21 Easy, Comforting Recipes for Sick Days
It can be hard to find the motivation to cook when you're feeling under the weather, but these comforting recipes will make it worth it. Packed with nutrients like protein, vitamins A, C, E and zinc, these dishes can promote healthy immune function when you need it most. Plus, each meal only takes one pot or pan to make, so you can focus on relaxing after minimal cleanup. Recipes like our Carrot Soup and American Goulash are cozy, delicious and can help you get the nutrients you need on sick days.
This easy carrot soup recipe is a great way to use up a bag of carrots that were forgotten in your produce drawer. The carrots cook together with aromatics like onions, garlic and fresh herbs before being puréed into a silky smooth soup that's delicious for dinner or packed up for lunch.
American goulash, also known as old-fashioned goulash, is the perfect economical family meal. The pasta cooks right in the sauce, so this satisfying dish can cook in just one pot.
Chicken & Broccoli Casserole
This one-pan chicken and broccoli casserole is prepared in a skillet on the stovetop, then finished in the oven until it's browned, cheesy and bubbling. Serve with a crunchy green salad.
Minestra Maritata (Italian Wedding Soup)
Forget the marble-size meatballs you find in many versions of this Italian Wedding Soup. In this easy recipe, they're full-size, full-flavored and plenty filling.
Chicken Cutlets with Sun-Dried Tomato Cream Sauce
Though a chicken cutlet may be a chicken breast cut in half, this recipe shows how to make chicken cutlets with double the deliciousness. A jar of sun-dried tomatoes does double duty for this healthy dinner idea. The flavorful oil they're packed in is used to sauté the chicken, and the tomatoes go into the cream sauce.
Hearty Chickpea & Spinach Stew
This satisfying stew comes together in a snap. Mashed chickpeas add body to the broth, and tomato paste adds a savory note without piling on the sodium. To simplify the prep, look for chopped fresh onion and shredded carrot or a soup starter mix in the produce section.
One-Skillet Chicken Paprikash with Mushrooms & Onions
Try this quick and easy one-skillet version of the Hungarian classic chicken paprikash. Serve the chicken cutlets, mushrooms and creamy sauce over egg noodles with a green salad on the side.
Ground Beef & Pasta Skillet
Add extra vegetables to your day with this easy one-skillet pasta recipe. Finely chop mushrooms to resemble the texture of ground beef and stir them into a classic meat sauce for a healthy twist on a dinnertime favorite.
Slow-Cooker Chicken & Chickpea Soup
The only things better than healthy dinner ideas are healthy dinner ideas that are easy. This set-it-and-forget-it slow-cooker soup recipe is just that. It simmers away all day so you come home to a warm and healthy dinner the whole family will love. Using bone-in chicken is the key to making rich soup without adding broth.
Creamy White Chili with Cream Cheese
This rich, yet healthy, white chicken chili comes together in a flash thanks to quick-cooking chicken thighs and canned white beans. Mashing some of the beans acts as a fast thickener when your soups don't have a long time to simmer. Cream cheese adds the final bit of richness and a hint of sweet tang.
Skillet Chicken Potpie
A store-bought pie crust, frozen veggies and precooked chicken simplify the prep for this easy potpie. This healthy dinner recipe is comfort food at its best.
This simple pea soup recipe makes an elegant start to a spring meal. It's also a great way to use frozen vegetables when the produce section is looking bleak.
Vegan Coconut Chickpea Curry
To make this 20-minute vegan curry even faster, buy precut veggies from the salad bar at the grocery store. To make it a full, satisfying dinner, serve over cooked brown rice. When shopping for simmer sauce, look for one with 400 mg of sodium or less and check the ingredient list for cream or fish sauce if you want to keep this vegan. If you like a spicy kick, add a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce at the end.
This version of the Italian classic soup Minestrone is packed with leeks, potatoes, beans, zucchini, spinach and orzo, making it perfect for a hearty lunch or supper on a cold winter's night. To make a vegetarian version use vegetable rather than chicken broth. Top each bowl with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano for a zesty burst of flavor.
Quick King Ranch Chicken Casserole
Usually made by layering creamy chicken and tortillas (lasagna-style), this classic Mexican-inspired chicken casserole gets speedier for an easy weeknight dinner when we mix everything together in a skillet, then pop the whole pan under the broiler to make the cheese topping gooey. Serve this healthy chicken casserole recipe with a side salad for a filling meal.
Stuffed Sweet Potato with Hummus Dressing
Hearty yet simple to prepare, this stuffed sweet potato with black beans, kale and hummus dressing is a fantastic 5-ingredient lunch for one!
Tuscan White Bean Soup
A pound of dried beans is the inexpensive foundation for this simple, hearty meal. Serve it with slices of whole-wheat bread or a side salad for a complete and satisfying lunch or dinner.
Classic chicken Florentine--creamy spinach served atop sautéed chicken cutlets--is a fast and easy meal. To keep calories lower, this recipe uses cornstarch to thicken the cream instead of cheese. This chicken recipe is simple enough for weekdays but also elegant enough for a dinner party.
Eggs in Tomato Sauce with Chickpeas & Spinach
Simmer eggs in a rich tomatoey cream sauce studded with chickpeas and silky spinach for a super-fast vegetarian dinner. Serve with a piece of crusty bread to soak up the sauce. Be sure to use heavy cream; a lower-fat option might curdle when mixed with acidic tomatoes.
Slow-Cooker Arroz con Pollo (Chicken & Rice)
This one-pot chicken dinner, inspired by the traditional dish of Spain and Latin America, comes together easily in the crock pot. The instant brown rice is added near the end, to keep it from overcooking.
Pork Chops with Creamy Mushroom Sauce
These seared pork chops are topped with a rich and creamy mushroom sauce that gets flavored with fresh herbs.