3 Healthier Comfort Food Recipes to Make in the Microwave

Learn how to make healthier versions of your favorite cozy comfort foods, no oven required.
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Chiara - Vassar College
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Learn how to make healthier versions of your favorite cozy comfort foods, no oven required.

We all have those days where comfort food is in order. Whether it be finals stress or a late night out with friends, it's important to have healthy and easy recipes up your sleeve for when cravings strike. 

Not only will you save yourself some calories, you'll also make a big difference in your wallet by saving on those late night pizza orders. Your friends are bound to catch on too! Below, I'll show you how to make healthy comfort food:

1. Healthier Mac and Cheese

A crowd pleaser straight from your very own microwave.

A crowd pleaser straight from your very own microwave.

There is nothing like a steaming bowl of mac and cheese. Although cheesy, buttery, gooey goodness is one of the most comforting things I can think of, it can be pretty heavy on the stomach. Luckily, here's a recipe for a lightened up version of mac and cheese that can be made in your microwave!

What You'll Need:

  • 1/3 cup whole wheat elbow pasta
  • 1/2 cup water (you may need a little more or less depending on the strength of your microwave)
  • 1/3 cup low-fat shredded cheese blend
  • Splash of fat-free milk 

How to Make It:

Put the pasta in a big mug or bowl and add the water. Microwave for six minutes, adding water if needed and stirring occasionally. There should be a little bit of water left at the bottom of the mug or bowl after the six minutes are up. Then add in your cheese and microwave for another 30-45 seconds. After this, add in a splash of milk and then stir everything all together until it's combined and gooey. And there you have it! Healthy mac and cheese ready in under 10 minutes. 

2. Healthier Pizza

Almost like it came right out of the oven.

Almost like it came right out of the oven.

It's undeniable that on certain nights, you and your friends will order pizza to your dorm. However, to avoid that becoming a regular habit, here's a healthier version of a classic favorite that can save you some money and many grams of saturated fat.

What You'll Need:

  • 1 whole wheat tortilla
  • Tomato sauce from a jar (look for brands with little to no sugar added; use as much or as little as you like)
  • Low-fat mozzarella cheese (as much or as little as you like)

How to Make It:

This recipe may take you less time than it would to pick up the phone and order from the local pizza place. Simply spread the tomato sauce on top of your whole wheat tortilla, sprinkle the cheese on top, and microwave for 30-45 seconds (or as long as it takes for the cheese to melt in your microwave). So simple and oh-so yummy. 

3. Lighter Chocolate Mug Cake

Chocolate cake that will melt in your mouth instantly. Photo credit.

Chocolate cake that will melt in your mouth instantly. Photo credit.

Bookmark this for those times when the only thing that will feed your soul is warm, gooey chocolate goodness.

What You'll Need:

  • 1/4 cup semisweet or dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1/2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 egg

How to Make It:

Add the chocolate chips and heavy cream to a big mug. Make sure your mug is big enough to allow for the cake to rise in the microwave. Microwave for 40 seconds and then mix the chocolate mixture until it's silky and smooth. Add in your egg and whisk quickly so that the egg doesn't start to cook. When everything is mixed together, microwave the whole mixture again for 1 minute. The cake will rise pretty high in the microwave and then sink once it is finished cooking. Let the cake rest for a bit and then dig in and enjoy!

Ready to Try?

Will you be giving these recipes a try soon? Who knows, you may make a new tradition with your friends and develop some new favorite foods. Do you have healthy versions of comfort foods you like to make when cravings strike? Let me know what you think in the comments!