30 Comforting Dinners to Bring People When They Need a Hug
Show your loved ones you care by bringing them one of these comforting dinner recipes. These recipes are warm and flavorful, so one bite will make it feel like they're wrapped in a cozy hug. Comfort food recipes like Old-Fashioned Meatloaf and Spinach-Tomato Macaroni & Cheese are delicious and will bring a smile to anyone's face.
Spinach Alfredo Lasagna
This lightened-up lasagna packs in the nutrients with plenty of spinach, carrots, and mushrooms--plus satisfies cheese cravings with ricotta, mozzarella and Parmesan.
The secret to this creamy enchilada sauce is pureed toasted corn, enriched with roasted garlic.
Slow-Cooker Vegetarian Chili
Grab your crock pot for this delicious and easy slow-cooker vegetarian chili with beans, fire-roasted tomatoes, bell peppers and sweet potatoes. The recipe requires just 20 minutes of active time: after a bit of chopping, you just dump the ingredients in the slow cooker and let it do the work. Adding a squeeze of lime juice and a sprinkle of cilantro just before serving brightens up the flavors. Top it with some shredded cheese, if you'd like, or serve it as-is to keep it vegan. Either way, this healthy chili is sure to become a go-to when you want a satisfying and healthy dinner.
You might look forward to the days after Thanksgiving even more than the holiday itself with this easy turkey potpie recipe that's the perfect use for leftover turkey and extra vegetables like carrots and onions you might have on hand from the holiday. The pie is loaded with veggies and a creamy sauce, then topped with a prepared whole-wheat crust so there's no need to make dough. No leftover cooked turkey? This healthy potpie is just as delicious with chicken. Serve it up any time you need a dose of comfort food for dinner.
Chicken Parmesan Casserole
We took the best parts of chicken Parmesan--ooey-gooey cheese, crispy breadcrumbs and plenty of tomato sauce--and spun them into an easy family-friendly casserole. We simplified it by skipping the breading on the chicken and, instead, loaded the top of the casserole with cheese and breadcrumbs. Serve with a crisp green salad to complete the meal.
This classic beef lasagna recipe is easy to make and will be ready to eat in just over an hour.
Spinach-Tomato Macaroni & Cheese
An old-school classic gets a boost of nutrition and flavor from garlicky spinach and tomatoes in this healthy mac and cheese recipe.
Basic Whole Roast Chicken
This roasted chicken recipe may be the most useful recipe you'll ever find. It's a meal on its own or the start of any recipe that calls for cooked chicken--perfect for meal-prepping lunches or dinners to have throughout the week.
Vegetarian Mushroom Stroganoff
This mushroom stroganoff recipe has all of the comforting flavors you love from beef stroganoff, but without any of the meat! This vegetarian dish has incredible depth; the combination of dried and fresh mushrooms makes this main feel unctuous and meaty. The sour cream and mustard add richness, while the herbs add a hit of brightness.
Slow-Cooker Lemony Chicken Noodle Soup
This is a classic chicken noodle soup with bright lemony flavor. Because the noodles are whole-wheat, they have added pleasant chewiness-not to mention more fiber and nutrients-than the regular variety. Pair this delicious soup with crusty bread and red wine.
Mushrooms, garlic and oats sneak some extra nutrients into this hearty and easy meatloaf. Serve with sweet potatoes and your favorite green vegetables for a super-satisfying comfort food dinner.
Beans & Greens Enchiladas
Any type of canned bean will work in these easy layered enchiladas, but our favorite combination is a mix of black and pinto beans. Serve as a vegetarian main dish or as a tasty side for roasted pork or chicken.
This healthy basic beef chili recipe is well worth doubling so you can throw a batch in the freezer. Serve topped with diced red onion, sliced scallions, shredded cheese and your favorite hot sauce.
Chicken & Zucchini Casserole
This baked chicken and zucchini casserole is creamy, hearty and low-carb! The whole family will love this easy casserole, plus it's a great way to get the kids to eat their veggies (concealed in a delicious cheese sauce!).
Skillet Beef Potpie with Buttermilk Biscuits
Using an oven-safe skillet (like cast iron) allows you to take this healthy homemade potpie from stovetop to oven without dirtying extra pans. A quick drop-biscuit topping made with white whole-wheat flour adds 2g fiber per serving and cuts the sodium in half compared to using refrigerated biscuit dough.
Chicken & Tomatillo Enchiladas
Roasting tomatillos before pureeing them into a green enchilada sauce adds another dimension of flavor and a little sweetness. Put out plenty of toppings so everyone can add what they like.
Butternut Squash & Spinach Lasagna
This delicious vegetarian lasagna recipe showcases seasonal vegetables. Butternut squash brings a sweet richness while spinach gives it a nutrition and flavor boost. As a bonus, this recipe makes an extra lasagna that you can freeze for an easy holiday-season meal.
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.
Frozen potatoes, often labeled diced hash brown potatoes, make these healthy enchiladas come together quickly. Feel free to sub in sweet potatoes for an added boost of vitamin A, if desired.
Cheesy Chipotle-Cauliflower Mac
You'll barely notice the cauliflower in this comforting skillet pasta--it's pureed and mixed into the creamy cheese sauce.
Chicken & Cornmeal Dumplings
This version of chicken and dumplings provides plenty of vegetables with 5 grams of fiber per serving. Dumplings are made with 1 part flour and 1 part cornmeal to make them standout from a traditional flour dumpling. This hearty dinner option is the perfect comfort meal.
Irish Stew with Lamb & Potatoes
Traditional Irish lamb stew is made with inexpensive shoulder or neck cuts of lamb, but for possibly the best Irish stew you'll ever make, give this version made with leg of lamb a try. Choose a bone-in cut to make the rich, flavorful broth for this healthy lamb stew. Requiring just a handful of ingredients and 35 minutes of active time, this lamb stew isn't just tasty--it's also easy!
Spicy Meatloaf with Collards
Plenty of dark leafy greens deliver the moisture needed to balance lean ground pork and beef in this spicy meatloaf recipe. Serve any leftovers with extra ketchup as meatloaf sandwiches.
Spicy White Chili
Top this spicy chili with hot sauce if you love the heat.
Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup with Rotisserie Chicken
This rich-tasting but better-for-you creamy chicken soup has a delicious chicken pot pie feel to it. We call for rotisserie chicken to streamline your prep time--look for a nice big one with lots of breast meat on it. Pair this comforting and easy soup recipe with a green salad, or, if you're really hungry, a grilled cheese sandwich.
Hearty Vegetable Beef Stew
The slow cooker makes this veggie-packed beef stew super-easy and extra-savory.
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.
Lamb & Lentil Shepherd's Pie
This twist on a traditional Shepard's Pie recipe uses lentils and is garnished with fresh mint.
Chicken & Sausage Gumbo
For this revamped, lower-fat Creole gumbo recipe, the flour is browned in a Dutch oven without butter or oil. To keep the fat further in check, we opt for smoked turkey sausage.
Beef Burgundy with Skins-On Garlic Mashed Potatoes
This classic French stew "Boeuf à la Bourguignonne" is often served with noodles or chunks of potato, but this version is paired with garlicky mashed potatoes. A good choice for a weekend dinner, this slow-cooker meal also tastes great reheated the next day, because the flavors develop as it chills overnight.