People often crave sweet or starchy comfort foods, especially when in cold or rainy weather. Research indicates that high levels of carbohydrates in foods can make people feel better emotionally. Here are some easy-to-prepare comfort foods perfect for improving your mood, whether it’s gloomy outside or not.
Remember when you were sick as a child, and chicken soup made you feel better? Whether you make a broth version with noodles or rice, or a rich, creamy chicken soup, it’s still one of the best comfort foods. Add your favourite vegetables like celery or carrots and serve this classic with saltine crackers.
Chicken Pot Pie
Chicken pot pie is simple comfort food that both kids and adults enjoy. Use a rotisserie chicken to make preparation more manageable, or start with boneless chicken breasts. Add your family’s favourite vegetables, then use a frozen pastry shell to make this delicious chicken pot pie.
Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup
Grilled cheese sandwiches may be one of the most-loved comfort foods of all. While a grilled cheese sandwich is delicious by itself, dipping a grilled cheese into a steaming bowl of tomato soup results in a mouth-watering comfort-food combination. For an even better, gooier, tastier sandwich, add a combination of cheese such as cheddar, Gouda, havarti, or Monterey Jack.
Macaroni and Cheese
Pasta is a definite go-to for comfort food, and there’s hardly any meal more comforting than a bowl of creamy macaroni and cheese. With endless possible variations, you can personalize this classic dish in as many ways as your imagination allows. Customize by adding meat, chicken, or vegetables or experimenting with different types of cheese or pasta. Macaroni and cheese is easy to make on the stovetop or in the oven, where you can add a breadcrumb topping to add texture and crunch.
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Spaghetti and meatballs is a hearty, filling comfort food that’s simple to prepare. You can make sauce from scratch in an hour or purchase ready-made sauce to reduce cooking time. Saute onions, garlic, and green peppers in a pot, then add a jar of spaghetti sauce. Even if you use prepared spaghetti sauce, you can customize it by adding your favourite seasonings and vegetables. Serve with garlic bread to mop up the extra sauce.
A casserole is an oven-baked meal that contains meat, starch, and sauce baked together in one dish. Classic examples include a beef, macaroni, and cheese combination or a ham-and-potato casserole. Add a twist using penne pasta, tater tots, or hashbrowns instead of macaroni noodles. Casserole variations are nearly endless. You can also be imaginative and convert many entrees into casseroles, such as a taco, enchilada, or pizza version.
A list of comfort foods wouldn’t be complete without a dessert suggestion. While making an apple pie from scratch can be a lot of work, you can make an easier version of this delicious treat that’s still just as tasty. Use a ready-made crust and prepared pie filling to save preparation time on this classic dessert.
Whether you’re craving a hearty soup, some filling pasta, or a savoury casserole, these comfort food ideas are easy enough to make on a busy day with minimal prep and cooking time.