Comfort Food and COVID-19

Comfort Food and COVID-19

Comfort food recipes are always good ones. In these trying times to have some nice ways to add some “comfort” to your life is very valuable. We will get through this.

Here are some recipe meal ideas that will help.

The act of cooking up a good meal is satisfying, and providing others with food is comforting. This leads to a lower stress level and helps to keep your immune system working at its best. Thus, we are more resilient against disease.

These three recipes are designed to lower your stress and help you provide comforting and satisfying food for you and your family that will help you to do more than just survive. In addition, if you have a neighbor, friend or family member that could benefit (who wouldn’t) from partaking of one of these comforting meals, then make some extra and bring it to them in a social-distancing sort of way. This will help to boost their spirits and is just one more small thing to help us all get through this.

Macaroni and Cheese

Comfort Food - COVID-19 - Macaroni and Cheese
  • Total time: 1 hour
  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 50 minutes
  • Servings: 6 to 8
  • Comfort level: high


  • 4 cups (1 pound) elbow macaroni
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 cups of milk
  • 1/2 medium onion, stuck with 1 clove
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 Teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups grated Cheddar, plus 1 cup in big chunks
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Process (in six steps)

Cook the macaroni in a large pot of boiling salted water until done, about 5 to 7 minutes. Drain and toss it with 2 tablespoons butter; set aside.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Coat a large baking dish with 1 tablespoon butter and set it aside. Put the milk into a saucepan and add the clove-studded onion, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, and mustard. Warm over medium-low heat until the milk starts to steam, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the flavors infuse while you make the roux.

In a large pot over medium heat add 2 tablespoons butter and the flour. Cook, stirring, for about 2 to 3 minutes; don’t let the roux color. Strain the infused milk onto the roux, whisking constantly to avoid lumps.

Cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes until the sauce is thick. Remove from the heat and add 1/2 the grated Cheddar and 1/2 the Parmesan; stir until it is melted and smooth.

Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Pour this over the macaroni, add the chunks of Cheddar, and mix until well blended; put this into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining Cheddar and Parmesan cheeses evenly over the top. Bake until the top is golden and crusty, about 25 to 30 minutes.


Comfort Food - COVID-19 - Chili
  • Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Total prep & cooking time: 30 minutes
  • Servings: 6 to 8
  • Comfort level: very high


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • One 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup masa harina (corn flour – traditional Mexican flour)
  • One 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • One 15-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • Shredded Cheddar, for serving
  • Chopped onions, for serving
  • Tortilla chips, for serving
  • Lime wedges, for serving


Place the ground beef in a large pot with the chopped garlic. Cook over medium heat until browned. Drain off the excess liquid, and then pour in the tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and cayenne.
Stir together well, cover, and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. If the mixture becomes overly dry, add 1/2 cup water at a time as needed.

After an hour, place the masa harina (corn flour) in a small bowl. Add 1/2 cup water and stir together with a fork. Dump the flour mixture into the chili. Stir together well, and then taste and adjust the seasonings. Add more flour paste and/or water to get the chili to your preferred consistency, or to add more corn flavor. Add the beans and simmer for 10 minutes.
Serve with shredded Cheddar, chopped onions, tortilla chips, and lime wedges.

Here is another great chili recipe that we published previously on our blog.

Parmesan Chicken Noodle Soup

Comfort Food - COVID-19 - Chicken Soup

Nothing is as comforting as a tasty bowl of soup or stew. This one provides such a high level of comfort that it is a big win on the comfort-satisfaction scale.

  • Total time: 35 minutes
  • Servings: 6
  • Comfort level: exceptional


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped fennel
  • 1 medium carrot, sliced into rounds
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup broken spaghetti
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the fennel, carrot, onion, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 8 minutes.

Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and stir in the pasta. Cook until the pasta is just tender, about 7 minutes.

Add the chicken and simmer until heated through. Remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan and parsley and season with additional salt and pepper and sprinkle with more Parmesan.

Comfort Food and COVID-19

We encourage everyone to do what needs to be done to keep our communities safe from COVID-19. We hope these comfort food recipes will help you get through this time with a bit more comfort. They are also wonderful recipes in their own right, and we think you will benefit from them just because they provide a great deal of comfort.


One last note . . .

We also published a wonderful Irish Stew recipe that is also high on our list of comfort foods. You will certainly enjoy this one as well.


Gary Horsman

Gary is a consultant for KBC. He enjoys working in the kitchen whether it is cooking up a New Orlean's style Gumbo or a spicy curry. Socializing in his home is often centered around the kitchen as this highly social room is between the deck - also used for entertaining - and the dining room.

KBC Locations