Comfort foods and weight loss usually don’t go together in the same sentence, do they? Typically when someone hears the term “comfort foods” they think of all of the foods that are deemed “bad” by most of society—mac and cheese, meatloaf, pasta dishes, cheesy sandwiches, even warm chocolate cake. And yet, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. There are multiple healthy ways you can cook all of the comfort foods you love without compromising any of the flavors you love…and still lose weight.
The trick is to use wholesome ingredients and include the main elements of a filling, healthy meal. If your meal has fiber-rich carbs, lean protein, healthy fats, you’ll feel full the rest of the day—which prevents overeating and weight gain down the line.
So yes, you can eat comfort foods—just make sure to make your entire meal wholesome and filling! From breakfast to dessert, here are some of our favorite comfort foods to make that keep it healthy while still staying cozy and delicious for the fall season. Then, be sure to check out our list of the 100 Easiest Recipes You Can Make.
These warm oatmeal apple pancakes are the perfect weekend breakfast on a chilly fall morning!
Get our recipe for Oatmeal Pancakes with Cinnamon Apples.
Load up a warm baked sweet potato with yogurt, granola, and berries for an antioxidant-rich breakfast.
Get our recipe for Breakfast Loaded Sweet Potato.
Use up that can of leftover pumpkin and prep a few jars of these crispy, flavorful pumpkin parfaits!
Get our recipe for Spicy Pumpkin Parfaits.
Craving muffins? These paleo plum muffins are the perfect low-calorie treat when you’re craving a baked good with your morning cup of coffee.
Get our recipe for Paleo Plum Muffins.
This hearty brunch is the perfect alternative to greasy eggs and potatoes at the local diner.
Get our recipe for Italian Hash With Eggs.
Warm up with this spicy, flavorful eggs diablo—served with tortillas for easy dipping and taco making!
Get our recipe for Eggs Diablo.
Prep a large container of this cranberry-orange granola when you’re in need of a quick breakfast during the busy work week.
Get our recipe for Cranberry-Orange Granola.
This simple toast with cashew butter and apple slices makes for an easy and comforting fall breakfast.
Get our recipe for Maple-Cashew-Apple Toast.
For a clever weekend brunch, this open-faced waffle sandwich is flavorful and includes all of those macronutrients you need to stay full for hours.
Get our recipe for Waffles with Ham and Egg.
Soups & Salads
Nothing says “cozy” more than a bowl of chicken noodle soup and crusty bread!
Get our recipe for Crock-Pot Chicken Noodle Soup.
Meal prep a large pot of this creamy, spicy soup to easily microwave for lunches all week long.
Get our recipe for Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana.
Salad doesn’t always have to be cold! This comforting salad is full of all kinds of fall flavors that you know and love.
Get our recipe for Warm Kale-Quinoa Salad.
Another comofrting soup you can prep for the week, or even make for dinner to share with a crowd.
Get our recipe for Instant Pot Chicken and Rice Soup.
Skip the trip to Wendy’s and make their famous soup thanks to our copycat version!
Get our recipe for Copycat Wendy’s Chili.
Nothing like a bowl of creamy butternut squash soup on a crisp, fall day.
Get our recipe for Rosemary Butternut Squash Soup.
Keeping it low carb? This soup has a low-carb twist to the classic by swapping out noodles with zucchini “zoodles.”
Get our recipe for Instant Pot Chicken Zoodle Soup.
This hearty pasta fagioli has all of those delicious flavors you love in the original Olive Garden soup!
Get our recipe for Copycat Pasta Fagioli Soup: Olive Garden’s Recipe.
This cozy chili recipe easily uses up a can of pumpkin you have in pantry.
Get our recipe for Pumpkin Chili.
This salad includes a toasty goat cheese “crouton” that you can slice open and enjoy on a bed of refreshing greens, nuts, and fruit.
Get our recipe for Warm Goat Cheese Salad.
Get the slow cooker ready for all of the cozy recipes, liek this green chile pork soup!
Get our recipe for Green Chile Pork Soup.
Salad doesn’t always have to be with leafy greens! This fall-inspired salad includes wild rice, sweet potatoes, red onions, and much more.
Get our recipe for Cinnamon-Roasted Sweet Potato Salad With Wild Rice.
This creamy copycat Panera broccoli cheddar soup slashes the calories so you can easily enjoy a bowl and experience weight loss this season.
Get our recipe for Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup.
Have a craving for black bean soup? Our version kicks it up a notch with some added protein and fiber!
Get our recipe for Cuban Tomato and Black Bean Soup.
Warm bacon dressing sounds just like the type of cozy salad dressing we need this season.
Get our recipe for Healthy Spinach & Goat Cheese Salad with Apples & Warm Bacon Dressing.
Forget the top slice of bread! Cut the calories by serving your sandwich open face with a fork, like this toasty hot ham and cheese sandwich.
Get our recipe for Open-Face Hot Ham and Cheese with Chipotle Mayo.
A toast tuna melt sounds like the ultimate comfort food to us!
Get our recipe for Italian Tuna Melt.
Snag your favorite whole grain bread and some leftover cooked chicken breast for this easy-to-make lunch panini.
Get our recipe for Chicken Panini with Pesto and Peppers.
If you’re not dipping your grilled cheese into a piping hot cup of tomato soup, you’re doing it wrong!
Get our recipe for Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup.
Roasting up a chicken with hearty vegetables on the weekend is an easy way to have a ready-to-go protein leftover when you need simple weight loss meals throughout the week.
Get our recipe for Herb Roast Chicken with Root Vegetables.
A hearty beef stew is the definition of quitessential cozy, especially when the weather is chilly!
Get our recipe for Classic Beef Stew.
This healthier version of chicken pot pie is the perfect dinner for a crowd on a chilly fall night.
Get our recipe for Chicken Pot Pie.
Give us all the pasta dishes! Cozy up with a slice of this chicken sausage lasagna, packed with all of the flavors you love but not packed with all the calories.
Get our recipe for Chicken Sausage Lasagna.
Use up leftover rotisserie chicken (or even leftover chicken from one you roasted on the weekend) with this easy chicken parm casserole recipe!
Get our recipe for Rotisserie Chicken Parm Casserole.
Fatty sausage and pasta with hearty greens sounds like the perfect cozy weeknight meal!
Get our recipe for Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe.
Sweet and savory is the game with this caulfilower and butternut squash curry—the perfect warm meal to enjoy on the couch.
Get our recipe for Curry with Cauliflower and Butternut Squash.
Making beef ragu on a chilly October night just got a light easier thanks to this simple slow cooker recipe!
Get our recipe for Crock Pot Beef Ragu.
This dump-and-go carnitas recipe makes Taco Tuesday a much easier weeknight meal.
Get our recipe for Slow-Cooker Pork Carnitas Tacos.
Pumpkin can be savory, too! This pad thai is full of lean chicken, veggies, peanuts, and warm saucy noodles.
Get our recipe for Pumpkin Pad Thai.
Got some leftover turkey from Thanksgiving? Throw together this easy slow cooker meal the night after for any lingering guests that are hanging for the weekend!
Get our recipe for Slow-Cooked Turkey Cassoulet.
This cozy chicken meal looks like it took hours to make, but really, it just took a few simple steps thanks to the handy slow cooker.
Get our recipe for Maple-Balsamic Chicken and Vegetables.
Cozy meals and slow cookers go hand-in-hand, especially with this deliciously cheesy beef goulash recipe!
Get our recipe for Slow Cooker Beef Goulash.
Skip out on the extra carbs and enjoy this low-carb version of “mac” and cheese using mini bits of cooked cauliflower!
Get our recipe for Creamy Instant Pot Cauliflower “Mac” and Cheese.
Whether you’re plant based or not, this easy sheet-pan meal makes for a perfect lean and clean weeknight dinner.
Get our recipe for Sheet-Pan Vegan Sausage and Vegetable.
Need more chicken recipes in your life? These flavorful tandoori chicken legs deserve a permanent spot on your meal plan rotation.
Get our recipe for Keto Tandoori Chicken Legs With Basil-Roasted Cauliflower and Pecans.
This turkey bolognese got even leaner thanks to this garlicky roasted spaghetti squash!
Get our recipe for Turkey Bolognese with Garlic Spaghetti Squash.
Craving Chinese takeout? Our version of orange chicken slashes the calories and ups the fiber, both important aspects for a healthy weight loss meal plan.
Get our recipe for Orange Chicken.
This roasted pork loin is a perfect cozy weekend meal with very minimal effort to make!
Get our recipe for Roast Pork Loin Porchetta-Style with Lemony White Beans.
Skip the noodles again for zoodles with this cozy bowl of chicken ramen with spinach and shiitake mushrooms!
Get our recipe for Chicken Ramen with Shiitake Mushrooms and Spinach.
A healthier twist on the usual shepherd’s pie you’re used to with sweet potatoes and pork!
Get our recipe for BBQ Pork Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potato Topping.
Who wouldn’t want a slice or brisket on the weekend, especially if it’s paired with these garlicky mashed potatoes?
Get our recipe for Low-Calorie Braised Brisket with Horseradish Cream.
Who knew cooking a turkey could be so easy! Whether it’s simply for a weekend meal, or cooking for Thanksgiving itself, this roasted turkey is probably the easiest recipe you will ever make—trust us.
Get our recipe for 90-Minute Roasted Turkey with Orange-Cranberry Relish.
Between the fatty sausage, the juicy chicken, and the spicy broth, this basque chicken recipe is the definition of cozy.
Get our recipe for Healthy Basque Chicken.
Stuffed on the inside, breaded on the outside, this recipe takes your usual weeknight chicken meal up a notch with cozy vegetables and cheese!
Get our recipe for Stuffed Chicken.
Adding more vegetables into your pasta dishes is an easy way to add in more fiber and slash the calories, while still getting all of those cozy pasta dinner vibes!
Get our recipe for Zucchini Carbonara.
Creamy, saucy chicken with mushrooms sounds like the perfect comforting meal.
Get our recipe for Creamy Mushroom Chicken.
When we hear comofort food, we think mac and cheese. So naturally, we had to make a few healthy versions of it!
Get our recipe for Spicy Macaroni and Cheese.
Make you rown pasta from scratch with our deliciously healthy butternut ravioli recipe!
Get our recipe for Butternut Ravioli with Sage Brown Butter.
Meatloaf is another quitissential cozy meal for the fall, especially if it’s served with our green bean casserole.
Get our recipe for Turkey Meat Loaf with Spicy Tomato Glaze.
Pick your favorite fall movie and cozy up on the couch with a bowl of our healthy chicken and dumplings!
Get our recipe for Chicken and Dumplings.
Whether it’s for a potluck, for the family, or even prepping it for yourself, you can’t ever go wrong with a pan of this baked ziti.
Get our recipe for Baked Ziti.
Use up the rest of the apples from your apple picking adventure with this comforting apple cranberry crisp recipe. Don’t forget the ice cream!
Get our recipe for Apple-Cranberry Crisp.
This bread pudding recipe gets a fall twist thanks to your favorite fall superfood—pumpkin!
Get our recipe for Pumpkin Bread Pudding.
This toffee date cake is full of delicious natural sugar and is the perfect pair with a nighttime cup of decaf coffee.
Get our recipe for Sticky Toffee Date Cake.
Chocolate lava cake, in the Instant Pot? We’re in!
Get our recipe for Molten Lava Chocolate-Cherry Cake.
You can’t miss baking a homemade apple pie during the fall—it’s essential!
Get our recipe for Apple Pie with Crunch Topping.
The best part of the weather turning cooler is turning to our favorite comfort foods. But, they don’t have to be unhealthy. Mix and match from this list for the best, healthy meal tonight.
A previous version of this article was originally published on October 21, 2021.