23 Classic Comfort Food Recipes for a Cozy Night In

Best Four-Cheese Macaroni Cheese
Photo: Kritsada Panichgul

Some days only your favorite foods can make you feel better. At Better Homes & Gardens, there are decades of classic comfort foods and recipes in our archives. And we've tested them all. If you're craving some hearty pasta or a giant, fluffy cinnamon roll, there's a classic recipe (that may be old or a new favorite!) to warm your soul.

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Classic Lasagna

Classic Lasagna
Kritsada Panichgul

With layer upon layer of beef, sausage, veggies, cheese, and pasta, this warm and bubbly lasagna screams classic comfort food. Crushed fennel seeds and a topping of fresh basil offer big flavor boosts. The homemade béchamel sauce adds a rich, garlicky, saucy layer to make the best lasagna you've ever had.

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Potato Cinnamon Rolls

Potato Cinnamon Rolls
Karla Conrad

Once you try our cinnamon roll recipe featuring our secret ingredient (mashed potatoes!), you'll never make these sweet breakfast rolls another way. Don't worry, they don't taste like potatoes at all, but they do contribute to the light, fluffy texture.

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Pasta with Bolognese Sauce

Pasta with Bolognese Sauce
Matthew Clark and Hannah Bigot

A big bowl of spaghetti with meat sauce and a slice of garlic bread is the ultimate classic comfort food dinner. Use this meal to find comfort after a crazy day, as any day can be made better with a serving of satisfying carbs. The splash of cream gives the meaty tomato sauce an indulgent and thick consistency.

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Chicken and Dumplings

chicken dumplings
Blaine Moats

Chicken and noodles are just what the doctor orders when you're sick, and it's sounding pretty comforting right now. Rather than opening up a can of soup, enjoy some cooking therapy by preparing homemade dumplings and shredding a roasted chicken.

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Our Best Basic Chocolate Chip Cookies

Our Best Basic Chocolate Chip Cookies
Blaine Moats

The chocolate chip cookie may be the most beloved cookie of all time, so we didn't mess with perfection. It's got just the right amount of butter for crispness around the cookie's edges and brown sugar for a chewy center. You'll definitely be making this classic comfort food cookie recipe again and again.

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Mashed Potatoes Four Ways

Mashed Potatoes Four Ways
Jason Donnelly

Few side dishes compare to a warm scoop of silky potatoes. (Though if you want to eat them as a main dish, that's fine too!) Cream cheese and half-and-half go in to make these potatoes even more indulgent. Whether you enjoy yours as-is, with a pat of butter, or topped with a pool of gravy, you might like to try one of our four flavor options. Let your appetite steer your mix-in decision of bacon-cheddar-chive, herb-garlic, and chile pepper-taco seasoning.

Buy It: Potato Masher, $16.95, Crate and Barrel

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Best Meat Loaf

The Best Meatloaf
Blaine Moats

This tried-and-true meat loaf recipe combines sautéed vegetables, two types of ground meat, and bread crumbs for a moist, flavorful classic comfort food main dish. A classic ketchup-and-brown-sugar glaze will have the whole family's mouths watering.

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Fish and Chips

Fish and Chips with Homemade Tartar
from Tyler Florence: Stirring the Pot

Fried foods are a go-to for many seeking comfort food. Fish and chips (aka French fries) became a delicacy in the UK more than 150 years ago, and with one bite it's easy to understand how the dish became a staple on menus all over the world. This fish recipe features a cup of beer in the batter, resulting in a light, airy, and crisp exterior after a swim in the fryer.

Buy It: Hamilton Beach 2-Liter Deep Fryer, $45, Walmart

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Best Strawberry Shortcake

Best Strawberry Shortcake
Kritsada Panichgul

No dessert says summer like strawberry shortcake. Whether it's peak strawberry season or you simply need a taste of summer, this strawberry dessert recipe is a classic comfort food treat. Prepared as a layer cake instead of as individual biscuits, it's a showstopping dessert that will look stunning on your table.

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Chicken with Marsala Risotto

Chicken with Marsala Risotto
Kritsada Panichgul

This classic comfort food recipe will make those around your dinner table feel like they ordered from a fancy Italian restaurant. Plus, it's easier than you'd think! Juicy chicken goes into this Italian rice dish to make it a meal and complement the aromatic rosemary and Marsala wine sauce.

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Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff
Jason Donnelly

This easy beef stroganoff recipe will definitely cure your comfort food needs in a pinch. The creamy sauce with earthy mushrooms and tender chunks of beef are perfect on top of cooked egg noodles. Bonus: It takes only 30 minutes to make from start to finish.

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Buttermilk-Brined Fried Chicken

Buttermilk-Brined Fried Chicken
Blaine Moats

Perfectly golden and crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, this from-scratch fried chicken recipe is the ultimate Southern comfort food (but it hits the spot no matter where you live). The buttermilk brine brings a whole new level of flavor to the chicken. Your family is sure to devour this one right away.

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Best Chicken Noodle Soup

Best Chicken Noodle Soup
Blaine Moats

Chicken noodle soup really does soothe the soul. This traditional chicken noodle soup recipe is packed with all the expected ingredients including carrots, celery, herbs, and (of course) noodles. The best part about this recipe is the homemade noodles. We think it really makes the soup something special.

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Cheesy Twice-Baked Potatoes

Cheesy Twice-Baked Potatoes

Cheese and potatoes are definitely a classic comfort food combo. This potato side dish can be enjoyed simply as is. Or if you're craving more flavor, throw in some bacon, mushrooms, or broccoli; switch it up with whatever's stocked in your fridge.

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Best Oven-Barbecued Chicken

Best Oven-Barbecued Chicken
Blaine Moats

No grills needed here! Saucy, messy, and perfectly seasoned, this finger-licking good barbecued chicken will gather everyone around the dinner table. The chicken gets browned before baking in our homemade sauce to create grill-like results.

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Quiche Lorraine

Quiche Lorraine
Jason Donnelly

Eggs, cheese, and bacon. Inside this flaky piecrust lies all your breakfast favorites. A surprising pinch of nutmeg rounds out the hearty flavors of this classic comfort food.

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Shredded Roast Pork Sandwiches

Shredded Roast Pork Sandwiches
Blaine Moats

A spice mix of garlic, coriander, cumin, oregano, and onion powder imparts 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.

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Best Four-Cheese Macaroni and Cheese

Best Four-Cheese Macaroni Cheese
Kritsada Panichgul

Ask anyone to name their favorite comfort foods, and macaroni and cheese will likely be somewhere on top of the list. A smooth and creamy sauce combined with four (yes, four!) cheeses make this bubbly dish extra indulgent.

Test Kitchen Tip: While it may take a little more time, we suggest hand-shredding your cheeses. Pre-shredded cheeses are often coasted in starches that don't allow the cheese to melt as well.

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Best Banana Bread

Best Banana Bread
Kritsada Panichgul

It seems like everyone has a recipe for banana bread, but this is the one that may reign above them all. A short roasting time gives the bananas rich, caramel-like flavor, and our streusel-nut topping lends a sweet-salty crunch to create the most delicious banana bread we've tasted.

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Asiago-Artichoke Dip

Asiago-Artichoke Dip
RJT LLC

A warm, cheesy dip always hits the spot. This dip takes on tremendous flavor from Asiago cheese, sour cream, and prosciutto, while artichoke hearts, arugula, and red bell peppers add nutrition. Stir in a bit of flour before baking for smooth consistency.

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Best Stuffed French Toast

Best Stuffed French Toast
Blaine Moats

Breakfast for dinner is a classic comfort food idea the whole family can get behind, and this stuffed French toast recipe should definitely be on your list. The warm, sweetened cream cheese filling and rich salted caramel sauce make this an indulgent breakfast you deserve.

Test Kitchen Tip: The secret is in the bread. Day-old French bread or challah bread produces a golden, crisp outside and soft, tender inside.

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Chocolate Sour Cream Cake with Fudgy Frosting

Chocolate Sour Cream Cake with Fudgy Frosting
Blaine Moats

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. Be sure to beat the shortening and sugar together for at least 3 minutes to ensure enough air is whipped in to add height and light texture to the cake.

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Chicken Pot Pie

Classic Chicken Pot Pie
Andy Lyons

When craving comfort food, a warm, rich, and creamy chicken pot pie is one that can soothe the soul. A perfectly flaky crust tops the filling made with tender chicken, mixed veggies, and our sauce featuring some cream cheese for extra richness.

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