Whether you’ve had a bad day or you simply want to indulge in a hearty, cozy meal, you don't have to totally break your healthy eating habit. These healthy comfort food recipes show that it’s totally possible to have your cake and eat it too — or in this case, you can have your mac and cheese, and eat it too. Who needs a salad when you can eat a casserole that's actually good for you?
Because in fact, some winter comfort foods are good for you. Sweet potatoes are filled with vitamin A, and anything filled with green vegetables will give you a much-needed vitamin C boost. Even switching up some ingredients for some healthy comfort food hacks proves super nourishing. Hint: cauliflower can do a lot more than you might think, and potatoes aren’t the only things that taste amazing as fries. Get creative, and you are bound to discover plenty of healthy surprises.
So, the next time you look forward to tucking into a comforting dish, try out one of these 16 wholesome recipes instead of your go-to. Healthy eating just got a whole lot more fun now that we know some of our favorite foods are good for us too.
1. Sausage, Potato, And Mushroom Skillet
This protein-heavy meal by A Beautiful Mess tastes indulgent, but its whole food ingredients keep you fueled all day.
2. Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai
No need to break your healthy-eating habit with oil-drenched noodles. The Kitchn smartly subs in spaghetti squash for a veggie-centric meal.
3. Creamy Butternut Squash Linguine
Give the fettuccine alfredo a break, and try Cookie and Kate's uber cozy pasta. This squash-based sauce doesn't contain any dairy.
4. Vegan Mac and Cheese
If you want to cut down on your dairy intake, Oh She Glows offers a creamy alternative to your favorite boxed mac and cheese.
5. Beet Bourguignon
The vegan version of beef bourguignon by Green Kitchen Stories is filled with plenty of tasty root vegetables, making it a hearty winter dinner.
6. Roasted Brussels Sprout And Millet Gratin
The one thing that always makes vegetables taste better? Cheese. Naturally Ella's Brussels sprout dish is a simple but cozy meal.
7. Chili-Dusted Kohlrabi Fries
When you think comfort food, you can't forget about fries. Five and Spice's kohlrabi fries are a healthier option than your usual potatoes.
8. Cauliflower Fried Rice
Cauliflower has a whole lot of untapped potential. A Spicy Perspective proves that it makes a perfect rice substitute in this paleo recipe.
9. Cheesy Pizza Portobello Mushrooms
Mushroom tops sprinkled with cheese and sauce make a healthier alternative to a large pie. The Kitchn adds plenty of herbs to make them taste even better.
10. Twice-Baked Potatoes
No dairy or meat is needed to make A Beautiful Mess' ultra-creamy twice baked potatoes. Grab the almond milk and some faux bacon.
11. Veggie Breakfast Tacos
Filled with scrambled eggs and plenty of fresh vegetables, Cookie and Kate's breakfast tacos make a tasty meal any time of day.
12. Spaghetti Pie
A vegetable-heavy bolognese tops Cara's Cravings' spaghetti pie, making it nutritious while also super satisfying.
13. Spicy Lentil Vegan Sloppy Joes
This protein-packed sandwich by Naturally Ella will make you completely rethink lentils.
14. Broccoli And Cheese Soup
Skip the cheddar — Oh She Glows uses a vegan roux sauce to mimic your favorite cheesy flavors in this completely vegan recipe.
15. Shepherd's Pie With Kale
A mashed potato-topped casserole may not be the pinnacle of clean eating, but Five and Spice will ensure you're getting plenty of veggies with this unique shepherd's pie recipe.
16. Paleo Pancakes
When in doubt, nothing can beat breakfast for dinner. A Spicy Perspective makes pancakes that are seriously substantial.
For more food inspiration, check out Bustle on YouTube.
Images: Oh She Glows (3); A Beautiful Mess (2); The Kitchn (2); Cookie and Kate (2); Green Kitchen Stories ; Cara’s Cravings (2); Naturally Ella (2); Five and Spice (2); A Spicy Perspective (2)