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Warming up with comfort food

Whether it’s the bone-chilling weather or you’re having a temporary bout of the blues, cozy up to these warm and wonderful comfort food recipes.

Beef and Mango Enchiladas

Beef and mango enchiladas

Enchiladas are my favorite Mexican comfort food. Adding sweet juicy mango to the mix gives this recipe a delectable natural sweetness while the spices warm your soul.

Serves 8


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-1/4 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large mango, peeled, pitted, diced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded, divided
  • 8 (8-inch) whole grain tortillas
  • 1 (28 ounce) can red enchilada sauce, warmed in a skillet


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray an 11×7-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add beef and onion and cook, stirring often, until beef is just browned.
  3. Add mango, garlic and spices and cook, stirring often, until mango is heated through.
  4. Stir in cilantro and season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream and a generous handful of cheese.
  5. Dip both sides of a tortilla into warm enchilada sauce, letting excess sauce drip off. Lay tortilla against a short edge of the prepared baking dish and fill with beef mixture. Roll tortilla around filling and arrange seam side down against the side of the dish.
  6. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling, arranging enchiladas side-by-side. Pour remaining sauce over enchiladas and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  7. Cover baking dish with aluminum foil or a lid and bake for 20 minutes. Remove cover and cook an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned. You can also brown cheese under the broiler setting.

Smoked salmon broccoli pasta

A heaping bowl of filling, flavorful pasta will feed the soul and a hungry tummy. Smoked salmon and garbanzo beans add protein while the broccoli and sun-dried tomatoes lend beautiful color and vibrant nutrients. To give this comfort food recipe even more taste-appeal, generously garnish it with freshly grated Grano Padano, an amazing Italian cheese that has an unparalleled sweet, nutty taste.

Serves 8


  • 1 pound medium pasta shells or rotelli
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 heads broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets
  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil, drained slightly
  • 8 ounces smoked salmon, flaked
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained, rinsed
  • 3 green onions, sliced (green and white parts)
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup freshly grated Grano Padano or Parmesan cheese


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and reserve about one cup of the cooking water.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add broccoli and cook, stirring often, for three minutes.
  3. Stir in sun-dried tomatoes and cook, stirring often, for three more minutes or until broccoli is just tender.
  4. Stir in salmon, garlic and garbanzo beans. Add about a 1/2 cup or more of the reserved pasta water and bring to a simmer.
  5. Add green onions, basil and pasta and toss ingredients to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Serve immediately generously garnished with cheese.

Healthy comforting chicken and dumplings

A quintessential comfort food dish, chicken and dumplings gets a healthy update in this recipe featuring more veggies and less fat and calories than the traditional recipe.

Serves 8


  • 1 pound medium baking potatoes, peeled, quartered
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly grated nutmeg to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 4 bone-in skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon white whole wheat flour
  • 4 cups chicken broth, divided
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh sage
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch


  1. In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook until tender when pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes. Drain and cool just until you can handle them.
  2. Press the potatoes through a potato ricer into a large bowl. Season with salt, pepper, nutmeg and Italian seasoning, tossing to combine. Set aside.
  3. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Place chicken breasts, meat side down, in pan and cover pan. Cook for two minutes or until browned. Flip chicken, cover pan and cook for two minutes. Transfer chicken to a platter and keep warm.
  4. Add onion, celery, carrots and bell pepper to the pan and cook, stirring often, for about three minutes. Stir in garlic. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon flour over vegetables and stir to combine.
  5. Pour in 1-1/2 cups broth and scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Continue to stir until mixture thickens. Stir in herbs and 2 cups broth and bring mixture to a simmer.
  6. Place chicken breasts and any accumulated juices into the pan. Cover, reduce heat to medium low, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
  7. Shred or cut chicken off of the bone (discard bones), reduce heat to low and continue to simmer.
  8. Meanwhile, stir remaining 1/3 cup flour and cornstarch into the potatoes. If mixture seems very dry, add a bit more of the remaining broth. Gently combine, taking care not to over mix.
  9. Discard bay leaf from the chicken mixture. Using your hands, form potato mixture into 1/4 cup size dumplings and lay on top of the chicken mixture. Cover pan and cook for 10 minutes or until dumplings are cooked. Serve hot.

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