Looking for a hearty meal to brighten up your day? Here are some ideas for comfort food that are sure to be a hit!Jump to Recipe
Let’s just talk about the food situation for a moment. My recent diet has largely consisted of the non-perishable foods I bought a month ago in preparation for the “worst-case scenario”. There’s nothing comforting about that. Now that grocery stores are back to normal in terms of food, I’ve decided the time has come to step up my game and delve into the world of preparing actual meals. Not just meals–comfort food. With these recipe ideas for comfort food classics, you’re likely to find something that the whole family will be on board with. They’ll probably be asking for seconds, and maybe even third helpings!
Comfort Food Classics
These comfort food ideas are sure to be a crowd-pleaser in any family:
- Fried Chicken: My father taught me how to fry chicken on the stove, and it’s not nearly as daunting as you might think! Simply put a cooking oil of your choice (I like to use coconut oil) into a frying pan so that it will cover halfway through the thickness of your chicken. Turn on medium heat. Beat two eggs and 1/2 cup of buttermilk and set aside in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together panko bread crumbs, flour, salt, pepper, and spices of your choosing (I like cayenne pepper, thyme, garlic salt, basil, oregano, and paprika). Coat the chicken in the egg/milk, then dredge in the flour/panko mixture. Gently place it in the hot skillet cook until it’s golden brown. Then let it cool on a paper towel-covered plate.
- Macaroni and Cheese: There’s nothing better than fancy, cheesy, mac-n-cheese to make me hungry for dinner. Make it a three-cheese dish with plenty of butter, onions, and bacon. For your cheese, try using Parmigiano-Reggiano, gruyere, and parmesan!
- Spaghetti and Meatball Casserole: This is all the goodness of spaghetti and meatballs packed into an all-in-one dish! Grab some milk, eggs, and bread, and turn this weeknight classic into a revamped hit!
- Twice-baked Potato Casserole: Ditch those potato skins, because this recipe reinvents cheesy, bacon-laced twice baked potatoes as a comforting casserole. Include all the classics like cheese, bacon, green onions, and sour cream.
- Baked Ziti: This classic Italian-American comfort food is perfect when you’re trying to feed a crowd, or if you want leftovers! It’s a lot like lasagna, with less fuss and fewer broken pasta noodles. While classic ziti uses Italian sausage, you can substitute it with any kind of meat!
Classic Baked Ziti
- 1 lb ziti pasta (dry)
- 1 onion (chopped)
- 1 lb lean ground beef or Italian sausage
- 2 jars (26 oz) your favorite spaghetti sauce
- 6 oz provolone cheese (sliced) about 6 slices
- 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
- 6 oz mozzarella cheese (shredded)
- 3 tbsp parmesan cheese (grated)
Classic Baked Ziti
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add ziti pasta, and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes; drain.
- In a large skillet, brown onion and ground beef (or Italian sausage) over medium heat. Add spaghetti sauce, and simmer 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter or grease a 9×13 inch baking dish. Layer as follows: 1/2 of the ziti, Provolone cheese, sour cream, 1/2 sauce mixture, remaining ziti, mozzarella cheese and remaining sauce mixture. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cheese is melted.
Comfort Food For Cold, Rainy, Winter Nights
Do you ever look at the weather and think, “this would be the perfect night for a soup or stew”? I know it’s been an especially rainy spring for us this year, and I’ve often found myself craving a hot bowl of stew. Here are some comfort food ideas that will definitely satisfy that craving!
- Hearty Beef Stew: There’s nothing that comforts like a velvety, hearty, beef stew. Different recipes have various “tricks” to make them flavorful. Some options include browning the beef in bacon fat, adding lots of vegetables to the pot, and red wine! Serve it with a french bread with a nice, crispy crust!
- White Chicken Chili: This is a fun change-up from the traditional beef chili. You could even add Neufchatel or light cream cheese to the broth if you’re looking for a creamier soup. With plenty of chicken, white beans, green chilis, and corn, this recipe is sure to have your family asking for second helpings!
- Tomato Soup with Fancy Grilled Cheese: This comfort food will take you right back to childhood. Now that you’re an adult, venturing out of the classic pre-packaged American can make this meal feel a little more sophisticated! Use a sharp cheddar cheese, provolone, or even Pimento (one of the most popular southern comfort foods)! For the tomato soup, it can be as easy as butter, onion, and tomatoes, and chicken or vegetable stock. Melt butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Bring onion wedges, water (or stock), can of tomatoes (and juices), and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a simmer in a large saucepan. Cook uncovered, for about 40 minutes. Stir occasionally and add additional salt as needed.
We All Need a Little Comfort Food Right Now
The winter season is the perfect time to brush up on some new, yummy recipes that you can add to your family recipe collection or share with your friends on FamilyApp!