Whether it's soup, stew, sandwiches, mashed potatoes, or mac 'n cheese, if it puts a smile on your face, there's a 20-minute recipe for it here.
It doesn't get heartier than a big piece of steak topped with savory gravy and paired with creamy mashed potatoes. And our
version manages to keep calories in check: The whole meal has just 326, with just 3.4 grams of saturated fat. For the full
steak house experience, add this 86-calorie-per-serving Creamed Spinach.
View Recipe: Sirloin Steaks with Mushroom Sauce and Chive-Garlic Potatoes
Prefrozen chopped veggies makes this flavorful stew a breeze to prepare. You can easily vary the proteins to create different
gumbos―try replacing chicken with crabmeat or shrimp to make a seafood gumbo. Make it a New Orleans meal with bread pudding for dessert.
View Recipe: Sausage and Chicken Gumbo
No collection of comfort food recipes would be complete without a great mac 'n cheese. Our version adds smoky bacon to the
decadent cheese sauce for a whole new dimension, but still manages to keep the calories under 400 per serving. Serve with
a green salad with a nice tart dressing―the acidity will help balance the creaminess of the sauce.
View Recipe: Bacon Mac
Chicken Noodle Soup in just 20 minutes? Absolutely! Heat the broth mixture in the microwave to jump-start the cooking. Meanwhile,
sauté the aromatic ingredients in your soup pot to get this dish under way. Though we like the shape of fusilli, you can also
make this soup with wide egg noodles, rotini, or even orzo.
View Recipe: Quick Chicken Noodle Soup
The tang in the salt and vinegar chips mellows as the fish bakes in the oven, creating a crunchy spin on fish and chips. Look
to hook-and-line-caught Atlantic or Pacific cod for the most sustainable choice.
View Recipe: Chip-Crusted Fish Fillets
"This was YUMM-Y! This page in my Cooking Light magazine has definitely been dog eared. Goes great w/ a nice red wine and good company!" —LADYAMC
Briefly cooking the gravy with thyme sprigs saves the time of stripping the tiny leaves from the stem, but still gives you the herb’s woodsy flavor. Serve this rich and hearty beef mixture on a bed of egg noodles and you will find that this comforting meal is just the thing you had in mind.
View Recipe: Steak Tips with Peppered Mushroom Gravy
Though you have to hustle, you really can get this comforting chicken potpie on the table in 20 minutes. Start browning the
chicken and bringing the broth to a boil right away, and get the pie dough in the oven as soon as it reaches 425°. Strips
of pastry are a quick stand-in for the traditional crust on top.
View Recipe: Speedy Chicken Potpie
For picky eaters, try serving this meat sauce over whimsically shaped pasta, like bow ties, rotini, or wagon wheels.
View Recipe: Linguine with Easy Meat Sauce
Didn't think pulled chicken was possible in less than 20 minutes? You'll become a believer once you try your first bite of
this delicious sweet and savory sandwich. For a less sweet option, use sliced dill pickles.
View Recipe: Barbecue Pulled Chicken Sliders
"I love this recipe. I made it as a Saturday early dinner and got rave reviews. Will make this over and over and over!!" —TAMMYRVC
Salmon Croquettes are packed with fresh flavors from lemon juice, green onions, and red bell pepper. Easy to prepare and even more easily devoured, if the question around your house is centered on what’s for dinner, then the answer is Salmon Croquettes.
View Recipe: Salmon Croquettes
This delicious handheld breakfast will get you going in the morning and out the door without delay. Warm and cheesy, it will
truly start the day off right.
View Recipe: Ham and Swiss Egg Sandwiches
When you’re short on time and the ingredient list is short, make every ingredient the freshest and best you can find. A real
wood-smoked bacon imparts lots of flavor: Applewood is mild and slightly sweet, while hardwood, such as hickory, is more assertive.
View Recipe: Fettuccine Alfredo with Bacon
Using canned beans reduces the cook time on this vegetarian chili from hours to mere minutes. Thick, chunky, and hearty, this
is a very traditional chili, though inveterate carnivores can add half a pound or so of ground or chopped beef or turkey.
Store-bought corn muffins or bread are convenient, but if you have an extra half hour, make it yourself.
View Recipe: Three-Bean Chili
Bet you never thought you'd find Southern-style white gravy from Cooking Light. This easy recipe makes for tasty pork with a rich and indulgent gravy, but has just 252 calories per serving. That means
you don't have to feel guilty when you serve with buttery mashed potatoes to create the ultimate comfort-food plate.
View Recipe: Pork Chops with Country Gravy
With its thick and creamy texture and abundant warmth, chicken and dumplings is a near-perfect comfort food. By using tortillas
instead of biscuit dough for the dumplings, we cut way down on the cook time; you can have a steaming bowl of this dish on
the table start-to-finish in less than 15 minutes.
View Recipe: Quick Chicken and Dumplings
Biting into a Philly cheesesteak is a sublime joy―drippingly melty cheese, juicy beef, and flavorful veggies packed into a
chewy bun really can't be beat. Our 11-minute version is a weeknight savior. For more Philadelphia authenticity, freeze the meat for an hour and slice paper-thin.
View Recipe: Steak and Cheese Sandwiches with Mushrooms
This made-in-the-microwave casserole has all the elements of a great comfort food―starchy potatoes, salty and smoky ham, and
creamy cheese. This dish works in just about any situation―it makes a quick breakfast or weeknight dinner, you can take leftovers
to work for lunch, or you can double or triple the recipe and bring it to a potluck party or serve at a brunch.
View Recipe: Ham and Cheese Hash Browns
Great creamy mashed potatoes shouldn't be a Thanksgiving-only treat when they're this easy. Buttery Yukon gold potatoes lessen
the need for added fat, making this 10-minute dish a convenient part of a healthy diet. A little fresh chive and parsley add
a subtle element, but you can add other herbs to match the flavor of whatever you serve these with.
View Recipe: Creamy Herbed Mashed Potatoes
Traditional chicken noodle soup has to be on everyone's comfort-food list. Using orzo pasta makes a slight improvement over
the original; you don't have to worry about long noodles falling off your spoon! With its absolutely classic flavors, this
dish is great for a rainy day, a cold day, a sick day, or any day.
View Recipe: Chicken-Orzo Soup
Serve this quick after-school snack to your kids as an alternative to traditional fried cheesesticks.
View Recipe: Baked Mozzarella Bites
Don't think a po' boy is comfort food? Wait until you bite through the crusty, chewy roll and taste the creamy homemade tartar
sauce―we promise it'll put a smile on your face. Proper bread is key here―the crustier the outside and fluffier the inside
View Recipe: Pan-Seared Shrimp Po' Boys
Seriously, what could be better on a rainy night than a pile of saucy beef and beans covered with creamy mashed potatoes and
cheese? Our simple recipe tweaks the traditional version a bit by adding subtle Mexican flavors. To make the dish even more
tasty, assemble in an oven-safe dish and broil until the cheese and potatoes just start to brown.
View Recipe: Shepherd's Pie
Some comfort foods are messy fun to eat; others remind you of childhood. This one does both. The saucy mixture of beef and
tomato gets a smoky-spicy kick from the chipotles, while a topping of sweet caramelized onion keeps the heat under control.
Corn, whether creamed or on the cob, makes an excellent side.
View Recipe: Chipotle Sloppy Joes
Simplicity is the key to these easy sandwiches: Bread, mayo and mustard, deli meats, cheese, and tomato are all you need for
a quick meal anytime. But toasting them in a skillet turns them into a gooey, melty, comforting classic. And of course, they
need to be paired with tomato soup for full effect.
View Recipe: Grilled Turkey and Ham Sandwiches
The deep earthy and savory flavors of mushrooms warm the soul, while this soup's temperature warms the body. Paired with hearty
bread, it's perfect for a cold night. It's also easy to turn into a just-as-satisfying vegetarian dish: Just swap vegetable
for chicken broth and tofu for chicken.
View Recipe: Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup with Chicken
Fresh veggies and sausage atop a store-bought crust makes for a very tasty pizza that cooks really fast. You can use whatever
toppings you like to make this pizza your own; you can also up the ante by using sauce or crust made from scratch.
View Recipe: Sausage, Pepper, and Mushroom Pizza
Don't be put off by the French name; this is a home-style stew that's easy as pie to make. The beans add a creaminess that's
a great addition to the hearty potato and sausage. Bitter escarole provides a nice contrast, but you can use spinach or kale
if you prefer something milder. Serve with crusty bread, or over a cooked whole grain like barley or farro.
View Recipe: Sausage, Escarole, and White Bean Ragout
American-takeout-style Chinese food, with its thick, sweet sauces and tender meats, makes great comfort food. This simple
dish coats pork, green pepper, and pineapple in a gooey, cornstarch-thickened sauce with a nice kick of heat. Serve with white
or brown rice, or, better yet, fried rice.
View Recipe: Spicy Sweet-and-Sour Pork
The contrasting colors of whole-wheat and regular pasta give this dish its unusual name, but the creamy sauce is pure classic.
We use a combination of milk and cream cheese to lighten our alfredo, which adds a nice tangy element to the sauce. Fresh
asparagus, roasted very simply, provides color and texture contrast and also lends great springtime flavor to the dish. You
can substitute broccoli if asparagus isn't available.
View Recipe: Straw and Hay Alfredo with Roasted Asparagus
This simple one-dish meal is made even more delicious with a fried egg on top of each plate; the yolk creates its own creamy
sauce. If you can find fresh peas, use them in place of canned.
View Recipe: Sausage and Black-Eyed Pea Hash
Traditional creamy chicken casserole can have more than 800 calories per serving, but we’re serving up this classic comfort
dish with a fraction of the calories.
View Recipe: Mom's Creamy Chicken and Broccoli Casserole