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5 Go-To Comfort Food Recipes for Colder Weather

Winter is the perfect excuse to wear your coziest sweaters or snuggle by a fireplace. It’s also the best time of year to make meals that fill your home with warmth and mouth-watering aromas. Make these comfort food recipes while winter lasts to warm your bones on the coldest nights.

1. Ground Beef and Baked Ziti

Pasta, cheese and ground beef — what could be better? Add a bit of sauce and spices to make everyone’s favorite ground beef and baked ziti casserole. You can even freeze it so dinner’s only a few minutes away during your busiest weeks.

Because everyone should get 10–35% of their daily calories from protein, this meal is an excellent way to reach your macronutrient goals. You’ll get protein from the beef and cheese, while the pasta carries the sauce’s flavors.


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 jar marinara sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 8 ounces dry ziti pasta
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese


  1. Preheat your oven to 350° Fahrenheit.
  2. Brown the ground beef and drain.
  3. Mix the ground beef with everything except the ziti pasta.
  4. Boil the ziti according to the package’s al dente directions. Drain and set aside.
  5. Pour the pasta into a casserole dish and mix it with half of the mozzarella cheese. Top with the ground beef sauce and finish with a final layer of cheese.
  6. Bake for 25 or 30 minutes, or until the cheese browns.

2. Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes

You don’t need to wait for Thanksgiving to dine on mashed potatoes. Pair them with a juicy homemade meatloaf and savory gravy. You’ll feel like you’re dining with a professional chef without the high price tag that comes with five-star restaurants. Set aside an hour of your time to make this incredible recipe.


For the meatloaf:

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • ¾ cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon butter

For the mashed potatoes:

  • 5 pounds Russet potatoes
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup your preferred milk
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 jars of beef gravy


  1. Preheat your oven to 350° F.
  2. Combine all the ingredients for the meatloaf and form it into a loaf shape. Place on a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil.
  3. Bake the meatloaf for 40 minutes.
  4. While the meatloaf bakes, peel and cube the potatoes into one-inch chunks.
  5. Boil the potato chunks in a Dutch oven pot for 10 minutes or until soft.
  6. Use an electric mixer to mix the rest of the mashed potato ingredients with the potatoes until they reach your preferred consistency.
  7. Warm the two jars of beef gravy on the stove over a low heat.
  8. When the meatloaf reaches an internal temperature of 160° F, slice and serve with the mashed potatoes and gravy.

3. Cheeseburger Soup

When it’s too cold to stand by the grill, make your next cheeseburger inside. They’re easy to convert into a savory chowder whenever you want something warm. For anyone taking notes, a chowder is any soup with a cheesy or creamy base compared to broth-based recipes.

Want to reduce your calories or avoid eating meat? Sub the ground beef for a plant-based beef alternative or chopped shiitake mushrooms. Dip French bread into your soup to complete your meal or serve with a side salad.


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ¾ cup diced carrots
  • ¾ cup diced onions
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 4 cups peeled and diced Russet potatoes
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 16 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 ½ cups your preferred milk
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Brown the ground beef and drain it.
  2. Sauté the diced onions and carrots in the butter until soft.
  3. Add the parsley, basil, potatoes, chicken broth and beef.
  4. Simmer over medium heat for 10–14 minutes or until the potatoes are soft
  5. Whisk the flour and milk together until smooth, then pour into the potato soup while mixing gently.
  6. Simmer over low heat and mix occasionally until the soup reaches the thick consistency you desire.
  7. Add the cheese, sour cream and salt.
  8. Spoon into bowls after the cheese melts.

4. Baked Mac and Cheese

You can’t collect comfort food recipes and not include baked mac and cheese. It’s the ultimate feel-good meal that’s perfect on chilly nights. Top your macaroni with an optional layer of breadcrumbs if you want the textural contrast.


  • 1 pound dry pasta in your preferred shape
  • 1 ½ cups your preferred milk
  • 2 ½ cups half and half (or substitute Greek yogurt for a lighter meal)
  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ tablespoon salt


  1. Preheat your oven to 325° F.
  2. Boil your pasta according to the package’s directions or until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  3. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat and whisk the flour into it. Brown for one minute, then add the milk while whisking constantly. Add the half and half after the milk, and continue stirring.
  4. When the sauce is smooth, let it simmer over a slightly lower heat and stir occasionally. It will thicken over the next 10 minutes. 
  5. After the sauce has the consistency of a condensed soup, add the salt and 1 ½ cup of cheddar cheese. Stir until the cheese melts.
  6. Combine the pasta and cheese sauce in a large bowl, and stir in both cups of mozzarella cheese.
  7. Spoon half the pasta into a 9×13 baking dish. Cover with half the remaining cheddar cheese.
  8. Spoon the remaining pasta on top and cover with the remaining cheddar cheese.
  9. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the top layer of cheese is lightly brown and bubbly.

5. Tomato Soup and Garlic Bread

Tomato soup is a time-tested comfort food. You can add crackers to it or serve it with a salad, but you deserve to experience something incredible this winter. Combine your tomato soup with garlic bread this week. You’ll get a new flavor twist on a generationally beloved recipe.

Plus, eating more garlic during flu season will boost your immune system and protect you from viruses. If you want a faster version of this recipe, spoil yourself with the homemade garlic bread and a can of your favorite tomato soup.


For the tomato soup:

  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • ½ white onion, chopped
  • 1 28-ounce can of whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 ½ cups water or chicken stock
  • ½ teaspoon salt

For the garlic bread:

  • 1 French loaf 
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon parsley


  1. Preheat your oven to 425° F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Slice your bread in half lengthwise and set aside.
  3. Add your chopped onion pieces and tomatoes to a blender or food processor. Pulse on a low speed until combined.
  4. Pour your tomato mixture into a pot or saucepan, and warm it over medium heat.
  5. Add the butter, water and salt to your tomato soup. Simmer for as long as it takes to warm it or until your garlic bread is ready to eat.
  6. Using a small bowl, mix the garlic, salt, parsley and butter together.
  7. Brush the butter-and-spice mixture over your sliced French bread and lay it facing upward on the baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 10–15 minutes or until the buttered tops brown.
  9. Slice your garlic bread and serve alongside your soup.

Try New Comfort Food Recipes This Winter

You don’t need to be an expert chef to explore comfort food recipes when the weather gets cold. Try these ideas to add new meals to your weekly routine. They’re easy to make and store well in the fridge, so you’ll have delicious food ready to go whenever you get hungry.

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