12 hearty-but-healthy recipes for weeknight dinners

The best comfort food fills your belly and does your body good. These warm, cozy meals will do just that.

12 hearty-but-healthy recipes for weeknight dinners

Photo: Jim Norton

Hearty-but-healthy recipes for weeknight dinners

Baked Chicken Freekeh Bowl

The gang’s all here: Freekeh (a rice-like grain), chicken thighs, lettuce and tomatoes are drizzled in a tasty tahini dressing. Get extra by adding fresh hummus and pomegranate seeds. Get the recipe: Baked Chicken Freekeh Bowl

Grain bowl with baked chicken, tomatoes, lettuce, red onion and dressingPhoto: Erik Putz

Lentil and Beef Mini Meat Loaves

Canned lentils give classic meatloaf a blast of plant power. Plus, an individual mini loaf is fun to eat and perfect for tucking away in a bento box. Get the recipe: Lentil and Beef Mini Meat Loaves

plate with meatloaf, mashed potatoes and green beansPhoto: Roberto Caruso


Moussaka Meets Shepherd’s Pie

Roasted eggplant takes this classic lamb-filled shepherd’s pie from good to whoa. That’s what it means to meet moussaka. Get the recipe: Moussaka Meets Shepherd’s Pie

individual dishes of moussaka shepherd's pie with lamb and eggplantPhoto: Ryan Szulc

Hearty Vegetarian Chili

Eating your veg ain’t no thang when they’re slow-roasted and in a perfectly seasoned tomato sauce. Netflix and Chili this Friday, anyone? Get the recipe: Hearty Vegetarian Chili

two bowls of vegetarian chili with garlic toast and grated cheesePhoto: Maya Visnyei

Chicken Pot Pie

Fulfill all of your comfort food needs with this classic. Shredded chicken (use leftovers or buy a rotisserie chicken) and soft veg are coated in gravy then tucked away under a flaky crust. Weeknight dinners don’t have to be basic. Get the recipe: Chicken Pot Pie

casserole dish with creamy chicken pot pie topped with a sesame seed studded crustPhoto: Jim Norton


Vegetarian Pho

Pronounced “fuh,” this hearty soup has fragrant vegetable broth and rice noodles as its base. Set out bowls of fresh herbs, crunchy bean sprouts, tofu cubes and sauces (hoisin for them, sriracha for you) so everyone can customize their bowls. Get the recipe here: Vegetarian Pho

bowl of pho with chopsticksPhoto: Andrew Grinton

Quick Kale and Bacon Tart

A sheet of premade frozen puff pastry makes this tart quick and easy to assemble, while ton of finely chopped kale melts into the filling. Get the recipe: Quick Kale and Bacon Tart

sliced quiche ready to servePhoto: Andrew Grinton

Chicken Cacciatore

This belly-filling dish is full of familiar, kid-friendly flavours—boneless chicken thighs braised in a simple tomato sauce and ladled over noodles. Who wants extra olives? (Probably not your kid.) Get the recipe: Chicken Cacciatore

antique plate with hearty chicken cacciatorePhoto: Andrew Grinton


Turkey-Bulgur Cabbage Rolls

Cabbage rolls get lean in this turkey version. All in, it takes less than an hour to make, but you could also cook up the filling and blanch the cabbage leaves ahead of time, then assemble when it’s time to eat. Get the recipe: Turkey-Bulgur Cabbage Rolls

two cabbage rolls with tomato sauce on a platePhoto: Erik Putz

Shepherd’s Pie with Cauliflower Mash

These little pies bring all the goods: Hearty meat filling mixed with veggies and a creamy cauliflower mash topping. Dig in! Get the recipe: Shepherd’s Pie with Cauliflower Mash 

ramekins with shepherd's piePhoto: Erik Putz

Turkey and Bean Burritos

Yes, you can pull off a pan of cheesy burritos on a weeknight. Toss a simple green salad while they bake in the oven and you’re done. Get the recipe: Turkey and Bean Burritos

plate with burrito and saladPhoto: Andrew Grinton


Cauliflower Fettuccine Alfredo

These rich, cheesy noodles have a delicious secret: The cream sauce is actually cauliflower purée. Get the recipe: Cauliflower Fettuccine Alfredo


plate of fettuccine Alfredo pasta with parsleyPhoto: Roberto Caruso

Read more:
5 simple pasta recipes 11 recipe projects to take on this weekend
5 easy budget-friendly meals

This article was originally published on Oct 29, 2018

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