500 Calories or Less Comfort Foods

You can still enjoy your favorite comfort foods as part of a healthy diet with a few simple swaps.

Related To:

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012,Cooking Channel,LLC

Photo By: Tara Donne ©Tara Donne

Photo By: Antonis Achilleos

Photo By: Armando Rafael

Photo By: Charles Masters

Photo By: Tara Donne ©Tara Donne

Photo By: Con Poulos

Healthy Comfort Food

Comfort foods can be high in calories and fat. Large portions of fried foods, creamy sauces and gobs of cheese can easily tip the scales at over 1,000 calories per serving, which is more than most folks need in a meal. While everyone’s calories needs are very different, 500 calories, from balanced, whole food ingredients is a reasonable average. With a few simple swaps, many of your favorite foods can be made healthier and lower in calories. Here are 13 comfort food classics with fewer than 500 calories per serving.

First up? Ellie Krieger’s super-simple spin on fried chicken uses crushed corn cereal flakes plus a blend of spices for a very crunchy dish. A go-to for a fast weeknight meal with only about 15 minutes of prep time!

Get the Recipe: Oven Fried Chicken

Sausage Lasagna

A touch of sweet Italian turkey sausage makes this pasta dish hearty, yet sensible. The cheese layer is filled with part-skim ricotta and low fat cottage cheese along with some part-skim mozzarella, which helps keep the calories in check at 350 per serving.

Get the Recipe: Sausage Lasagna

Lemon-Garlic Shrimp and Grits

Typically drenched in butter and cheese, this quintessential comfort food can easily be made lighter with proper portions and sharp and savory Parmesan cheese. High protein and low calorie shrimp top off the meal and keep it under 400 calories per serving.

Get the Recipe: Lemon-Garlic Shrimp and Grits

Mexican-Inspired Chicken Stew

With 276 calories per serving, Dave Lieberman’s lightened stew is will warm up any week night. Made with plenty of vegetables and rice, leftovers of this one pot wonder make a great lunch the next day.

Get the Recipe: Mexican Chicken Stew

Mom's Turkey Meatloaf

Ground turkey is the superstar in Ellie’s meatloaf. It’s filling, delicious, and you can’t beat 210 calories per serving. Serve with roasted potatoes and a green salad for a well-balanced meal.

Get the Recipe: Mom's Turkey Meatloaf

Quick Turkey Chili

This 35-minute chili is a perfect weeknight meal that’ll warm your bones for around 400 calories per serving. The impressive 38 grams of protein and 10 grams of fiber means you will feel pleasantly satisfied.

Get the Recipe: Quick Turkey Chili

Slimmed-Down Chicken Pot Pie

This classic can be lightened up with a few tweaks: low sodium chicken broth, more veggies, and a few sheets of phyllo for the crunchy topping.

Get the Recipe: Slimmed Down - Chicken Pot Pie

Macaroni and 4 Cheeses

This version uses sensible portions of full-fat cheeses for big flavor. Cayenne and mustard powder punch up the flavor, while pureed winter squash gives it a great mouth-feel — plus makes this recipe a wonderful source of beta-carotene, an inflammation-fighting antioxidant.

Get the Recipe: Macaroni and 4 Cheeses

Baked Fish and Chips

The coating in this fish comes from crispy rice cereal and egg whites. Stick to 2 tablespoons of tartar sauce to keep calories below 500.

Get the Recipe: Baked Fish and Chips

Chicken Parmesan

Yes, chicken parm can be enjoyed as part of a healthy eating plan. Food Network Kitchen’s 5-star version is ready in about 1 hour to create and weighs in at 435 calories per serving.

Get the Recipe: Chicken Parmesan

Turkey Meatballs with Quick And Spicy Tomato Sauce and Whole-Wheat Spaghetti

You won’t miss the fat with all the spices that kick up the flavor in this lightened up pasta dish. With around 450 calories per serving, you’ll even have room for dessert.

Get the Recipe: Turkey Meatballs with Quick And Spicy Tomato Sauce and Whole-Wheat Spaghetti

Double Chocolate Brownies

Sometimes a feel-good brownie is all you really need. Instead of downing close to 400 calories on store-bought varieties, make your own using better for you dark chocolate for 160 calories each.

Ellie Krieger's Double-Chocolate Brownies — Recipe of the Day

Ginger Angel Food Cake

Prefer a chocolate-free dessert? This light-as-air cake is made with fresh ginger and is made complete with a fruit forward sauce – all of this for 325 calories per serving.

Get the Recipe: Ginger Angel Food Cake

More from:

Healthy Every Week