25 Comfort Food Projects to Tackle Now That Fall Is Really Here

New season, new recipes!

October 20, 2020

Pumpkin-Shaped Pumpkin Bread

Weekends were made for cooking. Whether it’s a project that you’ve been thinking about all week long or a recipe that you just happened to find as you were scrolling through your Instagram feed, there’s nothing more relaxing than heading into your kitchen on Saturday or Sunday to lazily cook the kind of food that brings pure joy.

And, now that fall is here, it’s totally acceptable to start making the most decadent and over-the-top dishes — every weekend. That’s right, it’s comfort food season. Whether your weekend calls for deep-fried deliciousness or a generous serving of ooey, gooey, melted cheese, these projects are perfect for the change of season.

Fresh-Baked Bread

Homemade bread is notoriously time-consuming, thanks to all the kneading, rising, shaping, and proofing. It’s almost impossible to make during the week but a welcome project come Saturday afternoon — especially if you’re making something other than a standard loaf. This pretty Pumpkin-Shaped Pumpkin Bread (pictured above) is a must-try for fall (and easier to make than you might think). For something more challenging, try Duff’s Chocolate Babka. And, if you’re an early riser and like to bake in the morning, homemade croissants or doughnuts make a great project.

Take-Your-Time Dinners

Weekends are the perfect time to slow down and cook a good, old-fashioned Sunday dinner. The type of meal that takes time — and lots of love. Ina’s Oven-Fried Chicken isn’t difficult to make but it does require a lot of time because the pieces soak in buttermilk overnight before being dredged and cooked. If you don’t have a chance to get a head start, try making Braised Short Ribs or a pot pie instead. Want to get the whole family involved in the cooking? Weekends are the perfect time to make Potato Gnocchi from scratch.

Kardea Brown’s Seafood Mac and Cheese.

Photo by: Matt


Pleasing Pastas

When it comes to comfort food, it’s tough to top a good plate of macaroni and cheese. Kardea’s Seafood Mac and Cheese is a bit of a project but every bit as decadent and delicious as you would expect. If you don’t like seafood, Trisha’s Baked Macaroni and Cheese is a good option, too. And, if you’re looking for a more advanced project, try making your own fresh pasta dough. This step-by-step guide will show you how. When you’ve mastered homemade pasta, use it to make Anne’s ultra-comforting egg-stuffed ravioli.

Food Network Kitchen’s Giant Chocolate-Peanut Butter Molten Bundt.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz

Matt Armendariz

Over-the-Top Sweets

There’s no better time than the weekend to treat yourself to a totally photo-worthy treat. This Giant Chocolate-Peanut Butter Bundt Cake (complete with a warm, peanut butter center) is guaranteed to wow. Not a fan of peanut butter? Try this Oreo Lover’s Cheesecake or cinnamon-sugar Churro Bowls (perfect for holding a scoop of ice cream!) instead. Want a super-sweet treat you can enjoy all week long? Make a batch of S’mores Granola to keep in your pantry.

Food Network Kitchen’s Crispy Chicken Parm Balls.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz

Matt Armendariz

Anything Fried

Craving something warm, crispy and fried to golden-brown perfection? You’re not alone! From Crispy Chicken Parm Balls to Fried Manicotti Dippers, fried food always satisfies. If you’ve got a little extra time on your hands, try these Ranch Mac and Cheese Bites. They start with a creamy, homemade cheese sauce for the noodles.

Food Network Kitchen's Mozzarella Stick Stuffed Crust Pizza for One-Off Recipes, as seen on Food Network.

Photo by: Tara Donne

Tara Donne

Anything Cheesy

If you feel like comfort food is synonymous with extra-cheese then fall weekends are the perfect time for you to make your own Stuffed-Crust Pizza. It’s not difficult; you’ll just need plenty of string cheese on hand. Other delicious, cheese-oozing options? Our Giant Spinach Dip-Stuffed Pretzel or molten Queso Cornbread Lava Cakes.

Barbecue Potato Chips as seen on Valerie's Home Cooking, Season 9.

Satisfying Snacks

There’s nothing better on a chilly night than cozying up on the couch with a movie and a good snack. If you want to keep things simple, make a batch of homemade Barbecue Potato Chips. Want something a little heavier? Ground Beef Empanadas, Fried Pork Dumplings and Cheesy Pretzel Bites are all good options.

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