10 Healthier Versions of Your Favorite Comfort Foods

This fall, try the following twists on your favorite comfort foods:

Fall Minestrone

Make the most of fall's abundant produce for a quick, easy and healthy soup. Butternut squash, kale, carrots, onions, potatoes, beans and pasta come together to create this vegetarian favorite that's sure to fill you up. To make it even more heart-friendly, the American Academy of Dietetics recommends using fresh herbs—instead of salt—to boost flavor.

More: Healthy Soup Recipes


Traditional meatloaf can be greasy. Use extra-lean ground beef to cut down on the grease. And cook it on a rack or roasting pan to keep it from stewing in its own oil.

Pot Pie Deconstructed

A traditional chicken pot pie can have close to 1,000 calories. Instead, try a flavorful roast chicken breast with a whole-wheat roll—and carrots and peas on the side. This will get you as close to pot pie as possible for a fraction of the calories.

More: How Many Calories Do You Need?

Collard Greens

These hearty greens are full of vitamins A and K, which help support the immune system—a must during cold and flu season. A single serving is less than 50 calories. Plus, their fiber will fill you up.

Macaroni and Cheese

You can't say "comfort food" without mentioning macaroni and cheese. But, 1 cup can be 300 to 400 calories. To make this classic healthier, use whole-wheat elbow macaroni or gluten-free quinoa pasta. Boil the noodles in chicken stock to give them even more flavor. Use low-fat cheese and milk. Also, add a vegetable instead of meat.

More: Quinoa Mac, Greens and Cheese Recipe

Hot Chocolate

Chocolate is a rich source of antioxidants, which helps boost your immune system, according to Science Daily. In addition, hot chocolate is a great drink before or after a workout because of its mix of protein and carbohydrates. A homemade cup runs about 190 calories.

More: Your Favorite Caffeinated Drinks Made Healthier

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