'comfort' on Serious Eats

Quick and Easy Vegetarian Tamale Pie With Brown Butter Cornbread Crust

I've been on a tamale pie kick ever since updating my mom's classic recipe a couple months ago by adding a brown butter cornbread crust. Essentially an olive-packed chili baked underneath a sweet cornbread crust, it's one of the all-in-one comfort classics that never fails to bring big smiles and full bellies in its wake. This 100% vegetarian version is no different. More

Quick and Easy Skillet Tamale Pie With Brown Butter Cornbread Crust

Tamale pie is a dish that screams for an update. I mean, it's cornbread and chili all rolled into one! Just imagine how great it could be if we took the time to make a real, deeply flavored, meaty chili from scratch, eschewing the dump-and-stir approach and instead building up layers of spices and aromatics. Now imagine that chili topped with tender, moist, crisp-edged, buttery cornbread with those chili juices seeping up into it as it bakes in the oven. That's the kind of meal I'd love to come home to after a long day out in the cold. Wouldn't you? More

Lasagna Napoletana (Lasagna With Sausage, Smoked Cheese, and Meatballs)

We all know about lasagna Bolognese, the Northern Italian casserole made with fresh pasta layered with cheese sauce and a slow-cooked meat sauce enriched with cream. But what if I told you that there was another lasagna out there every bit as decadent, involved, rib-sticking, and delicious? I introduce to you Lasagna Napoletana, a lasagna that comes stuffed with an insanely meaty and savory red sauce, small tender-crisp meatballs, slices of sausage, and not one, not two, not even three, but four types of cheese. Are you ready to have your gut busted and your mind blown? Let's go. More

The Utimate Beef Stroganoff

Beef stroganoff is a dish of quick-cooked beef in a creamy sauce made flavored with mushrooms, onions, paprika, and sour cream. In our upgraded version, the beef is cooked as a whole steak to maintain a more tender, medium-rare center, while the sauce is carefully layered and constructed to optimize its rich, comforting, savory flavor. More

Clay Pot Rice With Spicy Sausage and Mushrooms

There's something very comforting and satisfying about a meal served and cooked in one pot. One of my favorite one-pot meals is clay pot rice. For this version, I wanted to use an ingredient that's not normally seen in clay pot rice: spicy Italian sausage. Combined with slivers of chicken, marinated dried mushrooms, and a sweet and savory sauce, this speaks comfort to me. More

The Best Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

I grew up eating my mom's layered chicken enchilada casseroles made with canned sauce and tons of sour cream. While I've still got a soft spot in my heart for that dish, this version, with its smoky charred poblano salsa, tender braised chicken thighs, and moderate use of cream and cheese, is its more sophisticated, grown up cousin. More

The Best Spinach Lasagna

I find the process of making lasagna extremely relaxing. I love working on the sauces and fillings and carefully assembling them all in a casserole dish before baking. Today we're going to look one of the classics. Creamy, cheesy, spinach lasagna flavored with a hint of nutmeg and a combination of white sauce and fresh ricotta. And while I'll often opt for the ease and convenience of no-boil lasagna noodles, today we're going to go all-in with store-bought fresh pasta. More

The Best Squash Lasagna

Roasted squash and sage are classic fall and winter flavors. I wanted to find the best way to incorporate them into a rich, creamy lasagna. The result—after a bit of tweaking and testing, of course—was a squash lasagna with intense, rich, sweet squash flavor balanced with chunks of sage-scented browned squash and apple, all layered with a creamy Gruyère white sauce and layers of tender pasta. More

Slow-Cooker Sunday Gravy

A sacred Italian-American institution, Sunday gravy is a meat-forward, all-day-simmered dish with as many recipes as there are Italian families who make it. My version incorporates flank steak braciole, Italian sausage, tender meatballs, and pork ribs along with onions, carrots, celery, and garlic, all simmered together in a rich red sauce. More

The Best Chicken Parmesan

Even at its worst, classic Italian-American chicken parmesan is pretty darn good. So how do you go about perfecting it? Our recipe has a buttermilk-based brine for maximum juiciness and tenderness. Tons of Parmesan cheese in our breading—along with a small drizzle of buttermilk— improves its flavor and texture. Our sauce is a slow-cooked, rich red sauce, and a mixture of fresh mozzarella and real Parmigiano-Reggiano top it off. More

American Chop Suey (Macaroni, Beef, and Cheese Skillet Casserole)

Beefaroni, macaroni and beef, chili mac, Johnny Marzetti, or American chop suey, call it what you will, but whatever its origins, there's one thing for sure: the stuff is delicious. Tender pasta with a rich tomato and beef sauce flavored with garlic and oregano, cooked together with onions and peppers, and finished with cheese, this is Italian-American comfort food at its finest. Not only that, but it's a ridiculously easy dish to put together, cooked 100% on the stovetop, and requiring nothing more than a pot, a bowl, and about half an hour of your time. More

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