Healthy Meal Makeovers

Our made-over versions of favorite dishes, from fettuccine Alfredo to fried chicken, make it easy to eat healthy without sacrificing flavor.
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Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Stephen Murello

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Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

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Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

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Shrimp and Grits

Give the Southern favorite a healthy makeover by scaling back on the ham and cream. With perfectly cooked shrimp atop warm grits, you'll still have bliss in a bowl.

Get the Recipe: Charleston Shrimp and Grits

Lighter Chicken Pot Pie

Food Network Kitchen used just a little butter for a flaky yet lower-cal crust, then created a creamy sauce with low-fat milk and Greek yogurt.

Get the Recipe: Light Chicken Potpie

Crispy Baked "Fried" Chicken

Bathing chicken pieces in buttermilk ensures that the meat stays moist, coating it in crushed corn flakes ensures that the skin is crispy, and baking the chicken instead of frying it keeps the fat and calories down.

Get the Recipe: Crispy Baked 'Fried' Chicken

Turkey Meatloaf

Cut out the red meat for Ellie Krieger's meatloaf and you won't regret it.

Get the Recipe: Mom's Turkey Meatloaf

Hearty Chicken and Dumplings Lightened Up

Ground oats are the secret to the hearty-yet-light dumplings that float among flavorful chicken and vegetables in this warm-you-up soup.

Get the Recipe: Hearty Chicken and Dumplings Lightened-Up

Individual Turkey Shepherd's Pie

Portion control and lean ground turkey are key to enjoying this healthier version of shepherd's pie; aromatics, herbs and sharp cheddar cheese ensure that it has all the flavor of the original comforting dish.

Get the Recipe: Individual Turkey Shepherd's Pie

Three-Cheese Macaroni

For this flavor-packed mac and cheese, Food Network Kitchen used Muenster, sharp cheddar and Parmesan, and pureed cauliflower was mixed in for extra creaminess.

Get the Recipe: Three-Cheese Macaroni

Fettuccini Alfredo with Zucchini Ribbons

Ellie combines zucchini ribbons with pasta for a fresh and lightened-up version of this creamy pasta dish.

Get the Recipe: Fettuccini Alfredo with Zucchini Ribbons

Portobello Lasagna Rollups

Whole-wheat noodles and part-skim ricotta and mozzarella are smart substitutions that won't affect the taste of this favorite dish: cheesy, bubbling lasagna, rolled up into individual portions.

Get the Recipe: Portobello Lasagna Rollups

Beef Chili

This chili has all the flavor of a classic, but the fat and calories are much lower. Serve it with brown rice for a filling main course.

Get the Recipe: Beef Chili

Healthified Kale and Portobello Lasagna

Lasagna is the ultimate one-dish comfort food; Food Network Kitchen's veggie-loaded version has all the cheesy goodness you crave, but for only 290 calories per serving.

Get the Recipe: Healthified Kale and Portobello Lasagna

Baked Fish and Chips

Try a lighter take on this British classic: The fish and fries are both baked in the oven instead of deep-fried.

Get the Recipe: Baked Fish and Chips

Beef Stroganoff

Make comfort food Ellie's way: For her beef stroganoff, she uses whole-wheat noodles and adds yogurt to make the sauce extra creamy.

Get the Recipe: Beef Stroganoff

Low-Fat Chocolate Pudding

Food Network Kitchen lightened up a childhood favorite but kept it quite chocolatey with cocoa powder, semisweet chips and white chocolate chips.

Get the Recipe: Low-Fat Chocolate Pudding

Crab Cakes with Spicy Cream

Ellie's oven-baked crab cakes are crisp on the outside and full of fresh crabmeat within. They're delicious with her tangy, spicy sauce made with Greek yogurt and a touch of mayo.

Get the Recipe: Crab Cakes with Spicy Cream

Oven-Fried Chicken

A coating of cereal and bagel chip crumbs keeps this chicken extra crispy when baked in the oven — no need for deep-frying.

Get the Recipe: Oven Fried Chicken

Baked Green Tomatoes and Zucchini

Fried green tomatoes are a Southern favorite, but deep-frying isn't exactly the healthiest way to cook vegetables. Bobby Deen lightens up the traditional recipe for fried green tomatoes by baking them instead of frying them, and he adds in some extra zucchini to up the amount of veggies in this dish.

Get the Recipe: Baked Green Tomatoes and Zucchini

Cherry Ricotta Cheesecake

Guilt-free cheesecake that still tastes sweet, creamy and decadent? Ellie made it happen with a combination of fluffy ricotta and low-fat cream cheese.

Get the Recipe: Cherry Ricotta Cheesecake

Lightened-Up Stuffed Peppers

Bell peppers are loaded with vitamin C, and they make the perfect all-in-one meal when stuffed with lean ground beef, lentils and rice.

Get the Recipe: Lightened-Up Stuffed Peppers

Low-Fat Clam Chowder

Sure, clam chowder's typically the richest of the rich. But this one uses fat-free dairy and a ton of spices to bring it to the same level without weighing you down.

Get the Recipe: Low-Fat Clam Chowder

Chicken and Biscuit Pot Pie

Chicken and biscuits is usually a heavy, calorie-laden dish. Ellie's healthy modifications like whole-wheat flour and low-fat buttermilk ensure that you can enjoy this comfort food without all the guilt.

Get the Recipe: Chicken and Biscuit Pot Pie

Meat and Mushroom Lasagna

Bobby Deen loads his lasagna with beef, cheese and tomato sauce, and adds mushrooms for extra fiber.

Get the Recipe: Meat and Mushroom Lasagna

New Classic Meatloaf

Ellie sneaks tons of veggies into this spin on a comfort food classic.

Get the Recipe: New Classic Meatloaf

Spicy Sweet Potato Chips

Adjust the level of these baked-not-fried sweet potato chips to your liking; if you prefer a milder chip, use less cayenne.

Get the Recipe: Spicy Sweet Potato Chips

Vegetarian Chili

This chili is thick with beans and vegetables and rich and flavorful thanks to the addition of fiery spices; you won't even miss the meat!

Get the Recipe: Vegetarian Chili

Game-Time Chili Dogs

If you get a hankering for chili dogs, make them a bit healthier by topping good-quality hot dogs with lean bean-and-chicken chili and loading it all into a whole-wheat bun.

Get the Recipe: Game Time Chili Dogs

Macaroni and Four Cheeses

Cheddar, Monterey Jack, ricotta, and Parmesan go into this deliciously cheesy mac and cheese, which gets an added boost of vegetables from the addition of butternut squash. A sprinkle of crunchy breadcrumbs goes on top.

Get the Recipe: Macaroni and 4 Cheeses

Un-Fried Chicken

After a quick dunk in hot-sauce-spiked buttermilk, boneless chicken thighs get a crunchy coat of corn flake crumbs and are baked to crispy perfection.

Get the Recipe: Unfried Chicken

Shepherd's Pie

The classic meat and potato dish gets a healthy makeover with the use of lean ground beef and the addition of cauliflower in the creamy mash.

Overnight French Toast Bake

Whole-wheat bread ups the fiber in this beloved breakfast dish, but the best part is how easy this French toast comes together. The slices soak in the mixture overnight and are ready to go straight to the oven in the morning.

Get the Recipe: Healthy Overnight French Toast Bake

Quick Pork Goulash

In this lightened-up take on the warming favorite, lean pork tenderloin and a vegetable stew are tossed with hot whole-wheat noodles.

Get the Recipe: Quick Pork Goulash

Beef Taco Salad with Chunky Tomato Dressing

Anyone who thinks salads are a little too dainty will want in on this taco rendition. With chili-spiced beef and sharp cheddar cheese over a bed of greens, all doused with a chunky tomato-lime dressing and topped by corn chips, it has high-impact flavor to satisfy even big appetites.

Get the Recipe: Beef Taco Salad with Chunky Tomato Dressing

Tuna Casserole

This is a surprisingly healthy version of the classic tuna casserole many of us grew up eating. Ellie makes her own creamy mixture, which stands in for the typical condensed soup. Fresh whole-wheat breadcrumbs toast right on top of the casserole, which also features whole-wheat noodles.

Get the Recipe: Tuna Casserole

Sloppy Joe Baked Potatoes

Two comfort foods, together at last! A sloppy joe mixture made with lean ground turkey is spooned over a fluffy baked potato and topped with low-fat cheddar cheese.

Get the Recipe: Sloppy Joe Baked Potatoes

Baked Nachos with Roasted Sweet Potatoes

This lightened-up recipe has everything you could want in a platter of nachos: the crunchiness of homemade tortilla chips, spiciness from saucy adobo-tinged pinto beans and creaminess from roasted sweet potatoes and avocado, all topped with a fresh salsa.

Get the Recipe: Baked Nachos with Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Butternut Squash and Turkey Chili

This recipe captures many of the traditional flavors of chili, but boosts its texture, color and vitamins. We've used protein-rich black beans, lean ground turkey and sweet butternut squash, as well adding some unexpected crunch and thickening power with chia seeds.

Get the Recipe: Butternut Squash and Turkey Chili

Smashed Potatoes with Greek Yogurt and Scallions

Tangy Greek yogurt upgrades these otherwise simple mashed potatoes. Not only does it add protein and calcium, but it's also a probiotic, which is important for gut health.

Get the Recipe: Smashed Potatoes with Greek Yogurt and Scallions

Healthy Whole-Wheat Pizza with Arugula-Parsley Pesto

This nutrient-packed pesto is made with arugula for a snappy change of pace. Just a little perks up a hearty whole-wheat crust — but you'll quickly find other uses for it, too. It's a great topper for crostini, elegant with grilled chicken and (surprise!) a perfect partner to pasta. The dough is just as versatile. Make a batch to keep on hand in the freezer and defrost to room temperature as needed.

Get the Recipe: Healthy Whole-Wheat Pizza with Arugula Parsley Pesto

Roasted Cauliflower Lasagna

Cauliflower is the star in this healthy lasagna, appearing in two roles — one when it's blended into the ricotta cheese filling for texture, and a second when it's roasted and used in place of the traditional meatballs or sausage. Sweet red bell pepper adds complexity to the tomato sauce and balances the richness of the cheeses.

Get the Recipe: Roasted Cauliflower Lasagna

Spinach and Artichoke Macaroni and Cheese

This lightened-up but still creamy version of macaroni and cheese is full of protein — an impressive 29 grams per serving, quite an accomplishment for a vegetarian meal. The whole-wheat pasta, spinach and artichoke hearts add their vitamin, mineral and fiber superpowers.

Turkey and Beef Meatloaf with Cranberry Glaze

Turkey and cranberries are a match made in heaven — why wait for Thanksgiving to enjoy it? This healthy take on meatloaf pairs the two in an inspired way: Turkey lightens up the traditional ground-beef base, and antioxidant-rich cranberries are the centerpiece of a tangy glaze.

Get the Recipe: Turkey and Beef Meatloaf with Cranberry Glaze

Turkey, Kale and Oat Meatballs with Quick Tomato Sauce

A full bunch of vitamin-rich kale gives these turkey meatballs their vibrant green color. Rolled oats are used as a binder in place of breadcrumbs and add an extra bit of heart-healthy fiber.

Get the Recipe: Turkey, Kale and Oat Meatballs with Quick Tomato Sauce

Whole-Grain Chocolate-Cherry Bread Twists

The nuttiness of the whole-grain dough in these twists syncs up perfectly with the bittersweet chocolate and the tart cherries. The twists come in at a modest 160 calories each but taste rich, thanks in part to just a little butter brushed over them right when they come out of the oven.

Get the Recipe: Whole-Grain Chocolate-Cherry Bread Twists

Whole-Wheat Brussels Sprout, Squash and Ricotta Pizza

This colorful pizza is packed with vitamin C, calcium, iron and fiber. You can reduce the amount of cheese (and fat) by dolloping fresh ricotta and sprinkling Parmesan on the pizzas after they're baked.

Get the Recipe: Whole-Wheat Brussels Sprout, Squash and Ricotta Pizza

Healthy Sausage in a Pepper

Sausage and peppers are frequent partners, but they haven't quite met like this before. Cooked bell peppers are filled and folded like a taco, for a gluten-free, super-satisfying (and low-calorie!) meal. Be sure to wrap in wax paper to help catch all the juices.

Get the Recipe: Healthy Sausage in a Pepper

Double Chocolate Pudding Pie

Ellie's classic creamy pie has double the chocolate but half the fat of the original.

Get the Recipe: Double Chocolate Pudding Pie

Dark Chocolate Brownies

The secret to Ellie's moist, fudgy brownies? Low-fat yogurt in the batter.

Get the Recipe: Dark Chocolate Brownies

Vegan Mac 'n' Cheese

This low-fat, dairy-free version of an American classic certainly has the right look, with its creamy orange sauce, thanks to pureed cauliflower, vegan Cheddar and turmeric. We used umami-packed miso paste and nutritional yeast to evoke the savory, nutty quality of cheese.

Get the Recipe: Vegan Mac 'n' Cheese