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Spinach & Feta Strata Muffins

The Comfort Zone

Throw the perfect pitch—offer comfort food that strikes both tradition and innovation, homespun and sophisticated. The outcome? A delicious homerun.

You could argue that comfort foods are always in fashion, but they are particularly en vogue today. In harder economic times, folks crave home-style dishes that remind them of better times. Comfort foods offer the perfect antidote to harsh, cold weather too. Warmth, satisfaction and rich flavors are the order of the day. Our team of chefs came up with 11 comfort-food recipes that answer the call for familiar food at its best. With creative, delicious twists, these recipes stand out as signature items—while delivering on the promise of a comforting, soul-satisfying experience.

Comfort Food Recipes

Au Gratin Sirloin Steak

Au Gratin Sirloin Steak

Menu solution—lunch or dinner entrée; catering

Other profiles—switch out potato with sweet potato; use goat cheese and feta for a sharper profile; reduce portion size of steak and au-gratin square for small-bites menu

A new twist on a steakhouse classic—instead of buddying up au gratin potatoes to steak, our chefs build an eye-catching stack. They lay a grilled sirloin over a bed of grilled scallions. A dollop of A.1. Original Steak Sauce adds its savory touch, and then a square of rich au gratin crowns the dish with bubbling cheesiness.

Fried Spiced Green Beans

Fried Spiced Green Beans

Menu solutions—bar food; small plates; side dish; catering

Other profiles—in salads, replace croutons with fried green beans

Green beans as comfort food? You betcha—when they're rolled in Oscar Mayer Bacon, spices and Ritz Crackers, then deep-fried. To make them even more social, serve them with a creamy dipping sauce made with Kraft Peppercorn Ranch Dressing and Bull's-Eye Original Barbecue Sauce.

Spinach & Feta Strata Muffins

Spinach & Feta Strata Muffins

Menu solutions—brunch; grab-and-go; all-day breakfast; catering; side dish

Other profiles—switch out turkey with sausage; leave out turkey for vegetarian dish

A great update on a savory bread pudding, this one sees the comfort-food mainstay of Stove Top Cornbread Stuffing Mix combined with dried cranberries, feta, spinach and turkey. "This is a versatile make-ahead dish, and can either be re-heated for service or served cold," says Ryan Baxter, senior executive research and development chef for Kraft Foodservice.

Savory French Toast with Slow-Poached Eggs

Savory French Toast with Slow-Poached Eggs

Menu solutions—breakfast; brunch; all-day breakfast

Other profile—replace cheese with crushed pistachios

With a great spin on French toast, this dish stars a savory version that's been dipped in egg wash and Kraft 100% Grated Parmesan Cheese. The crisp, flavorful toast is served with poached eggs and a fresh green salad dressed simply in a classic vinaigrette perfected by Grey Poupon.

Bacon, Onion & Gorgonzola Cheese Tart

Bacon, Onion & Gorgonzola Cheese Tart

Menu solutions—catering; small plates; appetizer; lunch

Other profiles—make into mini tarts; use phyllo dough for a crisper texture

This versatile recipe can serve on your catering menu, lunch menu or appetizer menu. Deep, comforting flavors of Oscar Mayer Bacon, heavy cream and Athenos Crumbled Gorgonzola Cheese make this a rich, soul-satisfying eating experience. Philly adds tang and extra creaminess.

Shrimp Crostini with Avocado Cream

Shrimp Crostini with Avocado Cream

Menu solutions—catering; small plates; appetizer

Other profile—replace avocado with roasted red pepper

An eye-catching passed hors d'oeuvre or small plate, this recipe illustrates that comfort food can be more than stews and bread puddings. "Comfort food can be about flavors and textures that are homey and delicious," says Chef Baxter. He replaces the traditional sour cream with Philly, giving the cream a thicker texture and tangier flavor.

Caramelized Onion-Stuffed Sirloin

Caramelized Onion-Stuffed Sirloin

Menu solution—lunch or dinner entrée; catering

Other profiles—replace caramelized onions with a mixture of blue cheese, A.1. and cheddar; cut sirloin into two-bite pieces and top with stuffing for small-bites menu

Make your sirloin a signature item with this great twist—our chefs cut a slit in the grilled steak and stuff it with caramelized onions. These caramelized onions stand out with dialed up flavor: Onions are sautéed with Oscar Mayer Bacon, chipotle and A.1. Original Steak Sauce for a perfect combination of sweet, savory, smoke and heat.

Mini Philly Crème Brûlée

Mini Philly Crème Brûlée

Menu solutions—dessert; catering; brunch

Other profiles—add lemon or orange zest into the custard filling; add vanilla bean into the sugar used for caramelizing

It's hard to improve on the silky, comforting custard that defines a classic crème brûlée. For a standout twist, our chefs move their version into an almost-cheesecake profile with the addition of Philadelphia Cream Cheese. A delicate sheet of caramelized sugar completes the brüléed picture.

Stuffed French Toast with Candied Pecans

Stuffed French Toast with Candied Pecans

Menu solutions—brunch; grab-and-go; all-day breakfast; breakfast

Other profile—replace pecans with golden raisins or dried cherries; use honey or jam instead of maple syrup

Diners will respond to the familiar, much-loved French toast, and will appreciate this decadent update. Our chefs use a tempura batter, which gives it that signature fluffy, crisp tempura texture. For the filling, they combine Philadelphia Cream Cheese with powdered sugar and egg yolks for a nice balance of creaminess and tanginess, and salty with sweet.

Turkey Pot Pie “Cupcakes”

Turkey Pot Pie "Cupcakes"

Menu solutions—small plates; lunch; catering; brunch

Other profile—form ingredients into a meatloaf with a stuffing layer in the middle

Portable comfort food! Perfect for snacking and small-plates menus, these mini pot pies pack ground turkey, peas, egg, carrot and Stove Top Chicken Flavored Stuffing Mix for chicken, Flex Prep into savory muffins. A crown of Stove Top adds to the fun, and a finish of turkey gravy keeps the dish firmly rooted in familiar comfort-food territory.

Red Velvet Cheesecake-Filled Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cheesecake-Filled Cupcakes

Menu solutions—dessert; catering; grab-and-go

Other profile—replace the red-velvet batter with carrot-cake batter

This cupcake distinguishes itself with a luxurious red-velvet cake filled with luscious cheesecake made easily with Philadelphia Cheesecake Batter. A traditional cream-cheese frosting completes the profile.

Comfort Foods