11 Healthier Alternatives to Your Favorite Winter Comfort Food

by Kaila Stein
Jan 30, 2018 at 12:00 p.m. ET

Winter can be rough on both body and soul. You’re battling the cold-weather blues and all you want to do is cuddle under a warm blanket, re-watch The Office and eat all the warm cheesy carbs. But you’re also feeling softer than usual and want to get back on the healthy bandwagon after indulging a little too much over the holidays.

If you’re still trying to stick to your January diet but it’s snowing outside and all you want to do is stick your face in a giant bowl of pasta Bolognese, you’re in luck. You can have your stew and eat it too. We found the best lighter versions of your favorite winter comfort foods. We’re talking hearty stews, warming soups and even chicken potpie! These comforting winter recipes taste great and won’t derail your diet or undo those 45 minutes (impressive!) you put in on the treadmill last Sunday. These dishes will get you through winter — body and soul intact.

1 /12: Phyllo Chicken Potpie

1/12 :Phyllo Chicken Potpie

What's more comforting than chicken potpie? This tasty recipe is loaded with hearty veggies and juicy chunks of chicken and topped with phyllo dough instead of puff pastry for a light and crispy lid. 

2 /12: Sesame Zoodles With Crispy Tofu

2/12 :Sesame Zoodles With Crispy Tofu

Zoodles topped with a spicy sesame peanut sauce and crispy pan-fried tofu will fill the sesame-noodle void in your life.

3 /12: Healthier Meatloaf

3/12 :Healthier Meatloaf

Turkey meatloaf can often be dry and lackluster. This recipe mixes ground turkey and beef for a lighter meatloaf that still has tons of flavor. Serve with creamy mashed cauliflower for a well-rounded meal.

4 /12: Vegan Macaroni & Cheese

4/12 :Vegan Macaroni & Cheese

This creamy and delicious mac and (vegan) cheese is loaded with kale and mushrooms and will satisfy your cheesy pasta craving. 

5 /12: Detox Chicken Soup

5/12 :Detox Chicken Soup

Skip the juice cleanse and opt for this tasty chicken soup instead. This immune-boosting soup is packed with kale, mushrooms, celery, carrots with cannellini beans and chicken for protein.

6 /12: Slow Cooker Moroccan Stew

6/12 :Slow Cooker Moroccan Stew

Skip the heavy meat and potatoes and make this fragrant and filling winter stew with butternut squash and chickpeas for an easy and delicious weeknight meal. 

7 /12: Bolognese Zoodles

7/12 :Bolognese Zoodles

Swap zoodles for pasta and top them with a delicious and hearty dairy-free Bolognese sauce. Zucchini and mushrooms add depth to this classic sauce.

8 /12: Baked Eggplant Parmesan

8/12 :Baked Eggplant Parmesan

Make a baked eggplant Parm with all the delicious, comforting flavors of the classic dish but half the fat.

9 /12: Cauliflower Nachos

9/12 :Cauliflower Nachos

This recipe (perfect for the Super Bowl) swaps out half the tortilla chips for perfectly roasted cauliflower. You still get the cheesy, crunchy deliciousness of classic nachos without all the carbs.

10 /12: Portobello Shepherd's Pie

10/12 :Portobello Shepherd's Pie

This vegetarian shepherd's pie makes the perfect winter dinner made with portobello mushrooms, carrots, peas and onions and topped with lightened-up mashed potatoes.  

11 /12: Lighter Chicken Enchiladas

11/12 :Lighter Chicken Enchiladas

These restaurant-quality enchiladas are made with low-carb tortillas and low-fat cheese. You've earned a (skinny) margarita with this dinner.

12/12 :Pin It!

Pin this list for your next healthy comfort food shopping excursion.