Our Best Healthy Recipes for Winter
Skillet Gnocchi with Chard & White Beans
In this one-skillet supper, we toss dark leafy greens, diced tomatoes and white beans with gnocchi and top it all with gooey mozzarella. Serve with a mixed green salad with vinaigrette.
Hungarian Beef Goulash
This streamlined goulash skips the step of browning the beef, and instead coats it in a spice crust to give it a rich mahogany hue. This saucy dish is a natural served over whole-wheat egg noodles. Or, for something different, try prepared potato gnocchi or spaetzle.
Chicken Breasts with Mushroom Cream Sauce
The secret to a good cream sauce is always the same: not too much cream or it can be overpowering, masking the more delicate flavors. Here it contains a bountiful amount of mushrooms and is served over chicken breasts.
Our version of this enchilada-style chilaquiles casserole is packed with nutritious beans and vegetables. Canned prepared enchilada sauce has great flavor and keeps the prep time quick. It can vary in heat level so find one that suits your taste. If you want to eliminate the heat altogether, try a green enchilada sauce (which is often milder than red) or substitute two 8-ounce cans of plain tomato sauce.
Buffalo Chicken Casserole
We took the classic flavors of Buffalo wings--hot sauce, blue cheese, carrots and celery--and created a finger-licking-good casserole. Serve this dish during football season to a hungry crowd and it's sure to be a hit. We don't typically recommend ingredients by brand name, but in this case we make an exception for Frank's RedHot Sauce. It has the perfect balance of spice and tang for this casserole. Texas Pete and Crystal hot sauces are suitable alternatives if you can't find Frank's.
Balsamic & Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower
Roasting isn't usually the first cooking method you think of for cauliflower but the results are quite delicious. The florets are cut into thick slices and tossed with extra-virgin olive oil and herbs. Wherever the flat surfaces come into contact with the hot roasting pan, a deep browning occurs that results in a sweet, nutty flavor.
Here is an easy way to serve a crowd a hearty breakfast before facing the elements for a day of winter sports. You can assemble it in the slow cooker in the evening and wake up to a bowl of hot, nourishing oatmeal. The slow cooker eliminates the need for constant stirring and ensures an exceptionally creamy consistency. It is important to use steel-cut oats; old-fashioned oats become too soft during slow-cooking.
Baked Mac & Cheese
Mac & cheese can be a true comfort on a gloomy day, and our healthy update takes advantage of extra-sharp Cheddar balanced with creamy low-fat cottage cheese and tucks a layer of spinach into the middle, which may help picky eaters down their vegetables. Whole-wheat pasta adds robust flavor and extra fiber.
Beef & Bean Chile Verde
Chile Verde, usually a slow-cooked stew of pork, jalapeños and tomatillos, becomes an easy weeknight meal with quick-cooking ground beef and store-bought green salsa. Make it a Meal: Serve with fresh cilantro, red onion and Monterey Jack. Add cornbread on the side and your favorite hot sauce.
Bev's Chocolate Chip Cookies
EatingWell reader Beverley Sharpe of Santa Barbara, California, contributed this healthy chocolate chip cookie recipe. She gave chocolate chip cookies a healthy update by cutting back on sugar and incorporating whole grains. To increase protein, Sharpe replaces the rolled oats with 1 cup almond meal.
Here we take basic lasagna ingredients--ricotta cheese, pasta and tomatoes--and skip the layering and long baking time to make a super-quick and satisfying meal for the whole family. To cut down on prep time, look for presliced mushrooms. For meat lovers, brown some crumbled turkey sausage along with the onions and garlic. Serve with: Steamed broccoli and whole-grain baguette.
This satisfying remake of broccoli chowder benefits from the creamy texture of cooked potatoes and smooth, tangy reduced-fat sour cream instead of getting its richness from as much as a cup each of cream and cheese. Not only is the flavor vibrant, but a single serving gives you over half of the daily recommendation for vitamin C.
Creamy Hamburger Noodle Casserole
The EatingWell Test Kitchen takes lean ground beef and combines it with whole-grain bulgur, egg noodles and a creamy tomato sauce in a baked casserole topped with Cheddar. With less fat and calories than the original skillet meal, this dish is sure to become a new family favorite.
Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili
Make a double batch of this quick vegetarian chili, full of black beans and sweet potatoes, and eat it for lunch the next day or freeze the extras for another night. We love the smoky heat from the ground chipotle, but omit it if you prefer a mild chili. Serve with tortilla chips or cornbread and coleslaw.
Wine & Tomato Braised Chicken
Here chicken thighs cook in a simple herb-infused tomato-and-wine sauce. The bone-in thighs give it plenty of hearty flavor, and since you cook them without the skin, it keeps the dish healthy. There's plenty of sauce, so serve it over pappardelle or brown rice. Steamed broccoli or sautéed broccoli rabe tossed with olive oil and a splash of lemon juice complete the meal.
Chicken à la King
There's no need to feel guilty over this classic creamy combination of chicken, peppers and mushrooms. Our version uses low-fat milk and flour for thickening to make it plenty rich without all the saturated fat. Serve over whole-wheat egg noodles.
Savory Breakfast Muffins
If you're tired of sweet breakfast muffins or just looking for a savory breakfast, try these--you'll love the smoky flavor from the Canadian bacon and the fresh-tasting combination of red bell pepper and scallions.
This chicken potpie is studded with peas, mushrooms, carrots and onions and topped with tender whole-wheat biscuits. The savory sauce gets a rich taste from reduced-fat sour cream, but with less fat and calories. And it ends up just as delicious and comforting as you expect.
Southwestern Three-Bean & Barley Soup
Serve this zesty bean and barley soup garnished with chopped fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime, if desired.
Orange marmalade and freshly grated orange zest make a deliciously tangy sauce for quick-cooking chicken tenders. Serve with brown rice.
Squash, Chickpea & Red Lentil Stew
Modeled on North African stews, this aromatic vegetarian main course can be served over brown rice or steamed spinach.
Loaded Spinach Salad
Like many spinach salads, this one features lots of chopped-up hard-boiled egg. But since most of the calories in an egg are in the yolk, this recipe uses just two whole eggs, plus the whites from six additional eggs, for a satisfying spinach salad that keeps the calories in check.
Broccoli, Beef & Potato Hotdish
This easy casserole, full of ground beef, roasted broccoli and topped with hash browns, was inspired by the classic Minnesota Tater Tot hotdish. Roasting the broccoli before adding it to the casserole gives the whole dish a much more complex and exciting flavor, but it's by no means necessary. If you want to keep it simple, skip roasting the broccoli (Step 2) and use 6 cups frozen broccoli, thawed, in its place (omit 1 tablespoon oil, as well).
Mini Shepherd's Pies
In EatingWell's take on Shepherd's Pie, we replace the potato topping with convenient, delicious frozen squash puree. And they're baked in individual ramekins to guarantee perfectly sized servings and help you get it on the table fast.
Creamy Fettuccine with Brussels Sprouts & Mushrooms
Sliced Brussels sprouts and mushrooms cook quickly and cling to the pasta in our fall version of pasta primavera. Look for presliced mushrooms to cut prep time. Serve with a tossed salad.
Braised Paprika Chicken
Sweet Hungarian paprika gives this creamy braised chicken the best flavor. This is a good “pantry dish” since you should have the basics on hand and only need to purchase the chicken. You may vary the recipe by using cubed veal shoulder instead of chicken and mushrooms instead of peppers. Serve with whole-wheat orzo flavored with minced parsley or dill.
Vegetable Lover's Chicken Soup
Classic comfort food is yours, in just slightly more than half an hour. Serve with some crusty whole-grain bread and top with grated Romano or Parmesan cheese.
Braised Winter Vegetable Pasta
In this vegetable-studded vegan dish we braise cauliflower, butternut squash and pasta in white wine and broth in an unconventional technique that yields delicious results. Serve with a spinach salad with red onion, orange segments and a light vinaigrette.
In this German-inspired spaetzle recipe, whole-grain mustard adds zesty flavor to these homemade egg noodles. Serve these little dumplings with roasted chicken, meatballs or sauerbraten, the classic German pickled roast beef traditionally accompanied by spaetzle.
Sauerbraten, a classic German recipe, is the ultimate make-ahead entree. First you brine it, then you braise it, then it marinates for a day before you serve it--sauerbraten literally means “pickled roast beef.” Serve this sauerbraten with the traditional German dumplings called spaetzle, or mashed potatoes or buttered noodles, and roasted green beans.