Once again, old man winter has settled into his icicle-clad throne, which means freezing temps and nonstop wind chills galore. And that, of course, only means one thing as far as our appetites are concerned: It’s peak season for comfort food cravings that just won’t quit.
With that in mind, we thought it’d be appropriate to roundup everyone’s favorite comfort foods they just can’t live without, at least during the cold winter months, that is. Because really, who wants to chow down on a salad during a time like this?
So, even if you’re still trying to stick to those stay-healthy-New-Years-resolutions, one slip-up isn’t going to kill you. Here are 10 of the very best, ridiculously delicious comfort foods that nobody can resist.
1. Chicken noodle soup
And we’re not talking about the healthy, low-sodium kind from a can, either. No, we’re talking about that thick, creamy, homemade stuff that’s pretty much only acceptable to eat during winter. It’s so creamy, in fact, that you wouldn’t even dream of eating it when you’re sick. Nope.
That’s right. This comfort food variety is purely for enjoyment. It warms you down, and fills you. And because of that, you should give yourself a pass and allow yourself to enjoy a warm bowl of it. (If you’re not a huge fan of chicken noodle soup, though, here are a few tasty alternatives to try instead.)
Next: You can’t go wrong with this dish.
Could we have just titled this one, “Pasta?” Perhaps, but there are far too many varieties for lumping them all into one category alone. (Plus, we had to divide them up so we could give a special shout-out to the mack daddy of all comfort foods, but you’ll have to hang on until No. 5 for that one). But, we digress. Back to the lasagna …
The cheese. The sauce. The meat (if you so choose). It all comes together to form the creme de la creme of all pasta dishes. In fact, all of the ingredients found in lasagna are pretty much the basis for any good pasta dish. And trust us, there are plenty.
Next: This has been a well-loved dinner party tradition since the ’60s.
Dripping hot cheese. Fresh-out-of-the-oven bread. Really, what’s not to love? Fondue is basically your favorite warm soup on steroids. In fact, it’s the love child of your favorite soup and mac and cheese. And that love child is oh so good and gooey, not to mention absolutely irresistible.
Next: If you’ve never heard of this one, it’s time to give it a try.
4. Tater tot casserole
Yes, tater tot casserole is a thing. If you hail from the Midwest, though, you’re already well-aware of this fine dish. To truly appreciate a tater tot casserole, all you need is a love of potatoes, ground beef, and green beans. But don’t worry, this recipe does a great job of totally masking any trace of green bean flavor.
Next: More cheese, please.
5. Mac and cheese
Ah, yes, we’ve finally arrived at the mack daddy of all comfort foods — macaroni and cheese.
Think you’re too old for this childhood staple? Who cares! Young, old, or otherwise void of taste buds, everyone loves an occasional bowl of mac and cheese. Because, well, there’s just no outgrowing this one.
Next: This classic will never go out of style.
6. Chicken pot pie
Another chicken recipe for the comfort food win. And this one’s a wintertime classic, there’s no doubt about it. We certainly can’t resist that creamy chicken and veggies combo tucked underneath a warm, flaky pastry crust. Can you? Didn’t think so. Because, chicken pot pie … yum.
Next: There’s no denying our love for this tasty appetizer.
7. Mozzarella sticks
Yes, more fried food to add to the list. Because hey, it’s cold out, and sometimes, you have a hankering for fried fare. (Just think twice before ordering them at a restaurant.)
As if mozzarella isn’t good enough on its own, we can double down on our love for the stuff by deep frying it. If you’re interested in making your own, check out this easy-to-follow recipe. Or, if you prefer a cleaner variety, you can bake mozzarella sticks, too.
Next: Start a snowy morning off right.
The snow is falling outside, the kids maybe have a snow day, and the whole family needs feeding before gearing up to head outside. On a morning like this, there’s literally only one way to kick the day off, and that’s with pancakes. There’s not much explaining to do on this one, because this snow day staple speaks for itself.
Next: Hearty, filling, and oh-so-tasty
Not only will chili keep you warm, but it’ll fill you up, too. Unlike some of the other high-calorie indulgences on this list, chili is hearty, chock-full of veggies, protein, and whatever else you choose to throw in there. And the best part is, there are plenty of variations, so take your pick.
Next: An American household favorite to round out the list
While pizza is pretty much a no-brainer any time of year, we’d be remiss to leave this well-loved classic off the list. But don’t just settle for delivery — or DiGiorno for that matter. It’s winter, which is all the reason in the world to stay in, get cozy, and cook up some pizza on your own.
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