50+ Comfort Foods to Keep You At Your Coziest
Though your idea of the ideal comfort food may be different than your neighbor’s, we all have those go-to dishes that ease the weight of world from our shoulders—if only for a bite. Sometimes, we look to our favorite comfort foods to connect us to a time and place that can be difficult to access otherwise. And other times, we simply need them to be a warm, soul-satisfying hug at the end of a long week or an exceptionally frigid day. Whatever the case, this collection of our favorite comfort food recipes (entailing all levels of cheesy, brothy, salty, sweet, crunchy, gooey, and beyond) should have your cravings covered.
Classic Lasagna with Meat Sauce
This simple lasagna is perfect for when you're short on time, but craving a comforting meal. Ready in just over an hour, it requires only 50 minutes of cooking in the oven.
Extra-lean ground beef (which sometimes cooks up dry) works well here because it's combined with marinara to keep it moist. For a quick and easy variation, feel free to use 9 whole lasagna noodles instead of 6 broken noodles, using 3 noodles per layer. You also can sub fresh basil leaves for the parsley sprinkled on at the end.
Slow Cooker French Onion Soup
This slow cooker french onion soup is so easy and delicious, you’ll never return to your stovetop ways. The slow cooker completely eliminates the stirring element of caramelizing onions. After hours in the low heat, the sliced onions will become soft and jammy with a rich, dark brown coloring—no attention necessary.
Chicken Cordon Bleu Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
The flavors of classic cordon bleu translate delectably as a raveworthy grilled cheese. Serve with a side of wilted spinach or a salad.
Originally, this recipe called for the stew to be cooked in a wok, which was trendy at the time. We prefer using a Dutch oven because it provides a large, flat surface to properly brown the meat.
New Orleans Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce
Enjoy the best of the Big Easy with this traditional New Orleans-style bread pudding. It tastes so decadent, no one will believe it's been lightened! See our full collection of Cajun and Creole recipes for more ideas.
Beefy Bolognese over Penne Pasta
A meaty Bolognese needs a chance to reduce just a little as it cooks to concentrate flavors, and the Dutch oven allows for that, even with the lid on. This method also lets layers of flavors come through, as bacon, ground meat, and veggies are all browned in the same pot, then deglazed with cooking liquid.
Fair warning: Our editors and test kitchen staff LOVED these gluten-free brownies. Words like "decadent" and "divine" were thrown around liberally.
Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
Once you've made your own veggie-packed pot of chicken noodle soup, you won't go back to the canned, super-salty stuff again. Plus, this wholesome dinner rings in at under $2 per serving.
Skillet Chicken Pot Pie with Puff Pastry
Treat the family to a classic dish reinvented in a skillet. A pretty patchwork pastry top gives this chicken pot pie a new look. To save prep time, you can shred the chicken and chop the carrots and leek up to two days ahead. Cover and store in the refrigerator.
Instant Pot Mississippi Pot Roast
Ranch seasoning gives this old-school family favorite a delicious new spin, and an Instant Pot makes it come together even faster. Serve the tender meat over rice, egg noodles, or mashed potatoes for a hearty supper. If you don’t own a multicooker, don’t worry—this roast cooks up deliciously in a slow cooker (see instructions).
Chicken and Dumpling Casserole
All of the homey comfort of classic chicken and dumplings, baked into a convenient casserole. One key tip for this cozy, low-effort supper: Don't stir!
Old-Fashioned Chicken And Dumplings
Mrs. Morton Smith experimented for years with different methods of making the perfect chicken and dumplings. When she submitted this recipe, she told us that buttermilk was the secret to dumplings with a light texture.
Million Dollar Pound Cake
A mere 7 ingredients, all of which are common pantry staples, are all you need for to make this rich, classic pound cake recipe. And trust us, there's a good reason this is, by far, the most popular pound cake recipe on our site.
Baked Mac and Cheese with Bacon
There are few dishes more comforting and indulgent than mac and cheese, and this version will become your new go-to. Mac and cheese may seem straightforward, but in an all-star mac, each component is carefully considered and intentionally chosen to build a creamy, melty pasta bake.
No-Bake Peanut Butter-Fudge Ice-Cream Pie
With its creamy filling and crispy crust, this frozen peanut butter pie is made for summer cookouts. Nothing cools you down in the summertime like a slice of a creamy, frozen pie. A secret to keeping the pie neat is to use a hot knife for slicing each serving. Dip the blade in a glass of very hot water, then wipe it off before slicing into the pie. Repeat before cutting each new slice.
French Onion Roast Chicken
Slow-Cooker White Chili with Turkey
Consider dinner covered for the day after Thanksgiving. This comforting slow cooker recipe is made with leftover turkey and will feed a full house. Cornmeal helps thicken this chili, and adds a hint of toasty corn flavor. Choose fine, rather than coarse, cornmeal for the smoothest texture.
Creamy Corn-Mushroom Risotto
Infused with a rich corn broth, this corn- and mushroom-studded risotto is a stellar way to celebrate the last of the season’s harvest. The pureed corn broth adds a subtle sweet creaminess that builds as the risotto cooks. Feel free to sub in your favorite mushrooms; steer clear of large portobellos—their dark gills will discolor the finished dish.
Korean Fried Chicken
You don’t know crispy fried chicken until you’ve tried this Korean fried chicken. Our smitten test kitchen team even deemed this some of the best fried chicken they’d ever experienced. The secret to the chicken’s incredible, light and crisp exterior comes down to two key details: the potato starch used to coat the chicken and the double-fry method (trust us on this one—it works).
Plan to put this easy and comforting vegetarian pozole on repeat all season long. The vibrant stew offers the smoky, delicately spicy, and bright flavors characteristic of traditional pozole, simply without the pork. Fresh spinach and red kidney beans add color and hearty texture, while also upping the iron and protein content of the pozole.
Speedy Coconut-Curry Shrimp Skillet
These skillet shrimp noodles are super easy to make at home, but their flavor rivals something you’d get at a restaurant. It’s slightly sweet from the coconut, with a mild degree of spice, and has plenty of toppings to keep things interesting, especially with the combination of flavors—but by all means, if you want to go harder with toppings, go for it.
Apple Pie French Toast Casserole
This overnight casserole could be breakfast, but it could also be bread pudding—in short, it’s the perfect thing to serve on a chilly Saturday morning. Cinnamon and comforting, it’s just sweet enough to be eaten as-is, but it’s also nice topped with a little butter and maple syrup.
Classic Fettuccine Alfredo
This homemade Alfredo sauce clings to the noodles, all without producing a starchy taste. Remove the pasta while it’s still al dente, or slightly firm, and don’t skip the freshly chopped parsley. Dried egg fettuccine is readily available in the pasta aisle in the grocery store—it costs a bit more, but it’s worth it. The sauce will thicken once the pasta is added and removed from heat, so don’t worry if it seems too thin at first.
Sausage-and-Cheese Grits Quiche
Make this crustless quiche in a springform pan for a pretty (and sliceable) presentation. Cook the cheese grits and sausage up to two days in advance; bake the quiche the morning of the brunch.
Pancake Bake with Cinnamon Streusel
Don’t even think about spending all morning flipping pancakes. Instead, turn them into a bread pudding-like casserole. Prepare the recipe at least eight hours ahead so the pancakes absorb the egg-and cream-mixture.
Easy Peach Cobbler
What could be a more perfect ending to a summertime meal than easy peach cobbler? Savor the flavors of summer with sliced fresh peaches cooking away with butter and spices. The topping can made from pantry ingredients you have on hand and peaches can easily be substituted with any fruit you have depending on the time of year. The tang of the lemon juice paired with the sweetness of the peaches is perfectly balanced with the crisp topping.
Beef Stroganoff Pizza
If you’ve ever looked for a reason to try beef stroganoff with something besides egg noodles, this is it. The beef, mushrooms, and sour cream’s flavors really sing here, while just the right amount of garlic and onion and lots of cheese round everything out. This is also a good place to start if you’d like to experiment more with your pizza toppings. The most important part of this recipe is making sure the crust on the bottom is crispy enough to hold all the toppings. You’ll also need to let the sauce cool a bit before adding the sour cream so it doesn’t break. This makes a lot, so it can serve 6 people if your group doesn’t have big eaters, or save the extra slices for some stellar leftovers.
Pecan-Breaded Pork Chops with Beer Sauce
Louisiana chef Horst Pfeifer combined dry mustard, celery salt, and pecans to create a memorable breading for pork chops. Serve them with your favorite vegetable and some crusty bread on the side for mopping up the rich, gravy-like sauce.
Jumbo stuffed shells are your weeknight answer to homemade lasagna: Instead of endless layers, spoon a single vegetable mixture into each shell, and bake 12 minutes or until the cheese melts.
Salted Caramel Banana Pudding
We upped the ante on the classic banana pudding with lightly spiced Biscoff cookies and a quick homemade salted caramel. Jarred dulce de leche (often found in supermarkets near the ice cream toppings) makes the luscious caramel come together quickly without sacrificing a thick, smooth texture.
Mini Pecan Monkey Bread Loaves
These caramel-drizzled treats will be a hit at brunch--and you'll love them even more because they are made with frozen dough and can be prepped in advance. Assemble the loaves, and store in the refrigerator overnight. Let them rise and bake as instructed.
Classic Pasta Carbonara
This simple, classic carbonara recipe is the perfect dish when you need a special night in. And with this foolproof method for nailing the signature creamy sauce, you can go into the kitchen with confidence.
Meat Loaf with Mushroom Gravy
This hearty meat loaf topped with rich mushroom gravy is the epitome of old-school comfort food. Serve it alongside a generous serving of mashed potatoes for a taste of paradise on a plate.
Ranch Mashed Potatoes
Not to brag, but this is the best version of homemade ranch mashed potatoes around. The fresh herbs really add some zing to this side and beautifully complement sour cream and buttermilk’s tang. For the fluffiest mashed potatoes, place the potatoes back in the pot after draining them and put them on low heat—this will remove any extra and unwanted moisture.
Chicken Parmesan Dip
This is a rich and creamy way to use up leftover marinara sauce or chicken. For an extra-Italian twist, use Italian sausage instead.
The Ultimate Salted Chocolate Chunk Cookie
Everybody needs a go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe, and this is the one that you can rely on, time after time. Topped with flaky sea salt and bursting with bittersweet chocolate chunks, this sweet treat is not for the faint of heart. By baking them at a high temperature for a short burst of time, the exterior boasts a crisp texture and golden-brown color, while the inside remains melty, chewy and warm as ever. For the ultimate sweet deal, top it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or drink it alongside a tall glass of milk.
One-Pan Hot Honey Chicken and Rice
Another winner, winner, chicken dinner! You can’t miss when budget-friendly chicken thighs are cooked to golden brown, nestled into a bed of rice and vegetables, and dressed with a honey-chile sauce. This is truly a one-pan recipe, making clean-up a breeze.
Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole
This creamy, crowd-pleasing casserole delivers generously on cheesy, savory flavor—but requires a fraction of the fuss of classic chicken cordon bleu. The key to this chicken cordon bleu casserole’s incredible, bubbly richness is the stovetop cheese sauce made with Swiss and Gruyère. (If you have trouble finding Gruyère, simply substitute the same amount of Swiss.)
Copycat Little Debbie Oatmeal Crème Pies
Is this recipe an exact replica of Little Debbie Oatmeal Crème Pies? No. These are better. Rather than thin cakes, we went for oatmeal cookies that pack an almost peanut-butter-like flavor without any nuts. The crème filling completely nails what we love about the prepackaged pies, but takes things further with an almost airy, marshmallow-based consistency. If that doesn’t convince you, preparing these at home is just as quick (if not faster) than a grocery run.
A comfort food that jumped the pond and landed on many Southern tables is shepherd’s pie. The meat base of this dinner must be lamb in order to be called shepherd’s pie. If beef is used, then it is a Cottage pie. For this recipe, we started the lamb in the slow cooker to deepen the flavors. Layer in green peas, carrots, and onions and top with a layer of prepared mashed potatoes. You’re family will love gathering around the table for this comforting dinner.
Instant Pot Carolina Pulled Pork
Super tender pulled pork that falls apart with the brush of a fork and melts in your mouth is possible even on a weeknight, thanks to the Instant Pot. Pair it with Carolina-style barbecue sauce, which offers the perfect balance of sweetness, vinegar and spicy heat to perfectly complement the shredded meat. Make sure to brown the pork pieces well, as that give the meat a better flavor, color, and appearance. Serve with the classics: buns, slaw, pickles, onions, and any other side dishes you want. If you’ve got leftovers, incorporate them into your meal prep routine.
Spaghetti and Easy Meatballs
Cheesy Potato Casserole
This rich and creamy casserole will be a new holiday (or weekday) favorite. Room temperature egg yolks and cream will blend into the mashed potatoes more easily; let them sit at room temperature 30 minutes before using. This cheesy casserole is the perfect side dish for Thanksgiving dinner or a Sunday supper.
Chocolate Peanut Butter-Fudge Bars
Your favorite candy can also be your favorite bar. These Chocolate Peanut Butter-Fudge Bars are perfect for bake sales, Valentine's Day, and a regular Tuesday night. Allow enough time for the top layer of melted chocolate to firm up before slicing these triple-decker bars. Leftovers can be covered and stored in the refrigerator up to three days, perfect for drop-in guests or last-minute dinner parties.
Loaded Steakhouse Baked Potatoes
Your family will flock to the kitchen when they get a whiff of these over-the-top spuds. We packed them with a bounty of spinach, plus a savory mushroom blend that would go great spooned over your favorite steak.
Loaded Potato and Buffalo Chicken Casserole
This decadent, crowd-pleasing bake is perfect for game day or any day in between. It's best served with extra hot sauce or ranch dressing.
Easy Jasmine Rice Pudding
Treat yourself to a comforting bowl of warm, creamy rice pudding and enjoy a better night’s sleep. The goji berries sprinkled on top add fruity chew, while the pepitas offer nutty crunch and a tryptophan boost. Look for both at specialty grocery stores. If you can’t find them, sub tart cherries or pomegranates for the goji berries and walnuts for the pepitas; walnuts also contain tryptophan. A mild, less expensive honey works beautifully here; save the pricier, more robust honeys for a recipe where their flavor will be front and center.
Pan-Fried Beef and Scallion Dumplings
These easy beef dumplings are an excellent use for extra-lean ground beef, and are great served as an appetizer or as a simple entree alongside a couple of vegetable sides, like Sesame-Soy Green Beans or Mixed Mushrooms with Fish Sauce.
Chicken Schnitzel with Grapefruit-Celery Slaw
Grapefruit isn't just a breakfast food. The nutty almond flour keeps this crispy chicken gluten free; make your own by pulsing 1/4 cup almonds in a food processor until finely ground. Pro tip: Segment the grapefruit over a bowl to collect the juice for the slaw’s tangy dressing.
Roasted Tomato Soup with Cheddar Cheese
This warm, roasted tomato soup is perfect for weeknights and weekends alike. Pair this soup with a grilled cheese sandwich, and you're all set. An immersion blender, one of our favorite kitchen gadgets, makes pureeing this rich and creamy soup a snap. If you don’t have this kitchen tool, try this Southern Living Test Kitchen trick: simply transfer the hot soup in batches to a blender and process until smooth. Fill the blender no more than halfway so steam can escape.
Grilled Garlic Bread
Homemade garlic bread is a welcome addition to almost any meal, especially when it has a smoky char from the grill. Garlic butter makes the bread extra rich, but you can substitute olive oil if you wish. Sprinkle the cut bread with grated parmesan cheese just before serving if your crowd prefers cheesy garlic bread.
Whole-Grain Biscuits with Sausage Gravy and Eggs
Few things say "good morning" quite like a hearty dish of biscuits and gravy. And with this whole grain twist, you can feel extra good about getting in a healthy serving of fiber.
Coca Cola Chocolate Cake
Coca-Cola cake was a favorite at family reunions during the 1950s. It resembles Mississippi mud cake, a chocolate sheet cake studded with marshmallows that are sprinkled on the top before baking or immediately after while the cake is still hot. In Mama’s Tea Cakes: 101 Delicious Soul Food Desserts, chef and author Wilbert Jones stirred the marshmallows into the batter before putting his version of the cake in the oven. If that wasn’t decadent enough, in 1997, the Cracker Barrel restaurant chain used twice the cocoa, intensifying the taste.
Basic Cheese Dip
Say hello to our best-ever basic cheese dip. So creamy, decadently cheesy, and perfectly easy to whip up at a moment’s notice, this simple cheese dip recipe is the one to keep on hand to address any and every queso craving. Rich, but not too thick, our basic cheese dip makes a primo last-minute party appetizer or “something special” treat to make a weeknight meal feel a little more festive.