Warm and Cheesy Recipes
Savor one of the top comfort-food ingredients—cheese—in these recipes for lasagna, chowder, fondue, casseroles and more.
Creamy Artichoke Lasagna
The classic lasagna cheeses-ricotta, Parmesan and mozzarella-give this one-dish meal its trademark gooey texture. The recipe also calls for some nontraditional lasagna ingredients, such as fresh artichokes.
Macaroni and Cheese Chowder with Crispy Ham
A splash of hot sauce, a topper of pan-fried ham and a just-right secret ingredient for ultrasmooth creaminess. (Guilty pleasure, thy name is American cheese.)
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 a Best of the Midwest recipe contest.
Sausage and Spinach Skillet Pizza
A hot cast-iron skillet mimics a pizza stone to create a crisp, evenly browned crust. We loaded our pizza with oozy red sauce and stretchy cheese. Fork and knife highly recommended.
Bacon-Pear Macaroni and Cheese
Crispy bacon, extra-creamy cheese sauce, pears sauteed in brown sugar and butter. It took our Test Kitchen three tries to get all the pieces right for this fall comfort food. Oh man, was it worth it.
Stuffed Italian Meatballs
Spiced Italian sausage encases melty mozzarella cheese for meatballs perfect dipped in marinara sauce, stuffed into a calzone or plopped on top of spaghetti.
Spinach-Mushroom-Sausage Pierogi Bake
You don't get much easier than this recipe from Jan Valdez of Chicago! Saute a few ingredients, stir in cream cheese to make a sauce, and dump it all over frozen pierogis in a casserole dish. (You don't even need to thaw the pierogis!)
Classic cheese fondue is a splurge in every sense--but it's also guaranteed bliss. (And you don't even need a fondue pot!) CJ Bienert, owner of The Cheese Shop of Des Moines, shares his easy recipe.
Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
The combo of butternut squash, rigatoni, bacon and smoked cheese makes for a delicious twist on traditional mac and cheese.
Cheesy Dutch Baby with Pesto-Dressed Vegetables
We're convinced that colorful food tastes better-and nutritionists will tell you it's better for you, too. Proof: Our innovative recipe. While the egg-and-cheddar batter puffs in a skillet, a crazy-quilt of veggies roasts separately. When the timer beeps, put them together for a savory twist on a fruit-filled Dutch baby pancake.
Squash and Tomato Bake
Summer squash adds texture to this easy side dish, which combines stewed tomatoes with paprika, garlic, basil and pepper, as well as some melty mozzarella and Parmesan. It goes well with roast chicken or beef.
Brats and Beer Cheddar Chowder
The name alone evokes images of some of Wisconsin's best foods: cheese, bratwurst and beer. "Hearty comfort food!" writes a website reviewer. "Especially good if you use specialty seasoned brats from your butcher."
Mexican Mac and Cheese
Pair Mexican flavors with pasta for this comfort-food casserole that includes sausage, salsa and Monterey Jack cheese.
Southwest Corn Pudding
Buttery onions, cheddar and green chilies lace our stuffinglike pudding. Inspired by traditional skillet corn bread, this recipe works as a side or as a meatless main served with a salad or garlicky sauteed kale.
Hot Artichoke and Roasted Pepper Asiago Cheese Dip
Roasted red sweet peppers fleck this dip with a festive crimson touch. Serve the warm, cheese-filled appetizer with bread or pita wedges, or some water crackers.
Creamy Macaroni and Cheese
The ultimate comfort food gets a twist in this recipe in which mozzarella and blue cheese fill in for more common American or cheddar. Light cream, bacon and sweet onion round out the sauce.
Jack Cheese and Smoky Chipotle Fondue
Lots of Monterey Jack cheese goes into this creamy fondue, along with sour cream, chipotle peppers and bacon. Scoop up with bread or tortilla chips. It's a great party recipe or a fun family meal.
Mexican Polenta Pie
Great for a potluck or family dinner, this 12-serving casserole combines polenta with ground turkey, spices, black beans, tomatoes and Monterey Jack cheese.
Goat Cheese, Artichoke and Smoked Ham Strata
Parmesan and fontina get a flavor boost from mild goat cheese in this company-special breakfast casserole.
Short Ribs over Cheesy Polenta
Put in a slow cooker, short ribs give you a delicious, dressed-up dish with hardly any work. A hint of licorice from fennel accents the recipe.
Cheesy Brat Stew Casserole
This six-ingredient hotdish recipe from an Appleton, Wisconsin, reader features bratwurst, cheddar cheese and potatoes. "It's a quick, easy recipe," our reader says. "There's not much you can mess up."
Tagliatelle a la Hudson
A simple mix of ingredients results in an elegant dish. Lemon peel and prosciutto flavor a whipping cream and Parmesan mixture tossed with hot pasta.
Gouda and Red Onion Pizza
You can put just about any cheese on pizza. Try Gouda or Edam on this fresh-tasting onion pizza. To ease prep, start with refrigerated pizza crust.
This easy breakfast pie, packed with nutrient-rich spinach, isn't overly eggy like some quiches. The recipe comes from Carol Reimer of Brownsburg, Indiana.
Bacon and Baked Potato Soup
Shredded American cheese is ideal for this soup because it melts so well. "My family loved this soup, and I even passed on the recipe to a neighbor who also thought it was awesome," notes one of our website reviewers.
Cheesy Italian Meatball Casserole
Combine Italian meatballs, three kinds of cheese, pasta and sauce for this easy, crowd-pleasing casserole.
Starker's Bacon and Cheese Curd Burger
Sugared bacon and melting cheese curds or string cheese make a mouthwatering filling for these behemoth burgers. The recipe comes from chef/owner John McClure of Starker's Restaurant at Country Club Plaza in Kansas City.
Cream cheese and cheddar melt into layers of ground beef, tomato sauce, spinach and noodles with a hint of basil in this hotdish recipe.
Cheesy Potato Soup
Potato, bacon and cheese--all the flavors you love in a bowl of soup! The American cheese keeps the soup from curdling while it slow cooks. Mashing cooked potatoes a bit gives the soup some body, while the bacon adds a smoky-salty taste.
Triangle Ranch Scalloped Corn
Eggs, creamed corn, diced green chile peppers and American cheese give this classic American side dish a new flavor. Saltines add some texture to the mix.
Artichoke hearts, dried tomatoes and sauce combine for a rich, creamy dip. Our recipe calls for processed Swiss cheese because it melts smoothly, but regular Swiss cheese will work fine, too. The dip will have a more stretchy, less creamy texture, but it tastes just as good.
Ultimate Grilled Cheese and Ham Panini with Parsnip Fries
When grilled cheese dreams big, it winds up like this. Our melty-perfect creation layers fruit chutney with ham, thinly sliced pear, a few arugula leaves, Gouda and creamy, nutty Fontina.