7 Must-Try Winter Comfort Food Recipes

winter comfort food

Winter comfort food has a way of bringing a smile to anyone’s face. If you’re feeling down this time of the year, indulging in delicious food always helps. Not everyone is a trained chef or a skilled home cook, though. Fortunately, these recipes are easy to follow and impressive when done right.


Winter Comfort Food Recipes to Warm Yourself Up

There is nothing like a warm meal to get you in a good mood and fight the winter blues. Instead of going to your favorite restaurant or ordering at this time, why not try your hand in the kitchen and prepare a homecooked meal?

Here are the best comfort food recipes for cold weather.


1. The Best Beef Stew

When it comes to the best food for cold weather, beef stew is a sure contender.



  • 1 1/2 lbs beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 tsp salt, divided
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 3 cups cubed peeled potatoes
  • 2 tbsp balsamic or red wine vinegar
  • 3 cups onions, coarsely chopped
  • 6 tbsp all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp cold water
  • 1 1/2 tsp minced fresh rosemary, divided
  • 2 tsp herbes de Provence
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 cups sliced carrots
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • Additional fresh rosemary, optional



  1. Combine 1/4 teaspoon of salt with the beef in a small bowl. In a larger bowl, mix 4 tablespoons of flour and paprika, then add the beef pieces a few at a time, ensuring they are evenly coated.
  2. Brown the beef in oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the tomato paste, garlic, and herbes de Provence, cooking until fragrant and the color darkens slightly. Pour in the wine and simmer until it comes to a boil, then continue simmering until the mixture is reduced by half, approximately 5 minutes. Stir in broth, 1 teaspoon of rosemary, and bay leaves. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover it, and simmer it for about 1 1/2 hours until the meat is nearly tender.
  3. Add the potatoes, onions, and carrots, then cover and simmer for an additional 30 minutes or until both the meat and vegetables are tender.
  4. Discard the bay leaves. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of rosemary, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour. Add cold water and vinegar, stirring until smooth. Incorporate this mixture into the stew, bring it to a boil, and add peas. Cook and stir until the stew thickens, approximately 2 minutes.
  5. Optionally, garnish with additional fresh rosemary.


2. Grandma’s Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken noodle soup is a traditional comfort food for winter, so it’s sure to lift your spirits at the first sip.



  • 12 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups diced, cooked chicken meat
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 1/2 cups wide egg noodles
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1/4 cup water



  1. Start by bringing a generously salted large pot of water to a boil. Add egg noodles and a bit of oil, boiling them until tender, which usually takes about 8 minutes. Once cooked, drain the noodles, rinse them under cool running water, and drain them again.
  2. In a Dutch oven, bring broth, salt, and poultry seasoning to a boil. Add the celery and onion, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the vegetables have softened, typically around 15 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl, thoroughly dissolve cornstarch in water. Gradually stir this mixture into the soup. Add the cooked noodles and chicken, and continue cooking until heated through, which usually takes 2 to 3 minutes.


3. Classic Beef Chili

Nothing compares to a cozy winter dinner consisting of classic beef chili.



  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (12-oz) bottle of beer
  • 1 (15-oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 (28-oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 lbs 90/10 lean ground chuck
  • 2 cups lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
  • 2 cups yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 (6-oz) can tomato paste
  • 2 (15-oz) cans of dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 cup poblano chile, chopped
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/3 cup ancho chile powder
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • sliced jalapeño chiles, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, and sliced radishes, for serving



  1. In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm oil. Add onion, poblano, and garlic, stirring often, and cook until tender, approximately 5 minutes. Incorporate the ground chuck and cook for 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. After draining the beef mixture thoroughly, return it to the Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add tomato paste, cumin, ancho chile powder, salt, pepper, oregano, and thyme. Cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes.
  3. Turn the heat to high. Stir in beans, tomatoes, chicken broth, and beer, bringing the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 30 minutes.
  4. Serve the chili with your desired toppings.


4. Homemade Cheesy Potato Soup

There are many winter soup recipes you can try, but this cheesy potato one will certainly hit the spot.



  • 6 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 12 oz Velveeta, cubed
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 5 cups water
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 can (10-3/4 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
  • Minced fresh parsley



  1. In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, melt butter. Cook and stir the onion until tender, approximately 5 minutes. Add potatoes and water, bringing it to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
  2. Once the potatoes are tender, stir in the milk, soup, garlic salt, and pepper, heating the mixture until warmed through. Add cheese and stir until melted. Finish by sprinkling with parsley.


5. Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings

When it comes to comfort meals for winter, you can never go wrong with chicken and dumplings.



  • 2 (10.5-oz) cans condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 (10-oz) package refrigerated biscuit dough
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 cups water, or as needed to cover
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced



  1. In a slow cooker, combine chicken, condensed soup, onion, and butter. Add enough water to cover the ingredients and stir well. Cover and cook on high for 5 to 6 hours.
  2. Approximately 30 minutes before serving, tear pieces of biscuit dough and place them in the slow cooker. Continue cooking until the dough is no longer raw in the center.


6. Homemade Mac & Cheese

Mac and cheese is a classic winter comfort food, and this recipe will leave you wanting more.



  • 5 cups whole milk
  • 12 oz shredded cheddar (about 3 cups)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, plus more for baking dish
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 oz finely grated Parmesan (about 1 1/2 cups), divided
  • 1 lb elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 8 oz shredded Gruyère (about 2 cups)
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper



  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter a 13x 9-inch baking dish.
  2. Boil a large pot of salted water. Cook the macaroni until al dente, about 5 to 6 minutes. Drain.
  3. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt a stick of butter. Sprinkle flour over it and stir until slightly golden, taking about 2 to 3 minutes. Pour in the milk, whisking until combined. Add mustard powder, season with salt and pepper, and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook and stir until the sauce begins to thicken, approximately 2 minutes.
  4. Remove the pan from heat and whisk in cheddar, Gruyère, and 1 cup Parmesan until the mixture is melted and smooth. Stir in the cooked macaroni and transfer the combination to the prepared baking dish.
  5. In a small bowl, combine panko, oil, and the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan. Sprinkle this mixture over the macaroni and season with additional pepper.
  6. Bake the mac and cheese until it’s bubbly and golden, usually around 25 to 30 minutes. Allow it to cool for 10 minutes before serving.


7. Creamy Homemade Hot Cocoa

While not technically winter comfort food, a cup of hot cocoa always helps keep you warm and happy.



  • 3 1/2 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup white sugar, or to taste
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half cream
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/3 cup boiling water



  1. In a saucepan, mix together sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Add boiling water and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Bring it to a simmer, stirring constantly, and let it cook for 2 minutes.
  2. Add milk and heat the mixture until it’s very hot, but avoid boiling.
  3. Remove the saucepan from heat and add vanilla.
  4. Pour cream into each mug to help cool the cocoa to drinking temperature, then divide the hot cocoa evenly among 4 mugs.


Enjoy Your Meal

There is no denying the magic that winter comfort food brings to the table. While some of these recipes do take time, they are relatively easy to do. Whether you’re preparing a meal for yourself or for guests, these dishes are sure to satisfy anyone.



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