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80 Cozy Winter Comfort Food Recipes

These delicious winter comfort food recipes can warm up even the coldest nights

The Best Beef Stew

Our stew has tons of flavor thanks to the herbs, red wine and balsamic vinegar. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

Before making this recipe, read up on these tips for storing fresh herbs.

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Rotisserie Style Chicken TMB Studio

Rotisserie-Style Chicken

My mother used to fix this rotisserie-style chicken when I lived at home, and we called it Church Chicken because Mom would put it in the oven Sunday morning before we left for church. When we got home, the aroma of the roasted chicken would hit us as we opened the door. —Brian Stevenson, Grand Rapids, MI

Here’s how long chicken lasts in the fridge, by the way.

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Portobello Risotto with Mascarpone

Portobello mushrooms add a beefy flavor to this creamy classic. Each serving is topped with soft, buttery mascarpone cheese, which makes it extra special. —Carmella Ryan, Rockville Centre, NY

Southern Style Meatloaf Exps Rc21 263315 B07 28 2bTMB Studio

Southern-Style Meatloaf

When my husband and I moved to the South, we discovered our love for pimento cheese! Its addition lends a southern flare to this tried-and-true meatloaf recipe. —Patricia Getson, Wilmington, NC

Speaking of cheese, here’s what cheese curds actually are.

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Turkey Corn Chowder

This thick and rich turkey corn chowder uses up Thanksgiving leftovers. Every so often, my grandmother would even add chopped hard-boiled eggs to this chowder to give it a nice richness. —Susan Bickta, Kutztown, PA

loaded mashed potatoesTMB Studio

Loaded Mashed Potatoes

Tired of the same old side dish, I whipped up this new family favorite. We can’t get enough of these loaded mashed potatoes at our house. Often, I’ll prepare this casserole ahead and refrigerate it. Then I bake it just before serving. —Dawn Reuter, Oxford, WI

Make sure you avoid these mashed potato mistakes when making this recipe.

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Garlic Beef Enchiladas

Beef enchiladas are typically prepared with corn tortillas, but my husband, Jeff, and I prefer flour tortillas. I use them in this saucy casserole that has irresistible home-cooked flavor and a subtle kick. —Jennifer Standridge, Dallas, GA

If you’re crunched for time, check out these easy 30-minute meals.

Cheeseburger Paradise Soup Exps Frbz19 35766 B04 11 1b 3 EditTMB Studio

Cheeseburger Paradise Soup

I’ve never met a person who didn’t enjoy this creamy soup, and it’s hearty enough to serve as a main course with your favorite bread or rolls. —Nadina Iadimarco, Burton, OH

Don’t forget to check out what the best burger in each state is.

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Easy Vegetable Lasagna

Bursting with garden favorites, this easy vegetable lasagna is a vegetable lover’s dream. The pasta layers are generously stuffed with roasted zucchini, mushrooms, peppers and onion in homemade tomato sauce. —Susanne Ebersol, Bird-in-Hand, PA

Here’s how to store all that produce correctly.

Blue Plate Beef Patties Exps Ft21 10256 F 0713 1TMB Studio

Blue Plate Beef Patties

A friend and I discovered this recipe together and both consider it a staple menu item. I fix the moist ground beef patties often for family and friends. We love them with mashed potatoes, rice or noodles and the gravy, which gets great flavor from fresh mushrooms. —Phyllis Miller, Danville, IN

Do you know why it’s called a hamburger when there’s no ham in it?

Savory Rice Stuffed Apples Exps Tohescodr21 186806 B05 14 3bTMB Studio

Savory Rice-Stuffed Apples

My family has several apple trees, so I am challenged to create new recipes each fall. This side dish is wonderful with pork roast and so effortless due to the use of the slow cooker. —Roxanne Chan, Albany, CA

Interested in growing your own fruit? Check out these indoor fruit trees you can grow year-round.

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Creamy White Chili

Years ago, as a time-starved college student, I got this wonderful recipe from my sister-in-law. She had made a big batch and served it to a crowd one night. It was a hit—and easy and quick. In all my years of cooking, I’ve never had another dish get so many compliments. —Laura Brewer, Lafayette, IN

Chicken Marsala En Croute Exps Tohescodr21 207396 B05 14 4bTMB Studio

Chicken Marsala en Croute

I love puff pastry and chicken Marsala, so I decided to combine the two. The result is a very special meal perfect for Sunday dinner or any special occasion. Be sure to keep the puff pastry chilled so it’s easier to work with. —Lorraine Russo, Mahwah, NJ

Slow Cooker Mushroom Potatoes Exps Tohedscodr21 21418 E04 28 3bTMB Studio

Slow Cooker Mushroom Potatoes

This versatile side dish jazzes up sliced potatoes with mushrooms, onions, canned soup and cheese. Its comforting flavor makes it a nice accompaniment to most meats. —Linda Bernard, Golden Meadow, LA

Looking for something simple? Check out these five-ingredient dinner recipes.

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Penne All’Arrabiata

Pasta all’arrabiata, a classic Italian recipe, is my comfort food, be it summer or winter. My kids and I love sprinkling “pangrattato” (fried bread crumbs) on top of the arrabiata sauce. —Smitha Haridasan, Ganapathy, India

Irish Onion Soup Exps Dobz21 93961 E09 02 2bTMB Studio

Irish Onion Soup

The inspiration behind this recipe came from my father, who owned a restaurant and created the original dish. This version stars contemporary ingredients but still serves the same popular robust flavor. —Theresa Miller, Sault St. Marie, MI

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Garlic Knotted Rolls

Using frozen yeast dough is an easy way to make homemade rolls. These cute knots add a special touch to any menu.

Honey-Maple Glazed HamTMB Studio

Honey-Maple Glazed Ham

My graham-cracker-crusted ham gets a double coating of a simple honey-maple glaze. The first half melts into the ham, while the second half forms a sweet caramelized topping. —Alan Sproles, Knoxville, TN

Cheesy Wild Rice Soup Exps Ssmz21 11615 B10 14 8b 2TMB Studio

Cheesy Wild Rice Soup

We often eat easy-to-make soups when there’s not a lot of time to cook. I replaced the wild rice in the original recipe with a boxed rice mix. This creamy concoction is now a favorite.

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Chicken Biscuit Potpie

This hearty chicken potpie recipe with biscuits takes just 10 minutes to assemble before you can pop it in the oven. —Dorothy Smith, El Dorado, AR

Need more dinner inspiration? Try these restaurant copycat recipes.

Rosemary Beef Roast Over Cheesy Polenta Exps Tohsoda21 238507 E12 11 2b 8TMB Studio

Rosemary Beef Roast over Cheesy Polenta

I love beef roast in the slow cooker, and it’s fun to pair it with something a little different than potatoes! This is true comfort food. —Elisabeth Larsen, Pleasant Grove, UT

Homemade Cheesy Potato Soup Exps Ft20 21018 F 1028 1TMB Studio

Homemade Cheesy Potato Soup

It doesn’t take long to put bowls of this comforting cheesy potato soup recipe on the table. Convenience items, such as canned soup and processed cheese, simplify the preparation. —Tammy Condit, League City, TX

Favorite Christmas Breakfast Casserole Exps Ft20 29904 F 0929 1 1TMB Studio

Favorite Christmas Breakfast Casserole

After church on Christmas morning, our family enjoys this easy, make-ahead casserole. I’d also recommend this Christmas morning breakfast casserole for a special brunch any time of the year. —Maryellen Hays, Wolcottville, IN

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Cranberry Nutella Sandwich Cookies

I created these cookies for my family after I realized that we had been without Nutella for far too long! The tart dried cranberries are a natural pairing to the hazelnut flavor. We can’t get enough of these sweet treats! —Nancy Mock, Colchester, VT

Sage Dressing TMB Studio

Sage Dressing

This moist, hearty sage stuffing is nicely seasoned with sausage and fresh mushrooms. Sometimes I use it to stuff my Thanksgiving turkey, and other times I bake it separately. —Betty Kay Sitzman, Wray, CO

Classic Cheesecloth Turkey TMB Studio

Classic Cheesecloth Turkey

This cheesecloth turkey uses a classic method, wine-soaked cheesecloth, to give you the juiciest turkey and most flavorful gravy you’ve ever tasted! Pair with your favorite sides for a complete meal. —Rashanda Cobbins, Milwaukee, WI

Corny Green Bean Casserole Exps Ft20 9641 F 0923 1 13TMB Studio

Corny Green Bean Casserole

Crushed crackers and french-fried onions create a fast and flavorful topping for this home-style green bean casserole with cheese. It’s the perfect cheesy dish to take to potluck dinners. —Dorothy Bahlmann, Clarksville, IA

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Peanut Butter Cinnamon Snap Cookies

These peanut butter cinnamon cookies are perfect for bake sales, potlucks or holiday gift baskets. Use fun cookie cutters for any occasion you’re celebrating. The cookie glaze dries shiny, so they look professional. —Kallee Krong-McCreery, Escondido, CA

Autumn Lamb Skillet Exps Rc20 250510 B07 14 1b 15TMB Studio

Autumn Lamb Skillet

I have found that even those who do not prefer lamb will enjoy this recipe. It’s especially delicious on a chilly night! —Arlene Aughey, Saddle Brook, NJ

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Smashed Sweet Potatoes and Apples

Looking for ways to cut down on the number of dishes that require oven time on Thanksgiving, I devised a sweet potato dish that can be made ahead in a slow cooker. It’s not too sweet, and it makes a perfect side for turkey or ham. —Judy Batson, Tampa, FL

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Best Spaghetti and Meatballs

One evening we had unexpected company. Since I had some of these meatballs left over in the freezer, I warmed them up as appetizers. Everyone raved! This classic recipe makes a big batch and is perfect for entertaining. —Mary Lou Koskella, Prescott, AZ

Favorite Baked Potato Soup TMB Studio

Favorite Baked Potato Soup

My husband and I enjoyed a delicious baked potato soup at a restaurant while on vacation, and I came home determined to duplicate the flavor. It took me five years to get the taste right! —Joann Goetz, Genoa, OH

Basic Meat LoafTMB Studio

Basic Meatloaf

Since I can’t have much salt, I’ve come up with a recipe for easy meatloaf that is really tasty without it. —Lillian Wittler, Wayne, NE

Chocolate Pecan Skillet CookieTMB Studio

Chocolate Pecan Skillet Cookie

Bake up the ultimate shareable cookie. For variety, swap the chocolate chips for an equal quantity of M&M’s or chocolate chunks. Or go super fancy by mixing the chocolate chips and pecans into the dough, then gently folding in fresh raspberries. —James Schend, Taste of Home Deputy Culinary Editor

If you want another sweet recipe, try making this simple chocolate dump cake.

Chicken N Hash Brown Bake TMB Studio

Chicken Hash Brown Casserole

The first time I served this Chicken Hash Brown Casserole was to a family with five children. The kids and the adults loved it! This is one recipe I often make for parties—it goes a long way, and all ages enjoy it. —Ruth Andrewson, Leavenworth, WA

Pressure Cooker French Onion Soup TMB Studio

Pressure-Cooker French Onion Soup

I love French onion soup on a cold night, but I don’t love the time it takes. This is my quick version for when we’re short on time. —Teri Rasey, Cadillac, MI

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Southern Mac and Cheese

No down-home meal is complete without Southern mac and cheese. Three types of cheese and a squirt of mustard make this comforting dish sing! —Katie Sloan, Charlotte, NC

Pecan BrowniesTMB Studio

Pecan Brownies

It’s hard to eat just one of these nutty pecan brownies—good thing a batch can bake up in a matter of minutes. —Karen Batchelor, Bellevue, NE

Turkey ShepherdS Pie TMB Studio

Turkey Shepherd’s Pie

We live way out in the county, and the nearest grocery store is 25 miles away. So I’ve become quite skilled at turning leftovers into second-time-around successes, like this turkey shepherd’s pie. —Linda Howe, Jackman, ME

Air Fryer Sausage Pizza TMB Studio

Air-Fryer Sausage Pizza

When I figured out how to make air-fryer pizzas, I was in pizza heaven! It’s super easy to make these personal-size pies, and now my boys can customize their own, so everyone is happy. —Margo Zoerner, Pleasant Prairie, WI

Talk about a great air-fryer recipe!

Pot Roast With Gravy TMB Studio

Pot Roast with Gravy

My family loves this tangy, slow-cooked beef roast with gravy. We always hope for leftovers that I turn into a tasty sandwich spread. —Deborah Dailey, Vancouver, WA

Rice Meatballs TMB Studio

Rice Meatballs

“I first made these meatballs when our children were small, and they just loved them,” notes Mary Kelso of Hannibal, Missouri. “I occasionally use cream of mushroom soup instead of tomato soup, and that variation is delicious too.”

Slow Cooker Short RibsTMB Studio

Slow-Cooker Short Ribs

These slow-cooker short ribs are an easy alternative to traditionally braised short ribs—you don’t need to pay any attention to them once you get them in the slow cooker. (That makes it my favorite beef short ribs recipe!) —Rebekah Beyer, Sabetha, KS

Hearty Ragu BologneseTMB Studio

Hearty Ragu Bolognese

My robust ragu combines ground beef, sausage and chicken. Serve it over any type of pasta, or baked or fried polenta. It’s even good on its own with a slice of hot buttered garlic bread. —Caroline Brody, Forest Hills, NY

chicken and dumplingsTMB Studio

The Best Chicken and Dumplings

Homemade chicken and dumplings from scratch harken back to my childhood and chilly days when we devoured those cute little balls of dough swimming in hot, rich broth. It’s one of those types of soup you’ll want to eat again and again. —Erika Monroe-Williams, Scottsdale, AZ

Flavorful Mashed Potatoes Exps Dobz21 41194 B08 18 2bTMB Studio

Flavorful Mashed Potatoes

Earthy herbs bring a full chorus of flavor to creamy red potatoes, making this side dish anything but ordinary. Save it for special occasions or serve as a dressy accompaniment to a weeknight meal. —Mary Relyea, Canastota, NY

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Sunday Supper Sandwiches

This delish dish can be prepared in a four-quart slow cooker as well. Simply cover and cook on low for eight to ten hours or until meat is tender. —Libby Walp, Chicago

Apple Glazed Holiday Ham Exps Tohdj22 55791 B08 03 2bTMB Studio

Apple-Glazed Holiday Ham

Each Christmas I’m asked to prepare this entree. I’m happy to oblige because it’s easy to assemble, bakes for a few hours unattended and is simply delicious. —Emory Doty, Jasper, GA

Frosted Pumpkin Muffins Exps Ft21 21710 F 0805 1 8TMB Studio

Frosted Pumpkin Muffins

These pumpkin muffins with cake mix are so good, even picky eaters cannot seem to get enough. They’re also delicious without frosting or nuts. —Samantha Callahan, Muncie, IN

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Chicken and Rice Dinner

My family lines up for seconds of this hearty main dish from my mother-in-law, Mary Lou Baumert—a great cook! In this easy tasty recipe, the chicken bakes to a beautiful golden brown.—Denise Baumert, Dalhart, TX

Bistro Mac Cheese TMB Studio

Bistro Mac and Cheese

I like to serve this mac and cheese with a salad and crusty bread. It’s a satisfying meal that feels upscale but will fit just about any budget. And because the Gorgonzola is so mild in this dish, even the kiddos will go for it. —Charlotte Giltner, Mesa, AZ

Best ShepherdS Pie TMB Studio

Best Shepherd’s Pie

This is the best shepherd’s pie recipe I’ve ever had, and it comes from a friend who was a whiz at pinching pennies without sacrificing hearty flavor. —Valerie Merrill, Topeka, KS

Double check that you know how to store the potatoes and onions needed for this recipe!

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Cranberry Apple Sheet Pie

My husband loves pie, so I made one with apples, raspberries and cranberries. This apple cranberry slab pie is so good, I bend the rules and let the grandkids have it for breakfast. —Brenda Smith, Curran, MI

Quick And Easy Skillet Lasagna TMB Studio

Easy Stovetop Lasagna

My family and I have made this Easy Stovetop Lasagna recipe many times over the past few months. It’s the perfect solution when you feel like lasagna but don’t have time to bake it in the oven! Serve with salad or garlic bread. —Wendy Masters, East Garafraxa, Ontario

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Grilled Turkey Drumsticks

Try something different this Thanksgiving and learn how to grill turkey drumsticks! These smoky, tender turkey drumsticks are easy to make, free up space in the oven and cook in a fraction of the time needed for a whole turkey. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

Tater Tot CasserolesTMB Studio

Tater Tot Casseroles

Ground beef, sausage and cheese make this tater tot casserole with green beans a crowd-pleaser. Cayenne pepper and hot Italian sausage give it a pleasant kick. —Ryan Jones, Chillicothe, IL

Chicken Crouton Hot Dish TMB Studio

Chicken Crouton Casserole

This Chicken Crouton Casserole recipe has practically made my mom famous. When she takes it to get-togethers, it’s loved by all who taste it. Whenever she serves it to family, the dish is empty by the end of the meal. —Beth Gramling, Warren, PA

Peanut Cashew Marshmallow PieTMB Studio

Peanut-Cashew Marshmallow Pie

This pie appeals to kids and adults! The chocolate crust and caramel topping make it all the more special. I like the nice contrast of the creamy mallow filling with the crunchy peanuts. An added bonus is that this pie can be made ahead of time. —Lisa Varner, El Paso, TX

Herbed Pecan Stuffing TMB Studio

Herbed Pecan Stuffing

I updated a basic stuffing recipe by using wholesome multigrain bread in place of customary white bread. It adds a hearty, crunchy taste. —Edie DeSpain, Logan, UT

Onion Meat Loaf TMB Studio

Onion Meatloaf

My husband and I really enjoy this delicious meatloaf made with onion soup mix. You only need five ingredients to assemble this easy entree before popping it in the slow cooker. —Rhonda Cowden, Quincy, IL

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Everything” Mashed Potato Casserole

This “everything” mashed potato casserole seemed to evolve over a year, and it’s a great dish to take to a covered dish event. If I need to keep it warm for a longer time, I sometimes place the mixture into a crockpot and then add the sour cream, bacon, cheese and chives. —Pamela Shank, Parkersburg, WV

Turkey Leg Pot Roast TMB Studio

Turkey Leg Pot Roast

Well-seasoned turkey legs and tender veggies make this meal ideal for a crisp fall day. Moist and satisfying, the recipe from Rick and Vegas Pearson of Cadillac, Michigan, couldn’t be more comforting!

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Homemade Potato Gnocchi

My Italian mother remembers her mother making this potato gnocchi recipe for special occasions. She still has the bowl Grandma mixed the dough in, which will be passed down to me someday. —Tina Repak Mirilovich, Johnstown, PA

sausage pumpkin soupTMB Studio

Sausage Pumpkin Soup

Here, autumn spices complement pumpkin and sausage for a unique and comforting soup. Maple syrup imparts just the right amount of sweetness.

Chicken Royale TMB Studio

Chicken Royale

Treat your dinner guests like kings and queens by serving them this chicken royale recipe. —Nancy Schubert, Lake Forest, IL

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Glazed Carrots with Green Grapes

After receiving a slow cooker many years ago and not knowing what to do with the thing, I finally branched out and read up on what it was all about. This is one of the recipes I make that is really enjoyed by all at any time of the year. It is so colorful and a delightful side for any meal. —Lorraine Caland, Shuniah, Ontario

Hearty Beef And Barley Soup TMB Studio

Hearty Beef and Barley Soup

This hearty beef and barley soup is a favorite menu item in our house throughout the year. Everyone savors the flavor. —Elizabeth Kendall, Carolina Beach, NC

Chicken Fried Steaks TMB Studio

Chicken-Fried Steaks

My husband asks me to prepare this easy chicken fried steak recipe regularly. I like it because it’s so simple to make. Denice Louk, Garnett, KS

Traditional New England Clam Chowder TMB Studio

Traditional New England Clam Chowder

I left a cruise ship with a great souvenir—the recipe for this splendid chowder! It’s a traditional soup that stands the test of time. —Agnes Ward, Stratford, Ontario

Roasted Tuscan Chicken Dinner TMB Studio

Roasted Tuscan Chicken Dinner

When an Italian friend shared many years ago that she often added Italian sausages to her pan of baked chicken, I had to give it a try! The sausages give the chicken an amazing flavor. Over the years, I’ve turned it into a one-dish meal by adding potatoes, onions and peppers, and it has become a family favorite that I often use for holidays, spur-of-the-moment company and Sunday dinners. —Teri Lindquist, Gurnee, IL

English Pub Split Pea Soup TMB Studio

Pressure-Cooker English Pub Split Pea Soup

This family favorite is the same recipe my grandmother used. Now with the magic of today’s appliances, I can spend 15 minutes putting it together, walk away for a bit and then it’s “soup’s on!” Finish it with more milk if you like your soup a bit thinner. —Judy Batson, Tampa, FL

Ranch Pork RoastTMB Studio

Ranch Pork Roast

Taste of Home‘s Test Kitchen created this simple savory pork roast with a mild rub that’s perfect for new cooks. The leftover meat is tender and flavorful enough to be used in countless recipes.

Simmered Smoked LinksTMB Studio

Simmered Smoked Links

No one can resist the sweet and spicy glaze on these bite-sized sausages. They’re effortless to prepare, and they make a perfect party nibbler. Serve them on frilled toothpicks to make them extra fancy.

Garlic Herbed Beef Tenderloin TMB Studio

Garlic Herbed Beef Tenderloin

You don’t need much seasoning to add flavor to this beef tenderloin recipe. The mild blending of rosemary, basil and garlic does the trick. —Ruth Andrewson, Leavenworth, WA

Challah Bread Pudding TMB Studio

Challah Bread Pudding

I created this challah bread pudding recipe after my mother-in-law told me that she liked bread pudding. I was on a mission to create a version that was so good she’d ask me for the recipe. It worked! This can be served for breakfast, brunch or dessert. —Marsha Ketaner, Henderson, NV

Canadian Cheese SoupTMB Studio

Canadian Cheese Soup

My family loves Canadian bacon, but I don’t run across a lot of dishes that call for this pork product. Everyone was thrilled the first time I offered this succulent soup. —Jolene Roudebush, Troy, MI

Detroit Style Pizza TMB Studio

Detroit-Style Pizza

Topped with pepperoni and melted, ooey-gooey cheese, this traditional Detroit-style pizza recipe is just what your pizza night needs. Don’t be surprised when it vanishes in seconds. Taste of Home Test Kitchen

Pizza Tater Tot Casserole TMB Studio

Pizza Tater Tot Casserole

For a spin on a classic casserole, try this easy version. For a fun twist, just add your family’s favorite pizza toppings! —Sharon Skildum, Maple Grove, MN

French Fry Bake TMB Studio

French-Fry Bake

When a friend brought this to a gathering at church, I simply had to ask for the recipe—what a fast and fun way to serve potatoes! It’s always good to find a recipe that can sneak in a few extra veggies; the kids never find the carrots hidden inside this one. —Cheryl Newendorp, Pella, IA

Broccoli Stuffed Chicken TMB Studio

Broccoli-Stuffed Chicken

I was born in 1936 to a family of eight. Much of our food came from our garden and the henhouse. Mother served fried chicken every Sunday, but sometimes she surprised us with this broccoli-stuffed chicken. No arguments then as to who got what piece of chicken! —Donald Laugherty, Connellsville, PA

Taste of Home
Originally Published on Taste of Home