10+ Dietitian-Favorite High-Protein Comfort Food Recipes

As the weather cools down and the first flurries of snow fall in Vermont (I know, this early), a warm and cozy meal is all I want after a long day. But beyond just being comforting, I want something that keeps me feeling full and fueled for the night. In fact, many of us might feel more hungry during the colder weather months, which can be for various reasons, from how our hormones adapt to the cold to a slight increase in overall energy expenditure due to cold temps. That’s where these recipes come in. Each with at least 15 grams of protein per serving, these dishes can help you meet your needs of filling and satisfying protein. Beyond keeping you feeling full, this macronutrient has been shown to support muscle growth and recovery, healthy bone density, effective digestion, healthy skin and more. They’re veggie-packed while weaving in comforting ingredients like cream, cheese and noodles to help you feel your best inside and out. Meals like our Mini-Meatloaves with Green Beans & Potatoes bring me back to nights at my parents house growing up. And our Slow-Cooker Chicken with Rosemary & Mushrooms over Linguine has so much flavor and only requires 20 minutes of active time. These mains are proof that you can enjoy something satisfying and delicious while aligning with your nutrition goals. For more beginner- and budget-friendly recipes, check out Thrifty.

25-Minute Chicken & Veggie Enchiladas

Jennifer Causey

These chicken enchiladas are great for using up any veggies you have lingering in your fridge. Our chicken enchilada recipe calls for zucchini, squash and onion, but you could easily swap in spinach or potatoes.

Mini Meatloaves with Green Beans & Potatoes

This healthy meatloaf recipe and side dishes are all made in the oven on two sheet pans so that everything’s ready for the dinner table at the same time. The potatoes go into the oven first to start roasting while the mini meatloaves and green beans are prepped and added to the oven partway through.

Spinach-Tomato Macaroni & Cheese

An old-school classic gets a boost of nutrition and flavor from garlicky spinach and tomatoes in this healthy mac and cheese recipe.

Slow-Cooker Chicken with Rosemary & Mushrooms over Linguine

The classic pairing of shallots and mushrooms gives this easy slow-cooker chicken recipe a timeless quality that’s sure to please everyone at your table. Swirling the stock and flour together at the beginning is a pro tip for creating a thick sauce that moistens the final dish and helps all the ingredients come together.

Slow-Cooker Balsamic Short Ribs

Now here’s a beef short ribs recipe you can serve to company—even on a holiday.

Baked Eggs in Tomato Sauce with Kale

You can make these three-ingredient tomato-simmered eggs with things you probably already have on hand in your freezer and pantry. To make these baked eggs more like eggs in purgatory, look for a spicy tomato sauce and don’t forget some whole-wheat bread for dipping.

Slow-Cooker Carne Picada Tacos with Avocado Salsa

Loosely translated as “minced meat,” the traditional texture of carne picada ranges from finely chopped to ground. Here we start with brisket, which becomes nice and tender in the slow cooker, then shred and chop the meat before serving. The seasoning is flavorful but not too spicy. Blistered jalapeños added at the end will satisfy the heat-lovers in the family. Pile the brisket into warmed corn tortillas, with lettuce, the jalapeños, cheese and avocado salsa for a healthy dinner that’ll wake up your taco night routine.

Easy Vegetarian Chili

Canned beans and tomatoes make this quick vegetarian chili recipe ready to go in just 30 minutes. Serve over rice or couscous, or with tortilla chips for added crunch, and add extra toppings as you see fit–sliced scallions, chopped fresh cilantro, diced avocado and sliced jalapeños are all tasty choices.

Skillet Chicken Parmesan

If you can’t find cutlets for this easy chicken Parmesan recipe at your supermarket, place a boneless, skinless breast flat on a cutting board, hold it steady with your palm and, using a sharp knife, slice the breast horizontally into two thin pieces.

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup with Rotisserie Chicken

Photographer: Caitlin bensel, Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

This creamy chicken noodle soup recipe has a delicious potpie feel to it. We call for rotisserie chicken to streamline your prep time—look for a nice big one with lots of breast meat on it. Pair this comforting soup with a green salad.

Skillet Chicken Potpie

A store-bought pie crust, frozen veggies and precooked chicken simplify the prep for this easy potpie. This healthy dinner recipe is comfort food at its best.

One-Skillet Salmon with Fennel & Sun-Dried Tomato Couscous

Sun-dried tomato pesto and lemon do double duty to season both the salmon and the couscous in this healthy one-pan dinner recipe. Serve the salmon with extra lemon wedges and a dollop of plain yogurt, if desired.

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