Creamy mac ‘n’ cheese, crispy fries, buttery pot pies and glazed donuts…some days classic comfort foods are the only things that will satisfy cravings. But, wait! Instead of sacrificing all your hard work and dedication for them, eat smarter by indulging in these lightened-up favorites. Not only do they have less calories, fat, salt and sugar, they’re made with nourishing ingredients wrapped in cozy goodness.
1. Buffalo Cauliflower Bites | MyFitnessPal’s Original Recipe
Spicy, tangy Buffalo cauliflower served with a creamy buttermilk-herb dip — everyone will be raving about these addictive party bites at your next get-together. Want more to love? They are a lightened-up alternative to the traditional Buffalo wing appetizer, which can add up to 600+ calories in a single serving! Recipe makes 6 servings at 1 cup florets and 1 tablespoon dipping sauce each.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 129; Total Fat: 1g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 195mg; Carbohydrate: 24g; Dietary Fiber: 4g; Sugar: 6g; Protein: 7g
2. Mac ‘n’ Cheese Bites | Cooking Light
Let’s face it — mac and cheese is one of the ultimate comfort foods. Unfortunately, a one-cup serving of cheesy goodness averages 300–500 calories (or more), not to mention the high fat and sodium. Keep your taste buds satisfied without breaking your calorie bank with these perfectly portioned mac and cheese bites. Recipe makes 12 servings at 2 bites each.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 155; Total Fat: 7g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 12mg; Sodium: 117mg; Carbohydrate: 19g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 2g; Protein: 6g
3. Paprika Parsnip Fries | The Wheatless Kitchen
Looking for a healthier alternative to satis-fry a french fry craving? By subbing in parsnips for those starchy potatoes you’ll cut half the carbohydrates in half and also get some additional fiber in. Prep is a breeze since the recipe uses only four ingredients! Recipe makes 2 servings at 1 cup each (or share with more than two people to cut down on the calories).
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 237; Total Fat: 8g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 5g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 314mg; Carbohydrate: 42g; Dietary Fiber: 12g; Sugar: 11g; Protein: 3g
4. Spiralized Everything Bagel | Inspiralized
This spiralized everything potato and egg “bagel” allows you to enjoy a breakfast favorite with fewer carbs and calories. Spiralized vegetables are a great way to add vegetables to your diet, and they’re a godsend if you are following a low-carb diet. If you want a little more sweetness to kick-start your morning, try this recipe with sweet potatoes. Recipe makes 4 servings at 1 bun each.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 168; Total Fat: 9g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 6g; Cholesterol: 46mg; Sodium: 332mg; Carbohydrate: 18g; Dietary Fiber: 2g; Sugar: 1g; Protein: 5g
5. Lightened Chicken Pot Pie | MyFitnessPal’s Original Recipe
Frozen chicken potpies are notorious for hiding a lot of calories, fat and unwanted preservatives. Instead, prepare a fresh chicken potpie (crust and all!) using common ingredients. Enjoy a slice of hot and bubbly chicken potpie right out of the pan, or make individualized pies using ramekins. Recipe makes 6 servings at 1/6 slice of pie each.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 343; Total Fat: 13g; Saturated Fat: 6g; Monounsaturated Fat: 4g; Cholesterol: 82mg; Sodium: 467mg; Carbohydrate: 29g; Dietary Fiber: 4g; Sugar: 6g; Protein: 27g
6. Healthier Kung Pao Chicken | Fit Foodie Finds
Have only 20 minutes to put dinner on the table? Try this protein-packed kung pao chicken made healthier with less sodium and oil. If you’re craving extra heat, crank up the Sriracha or chili paste. Recipe makes 4 servings at 4.5 ounces chicken and 6 ounces green beans each.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 375; Total Fat: 20g; Saturated Fat: 5g; Monounsaturated Fat: 8g; Cholesterol: 82mg; Sodium: 495mg; Carbohydrate: 14g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 8g; Protein: 30g
7. Lightened Chicken Alfredo | MyFitnessPal’s Original Recipe
Chicken alfredo is quite the calorie bomb–a typical serving ranges anywhere from 500 to 800 calories–but it doesn’t have to be. Check out our lightened version of the creamy, classic comfort food. Our recipe features tender whole-grain pasta and spinach in a savory Parmesan-garlic sauce. Recipe makes 4 servings at 2 cups each.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 333; Total Fat: 13g; Saturated Fat: 8g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 82mg; Sodium: 465mg; Carbohydrate: 23g; Dietary Fiber: 4g; Sugar: 8g; Protein: 29g
8. Vegetarian Chipotle Chili | Dietitian Debbie Dishes
This vegetarian chipotle chili is hearty, spicy and perfect for warming you up from the inside out. Each bite is filled with beans, red peppers and savory, spicy tomato sauce. Top with your favorite garnish of avocado, sour cream, fresh cilantro, tortilla chips or shredded cheese for an added flavor oomph and personal flair. Recipe makes 6 servings at 1 1/2 cup each.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 276; Total Fat: 6g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 3g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 333mg; Carbohydrate: 46g; Dietary Fiber: 14g; Sugar: 7g; Protein: 12g
9. Simple Chicken Tortilla Soup | The Honour System
Packed with shredded chicken and black beans, this simple chicken tortilla soup delivers a satisfying, protein-loaded meal. Top this warm, hearty bowl with crushed tortilla chips for an extra crunch! If you’re running low on time, simply use store-bought rotisserie chicken instead. Recipe makes 4 servings at 2 1/2 cups each.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 259; Total Fat: 7g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 3g; Cholesterol: 33mg; Sodium: 428mg; Carbohydrate: 28g; Dietary Fiber: 7g; Sugar: 8g; Protein: 20g
10. Baked Banana Nut Donuts | MyFitnessPal’s Original Recipes
Brighten up your day with ooey-gooey baked banana nut donuts with cream cheese glaze! They’re soft, fluffy and the perfect match for your toasty cup of joe. This recipe prevents waste by making use of extra ripe bananas and keeps things on the light side by subbing in applesauce for oil. Recipe makes 6 servings at 1 donut, 1 tablespoon glaze and 1 teaspoon nut each.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 161; Total Fat: 4g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 40mg; Sodium: 66mg; Carbohydrate: 28g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 11g; Protein: 4g
11. Homemade Blueberry Frozen Yogurt | Healthy Nibbles and Bits
Using only four simple ingredients, this refreshing frozen blueberry treat will cool you during those relentlessly hot days. Blueberries are not only high in cell-protecting antioxidants, but they are also high in fiber and loaded with vitamins like C and K — talk about nutrient dense! Keep a batch of this chilled dessert in the freezer and defrost for a quick, healthy treat whenever you’re craving something sweet. Recipe makes 2 servings at 1 cup each.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 147; Total Fat: 0g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 2mg; Sodium: 22mg; Carbohydrate: 34g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 26g; Protein: 5g