38 Comfort Food Recipes From Around the World

Travel with a fork or spoon

Ethiopian Doro Wat

The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

Travel may be off the table, but you can still eat your way around the world without leaving home. Whether you are in need of a little self-care in a bowl, want to experience new tastes, or are simply looking for creative weeknight dinner ideas, these comfort foods are sure to do the trick. We scouted cuisines and cultures around the globe to include soothing soups, meaty mains, plant-powered plates, and more to deliver warm and fuzzy vibes. From cheesy Mexican enchiladas, French-Canadian poutine, and West African peanut butter soup, we'll take you on a culinary adventure with each of these international recipes.

  • 01 of 38

    Katsudon Pork Cutlet Rice Bowl

    Steamed rice

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

    Katsudon is a Japanese comfort food dish that consists of eggs and tonkatsu, pork breaded with panko crumbs and deep-fried, served in a sweet and salty broth over rice. Katsu, or "cutlet," refers to meat that's been pounded, while Don identifies this as a bowl dish. This recipe is proven to melt even the coldest part of your heart with its warm, cozy vibes.

  • 02 of 38

    Tahdig (Persian Rice)

    Tahdig (Persian Rice)

    Bonchan/Getty Images

    Fans of chef and food writer Samin Nosrat will be familiar with tahdig, the beloved Persian rice dish that is a staple of modern Iranian cuisine. Perfectly crispy and golden, it is made by cooking the rice twice — first by steaming, then by compacting the cooked grains in a skillet with olive oil (and optional turmeric, for added color). When inverted, the crunchy crust appears on top, to showcase the signature feature of the dish.

  • 03 of 38

    Instant Pot Chicken Adobo

    Instant Pot Chicken Adobo

    Diana Rattray

    Adobo is a famous Filipino dish of meat or fish cooked in a full-flavored sauce made from everyday pantry ingredients. If you have chicken, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, and an onion, you're on your way to enjoying chicken adobo for dinner. This pressure cooker version uses budget-friendly chicken thighs to deliver a dish you can feel proud of in little more than 30 minutes.

  • 04 of 38

    French Beef Bourguignon

    French Beef Bourguignon

    The Spruce/Elaine Lemm

    The world has fallen in love with classic boeuf Bourguignon, a hearty French beef and vegetable stew cooked in a rich red wine sauce, then finished with baby onions, button mushrooms, and smoked bacon bits. Rich and deeply satisfying, it requires a long cooking time, but little hands-on effort. This recipe is an excellent way to transform inexpensive stewing beef into a company-worthy dish.

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  • 05 of 38

    Vegan and Vegetarian Chinese Hot and Sour Soup

    Vegan and Vegetarian Chinese Hot and Sour Soup

    The Spruce

    When you feel a cold coming on or need a warming meal on a rainy day, that's the time to cook up a pot of Chinese hot and sour soup. Brimming with mushrooms, bamboo shoots, and water chestnuts in a simple yet complex-tasting vegetable broth, it is a delicious and nourishing dish that makes a great lunchtime bowl or a soothing starter at dinner.

  • 06 of 38

    British Fish and Chips

    British Fish and Chips

    The Spruce

    If there is one comfort food dish that defines British national cuisine, it is the classic fish and chips. A staple on every pub menu from North London to Newcastle, it combines crispy, beer-battered fried fish and thick-cut "chips" (aka French fries). Bring the pub home with this must-know recipe that works well with a thick white fish such as cod, haddock, or pollock.

  • 07 of 38

    Eastern European Beet and Cabbage Borscht

    Beet and Cabbage Borscht

    The Spruce/Maxwell Cozzi

    Ruby-red beet and cabbage borscht is a staple soup in most Eastern European homes, where it sustains and nourishes families through the cold and rainy winter months. This warming, budget-friendly stew is a hearty blend of rustic vegetables, white beans, and chicken broth, flavored with caraway seeds and fresh dill. Top your bowl with a scoop of yogurt or creme fraiche for a cool finish.

  • 08 of 38

    Indian Kheema Ki Khichdi

    Indian Kheema Ki Khichdi

    Devika/Flickr/CC.20

    One of India's most cherished comfort foods, kheema ki khichdi is a staple for all seasons. The soul-warming, one-pot lentil and rice dish is easy to digest, filling, and wholesome. This version combines basmati rice and red lentils with ground meat and warming Indian spices. Serve it piping hot with mango pickle or raita.

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  • 09 of 38

    West African Peanut Butter Soup

    West African Peanut Butter Soup

    The Spruce/Cara Cormack

    West African peanut butter soup is rich, nourishing, and naturally creamy. Tender bites of chicken, okra, and eggplant are cooked in a vibrant soup made with peanut butter, ginger, and chicken stock, for a perfect balance of sweet and savory flavors. It's a great choice for cold or rainy days, and freezes well for a heat-and-serve weekday lunch.

  • 10 of 38

    Greek Eggplant Moussaka

    Greek Eggplant Moussaka

    The Spruce

    Greek moussaka is a layered, oven-baked casserole with eggplant, potatoes, and a meaty sauce smothered in an eggy white sauce. Think of it as the Greek version of lasagna with vegetables taking the place of pasta sheets. Our recipe involves multiple steps, but is straight-forward to assemble with ground lamb or beef, making it a filling family dinner in one dish.

  • 11 of 38

    Italian Spaghetti Carbonara

    Italian Spaghetti Carbonara

    The Spruce

    Lusciously creamy, cheesy, carboriffic, and studded with crispy bacon bits, there is simply nothing like classic pasta carbonara. With fewer than 10 ingredients, this crave-worthy Italian pasta dish is rich and incredibly easy to whip up at the last-minute on busy weekdays. Feel free to toss in a cup of frozen peas for extra color and nutrition.

  • 12 of 38

    Instant Pot Congee

    Instant Pot Congee

    The Spruce/Leah Maroney

    Congee is an ultra-comforting, creamy rice porridge from China that is eaten across Asia as a breakfast bowl. We've added delicious fried shallots, shredded chicken leg meat, and soft-boiled eggs to turn it into a filling dish you could eat anytime you crave warm comfort.

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  • 13 of 38

    Spicy Crock Pot Jamaican Jerk Chicken

    Spicy Crock Pot Jamaican Jerk Chicken

    The Spruce/Diana Rattray

    Jerk chicken is as quintessentially Jamaican. Use your crockpot for this crave-worthy dish of juicy chicken pieces coated in a spicy, highly-seasoned jerk sauce. It's slowly cooked until the meat is ultra-tender. Plate with red beans and rice for a dinner that will put you in an of island state of mind.

  • 14 of 38

    Mexican Pozole

    Mexican Pozole

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

    Pozole is a popular, pork-based stew from Mexico that is traditionally served at Christmas Eve (Noche Buena) celebrations, but is also enjoyed year-round. Our recipe needs minimal prep to reward you with a rich, brothy, flavorful soup brimming with tender morsels of pork and hominy corn. Pile your bowl with toppings like shredded lettuce, cilantro, lime, and avocado, then serve it alongside corn tortillas.

  • 15 of 38

    Ethiopian Doro Wat

    Ethiopian Doro Wat

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

    Most Ethiopian restaurants across the globe serve doro wat on the menu, the country's national dish. This incredibly tasty, highly-spiced chicken stew makes great use of inexpensive chicken drumsticks and thighs, which are slowly simmered on the stove-top with onions, garlic, ginger, and an aromatic dried spice blend. Hard-boiled eggs are added at the end of cooking for an extra punch of protein.

  • 16 of 38

    Pad Thai Gai

    Pad Thai Gai

    The Spruce/Diana Chistruga

    With oodles of chewy noodles, juicy chicken chunks, and fresh-tasting veggies in a tangy sweet and sour sauce, this is recipe satisfies all your Pad Thai cravings — with no waiting for delivery required. Best of all, it is ready in 30 minutes top, making it suitable for weeknight meals. Shower your bowl with chopped nuts and fresh basil for diving in.

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  • 17 of 38

    French-Canadian Poutine

    French-Canadian Poutine

    The Spruce/Leah Maroney

    From Montreal, where freezing winters call for rib-sticking snacks, comes this delectable dish of crispy French fries smothered in a tangy gravy and topped with salty cheese curds. It is a popular late-night indulgence in the Great White North and can be made from-scratch with russet potatoes (we tell you how) or with a bag of frozen fries to make the prep super-duper easy. Beauty, eh?

  • 18 of 38

    Polish Pierogi Ruskie

    Polish Pierogi Ruskie

    The Spruce/Diana Chistruga

    Polish pierogi ruskie are crazy-delicious dumplings stuffed with potatoes and cheese. Learn how to make pierogi from scratch, including preparing the rustic filling, forming, and folding the dough. Enjoy them either boiled or pan-fried, then topped with sour cream and caramelized onions or chopped cooked bacon.

  • 19 of 38

    Iranian Polo Ba Morgh

    Iranian Polo Ba Morgh

    The Spruce/Anita Schecter

    Treat your family to this fragrant, fruity chicken dinner of Middle Eastern origin that may become a new menu regular. Polo ba morgh is a flavorful dish of seasoned, skillet-braised chicken cooked in a savory pantry sauce and ladled over saffron rice. Dried cranberries bring an unexpected, but entirely delicious sweet and sour flavor.

  • 20 of 38

    Japanese Oyakodon

    Japanese Chicken and Egg Rice Bowl (Oyakodon)

    The Spruce

    Oyakodon is Japanese soul food at its finest. This popular diner order in Japan is a simple, one-bowl meal of chicken, eggs, and onions simmered in a dashi and soy sauce-based broth, then ladled over a bowl of fluffy, steamed white rice. You need just 20 minutes to whip it up at home for a healthy lunch or lighter dinner any day of the week.

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  • 21 of 38

    Crockpot Swedish Meatballs

    Crockpot Swedish Meatballs

    The Spruce

    Use your crockpot to cook up a big batch of Swedish meatballs in mushroom sauce. This recipe makes it easy to prepare the world-famous Scandinavian dish using convenient store-bought ingredients and almost no hands-on cooking time. Simply load up the slow cooker, set it, and forget it until dinnertime.

  • 22 of 38

    Cuban Mojo Chicken

    Cuban Mojo Chicken

    The Spruce/Anita Schecter

    Cuban mojo sauce made from sweet and sour citrus juices, garlic, cilantro, and optional hot peppers, is a national treasure. Here, it flavors a whole chicken that is marinated overnight, then roasted in the oven for a moist, tender bird. Serve with rice and beans, or roasted sweet potatoes.

  • 23 of 38

    Instant Pot Korean Beef

    Lettuce Cups With Instant Pot Korean Beef

    The Spruce/Diana Rattray

    Instant Pot Korean beef is sweet, spicy, and utterly satisfying. Throw it together quickly with budget-friendly beef chuck and cook it up quickly in the pressure cooker for a fuss-free dinner that's ideal for busy school nights. Serve with steamed white rice, then sprinkle optional scallions over top for a burst of color.

  • 24 of 38

    Tortilla Española

    Tortilla Española

    The Spruce

    Tortilla Española (or Spanish omelet) is eaten on the daily across Spain, where it is a popular bar tapa as well as a family meal favorite. Made entirely in one skillet, it features a just-set layer of custardy eggs nestled in a crispy fried potato and onion base. Enjoy it with toast for breakfast, serve it with a salad for lunch, or slice it up for a sandwich or snack at any time of day.

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  • 25 of 38

    German Wiener Schnitzel

    German Wiener Schnitzel

    The Spruce

    Put on some polka music and heat up the cast-iron skillet to make authentic German wiener schnitzel in just 30 minutes. Pounded-thin veal cutlets (or use chicken or pork) are dredged in egg and breadcrumbs, then deep-fried until crispy, golden, and perfectly-cooked. Serve with potato salad or French fries for a casual dinner.

  • 26 of 38

    Instant Pot Moroccan Lamb or Beef Tagine With Prunes

    Instant Pot Moroccan Lamb or Beef Tagine With Prunes

    The Spruce/Cara Cormack

    You don't need to wait for a special occasion to make sweet and savory Moroccan lamb or beef with prunes. While the recipe involves several steps, it comes together easily and makes a wonderful family meal that will fill your kitchen with fragrant cooking aromas. The instant pot makes short work of tenderizing the meat, so you don't need all day to make it.

  • 27 of 38

    Hungarian Chicken Paprikash

    Hungarian Chicken Paprikash

    The Spruce

    Bright red, saucy chicken paprikash combines five key Hungarian ingredients — onions, green peppers, tomatoes, paprika, and sour cream. Chop up the veggies ahead of time for a tasty chicken dinner that comes together in a snap, and cooks in about an hour. Serve with buttered egg noodles or hot cooked rice, and a side salad for a complete meal.

  • 28 of 38

    French Coq Au Vin

    French Coq Au Vin

    The Spruce/Leah Maroney

    Coq au vin (aka chicken with wine) is a classic French country dish. It sounds fancy but is nothing more than a humble stew of chicken parts and root vegetables braised in plenty of rich red wine, until everything is tender, juicy, and infused with amazing flavor. Use a Dutch oven or similar heavy pot to make it on the stove-top for weekend comfort food dinners.

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  • 29 of 38

    Durban Chicken Curry

    Durban Chicken Curry

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

    Durban in South Africa is known for its beautiful beaches and delicious Indian-style curries. Full of warming dried spices paired with fresh minced ginger and garlic, this thick and rich chicken curry always hits the spot on cooler evenings. Serve it with steamed basmati rice for a satisfying supper.

  • 30 of 38

    Mexican Pork Enchiladas

    Mexican Pork Enchiladas

    The Spruce/Leah Maroney

    Every family needs a go-to Mexican enchiladas dish, so we're nominating this one. You can make it with leftover pulled pork or use a pressure cooker or to cook inexpensive pork shoulder until tender. Stuff the cooked pork into corn tortillas, then smother them in cheese, pour enchilada sauce over top, and bake until melty and bubbling. Yum!

  • 31 of 38

    Italian Cacio e Pepe Pasta

    Italian Cacio e Pepe (Cheese and Pepper Pasta)

    Elaine Lemm

    Cacio e pepe pasta may be the easiest pasta dish you ever make. You need just 15 minutes and 3 ingredients, including a package of dried spaghetti, to whip up this elegant, unbelievably creamy, and cheesy weeknight pasta. Make sure you use Pecorino Romano cheese, which gives this popular Roman dish its signature taste.

  • 32 of 38

    Russian Beef Stroganoff

    Classic Beef Stroganoff

    The Spruce / Qi Ai

    Beef Stroganoff is a Russian recipe that originated in the 1800s and has stood the test of time. Made with lean beef, sour cream, and common pantry staples, it is a cinch to assemble and cook in well under an hour, making it ideal for rushed weeknights. Ladle it over hot buttered noodles and serve with a side salad for a complete meal.

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  • 33 of 38

    Spicy Korean Kimchi Jjigae

    Spicy Korean Kimchi Jjigae

    The Spruce/Ulyana Verbytska

    Korea’s national dish, kimchi, is a spicy, pickled cabbage served as a condiment with practically every meal. Here, it plays the starring role in a fiery, flavorful stew with thinly-sliced beef, cubed tofu, garlic, and gochujang. Serve it with lots of steamed white rice to tame its considerable heat.

  • 34 of 38

    British Fish Pie

    British Fish Pie

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

    Traditional British fish pie is a hearty, economical, homey one-dish supper. Similar to a shepherd's pie, it's topped with fluffy mashed potatoes, but this casserole dish comes with an easy combination of fish and a simple, milky sauce. Feel free to sprinkle some shredded cheddar cheese over top before baking, for added richness.

  • 35 of 38

    Vegetarian Thai Green Coconut Curry

    Vegetarian Thai Green Coconut Curry

    The Spruce

    Feel great about what you are eating with this tasty Thai green coconut curry made with plant-powered ingredients. The creamy coconut milk sauce is made entirely from scratch with chunky chickpeas and soft tofu working in tandem as the main proteins. It's may be entirely vegetarian, but it's every bit ultra-delicious and warming.

  • 36 of 38

    Plantain Mofongo

    Plantain Mofongo

    The Spruce/Ulyana Verbytska

    Plantain mofongo is thought to originate in Puerto Rico, but likely has its roots in African cuisine. It is a starchy, rib-sticking side dish of fried green plantains mashed together with garlic and crackling pork rinds (or chicharrón). Make it into a meal by stuffing it with meat, or plating it with a protein, such as steamed shrimp, poached chicken strips, or beans and rice.

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  • 37 of 38

    Tswana African Magwinya (South African Doughnuts)

    Tswana African Magwinya (South African Doughnuts)

    The Spruce/Julia Estrada

    In Tswana, South Africa, deep-fried magwinya doughnuts (or "fat cakes") are a nostalgic treat that evoke memories of the childhood kitchen. Even if you are new to magwinya, these deeply-delicious doughnut balls are sure to put a smile on your face. Try them for breakfast with jam, or serve as a fun after-school treat for kids.

  • 38 of 38

    New Zealand Pavlova

    New Zealand Pavlova

    The Spruce

    Pavlova, a fluffy, meringue-based confection named after the renowned ballerina Anna Pavlova, is one of New Zealand's national desserts. A crisp, baked meringue layer is filled with fresh fruit and whipped cream to create this show-stopping treat. It makes an excellent dessert for company, especially at summer buffets.