Let’s be honest: as much as we may enjoy trying fancy dishes, foreign cuisines and new recipes, at the end of the day nothing beats good comfort food. These are the types of meals that we go to when we are sick, stuck inside, or just having an off day. They tend to involve basic staple ingredients that we already have handy in the kitchen and cupboards, which also makes them handy go-to’s if the weather is bad or you just aren’t in the mood to go out.
Here’s six of the easiest comfort foods if you’re looking for a quick culinary idea to cheer yourself up a bad day:
1. Grilled cheese
Grilled cheese might seem pretty basic, but this childhood favourite is a classic comfort food that’s easy to make. Plus, when you only really need 3 ingredients (bread, cheese, and butter), you likely already have everything at home to make it.
Feel like getting a bit creative? Go wild and spice up your grilled cheese with other things you may have around your home. Yummy combos include tomatoes and bacon or apples and caramelized onion. Don’t forget to experiment with different cheese either, or even mix a couple of favourites!
2. Chicken noodle soup
If you’re feeling sick, there is no better meal than chicken noodle soup. This soup has been a household staple for ages, and for good reason - it’s easy on your stomach and incredibly comforting.
Chicken noodle soup is also pretty easy to have on hand. If you like to make your own, you can make it ahead of time and freeze it (although it’s best to add the noodles after, as they can get mushy), or you can have premade cans of it on hand in your cupboard.
Pasta is always a feel-good meal. Plus, it’s really easy to adapt the recipe depending on what you have on hand. From simple tomato sauces to a creamy alfredo or a hearty bolognese, pasta is a meal that is easy to adapt. Just make sure to have packages of noodles stocked in your pantry!
4. Breakfast food
Breakfast food is a definite favourite. Whether you’re a bacon and egg person or a pancake person, there’s just something truly great about enjoying breakfast foods (even if it is for dinner) when you are having an off day. And since bread, eggs, milk, and flour are all normal kitchen staples, a breakfast dish is typically a pretty easy thing to whip up without having to run to the store.
5. Potatoes (pretty much any way)
There is something strangely comforting about potatoes. That, and the fact that there are so many ways to prepare them make potatoes an ideal thing to have on hand for those not-so-great days. Slice them up to turn into fries, mash them, bake them and serve them with all the fixings, or if you’re feeling a little ambitious, make scalloped potatoes. Normally you’d serve potatoes as a side but if you are really just craving a plate of carbs, who are we to judge?
6. Chocolate chip cookies
You can’t have a list of comfort foods without having at least one dessert option, and chocolate chip cookies are a classic when it comes to feel-good foods. Plus, when it comes to baking, they are one of the easiest things to make. Not a baker? Don’t worry, you can always get a roll of cookie dough from the refrigerated section of the grocery store! After all, everyone needs a little bit of sweetness and sugar every now and then.
New dishes are always fun to try, but sometimes you just really need or crave these easy comfort foods. However, while they are a great go-to, in order to get the full comfort food experience, you do need to have the ingredients on hand. Thankfully, a lot of these comfort food recipes use basics and essentials that most people tend to have in their kitchen at all times. It’s a good idea to remember your favourite comfort food ingredients and always make sure you have them in stock, so that when you have a bad day and are craving that grilled cheese sandwich or those chocolate chip cookies, you don’t have to worry about having to go to the store.
Hannah Logan is a Canadian travel writer who dreams of being just like Indiana Jones. You can follow her travels on her personal travel blog
Eat Sleep Breathe Travelwhere she shares her travel tales and (mis)adventures around the world.