is one of the main ingredients in curry. It adds an exotic color and flavor to any dish."

05 of 16

Vegetarian Cassoulet

Vegetarian Cassoulet in a white bowl
Jessica.nemec

White beans are slowly simmered with veggies and fresh herbs in mushroom broth, which gives this slow-simmered white bean casserole an earthy, savory flavor.

06 of 16

Chef John's Meatless Meatballs

Chef John's Meatless Meatballs in a white bowl
catherine.drew

Mushrooms are the secret ingredient in these vegetarian meatballs. The trick is to thoroughly brown the mushrooms to create super-savory flavor without any meat. "The garlic, cheese, and parsley do the rest," says Chef John. "What really blew me away was how close the texture was to actual meatballs. They are officially approved for use on spaghetti!"

07 of 16

Chicken Zoodle Soup

Chicken Zoodle Soup
France C

Spiral-cut zucchini stands in for egg noodles in this lean chicken and "noodle" soup that's "warm and comforting and easy on the waistline," says bd.weld.

08 of 16

Turkey Goulash

Turkey Goulash
ajsunnie

Here's a lighter version of the classic goulash with lean ground turkey, stewed tomatoes, and garlic. Cut out the sugar if you prefer. "Serve with a salad for a quick and healthful meal," says Denise Lutinski.

09 of 16

Blackened Salmon Tacos with Chunky Mango Avocado Salsa

Blackened Salmon Tacos with Chunky Mango Avocado Salsa
Elizabeth

Lots of healthy ingredients coming together deliciously in this quick and easy recipe. "Healthy and delish!" says Leah Smart.

10 of 16

Instant Pot® Vegan Vegetable and Barley Soup

Instant Pot® Vegan Vegetable and Barley Soup
Fioa

Here's a comforting whole-grain soup that tastes like autumn in a bowl. "Barley, zucchinis, carrots, tomatoes, and corn combine to make this hearty, versatile, filling vegan soup that is just so easy to make in your Instant Pot®," says Fioa.

11 of 16

Vegetarian Potato and Squash Casserole

Vegetarian Potato and Squash Casserole
Linda T

Casseroles are the ultimate comfort food. "When you've worked all day, you need something that is fast, simple, and versatile — but most importantly, delicious. All the butter and juices are absorbed through each layer resulting in a wonderful flavor. Sometimes I leave out the potatoes and add zucchini," Amy says.

12 of 16

Kadai Chicken

chicken with red peppers and tomatoes served over quinoa
Buckwheat Queen

Warm, comforting Kadai Chicken calls for just four ingredients! "You can increase or decrease the chile peppers according to your taste," recipe creator Priya says.

13 of 16

"Skinny" Chicken Tacos

"Skinny" Chicken Tacos
Buckwheat Queen

"Zesty, easy, and quick way to make chicken tacos that are delicious and diet-friendly. Other options for toppings would be low-fat sour cream, 2% reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend, and salsa," recipe creator Danielle B. says.

14 of 16

Protein-Packed Vegetarian Fried Rice

Protein-Packed Vegetarian Fried Rice
Linda T

This fried rice replaces butter with heart-healthy olive oil. Use extra tofu instead of eggs to make it vegan.

15 of 16

Biryani with Yogurt Marinated Chicken

Biryani with Yogurt Marinated Chicken
Buckwheat Queen

Saffron, garam masala, turmeric, and ginger pack this comfort dish with flavor. "This is, as called by my mom, my signature biryani recipe. It's healthy and has half of the calories of a normal takeaway, so that's a bonus!" — Hazel Grace

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