Whether feeling down or craving familiar flavors, you might instinctively reach for the phone to order your go-to comfort food. One bite of these indulgent dishes instantly lifts your mood and transports you to a happier place. However, as comforting as these foods may be, they are often loaded with unhealthy calories, saturated fats, and sodium—all of which can contribute to weight gain and other health issues.

So, how can you satisfy your cravings without sabotaging your health goals? The answer is simple – make healthier versions of your favorite comfort foods at home. These seven delicious and nutritious recipes will fulfill your cravings and nourish your body with wholesome ingredients.

1. Air Fryer Eggplant

A delectable, savory side that nobody can resist. Prepare this simple dish without any breadcrumbs in an air fryer for a healthier alternative to fried eggplant.

You need:

  • A globe eggplant
  • Kosher salt
  • Avocado oil or vegetable oil
  • Italian seasoning
  • Garlic powder
  • Paprika
  • Fresh parsley
  • Lemon juice

Cut the eggplant and place it on a sheet pan. Sprinkle salt, ensuring all sides are evenly coated. After 15 minutes of letting it sit, use a paper towel to pat the eggplant dry. Next, season each side with Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and paprika. Place the eggplant in an air fryer at 400°F for 12 minutes, flipping halfway through.

Follow this recipe to prepare eggplant in air fryer and enjoy the crispy, flavorful dish without the guilt.

2. Green Chile Chicken Tortilla Casserole

Who doesn’t love a hearty, cheesy casserole? Prepare this dish with healthy swaps and add it to your meal rotation.

You need:

  • Chicken breast
  • Poblano chile peppers
  • Corn tortillas
  • Greek yogurt
  • Black beans
  • Cumin
  • Cheddar cheese (shredded, low-fat)
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Use a casserole dish and layer the ingredients in this order: tortillas, chicken, beans, chile peppers, yogurt, and cheese. Repeat until all ingredients are used up, and top with a final layer of cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden brown. Garnish with fresh cilantro before serving.

3. Oven-fried Chicken Tenders

Swap the deep fryer for your oven and shave off some calories and fat. These crispy chicken tenders are just as satisfying but much healthier.

You need:

  • Chicken tenders
  • Whole wheat flour
  • Egg whites
  • Panko breadcrumbs
  • Parmesan cheese (grated)
  • Garlic powder
  • Paprika
  • Onion powder

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Set up three bowls – one with flour, one with egg whites, and one with panko breadcrumbs mixed with parmesan cheese, garlic powder, paprika, and onion powder. Dip each chicken tender in the flour first, then the egg whites, and finally, coat it in the breadcrumb mixture. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

4. Peppers Stuffed with Quinoa and Black Beans

Are you craving the hearty goodness of a stuffed pepper? Try this nutritious and flavorful version with quinoa and black beans.

You need:

  • Bell peppers
  • Quinoa
  • Black beans
  • Salsa
  • Corn kernels
  • Cheddar cheese (shredded, low-fat)

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut peppers and remove the seeds and ribs. Use a spoon to fill the peppers with cooked quinoa, salsa, black beans, and corn kernels. Top with shredded cheddar cheese and place in a baking dish. Bake until the peppers are tender and the cheese is melted. Prepare this yummy dish for a quick, easy weeknight dinner or healthy lunch.

5. Sweet-Harvest Chicken Soup

Get the taste of your favorite chicken soup with a twist of sweetness and heartiness from harvest vegetables.

You need:

  • Chicken breast
  • Olive oil
  • Onion
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Butternut squash
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Chicken broth

Dice and cook chicken breast in a pot with olive oil. Add chopped onion, celery, and carrots and sauté until vegetables are tender. Stir in diced butternut squash and sweet potatoes, followed by chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let it simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the vegetables are fully cooked. You can prepare it in larger batches and store it for a quick and comforting meal throughout the week.

6. Spaghetti with Turkey Bolognese 

Put a healthier twist on a classic Italian dish with this spaghetti and turkey bolognese recipe.

You need:

  • Spaghetti
  • Ground turkey
  • Olive oil
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Tomato sauce
  • Canned diced tomatoes
  • Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper
  • Parmesan cheese

Cook spaghetti and set aside. Heat olive oil in a large skillet and cook ground turkey until browned. Add diced onion and garlic, and cook until softened. Stir in tomato sauce and canned diced tomatoes, followed by Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper to taste. Keep on low heat and let simmer for 15 minutes. Serve over spaghetti with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese on top for a comforting and nutritious meal.

7. Light Cherry Cheesecake

You wouldn’t think a cheesecake could be light, but this recipe uses healthier substitutes and tastes just as delicious.

You need:

  • Graham crackers
  • Cream cheese (low-fat)
  • Plain Greek yogurt
  • Sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Eggs
  • Cherry pie filling

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Crush graham crackers and press them into the bottom of a springform pan sprayed with cooking spray. Mix low-fat cream cheese, plain Greek yogurt, sugar, and vanilla extract and beat until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time. Pour the mixture over the graham cracker crust and bake for 45 minutes. Once ready, let it cool and refrigerate for at least an hour before topping with cherry pie filling. This light version of cheesecake is low-calorie and perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth.


Whether you’re craving a warm bowl of chicken and vegetable soup or a creamy slice of cherry cheesecake, these recipes will satisfy your taste buds and keep you on track with your healthy eating goals. So, prepare an air fryer eggplant and enjoy a crispy and flavorful dish with your family, or indulge in a light cherry cheesecake guilt-free. Are you craving casseroles? Make green Chile chicken tortilla casserole and satisfy your comfort food cravings without the added calories. Oven-fried chicken tenders, peppers stuffed with quinoa and black beans, and harvest chicken soup are other healthy and delicious recipes that you can try for a healthy and satisfying mealtime.