Make Comfort Foods
Resolution-Approved with
Tips from McCormick
Spices and herbs put the 'yum' back in
better-for-you versions of comfort foods
HUNT VALLEY, Md. (December 29, 2014) – There’s good news for the millions of Americans resolving to eat healthier in the New Year: you don’t have to give up warm, satisfying comfort foods. Spices and herbs can replace the flavor lost when using lower-fat ingredients in favorite home-cooked comfort dishes - from macaroni and cheese to meat loaf. In fact, one recent study showed a meal with 68 percent less fat and 35 percent fewer calories flavored with spices and herbs was equally liked to the full-fat meal.1

“Comfort foods are traditionally high in fat,” said Janice Tsuji, RD, McCormick Kitchens. “We’ve developed tips and recipes to reduce the fat in favorite dishes while adding flavor with spices and herbs. From using pureed cauliflower and ground mustard in a yummy mac and cheese sauce to adding roasted vegetables and thyme to a hearty beef stew, there are lots of ways to make lower-fat comfort recipes crave-worthy.”

Comfort Foods Made Over
Try these flavor tips and recipes from the McCormick Kitchens to trim fat from rich winter dishes without compromising taste:

  • Macaroni and Cheese: Puree cauliflower as the base for the macaroni and cheese sauce, then use 2 percent milk along with reduced-fat white cheddar and neufchatel cheeses for a lower-fat version of the classic. Garlic, ground mustard, thyme and black pepper give the dish a savory finish.
  • Chicken Pot Pie: Swap the pie crust for a savory, crunchy crouton atop a soup instead. This healthier version cuts calories and delivers a creamy comfort dish flavored with garlic, rosemary and thyme.
  • Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup: Opt for mini grilled cheese croutons instead of the full sandwich to save calories without breaking up this perfect pair. Use no-salt-added crushed tomatoes, Kitchen Basics unsalted vegetable stock and fat-free half and half for  the soup. Add robust flavor with basil, onion, garlic  and black pepper.
  • Meat Loaf:  Make delicious meat loaves in a muffin tin for built-in portion control. Opt for 95 percent lean ground beef and season with 3 teaspoons of total spices and herbs – like a salt-free garlic and herb seasoning and oregano – for every 2 pounds of meat. Let your family customize their individual loaves with tasty toppings, like salsa, gravy and tomato sauce.
  • Beef Stew: Use a lean cut of beef, such as sirloin, to cut fat. Roast vegetables like butternut squash, carrots and parsnips to add caramelized flavor. Season the simmering stew with thyme, bay leaves and black pepper for the finishing touch on this classic winter dish. 
  • Lasagna: Enjoy cheesy, savory lasagna without the high fat content. Use ground turkey and part-skim dairy products, then add flavor with oregano, garlic and crushed red pepper.
  • Pasta: Try a roasted tomato-based sauce instead of cream to cut fat. Roasting is a great way to maximize the flavor of out-of-season winter tomatoes. Season with Italian seasoning and add a little heat with crushed red pepper.
  • Chili: Opt for boneless skinless chicken breast instead of ground beef to slash fat. Use no-salt-added diced tomatoes and season with paprika, oregano, cumin, garlic and red pepper – you won’t miss the salt and you’ll love the hearty flavor.

For more flavorful recipe ideas, visit and check us out on Pinterest and Facebook.


To download food photography, visit the digital press room at

About McCormick
McCormick & Company, Incorporated is a global leader in flavor with more than $4 billion in annual sales. McCormick manufactures, markets and distributes spices, seasoning mixes, condiments and other flavorful products to the entire food industry – retail outlets, food manufacturers and foodservice businesses – in more than 125 countries and territories. Since Willoughby M. McCormick founded the company selling root beer extract in 1889, McCormick has demonstrated a strong commitment to the communities in which it operates and the planet as a whole. Innovation in flavor and a clear focus on employee engagement and product quality has allowed McCormick to grow its business globally and become the flavor leader it is today. Visit, and for more information.

1 Peters JC, Polsky S, Stark R, Zhaoxing P, Hill JO. The influence of herbs and spices on overall liking of reduced fat food. Appetite. 2014;79:183-188.



Click here to view and download all images.