The colder months call for hearty meals that warm the soul and fill up the stomach. And while layers of ooey gooey cheese, sizzling sauces, baked noodles, creamy potatoes and more sound heavenly, many comfort foods are incredibly high in calories and carbs that are sure to widen your waistline. The best way to enjoy the coziness and deliciousness of this food is to make it healthy. But is there really such a thing as a healthy comfort food? There sure is! And the following 11 casseroles prove it.
1. BBQ Spaghetti Squash Casserole by Food Faith Fitness
Casseroles don’t have to be complicated or gluttonous, and this Mediterranean recipe proves it. Sun dried tomatoes, feta and quinoa are the shining stars of this gluten free dish, which is a savory treat that even vegetarians can enjoy!
Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potato Topping by The Real Food RDs
Shepherd’s pie is a fall and winter classic that’s among the most comforting casseroles of them all. This paleo recipe kicks it up a notch by adding in more protein and nutrition to a delicious meal. Topped with sweet potato for an added twist, it’s whole 30 friendly, gluten free and dairy free to boot.
Teriyaki Chicken and Rice Casserole by Emily Bites
Teriyaki chicken isn’t something you’d typically associate with ‘healthy,’ but the sauce in this recipe is made from scratch and utilizes ingredients like low sodium soy sauce, brown sugar, honey, ginger, olive oil and garlic. Chock-full of chicken and veggies, and complete with brown rice, you’ll get a well-rounded plate that just so happens to be comforting too.
Paleo Casserole with Turkey, Peppers, Zucchini and Tomato by Food Faith Fitness
If you’re on the lookout for hearty meals to satisfy your need for comfort foods this time of year, then allow this to be your go-to recipe. Layers of turkey, peppers, zucchini and tomato fill up this gluten free casserole that’s too delicious to resist and paleo, too!
Mexican Quinoa and Sweet Potato Casserole by Fit Foodie Finds
This is one easy, delicious and healthy recipe you must try out if you’re a sucker for Mexican food. Quinoa, black beans, diced tomatoes, salsa, chili powder, onion powder, cayenne, sweet potatoes, Greek yogurt, chipotle powder and sriracha combine to make one melt-in-your-mouth casserole that will fill you up without weighing you down.
Southwestern Chicken Casserole by Fit Foodie Finds
This recipe is reminiscent of a Chipotle burrito bowl, but healthier. Packed with super simple ingredients, and requiring little prep time, you’ll likely opt for this homemade Southwestern meal over take-out time and time again.
Layered BBQ Chicken and Sweet Potato Enchilada Casserole by Ambitious Kitchen
Sweet potatoes and BBQ sauce are a unique combo, but try this recipe out and see for yourself just how pleasant the combination can be. Complete with enchilada sauce, boneless chicken breasts, onion, garlic, reduced fat shredded mozzarella, reduced fat shredded colby jack cheese, cumin and cilantro, you’re mouth is sure to water far before a bite makes it to your mouth.
Broccoli, Cheese, n’ Quinoa Casserole by Fit Foodie Finds
Man n’ cheese is always a “yes please” for the whole family, but it’s not exactly the healthiest meal on the planet. This casserole version makes it both a people pleaser as well as a bit more well-rounded by adding in good-for-you broccoli and protein-packed quinoa instead of your typical noodles.
Hashbrown Spinach & Ham Casserole by Slender Kitchen
This casserole is made simple by tossing all the ingredients in the crockpot. Combining breakfast-inspired ingredients with the warmth and depth we love for dinnertime comfort foods, it’s a great option for the whole family. The simple and healthy ingredients list of frozen hash brown potatoes, green pepper, onion, boneless lean ham, frozen spinach, reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese, eggs and milk make it easy for preparing and getting on with your day.
Skinny Orange Chicken Casserole by Fit Foodie Finds
Can a Chinese food-inspired casserole really be ‘skinny?’ This one will sure make you feel that way when when you eat it up, since it’s packed with veggies, protein and whole grains. Don’t worry though! You won’t sacrifice a bit of flavor with this comfort food dish, with the tangy and sweet sauce of the chicken bursting with taste.
Cauliflower Mac n’ Chicken Casserole by Fit Foodie Finds
This comforting casserole is made with gluten-free, ancient grain pasta and made with brown rice, quinoa, amaranth and corn. As if that doesn’t sound healthy enough, chicken breast and cauliflower give you even more fuel and flavor to add to your palate. And of course, there’s cheese sauce, lots of ooey gooey wonderful cheese sauce. Enjoy!