30 Easy Comforting Recipes to Make When You’re Sick

updated Dec 28, 2023
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Bowl of creamy white bean and kale soup.
Credit: Kelli Foster

Anytime I’m sick (or even on the verge of being sick), two things are certain: My energy and inspiration to cook are pretty low. Even when my meals are planned out for the week, I’m happy to abandon my plans for pork chops or a casserole for another night. This is a time when I crave simple foods that are warm, nourishing, and supremely comforting.

A pot of warm and comforting soup is often the go-to for whatever ails us. It’s always a good idea to freeze homemade soup to get ahead of sick days. That way all you have to do is grab the soup from the freezer and reheat. But don’t forget about things like creamy orzo, polenta, and buttered noodles, which all hit the spot when you feel under the weather and don’t take a whole lot of effort to pull off.

With that in mind, this is the roster of meals to eat when sick that I turn to again and again. From classic minestrone to chicken and rice soup, these 30 easy recipes are sure to comfort you when you’re sick.

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Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup
Made in the Instant Pot, this one-pot chicken noodle soup is just like the classic, loaded with juicy pieces of chicken, chunky vegetables, just-tender egg noodles, and a rich, herb-flecked broth.
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Creamy Tortellini Soup
Perfect for chilly weather, this vegetarian soup has a creamy tomato-based broth loaded with tender tortellini and spinach.
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30-Minute Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup
Elevate leftover rice and chicken into a comforting chicken & rice soup that you can make it in less than 30 minutes.
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Classic Minestrone Soup
Minestrone soup is basically guaranteed to soothe whatever ails you. In fact, you won’t regret following Meghan’s lead by stashing some in the freezer to have handy for the next time you get a cold.
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Chicken Potato Soup
One sip of this creamy chicken potato soup wrap you up like a warm, cozy sweater.
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Veggie-Packed Cabbage Soup
This good-for-you soup is incredibly comforting and comes together with a few fresh things and a couple of pantry staples.
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Creamy, Satisfying Mushroom Soup
This soup treats you to a double dose of mushrooms, plus a silky, mushroom-infused vegetable broth with just a touch of cream for just a hint of richness.
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Alphabet Soup
Packed with a medley of vegetables and tender pasta, all swimming in a tomato and herb-kissed broth, this soup is comforting, nourishing, and oh-so-fun to eat.
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Creamy Spinach Parmesan Orzo
If you grew up eating buttery pastina when you were sick as a kid, this creamy orzo is sure to hit the spot and packs in a whole lot of comfort.
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Gingery Poached Egg Soup
This Asian-inspired quick-cooking soup has poached eggs and greens in a ginger-garlic broth.
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Brown Butter Parmesan Pasta
Buttered noodles are a sick-day essential. This version gets an easy upgrade with brown butter and crunchy panko breadcrumbs.
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Classic Matzo Ball Soup
This classic soup is make with homemade chicken stock and features extra fluffy matzo balls.
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Mushroom and Barley Soup
Inspired by the classic brothy soup from the deli counter, this hearty vegetarian soup is pure comfort and warmth. It brings together a blend of mushrooms, vegetables, and pearled barley for a warming soup you can make in 30 minutes.
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Red Lentil Soup
This quick and easy recipe for lentil soup puts a hearty vegetarian dinner on the table in just about 30 minutes.
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Slow Cooker Ginger Chicken Congee
The beauty of this ultra-comforting recipe is that it takes less than two minutes to throw into the slow cooker.
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Lemony Tortellini Spinach Soup
Packed with carrots, spinach, lemon juice, and frozen tortellini, this soup is light yet filling. Make sure to keep tortellini in the freezer so you can make this in a flash.
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French Onion Chicken Soup
The best of both worlds combine in one cozy pot.
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Creamy Stovetop Polenta
There is something so soothing and comforting about a warm, creamy bowl of polenta. Show yourself some extra love by stirring in a couple pats of butter and a sprinkle of Parmesan at the end. Eat it as is, or top with roasted or sautéed veggies, leftover meat, or an egg.
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Creamy White Lasagna Soup
Everything you love about the classic cheesy pasta, without the fuss.
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Gochujang Chicken Noodle Soup
The Korean red chili paste levels up chicken noodle soup with the perfect amount of heat.
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Potato Soup
Mashed potato lovers: This creamy soup, made with tender, flavorful potatoes and topped with all the fixings, is for you.
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Creamy White Bean and Kale Soup
With a smoky flavor and subtle heat, this cozy soup will make you think it has the richness of meat even though (spoiler) it's totally vegan.
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Tortellini Soup with Lemon Peel Broth
Cheese tortellini and fresh veggies highlight the delicate flavor of the no-waste lemon peel broth in this comforting soup.
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Ginger Chicken Soup
Classic chicken soup gets more zing thanks to ginger, lemon, and one more special ingredient that brings extra brightness and heat: yuzu kosho.
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The Absolute Best Lentil Soup
Here's how to make a creamy, comforting lentil soup at home. Best of all, it only needs 20 minutes to cook.
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Stracciatella Soup
This comforting soup recipe only calls for five ingredients.
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Brothy Tuscan White Beans with Garlic-Fried Bread
White beans, garlic, and fresh sage are stewed in a light tomato broth and served over thick toast in this wholesome and comforting pantry recipe.
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Pastina
This classic Italian comfort food is super simple to put together.
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Instant Pot Vegetable Soup
A filling, light-bodied soup that’s warming and provides your daily dose of veggies all in one bowl.
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