Healthy Comfort Food Recipes for a Sustainable Diet

12/13/20238 min read

When it comes to comfort food, we often think of high calorie dishes with unhealthy ingredients.

However, who says we can't have healthy comfort food?

In this blog post, we'll explore some mouthwatering recipes that are not only comforting but also low in calories and easy to make.

So, prepare to indulge your appetite guilt-free with these healthy low-calorie comfort foods!

1. Veggie-packed Shepherd's Pie

This traditional comfort dish is given a healthier makeover by replacing the traditional ground meat with a medley of colorful vegetables. You can replace the mashed potato of the traditional recipe with mashed cauliflower to bring down the calories even more.


For the filling:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 carrots, diced

  • 2 celery stalks, diced

  • 1 bell pepper, diced (any color)

  • 1 zucchini, diced

  • 1 cup frozen peas

  • 1 cup corn kernels

  • 1 can (15 oz) lentils or chickpeas, drained and rinsed (for protein)

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 cup vegetable broth

For the mashed cauliflower:

  • 1 large cauliflower, peeled and diced

  • 1/4 cup almond milk without added sugar (or any milk of your choice)

  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter (optional)

  • Salt and pepper to taste


1. Set the oven to 400°F (200°C).

2. To prepare the Filling: Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic, sauté until softened.

3. Add carrots, celery, bell pepper, and zucchini to the skillet. Cook until the vegetables are tender.

4. Stir in the frozen peas, corn, lentils or chickpeas, dried thyme, dried rosemary, salt, and pepper. Add the vegetable broth. Let it cook for about 10 minutes until the mixture thickens.

5. For the mashed cauliflower: While the filling is simmering, boil the cauliflower in a large pot until they are fork-tender. Drain and mash the cauliflower with almond milk, vegan butter (if using), salt, and pepper until smooth.

6. Assemble the Shepherd's Pie: Transfer the vegetable filling to a baking dish. Spoon the mashed cauliflower on top and spread them evenly with a spatula.

7. Bake in the oven until the top is golden (it should take about 20 minutes). Let it cool for a few minutes before serving.

2. Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Replace traditional mac and cheese with a creamy butternut squash sauce. Pureed butternut squash creates a velvety texture. You can give this meal a cheesy flavor with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast without excess calories.


  • 2 cups butternut squash, peeled and diced

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 cup vegetable broth

  • 1 cup almond milk (natural flavor, without added sugar).

  • 1 cup nutritional yeast

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 1 teaspoon turmeric (for color)

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 12 oz (about 340g) whole grain or gluten-free macaroni pasta

  • Optional toppings: chopped parsley, breadcrumbs


1. Set your oven to 375°F (190°C).

2. Put a large pot of water on the stove untill it reaches to the boiling point and cook the macaroni pasta after you add salt to the boiling water according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.

3. In a separate pot, steam or boil the butternut squash until it's fork-tender. Drain and set aside.

4. Heat olive oil, prefaribaly in a larg skillet, over medium heat. Add chopped onions and garlic, sauté until softened.

5. In a blender, combine the steamed butternut squash, sautéed onions and garlic, vegetable broth, almond milk, nutritional yeast, Dijon mustard, turmeric, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth and creamy.

6. Pour the butternut add the sauce to the macaroni after it is cooked and stir until the pasta is evenly coated.

7. Place the mac and cheese mixture in a baking dish. If desired, sprinkle breadcrumbs on top for a crunchy texture.

8. Bake in the oven you have preheated before for about 20-25 minutes, or until the top is golden and the edges are bubbly.

9. Serve hot, after garnishing with chopped parsley. with chopped parsley.

3. Cauliflower Crust Pizza

For many of us, pizza is the pinnacle of comfort food, but it can be high in calories and unhealthy fats. Enter cauliflower crust pizza – a delicious and nutritious alternative.


For the cauliflower crust:

  • 1 medium-sized cauliflower head, riced (about 3 cups)

  • 1/2 cup almond flour

  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 2 large eggs

For the Pizza Toppings:

  • Tomato sauce (homemade or store-bought)

  • Mozzarella cheese or a dairy-free alternative

  • Your favorite pizza toppings (e.g., tomatoes, bell peppers, mushrooms, olives, spinach)


1. Set your oven beforehand to 400°F (200°C). Place a pizza tray or a baking sheet in the oven to heat.

2. Make riced cauliflower with the help of a food processor or a box grater.

3. Microwave the riced cauliflower for 4-5 minutes or until it's soft. Let it cool for a few minutes.

4. Fill a clean kitchen towel or cheesecloth with cooked cauliflower. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible. This step is crucial for a crispy crust.

5. In a mixing bowl, combine the cauliflower, almond flour, nutritional yeast, dried oregano, garlic powder, salt, and eggs. Mix until well combined.

6. Make a round, 1/4-inch-thick pizza dough out of the cauliflower mixture on a piece of parchment paper.

7. Carefully transfer the parchment paper with the crust onto the preheated pizza tray or baking sheet.

8. Let the cauliflower crust bake for 20-25 minutes or until it's golden and firm.

9. Then take it out of the oven and add your pizza toppings – tomato sauce, cheese, and any other toppings you like.

10. Let the pizza back for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Once done, let the pizza cool for a few minutes before slicing.

4. Lentil and Vegetable Soup

There is nothing like a warm bowl of hearty soup to warm the soul. This lentil and vegetable soup is not only comforting but also packed with fiber, protein, and essential nutrients.


  • Green or brown lentils, 1 cup, rinsed and drained

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced

  • 2 celery stalks, diced

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 6 cups vegetable broth

  • 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes

  • 1 zucchini, diced

  • 1 cup green beans, chopped

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)


1. Using a large pot, preheat olive oil over medium heat. Mix in the chopped onions, carrots, and celery. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened.

2. Add minced garlic, ground cumin, ground coriander, smoked paprika, turmeric, and the bay leaf. Let them cook while stirring for an additional 2 minutes until the spices are fragrant.

3. Add the vegetable broth, then the lentils, diced tomatoes, zucchini, and green beans. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Let the soup reach to the boiling point. After that reduce the heat, cover, and let it cook for about 25-30 minutes or until the lentils and vegetables are tender.

5. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Remove the bay leaf.

6. Serve the lentil and vegetable soup hot, garnished with fresh chopped parsley.

5. Baked Seet Potato Fries

Craving something crispy and satisfying? These roasted sweet potato fries are more nutritious and much healthier than conventional fries.


  • 2 large sweet potatoes, washed and peeled

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch (optional, for extra crispiness)


1. Set your oven to heat on 425°F (220°C), then use a parchment paper to line a baking sheet.

2. Cut the peeled sweet potatoes into evenly sized fries. Try to keep them uniform in size for even baking.

3. Stir the sweet potato fries with olive oil, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper in a bowl until the surfaces of the fries are evenly covered. If you want extra crispiness, you can also toss them with cornstarch at this stage.

4. Spread the seasoned sweet potato fries on the baking sheet you prepared before in a single layer, ensuring they are not crowded.

5. Bake the fries in the heated oven for about 15 minutes, then flip for another 15 minutes or until golden and crisp.

6. Remove from the oven and set aside for a few minutes to cool before serving.

7. Enjoy the Baked Sweet Potato Fries on their own or with your favorite dipping sauce.

6. Quinoa-Stuffed Bell Peppers


  • 4 large bell peppers, halved and seeds removed

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed

  • 2 cups vegetable broth or water

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 zucchini, diced

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 1 can (15 oz or 425g) black beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, or a blend), optional

  • Fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped (for garnish)


1. Start with preheating your oven to 375°F (190°C).

2. In a medium-sized pot, boil the vegetable broth or water. Add quinoa, and after that reduce the heat, put a cover and let it cooked until liquid is absorbed. It should take 15 - 20 minutes.

3. Put the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onions and garlic, sauté until softened.

4. Add diced zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and black beans to the skillet. Cook until the vegetables are soft, which must take about 5-7 minutes.

5. Stir in ground cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Cook for another 2 minutes.

6. Once the quinoa is ready, fluff it with a fork and add it to the skillet with the vegetable mixture. Mix everything together.

7. Arrange the halved bell peppers in a baking dish. Stuff each pepper half with the quinoa and vegetable mixture.

8. If desired, sprinkle shredded cheese on top of each stuffed pepper.

9. Use Alluminum foil to cover the baking dish and bake in the oven you have preheated for 25-30 minutes, or until the peppers are tender.

10. Remove from the oven, garnish with chopped cilantro or parsley, and serve hot.

7. Oatmeal Banana Bread Muffins

With healthy banana bread muffins made with oats, ripe bananas, and a touch of honey you can satisfy your sweet tooth. They offer the comforting flavors of banana bread without excess calories.


  • 2 to 3 ripe bananas, mashed

  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil or applesauce (unsweetened)

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1/4 cup almond milk (unsweetened) or any milk of your choice

  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour or a gluten free flour of your choice

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup nuts, roughly chopped or chocolate chips (optional)


1. As always start with preheating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius). Oil a muffin tray or line it with paper liners.

2. Using a fork, mash the ripe bananas in a large mixing dish.

3. Add melted coconut oil (or applesauce), maple syrup (or honey), vanilla extract, eggs, and almond milk to the mashed bananas. Mix until well combined.

4. Combine oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a separate bowl.

5. Stir together the dry and wet ingredients until barely mixed. Add the chopped nuts (or if you prefer, chocolate chips).

6. Put the batter into the muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 full.

7. Bake for 18-20 minutes in a preheated oven, or till a piece of toothpick put into the middle of a muffin came out clean.

8. Let the muffins cool before moving them to a wire rack to cool further.

9. Enjoy your Oatmeal Banana Bread Muffins as a healthy and delicious snack or breakfast!


Who says comfort food has to be unhealthy? With these delicious and nutritious recipes, you can enjoy your favorite comfort foods without guilt. Whether you're in the mood for Shepherd's Pie, pasta, pizza, soup, or fries, there's a healthy version for every craving. So, go ahead and indulge in these low-calorie, easy to make comfort food recipes that will leave you feeling satisfied and nourished.