Bobby Deen's Comfort Food Makeovers

Bobby Deen lightens up classic comforts, like pancakes, fried chicken and pizza, and shares more of his favorite tasty, healthy recipes.
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Photo By: Kate Mathis ©2013 Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Kate Mathis ©2013 Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Kate Mathis ©2013 Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Kate Mathis ©2013 Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Kate Mathis ©2013 Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Kate Mathis ©2013 Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Kate Mathis ©2013 Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Kate Mathis ©2013 Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Kate Mathis ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Kate Mathis ©2013 Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Alice Gao ©Alice Gao Photography

Meat and Mushroom Lasagna

Bobby's healthier spin on lasagna doesn't skimp; he uses plenty of lean ground chuck and meaty portobello mushrooms to round out each layer. A few simple substitutions like whole-wheat noodles and cottage cheese in place of ricotta keep the calories down while preserving familiar flavors.

Get the Recipe: Meat and Mushroom Lasagna

Blackened Fish Tacos

Bobby ditches fattier taco toppings like sour cream and cheese, opting instead for veggie-based pico de gallo and guacamole (made creamier and protein-rich with Greek yogurt). Heart-healthy salmon is blackened and flavored with a few signature spices.

Get the Recipe: Blackened Fish Tacos with Guacamole and Pico De Gallo

Guiltless Cheesy Mac

This comforting, cheesy baked pasta dish get its bold flavor from small amounts of sharp cheddar and Parmesan cheeses, plus a generous tablespoon of spicy Dijon mustard. Cauliflower adds fiber and denseness, so you'll feel fuller longer.

Get the Recipe: Guiltless Cheesy Mac

Chicken Tortilla Soup

This soup made with breast-only chicken meat and low-sodium beans gains extra flavor from baked corn tortilla strips –– who needs greasy fried chips?

Get the Recipe: Chicken Tortilla Soup

Leaner Pot Roast

Your dinner guests will never know that the meat Bobby uses in his pot roast is lean and trimmed of extra fat. It is also flavored by a fragrant mix of carrots, celery, parsnips and onions, which gets incorporated into a chunky crushed tomato sauce.

Get the Recipe: Leaner Pot Roast

One-Pot Pan-Seared Chicken Breasts

Need a healthy dinner in a flash? This simple one-pan recipe cooks in under an hour and will leave you with only one pot to clean. The sweet onion, white bean and tomato "sauce" adds just enough heft to make lean chicken breasts feel like a comforting meal.

Get the Recipe: One-Pot Pan Seared Chicken Breasts with Cherry Tomatoes and White Beans

Asian-Style Lettuce Wraps

Restaurant-style lettuce wraps typically contain fatty meats and are served with sugar-laden sauces. Bobby lightens the messy but fun appetizer by cooking naturally lean chicken in a specified amount of Asian condiments rather than serving them on the side to be dolloped with abandon.

Get the Recipe: Asian Style Lettuce Wraps

Spiced Turkey Burgers with Feta-Yogurt Sauce

Bobby's spice-packed turkey burgers are served on multigrain English muffins and possess Greek flair and protein power thanks to a chunky dill-yogurt-feta topping.

Get the Recipe: Spiced Turkey Burgers with Feta Yogurt Sauce

Coconut Shrimp Curry

A mixture of light coconut milk and low-sodium chicken broth lends flavor and moisture to this fragrant shrimp dish without the calories of the creamy original.

Get the Recipe: Coconut Shrimp Curry

Lentil Salad with Roasted Carrots and Fennel

Fennel lends its anise sweetness to flavor-absorbing lentils and carrots for a filling legume dish that works wonderfully as both a vegetarian-friendly main or side.

Get the Recipe: Lentil Salad with Roasted Carrots and Fennel

Quinoa, Salmon and Broccoli Bowl

Roasted tomatoes, broccoli and garlic lend flavor to protein-rich quinoa –– the perfect base for simply roasted salmon.

Get the Recipe: Quinoa, Salmon and Broccoli Bowl

Almond Butter Cookies

Have your cookie –– and mind your diet –– with these airy treats made with almond butter, egg whites and light brown sugar.

Get the Recipe: Almond Butter Cookies

The Son's Chicken Pot Pie

Crisp, golden phyllo dough is a satisfying sub for pot pie's usual buttery biscuit topper here. Bobby's single-portion pies are brimming with five types of vegetables in a comfortingly creamy yet low-fat sauce.

Get the Recipe: The Son's Chicken Pot Pie

Bobby's Chicken-Fried Chicken

Bobby proves that Southern stick-to-your-ribs classics (like chicken-fried steak) can in fact benefit from a lighter touch, as in these buttermilk-baked chicken breasts. Even the rich onion gravy gets a remix with reduced-sodium chicken broth and reduced-fat milk, lending meaty flavor and comforting creaminess without the guilt.

Get the Recipe: Bobby's Chicken-Fried Chicken

Blueberry-Almond Griddle Cakes

Whole-wheat flour and toasted sliced almonds add nutty flavor and substance to these blueberry-packed griddle cakes. Fluffy, browned and nutritious? Sounds like brunch to us.

Get the Recipe: Blueberry-Almond Griddle Cakes

Butternut Squash With Quinoa

This sweet and nutty dish is a nutritional powerhouse, thanks to protein-rich quinoa and vitamin A-packed butternut squash. A measured amount of raisins and walnuts adds flavor and texture, while garlic and leeks round out all the sweetness.

Get the Recipe: Butternut Squash with Quinoa, Spinach and Walnuts

Crunchy Parmesan Chicken With Arugula

Coating chicken in breadcrumbs before baking is a great, healthy way to fake fried chicken. Bobby takes his one step further by adding lemon zest and parsley to his crumb mixture, which gives the chicken zesty flavor.

Get the Recipe: Crunchy Parmesan Chicken with Arugula

Southwestern-Style Pizza

Bobby loads his pizza with fresh veggies, spices and a moderate amount of reduced-fat cheddar, making this Southwestern twist much healthier than your ordinary pie.

Get the Recipe: Bobby's Southwestern-Style Pizza

Fettuccine With Broccoli Pesto and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Though oh-so-delicious, pesto is not very healthy thanks to high-fat pine nuts, cheese and oil. Bobby makes his with just a few tablespoons of leaner walnuts and Pecorino Romano cheese, and then bulks the sauce up with broccoli florets — perfect for topping nutritious whole-wheat fettuccine.

Get the Recipe: Fettuccine with Broccoli Pesto and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Autumn Rice Salad With Dried Fruit and Nuts

Made with a colorful rice mix, this salad benefits from the flavor of white rice and the nutrients found in whole-grain brown and wild rice. Bobby adds cranberries, dates and pecans for sweetness and substance, and then dresses the lot in a honey, vinegar and sesame oil mixture for characteristic Asian tang.

Get the Recipe: Autumn Rice Salad with Dried Fruit and Nuts

BLT Steak Salad

Bobby deconstructs everyone’s favorite sandwich by serving it as a salad topped with lean, trimmed flank steak and subbing in just two slices of turkey bacon for flavor. To replicate the creaminess of mayo, Bobby dresses the salad in a vinegar, oil and Dijon mixture and sprinkles the salad with just enough blue cheese.

Get the Recipe: BLT Steak Salad

Crunchy Fennel and Green Apple Salad

Bored with your romaine-only salads? Start with a watercress and fennel base for their peppery and anise flavors, mix in sweet-sour Granny Smith apple slices and top with a spicy citrus dressing.

Get the Recipe: Crunchy Fennel and Green Apple Salad

Healthy Breakfast Strudel

Bobby takes a traditionally indulgent breakfast strudel and lightens it up with a thin layer of phyllo dough, reduced-fat cheese, a measured amount of ham and an eye toward portion size.

Get the Recipe: Breakfast Strudel

Greek-Style Twice-Baked Potatoes

Stuffed potatoes are the ultimate party food or dinner party side dish, but all that sour cream and bacon takes a toll on one’s waistline. Bobby bakes potatoes twice — once to soften, twice to crisp — and fills the scooped skins with fat-free milk and goat cheese for creaminess and olives for a different sort of salty flavor.

Get the Recipe: Greek-Style Twice-Baked Potatoes

Maple Berry Parfait

Syrup-drenched berries taste delicious when layered with zesty, spiced ricotta in this parfait that works well as a sweet breakfast or a simple dessert.

Get the Recipe: Maple Berry Parfait

Old-Fashioned Salisbury Steak With Shiitake Mushroom Gravy

Bobby lightens up this classic comfort food dish by forming his patties out of extra-lean ground beef and whole-wheat bread and topping the meat with a gravy that relies on shiitake mushrooms, not fat, for flavor.

Get the Recipe: Old-Fashioned Salisbury Steak with Shiitake Mushroom Gravy

Mediterranean Chicken Stew

Reduced sodium chicken broth forms the base of this stew, which gains flavor from aromatic veggies, herbs and some white wine. The lean proteins — chicken thighs trimmed of fat and cannellini beans — bulk up the dish and make it a meal.

Get the Recipe: Mediterranean Chicken Stew

Roasted Salmon With Brown Sugar Glaze

For a healthy dinner that’s ready in 10 minutes, coat salmon in a quick, from-the-fridge brown sugar, Dijon and soy sauce glaze and broil for 5 minutes.

Get the Recipe: Roasted Salmon with Brown Sugar Glaze

Steak Tacos With Black Bean Pico de Gallo

Bobby pairs lean, fat-trimmed flank steak with nutrient-rich black beans to fill his tacos, which are so flavorful, they don’t even need cheese or sour cream.

Get the Recipe: Steak Tacos with Black Bean Pico de Gallo

Rosemary Roasted Root Vegetables

Roasting root vegetables brings out their natural sweetness, so this recipe needs just a dash of rosemary for balancing earthy flavor.

Get the Recipe: Rosemary Roasted Root Vegetables

Spicy Thai Sweet Potato Soup

This rich, thick soup seems like an indulgent treat, but thanks to calorie-free aromatics, nutrient-rich sweet potatoes and a tablespoon of red Thai curry paste, it’s only 220 calories and has only 121 mg of sodium.

Get the Recipe: Spicy Thai Sweet Potato-Ginger Soup

Smothered Pork Chops With Onion-Gingersnap Gravy

The key to a healthy pork chop meal? Cook them simply with salt and pepper, and then simmer in a reduced-sodium broth that’s flavored by fresh herbs and fragrant onions.

Get the Recipe: Smothered Pork Chops with Onion-Gingersnap Gravy

Warm Sausage and Roasted Red Pepper Salad

Lean turkey sausage slims down this cozy winter salad, which is bulked up by nutrient-rich spinach, peppers and onions.

Get the Recipe: Warm Sausage and Roasted Red Potato Salad

Healthy Breakfast Casserole

Bobby Deen lightens up this breakfast casserole with fat-free milk, egg whites, reduced-fat cheese, whole-wheat bread and turkey sausage patties.

Get the Recipe: Sausage, Egg and Cheese Strata