At Better Homes and Gardens we test different versions of comfort food recipes such as meat loaf, macaroni and cheese, and banana bread all the time. We dug through our archives to find our favorite versions of classic comfort foods for you to enjoy at home. These comfort food recipes will quickly become family favorites.
This tried-and-true meat loaf recipe combines sauteed vegetables, two types of ground meat, and bread crumbs for a moist, flavorful meal. A classic ketchup-and-brown-sugar glaze will have the whole family's mouths watering.
Why It's the Best: It's all about texture. Hand-mixing incorporates air to lighten the mixture for a diner-worthy meat loaf.
Ask anyone to name their favorite comfort food, and macaroni and cheese will likely top the list. A smooth and creamy sauce combined with Gouda, cheddar, Swiss, and Parmesan cheeses make this bubbly dish extra indulgent.
Why It's the Best: This mac and cheese uses two tricks for ultimate creaminess—a silky white sauce and hand-shredded cheeses. Preshredded cheeses are often coasted in starches that don't allow the cheese to melt as well.
Saucy, messy, and deliciously seasoned, this no-grill-required barbecued chicken will gather everyone around the dinner table. Our homemade barbecue sauce is a sweet, sticky combination of spices, sugar, vinegar, tomato paste, and molasses.
Why It's the Best: The chicken pieces are browned before baking to create grill-like results of a golden outside and tender inside.
It's the dessert you've loved since childhood: chocolate chip cookies! And we didn't mess with perfection; this is the classic recipe you'll want to make again and again.
Why It's the Best: We balanced this recipe with just the right amount of butter for crispness around the cookie's edges and brown sugar for a chewy center.
Inside this flaky piecrust lies eggs, cheese, and bacon -- all your breakfast favorites. A surprising pinch of nutmeg rounds out the hearty flavors of this comforting dish.
Why It's the Best: The perfect ratio of milk to eggs produces a tender quiche that sets up perfectly without getting tough.
Watch our easy tips to make the perfect piecrust for quiches and pies.
No dessert says summer like strawberry shortcake. Whether it's peak strawberry season or you simply need a taste of summer, this strawberry shortcake is a special treat. Prepared as a layer cake instead of using individual biscuits, it's a showstopping dessert recipe.
Why It's the Best: Baking in a hot oven creates a tender shortcake with the perfect light-and-fluffy texture.
Dress up your favorite melt-in-your-mouth-tender steak with a scrumptious pan sauce of red wine, beef broth, shallot, and cream. This steak recipe is impressive enough to wow dinner guests but simple to prepare.
Why It's the Best: Searing steaks before roasting creates a crisp, caramelized exterior to encase the tender, juicy steak.
No food brings comfort like chicken noodle soup -- it's what Mom made to soothe our souls. This traditional chicken noodle soup recipe is chock-full of expected ingredients like carrots, celery, and herbs, while homemade noodles make the soup something really special.
Why It's the Best: The made-from-scratch flavor of a cut-up whole chicken and the slow simmer with herbs makes a soup broth impossible to top.
Prepare yourself: Once you taste this phenomenal cinnamon roll recipe, no other cinnamon roll will satisfy. Made from yeast dough and filled with must-have cinnamon roll ingredients such as butter, sugar, and cinnamon, these extra-special spiraled rolls are worth the effort.
Why It's the Best: Mashed potatoes are our secret ingredient for light, fluffy cinnamon rolls. Potato adds moisture and structure without contributing to gluten development.
Perfect for potlucks, entertaining, or just using up fresh produce in your kitchen, pasta salad is an American classic. This one is tossed with herb vinaigrette, summer veggies, fresh mozzarella, and just a bit of prosciutto for a fresh, satisfying dish.
Why It's the Best: Soaking the pasta overnight in an oil and lemon juice mixture keeps cooked pasta from soaking up too much dressing.
This quintessential Southern comfort food hits the spot no matter where you live. Golden and crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, this fried chicken recipe will be gobbled up by the whole family as soon as it's served.
Why It's the Best: Two words: buttermilk brine. A soak in buttermilk, salt, and sugar results in incredibly moist, flavorful chicken.
Watch to discover our secret to the best-ever fried chicken.
Step into the kitchen while this bread is baking and the enticing aroma will spread a smile across your face. The recipe is easy to make from ingredients you already have on hand, but it requires extra time for chilling and rising. We promise it's worth the wait.
Why It's the Best: Gentle handling with absolutely no kneading creates an artisan-style bread with a tuggy inside and crispy, crusty outside.
With layer upon layer of beef, sausage, veggies, cheese, and pasta, this warm and bubbly lasagna just screams comfort food. Crushed fennel seeds and a topping of fresh basil offer delicious flavor boosts.
Why It's the Best: A homemade bechamel sauce adds a rich, garlicky, saucy layer to make the best lasagna you've ever had.
A spice mix of garlic, coriander, cumin, oregano, and onion powder imparts amazing, well-rounded flavor to tender pork. Low-and-slow braising creates the most tender meat possible to mound on hamburger buns or eat right out of the pan.
Why It's the Best: Cooking the pork by braising transforms the usually tough pork shoulder roast into moist, juicy meat.
There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of recipes for banana bread out there, but this is the only one you need. A short roasting time gives the bananas rich, deep flavor, and our streusel-nut topping lends a sweet-salty crunch to create the most delicious banana bread we've tasted.
Why It's the Best: Roasting bananas allows the natural sugars to melt into a thick, caramely syrup for richer, sweeter banana flavor.
Potato salads are summer cookout staples, and this one with its creamy and crunchy textures will garner rave reviews at your next backyard bash.
Why It's the Best: Waxy potato varieties cooked skins-on are our secret to the best-ever potato salad.
A warm, cheesy dip shared with friends hits the spot after a hard day. This dip takes on tremendous flavor from Asiago cheese, sour cream, and prosciutto, while artichoke hearts, arugula, and red sweet peppers add nutrition.
Why It's the Best: For the ultimate creaminess, we stir in a bit of flour before baking for smooth consistency.
Five basic ingredients provide all the makings for this crispy, salty comfort food. Serve up these hash browns for breakfast or as a starchy side to a protein- and veggie-filled dinner.
Why It's the Best: This recipe explains how to get as much excess water out of the potatoes as possible for a perfectly crispy exterior and tender inside to your hash browns.
Watch as we walk you through step-by-step to create our perfect hash browns!
Take a bite of this French toast recipe -- oozing with a warm, sweetened cream cheese filling and smothered with a salted caramel sauce -- and you can't help but smile.
Why It's the Best: The secret is in the bread. Day-old French bread or challah bread produces a golden, crisp outside and soft, tender inside.
What's more comforting than chocolate cake? Yeah, we couldn't think of anything either. This fudgy chocolate cake recipe gets its irresistible texture from shortening, melted chocolate, and sour cream.
Why It's the Best: It's all in the timing. Beating the shortening and sugar together for at least 3 minutes ensures enough air is whipped in to add height and light texture to the cake.