Winter Comfort Food For the Family

Winter Comfort Food For the Family

Meat and potatoes, cozy casseroles, and hearty stews are all on the menu for a winter meal for the whole family. Sponsored by Tyson.

Sponsored by Tyson.

When the weather outside is frightful, what could be more appealing than the thought of sitting down with your family to enjoy a warming, wholesome meal together? Comfort food doesn’t just fill our stomachs, it lifts our spirits as well. Whether it’s the soothing ingredients these dishes contain or the nostalgic memories they evoke, comfort food just feels good to eat. Share the love and bring your family to the table with some of these tasty recipes, then watch the smiles appear.

Slow Cooker Comforts

Slow Cooker Kielbasa Macaroni and Cheese

Slow Cooker Kielbasa Macaroni and Cheese by Hillshire Farm
There’s no better way to fill the house with appetizing aromas than firing up the trusty slow cooker. Simply add all of your ingredients in the morning, set it to low and forget about it. By the time everyone arrives home at the end of the day, dinner’s waiting and ready to serve. This crockpot-friendly recipe takes mac and cheese to a whole new level, upgrading from side dish status to full-on entrée with three different cheeses, sliced rounds of meaty kielbasa and a scattering of crunchy breadcrumbs on top.

Family Favorites

One-Pot Lower Carb Chili Dog Casserole

One-Pot Lower Carb Chili Dog Casserole by Ball Park Brand
What kid doesn't like hot dogs? Elevating the childhood classic with chili and cheese, and reducing the carbs by leaving out the buns, makes this creative casserole a winner for parents, too. Beans and corn lend oomph to the chili element, a fragrant blend of spices create tasty flavor complexity, and the hot dogs and melty cheese keep it familiar enough to tempt any picky eaters. Dish it up!

Healthier Meat and Potatoes

Sheet Pan Chicken Sausages, Sweet Potatoes, Brussels Sprouts, and Apples

Sheet Pan Chicken Sausages, Sweet Potatoes, Brussels Sprouts, and Apples by Aidells
Meat and potatoes are one of the quintessentially perfect food marriages, like peas and carrots or peanut butter and jelly. However, depending on your choice of meat, the cooking method you use and whether or not you drown your mashed potatoes in a big spoonful of gravy, this classic dinner combination isn’t always the healthiest choice. Lighten things up by roasting sausages and sweet potatoes on a sheet pan with a little olive oil and some seasoning to bring out the natural sweetness of the ingredients without adding a lot of calories. Colorful veggies also up the flavor and visual appeal.

Chunky Soups

Roasted Winter Vegetable Soup

Roasted Winter Vegetable Soup by Betty Crocker
Ladling up a steaming bowl of hot soup is a no-brainer for lunches and dinners on frosty winter days, and it’s easy to whip up a pot of comforting goodness with almost anything you happen to have on hand. Chicken, vegetables, noodles, tomatoes, beans — the variations are nearly endless. This recipe puts seasonal winter produce to good use, and it’s inexpensive to assemble. Let it simmer and serve with crusty bread, cheese and fresh fruit for a well-rounded meal everyone can feel good about eating.

Hearty Stews

Guinness Beef Stew

Guinness Beef Stew by Gimme Some Oven
Going hand in hand with soups, savory winter stews up the ante with heartier stick-with-you ingredients braised until every bite is luxuriously fork-tender. Whether you opt for traditional chicken or beef-based versions, or meat-free recipes that rely on root vegetables, chickpeas, beans and plant-based proteins for oomph, this easy-to-prepare meal doesn’t require a lot of babysitting. Just don’t get in a rush; the long, slow cooking time is what allows the meat to tenderize and the flavors to marry.

Soulful Cajun

One-Pot Cajun Dirty Rice Casserole

One-Pot Cajun Dirty Rice Casserole by Jimmy Dean
Warm up your stomach, and your taste buds, with some spicy Cajun fare. Rooted in New Orleans culture and boasting a melting pot of different global influences, this regional American cuisine incorporates distinctive flavors and ingredients like andouille sausages, okra, seafood, red beans and rice. The “trinity,” a combination of onions, celery and green bell pepper, serves as the basis for many Cajun recipes; get a taste of the good stuff with this fragrant rice casserole.

Reinventing Classic Comforts

From-Scratch Chicken and Dumplings

From-Scratch Chicken and Dumplings by A Southern Mom
Chicken noodle soup is pretty much the ultimate comfort food, but sometimes you need to change it up. That’s where dumplings come into play; the same tried-and-true flavors of chicken noodle soup you love, but with something different to bite into. This made-from-scratch recipe is simple to make with down-home flavor just like grandma used to make, yet fancy enough to star as the main course at suppertime.

Ciao Bella

Italian Sunday Gravy

Italian Sunday Gravy by Gonna Want Seconds
For Italian families, comfort food means one thing — pasta with Sunday gravy. Even if you don't have an old-world family tree, you can still cook up a batch of this meaty sauce seasoned with Italian spices to spoon over spaghetti. Some garlic bread, a green salad and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese on top, and dinner is served.