Comfort Food Makeovers: 3 Tricks To Creamy, Healthy Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff with Portobello MushroomsBeef Stroganoff with Portobello MushroomsSeveral years ago, my sister Katie found our grandma's old recipe file stuffed with yellowed clippings and recipes handwritten in her slanted cursive. It was a great source of inspiration for classic recipes that needed a little makeover. The file was full of cheesy casseroles, dishes with canned mushroom soup and a rich recipe for beef stroganoff, laced with sour cream.

My sister and I didn't eat much beef stroganoff growing up, but it was wildly popular in the 1950s (the ultimate comfort-food era) when my grandma was busy cooking for her family. Katie, a recipe developer for EatingWell, revamped the old recipe to create EatingWell's Beef Stroganoff with Portobello Mushrooms, which is healthier and tastier than our Grandma's stroganoff.

Three tricks made it healthy:

  1. We added meaty portobello mushrooms to make sure the servings are satisfying but not too high in calories.
  2. We substituted reduced-fat sour cream for regular sour cream and heavy cream.
  3. While beef stroganoff is made with all sorts of cuts of meat, sometimes sliced into strips or diced, we opted for flank steak in this recipe because it's relatively lean. The trick with flank is to cut it thinly to keep it tender.

In another variation on this classic, Mushroom-Beef Stroganoff, we use beef top round, a tougher cut, and rely on slow braising to make the meat tender.

Of course braising only works if you have the time. If you're in a hurry, another great comfort food recipe we recently developed is Hamburger Buddy-a one-skillet meal made with ground beef, whole-wheat noodles and all the good creaminess and flavor of a stroganoff. (It too uses our favorite secret weapon for a creamy sauce: reduced-fat sour cream.)

Try some of our other tasty recipes below that use reduced-fat sour cream to make a rich, creamy sauce that's lower in calories and fat.

By Jessie Price

EatingWell food editor Jessie Price's professional background in food began when she worked in restaurant kitchens in the summers during college. She started out testing recipes for EatingWell and then joined the staff here full-time in 2004 when she moved to Vermont from San Francisco.

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