5 Comfort Food Classics

Whether it’s a warm bowl of soup or creamy casserole, there’s something very comforting about enjoying a healthy helping of my family’s favorite familiar foods. While each of these classics speaks to me in a different way, what they have in common is the fact that I could truly enjoy them any day of the week, any time of year. Here’s a list of my top five comfort foods, all with dairy-friendly recipes you’ll be sure to love.

1) Slow Cooker Chili

As a native Texan, I can definitively say that I have NEVER turned down a bowl of chili. When you give it time to simmer for a few hours in the slow cooker, the flavors are just right when they come together. In the winter, I love to eat my chili with freshly baked cornbread, but in the spring and summer, it’s all about the tortilla chips! Top a handful (or two) of your favorite tortilla chips with chili, plenty of cheese and a generous dollop of sour cream, and voilá! – this dish instantly becomes the most amazing (and easiest) nachos.

2) Poached Chicken With a Dill Cream Sauce

As one of Bravo’s “Top Chef” contestants and recurring judges and owner of the Roots Chicken Shak in Plano, Texas, Chef Tiffany Derry is no stranger to making chicken dishes that tantalize your tastebuds. So, when she shared her poached chicken recipe with Dairy MAX, I knew it would quickly become one of my favorites, and it did not disappoint! 

The flavors of dill, garlic, lemon and white wine provide just the right level of tanginess to the dish, but the heavy cream is what brings the comfort. Thinly sliced chicken breasts cook slowly in the sauce, giving it a tenderness that allows you to slice right into it using only your fork. I love to serve mine over rice with a side of veggies – just don’t forget to spoon plenty of the sauce on top. That creamy goodness is truly #DairyAmazing!

3) J.R.’s Lasagna

This dish doesn’t miss: from ricotta to Parmesan to mozzarella, lasagna is a cheese lover’s dream. Aside from its cheesy goodness, I love that this recipe isn’t afraid to blend in some variety – the olives add a nice touch that packs an additional flavor punch.

And sure, you can serve it with a nice garden salad on the side. But let’s be honest: in my house, the salad is just there for decoration. This satisfying, stick-to-your-ribs dish is the main event.

4) Basil Tomato Soup With Grilled Cheese Croutons

One of my all-time favorite meals – and the epitome of comfort food – is a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup. The perfect flavor marriage of tomato and basil plus melted cheddar cheese on perfectly toasted bread is a combination I simply cannot turn down. And this recipe has a couple of fun twists: the soup contains milk and Parmesan cheese, giving it a creamy texture with the distinctive bite that Parmesan adds. The flavor is next-level. And the best part: it turns the grilled cheese sandwich into bite-sized crouton toppings for the soup! 

5) Potato Casserole

This dish brings me back to my childhood because it’s so hearty and filling. Growing up, my mom used to make a similar potato casserole to go alongside meatloaf or a nice roast for Sunday dinner. But what I love about this recipe is the shortcut that saves a good amount of time: using frozen potatoes. Luckily, the fact that these spuds start off frozen doesn’t affect the taste or how you mix them with the other ingredients. Once thawed, the butter melts into them just as easily, and the flavors combine beautifully. And when it comes out of the oven, biting into this comfort dish is like being wrapped in a warm hug.

I’m certainly a fan of good food, and I hope you’ll check out these recipes soon. Let us know in the comments which ones are your favorite.

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By Elan Carmichael

Elan has more than 10 years of marketing communications experience for companies including Capital One, Chick-fil-A and L’Oréal, as well as the McDonald’s account while at Moroch. After living in New York and Washington, D.C., and studying in Mexico and the Dominican Republic, Elan is excited to be back in her native Dallas to jump into the dairy world. She and her husband, Corey, have two daughters.

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