Comfort Food Classics – Bakes and Roasts
When we think of our favourite comfort foods, so many of the most satisfying, hearty dishes have one thing in common – they’re all warming recipes that get baked or roasted in the oven.
Cooking your food in the oven means you can leave it in there to do its magic, letting all those flavours mingle together. When you need something homely and comforting, turn the oven on and serve one of these classic baked or roasted dishes for dinner!
Our NEW cookbook Pinch of Nom: Comfort Food is out on 9th December and it’s jam-packed with delicious recipes that can be baked to perfection in the oven. Pre-order it today if you want to make sure you’re the first to get your hands on a copy!
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Comfort Food: Pies
What’s your ultimate comfort food ingredient? Cheese? Potatoes? Pastry? How about a pie that combines all three? This Cheese, Onion and Potato Pie has got it all. You might think that means there’s no way that it can be slimming friendly, so you’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that there are just 286 calories in each serving.
We’ve given a classic cheese and onion pie a cheeky Nom makeover, swapping the usual shortcrust pastry for much lighter filo. This cuts down on calories without losing any of the flavour or comforting heartiness.
We recommend baking this pie in a metal dish to make sure the bottom cooks evenly (no soggy bottoms here!). After 30-35 minutes in the oven it will be piping hot, with bubbling golden cheese on top. Irresistible and so satisfying!
Switching to filo pastry keeps pie on the menu, even if you’re counting calories or following a diet plan like Weight Watchers. With its rich, creamy gravy, this Chicken and Mushroom Pie tastes like such a luxury, even though it’s simple to make and less than 250 calories a serving.
Dished up with a scoop of Creamy Mashed Potatoes and plenty of fresh vegetables, this is a comforting dinner for any day of the week. You can even make the chicken and mushroom filling in advance and freeze it – simply defrost and add the filo on top the next time your pie craving kicks in!
If you prefer your pies with a more traditional pastry topping, this Cornish Pasty Pie is for you. It might not have pastry all over the top, but we’ve used strips of light puff pastry to create a lovely lattice pattern that keeps the calories low, while still giving that perfect amount of crunch.
Inside, you’ll find a Cornish pasty inspired filling, made from succulent lean beef mince and any veggies you need to use up. Baked in the oven until the pastry is crisp and golden, this meal is so simple, filling and just what you need after a long day.
Comfort Food: Pasta Bakes
There’s no denying that pasta in any form ticks all the comfort food boxes – it’s carby goodness that’s usually accompanied by a creamy or cheesy sauce. Although you can make plenty of comforting pasta dishes on the hob, there’s just something about a hearty pasta bake.
Take this Spaghetti Bolognese Lasagne for example – with bubbling cheese on top and layers of spaghetti in the middle, you get two classic comfort foods in one. Rather than using a jar of sugary tomato sauce, our easy Bolognese recipe is full of veggies and far more flavourful.
Leave this to bubble away in the oven for 20 minutes until the cheese has melted and gone all golden. Dish it out and enjoy the mash up of two Italian inspired comfort food favourites.
The key to keeping this recipe slimming friendly is making a little bit of cheese go a long way. Using a microplane grater will make this much easier – grating the cheese as finely as possible will help it go much further.
If you love non-traditional recipes, this Chilli Pasta Bake is perfect for nights when you just can’t choose what to have for dinner. Although you’d normally think to serve chilli with rice or maybe potato wedges, this recipe will be your new favourite way to use up leftover chilli.
You can use any shape of pasta that you’ve got tucked away at the back of the cupboard and the chilli recipe we’ve included sticks to simple, affordable ingredients. This is a family friendly midweek meal that you’ll want to include on the menu every week!
This recipe makes pasta far more exciting, and it’s baked in the oven so you can let your cooker do most of the hard work.
You get double the cheesiness with this dish too, layering up Cheddar cheese and mozzarella that gets gooey and golden as it bakes. Get creative with the toppings! You can use whichever ingredients you love to have on your pizza – just remember to adjust the nutritional values accordingly.
You’ll need a 24cm springform tin like the kind you use to bake cakes. This makes it easy to remove your Rigatoni Pizza Pie, ready for serving.
Comfort Food: Potato Bakes
Top anything with potatoes and bake it in the oven and you can guarantee it’ll leave you feeling warm and fuzzy. Stodgy in all the best ways, potatoes are a comfort food essential and that’s why they top so many of our favourite recipes.
How about a cosy combo of smoked fish, melty cheese and creamy mashed potatoes? This Smoked Haddock and Cheese Gratin is well under 300 calories, but you’d never know based on how indulgent it tastes.
Pipe your mash around the edges of your oven dish and don’t forget to sprinkle plenty of cheese in the middle. Bake it in the oven until the top is bubbling and golden brown. Totally irresistible!
We recommend investing in an electric potato masher if you want to enjoy seriously creamy mash without needing to add butter or cream.
If you fancy a change to mashed potatoes, this Lancashire Hotpot is topped with thinly sliced potatoes that get lovely crisp edges in the oven. It’s a winner of a winter warmer, using just a handful of basic ingredients to create a home cooked meal that’ll satisfy those comfort cravings.
This recipe is such a classic – it’s stood the test of time, being passed down for generations. The only change we’ve made is to trim any visible fat off the lamb before cooking, just to help keep calories nice and low.
Speaking of classic dishes, it’s tough to beat a good old fashioned Cottage Pie. Fluffy mash, beef mince and rich gravy all get baked together until the flavours mingle and deepen. Served alone or with extra veggies, this is a hearty, healthy dinner that never disappoints.
This recipe is ideal for batch cooking. It freezes and reheats so well, meaning it’s handy on days when time is against you. Leave a portion to defrost overnight in the fridge and then pop it in the microwave when you get home. Sorted!
What’s your comfort food?
If you want to make sure you’ve always got a comfort recipe to hand, don’t forget to pre-order Pinch of Nom Comfort Food. It’s packed with 100 recipes that are so satisfying, you won’t believe they’re slimming friendly. It’s out on December 9th!