I live in Seattle, where the rain is relentless starting about now. My desire for warm soups, comforting casseroles, and hearty dinners has exponentially increased with the change of weather. For me, these are the meals I look forward to eating all year long.
I grew up eating chili, tuna noodle casserole, lasagna, and baked potatoes, but pho, a Vietnamese noodle soup, has become a new comfort food since I moved to Seattle. I look forward to slurping it throughout our cold rainy season.
Potatoes are an easy ingredient to transform from a side dish to the main course. In this meal plan they are loaded with broccoli, bacon and cheese, but you could really top them with anything—here are some ideas!
Along with the rain, the end of October brings us to the beginning of the holidays. I don’t know about you, but we currently have enough candy to feed the neighborhood, so I am baking healthier granola bars to give us an alternative to yet another piece of chocolate.
Stay cozy this week and I hope you get to eat the comfort foods that bring a smile to your face.
- New to Meal Planning? Start here!
- Need More Meal Planning Ideas? We Have You Covered!
Instant Pot Beef Chili
Chili was a staple of my childhood. Using the Instant Pot is a no-brainer for speeding up the simmering process. Plus, I love the addition of bell peppers, onions, and celery in this recipe—they round out the flavors. We load up our chili with our favorite toppings: shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, green onions, and crumbled saltine crackers, like my grandpa does.
Classic Tuna Noodle Casserole
Casseroles are a classic fall comfort food and tuna noodle is one of my favorites. I love that this recipe skips the canned mushroom soup and replaces it with an easy mushroom sauce. Use chunk light tuna packed in water for the perfect texture.
Loaded Baked Potatoes
I’m going to be honest, I used to really dislike baked potatoes. I have had too many undercooked, boring potatoes to get excited about it, especially as a main course. Cue Loaded Baked Potatoes. These changed my mind. Creamy on the inside, these crispy-skinned potatoes are topped with steamed broccoli, bacon, cheddar, sour cream, and chives. I’m running to the table! The key is to salt the potato skin and be sure to let them cook for the full hour.
Quick Chicken Pho
Pho is one of my favorite foods to eat especially when the weather starts to cool down. While the chicken cooks in the aromatic broth, soak the rice noodles. Set out a plate of toppings and let everyone make their own perfect bowl. I love topping mine with bean sprouts, basil leaves, and a squeeze of Sriracha. This weeknight version can be ready in 40 minutes!Continue to 5 of 6 below.
Vegetarian Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna
This meatless lasagna is packed with flavor! Shiitake and cremini mushrooms sautéed with garlic and onion make the base for the hearty sauce. Feel free to use oven-ready lasagna noodles if you prefer not to boil water. Remember to thaw the spinach in the refrigerator a day in advance or microwave it for a couple minutes for a quick defrost.
Weekend Baking: Homemade Granola Bars
These gluten-free granola bars are chock full of nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. Use your pantry to the fullest by making your own oat flour and your favorite mix-ins. Just process old-fashioned oats in a highspeed blender or food processor until finely ground and save yourself a trip to the grocery store.