Baby, it’s cold outside. And when the temperature drops, nothing tastes as good as warm and wonderful comfort food. Gather your friends for a cozy evening of potluck featuring any of these easy recipes, all created with a crowd in mind.


Hearty Chili

Homemade chili makes wonderful meal to share with family and friends. Serve in bowls or spoon over cornbread. Round out the meal with quesadillas made with corn tortillas, pico de gallo, and shredded cheese. Comfort food at its best!

WHAT YOU NEED to make 24 cups

  • 4 lbs boneless beef chuck
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 cups diced onion (about 4 medium)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin seed
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp coriander
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper
  • 6 cups undrained and diced canned tomatoes (about 4, 14.5-oz cans)

CUT meat into ½-inch cubes, removing excess fat. Lightly brown in hot oil. Add onions and garlic, cook until soft but not brown.

ADD remaining spices and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 to 60 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Sweet Corn Bread

Try this recipe as a complement to chili or as a topping for a hearty cornbread-chili pie.

WHAT YOU NEED to make 6-8 servings

  • 1 pkg yellow cake mix (18.25 oz)
  • 2 pkg Jiffy corn bread
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • ⅓ cup oil

Stir mixes together in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, and oil. Stir until just mixed. Transfer mixture to a 9×13 or 8×8 greased pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes in a 350-degree oven.


Turkey & Vegetables

When you combine diced turkey and mixed vegetables, you’ll be able to serve a heartwarming meal to a crowd in a jiffy. Bonus: Freeze the turkey and vegetable mixture for a homemade entree in a flash—just add the noodles later.

WHAT YOU NEED for 10 servings

  • ½ cup onions
  • ½ cup butter or margarine
  • ½ cup plus 2 tbsps flour
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups cooked turkey, diced
  • 3 cups frozen mixed vegetables (about 2, 1-lb bags)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp poultry seasoning
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
  • 2 pounds egg noodles

SAUTE onions in butter in a large saucepan until tender. Stir in flour. Cook 1 minute. Gradually add chicken broth, stirring to prevent lumps. Cook until thickened.

ADD turkey, vegetables, parsley, and seasonings. Heat thoroughly.

WHILE heating, prepare noodles according to package directions. Serve turkey mixture over a bed of hot noodles.


Beef Stew

Make a traditional beef stew with potatoes, carrots, celery and more.

WHAT YOU NEED to make 28 cups

  • 4 to 5 lbs beef stew meat, cut into 1½-inch cubes
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 12 cups cubed and peeled potatoes (about 12 medium)
  • 8 cups sliced carrots (about 16 small)
  • 3 cups chopped celery (about 5 stalks)
  • 3 cups chopped onion (about 4 small)
  • 1½ tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 8 cubes of beef bouillon (optional)
  • Water


  • 2 to 2½ lbs beef stew meat, cut into 1½-inch cubes
  • 1½ tsp vegetable oil
  • 6 cups cubed and peeled potatoes (about 6 medium)
  • 4 cups sliced carrots (about 8 small)
  • 1½ cups chopped celery (about 3 stalks)
  • 1½ cups chopped onion (about 2 small)
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 4 cubes of beef bouillon (optional)
  • Water

BROWN meat in oil in a large saucepot. Add vegetables and seasonings to browned meat. Cover with boiling water and add bouillon to enrich the broth. Bring stew to a boil for 25-30 minutes until vegetables are cooked.

Editor’s Tip: Ingredients used in combination recipes such as stews and soups should be cut into uniform pieces to allow for even heat penetration during cooking. Evenly heating the food prevents small pieces from becoming mushy or soft-textured and ensures that larger pieces are cooked thoroughly.

Beer Bread

Round out a meal of hearty stew with easy bread or biscuits.


  • 3 cups self-rising flour
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • 1 can cold beer
  • Butter

Stir flour and sugar together in large bowl. Add cold beer and mix well. Transfer mixture to a loaf pan. Bake for 45 minutes in a 350-degree oven. Brush top with butter after 35 minutes.

Quick Biscuits


  • 2 cans biscuits
  • Butter
  • Parmesan cheese

Mix cheese and butter. Roll biscuits in butter-cheese mixture and place in baking pan.
Bake for 15-20 minutes in a 400-degree oven.


Fresh Marinara

Try this marinara recipe for a fresh alternative to spaghetti sauce in a jar. For a meaty option, prepare a package of Italian-style meatballs according to package directions and add to the sauce after reduction.

WHAT YOU NEED to make 4 cups

  • 8 large tomatoes
  • ½ cup onion, chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1½ tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 pound of thin spaghetti or angel hair pasta

REMOVE skins from tomatoes. Add olive oil to pot, add onion and cook for 5 minutes on medium heat. Add tomatoes, garlic, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and hard simmer for 30 minutes. Add basil, oregano, salt, pepper, and sugar. Continue hard simmer for another 30 minutes, reducing volume by half. Add balsamic vinegar.

COOK noodles according to package directions and drain. Serve marinara sauce over noodles and sprinkle with fresh grated parmesan.

Editor’s tip: Paste tomatoes, such as Roma, have more, and usually firmer, flesh than slicing tomatoes. They will produce thicker sauces.


Chicken Soup

A hot, steaming bowl of chicken soup is sure to cure the winter blahs. Customize your homemade soup before serving by adding tortellini, broken bits of vermicelli, orzo or cooked rice while heating.

WHAT YOU NEED to make 16 cups

  • 16 cups chicken stock
  • 3 cups diced chicken (about 1 3-lb chicken)
  • 1½ cups diced celery (about 2 stalks)
  • 1½ cups sliced carrots (about 3 medium)
  • 1 cup diced onion (about 1 medium)
  • Salt, optional
  • Pepper, optional
  • 3 chicken bouillon cubes, optional


  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 1½ cups diced chicken (about ½ 3-lb chicken)
  • ½ cup diced celery (about 1 stalk)
  • ½ cup sliced carrots (about 2 medium)
  • ½ cup diced onion (about ½ medium)
  • Salt, optional
  • Pepper, optional
  • 1 to 2 chicken bouillon cubes, optional

COMBINE chicken stock, chicken, celery, carrots, and onion in a large saucepot. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, if desired. Add bouillon cubes, if desired. Cook until bouillon cubes are dissolved.


© Caruth Studio

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