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Oh Yeah… Winter Comfort Foods

Oh Yeah… Winter Comfort Foods

What are the Best Winter Comfort Foods?

There are a lot of ways to describe comfort foods — such as a hug from the inside or a blanket in a bowl. Come wintertime, everyone wants to cozy up with a delicious meal that falls under this category. If you’re looking to prepare comfort dishes, we’ve gathered the inspiration you need to get started. Discover ideas for the best winter comfort foods in the guide below.

What Makes Something a Comfort Food?

Preparing for cold weather means you’ll need winter food recipes. You want to serve meals that provide comfort, but what does that mean exactly? While there are common ingredients between certain comfort dishes, there isn’t one recipe to follow to prepare one. Instead, it’s about how the food makes you feel and how you prepare it. To be a comfort meal, the dish could be:

  • Nostalgic: Comfort foods may take you back to your childhood. Classic recipes reflect meals people enjoyed at their grandparents’ homes back in the day. These foods may also be described as “just like mom used to make.” When you take a bite from a comfort dish, it should transport you back to simpler times.
  • Easy to make: When you want a comfort meal, you don’t want to spend all day making it. Comfort foods are often simple meals with a few key ingredients. They usually don’t need special equipment or skills to make. If a recipe does take longer to prepare, it’s likely a slow cooker or baked meal you can put together and leave to cook.
  • Filling: You can make light winter food recipes, but comfort food is often filling. There are usually a lot of carbs or calories, making a hearty dish. You’ll only need one serving of a comfort meal to feel satisfied, but it’ll taste so good you’ll be tempted to eat more.


10 Comfort Foods to Get You Through Winter

Once the temperature dips and snow starts falling, it’s time to enjoy winter recipes. You want to experience the best comfort foods this season has to offer. You want meals that will warm you up, please everyone at the table and inspire trips down memory lane. For the best winter comfort foods, try recipes such as these types of dishes and meals:

1. Stews

Stews are hearty and warm, and they’ll fill up anyone who’s worked up an appetite. Winter comfort meals often use vegetables that grow around the season. Potatoes, onions, carrots and celery are all winter vegetables that may appear in stew recipes, but you’ll also find different delicious additions. For some of the best comfort foods when it’s cold outside, consider making these stews:

  • Beef stew: This dish is among the most delicious and common winter meals. Braised beef falls apart while the liquid thickens with starchy additions like potatoes. Whether you make yours with homemade or store-bought beef stock or enhance it with tart red wine, variations of beef stew are popular winter food recipes.
  • Gumbo: Gumbo starts with a classic base of onions, celery and bell peppers that are easy to find in the winter. Stock pairs with the veggies and the addition of meat or shellfish. The result is a thickened stew packed with spices and flavor. You can then serve it with rice for an even more filling meal.
  • Goulash: This meal fills both a plate and the stomach with delicious flavors. Meat, stock, noodles, spices and veggies like potatoes come together to create this traditional meal. Paprika is a popular spice for this dish, enhancing its warmth and comfort. Mix the noodles in or serve the stew on top for the ultimate wintertime meal


2. Soups

Few things are as comforting as sipping a flavorful soup broth. Soup recipes and winter comfort foods go hand in hand. They’re often easy to prepare, with all the ingredients going into one pot. Their versatility means you can create something everyone will enjoy. Popular winter soups include:

  • Chicken soup: Chicken soup creates many possible variations for winter comfort foods. Add different flavorings, noodles or rice and almost any variety of vegetables.
  • Vegetable soups: These are delicious vegan or vegetarian comfort dishes. The veggie broth is rich and flavorful, while seasonal produce creates a soup that’s light or hearty.
  • Chowders: These soups contain anything from seafood to vegetables in a base that could be creamy, cheesy or brothy. The flavors and ingredients in chowders make them the ultimate comfort meal.


3. Chili

Perfect for game days or a weekend dinner, chili is another addition to common winter meals. Serve it in a bread bowl to increase the carbs or top it with cheese to enhance the comfort meal feel. Chili is a flexible dish that you can flavor with beer, tomatoes and various spices if you want. Even the base is versatile, with popular recipes including:

  • Beef chili: This chili is a classic. Ground beef, kidney beans, beef broth, tomatoes and spices create a meal with a “just like mom used to make” flavor.
  • Turkey chili: Turkey chili offers a lighter take on this winter classic. Add bell peppers and corn for a veggie-packed version of this healthy and flavorful comfort meal.
  • Vegan chili: This chili emphasizes the many different beans found in other chili recipes. The result is a filling and flavorful meal that provides a classic comfort anyone can enjoy.


4. Roasts

A Sunday roast gives you a comforting meal to help prepare for the week ahead. It calls back to hosting family gatherings on the weekend or sitting around the table with loved ones for a hearty meal. Roast dinners are wholesome, often including different comfort foods for side dishes. Fill up after a cold winter day with these roast dishes:

  • TurkeyThis bird isn’t only for the holidays. A roast turkey dinner will inspire nostalgia for family gatherings year-round. Pair the meal with stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy for a hearty winter dish.
  • ChickenThis meat is a more common winter meal. Roast a whole chicken over potatoes and different winter vegetables for a one-pan meal. As the chicken roasts, it’ll flavor the bed of veggies underneath.
  • Beef: Beef is delicious and filling, especially as a roast. It falls apart for a juicy, tender and flavorful meal that’s ideal during the winter. Pair the dish with scalloped potatoes — another comfort meal — or different starchy sides.


5. Sandwiches

Whether you have them for lunch or as part of a larger meal, sandwiches are versatile and simple to prepare. They can make you feel nostalgic for winter lunches spent at home from school or let you get creative and try something new. Warm sandwiches that make the ultimate winter comfort foods include:

  • Grilled cheese: This classic sandwich is a simple, nostalgic meal. Alone, it’s light enough for lunch, but with extras, it makes the perfect filling dish on a snowy evening. Dip it in soup or add extra fillings.
  • Paninis: Paninis are warm and versatile comfort sandwiches. They become delicious canvases you can fill with your favorite foods or add new combinations to. Prepare a tuna melt or layer a panini with deli meat and cheese.
  • French dip: This popular sandwich puts the comfort of roast beef into a convenient and delicious sandwich. Top it with cheese or serve it with hot beef broth to dip for extra comfort.


6. Casseroles

There are enough winter food recipes for casseroles to get you through the whole season. Their simple preparation means they’re an obvious choice for the best comfort foods. Most of the time, all you have to do is mix ingredients in a casserole dish and bake them. From there, the oven warms the entire kitchen, and the delicious smell wafts through the home. Casseroles will feed a whole crowd, encouraging everyone to gather around the table and dig in.

Casseroles reflect the nostalgia factor for many. The mid-20th century highlighted plenty of one-pan meals. Grandparents and parents passed those recipes down or made them at family gatherings. Today, you can recall times from decades past with common winter meals, including:

  • Cauliflower casserole: This dish uses the popular winter vegetable to prepare a vegetarian comfort meal featuring a key ingredient to lots of comfort recipes — cheese. You can even make it vegan with tofu and cheese alternatives.
  • Chicken casserole: These casseroles are versatile. Add Southwestern flavors in a taco version, incorporate the sweet and saltiness of teriyaki or simply mix cheese and rice for something delicious.
  • Green bean casserole: This casserole represents the holiday season for many. The simple combination of green beans, cream of mushroom soup and fried onions is all you need for this iconic comfort dish.


7. Pasta

Another addition to simple winter food recipes is pasta. Again, you could find enough recipes and pasta shapes to last all season. For some, pasta dishes call back to Sunday meals with family, and for others, pasta is a simple weeknight meal. But no matter when or where you enjoy a pasta dish, you’ll surely get to taste something comforting and delicious. Put water on to boil and create pasta comfort foods like:

  • Fettuccine Alfredo: This is a creamy and filling pasta dish. A rich sauce with ingredients like Parmesan, cream and butter provides instant comfort that will help anyone forget their winter blues.
  • Spaghetti and meatballs: These are a classic that many people grew up eating. Plenty of households pass down their families’ meatball recipes, but the dish is comforting no matter who makes it.
  • Macaroni and cheese: This meal is carb-rich and perfect for winter. Homemade macaroni and cheese bubbles in a casserole dish and inspires nostalgia and comfort.


8. Dumplings

Whether you fry, boil or steam them, dumplings are great winter comfort foods. Almost every culture has a form of filled dough. You’ll find anything from sweet to savory varieties and ones that range from large to small. Serve classic comfort food options like these as a part of a larger meal or as a delicious stand-alone:

  • Empanadas: These are fried varieties of stuffed dough filled with anything from savory beef and cheese to chicken or even tuna. They offer a comforting dish that’ll inspire nostalgia across various cultures.
  • Pierogies: These foods are comforting pillows of dough stuffed with potatoes, cheese and other delicious ingredients. You can either boil these to maintain the soft texture or pan-fry them with onions for crispy results. We always think of our friends at Mrs. T’s in October on #NationalPierogyDay!
  • Potstickers: Potstickers are steamed and fried morsels that are sure to add comfort to a winter meal. They’re usually stuffed with pork and cabbage, but you can include different vegetables to fit your preferences.


9. Desserts

All these winter food recipes are incomplete without something sweet. Desserts are among the ultimate comfort foods. Indulgent snacks treat your sweet tooth and serve as a balm when you’ve had a rough winter day. Make your cold day better with a warm comfort dessert:

  • Apple pie: This pie is the perfect dessert for the holidays or any time during the winter. Spiced with flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg, a warm slice of the tart yet sweet apples and a flaky crust will warm you up even on the coldest days of the season.
  • Brownies: These morsels are fudgy and chocolatey — what more could you want from a comfort dessert? Eat them warm for a winter treat, and add toppings like nuts, whipped cream or more chocolate to sweeten things up.
  • Chocolate chip cookies: These classic cookies are another chocolate dessert option that will bring you back to your childhood. Nostalgic chocolate chip cookies are a favorite of many, and when you eat them warm, they’re perfect for winter.


10. Breakfast Foods

The most important meal of the day doesn’t have to be a rushed bowl of cereal. In winter, you need a comforting meal to prepare for a chilly day. Nothing will encourage you to get out of bed like a hot cup of coffee and a warm, comforting breakfast. These meals aren’t just for the morning, either. Enjoy them as a unique dessert or have breakfast for dinner for something fun and nostalgic. Whenever you eat breakfast during the cold season, try winter comfort foods like:

  • Pancakes: Pancakes piled high on a plate will make anyone feel like a kid again. They’re simple and sweet and serve as a canvas for various toppings. Slice up bananas as a topping for a winter fruit addition.
  • French toast: French toast with warm cinnamon spice reflects a popular flavor of the season. All it takes is a mix of milk and eggs, spices and bread. You can even use bread that’s gone stale so nothing goes to waste. It’s simple to prepare, and you can even bake a large batch at once for a crowd.
  • Cinnamon buns: This is another breakfast food that has the warm flavor of cinnamon. They work as a dessert or sweet treat for breakfast. The smell of a batch of baking cinnamon buns is a comfort in itself.


Create Comfort Meals With Food and Restaurant Supplies From Feeser’s Food Distributors

Want to prepare these comfort meals for your customers? Stock up with help from Feeser’s Food Distributors. We deliver various food options and national brands throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, but we also deliver something even more essential to our customers — satisfaction. We’re a large independent food supplier, providing the quality products — such as fresh and frozen foods and supplies — you need to keep your business going.

Contact Feeser’s for food and restaurant supplies in the Mid-Atlantic area or call us today at 1-800-326-2828.

Featured Winter Comfort Foods