Quick Comfort Food Recipes That Make Delicious Dinners
Dig into your favorite foods—fast!—thanks to our quick comfort food recipes. These recipes result in rich, hearty flavors but require you to spend surprisingly little time waiting for them to cook on the stovetop or in the oven. How is that possible, you ask? We used some of our favorite culinary tricks to streamline classic recipes and speed things up in the kitchen without sacrificing any flavor. In the process we created some new classic dishes, like the Pork-Meatball Skillet Bake, shown here. Weekday or weekend, these quick meals are sure to satisfy even the heartiest cravings.
Individual portions of mouthwatering chicken pot pie and enchiladas speed up the baking time and let everyone have their own fair share. Chicken cutlets and the broiler turn Chicken Parmesan into an easy weeknight dinner. Plus, we included a freeze-ahead component for chicken Parm on the fly. Cutlets in general lend themselves to quick dinners because they cook so fast; we make a tasty version of chicken and waffles in 30 minutes flat with their help. We also put cutlets to good use in a crowd-pleasing spinach and artichoke dip-inspired dish that makes for another satisfying and speedy chicken dinner.
Classic goulash takes two hours or more to tenderize the meat and build flavor, but our beef goulash is done in just 30 minutes thanks to quick-cooking, juicy skirt steak. And you can go ahead and forget about instant mac and cheese—you won't crave anything else after trying our Test Kitchen's Favorite Mac and Cheese recipe. Other winners? Our orange pork, which features flavor-packed ingredients and a quick cooking time, and our lentil soup with shiitake mushrooms. You'll also want to keep an eye out for a burger that mimics fast food and burger hand pies, another innovative spin on classic comfort good.
When it comes to getting dinner on the table fast, we always have you covered, but these recipes are extra special because they are sure to warm you from the inside out, even on the coldest winter nights.
Some chili builds flavor and texture by simmering for hours, but others, like this 30-minute version, use key ingredients such as beer and canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce to build it fast. Customize each bowl with your favorite garnishes—cheese, sour cream, green onion, and bacon are all good choices.
Chicken Zoodle Soup
Chicken soup truly does warm the soul, and this fast take on noodle soup is warming and healthy thanks to quick-cooking zucchini noodles. Most grocery stores sell pre-cut zoodles in the vegetable department or freezer section.
Test Kitchen's Favorite Mac and Cheese
No more powdered cheese packets! Our food editors' favorite macaroni and cheese is richer, creamier, and made with ingredients you can pronounce. Best of all, this recipe is almost as quick as the boxed variety—it will get you from stovetop to table in just about 30 minutes.
Beef and Cheddar Hand Pies
The comfort of a burger is brought to you in the form of these cheeseburger-esque hand pies, which are wrapped in a buttery, flaky golden crust that's made with store-bought puff pastry. Dip them in ketchup and mustard or enjoy them as is.
Synonymous with comfort food, casseroles have been warming us from the inside out for decades. This weeknight version cooks in just 20 minutes and is a little healthier than the classic thanks to a sneaky add in—cauliflower—which pairs perfectly with the rest of this cheesy bake.
Quick Fried Chicken and Waffles
In recent years it has come to light that two classic comfort foods, fried chicken and waffles, are even more cozy when you enjoy them together. Serve with maple syrup and tabasco sauce for a sweet-savory finish.
Lentil Soup with Crispy Kale
Hearty soups really hit home on the coldest winter nights and lentils cook quickly and add heft. Shiitake mushrooms bring rich flavor and kale crisps make a surprising crunchy topping.
Classic Burger-Joint Cheeseburger
Why go to the drive-in when you can make an even better burger at home? One of our secrets is slathering the buns with our secret crisping agent—mayonnaise—before toasting them. As the finishing touch, we use the best melting cheese: American.
Creamy Lemon Chicken Spinach and Artichokes
Reinvent everyone's favorite dip as dinner by adding in quick-cooking chicken cutlets. Just a touch of cream cheese adds enough richness without all the heaviness of a dip.
Orange Pork Watercress Rice
The quick marmalade sauce for this pork entrée mimics the flavors we all love from Chinese takeout, and it gets dinner on the table faster than ordering in. The sauce works well with chicken, beef, or shrimp, too.
Green Chicken Enchilada Pies
Tuck into these individual-portioned enchilada pies in just 30 minutes. Use any brand of store-bought salsa, one that you already know and love.
Forget warming and filling individual tortillas; scoop your taco filling into this nacho-topped casserole instead. Arrange condiments on the side so everyone can top their portion just how they like it.
Individual Chicken Potpies
Lots of time and love goes into a traditional chicken pot pie. We found a way to cut down on the time and build flavor fast by making individual chicken pot pies. Note that this recipe serves two, but it can easily be doubled for four.
Test Kitchen's Favorite Grilled Cheese
If getting dinner on the table fast is important to you, you'll be pleased to know that gooey grilled cheese sandwiches are the winner for fastest comfort food. This recipe spreads butter and mayonnaise on the bread, which makes for the crispiest crust and softest interior. For extra comfort, dip your grilled cheese into our Test Kitchen's Favorite Tomato Soup, another classic that can be prepared while the sandwiches grill.
Grilled Shrimp and Grits with Chorizo and Salsa de Arbol
Our fastest chicken Parmesan recipe uses thin chicken cutlets and the broiler to speed up cooking time and get dinner on the table quick. To make things even easier, you can bread the cutlets used in this recipe and freeze them. Then all you have to do is bake, top, and broil when you're craving this dish.
Beef Goulash with Potatoes
Hearty stews are one of the ultimate comfort foods, but they are often overlooked as a weeknight meal because they take a while to cook. This stew is ready in just about the time it takes to boil potatoes. How do we manage that? By using a quicker-cooking cut of beef.