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The Cosiest Comfort Food Recipes To Brighten Your Autumn

food, the cosiest comfort food recipes to brighten your autumn

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Check out this collection of satisfying recipes you can eat year round, with easy one-pots, creamy, cheesy pasta dishes, indulgent bakes and perfect pies.

food, the cosiest comfort food recipes to brighten your autumn

Butternut squash mac ‘n’ cheese

A comfort food favourite is given a makeover by adding cubes of butternut squash which have been roasted in olive oil and thyme. Macaroni cheese can sometimes be a little bland but here, chilli, nutmeg and mustard really lifts the dish. Extra grated cheese and breadcrumbs are scattered over before baking, adding a lovely crunch.

food, the cosiest comfort food recipes to brighten your autumn

Chocolate French toast

When you’re in need of a chocolate fix, this easy dessert is a must-make. Crisp fried slices of brioche are stuffed with melted dark chocolate. Instead of just dipping the sandwiches in beaten egg, they go into a rich custard with double cream and vanilla. Super indulgent to serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

food, the cosiest comfort food recipes to brighten your autumn

Roast paprika chicken

Here’s a smart way to jazz up roast chicken. Rub paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper all over the skin, then leave it in the fridge overnight. This gives a crisper, more flavourful result. The chicken is spatchcocked, which means the back bone is taken out, so it cooks more quickly and evenly.

food, the cosiest comfort food recipes to brighten your autumn

Dark and white chocolate brownies

Intensely chocolatey, fudgy marbled brownies are an instant mood booster, especially when combined with the tang of raspberries. Frozen raspberries are fine to use in this recipe when fresh are out of season.

food, the cosiest comfort food recipes to brighten your autumn

Chinese sweet sticky ribs

If you’re a fan of char siu, you’ll love this Chinese take on barbecue. The marinade hits all the sweet, sticky, spicy notes with ginger, garlic and chilli powder, plus hoisin, soy and oyster sauces. The ribs are roasted in the oven and basted regularly for extra flavour.

food, the cosiest comfort food recipes to brighten your autumn

Filo fish pie

An easy, luxurious fish pie with a silky sauce. We love the combination of white fish, prawns and smoked haddock, which really adds flavour. The crisp filo topping is a faster alternative to mashed potato and adds a lovely texture.

food, the cosiest comfort food recipes to brighten your autumn

Sweet potato, feta and red onion frittata

Here’s a glamorous upgrade on a simple omelette, with caramelised onions, cubes of tender sweet potato and salty feta. There’s no tricky flipping involved either, as once the base has set, it’s flashed under a hot grill to brown and melt the cheese. Don’t overcook it though, or the eggs will become tough and rubbery.

food, the cosiest comfort food recipes to brighten your autumn

Chicken casserole

This easy, feel-good one-pot is quick enough for a midweek meal, and it freezes well too. Chicken thighs are cooked with smoked bacon and herbs in stock, then mushrooms and cream are added towards the end for a rich, savoury sauce. It’s just begging to be served with a big bowl of creamy mashed potato and buttered greens.

food, the cosiest comfort food recipes to brighten your autumn

Macaroni cauliflower cheese

Take two favourite comfort foods, mix them together then add a dash of Indian flavours. The cauliflower stems are blended to a purée to thicken the cheese sauce, which is flavoured with cumin, chilli and fresh coriander. It’s a big dish of soothing comfort.

food, the cosiest comfort food recipes to brighten your autumn

Chocolate and chestnut cake

With just six ingredients, this simple cake is fudgy and chocolatey, perfect served warm from the oven with a dollop of whipped cream. Use tinned or vacuum-packed chestnuts for ease. They are softened in milk before mashing, although you could pulse them in a food processor for speed. They add to the fudge-like texture.

food, the cosiest comfort food recipes to brighten your autumn

Coconut and lemongrass roast chicken

If you love chilli, this tasty roast is a winner. The chicken is marinated overnight in a paste of lemongrass, chilli, garlic and onion which is mixed with coconut milk, to give a really tender result. Half the marinade is used as a baste while the bird is roasting. Serve with rice and stir-fried greens.

food, the cosiest comfort food recipes to brighten your autumn

Mushroom pie

With a savoury filling of mushrooms, chestnuts, walnuts and parsnips, topped with crisp filo pastry and served with a rich mushroom gravy, this warming pie is ready in under an hour. If making it for vegetarians, swap the Worcestershire sauce for soy sauce.

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Grilled cheese and chutney sandwich

Upgrade your cheese toastie by adding fiery chilli and an easy, homemade mint and coriander chutney. With chunks of red and green pepper and slices of onion mixed with mozzarella and Cheddar, it’s a winner.

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Classic lasagne

You can’t go wrong with lasagne – layers of silky pasta, creamy sauce and a rich meat ragù. The cooking time for this recipe is mostly hands-off. Just leave the meat sauce to slowly cook. The meat ragù is also great with tagliatelle, and it freezes well or will keep for up to three days in the fridge.

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Roasted pork belly with pears and thyme

Roasted pork belly with pears and thyme is the perfect winter roast. Fall-apart pork belly and crispy crackling pairs perfectly with sweet pears and vegetables roasted in cider and herbs. There’s little hands-on time and the results will be worth the wait.

food, the cosiest comfort food recipes to brighten your autumn

Curried cauliflower cheese filo pie

One of the best comfort foods, made into a pie. The cauliflower is roasted, rather than boiled first, to intensify its flavour and to give texture, and it’s mixed with oozing melted cheese. You’ll need a springform cake tin to bake it in.

food, the cosiest comfort food recipes to brighten your autumn

Classic moussaka

In Greece and Cyprus, moussaka is often made with minced pork or beef, not just lamb. In this recipe, the aubergines and potatoes are roasted first, to give flavour and colour. The meat is slow-cooked in red wine with herbs and spices, before being layered with the vegetables and a white sauce. It’s topped with grated cheese then baked until richly golden and bubbling.

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Thai beef curry

This creamy curry uses a shop-bought red curry paste, so there’s little prep to do. Strips of rump steak are simmered with roasted peanuts in coconut, lemongrass and chilli, to give fragrance, sweetness and heat.

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Coconut chicken noodles

This Burmese noodle dish is lightly spiced, rich with coconut and sure to be a bowl of comfort on a chilly evening. You can make the chicken curry in advance then, when ready to eat, serve with crispy fried noodles, hard-boiled eggs, chilli flakes and coriander.

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Smoky chicken and black bean stew

This rich stew always hits the spot, especially if there’s a chill in the air. The secret to the depth of flavour and tender, pull-apart chicken is in the long cooking time, so it’s definitely worth the wait.

food, the cosiest comfort food recipes to brighten your autumn

One-pot baked lamb orzo

A one-pot flavour sensation – chunks of tender lamb are cooked with tomatoes, stock, herbs, spices and orzo, a small pasta shape resembling a grain of rice which is commonly used in Greek cooking. The final flourish is the addition of black olives, feta and spinach.

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Banana and peanut butter crumble

A twist on a classic fruit crumble, this version combines caramelised bananas and sticky dates with the crunchiest peanut butter crumble topping and cardamom custard. On the off chance it isn’t polished off straight away, it’s just as delicious eaten as an indulgent breakfast with a dollop of yogurt.

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Throw-together roasted tomato pasta

Simple but delicious pasta dishes tick all the winter warmer boxes: carby, easy, satisfying. Sweet cherry tomatoes are roasted with lots of olive oil – which makes the sauce – plus chilli and garlic. Just add fresh basil and plenty of Parmesan to serve.

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Tarka dal

There are many versions of this north Indian dish. The name literally means spiced, flavoured lentils. This recipe is infused with cumin seeds, turmeric, garam masala and chillies. Serve with rice or flatbreads. Add extra vegetable stock for a nourishing soup.

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Chicken pot pie

This wholesome pie is packed with tender chicken and colourful vegetables, and topped with a flaky shortcrust pastry lid. You can vary the vegetables according to season and availability, and there’s no need to make the pastry from scratch – shop-bought is fine.

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Baked rigatoni with meatballs

Meatballs made with Parmesan are mixed through a simple tomato sauce and rigatoni pasta. The dish is topped with shredded mozzarella and baked in the oven until bubbling and crisp at the edges. A proper winter warmer.

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Cauliflower soup

Creamy, cauliflower soup is always a winner, but especially when it’s served with cheesy, dough bites on the side. Make a double batch and keep some in the freezer to have on hand whenever you need a warming bowl of goodness.

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Food to soothe the soul

You’ll find it hard to believe this decadent mac ‘n’ cheese is vegan. Nutritional yeast, mustard powder and pickled cabbage give it that cheesy, tangy flavour.

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Stuffed potato skins

The secret to a perfect baked potato is in the long baking – worth the time to have fluffy potato and crisp, crunchy skins. This is a very simple dish, packed with flavour from feta, spring onions, garlic and tarragon, mixed into the potato flesh with butter then baked again until golden and bubbling.

food, the cosiest comfort food recipes to brighten your autumn

Parma Ham sausage rolls

Perfect as a hot snack or to serve with a bowl of nourishing soup after a chilly winter walk, here’s a rather special sausage roll. The sausagemeat is mixed with herbs, garlic and spices, then spread over sweet and salty Parma Ham and shop-bought pastry before being baked.

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Chicken soup and dumplings

When you’re under the weather, chicken soup is one of the most restorative foods you can eat. This creamy broth, packed with vegetables, takes a bit of time to cook, but it freezes well so make a double batch. It’s topped with fluffy dumplings to soak up the soup.

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Plantain and chickpea curry

An easy chuck-it-all-in kind of recipe with a creamy coconut base, heat from Scotch bonnet, and hearty chickpeas and plantain. The curry is vegan too.

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Eggplant chili traybake

Aubergines love a bit of spice. In this easy vegetarian traybake, they are chopped and combined with chickpeas, kidney beans, tomatoes and spices. Top with more halved aubergines and grated cheese, and bake until golden and bubbling.

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One-pot mushroom pasta

This really is cooked all in one pan, including the pasta. The trick is to coat the raw pasta thoroughly in the creamy sauce, so it doesn’t stick together. The recipe uses flat field mushrooms which give a rich, savoury flavour.

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Chocolate fondant

Much easier to make than you may think, these chocolate puddings have melting chocolate sauce in the centre. Great served with double cream or salted caramel sauce, they take just 30 minutes from start to finish.

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Mushroom and lentil pie

This mushroom and lentil pie is utterly satisfying. Lentils provide a filling base, red wine adds richness and dried mushrooms, stock and Marmite (yeast extract spread) gives it its umami flavour. The dish is made more irresistible topped with a creamy, buttery root vegetable mash.

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Miso cod ramen

This nourishing soba noodle bowl is satisfying and warming. The cod is marinated for just 30 minutes in a miso marinade, then fried until the skin is crisp and lightly charred. Add in some simple store cupboard seasonings and fresh pak choy for a meal in a bowl.

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Potato gratin

You can never go wrong with a buttery, creamy, golden potato gratin. Break through the crisp top to reveal the soft, comforting grated potato below. Save time by using your food processor to grate the potatoes.

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Smoked sausage tagliatelle

This Swedish comfort food classic recipe swaps the traditional rice for tagliatelle. There’s a creamy sauce, packed with diced smoked sausage, capers for piquancy, paprika for heat and fresh chives to add an extra layer of flavour.

food, the cosiest comfort food recipes to brighten your autumn

Chocolate carrot cake

This twist on a traditional carrot cake is filled with chocolate chips, orange zest and warming cinnamon and cardamom. The cream cheese frosting is a little different too, made with melted butter which has been allowed to brown, before setting and using. It adds a distinct caramel note.

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Pork and onion curry

Here’s a slow-cooked one-pot dish with fall-apart pork. It’s sweet with caramelised onions, fragrant with fresh ginger, and savoury and salty from soy sauce. Serve with rice and stir-fried greens.

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Roast leg of lamb with pecorino and garlic

For a different weekend roast, this is a must-try for a cold day. Pecorino is an Italian sheep’s cheese which is very savoury and salty. It’s used in a stuffing for lamb – the umami-rich cheese and sweet meat are a perfect combination.

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Plum and blackberry bake

This is a very light, moist almond sponge, studded with blackberries and plums, and flavoured with cinnamon and bay. It’s wonderful eaten warm from the oven with vanilla custard or whipped cream.

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Cornbread with manchego and chorizo

Served hot from the oven, this savoury cornbread makes a great side for brunch. It has a lovely kick from little cubes of chorizo and savoury flavours from manchego. The latter is a Spanish sheep’s cheese which is quite sweet and salty, although you could use Parmesan or Cheddar too.

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Roast chicken with ginger mayonnaise

Roast chicken is always high up the list on everyone’s favourite comfort foods. In this recipe, it has a crisp skin flavoured with ginger and paprika, and is served with a zingy homemade watercress and ginger mayonnaise.

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Fish pie

Just imagine a creamy fish and sweetcorn chowder topped with crisp puff pastry! Here it is, using crayfish tails. You could push the boat out and use lobster tails, or try a combination of prawns and clams. There’s no pastry to make, either. It’s made with shop-bought puff.

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French toast-style crumpets

For an indulgent weekend brunch, these squidgy crumpets are coated in an egg mixture flavoured with little pieces of crisp bacon and grated Parmesan. With just four ingredients and five minutes of preparation, they are effortless and so tasty.

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Hot chocolate cake

For a winter celebration cake, this showstopper with three layers of light chocolate sponge, delicately spiced with nutmeg and cinnamon, will be just lovely. It’s covered in a rich cocoa buttercream and topped with grated chocolate, a dusting of cinnamon and marshmallows.

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Slow-cooked chicken with a crisp corn crust

This slow-cooked chicken with a crisp corn crust is a wonderfully warming meal on a cold day. Chicken thighs are simmered in tomato, garlic, harissa, red peppers and a hint of chocolate for a stew that’s packed with flavour. The crust is a simple gluten-free batter made with fresh or frozen sweetcorn kernels mixed with egg.

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Saffron chicken korma

Brighten up your day with a fragrant and creamy saffron chicken korma. Tender chicken thighs marinated in Greek yogurt are cooked in garam masala, coriander, saffron-infused milk and ground almonds for a golden curry with a sweet, mellow flavour.

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Sticky cinnamon buns

These Swedish cinnamon buns are your next rainy weekend project. You need to allow time for the dough to rise, but the mixing is speeded up using a stand mixer with a dough hook. As they cook, your kitchen will fill with the scent of spice.

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Easy chocolate torte

Few can resist chocolate when comfort food cravings call and this smooth and chocolatey torte is the perfect cocoa fix. It’s easy to make with just five ingredients, and is ready to enjoy, warm from the oven, in an hour. Serve with crème fraîche.

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Spiced pumpkin, olive oil and orange cake

Lift your mood with the scent of freshly-baked spiced pumpkin, olive oil and orange cake. The olive oil gives it a soft, moist crumb, with refreshing and zesty orange and lemon icing. Save time by using tinned pumpkin purée instead of roasting and blending your own.

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Cheese-stuffed bread

Homemade bread is one of life’s simple pleasures, particularly when winter calls for a healthy dose of carbs. This luscious loaf is stuffed with sweet cherry tomatoes and mozzarella. Definitely eat it warm from the oven, with some olive oil to dip.

food, the cosiest comfort food recipes to brighten your autumn

Chilli con carne

A really great chilli needs long, slow cooking to bring out all the flavours. Our recipe serves eight, so it’s a good idea to eat half and freeze half. Serve with sour cream, guacamole, tortilla chips, rice or jacket potatoes, not forgetting extra grated cheese.

food, the cosiest comfort food recipes to brighten your autumn

Chocolate chip cookies

What better antidote to a grey day than a freshly-baked cookie with a steaming mug of hot chocolate. These easy cookies can be prepared ahead and the dough stored in the fridge for a few days, so you can just slice off as many as you like.

food, the cosiest comfort food recipes to brighten your autumn

Shepherd’s pie

A thoroughly British winter warmer, minced lamb is cooked with mushrooms, garlic and vegetables in beef stock until tender. It’s topped with buttery, creamy mashed potato, then baked until golden and bubbling. The meat filling can be prepared ahead and it also freezes well.

food, the cosiest comfort food recipes to brighten your autumn

Baked double chocolate pudding

Otherwise known as a self-saucing or surprise pudding, the light sponge of this indulgent dessert is hiding chocolate sauce underneath. Using both dark and milk chocolate, it’s quick to make. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

food, the cosiest comfort food recipes to brighten your autumn

One-pan spinach lasagne

Much as we love a meaty lasagne on a miserable day, it is a labour of love, so here’s a quick version, made in one pan on the hob. There’s no white sauce to make either, just a rich mixture of cream cheese, cream and Parmesan. With sliced courgettes and spinach layered with the pasta, just add toasted pine nuts and fresh basil to serve.

food, the cosiest comfort food recipes to brighten your autumn

Harissa spaghetti

A spicy, vibrant dish ready in under 30 minutes and made with store cupboard ingredients, this could be your go-to midweek warmer. Harissa is a North African chilli paste, which really packs a punch. The recipe uses chickpea spaghetti to reduce the carbs, but feel free to use regular pasta instead.

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