Healthy Recipes For Comfort Food Like Mac And Cheese, Lasagne And More

As the temperature starts to drop, your cravings for warm comfort food might be increasing. We've got you covered.

Kelleigh Korevaar |

Craving comfort food lately? Science can tell you why.

A 2017 study found that when we eat food that makes us content and happy, the chemicals responsible for happiness, dopamine and serotonin, are released. And as we pass the two month mark of being in lockdown, it’s no surprise you’re wanting an extra dose of dopamine or serotonin.

Related: 9 Lockdown Recipes The Men’s Health Team Has Tried And Loved

But that doesn’t mean you have to reach for a store-bought option or order a takeaway. You can indulge without well, over-indulging, thanks to these 8 healthy comfort food recipes.

1. Mac ‘n Cheese

baked macaroni and cheese recipe surrounded by tomatoes
Photo by Ronaldo de Oliveira on Unsplash

How have we made it healthier? We’ve decreased the amount of cheese used but found a way to keep the flavour by blending roasted butternut, garlic, plain yoghurt and cheese. By doing this we’ve shaved off 70 grams fat.

Get the recipe here.

2. Burger and Chips

healthy burger and chips with vegetables around it
Photo by Haseeb Jamil on Unsplash

How have we made it healthier? We’ve subbed out the calorie-dense beef. Instead we’re using chicken which is high in protein and low in fat relative to other red meats. Plus, instead of oil-soaked potato fries, we show you how to make delicious, flavour-packed cucumber chips.

Get the recipe here.

3. Cottage Pie

cottage pie with herbs surrouded by tomatoes and lettuce
Food photo created by azerbaijan_stockers –

How have we made it healthier? We’ve shaved off roughly a third of the kilojoules you would usually find in cottage pie by doing two things. We use ostrich mince instead of beef mince. And in place of mash, we blend together sweet potato and cauliflower, lowering the GI rating in the process.

Get the recipe here.

Related: 16 Restaurant-Quality DIY Pizzas That Are Fresher, Healthier And Tastier

4. Steak and Chips

steak and chis on a plate ready to eat
Photo by Kasumi Loffler from Pexels

How have we made it healthier? We’ve found the best breed you can use for your steak; Fassone beef. However, it’s difficult to get your hands on, so we’ve found the next best thing to use.

Get the recipe here.

5. Bangers and Mash

bangers and mash on a plate ready to eat
Courtesy of Unsplash

How have we made it healthier? Instead of opting for fatty, high-calorie pork bangers, we’ve found some lower calorie options to use instead. Plus, we’ve tweaked the mash to be made of turnips and carrots which tastes just as good as potato mash, when seasoned properly.

Get the recipe here.

6. Chicken and Mushroom Pie

chicken and mushroom pie on a table ready to be served
Photo by Food Photographer David Fedulov on Unsplash

How have we made it healthier? We’ve made several changes to ensure this winter staple hits the healthy mark without losing flavour. Instead of shortcrust pastry, we’ve used pre-rolled filo pastry (which will also save you time) and low-fat crème fraîche instead of full-fat. We’ve also got a hack on how to cook your chicken without oil.

Get the recipe here.

7. Lasagne

people eating a lasagne from lasagne recipe
Food photo created by jcomp –

How have we made it healthier? We use ostrich mince instead of beef, and halve the meat content, swapping in spinach and mushrooms. Plus, instead of pasta layers, we use thin slices of baby marrow.

Get the recipe here.

Related: These Brownies Are So Tasty You’d Never Guess They’re Actually Healthy

8. Chicken Curry

healthy chicken curry on a plate with cucumber and rice
Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

How have we made it healthier? First, we leave the chicken to marinate overnight and don’t use any butter or ghee in the recipe like most restaurants and recipes do. We use low-fat coconut milk instead of cream and instead of rice we make a tasty cauliflower rice. You won’t even notice the difference.

Get the recipe here.

Looking for more healthy comfort food recipes? Our 15 Minute Meals have got you covered.

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