11 Soul-Satisfying Comfort Food Recipes

Beef Stew

The Spruce

Searching for some new comforting foods to serve this winter? Look no further, as here are 9 soul-warming dishes to soothe the soul and keep the cold at bay. 

  • 01 of 11

    Braised Veal Shanks

    Braised Veal Shanks

    Melanie Acevedo / Getty Images 

    Meaty veal shanks turn meltingly tender when braised slowly in wine and vegetables. Plus they each hold a delectable nugget of marrow in the hollow bone. Serve the shanks over buttered egg noodles or fettuccine and be sure to include a tiny spoon for scooping out the marrow. This recipe for braised veal shanks is comfort food at its best! 

  • 02 of 11

    Homemade Baked Macaroni and Cheese

    Baked Macaroni and Cheese

    Lara Ferroni / Getty Images

    A true American classic, this recipe for homemade baked macaroni and cheese couldn't be easier or more comforting. It's also a very versatile dish, lending itself to many variations. For example, no reason to stick to elbow macaroni for the recipe, try it with penne, rigatoni or rotini. And you can mix-up the cheese you use, too. How about a mixture of cheddar and Monterrey Jack, or Gruyere and fontina? The variations on the dish are only limited by your imagination.

  • 03 of 11

    Slow-Cooker Beef Brisket

    Crock pot beef brisket with vegetables

    The Spruce

    Slow-cooker beef brisket is an incredibly easy way to cook this popular cut of beef. The long, slow braising turns this less expensive, tough cut into a flavorful and tender meal. The chipotle chile powder gives the dish a bit of heat, but it's an optional ingredient. Serve the brisket with mashed or roasted potatoes or buttered egg noodles for a real comfort food dinner 

  • 04 of 11

    Chicken Marbella

    Chicken Marbella

    Elaine Lemm

    This storied dish is adapted from The Silver Palate Cookbook, first published in 1982. Although that name might not ring a bell for younger cooks, it was a standout cookbook in its time, and Chicken Marbella was its standout dish, bringing comfort to entire generations. This one-pan meal features skin-on chicken marinated in a brine of vinegar, olives, capers, and prunes, and then baked in the same dish. It couldn't be easier. This recipe is a little sweet, a little salty, and perfectly balanced with acidic tang. Great with Spanish ricemashed potatoes, or, if you're running low on time, an excellent loaf of crusty bread.

    Continue to 5 of 11 below.
  • 05 of 11

    Nashville Hot Chicken

    Nashville hot chicken with pickles, bread, and beer.
    Diana Rattray

    You don't need to have grown up in the South to find a deep comfort in fried chicken. Crunching down on the crackling of a crispy chicken thigh is one of life's deepest pleasures—and this Nashville fried chicken recipe delivers. It's inspired by Prince's Hot Chicken, a now-legendary institution that first served up this style of deep-fried, spicy bird in the '70s. Nashville hot chicken is characterized by its spicy, deep-red glaze, traditionally made with cayenne pepper. It's almost always served on top of white bread—plain white bread, the cheaper and sweeter the better—with some pickles on top.

  • 06 of 11

    Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo

    Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo

    Getty Images 

    There are about as many versions of a pot of shrimp and sausage gumbo as there are cooks who make it, and this is merely one take on the legendary dish. But one thing all good gumbos have in common is a roux - a blend of flour and oil cooked until an amber brown color. The unmistakably rich, nutty flavor that it adds to the soup/stew sets it apart from the ordinary.

  • 07 of 11

    Classic Old-Fashioned Beef Stew

    Beef Stew

    The Spruce

    The best part about this beef stew is that once you put it together, it requires no attention, not even stirring. For a great meal, serve this classic old-fashioned beef stew with some buttered egg noodles.

  • 08 of 11

    Easy Irish Lamb Stew

    Lamb Stew

    Thomas Barwick / Getty Images 

    I love this recipe for its hearty flavor and incredibly easy preparation. The beer gives the dish a deep, robust flavor. For the best Irish flavor, use Guinness Stout or another stout. What's more, you can use boneless beef chuck or round stew meat instead of the lamb with equally delicious results. Serve with garlic mashed potatoes.

    Continue to 9 of 11 below.
  • 09 of 11

    Shepherd's Pie with Potato Topping

    Turkey Pot Pie

    Rita Maas / Getty Images 

    Although this dish is called a “pie,” there isn’t any pastry involved. It is simply a mix of ground turkey and vegetables in a sauce with a topping of mashed potatoes. The dish is browned in the oven for a delicious example of comfort food. For a pretty effect, pipe the topping over the filling, using a pastry bag fitted with a star tip.

  • 10 of 11

    Chicken Chili

    White chicken chili with cornbread

    Iain Bagwell / Photolibrary / Getty Images

    In my opinion, just any time is a good time to eat chili, and this recipe cooks up into a real crowd-pleaser. Serve the chicken chili with lots of toppings for hungry diners to choose from, such as chopped cilantro, sour cream, chopped avocado, shredded cheese, chopped scallions, chopped tomatoes and even some raisins or pine nuts.

  • 11 of 11

    Eggplant Parmesan

    Eggplant Parmesan

    Getty Images 

    Many people complain that the eggplant in their eggplant parmesan turns out soggy and oil soaked. This recipe solves that problem by salting the eggplant ahead of time to draw out the water and leaves the eggplant crisper.