Food by VICE

25 Winter Comfort Foods That Are Almost As Cozy As Staying in Bed

Would still recommend eating them in bed, but you get the idea.

by Munchies Staff
Dec 11 2018, 8:30pm

Photo by Heami Lee

Did you have a five-minute internal pep talk with yourself this morning to find the motivation to get out from under the warm, cozy blankets? "If you get out of bed now, your slippers are right there and your feet never even have to touch the Arctic ice-cold floor!" "It’s just a quick jaunt to the bathroom, then you can be under the nice, steamy hot water!" "If you just sludge through this eight-hour work day as quickly as possible, you can be right back here by 6!" Winter is a long, tedious cost-benefit analysis over leaving the toasty cocoon that is your bed after your alarm goes off. We feel you.

For when you finally find the motivation to pull yourself out of there, we’ve got some winter comfort food recipes that will make the out-of-bed hours worthwhile and equally cozy.

Traditional Shrimp and Grits Recipe

Contrary to what the back of the quick-cooking grits box claims, the best grits take time. For the creamiest, most comforting, most joy-inducing shrimp and grits, follow along with Southern cooking expert Sean Brock, who soaks his grits overnight and then cooks them low and slow for about an hour. It's worth it.

Crab and Wasabi Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Mac and cheese is always rich, and plenty of crab meat makes this mac even richer. Luckily, Meyhem Lauren knows the secret to making it work: a little wasabi adds enough punch to this recipe to make you go in for another serving without making your tastebuds feel bogged down.

Cassoulet Recipe

Cassoulet is not a dish you go into casually—it's a slow-cooked, plenty-of-ingredients ordeal, but nothing's better to evoke serious rustic French countryside cozy vibes. When you need a true winter weekend treat, make this cassoulet, and don't forget the crusty baguette for sopping up all the good braising liquid.

Kimchi-Braised Pork Recipe

'Tis the season to braise meat into tender, slow-cooked perfection, and this recipe is even better because it employs a little kimchi. Learn how to make this spicy, melt-in-your-mouth braised pork with our friend Kimchi Pete over on VICE Video.

Goulash and Potato Dumplings Recipe

This savory, wine-infused beef stew gets an extra-special addition of potato dumplings. They're basically pan-fried balls of mashed potatoes, and we're fully obsessed.

Easy Beef Stew Recipe

This easy but classic beef stew braises slowly with a full bottle of wine, and gets topped with crispy bacon because why the hell not? Grab a bowl and settle in with your newest binge-watch.

Homemade Pho Recipe

This homemade pho from Jimmy Ly of NYC Vietnamese staple Madame Vo takes some time, but the from-scratch broth is better than anything you'll get from a carton. Let it simmer for several hours and you've got the best way to soothe any sniffles.

One-Pan Roast Chicken and Potatoes Recipe

Chef Ashley Eddie, executive chef at Santina in Manhattan, showed us how to make this delicious spice-rubbed roast chicken, and we think you’ll want to keep this reliable, one-pan recipe around for not just the winter but the whole damn year.

Easy Tomato Soup Recipe

For peak enjoyment of this tomato soup, prepare a simple grilled cheese sandwich for dipping, and consume on the next day it snows so hard you "simply can’t leave the house—sorry, boss."

Korean Beef Brisket Stew Recipe

With fermented soybean paste, anchovies, kelp, and shimeji mushrooms, this Korean beef stew has more layers of umami than we even know what to do with. Don't forget the rice, because you'll want to slurp this down the last drop.

Turkey Chili Recipe

One perk of this simple turkey chili is that you can cook it pretty quickly if you're in a pinch. But when you've got a little more time, let it simmer on the stovetop for as long as your patience can hold out and it gets even better.

Homemade Bone Both Recipe

This homemade broth recipe from the authors of Sri Lanka: The Cookbook will warm you to, well, your bones, and with cloves, cardamom, curry leaves, and chiles, it's so flavorful that you'll want to sip it by the cup.

Braised Collards with Kielbasa Recipe

If you want to get the cozy vibes of braising without actually committing to, like, the several hours needed to soften up a whole lamb shank, start with braised collards with some smoky, spicy kielbasa. It comes together in just about an hour, and it's perfect served over buttery mashed potatoes.

Spicy Chickpea Stew Recipe

Vegan food can, in fact, be comforting, and this vegan chickpea stew—from none other than Natalie Portman herself—is super easy to throw together and makes for a hearty meal when you serve it over a big bowl of warm rice.

Hash Brown Casserole Recipe

The phrase "comfort food" should really be synonymous with this dish: a hash brown casserole of frozen potatoes, Cheddar, cream of chicken soup, and Kellogg’s Cornflakes, because baked and bubbly cheese makes any bad day better.

Vegan Shepherd's Pie Recipe

This is shepherd’s pie goes without, erm, any of the proteins that shepherds actually herd. Here, our filling base starts with vegan meat crumbles, shiitake mushrooms, carrots, onions, and peas, but the result is a vegan shepherd's pie that rivals whatever you grew up with.

Biscuit-Topped Chicken Pot Pie Recipe

Let's just admit it: Puff pastry and pie doughs are a pain in the ass. Skip that stuff entirely and top your chicken pot pie with fluffy, flaky biscuits. Once you go biscuit, you'll never look back.

Pork Cottage Pie Recipe

You've had chicken pot pie, you've had shepherd's pie, and you've maybe even had vegan shepherd's pie. Switch it up with this cottage pie, which uses pork in place of more typical fillings and includes your new go-to recipe for the best mashed potatoes.

Beef Lasagna Recipe

Per our pal Matty Matheson, who came up with this soul-soothing beef lasagna recipe, "If you don’t like lasagna, you’re probably an idiot." We're not idiots and you're not either, so just make this lasagna already.

Macaroni Au Gratin Recipe

We will abide no disagreement over this—the best macaroni and cheese has a crunchy, toasty top layer and a gooey, heart-attack inducing interior just like this one, and that is final.

Caramelized Onion and Cauliflower Casserole Recipe

The best part about this cauliflower casserole? Even with all of its heartiness and mid-winter vibes, it’s totally vegan, with just enough silken tofu and nutritional yeast to emulate the cheesy creaminess of your favorite dairy-loaded casseroles.

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

Sometimes when you don’t want to leave your bed/house, the vibe you’re going for is less carbo-loading and more sugar coma. In that case, may we present: our culinary director Farideh Sadeghin’s signature chocolate chip cookies.

Apple Pie Recipe

Who needs a scented candle burning to make your walk-up apartment feel like a rustic woodland cottage when you can have a real, edible apple pie in the oven instead? This apple pie recipe is our favorite, and it's perfect for the holidays and anytime you want a good old dose of Americana.

Hot Cross Babka Recipe

We've taken two of the best, most labor-intensive winter treats and rolled (or, um, twisted?) them into one glorious pastry. This hot cross babka is totally worth spending your whole Saturday in the comfort of your warm kitchen. How's that for hygge?

Winter-Spiced Cinnamon Buns Recipe

These cinnamon buns are the kind of thing you wake up early on a Saturday morning for. Bake them for your significant other, roommate, or just yourself when you deserve a gentle wake-up with the glorious smell of brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter all melting together.

Cannabis Hot Chocolate Recipe

You certainly don’t have to make this hot chocolate with cannabis, but if you’re not planning on leaving your mass of blankets and pillows all weekend long, why not? Plus, it's dairy-free and vegan because we believe in comfort food for everyone.

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