Classic Comfort Food Recipes

Classic Potato Salad
At Better Homes & 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.

Red Wine and Caramelized Onion Pot Roast

Pot roast and potatoes remind us of Mom's Sunday dinners. Red wine, beef broth, thyme, and garlic add layers of flavor to this meat and potatoes meal.

Why It's the Best: The beef pot roast and veggies braise in your slow cooker while you go about your day. This hearty, hands-off meal will make your entire home smell incredible, too.

Pasta with Bolognese Sauce

A big bowl of spaghetti with meat sauce and a slice of garlic bread. Whether you use this meal for comfort after a crazy day or as a carbo-load before a shopping spree, there are few times that can't be made better by a big bowl of pasta.

Why It's the Best: A splash of cream gives the meaty tomato sauce an indulgent and thick consistency.

Potato Cinnamon Rolls

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.

Mashed Potatoes Four Ways

Mashed potatoes. Whether you enjoy them as-is, with a pat of butter, or topped with a pool of gravy, few side dishes compare to a warm, comforting scoop of silky potatoes.

Why It’s the Best: Cream cheese and half-and-half make the recipe light, fluffy and smooth, while optional mix-ins (bacon-cheddar-chive, herb-garlic, chile pepper-taco seasoning) give you the flexibility to serve these mashed potatoes with an entree from all corners of the earth.

Our Best Basic Chocolate Chip Cookies

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.

Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and noodles are just what the doctor orders when you're sick—talk about the ultimate comfort food. Rather than opening up a can of soup, enjoy some cooking therapy by preparing homemade dumplings and roasting, then shredding, a chicken.

Why It's the Best: Cream to the rescue once again! A quarter cup is all you need to give this chicken dinner masterpiece its heavenly consistency.

Seared Steak with Pan Sauce

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.

Best Meat Loaf

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.

Fish and Chips

Fried fish and fried potatoes served warm, crunchy, and sprinkled with salt. There's a good reason why this UK favorite has gone global! (That reason being the fact that it's delectable.)

Why It's the Best: A cup of beer in the batter makes the fish coating light, airy, and crisp all at once after a swim in the fryer.

Best Strawberry Shortcake

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 as 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.

Mushroom Risotto

The classic Italian Arborio rice recipe is known for its luxurious texture that requires a little TLC stove-side. It's worth every minute of stirring.

Why It's the Best: Fresh thyme and two types of mushrooms, dried porcinis and fresh creminis,  are added during the final minutes of cooking time for a punch of savory flavors.

Homemade Pasta

Flour and eggs. This is exactly what your grandma used to make pasta and it's how we're making it with this 15-minutes-of-prep recipe! You'll never want the dried, boxed noodles again after you sit down to a big bowl of these rustic noodles after only 3 minutes of boiling time. So fast. So good.

Why It's the Best: Once you master the basic pasta plan, your options are nearly endless. Select your sauce, then pair it with a complementary pasta flavor featuring fresh herbs, roasted beets, frozen spinach, roasted red peppers, or saffron.

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Buttermilk-Brined Fried Chicken

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.

Best Chicken Noodle Soup

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.

Cheesy Twice-Baked Potatoes

Carbs + cheese = a surefire equation for comfort food success. This classic potato side dish reminds us of holiday dinners shared with loved ones.

Why It's the Best: A double dose of dairy by way of sour cream (for creaminess) and a big handful of cheddar cheese (for an ooey-gooey topping) makes these spuds spectacular.

Best Oven-Barbecued Chicken

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: a golden outside and tender inside.

Quiche Lorraine

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.

Classic Lasagna

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.

Shredded Roast Pork Sandwiches

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.

Best Four-Cheese Macaroni and Cheese

Ask anyone to name their favorite comfort foods, 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.

Best Banana Bread

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.

Asiago-Artichoke Dip

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.

Best Stuffed French Toast

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.

Chocolate Sour Cream Cake with Fudgy Frosting

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.

Classic Potato Salad

Potato salads are summer cookout staples, and this one will garner rave reviews at your next backyard bash with its creamy and crunchy textures

Why It's the Best: Waxy potato varieties cooked skins-on are our secret to the best-ever potato salad.

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