18 Easy Dishes That Taste Like They’re Bad For You But Aren’t

Nachos and pizza are must-haves if you expect life to be worthwhile, but occasionally we have to be grown-ups and eat things like vegetables and healthy fats. Eating a balanced diet isn’t always easy, especially when it feels like there are constant opportunities to gorge on junk food at the office Halloween party or go on a serious carb binge at Sunday brunch with your besties.

The only way to successfully maintain a healthy diet is to allow yourself the occasional splurge and to find healthier versions of the go-to junk foods that you love. Luckily, we have the internet, which is full of literally thousands of amazing recipes and makes finding healthier and lower calorie food options a hell of a lot easier.

Here, 18 of Pinterest’s best lightened up comfort food recipes, so even your “cheat day” is full of clean eating.

1. Healthy Taco Skillet

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A Taco Tuesday alternative loaded with lean turkey and vegetables, so you can fiesta with abandon.

Get the recipe HERE

2. Lighter Chicken Parmesan

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A guiltless version of chicken parmesan that’s coated in whole wheat breadcrumbs and then baked instead of fried. You could also serve it with zoodles instead of pasta to make it even lighter/lower carb.

Get the recipe HERE

3. Chicken Fajita Sweet Potatoes

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Chicken fajita goodness in a healthy sweet potato shell. Yes, please.

Get the recipe HERE

4. Philly Cheese Steak Zucchini Boats

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Ooey-gooey, cheesy, and meaty heaven with a bonus serving of veggies.

Get the recipe HERE

5. Thai Lettuce Wraps

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Your favorite Thai takeout, minus about 9 billion calories. No carb-loaded noodles, no rice—just a yummy ginger and sriracha sauce with lean chicken and tons of vegetables.

Get the recipe HERE

6. Skinny Mug Brownies

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Under 100 calories (thanks to Truvia and almond milk) and ready in 3 minutes. It’s like the perfect antidote to your period cravings.

Get the recipe HERE

7. Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Boats

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Low-carb lasagna baked in a convenient vegetable bowl. Get in my belly now.

Get the recipe HERE

8. Buffalo Bites

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These Buffalo wings are actually cauliflower, which means you won’t feel like garbage after you eat 30 of them.

Get the recipe HERE

9. Sweet Potato Nachos

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Healthy baked sweet potato chips make these the least naughty nachos you’ve ever eaten.

Get the recipe HERE

10. Avocado Chocolate Mousse

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The decadence of chocolate mousse, with a hidden healthy ingredient. Clean eating should always be this sneaky and fun.

Get the recipe HERE

11. Oven “Fried” Chicken

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This chicken is coated in crushed up corn flakes and then baked, because KFC ain’t got nothing on you and your own damn oven.

Get the recipe HERE

12. Skinny Loaded Potato Soup

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This loaded baked potato soup uses half-and-half, low fat cheese, and turkey bacon to cut the fat content without sacrificing flavor.

Get the recipe HERE

13. Skinny Cookies & Cream Bars

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For those nights when only a pint of ice cream will do. These pops are only 100 calories, because they’re made with a blend of skim milk and fat free Greek yogurt. Go ahead and eat two. You know you want to.

Get the recipe HERE

14. Zucchini Pizza Bites

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Don’t ever skip pizza night. Just do it a little smarter by replacing the crust with bite-sized veggie rounds.

Get the recipe HERE

15. Queso, Lightened Up

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This dip uses almond milk, fat-free cheese, and whole wheat flour, so you get lots of cheesey goodness with about half as many calories. It’s impossible to be in a bad mood when you’ve got skinny queso.

Get the recipe HERE

16. Sticky Bun Pudding

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All the richness of a Cinnabon, but with chia seeds, agave instead of sugar, cashew milk, and absolutely zero post-sticky bun guilt.

Get the recipe HERE

17. Healthy Chicken Lo Mein

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This recipe uses lean chicken, a low-cal homemade sauce, and tofu shirataki noodles to give you all the flavor of your favorite Chinese delivery with only 237 calories per serving.

Get the recipe HERE

18. Skinny Pumpkin Cheesecake

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Pumpkin goodness made lighter with skim milk and sugar-free Jello pudding, because, seriously, what is life without cheesecake?

Get the recipe HERE

Related-ish: 10 Obnoxious Humans You Will Inevitably Meet At The Gym

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