Nothing makes you feel warm and fuzzy more than a good old fashioned comfort food dinner. It’s the kind of food that warms your belly while feeding your soul, food that reminds you of Sunday dinners with your grandparents and makes you want to carry on those traditions with your own family.
Comfort Food Makes Us Happy
Comfort foods are nostalgic, sentimental and often linked to people or times in our lives that made us feel good. They were often given to us by or enjoyed with people we love and have fond memories of. It’s classical conditioning; the scents and flavors of that food evoke pleasant thoughts and feelings, making you feel comforted.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve especially been craving comfort food lately. We are spending more time at home, cooking a lot more than going out, and even though we enjoy the occasional box of Kraft mac and cheese, we crave those simple, classic recipes that just make us feel good. Even more in the fall and winter months, I want soups and casseroles more than anything.
What Kind of Food is Comfort Food?
This can be different for everyone. Lentil Soup, for me, takes me back to my grandma’s kitchen table on New Year’s Day when it was a tradition to eat a big bowl with homemade spaetzle. But for you it might be something different, like New York Cheesecake or make ahead mashed potatoes.
Some of the most popular comfort foods are things like:
Is Comfort Food Unhealthy?
Comfort food recipes can be heavier, but it’s ok to enjoy a little indulgence once in a while. Serve it with a big garden salad or a pan of roasted broccoli to balance it out. Some people use comfort food as a way to ease stress or anxiety, or even boredom. Just be careful not to indulge too much.
Since comfort food is just food that makes you feel good, you can totally make it healthy by swapping out ingredients, like sour cream for greek yogurt or adding veggies.
31 Days of Comfort Food Dinners
I’ve gathered up a month’s worth of my favorite comfort food dinners. Take a look around and save them for future meals plans. Be sure to let us know what your favorite comfort food is!
Tamale Pie is made with seasoned ground beef and topped with homemade cornbread and cheese. It's a simple dinner casserole that's big on flavor.
Sloppy Joes Recipe
Classic Sloppy Joes recipe with ground beef, onions, ketchup, Worcestershire, and brown sugar sauce for the ultimate sweet and savory meal.
Slow Cooker Pot Roast
Learn how to make a tender, flavorful pot roast in your crock pot! Follow this easy step-by-step recipe to make the perfect Slow Cooker Pot Roast.
Chicken and Dumplings
Homemade Chicken Dumpling Soup is a classic dish made with tender chicken, onions, celery, carrots and an easy homemade dumpling dough.
Chicken Pot Pie
Creamy, dreamy semi-homemade chicken pot pie uses tender chicken and veggies and a homemade creamy sauce.
Turkey Tetrazzini is a hearty pasta bake full of noodles, mushrooms, peas and turkey all coated in a rich and creamy cheesy sauce with a crispy topping.
Instant Pot Roasted Tomato Soup
Instant Pot Tomato Soup is bursting with fresh roasted tomatoes, veggies and fresh basil. It's a quick comfort meal perfect for any season.
Classic Meatloaf Recipe
This Classic Meatloaf recipe was my dad’s claim to fame, at least in our house! It’s tender and juicy and has a uniquely delicious flavor. The brown sugar and ketchup glaze just puts this meatloaf over the top!
Tuna Casserole is pure comfort food. Flaky tuna, tender noodles and peas in a creamy homemade sauce with a crunchy cracker crumb topping.
Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes and Ham
Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes and Ham is an easy leftover ham and potato casserole smothered in cheese sauce and served as a side dish or entree.
Million Dollar Spaghetti
Million Dollar Spaghetti is your new go-to pasta bake! Creamy layers of pasta, cheese and meat sauce all baked into a comforting casserole.
Fried Chicken Thighs
These crispy fried chicken thighs have a golden and crunchy breading and a juicy flavorful center. This easy chicken recipe will become a family favorite!
Monterey Chicken Spaghetti
Monterey Chicken Spaghetti is packed with chicken, spinach and pasta and topped wit crispy fried onions. This is sure to become a new family favorite!
Creamy Turkey & Stuffing Casserole
This Turkey Stuffing Casserole recipe is an excellent way to use leftover turkey! Made with veggies, a creamy gravy, and a stuffing topping.
Chicken Alfredo Lasagna
This easy Chicken Alfredo Lasagna is made with rotisserie chicken, alfredo sauce, and mozzarella cheese. This recipe will please any of your family or friends.
Mexican Chicken Casserole
Mexican Chicken Casserole is one of our favorite dinners, with layers of tortilla chips, creamy chicken, salsa, beans, and cheese!
Chicken and Rice Bake
This Chicken and Rice Bake has rice, mushroom soup, chicken breasts and seasoning for a delicious one pan meal that's ready in about an hour.
A Tuna Melt is a classic hot grilled sandwich, with flavorful tuna fish salad, fresh sliced tomatoes and melted cheddar cheese all served on toasted bread.
Cheeseburger Casserole takes everything you love about a cheeseburger and puts it into an easy casserole form. Made in a skillet, this filling meal is ready in about 30 minutes!
Cheesy Barbecue Bacon Chicken Casserole
BBQ Bacon Chicken Casserole has pasta, chicken, bacon, cheese and tomatoes in a creamy bbq sauce. It's kid friendly, easy to whip up and totally delicious!
Classic Hungarian Goulash
This Classic Hungarian Goulash recipe is a delicious dinner that’s packed full of slow-cooked flavor with tender chunks of beef in a rich, thick broth.
Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Pie
Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole has tons of veggies, ground beef and that famous Sloppy Joe Sauce, all mixed together and topped with crispy tater tots for the ultimate dinnertime casserole meal.
Homemade Chicken Soup
Cozy Homemade Chicken Soup is loaded with chicken, veggies, herbs, and tons of flavor in under an hour. A comforting, nostalgic recipe!
Chicken Supreme is a delicious family friendly dinner. With a flavorful yogurt topping and crunchy breadcrumbs, this baked chicken is total comfort food.
Loaded Baked Potato Soup
Loaded Baked Potato Soup is rich, creamy and ready in 40 minutes. Made with classic toppings, like cheese, bacon, chives and sour cream.
Easy Shepherd’s Pie
Shepherd’s Pie is comfort food central! A hearty, homestyle dinner that sticks to your ribs and satisfies. Make ahead, plus freezing instructions included.
Crockpot/Slow Cooker Lasagna
Crock Pot Lasagna means no need for an oven! Lasagna noodles, meat sauce and cheese made all in one pot. Easy and delicious!
Sometimes you just need to bake something. If you’re not looking to make a whole meal, these comfort food dessert will hit the spot!
- Pumpkin Dump Cake – Serve up big slices of this creamy and rich Pumpkin Dump Cake with a crunchy brown sugar and walnut topping for dessert this fall. Made with just a few ingredients, this mouthwatering dessert is as easy as it is delicious!
- Oatmeal Raisin Cookies – The Best Oatmeal Raisin Cookies just can’t be beat! My Oatmeal Raisin Cookie recipe is just like grandma used to make, and so soft and chewy, you’ll be begging for more.
- Pistachio Fluff Salad – This Classic Pistachio Fluff Salad is a family favorite, classic dessert recipe that will take you back to your childhood. Also known as Watergate Salad, this pistachio salad is filled with pineapple, marshmallows, cool whip and walnuts.
- Molasses Cookies – Molasses Cookies are an old fashioned cookie filled with the warm fall flavors of cinnamon, ginger and clove. They are crispy on the edges, soft and chewy on the inside, making these irresistible cookies perfect for holiday gifting and snacking.
- Banana Bread – Best Banana Bread Recipe is so easy to make and super soft and moist! The very best way to use up overripe bananas this bread is tender and packed full of flavor!