3 Delicious and Healthy Comfort Food Recipes (That Also Make Great Leftovers)

Comfort food main
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So you’re stuck indoors, away from friends, likely starting to go a little stir-crazy. How about upping your cooking game and putting these three recipes together? It’s not that they’re just healthy—we’re willing to bet that these meals will also provide an extra dose of comfort and make the long days cooped up inside a little more enjoyable (without expanding your waistline).

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Mom’s Homemade Chili
Erin McGrady for Men’s Journal

Mom’s Homemade Chili

What’s not to love about a homemade chili that not only tastes good, but also adds a mouth-watering aroma to your living space for hours before it’s even ready?

Makes 4 servings; prep time, 20 minutes; cook time, 1 hour and 30 minutes


  • 1 ½ lbs organic ground beef (we used 75 percent lean to 25 percent fat)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cans (10 ounce) diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 4 scallions, green parts sliced
  • ½ avocado, sliced
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese


  1. Set a pot on medium heat and brown ground meat, stirring occasionally. Once meat is browned, add diced onion and garlic and sauté until the onion is translucent.
  2. Add diced tomatoes, salt, garlic powder, cumin, and pepper and cook until simmering.
  3. Add chicken stock, stir, set temperature to low and let cook partially covered for 30 minutes. Add more chicken stock if consistency is too thick.
  4. Serve with scallions, cheddar cheese, sour cream, and avocado on top.
Roasted Chicken Thighs with Root Vegetables
Erin McGrady for Men’s Journal

Roasted Chicken Thighs with Root Vegetables

We set out to make a whole roasted chicken, but when we got to the grocery store, there weren’t any left. There were, however, chicken thighs. We decided to forge ahead with our plan to make the recipe, dialing back a little on cook time.

Makes 4 servings; prep time, 20 minutes; cook time, 1 hour and 10 minutes


  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp sumac
  • 2 tsp ancho chilli powder
  • 4 carrots, cut in half lengthwise
  • 4 stalks celery, cut in half lengthwise
  • 2 sweet potatoes, cut in pieces the same width as carrots
  • 1 medium onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 lemon, sliced into rounds
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  1. Pat chicken dry with paper towels, season with salt, garlic powder, sumac, and ancho chilli powder. Let sit in fridge for 8 hours or overnight. Keep the dish uncovered (this helps the skin to remain dry so it can crisp up nicely in the oven.)
  2. Set oven to 425 degrees. While oven is heating, mix vegetables and lemon with salt, pepper, and olive oil.
  3. Put a cooling rack inside a baking tray and arrange chicken and vegetables evenly on the tray.
  4. Bake for 70 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through (the thickest part should reach 165ºF), the skin is crisp, and the vegetables are tender.

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Sweet and Savory Fried Rice
Erin McGrady for Men’s Journal

Sweet and Savory Fried Rice

This dish is gluten-free and easy to make. You can pretty much add any vegetable that you can find at the grocery store. Heck, you can even get creative like we did with ham and pineapple and add a surprise ingredient or two. Who said fried rice had to be boring?

Makes 4 servings; prep time, 15 minutes; cook time, 20 minutes


  • 2 cups of cooked rice that has been chilled overnight.
  • ½ cup of diced, smoked ham
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 ½ cups of peas
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 scallions, sliced
  • 1 cup ripe pineapple, cubed
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2–3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp chili-garlic sauce


  1. Brown the ham in a skillet on medium heat, then set aside to cool.
  2. Next, put 2 tablespoons butter in skillet and when melted, sauté onion for 5 minutes. Add carrot and garlic and sauté on medium-high until onion is lightly browned.
  3. Add one more tablespoon of butter, then add rice, peas, pineapple, soy sauce, chili-garlic sauce and cook until heated through.
  4. Mix well, remove from heat and stir in scallions and toasted sesame oil. Adjust seasoning with soy sauce if needed. Serve up.


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