Low-Calorie Comfort Food Recipes


Reinvent the ultimate pasta meal with this healthier take on mac ‘n cheese.

Certain dishes make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. You know the ones: mashed potatoes, grilled cheese sandwiches, and of course, just about all pasta dishes. These are often firmly off the menu if you’re feasting in the name of clean eating…until now, that is. This recipe is a refreshed version of everyone’s ultimate comfort food: mac and cheese. Made with healthy ingredients, it’s comfort food that supports your physique and performance goals. This dish can be made two ways—paired with cauliflower if you’re looking to get shredded, or served with quinoa or wheat macaroni if it’s bulking season. Either way, it’s delicious. Get ready for some guilt-free gains!


  • Medium butternut squash 1
  • Turkey bacon (uncured, nitrate free, from turkey meat) 8 slices
  • Chicken broth 1 cup
  • Olive oil 1 tbsp
  • Goat cheese 2 oz.
  • Reduced-fat parmesan cheese 1/2 cup
  • Fresh thyme 1 tbsp
  • Fresh rosemary 1/2 tbsp
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Chives to garnish

To bulk up

  • Wheat or quinoa elbow macaroni 4 oz.

To shred down

  • Cauliflower florets, chopped 2 heads


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cut the ends off the butternut squash, and slice it down the middle. Remove the seeds, and place it on a baking sheet. Spray the squash with coconut or olive oil, and sprinkle it with sea salt and pepper. Roast for one hour or until tender.
  3. Choose either macaroni or cauliflower.
    • Macaroni: Cook according to instructions while the squash is baking. When done, set it aside.
     Cauliflower: Arrange the florets on a baking sheet. Spray them with olive oil and pepper, and roast them for 25 minutes at 400 degrees F.
  4. Set a nonstick skillet on medium-high heat, toss in the turkey bacon, and cook until crispy. Allow it to cool for 2 minutes before chopping it into pieces.
  5. Remove the squash from the oven, and let it cool to near room temperature. Cut it into chunks, and peel the pieces.
  6. Add all the ingredients (except bacon bits and garnish) to a blender or food processor, and blend them to create a creamy, cheesy sauce.
  7. Pour the sauce over the macaroni or roasted cauliflower, stir, and toss in bacon bits. Stir it again, and season it to taste. Garnish it with chopped chives or parsley.


Nutrition Facts (with cauliflower):

Serving size: 1 bowl

Recipe yields 8 servings

Calories: 161

Fat: 5 g

Carbs: 21 g

Protein: 8 g

Nutrition Facts (with macaroni):

Serving size: 1 bowl

Recipe yields 8 servings

Calories: 198

Fat: 6 g

Carbs: 27 g

Protein: 9 g


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