9 rainy day recipes for all your comfort food favorites

9 Recipes
A bowl of beef and bean chili with garnishes of grated cheese, avocado, sour cream, chopped red onion and sliced scallions.
(Ben Mims / Los Angeles Times)

These recipes for hot soup, chili, mac ‘n’ cheese and meatloaf are some of our favorite comfort foods. Brownies and giant ginger molasses cookies make for excellent snacks and desserts on rainy and clear days alike.


Keep these recipes on hand for rainy weather, when all we want is to reach straight for our favorite comfort foods. These rainy day recipes are the kitchen equivalent of curling up on the couch with a good book, a blanket and a cup of tea.

White Bean and Fennel Soup

This white bean and fennel soup recipe has a thick, rich-flavored broth that comes mostly from the cooking liquid from the beans. Comfort food for rainy days.
Time2 hours 45 minutes
YieldsServes 8

What starts as a familiar white bean soup gets a twist by using fennel three ways, each of which elicits a slightly different dimension of flavor: silky sweet from the stewed bulbs, aromatic and herbaceous from the chopped fronds, and nutty and caramelized from the quickly fried wedges that are added as a garnish.


Parmesan Mac N Cheese

A comforting black pepper-packed Parmesan and cream sauce takes this macaroni and cheese recipe in a different direction than the usual side dish.

This mac n’ cheese is rooted in the traditional James Hemings style with lots of Parmesan and black pepper. What really sets the sauce apart is the sherry. The recipe calls for rigatoni but feel free to use your favorite noodles.

Tom Kha Gai (Coconut Chicken Soup)

The Thai favorite tom kha gai, or coconut chicken soup, gets sour flavor from lime juice, saltiness from fish sauce and spiciness from Thai chiles.
Time15 minutes
YieldsServes 4 to 6

The combination of coconut milk, lime juice, fish sauce and lemon grass from the stock is sweet and fragrant in this classic Thai soup.

Flourless Fudgy Brownies

This simple, flourless fudgy brownie recipe requires only six ingredients and is a foolproof formula to a tender, chocolaty dessert.
Time45 minutes
YieldsMakes one 8-inch-square pan.

Brownies are a perfect fix for a a cold, dreary day. These are extra chocolaty and gluten-free.


Bistro Meatloaf

Meatloaf takes inspiration from bistro steaks in this quick and easy recipe with a simple compound butter flavored with garlic, shallots and parsley.
Time50 minutes
YieldsServes 4

This simple, classic preparation will make any meat lover happy — and there may even be enough leftover for next-day sandwiches.

Chard Shakshouka

This easy shakshouka recipe includes Swiss chard, which lends just enough bright, bitter notes to offset the richness of the stew. Perfect for breakfast or dinner.
Time50 minutes
YieldsServes 6

If you don’t have all day for your dinner to simmer, this shakshouka comes together quickly and is full of flavor.

Pho Gà Nhanh (Quick Chicken Pho)

This quick chicken pho recipe, or pho gà nhanh, provides a weeknight-ready dish that's full of comforting flavor.
Time50 minutes
YieldsServes 2

Rather than over the course of days, this brothy, noodley pho comes together in less than an hour for a hot, quick, filling weeknight meal.


Easy Beef and Bean Chili

All you need is ground beef, a can of beans and some spices to get an easy, satisfying chili on the table in less than 30 minutes using this recipe.
Time30 minutes
YieldsServes 4

Here, too, if you don’t have all day for dinner to simmer on your stovetop, with a few strategic pantry items you can make this satisfying chili in 30 minutes.

Giant Ginger Molasses Cookies

Fresh ginger packs a warm punch in these spiced, chewy molasses cookies, crunchy on the outside with turbinado sugar. Chill overnight and bake in the morning.
Time1 hour, plus overnight chilling
YieldsMakes 16 large cookies

These giant cookies are almost magical. They are chewy, full of flavor, and not too sweet. A perfect treat to brighten up a gray, gloomy day.