Superfast Comfort-Food Recipes
Speedy Shepherd's Pie
Making the most of supermarket convenience items gets this family favorite on the table in a flash. Precut matchstick carrots are easier to chop into small pieces quickly, and using prepared mashed potatoes for the topping is a good trick for when you don't have leftover mashed potatoes on hand.
Chicken Potpie Tartines
A creamy chicken and vegetable mixture tops toast for a quick twist on potpie. Matchstick-cut carrots, frozen peas, and rotisserie chicken save time, as does a wide skillet for sautéing the vegetables and building the sauce. For ideas to use the leftover peas in the package, see our recipes for Cooking with Peas.
White Bean & Vegetable Bowls with Frizzled Eggs
This easy bowl of brothy goodness is loaded with both veggies and umami depth—it's comfort food you can feel good about. It's also great for times when the food budget is tight, as it costs only about $11 for 4 servings.
Sausage and Black-Eyed Pea Hash
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.
Turkey and Swiss Sloppy Joes
This twist on a classic sandwich swaps the sweet, barbecue-style sauce for a white sauce enriched with nutty Swiss cheese.
Crisp Cauliflower Fritters
These light, golden-brown fritters are a delicious vegetarian dinner alternative. Prepare a colorful
Shortcut Risotto with Brussels Sprouts
Our simple technique yields classic risotto texture in a fraction of the time. Pre-cooked brown rice simmers with a flour-thickened mixture of milk and chicken stock, boosted with a touch of cream cheese for extra richness.
Mom's Creamy Chicken and Broccoli Casserole
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.
Upside-Down Shepherd's Pie
To keep things lightning-fast, we forgo the layered-in-a-skillet approach to shepherd's pie and instead serve the veggie-flecked beef mixture on top of a bed of creamy mashed potatoes.
Baked Mozzarella Bites
Serve this quick after-school snack to your kids as an alternative to traditional fried cheesesticks.
Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
You probably have everything on hand to make these chewy, chocolaty peanut butter cookies. To fit the cookies on a single sheet pan, divide cookies into 5 rows of 4. Pressing the cookies flat helps them bake quickly and get lovely crisp edges; otherwise they'll be too round and undercooked.
Sirloin Steaks with Mushroom Sauce and Chive-Garlic Potatoes
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.
Sausage and Chicken Gumbo
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
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.
Quick Chicken Noodle Soup
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.
Chip-Crusted Fish Fillets
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.
Steak Tips with Peppered Mushroom Gravy
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.
Speedy Chicken Potpie
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.
Linguine with Easy Meat Sauce
For picky eaters, try serving this meat sauce over whimsically shaped pasta, like bow ties, rotini, or wagon wheels.
Barbecue Pulled Chicken Sliders
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.
"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.
Ham and Swiss Egg Sandwiches
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.
Fettuccine Alfredo with Bacon
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.
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.
Quick Fall Minestrone
Fall produce, with its powerful flavor and heartiness, is a frequent presence in comfort-food recipes. Butternut squash, potatoes, kale, and carrot make this soup soul-warming, and pasta and white beans give it traditional Italian flavor.
Pork Chops with Country Gravy
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
Quick Chicken and Dumplings
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.
Steak and Cheese Sandwiches with Mushrooms
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,
Ham and Cheese Hash Browns
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.
Creamy Herbed Mashed Potatoes
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.
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.
Pan-Seared Shrimp Po' Boys
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 the better.
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.
Chipotle Sloppy Joes
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
Grilled Turkey and Ham Sandwiches
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
Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup with Chicken
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.
Sausage, Pepper, and Mushroom Pizza
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
Sausage, Escarole, and White Bean Ragout
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.
Spicy Sweet-and-Sour Pork
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,
Straw and Hay Alfredo with Roasted Asparagus
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.
Root Beer Sloppy Joes
Root beer adds a warm caramel note to these fun sandwiches. Serve with baked sweet potato chips.