When someone mentions “comfort foods” I’m sure many people think of similar things; perhaps ramen, chicken noodle soup, brownies or pasta come to mind. These are all indeed some amazing comfort foods. I’m sure the list of comfort foods could go on forever depending on the person, but this short list provides some common and some unique comfort foods that are both healthy and fulfilling. A double whammy, killing two birds with one stone, or whatever else you want to call it! If that’s what you’re looking for then you’ve come to the right place (or perhaps got lucky and somehow stumbled upon this article). Here are 10 comfort foods that you’ll be drooling over when that “Hungry AF” feeling kicks in!
1. Mac n’ Cheese
Okay, I know what you’re thinking- “Umm that’s too easy. I have boxed Mac n’ Cheese that’s been sitting in my pantry for a while now and it doesn’t really sound that appetizing.” Yes, dear reader many could definitely agree with you. Here’s the thing, if you’re running low on time, those boxed mac n’ cheeses will be your lifesavers. Not many people know this, but most boxed macaroni and cheese packets are filled with many micronutrients like protein, thiamin, riboflavin, folate, iron, and calcium. If that sounds like a bunch of mumbo-jumbo, the more important thing to know is that those micronutrients contribute towards just a bit more energy and boost the immune system. Who knew something so bland could be so nutritious?! However, for those that simply dread the thought of boxed mac n’ cheese, macaroni is a versatile food and there are definitely ways to make it more appetizing. For a more unique recipe, you can simply try changing the pasta type, the cheese type, and even add some cut up hotdogs or other meat of your choosing. Whether you’re making boxed mac n’ cheese or your own type, both of these are great simple comfort foods.
In a similar category as Mac’n Cheese, Spaghetti is another great option. Many might think that it is only usually eaten for special occasions, but really it can be eaten whenever you’re hungry or simply craving spaghetti. That’s basically the function of comfort foods. It’s a pretty simple food because it’s made from flour and water, which come together to form carbs. This gives a boost to your metabolism. Other kinds of micronutrients include fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Not only does it have basic nutrition for day-to-day life, but spaghetti also gives that “Wow I’m so full I could explode” feeling when we need it! Not to mention, if you also add meatballs, it makes it oh so good! This classic recipe will for sure fill you up!
3. Spinach Dip
If you’ve never been to Applebee’s or aren’t familiar with dips, you might have no idea what spinach dip is. Well, I’m here to tell you, it’s delish AF and will fill you up when you’re hungry AF! Some might put this into the category of appetizers rather than comfort foods, but it really depends on the person. Spinach dip can be eaten as an appetizer with chips before a meal, or it can be eaten with slices of bread, salads, pasta, or meat. Unless you’re super hungry, you most likely won’t eat it by itself, but just thinking about eating spinach dip with chips or bread can make your mouth water. This appetizing dip is a must-try!
4. Cheeseburger Quesadillas
When hearing the term “quesadilla,” the Mexican cuisine might come to mind, which has a plethora of comfort foods that I suggest looking up in your free time. Cheeseburger quesadillas are quite possibly one of the best comfort foods out there that not everyone is familiar with. Whether bought at a fast-food chain or made at home, they are quick to make, simple, and deliciously appetizing. This recipe is one of the simplest and a classic!
5. Croissant Sandwich
I’m sure you’ve heard of this one, or at least someone annoyingly mispronouncing the french-deriving word “croissant.” Croissant sandwiches are actually not only tasty but also very nutrient-dense. Comfort foods are often thought to be bland, but croissant sandwiches are filled with yummy condiments and fillings like turkey, ham, cheese, tomatoes, and other fresh produce. There are also different kinds; breakfast, BLT, dessert, etc. This recipe, in particular, has a good chunk of fillings that will make you drool just looking at it, crave more after the first bite and feel satisfied after eating one (or two if you’re THAT hungry). It’s also a free country so feel free to substitute or add whatever you want, like bacon or your favorite sauce. Yum!
6. Pierogies (Dumplings)
Popular in the Slavic cuisine, pierogies may seem alien to those familiar with common comfort foods. This dish is versatile, in that it may be savory or sweet. It is made of unleavened dough that is typically wrapped around homemade cheese, potatoes, fruit, or basically whatever else you can think of that fits in that little pocket! That being said, the health benefits vary with what is in them, but they are definitely a nice addition to your meal. With their typical exuberance of protein and carbs, you could possibly feel full just after eating a few. They are typically eaten with sour cream for a better taste. There are a plethora of different recipes, but this one is one of the more fulfilling types. If you don’t feel like making these or buying them at a local Russian or ethnic store, hopefully one of your Russian friends will invite you over the next time they eat them. Pierogies are a must-try comfort food!
7. Zesty Avacado Pasta
Doesn’t that name just make you wanna have this dish right in front of you right now?! I guess it depends on what your tastes and preferences are, but this recipe is one of many flavorful pasta combinations that will have your stomach asking for more. Pasta is probably one of the more common types of comfort foods, but it is also very versatile. There are many things you can add to pasta to make it “your own,” even the pasta shape, so that is totally up to you. This recipe in particular though is a pasta dish that is so delicious you’ll be asking for seconds. With its fillings of zucchini, avocado, and other healthy addons, you’ll not only feel full but also have a nutritious boost. Who doesn’t love food that makes them feel good?!
8. Grilled Cheese Sandwich
You could think of this as the American version of cheeseburger quesadillas, but this one definitely has to go in the category of comfort foods. The texture of warm toast and melted cheese combined with the fulfilling meat of your choice will leave both your stomach and taste buds feeling satisfied. A grilled cheese sandwich is such a simple comfort food that is often forgotten. Once again, another versatile food that can be changed based on your preference for bread, meat, cheese, etc. Here is a tasty tuna grilled cheese sandwich recipe in case your imagination is running low today. A grilled cheese sandwich will never disappoint!
9. Biscuits And Gravy
This is a must-have when looking for comfort foods. When someone mentions “biscuits and gravy,” you might imagine eating this on a Saturday morning when spending the weekend at your grandparents’ house. That’s why this kind of meal fits perfectly in comfort foods-it truly gives you that homey family feeling (ya know, that same feeling you get at Thanksgiving and Christmas time). Just thinking about those buttery flaky biscuits with savory gravy and sausage can make your mouth water. The name speaks for itself so usually, recipes are not necessary. If this is your first time making homemade biscuits however, here is a simple delicious recipe you could try. Of all comfort foods in this list, this one will probably make you want to unwind and take a blissful nap after, or perhaps take a break from life and watch a few episodes of your favorite show!
Last but definitely not least on our list of comfort foods is Borscht. You might be wondering what the heck this is. Borscht is a popular Ukrainian dish with a beet soup base. This dish is more intermediate or advanced in terms of difficulty but it is oh so worth it! This beet soup contains hearty flavors of potatoes, carrots, cabbage, beef, and other flavorful add-ons. If you have an inner-cook with a burning desire to try something new, this is an impressive and delicious dish to try out or make for the family. Here is a classic borscht recipe if you’re up for it. Though it might not be common, Borscht is without a doubt one of the best comfort foods!