Recipe Makeovers

Lighter, healthier, but just as tasty: See how we made over these favorite dishes.

Lighter Main Dish Recipes

From brunch casseroles to weeknight dinners, these entrées are better-for-you versions of your favorites.

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Lighter Spinach-Bacon Quiche

Recipe Makeover: Spinach-Bacon Quiche

Flaky olive oil pastry and cheesy, veggie-filled custard for only 317 calories


Taking Back Tetrazzini

Recipe Makeover: Healthier Chicken Tetrazzini

Up the veg, cut the cream, and drop 234 calories with our light version.


Lighter Empanadas

Recipe Makeover: Lighter Empanadas

Flaky, portable, chicken-and-cheese-packed hand pies with half the salt and fat of the deep-fried version.


Chicken Parmesan with Oven-Roasted Tomato Sauce

Chicken Parmesan: Recipe Makeover

This dish demonstrates how cooks can make it easier to take a healthy serving.


Chicken Cobb Salad with Avocado Dressing

Cobb Salad: Recipe Makeover

Our light version handily beats the classic loaded salad—in both flavor and nutrition.


Creamy, Light Potato Soup

Less-Loaded Potato Soup: Recipe Makeover

This hearty bowl is made light and velvety-rich with a secret ingredient. No butter, no cream—just good.


Healthier Chicken Nuggets and Homemade Chips

Healthy Chicken Nuggets & Homemade Chips

We cut calories, salt, and fat big time in both the chicken nuggets and the chips. By Sidney Fry, MS, RD


Lighter Po'boys

Lighter Po'boys

We keep the bon temps rolling with crispy shrimp, spicy slaw, and 1,400 fewer calories.


Lighter Cheesesteak

Lighter Cheesesteak

The sandwich that put Philly on the comfort-food map keeps its meaty, cheesy soul but loses 750 calories.


Getting Good With Gumbo

Gumbo Lightened

We cut the salt and calories, but kept the soul.


Eggplant Parmesan.

Lighter Eggplant Parmesan

Say arrivederci to heavy, greasy Eggplant Parmesan.


Fancy Fish Sticks Recipe

Fresher, Lighter Fish Sticks

It was time to reclaim the pleasures of this frozen finger-food delight.


Creamy Chicken Salad Recipe

Lighter Chicken Salad

Creamy, crunchy, and fresh, our version of this classic has less than half the calories and salt.


Mexican Chicken Casserole with Charred Tomato Salsa Recipe

Recipe Makeover: Mexican Casserole

Yup, the cheesy, gooey goodness in an American comfort favorite—without the heft.


Healthy Recipes: Crab Cakes with Spicy Rémoulade

Recipe Makeover: Crab Cakes

With less filler and no deep-frying to overwhelm the crab, this iconic seafood entrée is healthier and tastier.


Chicken Fingers Recipes

Lighter Chicken Strips

Leaving the deep fryer in the ditch, we create a crunchy new version of a fast-food staple that adults (and kids) will love.


Pork and Pinto Bean Nachos recipe

Lightened Nachos

Underneath all the fat in American-style nachos lies some healthy eating. We put a classic fast food into a good nutritional niche.


Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

Recipe Makeover: Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

A cheesy chicken casserole is revamped to meet a Texas reader’s health goals.


This chicken-ham lasagna is a lightened version of Courtney Sparks' favorite dish.

Guilt-free Lasagna

A trim yet tasty chicken-and-ham casserole is easier on the waistline―and conscience―of a Maine reader.


Stuffed French Toast: A Downsizing Success Story

Recipe Makeover: Stuffed French Toast

A brunch recipe fares even better under our supervision.


Pumpkin Bread

Revamped Holiday Dishes

We’ve improved the dietary profiles of three readers’ favorites.


Enticing Enchiladas

Enchilada Makeover

We trim down a 30-year-old casserole recipe for a Nevada reader with a heart-healthy goal.


Cashew Chicken Conundrum

Cashew Chicken Conundrum

A Canadian reader sends in a nutty curry entrée for one of our most challenging makeovers.


Lemon-Ginger Fried Chicken

Recipe Makeover: Lemon-Ginger Fried Chicken

Learn the secret to creating a skin-like crust (without the skin) on this lightened pan-fried chicken.


A Hearty Start

Recipe Makeover: Sausage and Cheese Breakfast Casserole

A Connecticut teacher begins busy days with a serving of this revamped sausage and egg casserole.


Mama Totota's Tamales

Christmas Eve Tamales

A tradition of Christmas Eve tamales is a gift that one Mexican-American family hands down, each generation to the next.


Broccoli and Chicken Noodle Soup

Recipe Makeover: Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

After our recipe rescue, this rich and creamy soup has 40 percent fewer calories and 62 percent less fat than the heavy original.

More Ways To Get Cooking Light



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25 Best Vegetarian

Whether you have made the full vegetarian plunge or just want to mix it up, sans the meat, once a week, these healthy, meatless main dishes will have you swooning.

Fontal Polenta with Mushroom Sauté