Our 42 Most Delicious Comfort Food Recipes

From macaroni and cheese to pull-apart garlic bread, you can't go wrong with these tasty American comfort food recipes.

dishing creamy stoned grits to dish
Photo: Johnny Fogg

Comfort food is warm and inviting, hearty and crowd-pleasing, and always delicious. What counts as American comfort food? You can’t go wrong with a classic like macaroni and cheese or a fried chicken sandwich paired with a fluffy, soft potato roll. A big bowl of pasta certainly fits the bill, too—which is why we included two delicious iterations of spaghetti and meatballs.

We've also included some sweet American comfort foods in this roundup. For dessert, some of the most classic recipes include soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies or a pan of perfectly baked chewy brownies. Whether you serve them for a family birthday party or make a batch just because, they're sure to be gone in a snap.

Whatever your taste buds are hankering for, these simple American comfort food classics promise plenty of flavor, a taste of nostalgia, and the allure of a second helping. 

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Creamy Lemon Chicken with Spinach and Artichokes

creamy lemon chicken with spinach and artichokes
Marcus Nilsson

Who says comfort food can't be healthy? This easy recipe combines sauted chicken cutlets with cream cheese (instead of heavy cream), low-sodium chicken broth, baby spinach, and artichoke hearts. Lemon juice adds a zingy depth of flavor and a side of steamed rice rounds out the dish.

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Pull-Apart Garlic Bread

pull apart herb bread
Linda Pugliese

Herby garlic bread pairs perfectly with a plethora of main dishes, so consider adding this crowd-pleaser to your next spread. You can make it a day in advance to save time, and the pull-apart texture makes it simpler to serve guests.

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One-Bowl Chocolate Cake

one bowl chocolate cake

Dana Gallagher

If you're short on time but seeking big flavor, whip up this decadent, one-bowl chocolate-buttermilk cake. Simply combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, pour into a baking dish, and then pop into the oven for 30 minutes. The chocolate frosting that goes with it is just as easy to make.

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Test Kitchen's Favorite Mac and Cheese

test kitchen mac and cheese
Armando Rafael

Once you try your hand at this sensational recipe, you'll never buy the boxed stuff again. We use a crowd-pleasing combination of American, cheddar, and Parmesan cheeses to create an ooey-gooey sauce.

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Test Kitchen's Favorite All-Beef Meatloaf

two plates of meatloaf potatoes and broccolini
Lennart Weibull

Kick back with this nostalgic, family-friendly meal. Instead of cooking it in a loaf pan, form and bake the meatloaf on a sheet pan so that every side gets a golden, caramelized crust.

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Quick Fried Chicken and Waffles

fried chicken waffles

Sweet maple waffles paired with crispy fried chicken is a breakfast-for-dinner duo that we can't get enough of. Make the waffles first and keep them warm in the oven while the chicken fries.

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Test Kitchen's Favorite Tomato Soup

tomato soup with basil
Sidney Bensimon

Whether you eat it on its own or serve it with a grilled cheese sandwich, our homemade tomato soup is classic comfort food. This recipe is made with two cans of whole peeled tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil, and vegetable or chicken stock.

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Beef Chili


Chili is a crowd-pleasing American comfort food, especially on game day, and this recipe is sure to score big. Make a double batch of hearty chili over the weekend, then serve it over polenta, stuffed into bell peppers, or spooned over crunchy nachos all week long.

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Fried Chicken Sandwich

fried chicken sandwich
Bryan Gardner

There are so many different and delicious ways to serve fried chicken, but one of the easiest—and surely the most comforting—is sandwiched between a soft potato roll. Don't forget to add a heaping spoonful of tartar sauce and sliced pickles, too.

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Test Kitchen's Favorite Buttermilk Biscuits

classic buttermilk biscuits with jam butter
Armando Rafael

The bread basket is one of the best parts of any comfort food meal. Fill yours with these buttery, flaky biscuits that are so easy to make (no rolling required!). Brush the tops with more buttermilk before baking for that perfect golden-brown finish.

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Creamy Stone-Ground Grits

dishing creamy stoned grits to dish
Johnny Fogg

Whether unadorned or paired with their other half—sautéed shrimp—creamy, cheesy grits are a side dish that everyone will love. We added two cups of grated cheddar cheese to the savory grits for extra richness, and we don't think anyone will complain.

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Chicken Potpie with Brown-Butter Crust

chicken potpie
Stephen Kent Johnson

With its buttery crust and ultra-savory filling, chicken potpie is the ultimate comfort food. This version doesn't stray too far from the classic—in fact, it's even better, thanks to the inclusion of butternut squash and cremini mushrooms.

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Test Kitchen's Favorite Buttermilk Pancakes

buttermilk pancakes
Armando Rafael

Once you try this comfort food recipe, you'll realize how simple it is to whip up a batch of homemade pancakes. The batter—made with flour, sugar, buttermilk, eggs, lemon juice, and leaveners—comes together in a snap and you're on your way to a perfect stack.

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Shepherd's Pie

colcannon shepherds pie
John Dolan

It doesn't have to be St. Patrick's Day to prepare this classic Irish comfort food. Hiding beneath buttery mashed potatoes is a hearty and comforting combination of ground beef chuck, onion, and mixed frozen vegetables.

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Test Kitchen's Favorite Chicken and Dumplings

test kitchen favorite chicken and dumplings
Justin Walker

We love the old-fashioned feel of this family-friendly chicken dish. Top the comforting filling will large spoonfuls of biscuit dough.

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Creamy Baked Ziti

creamy baked ziti
Bryan Gardner

Try this take on the classic pasta casserole. It's made with three kinds of cheese—mozzarella, Parmesan, and cream cheese. The latter is richer and silkier than ricotta cheese and makes for a truly unforgettable comfort food dinner.

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Classic Burger-Joint Cheeseburger

burger lettuce tomato pickle cheese
Armando Rafael

This burger is layered with indulgent ingredients and rich, beefy flavors for a superb comfort food dinner. Serve with our homemade fries and we bet you won't ever go through the drive-thru again.

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Chicken Parmesan


Whether you serve it over pasta or sandwiched in a hoagie roll, chicken Parmesan is an easy and comforting bite. You can make the breaded chicken cutlets in advance and store them in the freezer until you're ready to pile on the sauce and cheese.

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Classic Cheese Fondue

Bryan Gardner

Start any dinner at home with a stellar, comforting appetizer: luscious cheese fondue. It's a romantic recipe that is sure to surprise your date, and you'll be surprised at just how easy it is to prepare.

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Shrimp Scampi

shrimp scampi green bowl
Lennart Weibull

Our recipe for this popular seafood pasta dish is simple to master and easy to love. We elevate it from the ordinary by using homemade shrimp stock, which adds even more savory, salty flavor.

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Roast Chicken with Vegetables and Potatoes

roast chicken with vegetables and potatoes

Marcus Nilsson

An all-American recipe, this poultry-and-potatoes dinner is the definition of comfort food. Toss carrots, shallots, potatoes, and lemon halves with olive oil, salt, and pepper, arrange in a roasting pan, and top with the chicken before putting it in the oven.

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Fluffy Mashed Potatoes


No comfort meal is complete without buttery, creamy mashed potatoes. The secret to this comforting side dish is to mix the cooked spuds with hot milk and melted butter, which prevents them from becoming gummy.

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Cacio e Pepe


We like to call this grown-up mac and cheese, but we have a feeling your little ones will love it, too. All you need for this Italian pasta dish is spaghetti or bucatini, butter, Grana Padano, Pecorino Romano, lemon, and plenty of freshly cracked black pepper.

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Test Kitchen's Favorite Chicken Noodle Soup

chicken soup
Armando Rafael

What's not to love about this comforting bowl? It's soothing if you have a cold, but also a cozy meal during winter, and delicious year-round. This one is our favorite soup recipes because it uses a whole chicken, which is more economical than buying pieces.

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French Fries


This comfort food recipe will teach you how to make French fries completely from scratch and achieve a crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside result.

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Classic Slow-Cooker Pot Roast

Christina Holmes

Tonight's supper comes in the form of a one-pot beef roast with garlic, carrots, and Yukon Gold potatoes. It only requires 15 minutes of prep work but needs eight hours to cook on low in the slow-cooker, so put it together in the morning and it will be ready by dinnertime.

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Baked Beans with Bacon

baked beans bacon
Bryan Gardner

When the weather gets nice and you're ready to barbecue, serve this sweet and smoky side dish (which is extra indulgent thanks to strips of bacon) alongside Pulled Pork Sandwiches or grilled chicken.

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Baked French Toast


Is it possible that French toast just became easier and more delicious? We think so, thanks to this breakfast casserole version that bakes all of the custard-covered slices together in one dish.

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Classic Beef Stew

Classic Beef Stew recipe
Con Poulos

Build a flavorful sauce for beef chuck with Worcestershire sauce, red wine, chicken broth, fire-roasted diced tomatoes, and tomato paste. Let the beef and vegetables braise with the sauce until everything is fork-tender and totally succulent.

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Test Kitchen's Favorite Spaghetti and Meatballs

meatball makeover spaghetti
Alpha Smoot

Make tender, juicy, and delicious meatballs with this go-to, Italian-American recipe. Our secret to this comfort food? A combination of chopped cremini mushrooms and ground beef, which creates a light, textured meatball that gets super crispy.

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Coq au Vin

coq au vin with serving spoon
Yunhee Kim

This classic French dish translates to chicken with wine (specifically, red wine). It's a low-and-slow preparation that allows chicken thighs and legs to slowly braise with pearl onions, cremini mushrooms, and bacon.

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Beef Bourguignon

beef Bourguignon
Bryan Gardner

Perfect for entertaining or a cozy family meal, this classic French dish of braised beef is richly flavored with rosemary, bay leaves, beef stock, red wine, and tomato paste. The cut of beef used is chuck, which becomes super tender as it cooks low and slow.

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Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie recipe
Bryan Gardner

We've achieved the ultimate chocolate chip cookie—it has the perfect proportion of brown and white sugar, butter, flour, and, of course, plenty of chocolate chips. Enjoy one while they're still warm!

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Lasagna with Meat Sauce

Lasagna in Pan
Justin Walker

Our take on this favorite baked pasta is layered with a sauce made with sweet Italian sausage and lean ground beef, and a rich cheesy filling. Using no-boil lasagna noodles saves prep time and makes this comfort food main course easier than ever.

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Cinnamon Rolls

cinnamon rolls in glass pan with bowl of frosting
Lennart Weibull

Everyone will jump out of bed when the smell of cinnamon wafts through the kitchen into their bedrooms. You may do a double-take when you find out that the secret ingredient to the pillowy dough is mashed potatoes, but we promise it makes a huge, wonderful difference.

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Test Kitchen's Favorite Grilled Cheese

hands holding grilled cheese
Sidney Bensimon

Wondering how to get the perfect golden-brown crust on each slice of bread without it sticking to the pan? A combination of softened butter and mayonnaise does the trick. For the cheese, we like using both American and sharp cheddar—that combination creates the ultimate pull.

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Grandma's Bolognese

grandma's bolognese
The Ingalls

Make a big batch of this hearty Bolognese sauce and keep it in the freezer so it's on hand whenever you're craving a comforting pasta dish for dinner. Dried porcini mushrooms, pancetta, ground beef, ground pork, and plenty of herbs make for a deeply flavorful sauce.

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Pan-Fried Steak

pan fried steak
Bryan Gardner

Yes, you too can make a steakhouse-quality main at home with this simple but spectacular recipe. Using a cast iron skillet, plenty of salt and pepper, and not flipping the steak in the pan more than once will help it to achieve the perfect crust and juicy interior.

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Pasta Carbonara

Pasta Carbonara recipe
Bryan Gardner

You only need a few basic ingredients to make this extra-special pasta dish—pancetta or bacon, eggs, heavy cream, Parmesan cheese, and spaghetti. The end result is a silky, savory, and utterly delicious twirl of comfort food.

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Pound Cake

pound cake

Sour cream is the not-so-secret ingredient in this classic pound cake recipe. The recipe calls for a whopping nine eggs but it makes two loaves of rich and comforting pound cake.

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Roasted Red Potatoes

roasted red potatoes
Emily Laurae

Here's a simple and delicious side dish for any comfort food recipe. Learn how to cook perfect roasted potatoes with this three-ingredient, 35-minute method.

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Chewy Brownies


This easy recipe for fudgy brownies is sure to become your go-to. It's a familiar, but fabulous dessert to end any meal.

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