Alternatively titled, “Let’s Eat Our Feelings: 35 Ways to Do It”
But first, hi. How are you? I’ll probably open each post with that question for the next 3-18 months. Would truly love to hear your answer.
I literally cried at the sight of our neighbors today, so that’s where I’m at. ?Through this process of social distancing, I’ve realized that although I’m introvert through and through, I NEED to see people. Hence the tears. That said, this past week can be summed up in one word: emotional. So many emotions. Anxiety, fear, sadness, loneliness – I’m sure you can relate. Our kids and Ben are all sick with fevers and a cough I’ve never heard from any of them before so that has been majorly adding to our stress levels. On the flip side, we’ve been Facetiming with family which has been wonderful for morale, plus the kids and I were able to visit with my parents through our screen door earlier this week. What is life. ?
We’re also trying to focus on little highlights throughout the day including care packages from friends, brainstorming with the kids ways we can show kindness to others while social distancing, memes, the GOODNESS of our community taking care of each other right now, memes, the daily Cincinnati Zoo live Facebook Home Safari, and curbside pickup. Can I get an AMEN for curbside pickup?! And memes. Laughter is the best medicine right now!
I recently polled my Facebook community on what kind of content they’re looking for after confessing that posting casserole recipes and such felt odd and maybe even a little silly right now. The resounding response was: RECIPES ARE WHAT WE NEED. So I am happy to oblige, starting with food for the soul – comfort food recipes. (I also recently posted 75+ Recipes Made with Fridge, Freezer and Pantry Staples, in case you missed it.)
These 35 gluten free recipes are what I’m personally craving right now, and I bet many of you are too. The term “eating my feelings” is said tongue in cheek but I personally do crave hot, rich, slow-cooked foods when stressed. It’s not about eating a ton in terms of volume, more so finding comfort in a dish that I’ve taken the time to concoct and craft from scratch. But also real talk? Butter tastes really good. ?
Many have more time on their hands than ever before so some of these recipes that require a little TLC are perfect to tackle right now. Building sauces from scratch, rolling and slicing homemade noodles, simmering, searing, bubbling, and stirring. Indulge, enjoy, and escape for a bit.
Couple of Notes:
- One of the first foods I think of when I hear the phrase “comfort food” is cheese. I know many of you can’t or don’t eat dairy though so I want to reassure you that not all of these recipes are cheese bombs.
- I’m sure you’ve seen the meme floating around joking about whether we’re going to come out of this totally ripped or…not. Personally, my decision changes daily. ?Anyway, I’ve got you covered no matter which way you’re leaning with both ultra decadent dishes in this list as well as ones on the lighter side.
- I also tried to be mindful of what you might have in your fridge, freezer or pantry right now – many if not most of these recipes can be made with foods you’ve already got in the house.
- These recipes are all gluten free, though there’s only one recipe that you’d need a special gluten free ingredient for, Gluten Free Pizza Breadsticks, which calls for tapioca flour.
Cooking and stressing and finding moments of joy (including butter) in these crazy times right along with you. Love you guys!
35 Comfort Foods Recipes:
Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
The original comfort food! This is my Grandma’s recipe and, as simple as it is, hundreds of people have told me it’s the best chicken noodle soup they’ve ever had. I’d love for you to give it a try if you haven’t yet.
Ben’s Beef Stew
This recipe has been an IGE reader favorite for years and years. The only Beef Stew recipe you will ever need. Cool low and slow all afternoon then serve over mashed potatoes or cooked noodles.
Gluten Free Homestyle Chicken and Noodles
You might actually shed a tear after taking your first bite of Gluten Free Homestyle Chicken and Noodles. The noodles are thick and tender, and the sauce is super savory. You’d never ever know this dish was gluten free.
Crock Pot Sausage and Peppers
Your house will smell incredible with Italian Sausage and Peppers simmering the your slow cooker! Serve with pasta or crusty rolls (I hear Schar and MyBread GF ciabatta rolls are fab) and plenty of provolone cheese.
One Pot Chicken and Rice
I think if you polled IGE readers on what their favorite comfort food recipe is on the site, the majority would answer: “One Pot Chicken and Rice”. Make it once and you’ll understand why.
Smoked Sausage and Chicken Gumbo
Saucy, savory gravy smothering cooked white rice is the epitome of comfort food – oh my word. If you’ve been too nervous to try your hand at making gumbo – the king of southern comfort food IMO – this recipe will get you there.
Surf and Turf for Two
If you’ve been saving scallops and/or steak in the freezer for a special day – the day has arrived. Sear up this dynamic duo and feast.
Saucy Smothered Southern Chicken with Parmesan Grits
In case you haven’t sensed a theme here, anything drenched in a luscious, savory sauce is usually labeled comfort food to me. You will lick your bowl clean!
Easy Chicken and Rice Soup
The fridge and pantry have all the ingredients you need to whip up this simple yet soul-satisfying soup recipe. Ugh, just the best. I’m making this for dinner tonight.
One Pot Gluten Free Mac and Cheese
No explanation needed as to why this one pot dish deserves a spot in my comfort food round up! If you don’t need to eat gluten free, this recipe still works with regular pasta.
Sweet Corn, Kielbasa and Potato Soup
This cozy, hearty soup recipe is made with kitchen stapes and PACKED with flavor. Dare you to stop at two bowls…
Cheesy Vegetable, Turkey Sausage and Rice Casserole
This cheesy casserole recipe is “use whatever vegetable you have in the fridge or freezer“-friendly. You can also swap out the turkey sausage for Italian-style pork sausage. Super flexible and very cozy.
Skillet Tater Tot Casserole
Feel like a kid again eating this comforting casserole recipe with a modern spin, as it’s made in just one skillet without cream of whatever soup. We demolish this dish within minutes every time I make it.
Gluten Free Homestyle Beef and Noodles
The comfort factor of this dish is so high it makes me want to cry (sorry, I’ll stop staying that). OBSESSED is an understatement. Another dish that will make your house smell incredible as it simmers in the oven!
5-Ingredient Cheesy Ham and Broccoli Rice Skillet
Requiring just 1 pan, 5 ingredients, and 20 minutes, this is the recipe to make when you need comfort food QUICK. It’s also a super popular dish with kids.
5 Ingredient Pizza Pasta Bake
Pizza in pasta form? Into it! Use whatever pizza toppings your family likes in this easy, cheesy recipe.
BBQ Chicken Quesadillas
These quesadillas are another super simple comfort food favorite in our house. We make this 10 minute, hot and cheesy “recipe” (although it’s so simple you can’t really call it that,) anytime we have leftover shredded chicken from a rotisserie or roast chicken.
Perfect Broccoli Cheese Soup
Thick and cheesy, this Broccoli Cheese Soup is like a big food hug. Perfection!
Spicy Shrimp Soup
Spicy, easy, and filling, this is one of my most popular soup recipes on IGE. This soup will warm you to your core.
Incredible Italian Meatballs
Can’t get to your favorite Italian restaurant right now? Get the experience at home with these INCREDIBLE tender Italian Meatballs. Super soft, and simple to make too.
Pan Roasted Steak with Caramelized Onions and Goat Cheese
If you’re going to do comfort food, DO COMFORT FOOD with this sizzling steak recipe that’s over-the-top decadent and delicious. All you need is steak, butter, onions, and goat cheese.
Cheesy Ham and Potato Soup
When a soup recipe calls for mashed potatoes, you know it’s going to be good. I could easily eat this entire pot of soup myself.
Tuscan Sausage and Vegetable Stew
Proof that not all comfort food recipes have to be packed with cheese: Tuscan Sausage and Vegetable Stew. Hearty and full of healthy vegetables, this dish is feel good food, plus leftovers reheat beautifully.
Cheesy Chicken Burrito Skillet
A giant burrito in skillet form? Yes please! The secret to the high comfort factor of this dish is cheese, cheese and – you guessed it – more cheese.
Italian Sausage, Spinach and Tomato Soup
This hearty soup recipe is made with 90% fridge and pantry staple, plus it’s quick cooking and reheats well. Freezes well too. Italian Sausage, Spinach and Tomato Soup for all!
Skillet Shepherd’s Pie
Meat and potatoes have never tasted better. This scrumptious dish is one of my parent’s all time favorite recipes, and it’s made with super humble ingredients. Don’t skip the garlic butter drizzle on top!
Cheesy Gnocchi Florentine
Forget crying, Cheesy Gnocchi Florentine is so good it makes me want to scream!! This recipe comes with 5 star review after 5 star review.
Gluten Free Baked Ziti
If it isn’t obvious, cheesy pasta dishes rank extremely high on the comfort food scale for me and I can think of few other dishes that satisfy quite like Gluten Free Baked Ziti. This is another dish that reheats well.
Sausage Gravy Breakfast Tater Tot Casserole
This mash up of biscuits and gravy, and tater tot casserole is unbelievably yummy and I can almost guarantee you have all 5 ingredients you need to make it on hand at this very moment!
The one…the only…Signature Chili! This recipe has won countless IGE readers first place in chili cook offs all across the country. It freezes well, is made from pantry staples, and is so comforting. I could eat this chili every single day of my life!
Homemade Cheese Enchiladas with Red Sauce
The homemade red sauce smothering these cheese enchiladas is so dreamy I literally dream about it. So easy, so tasty – this dish is to die for.
Gluten Free Pizza Breadsticks
Pizza = comfort food. Bread = comfort food. Soft and chewy Pizza Breadsticks = MEGA COMFORT FOOD! The fact that Ben, lover of all things gluten and nothing gluten free, cannot get enough of these pizza breadsticks should tell you something about how fabulous they are.
Crock Pot Shredded Beef Enchiladas
My mouth waters every time I look at this photo and am reminded how succulent this beef enchilada recipe is. If you’ve had a beef roast chilling in the freezer (har) forever, now is the time to thaw then slow cook it for this festive, delicious dish.
Bacon Leek and Mushroom Risotto
Got time to kill? Pour yourself a glass of wine, pull out your wooden spoon, and get stirring! Truly, if you can stir, you can make risotto. There is nothing complicated about it and it is incredibly comforting. Thick and creamy – yum.
Caramel Apple Crispy with Easy Caramel Sauce
Dare you to not eat half the pan!
join the conversation
Caitlin Wells 04.09.2020
I’ve made so many of these, but since this all began, I’ve made the tater tot casserole and the chicken & rice. The TTC didn’t stand a chance – my family inhaled it! I loved the C&R because it makes a huge amount which is great for all the lunches we need these days. I’ve made a few of these before (oh the spicy shrimp soup <3), but definitely time to visit a few new ones! Thanks for the list.
I really hope your family gets better quickly! This is such a weird thing to be living through right now, it honestly feels like we are in a movie…a bad movie. I’d like to know where the fast forward button is… It’s hard not to think about this 24/7 – but I do find calm in the way most people seem to be coming together event when we can’t be together physically.
Lacey Jones 03.25.2020
I hope your family is feeling better, Kristin. We, luckily, have managed to stay healthy so far. We are homeschooling here starting Monday and I have worked the Cincinnati Zoo into my 10 year old’s day a couple of times a week. I think I’ll be taking a break from work to watch with him. :) I even had my favorite Thai food delivered today so maybe things are looking up slightly! Hang in there…we are in this together!
Hey, thanks for continuing to post recipes. It’s okay if they’re not new. Maybe you should pace yourself and only post 5 or so at a time? Thank you!
The Chicken Noodle Soup, Chicken Rice Soup and Ben’s Beef Stew are my go to recipes. We make several times a month. My family loves these especially.
This is such a wild time in our world right now. I wanted to share one of my current challenges and wondering if anyone is having the same daily challenge. My kids are 10 and 12. I work full time away from home. With our current situation (quarantine at home, work from dining room table), I am having a hard time getting creative at lunch. Sandwiches get boring. Nachos aren’t all that healthy. We don’t do a lot of frozen foods, but I’m not opposed. It’d be cool to see a roundup of kid lunches (I mean, I guess for me and the husband too) for this time of uncertainty. I need lunch ideas!
Check out The Lean Green Bean’s Instagram page, stories in particular, as she shares her kid’s lunches almost every day. I think she has a highlight saved of them too! Her kids are 5 and under but the meals she serves would be appropriate for your children. I’m going to try and start sharing lunches on there as well as there’s been a ton of people like yourself asking for ideas. Today I made my boys French Toast Sticks and served them with hash browns and sliced apples. Took maybe 20 minutes start to finish to make!
Thanks for the wonderful recipes ! I have been eating my feelings lately and today when I put on real pants (jeans not yoga ..lol !) I realized that they were a bit snug!
Praying you and your family get well quickly and stay healthy. My daughters elementary school principal did her morning announcements online so we could watch and my daughter cried realizing that spring break is over but no going back to school.
The Cincinnati Zoo is awesome and we are proud to have them in SW Ohio. We look forward to their afternoon videos…breaks up the monotony !
Take care !
It is so hard for these kids – can you imagine being forbidden to see your friends as a 6 year old? 10 year old? Teenager? Friends are so important at all ages of childhood! Thank goodness for Facetime!
Greg Hankins 03.23.2020
Agreed re: grits (your smothered chicken and grits comment), why don’t we eat grits in Iowa. I, too, believe southern DNA is somehow implanted in me. Even though Ancestry.com proves none exists.
Isn’t that odd?!
If only I could find a store that has butter! Luckily, I’m not out yet. But we are running low and there was no butter at either store that I went to on Friday. Ugh! I know.. first world problems.
Oh man – that’s crazy!! Hey, maybe now is a good time to learn how to make butter from scratch? Could be an awesome project for kids if you’ve got any at home!
Oh, mama – so sorry your house has the gunk! I am suffering with seasonal allergies but am so glad my kiddos aren’t sick – that’s the worst. I’ll keep your family in my ever-growing (these days I start nodding off before I can finish most nights!) list of prayers!
Your recipes & steady constant presence in my newsfeed is appreciated! Don’t forget to give yourself some grace these days too. We all understand! Be well!!
Thank you, thank you, thank you – we need and appreciate them! Thank you for your encouraging note!
I teared up yesterday when the owner of our local brewery thanked me for coming in to grab some take out. I was over cooking yesterday! This list inspires me to get back to it today. Thank you for sharing! We’re all about the Cincinnati Zoo Home Safari too – such a great thing to look forward to mid-afternoon!
I feel that!! We’ve ordered pick up from two of our favorite local spots in the past week – breaks my heart to see them in this situation.
Keep hanging in there! Prayers for a quick recovery for your family. I totally hear you….I teared up this morning when the amazon fresh delivery person set some groceries outside my door with a smile and told me to stay healthy! What a crazy time to be alive.
Thank you so much, Kate! Isn’t this bonkers? I am going to go on a hugging spree when all this is over.