Instantly Feel Better with These Five Comfort Foods

After a tough day at the office, on an especially cold night, when you have a big decision to make, and all the other times you could just really use a big hug, there’s truly nothing quite like comfort food. Warm, familiar, creamy, cheesy, and often fried, comfort food knows exactly how to say, “It’s okay, you got this.”

Comfort Food Defined

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines comfort food as, “Food prepared in a traditional style having a usually nostalgic or sentimental appeal.” Another definition, this one by Oxford, supports that but takes it a step further: “Food that provides consolation or a feeling of well-being, typically any with a high sugar or other carbohydrate content and associated with childhood or home cooking.” Now we’re talking. Sugar and carbs.

In all seriousness, the truth is that any food that brings you comfort is, well, comfort food. Especially if it’s fried. The five foods listed here are universally comforting, not to mention unapologetically hearty and delicious. Edible hugs, if you will.

Mac & Cheese

Whether you prefer the variety that comes in a blue box or one with five different types of gourmet cheese, there’s really nothing more comforting than a bowl full of cheesy noodles. This fan-favorite earns bonus points for being super affordable and versatile, as well. It works as a casual meal on its own, fried into balls that are somehow even more delicious, and with the addition of literally almost anything. We’re looking at you, broccoli, BBQ brisket, and jalapeños. Keep all your mac & cheese options ready to serve in a rethermalizer.


There is perhaps no more hotly debated food item than meatloaf.  There’s no doubt it’s delicious and stick-to-your-ribs satisfying, but there are thousands of ways to make it and even more people who claim that theirs is the best. Points of contention include whether or not to use eggs, what type of filler to use, and when to put the glaze on. The good news is that every combo is equally comforting.

Grilled Cheese

The only thing that could top macaroni and cheese’s comfort level is a sandwich that’s made of nothing but gooey cheese. The best part? There are no rules. If you have any type of cheese, some form of bread, and a way to heat it, you’ve got yourself a grilled cheese sandwich. This super simple crowd-pleaser can also be remarkably elegant. In fact, it’s one of the most expensive sandwiches in the world. It should go without saying, but a bowl of tomato soup for dipping is an absolute necessity.

Chicken Pot Pie

People across the globe adore savory meat pies and most cultures have their own versions. Italians have calzones, empanadas are Latin American staples, and England’s cornish pasties are so historically important they’re designated as a protected regional food. The classic American interpretation is chicken pot pie and the list of things to love about it is long: It’s creamy, it’s savory, it contains four of the five basic food groups. It’s literally a complete meal in buttery, flaky pie form.

Fried Chicken

Is it possible to create a list of comfort foods without including fried chicken? We don’t think so either. Although it’s believed to have been invented by the Scottish long before it made its way to the U.S., fried chicken is synonymous with American comfort food and it has been for a very long time. The first-ever fried chicken recipe in America was printed in a cookbook in 1825, and we know the dish was popular much earlier than that. Fried chicken has come a long way and today it can be ordered as “Nashville Hot,” perched atop a waffle, or sandwiched in a flaky biscuit.

When it comes to fried chicken and more, Pitco fryers are simply the best around. Make sure your kitchen is prepared to handle a menu that your customers crave. Let our local culinary experts help you today.

New call-to-action

Topics: Foods & Trends, Chicken