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55 Easy Recipes to Make When You Need Comfort Food Quick

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 Exps Ft21 22747 F 1116 1

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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Creamy Crab Wontons Exps Ft21 28336 F 1110 1

Creamy Crab Wontons

How about a fast festive appetizer just for two? These hot, crispy crab wontons boast a rich and creamy filling. They simply melt in your mouth. —Robin Boynton, Harbor Beach, Michigan
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Great Garlic Bread Exps 30mincb21 181456 Bone11 02 13b

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 Exps Sdon18 58843 C06 15 3b 3

Turkey Biscuit Skillet

My mother always made this while I was growing up. Now I make it for my husband and kids. I cut the biscuits into smaller pieces so they will brown nicely on top. I also sometimes add mushrooms to this recipe because my family likes them so much. —Keri Boffeli, Monticello, Iowa
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Tuna Patty Exps Ft21 7881 F 1111 1

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 Exps Ft21 10037 F 1117 1

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 Exps Thso18 222725 D03 06 4b 6

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 Exps Ft21 2755 F 1118 1

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 Exps Sdas18 213669 D03 27  3b 3

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 Exps Toh5icfrtl21 27614 E07 15 3b

Skillet Mac & Cheese

This creamy mac and cheese is so simple it’s almost too easy! Kids always go for the rich cheese flavor, but I’ve never met an adult who didn’t love it just as much. —Ann Bowers, Rockport, Texas
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Chocolate Marshmallow Peanut Butter Squares Exps Sdam18 211817 D12 01 6b 4

Chocolate Marshmallow Peanut Butter Squares

I combined a couple of recipes to create these crunchy, chocolaty peanut butter marshmallow bars that burst with flavor. The bars could also pass for fudge! —Dawn Lowenstein, Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania
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Quicker Chicken And Dumplings Exps Cimzw19 86622 B09 12 2b 4

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 summer-ready corn dogs. A tip for dipping: Pour the batter in a tall Mason jar and dunk the dogs to create an even coating all around. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Grandma S Swedish Meatballs Exps Sdon16 76175 D06 03 3b 13

Grandma's Swedish Meatballs

My mother made these hearty meatballs when we were growing up, and now my kids love them, too. My daughter likes to help shake the meatballs in flour. —Karin Ness, Big Lake, Minnesota
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Chunky Mango Guacamole Exps128238 Th143190d10 009 2bc Rms 2

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 Exps Ucsbz17 41508 C05 26 3b 2

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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Brunch Pizza Squares

I love using convenience items, like the crescent rolls in this easy recipe. When I serve it to guests, they always ask me for the recipe. To hurry along the preparation of this dish, I frequently brown a few pounds of sausage ahead of time and keep it in the freezer.—LaChelle Olivet, Pace, Florida
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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 Exps Tohfm21 187180 E09 22 13b

Waffle-Iron Pizzas

These little pizza pockets are a fun mashup using a waffle iron. Try adding your favorite toppings or even a few breakfast fillings, such as 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 Exps Mcmz16 38378 C05 20 8b 5

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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Comforting Chicken Noodle Soup Exps Mrmz16 9735 B09 09 2b 23

Comforting Chicken Noodle Soup

A good friend made us this rich, comforting, creamy chicken noodle 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 Exps Sdfm17 38331 D10 05 7b 2

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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Gram's Fried Chicken

As a boy, I wolfed down my grandmother's fried chicken. I never knew how she made it, but my recipe using potato flakes is crispy close. —David Nelson, Lincolnton, North Carolina
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Italian Sausage With Bow Ties Exps Sdjj17 38275 B02 09 3b 2

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 Exps Sdon17 39715 D06 30 1b 14

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 Exps Mcmz16 12700 B05 20 2b 3

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 Exps117455 Th143193b04 22 2bc Rms 3

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

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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Favorite Meat Loaf Cups

My family enjoys meat loaf, but sometimes I can't spare the hour or more it takes to bake in the traditional shape. A quick alternative is to divide the meat mixture into muffin cups for individual servings that are ready in less than 30 minutes. —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
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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 Exps Hrbz16 39636 D09 07 5b 7

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 Exps Sddj17 39880 16 C08 03 3b 7

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 Exps Mrmz16 26915 B09 09 1b 1

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 Exps Sdfm17 26633 C10 07 4b 2

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 Exps Chkbz18 72834 B10 12 1b 6

Chicken Gnocchi Pesto Soup

After tasting a similar soup at a restaurant, I created this quick and tasty version. The pesto adds an extra-nice Italian flavor that is often missing from other gnocchi soups. —Deanna Smith, Des Moines, Iowa t

Laura Denby
Laura is a New York-based freelance food writer with a degree in Culinary Arts from the Institute of Culinary Education and a degree in Journalism from Penn State. Her work has appeared in Taste of Home, Chowhound, the Culture Trip and Patch.