40 Comfort Food Recipes for When You Need a Hug on a Plate

Are we the only ones craving warm, cheesy, carb-y comfort foods right now? Nope, we didn’t think so. Sometimes you can make lemons into lemonade, and sometimes the only thing you can do is whip up a giant batch of macaroni and cheese and eat it straight from the pan. With that in mind, here are 40 of our favorite comfort food recipes that are basically a hug on a plate (or in a bowl).

12 Healing Bowl Recipes That Are Like a Warm Hug

1. Baked Coconut-curry Meatballs

Mmm, tender lamb meatballs blanketed in a spicy curry sauce are just what the doctor ordered.

2. Buckwheat Gnocchi With Cabbage, Potatoes And Fontina

This hearty number features pillows of homemade pasta, potatoes, cabbage and plenty of Fontina and Parmesan cheese. And heads up, making gnocchi is easier than you’d think.

3. Quick Congee

Congee, or rice porridge, is traditional in Asian countries as a nourishing, easy-to-digest meal—the ultimate comfort food. Even better: This one only takes 30 minutes to make.

4. One-pot Mac And Cheese

You need melty cheese and pasta, and you need it fast. Good thing this dish comes together entirely on your stove top, in one pot and in half an hour.

5. Skillet Gnocchi With Sausage And Broccoli Rabe

When you feel like Sunday supper on a Wednesday, grab your skillet. This recipe is hearty and delicious, and it tastes like you spent all day making it.

6. Spicy Bucatini Amatriciana

Want to pretend you’re in sunny Italy? We know what you should make for dinner.

7. Slow-cooker Creamy Chicken And Wild Rice Soup

Thanks to your slow cooker, this one is just as easy as opening up a can but about a million times more delicious. (Oh, and it’ll make your whole house smell amazing.)

8. Sausage, Corn And Poblano Chowder

Soup season is just a state of mind. You won’t regret making this hearty-but-not-too-heavy meal.

9. Mac And Cheese With Crispy Parmesan-phyllo Crust

Every layer of the phyllo topping is brushed with butter and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. Need we say more?

10. Chicken Gnocchi Soup

Chicken soup is already the ultimate comfort food, but adding gnocchi really takes it up a notch.

11. Potato And Burrata Pizza

Is it bad to have a crush on a pizza? Not at all, especially when it’s topped with burrata.

12. Slow-cooker French Onion Soup

Finally, we can make one of our all-time favorites at home, thanks again to that slow cooker. (Want to know a secret? It’s even better with a splash of apple brandy.)

13. Polenta With Roasted Mushrooms And Bacon

Creamy, filling and versatile, polenta is the definition of comfort. In our humble opinion, we should all be eating more of it.

14. Roasted Cauliflower Macaroni And Cheese

When you feel like eating a decadent bowl of mac and cheese but also want to be a responsible adult, just add cauliflower.

15. Slow-cooker Pasta E Fagioli Soup

Parmesan rind and a kitchen sink’s worth of veggies, pasta, beans and aromatics give this Italian classic a ton of flavor.

16. Perfect Meatballs With Cherry Tomato Sauce

These freeze well, so it’s easy to make a big batch and just reheat when you need a pick-me-up.

17. Cheater’s White Pizza With Béchamel Sauce

Ever felt the urge to dive face-first into the creamiest, cheesiest dish you can possibly imagine? We found that dish.

18. Slow-cooker Chicken Potpie Soup

This is comfort food 101 in a totally new package. Psst: Store-bought biscuits make the topping a breeze.

19. Sticky Asian Meatballs With Udon Noodles

We’re always suckers for a good meatball, but it’s the sticky honey-ginger-soy sauce that sealed the deal.

20. Easy Indian-inspired Kitchari Bowls

Also known as khichdi, this restorative Indian stew is a staple in the Ayurvedic diet. It’s also just what we need after a long day (or week, or month).

21. The Best Potatoes Au Gratin Ever

This dish is rich, comforting and can be assembled ahead of time and held in your refrigerator until you’re ready to bake it. (Don’t wait too long.)

22. Green Bean Casserole Galette

Pie for dinner? Don’t mind if we do, especially when it’s this filling take on the classic Thanksgiving side.

23. Ina Garten’s Updated Chicken Marbella

The only thing better than this briny-sweet number would be a bear hug from Ina Garten herself. (We can dream.)

24. One-pan Spaghetti And Meatballs

A lazy version of a childhood favorite? Check. Almost no dishes to clean after dinner? Double check.

25. Gnocchi Mac And Cheese

Oh, you thought we wouldn’t combine our two favorite pasta dishes? Think again.

26. Immune-boosting Turmeric Golden Milk Daal

Life is all about balance. This cozy meal is rich and satisfying, but also really good for you.

27. Polenta And Meatballs

Pour yourself a glass of red wine and tuck in.

28. Baked Caprese Chicken Skillet

When in doubt, smother it in mozzarella cheese and add a side of pasta.

29. Butternut Squash Risotto With Crispy Leeks

Even when unadorned, risotto is one of those meals that makes you feel better with every bite. With crispy leeks, this is even more irresistible.

30. Slow-cooker Chicken Tikka Masala Meatballs

This is even better (and easier) than splurging on takeout.

31. Chicken Parmesan Bites

C’mon. These are basically like fancy chicken tenders, and what could be wrong with that?

32. 30-minute Cheater’s Beef Stroganoff

From the buttery noodles to the melt-in-your-mouth beef tenderloin, there’s nothing not to love about this unapologetically rich and creamy bowl of comfort.

33. Cheater’s Slow-cooker Beef Bourguignon

Vacation in France? More like vacation on our couch with a bowl of this melt-in-your-mouth masterpiece.

34. Mozzarella-stuffed Pizza Bread

Are we allowed to say it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread? Well, we’re going to, because it is.

35. Tomato Soup In Grilled Cheese Bread Bowls

You’re not really living until you’re eating soup out of a bowl made of bread…lined with melty cheese. If you’ve got kids, they’ll love you forever.

36. Firecracker Chicken With Rice

This sweet, spicy and delightfully sticky chicken can be on the table in under an hour, and it tastes like a takeout favorite.

37. Easy One-pan Baked Ziti

Sometimes we like to swap the ziti noodles for rigatoni, just for fun.

38. Black Pepper Chicken

Not only is it satisfyingly saucy, it’s also a chance for a crisper drawer cleanout. Wilted celery, we hardly knew ye.

39. Spicy Lemon-ginger Chicken Soup

This is not your mother’s chicken soup—no offense, Mom. The broth is very flavorful and slightly spicy, but the lemon and greens brighten it. (It’s also adaptable and easy to make.)

40. Spinach And Three-cheese Stuffed Shells

There’s nothing like a good cheese pull—with three types of fromage!—to put us at ease.


Senior Food Editor

Katherine Gillen is PureWow’s senior food editor. She’s a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City...