More often than not, summer recipes mean no-cook meals, crunchy salads, and other dishes that deserve the label refreshing. That's all well and good, but after a long, hard day at work, sometimes you need to tuck into something a little more comforting. These are the times when it's OK to turn on the oven and add something creamy or cheesy to your summer produce, or bake a juicy fruit cobbler that's begging for a big scoop of ice cream.
Here are the 50 best summer comfort food recipes to relish, no matter what the temperature is outside.
What's more comforting than a bowl full of pasta? This one needs only four ingredients and is covered in homemade pesto with cherry tomatoes.
When you need something a little more homey in the morning, try this blueberry pancake casserole on for size.
A whole bunch of warm vegetables will make you smile — especially when all you have to do is throw them in the slow cooker.
This watermelon curry is incredible because it's both light and comforting at the same time. You can feel great about going back for seconds.
Your cast iron skillet needs some love right about now, and this tomato cobbler is the ticket. Just look at all those juicy tomatoes!
This recipe comes together so fast once you have all the ingredients prepped. Eggplant is the star of the show here, but you could also sub it out for zucchini or yellow squash.
This corn soup looks like it would have ton of cream in it, right? But it has none! Treat yourself with a sprinkle of truffle salt to finish.
Got an abundance of summer squash to use up? Throw it in this delicious soup.
Summer vegetables and fruits are the best because you can basically throw some breadcrumbs, fat, and cheese on 'em and you get something delicious. The proof is in this recipe.
Eat these with a glass of wine for dinner and you can't not have a good night.
Throw corn and cream together in the slow cooker in the morning, and come home later to this delicious side dish.
I dare you to add a dollop of fresh ricotta to the top of this bowl.
Take a classic dish like fettuccine Alfredo and just add a ton of vegetables to the mix.
When in doubt, throw leftover summer vegetables together with some eggs and you'll never go wrong. You can enjoy this one hot or cold.
Feta basically makes everything better in the summertime. I love that this recipe includes some savory herbs, too.
This recipe hits that sweet and savory note with the peaches and tomatoes. It's like a pie, but for dinner!
This mac and cheese recipe gets a heavy dose of basil, corn, and red pepper flakes. The corn and cream add to its luxurious texture.
Who needs regular potato fries when there's eggplant around during the summer? Pair these eggplant fries with a creamy yogurt dip.
Do yourself a favor and wrap your corn on the cob in bacon this summer.
Letting something simmer on the stove for 20 minutes might remind you of fall, but this vegetable jambalaya is intended for right now.
Wrap some fresh zucchini, thyme, corn, and goat cheese in a blanket of pastry dough. Your friends will love you forever and ever.
This soup is a great way to use up all that zucchini you might have purchased or discovered in your CSA box.
Top a creamy bed of polenta with all the oven-roasted vegetables your heart can handle.
Store-bought naan makes these grilled flatbreads come together quickly, while sweet corn and basil pesto ensure they taste like summer.
Slather this sweet butter on warm biscuits, scones, and muffins to ensure a spectacular start to your morning.
Warm blueberry cobbler just may be the end all, be all in terms of summer comfort food — just don't forget the vanilla ice cream.
A jar of salsa and a slew of market-fresh veggies turn pork chops into a weeknight meal the whole family will love.
Similar to the tomato cobbler above, this skillet dish takes advantage of some of summer's best vegetables and encases them in the most buttery biscuits around.
This cheesy casserole is the make-ahead brunch dish you've been searching for — it can be assembled the night before or even frozen unbaked for a few months.
This creamy, cool dessert is about as fun as they come — you sure don't need to be a kid to appreciate its rainbow of colors.
If you think a mushroom "burger" can't be comfort food, then you need to try this one. When the cap is filled with melty smoked gouda, it definitely qualifies.
These chewy oatmeal cookies, studded with dried fruit, nuts, and chocolate, are made for everything from summer-camp snacking to vacation hiking.
This simple stir-fry comes together quickly with the help of frozen dumplings, making it perfect for an easy summer weeknight meal.
This juicy summer pie can be served warm or at room temperature, which makes it a contender for your next picnic.
Reach for store-bought zoodles and this lunch or dinner bowl comes together in just a handful of minutes.
These easy wraps are proof that it's always more fun to eat with your hands — we think your whole family will agree.
These berry and white chocolate chunk-studded blondies are the ideal way to wrap up any summer occasion, be it a pool party or a picnic.
The heap of rice noodles in this salad allows you to twirl to your heart's content, which is always a sign of comfort food in our mind.
If orange sherbet makes you, like us, feel like a kid again then you most definitely should run into the kitchen right now and make this recipe.
These grilled packets are a fun DIY project. Allow guests to assemble their own packet, adding whatever veggies they like.
These tender wings are prepared in the slow cooker before being tossed quickly on the grill to get them smoky and caramelized.
42. Cherry Pie Bars
Think of these sweet treats as your favorite cherry pie in bar form, which means they are perfect for toting to potlucks and other summer parties.
Pork and beans are a summer cookout staple for many. This version calls for canned beans, so the whole thing comes together in just 30 minutes.
It doesn't get much simpler than these potato and bacon kebabs, but when both are on a stick you can guarantee you've got comfort food in your hands.
This cheesy risotto is the ideal way to make use of that bumper crop of zucchini that appears mid-summer.
This riff of macaroni salad is just as creamy as you'd hope for, plus it's got a boost of flavor from the smoked trout that's flaked and mixed in.
These sweet breakfast buns can be prepped the night before, giving you extra time in bed in the morning before tossing them in the oven.
It's absolutely worth making a bit of a mess in the kitchen to make this ridiculously crispy fried chicken.
There just might not be a better duo than chocolate and peanut butter — this icebox cake proves it.
This comforting pasta is salty, sweet, and extra savory all at the same time. Plus it calls for store-bought ravioli, so it comes together in no time.