By Michelle Edelbaum , November 11, 2009 - 11:17am
We all have one—that special dish that immediately makes us feel good. Mine is Chicken Potpie. Unfortunately, comfort foods like potpie are notorious diet derailers: high in calories and saturated fat. But don’t despair: with these lighter versions of your favorite comfort food recipes , you can indulge and stay slim. These recipes for American classics made healthier keep the traditional flavors of the foods you love, but their calorie counts and fat content are diet-friendly. Put them back in your diet today! (Potpie anyone?)
Chicken Potpie:  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.
Beef Stroganoff:  A little tender beef goes a long way when it is supplemented with flavorful mushrooms and enriched with a robust sauce in this healthy stroganoff.
Broccoli-Cheese Chowder : 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.
Chicken-Fried Steak & Gravy : Can you really make a chicken-fried steak that isn't loaded with saturated fat and salt? Absolutely. We skip the deep frying, but with rich country gravy as consolation, you won't miss it. Our pan-fried, crispy cube steak has less than one-third of the fat and about 80 percent less sodium.
Classic Lasagna:  Here's an old-fashioned meat-and-cheese lasagna made lighter. Whole-wheat lasagna noodles taste great in this recipe, plus they help boost the fiber to 9 grams, more than a third of the recommended daily intake!
Loaded Twice-Baked Potatoes : Potatoes are one of the great comfort foods, especially when stuffed with a satisfying mixture of lean ground beef and broccoli florets plus reduced-fat sour cream and Cheddar cheese.
Swirled Cheesecake Brownies:  These decadent-tasting brownies have a beautiful marbled cheesecake topping. Cutting them into bite-size pieces helps to keep the calorie count in check.
Meatloaf:  This loaf is free-form, rather than baked in a loaf pan, which means more delicious, browned crust. This recipe is large enough to feed a big group or, even better, have leftovers for a cold sandwich the next day.
French Silk Pie:  Bittersweet chocolate and Dutch-process cocoa meld with a shot of fresh brewed coffee to give an ultra-rich flavor to this creamy French silk pie. A frothy meringue is the secret to lightening the brown sugar-sweetened filling.
Oven Fried Chicken:  Great news—crunchy, flavorful fried chicken can be healthy. We marinate skinless chicken in buttermilk to keep it juicy. A light coating of flour, sesame seeds and spices, misted with olive oil, forms an appealing crust during baking. The end result is 7 grams of fat per serving rather than the 20 in typical fried chicken—that is good news.
Which comforts foods would you like healthier recipes for? Tell us what you think below.