When it’s chilly outside, there’s nothing more comforting than a warm bowl of soup.
But instead of sticking with your tried-and-true chili or chicken noodle recipe, consider branching out: You can turn some of your favorite recipes, such as mac ‘n’ cheese and chicken pot pie, into a tasty stew.
Along with saving yourself some time with a one-pot recipe, you’ll also be doing your waistline a favor: A study published in the journal Physiology & Behavior found that people ate fewer calories on the days that they scooped up their dinner than when they ate the same ingredients in solid form.
That’s because soup’s liquid can fill you up on less calories.
So break out that pot, bowls and spoons with one of these delicious family-friend recipes.
Your kids — and scale — will thank you!
1. Mac ‘n’ Cheese Soup
Turn this childhood favorite into a healthy soup with the addition of vegetables like broccoli, onion and carrots.
Your kids will love the creamy, cheesy flavor, and you’ll love how this recipe is only 253 calories per cup.
For an added health boost, use whole-wheat macaroni.
2. Chicken Enchilada Soup
Toss the ingredients of in the slow cooker first thing in the morning, and you’ll have a tasty soup waiting when you come home.
Made with chicken, black beans, corn, and plenty of chili and cumin, you’ll get authentic Mexican flavor with every spoonful.
3. Chicken Pot Pie Soup
Made with cream and butter, chicken pot pie is loaded with fat and calories.
But this delicious twist uses nonfat milk, so each 1-cup serving contains just 185 calories and 3 grams of fat.
To keep the meal traditional, serve each bowl with a whole-grain biscuit.
4. Pizza Soup
Scrambling to put together dinner from a bare-bones pantry?
Chances are you already have all the ingredients you need for this recipe.
The genius is that you can add in any of your kids’ favorite pizza toppings, like olives or pepperoni, into this good-for-you soup made from pizza sauce, broth and more.
5. Thai Stir-Fry Soup
Who needs takeout when you can whip up a Thai stir-fry in soup form?
This easy-to-make soup uses coconut milk for a creamy base; to lighten up the dish, opt for light coconut milk.
You can also add in extra vegetables or a protein, like shrimp or chicken.