52 Easy Recipes to Make When You Need Comfort Food Quick

Updated: Feb. 05, 2024

Most comfort food is known for utilizing a low and slow cooking technique. But what do you do when you need comfort food in a time crunch? From breakfast to dessert, we've got easy recipes for quick comfort food that can be on the table in under 30 minutes.

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Skillet Shepherd’s Pie

This is the best shepherd’s pie recipe I’ve ever tasted. It’s very quick to make, and I usually have most—if not all—of the ingredients already on hand. —Tirzah Sandt, San Diego, California

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Beef with Ramen Noodles

I made up this recipe when I was looking for good Chinese food in beautiful Oregon. Each time I make this, I change something slightly. Leftovers heat easily in the microwave or fry pan.
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Great Garlic Bread

This tasty garlic bread topped with flavor makes a great side for any pasta dish. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Two-Minute Cookies

My mom used to pack these cookies into our school lunches. They're inexpensive and easy to prepare, so all seven of us children learned to make them. Now they're also a favorite of my two children's.
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Turkey Biscuit Skillet

My mother always made this skillet while we were growing up. Now I make it for my husband and kids. I use the small-size biscuits because the larger ones don't seem to brown up as nicely on the top. —Keri Boffeli, Monticello, Iowa
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Tuna Patty

This tasty change-of-pace sandwich is as quick to prepare as your favorite hamburger. My husband likes his topped with melted Swiss cheese and Dijon mustard. Salmon can be substituted for a more ‘elegant’ burger. —Joann Brasington, Sumter, South Carolina
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Easy Beef Soup

This colorful, easy beef soup comes together in minutes. Even my husband, who admits he’s no cook, makes it on occasion. —Agnes Bierbaum, Gainesville, Florida
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The Best Ever Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Spreading a mixture of mayo and butter on the bread creates a delightfully crispy crust with the well-loved, wonderful flavor of butter one expects on a grilled cheese sandwich.—Josh Rink, Taste of Home Food Stylist
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Skillet Pizza

I created this recipe during a hot spell one summer. With the temperature in the 90’s every day, I didn’t want to turn on the oven. So I decided to make our favorite family pizza in a skillet instead! Anyone who likes pizza, has kids or just wants a quick and simple meal would likely enjoy Skillet Pizza. It’s great to take along to get-togethers, too – you can prepare it at home, then just plug in the skillet when you arrive. —Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon
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School-Night Sausage Stroganoff

I found this recipe in an old church cookbook about 25 years ago and tweaked it to fit my family's tastes. It's a savory, creamy dish that's quick to fix on a busy school night. —Kristine Chayes, Smithtown, New York
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Skillet Mac & Cheese

This creamy mac ’n’ cheese is so simple it’s almost too easy! —Ann Bowers, Rockport, Texas
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Chocolate Marshmallow Peanut Butter Squares

I combined a couple of recipes to create these crunchy, chocolaty bars that burst with peanut butter flavor, marshmallows and pretzel pieces. The bars could also pass for fudge! —Dawn Lowenstein, Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania
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Quicker Chicken and Dumplings

Ready in 30 minutes, this easy chicken and dumplings recipe takes advantage of convenience items and uses time-saving, drop-style dumplings. —Willie DeWaard, Coralville, Iowa
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Fair-Favorite Corn Dogs

Bring the county fair home to your kitchen with these corn dogs. A tip for dipping: Pour the batter into a tall Mason jar and dunk your dogs for an even all-over coating. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Grandma's Swedish Meatballs

My mother made these hearty meatballs when we were growing up, and now I make them for my kids. They love them just as much as we did. My daughter likes to help toss the meatballs in flour. —Karin Ness, Big Lake, Minnesota
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Chunky Mango Guacamole

When serving a crowd, double or quadruple this guacamole. The onion, tomato and mango can be chopped in advance. Add avocado just before serving. —Diana Nienberg, McComb, Ohio
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Chocolate Peanut Cookies

When I want chocolate chip cookies, I bake this variation, which is full of other goodies, such as candy and peanuts. The cookies are crisp on the outside and moist and tender in the middle. —Clara Coulson Minney, Washington Court House, Ohio
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Chicken & Cheese Tortilla Pie

Trust me when I say this hearty dish can be assembled in minutes, then devoured even quicker with no leftovers. —Karen Kuebler, Dallas, Texas
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Fajita Burger Wraps

This combo gives you a tender burger, crisp veggies and a crunchy shell, plus fajita flavor. Kids love it. —Antonio Smith, Canal Winchester, Ohio
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Easy Meatball Stroganoff

This recipe has fed not only my own family, but many neighborhood kids! They come running when I make this supper. It's one of those things you throw together after work on a busy day because you know it works. —Julie May, Hattiesburg, Mississippi
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Nacho Pie

In place of the ground beef and mozzarella cheese, consider topping this zesty pie with lean ground sausage and cheddar cheese. It tastes just as good.—LaVerna Mjones, Moorhead, Minnesota
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Waffle-Iron Pizzas

These little pizza pockets put together using the waffle maker are a fun mashup. Try your favorite toppings or even breakfast fillings like ham and eggs. —Amy Lents, Grand Forks, North Dakota
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Potato Chip Clusters

Just three offbeat ingredients add up to one unique, delectable, no-bake treat. These super easy, sweet-and-salty candy clusters make for merry munching during holiday trips or parties. They travel well in containers without melting or getting soft. —Donna Brockett, Kingfisher, Oklahoma
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Shortcut Sausage Jambalaya

Secret ingredient alert: A pinch of coffee crystals gives my jambalaya its roasty, toasty flavor. This quick and easy dinner is one of my husband’s top picks. —Betty Henagin, Medford, Oregon
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Apple Pancakes with Cider Syrup

Tender pancakes are filled with minced apple and raisin, and drizzled with apple cider syrup. They're wonderful in the summer or on a cool fall morning. —April Harmon, Greeneville, Tennessee
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Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

A good friend made us this rich, comforting soup after the birth of our son. It was such a help to have dinner taken care of until I was back on my feet. This yummy dish is so simple to fix that now I give a pot of it (along with the recipe) to other new mothers. —Joanna Sargent, Sandy, Utah
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Parmesan Chicken Sandwiches

Coat tender chicken breasts with seasoned bread crumbs and smother in marinara sauce. Served on a hoagie, it’s a real treat! —Sue Bosek, Whittier, California
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Cookies 'n' Cream Fudge

I invented this confection for a bake sale at our children's school. Boy, was it a hit! The crunchy chunks of sandwich cookie soften a bit as the mixture mellows. It's so sweet that one panful serves a crowd. —Laura Lane, Richmond, Virginia
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White Cheddar Mac & Cheese

My mac and cheese is simple and has lots of flavor from the cheeses and ground chipotle chile. I use conchiglie pasta because its shape allows more melted cheese to pool inside. Yum! —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia
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Italian Sausage with Bow Ties

We often have our favorite pasta when company comes over, and I’ve shared this Italian sausage recipe several times. Now many of my friends make it for their families, too. —Janelle Moore, Auburn, Washington
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Bacon Breakfast Pizza

I used to make this bacon breakfast pizza for my morning drivers when I worked at a delivery place. And they just loved it. Breakfast pizza is a quick and easy eye-opener that appeals to all ages. —Cathy Shortall, Easton, Maryland
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Big Soft Ginger Cookies

These nicely spiced, big soft ginger cookies are perfect for folks who like the flavor of ginger but don't care for crunchy gingersnaps. —Barbara Gray, Boise, Idaho
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Weekday Beef Stew

Beef stew capped with flaky puff pastry adds comfort to the weeknight menu—my family is always glad to see this meal. Make a salad and call your crowd to the table. —Daniel Anderson, Kenosha, Wisconsin
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Saucy Skillet Lasagna

Thanks to no-cook noodles, this skillet lasagna makes a fresh, filling, flavorful and fast entree for any Italian meal. —Meghan Crihfield, Ripley, West Virginia
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Smothered Burritos

My brother-in-law teased that I only knew five ground beef recipes. I proved him wrong with my inventive spicy burritos. —Kim Kenyon, Greenwood, Missouri
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Mom's Spanish Rice

My mom is famous for her Spanish rice recipe, the ultimate comfort food. When I want a taste of home, I whip up this dish. Punch up the flavor with a little lime and extra chili powder. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Family-Favorite Oatmeal Waffles

These healthful, good-tasting waffles are a tried-and-true family favorite—even with our two children. My husband and I have a small herd of beef cattle and some pigs. A hearty breakfast really gets us going! —Marna Heitz, Farley, Iowa
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Meatball Pizza

I always keep meatballs and pizza crusts in the freezer to make this specialty on the spur of the moment. Add a tossed salad and you have a delicious dinner. —Mary Humeniuk-Smith, Perry Hall, Maryland
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Healthy Apple Crisp

This easy dish is a tradition in my family. It's as quick as a boxed cake mix but it's a healthier dessert choice. It's ideal in fall when it seems that everyone has a bag or two of fresh apples to give away! —Terri Wetzel, Roseburg, Oregon
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Southwestern Goulash

I had some extra cilantro in the fridge and didn't want to throw it away. Instead, I came up with this delightful and filling family recipe. Everyone just loved it! —Vikki Rebholz, West Chester, Ohio
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Muffin-Tin Lasagnas

This is a super fun way to serve lasagna for make-ahead lunches, potlucks or other fun get-togethers. My daughter took some of these to work and by noon was emailing me for the recipe. —Sally Kilkenny, Granger, Iowa
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Italian Steak Sandwiches

My sister came up with these quick sandwiches that use minced garlic and other seasonings to bring pizzazz to deli roast beef. Add some carrot sticks or a tomato salad for a fantastic lunch in no time. —Maria Regakis, Somerville, Massachusetts
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Egg Burritos

Zap one of these frozen burritos in the microwave and you'll stave off hunger all morning. This recipe is my family’s favorite combo, but I sometimes use breakfast sausage instead of bacon. —Audra Niederman, Aberdeen, South Dakota
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Easy Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps

One time when making sloppy joes, I wanted mine spicy, so I doused it in hot sauce. After that, my mind went wild and I made it Buffalo chicken-style with ground chicken, diced celery and blue cheese crumbles. I've been making it this way ever since. —Jennifer Nielson, Spanish Fork, Utah
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BLT Waffle Sliders

Craving a BLT for breakfast? Try a deliciously different version that features crisp bacon and fresh tomatoes between two golden cornmeal waffles. Prepare the waffles ahead of time and reheat in the toaster for quick assembly. —Stacy Joura, Stoneboro, Pennsylvania.
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Shakshuka

Shakshuka is a dish of poached eggs with tomatoes, onion and cumin. I learned about it while traveling, and it's been my favorite way to eat eggs since. —Ezra Weeks, Calgary, Alberta
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Nutella-Stuffed Strawberries

Gourmet strawberries are pricey to order but easy to make. We serve strawberries with hazelnut spread as a crowd-pleasing appetizer or dessert. —Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon
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Creamy Buffalo Chicken Dip

This slightly spicy dip cleverly captures the flavor of Buffalo chicken wings. Using canned chicken eases preparation. —Allyson DiLascio, Saltsburg, Pennsylvania
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Quick Chili Mac

This combines chili with one of my favorite pasta dishes. I often serve it for company or potlucks and occasionally add taco seasoning or use beanless chili and add black beans. —Lee Steinmetz, Lansing, Michigan
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Pot of S'mores

Mom’s easy Dutch-oven version of the popular campout treat is so good and gooey. The hardest part is waiting for this to cool so you can devour it. Yum! —June Dress, Meridian, Idaho
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Chicken Gnocchi Pesto Soup

After tasting a similar soup at a restaurant, I created this quick and tasty version. It’s rich and creamy, and couldn’t be easier to make! —Deanna Smith, Des Moines, Iowa