A Slice of Comfort: 50 Favorite Recipes | Midwest Living
More
Close

A Slice of Comfort: 50 Favorite Recipes

Macaroni and cheese, Amish apple dumplings and chicken pot pie are among our Midwest comfort food favorites.

Bacon and Baked Potato Soup

Salty-smoky crumbled bacon tops our cheesy potato soup. "I made this soup and we loved it! Best potato soup ever!" writes one of our website reviewers. "I put carrots in mine; made it even better."

Bacon and Baked Potato Soup

Milk-Braised Pork with Cheesy Grits

There are a lot of ingredients in this spruced-up comfort-food dish, but trust us, it's worth the effort for a weekend treat. The recipe from Michael Watz of Chicago was a finalist in our recipe contest.

Milk-Braised Pork with Cheesy Grits

Amish Apple Dumplings

We often equate Amish food with comfort. Here's our version of a favorite dessert you might find at Amish-based restaurants in the Midwest.

Amish Apple Dumplings

Spicy Beef, Bean and Vegetable Stew

Affordable beef chuck roast, apple, parsnip and sweet potato slow-simmer in broth flavored with dark beer, herbs and spices. Warm corn bread muffins and cold winter night optional.

Spicy Beef, Bean and Vegetable Stew 

Millionaire's Pie

Chocolate alone delivers all the comfort a lot of us require. But add it to pecan pie with some coconut, and you've awakened a flood of welcome food memories: German chocolate cake, toasted pecan pie and chocolate chips. All that in a flaky piecrust.

Millionaire's Pie

Sage Biscuits and Sausage Gravy with Roasted Vegetables

Your quest for cold-weather comfort stops here, with maple-flavor sausage, creamy milk gravy, herby biscuits, and mustard-glazed roasted carrots and Brussels sprouts.  

Sage Biscuits and Sausage Gravy with Roasted Vegetables

Chicken and Kielbasa Winter Stew

Shhh! Don't tell anyone, but this hearty supper soup takes just an hour to make. The secret? Deli-roasted chicken and precooked sausage. Pair with breadsticks or a crusty baguette for a perfect winter meal that will fill your house with good smells.

Chicken and Kielbasa Winter Stew

Lemon-Rosemary Pork Loin with Cherry Sauce

The classic fruit and pork combo gets a bold update: Slather the meat with a paste of garlic, mustard, lemon and rosemary, then serve with ruby red cherries. This recipe multiplies easily for entertaining.

Lemon-Rosemary Pork Loin with Cherry Sauce

Cinnamon-Spiced Beef Stroganoff

A few pinches of pantry spices jazz up the traditional sour-cream gravy. This cozy weeknight dish dances on the line between comfort food and curry.

Cinnamon-Spiced Beef Stroganoff

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Quivey's Grove in Madison, Wisconsin, whips up this version of mashed potatoes that matches plenty of dairy richness with garlic, Parmesan, black pepper and green onion.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Slow-Cooker Brat and Sauerkraut Soup

Potatoes, onion, sauerkraut and brats pack in the German flavor in this homey slow-cooker soup. Try with Whole Wheat Pretzel Rolls; the soft pretzels' chewy, brown exterior comes from being boiled in an alkaline solution—the 1/4 cup baking soda in the water isn't a typo!

Slow-Cooker Brat and Sauerkraut Soup

Whole Wheat Pretzel Rolls 

Fork-Tender Pot Roast

Dan and Nancy Viste specialize in American classics at their Old Feed Mill restaurant in Mazonomie, Wisconsin. Their pot roast slow-cooks until the meat turns brown and tender and the flavor mellows to an almost caramel overtone. Browned bits in the pan become the base for the rich red-wine gravy.

Fork-Tender Pot Roast

Salty Caramel and Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

These cookies come with a friendly warning: Chewy caramel, toasted pecans and a flurry of sea salt will make you popular. Very popular. A product called caramel bits gives these cookies great flavor and chewy texture. Some supermarkets carry them, and they’re widely available online. (Search for Kraft Caramel Bits.) Take care to follow recipe directions when baking: caramel bits melt quickly.

Salty Caramel and Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

Hearty Meatball Soup

This version of a winter staple, from author and cooking-school instructor Marilyn Harris of Cincinnati, features basil-flecked meatballs. "This is a quickie version of veggie-beef I created that's great to make when time is limited," Marilyn says. "But it still has all of the good flavors."

Hearty Meatball Soup

Meat and Potato Pizza

Chalk this recipe up as an occasional indulgence. It's topped with a totally mouth-watering combo of thin-sliced potatoes, bacon, sausage and a delectable garlic-rosemary butter. The recipe comes from Hidemi Walsh of Plainfield, Indiana.

Meat and Potato Pizza

Lemon-Rosemary Chicken with Roasted Vegetables

Rub a blend of lemon peel, rosemary, thyme, parsley and garlic on the chicken before baking; Add fresh thyme sprigs and garlic bulbs around the chicken for even more flavor. Potatoes, sweet potatoes and carrots make this a one-pan meal.

Lemon-Rosemary Chicken with Roasted Vegetables

Maple Date Nut Bread

Chopped and pitted dates stand out beside the hint of maple syrup in this dark brown, nutty quick bread. This recipe is from Ruth Smiley of Smiley Brothers maple syrup producers in Indiana.

Maple Date Nut Bread

Bacon and Baked Potato Soup

Salty-smoky crumbled bacon tops our cheesy potato soup. "I made this soup and we loved it! Best potato soup ever!" writes one of our website reviewers. "I put carrots in mine; made it even better."

Bacon and Baked Potato Soup

Chocolate Hazelnut Cream Cheese Puffs

Dawn Logterman of Verona, Wisconsin, created this clever twist on the classic cream puffs served at the Wisconsin State Fair. Her recipe was a finalist in our annual recipe contest.

Chocolate Hazelnut Cream Cheese Puffs

Army and Lou's Macaroni and Cheese

This three-cheese specialty comes from Army and Lou's, a soul food eatery on Chicago's South Side that's long been a hot spot for foods that give you a sense of well-being. The one-dish masterpiece embodies everything we want in a comfort food: It's warm, it's fattening, and it revives childhood memories.

Army and Lou's Macaroni and Cheese

Cinnamon Rolls

This recipe, with its heady aroma of yeast and spice, comes from the Patchwork Quilt Country Inn near Middlebury, Indiana. In winter, let the yeast dough rise in your unheated oven. The roll dough proofs best at a temperature between 80° and 85°.

Cinnamon Rolls

Sweet Potato-Corn Chowder

Chef Paul Dagenbach upgraded the classic Midwest corn chowder for the class he teaches at Cooks' Ware in Cincinnati. Sweet potatoes and andouille sausage made their way into the mix, along with cumin, chili powder and Cajun spice for a little zing.

Sweet Potato-Corn Chowder

Traditional Chicken-Fried Steak

Classic chicken-fried steak actually is crispy, fried beef, usually topped with a creamy gravy. The recipe comes from Devil's Pool Restaurant at Big Cedar Lodge near Ridgedale, Missouri.

Traditional Chicken-Fried Steak

Turkey Run Inn’s Bread Pudding

A brown sugar and butter sauce completes this down-home dessert served at Turkey Run Inn at the state park in Marshall, Indiana.

Turkey Run Inn’s Bread Pudding

Apple Harvest Chili

Fresh apple, dried fruit and cashews add color, sweetness and crunch to a ready-in-45 vegetarian chili. For a twist on the traditional toppers (and to hint what’s inside), garnish with apple slivers.

Apple Harvest Chili

Beef Stew

This traditional beef stew, our adaptation of the classic you'll find on many country inn menus, appeared on a cover of Midwest Living®. Cubed boneless beef chuck bubbles along with potatoes, green beans, carrots, celery and other veggies to make a hearty one-pot dinner.

Beef Stew

Jam Crumb Cake

Spreadable fruit jam ribbons through this buttery crumb cake, sinking here and there for a marbled look. A generous crumb topping adds more flavor. Choose your favorite jam, strawberry or raspberry, for the recipe.

Jam Crumb Cake

Never-Fail Rice Pudding

This warm and comforting dessert recipe, one of the winners in a Midwest Living® Favorite Winter Recipes contest, comes from a Brookfield, Missouri, reader. Serve with raisins, dried cherries or dried cranberries for extra flavor and color.

Never-Fail Rice Pudding

Hickory Nut Cake

Hickory nuts add a buttery taste to the inside of this dense cake, from Audrey and Robert Biersach of Columbus, Wisconsin.

Hickory Nut Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

Cranberry-Orange Wild Rice Muffins

This North Woods-inspired recipe from Cheryl Francke of Arden Hills, Minnesota, was a finalist in our Best of the Midwest® recipe contest. 

Cranberry-Orange Wild Rice Muffins

Classic Lasagna

With its rich meaty sauce and creamy cheese layers, this lasagna is always a favorite main dish.

Classic Lasagna

Snow-Season Pancakes

As the snow piles up outside Prairie Sky Guest and Game Ranch in Veblen, South Dakota, owner Corrine Prins heats up the griddle for her buttermilk pancakes that early risers can't resist. Teach your kids -- or grandkids -- to flip the flapjacks when you prepare this kid-favorite breakfast.

Snow-Season Pancakes recipe

Hot-Stuff Kielbasa-Cheese Soup

The rich, creamy flavors in this colorful soup from a Lima, Ohio, reader, earned it a top spot in a Midwest Living® Favorite Winter Recipes contest. If you like, you can cut calories by substituting turkey kielbasa, fat-free milk, and low-fat cheese.

Hot-Stuff Kielbasa-Cheese Soup

French Spaghetti

Layer creamy white and tomato-mushroom sauces with noodles to create this meatless dish. You can serve it with a salad as a main course or spoon out smaller portions as a side dish.

French Spaghetti

Download our FREE collection of 10 top casserole recipes

The Original Toasted Ravioli

This fried ravioli recipe comes from Charlie Gitto's on the Hill in St. Louis. For a quick dinner, substitute frozen ravioli for fresh and serve topped with purchased marinara sauce.

The Original Toasted Ravioli

Antlers Wild Rice Soup

We like the smooth richness of this chunky main-dish soup from Antlers Restaurant at Breezy Point Resort in Breezy Point, Minnesota.

Another comforting chicken soup: Creamy Velvet Chicken Soup, the signature dish in the re-created L.S. Ayres Department Store Tea Room (circa 1905) at the Indiana State Museum, Indianapolis.

Antlers Wild Rice Soup

Creamy Velvet Chicken Soup

Wisconsin Harvest Pie

This almond-kissed, fruit-packed pie comes from David Harper, of Richland Center, Wisconsin. He likes to serve it with a wedge of Wisconsin cheese, but it's just as good with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream! The recipe was a finalist in our annual recipe contest.

Wisconsin Harvest Pie

Three-Tiered Fudgy Chocolate Cake

Buttermilk and sour cream lend moistness and tang to our old-fashioned chocolate cake. All that's missing are the birthday candles.

Three-Tiered Fudgy Chocolate Cake recipe

Tiramisu

This classic Italian dessert almost always brings a round of contented sighs when it's served. This recipe comes from Gian-Tony's on the Hill in St. Louis. Our Test Kitchen decided the liqueurs could be omitted if necessary, but we liked the flavor they added.

Tiramisu

Zuppa Inglese

This is the Italian version of a trifle from LoRusso's Cucina in St. Louis. The rich dessert layers custard with a syrup, pound cake and fresh raspberries, and tops it all off with whipped cream and chocolate curls.

If you're looking for a faster dessert, the orange-flavored syrup alone could be used as a topping for fresh fruit or store-bought cake.

Zuppa Inglese

Old World Cheese Bread

A warm center of Muenster cheese makes this bread a memorable addition to any soup supper. It's pictured with Meaty Cabbage Borscht. Both were popular at the now-closed Lincoln Del restaurant in Bloomington, Minnesota.

Old World Cheese Bread

Meaty Cabbage Borscht

Chicken with Lemon-Thyme Dumplings

This country-style chicken soup with dumplings will remind you of Grandma's recipes--hearty, rich and comforting.

Chicken with Lemon-Thyme Dumplings

Skillet Corn Bread

Long before corn stick pans and muffin tins, a skillet was the pan of choice for making corn bread. This traditional recipe comes from a bed and breakfast in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

Skillet Corn Bread

Creamy Scalloped Potatoes

This rich side dish earns compliments at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Dearborn, Michigan. Because potatoes darken once sliced, prepare this dish right before you plan to bake it.

Creamy Scalloped Potatoes

Cherry Pie

Cherry pie is the specialty of Betty Reichle, mother of Southmoreland on the Plaza co-owner Mark Reichle. Her filling has a hint of cinnamon and almond. And she weaves a handsome lattice crust on the top. "I make points with Mark when I make this pie," she says.

Cherry Pie

Macaroni and Cheese Perfection

Forget what you know about store-bought packages -- this is REAL macaroni and cheese. The children of cheese-makers Shelley and Randy Krakenbuhl accepted nothing else while they were growing up above the Prima Kase cheese factory in Monticello, Wisconsin. Here's the family recipe for Macaroni and Cheese Perfection, which Shelley prepares using Prima Kase's Emmentaler cheese and some Parmesan.

Macaroni and Cheese Perfection

Grammy's Wild Rice Porridge

Wild rice may seem like an unusual breakfast ingredient, but it adds chewiness to this fruit-nut hot cereal. Dried cranberries, blueberries and cherries also cook into the porridge.

Grammy's Wild Rice Porridge

Barbecue-Sauced Meat Loaf

This easy, saucy meat loaf makes a quick weeknight dinner—and a great sandwich the next day! We love it between slices of whole wheat bread with banana peppers, lettuce, onion and extra barbecue sauce.

Barbecue-Sauced Meat Loaf

Sweet Potato-Pork Skillet

Maple syrup sweetens this easy meal in a skillet. Fresh fruit or a tossed salad completes the meal.

Sweet Potato-Pork Skillet

Classic Schnitzel

The Bavarian Inn in Hermann, Missouri, prepares this Old World classic with style. For schwein schnitzel, add the sour cream sauce (included with recipe).

Classic Schnitzel

Add Your Comment