The second January hits, the magic and excitement of December fades away into a long and cold, dark winter. The last thing people want to do right now is leave their home. From January to March, most people fall into a mild depression known as “the winter blues” in which the only desirable activities consist of curling up on the couch in a cocoon of blankets, watching TV, and staying warm and full with some comforting foods. To help you cope through the slow season, we’ve gathered a few classic comfort food recipes for you to try this winter.

Mac and Cheese






Mac and cheese isn’t just for kids. With the right recipe, it becomes a comforting blend of cheese and warmth.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 pound (16-ounce) box of small dry pasta (such as elbow macaroni, penne, gemelli, or shells)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups whole milk, plus more, if needed
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder (you can also substitute yellow mustard)
  • 1 pound extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated (or use an equivalent mix of cheeses) (16 ounces)
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Click to view how to make this recipe.

Chicken Noodle Soup






Chicken noodle soup isn’t just great for helping you get through a cold. It’s also perfect for comforting you during the cold known as winter.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (season both sides with salt and pepper)
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 large carrots, peeled, cut in half lengthwise and sliced ¼-inch thick
  • 3 celery stalks, sliced ¼-inch thick
  • 2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • A few sprigs of thyme
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 ounces egg noodles
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Mix up this healing concoction by clicking here to view the recipe.

Chicken and Dumplings







A traditional Southern classic, chicken and dumplings are hot and creamy enough to make a person feel cozy and hopeful during the winter.

What you’ll need:

  • 3 cups chicken, cooked and shredded
  • 2 quarts chicken broth
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tbsp. salted butter, cubed
  • Milk (a little less than a cupful)

Click here for the recipe to see how it’s made.

Loaded Potato Soup






One of the best foods for a wintery afternoon is a hot and creamy potato soup. Potatoes alone are comforting enough, but here we add bacon, butter, and cheese to pile on the amazingness.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 package (12 oz) bacon
  • 1 ½ cups chopped onion
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 lb baking potatoes, peeled, cubed
  • ⅔ cup butter
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup diced cooked ham
  • 1 container (8 oz) sour cream
  • 2 ½ cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (10 oz)
  • ¾ cup sliced green onions

Get the recipe for it here.

Creamy Chicken and Rice Casserole









For something just as delicious that isn’t a soup, try a creamy chicken casserole with rice and broccoli. You can also pair this with some other comfort foods such as mashed potatoes or mac and cheese. Of course, we wouldn’t recommend eating like this every day!

What you’ll need:

  • 1 can (12 fl. oz.) evaporated milk
  • 1 pkg. (3 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 can (10 3/4 fl. oz.) cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 bag (16 oz.) frozen broccoli, cauliflower and carrot medley, thawed
  • 2 cups cubed, precooked chicken
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked instant white rice
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese

View the recipe to see how to make it.

Aside from these amazing comfort foods, don’t forget to also be getting some exercise and eat some fruits and veggies as well. Otherwise, you may find yourself with a few extra pounds to lose come spring. Let us know if you try any of these or share your own amazing recipes in the comments below!