The Best Clean Comfort Foods For Dreary Days
Ah, comfort foods. Those feel-good, warm, wrap-you-in-a-hug foods that we turn to when we’re feeling blue or when the weather turns crisp. Cold weather means trying harder to stay warm, and what better way than eating warm food? We all have something that brings those nostalgic feelings to the surface and foods we turn to when we need a bit of comfort.
Here are 20 of my absolute favorite comfort foods that can be perfectly paired with snowy mornings, brisk afternoons, and windy evenings!
I don’t know about you but cold and rainy days spark the desire for relaxing with a cup of tea. These cranberry crumble bars are great for cozy mornings sitting by the fire and pair perfectly with hot tea. Or you can enjoy it for an afternoon snack!
Our favorite desserts are often comfort foods and for good reason! Sugary treats release dopamine: the happy hormone. But as we know, sugar can be harmful unless consumed in moderation, so rather than eating Aunt Mary’s apple pie, try these peanut butter apple pie bars instead – just as tasty and comforting, but much cleaner!
I love a good soup on a cold day! It’s a crowd favorite, and it’s so easy to make. This particular creamy broccoli soup provides a ton of beneficial nutrients from the mighty green veggie and a whole helping of comfort. 😉
Let’s spice it up! Chock full of vegetables and spices that are sure to warm you from the inside out, this recipe is a great meal to serve for you and your extended family! It’s super quick, easy to make, and packed with delicious flavors.
Another day, another soup! Beef stew is a hearty, warm, comforting food perfect for when you’re snowed in and watching a favorite movie. Full of veggies like carrots, potatoes, and onions, plus hearty beef, this is a nutritional and tasty meal that can be made in advance if needed!
Mmm, pizza, that classic Friday night meal. Quick and easy, this alternative to its greasy, carb-loaded counterpart is sooo much healthier but just as tasty! This recipe is the same idea as cauliflower crust pizza, but instead of a bread base, the cut-up cauliflower florets serve as the base for your pizza! It’s a delicious swap that’ll save you time, money, and energy.
Another great stew to try! Sweet potatoes are a wonderfully diverse vegetable that kicks this goulash into high gear. Filled with lots of other goodies, like onions, beef, and paprika, this delicious meal will comfort you for days on end.
Who doesn’t love a good chicken bake? Chicken is an excellent source of protein and will fill you up quickly. Plus, it’s loaded with green chiles and other scrumptious veggies that’ll have your guests asking for this dish again and again.
If you’re in need of a great meatball recipe, look no further! This classic Italian food is a perfect appetizer or can be eaten alongside your favorite dish. The world is yours!
Mac and Cheese is one of those classic childhood foods that follow you into adulthood. This recipe is sure to make you ditch the boxed macaroni and opt for a healthier version to enjoy with no guilt!
A perfect fall treat for all the sweet tooths out there! These are a classic dessert, but with a pumpkin twist, which makes these a wonderful option for your next fall-themed party. Plus, who doesn’t love freshly baked cookies?
Nachos: a staple at sporting events, Mexican buffets, and entertainment venues. And now, a healthier version for your kitchen! These nachos are made from thinly sliced potatoes that are seasoned and baked and then topped with your fave veggies.
Have a bunch of random veggies in your fridge that you need to use soon? Maybe you keep a stock of canned tuna or salmon in your pantry? If so, this casserole is the perfect solution! It’s effortless to customize based on the ingredients you already have and is ready in no time, leaving you time to enjoy your evening curled up with a good book.
If you thought we were done with soup, think again! It truly is an easy way to provide plenty of meals for the coming week. This soup is full of healthy ingredients that are sure to leave you full and satisfied.
Bringing back the cranberries for this one! Eating clean is all about moderation, and this is a wonderful option for when you’re craving something sweet and want to stay on track with your health journey.
Casseroles are a great comfort food! Packed with delicious ingredients that leave you feeling full and satisfied, they’re great for group events, like work parties or holiday get-togethers. This specific recipe boasts classic taco seasonings with a healthy cauliflower rice base.
Another great (but healthy!) Italian recipe! Maybe you’ve heard of zucchini pasta – this is the same concept, just with longer and thicker strips of zucchini to mimic lasagna noodles. Zucchini provides lots of nutrients and is a great food to help weight loss (way fewer carbs than typical pasta!), making it an amazing alternative to this classic comfort food. Need more food? Pair it with our Italian Baked Meatballs mentioned above.
The greatest part about crockpot meals is that you prepare them the night before or in the morning, leaving them to cook overnight or all day. No worrying about what you’re going to have for dinner that night – it’s already done when you get home! This recipe is a great source of comfort not only for its flavor (chicken, bell peppers, and cheese? Say less) but for its ease, too!
Warm, creamy, hearty meals are what make cold winter evenings so comforting. This chowder is full of protein and yummy veggies that are sure to satisfy you and impress your guests. Plus, you can double the recipe and eat it for multiple meals!
Bringing back the cauliflower one more time. It’s such a versatile vegetable and can be used in many recipes. This one is a great side dish full of cheesy, garlic-y goodness! Pair it with some chicken or beef, or just load up on it – whatever makes you most comfy!
We LOVE comfort food around here! There are so many healthy, clean options available to satisfy your cravings, but keep on track with your health journey, too. You don’t need to feel guilty for enjoying comfort food now and then. Remember, it’s all about balance!
Have you tried one of these recipes or come up with your own? Tell me all about it in the comments below! And be sure to share your creations and tag me so I can see your delicious meals.