Five Fall Comfort Foods: Cozy recipes to warm you up

Here in New England, it’s almost time to turn the heat on in the house. I say almost, because for many, pride, gumption, and just plain being ornery determine how long you go before actually flipping the switch.

September is out of the question. Early October, maybe, if you have trouble with your back or knees. You’re generally pretty safe confessing to warming the house to 65°F once Halloween rolls around.

No frost? Don’t bother to load the wood stove, sonny. No rime of ice on the edge of the duck pond? Leave that thermostat off, junior. If you can see your breath in the kitchen, go put on a sweater. Better yet, get busy baking and cooking, and you’ll be warm in no time. If right about now you’re picturing Granddad in his flannels and woolens, you’ve got it just right.

I’ve already turned my heat on, and yes, been called a wimp. I guess those name callers will just have to sit out in the cold while I bake away in happiness, making our favorite fall comfort foods to share with family and friends – no mittens and gloves required at the table.

Come see what’s on the menu.

Hot Popper Dip via @kingarthurflour.com

Comfort food #1: Hot Popper Dip

Perfect for warming up after soccer practice or nibbling during the game, our Hot Popper Dip features roasted fresh jalapeño peppers, rich cream cheese, and perky Parmesan. It blends together in a snap and bakes up while you gather your foam finger and vuvuzela to cheer on the team. Gooooooooaaaaaaal!

Pepperoni Bites via @kingarthurflour

Comfort food #2: Cheesy Pepperoni Bites

Craving pizza but looking for a shortcut? These Cheesy Pepperoni Bites are baking powder quick, no waiting on yeast. A bowl of soup, a platter of bites, and Netflix can be the perfect Friday night chill chaser. Unless of course you’re enjoying a classic horror movie – then bring on the chills, and a good Chianti.

Soft Bread Sticks via @kingarthurflour

Comfort food #3: Soft Bread Sticks

While chatting with my brother’s lady love the other day, she mentioned that “he’d be happy with a plate of bread and a bowl of pasta sauce for dinner.” And here I thought I was the black sheep of the family. Who knew we still had so much in common?

To me, a good marinara or meat sauce scooped up with Soft Bread Sticks is a perfect lazy-day meal. I’ll bookmark this for sure for the next time big brother Andy and Shirley come to town.

ClassicScallopedPotatoes via @kingarthurflour

Comfort food #4: Classic Scalloped Potatoes

You can’t think of comfort food without thinking potatoes. French fries may reign supreme with summer burgers, but once fall rolls around, it’s all about Classic Scalloped Potatoes. You’ll be happy to know our recipe makes enough to feed a hungry dozen at least.  Roast that chicken, bake that ham, and relax knowing everyone will have their fill.

Garlic Mac and Cheese via @kingarthurflour

Comfort food #5: Garlic-Herb Mac & Cheese

Ah-ha! And here you thought I wasn’t going to mention mac and cheese! Perish the thought, and pass the pasta. If you’re looking to perk up your usual side dish, try our Garlic-Herb Mac & Cheese. The bread crumb topping full of rosemary and garlic bakes to crunchy perfection, making a hearty dish you can be proud to serve at the back-to-school open house. Open house? Open wide!

OK, OK, now’s your chance. I know you’re itching to say “I can’t believe you forgot ______.” ” What?! No _______ on the list?”  Please, fill up the comment section below with your favorite comfort foods; we’d love to see them and share, too.

By the way, there’s one dish out there that’s so beloved, so classic, it has even has its own Wikipedia page. It’s been around since the 1700’s, but you’ll never catch me making it. I’ve tried to like it for years with no luck; I just can’t! Take a guess if you’d like – I’ll let you turn on the furnace if you get it right.

MaryJane Robbins
About

MaryJane Robbins grew up in Massachusetts and moved to Vermont 20 years ago. After teaching young children for 15 years, she changed careers and joined King Arthur Flour in 2005. MaryJane began working on King Arthur Flour's baker’s hotline in 2006, and the blog team ...

comments

  1. canderson

    A big kettle of American Chop Suey that is 3 days or more old and warm bread…count of ten and out!

    Reply
  2. jt4short

    I agree with Melissa; Shaker Chicken is fabulous. I commented on that recipe that I made my family’s home made noodles successfully for the first time to go with that! But I also agree that one of the most comforting dishes to me is pot roast. In my family we’d again make those home made noodles to go with the pot roast.

    Reply
  3. Brigette

    I love your writing, Mary! It’s palatable. 🙂

    My favorite fall comfort foods, in no particular order, are…

    Lentil and sausage soup, pot roast with potatoes and carrots, broccoli soup, chili and crackers, and mashed potatoes (any day).

    Reply
  4. Carolyn

    Favorite comfort meal is a big pot of beef stew, either with dumplings, corn muffins or drop biscuits. Any or all of them will do! I made it two weeks ago and mentioned it to my older two children (the third is away at college and doesn’t like stew, don’t know how that happened!), they both showed up for dinner, my son with his wife and my daughter with her fiancé. It was wonderful! My son lived in Vermont for awhile and I loved it…put me near your store and some awesome quilt stores. Now he’s back in NJ, which I like even more, but I miss my trips to VT!

    Reply
  5. Bridgid

    Just gotta put my two cents in – shepard’s pie is made with lamb and cottage pie is made with beef. Shepard’s pie is not gonna pass through these lips, but bring on the cottage pie!

    Fave comfort food? pot roast, or lasagne, or roast chicken, as long as there is a lot of gravy, and mashed potatoes, non-negotiable. And warm homemade apple pie with melted cheddar and vanilla ice cream. Maybe a little warm butterscotch on the side of the ice cream. 🙂

    Reply
  6. Nancy

    Taco soup and corn chips with lots of cheese. Of course any kind of soup and mostly with cornbread crumbled in it. I love the recipes o. Kingarthurfour. I visited the store in Vermont and was blown away.

    Reply
  7. LindaM

    Can’t get the Classic Scalloped Potatoes recipe to show up after clicking on the site. Is it a glitch on your web site. I am able to get all the other recipes on the web page.

    Hope you can find the glitch as they look delicious. My kind of “comfort food”.

    Thanks, LindaM

    Reply
  8. RR

    An outstanding comfort-food combo: King Arthur’s own Oven-baked Chili along with your guaranteed, quick-n-easy Cornbread!

    Reply
  9. Evelyn

    Meatloaf and mashed potatoes. My husband used to make a mean meatloaf. Now we live in a retirement community and the meatloaf is only okay–

    Reply

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