watch week

The Top 10 Comfort TV Shows Paired with the Best Comfort Food Recipes

published Feb 7, 2020
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Credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Kevin Estrada/©The CW Courtesy Everett Collection

Sometimes, all you want to do after a long day is to eat dinner on the couch while watching your favorite show. I know I do, especially around this time of year, when it’s too dark and cold outside to want to do anything else. So I’ve rounded up some of the best comfort watches, paired with recipes that are equally as cozy, easy to make, and won’t cause a big mess if eaten in the living room (hey, no judgment here). If you can enjoy your favorite comfort foods and their TV equivalents all at once, then why wouldn’t you? It’s a no-brainer.

Credit: NBC/Getty Images

This Is Us

Watch with: Zucchini Lasagna

This noted tearjerker of a show is all about family unity and love, and what says family more than a big tray of lasagna? It’s exactly the kind of dinner Rebecca would make for her three children. Plus, it doesn’t involve a Crock-Pot to make (R.I.P. Jack). Grab yourself a hearty slice of zucchini lasagna, a box of tissues, and a glass of wine, and cozy up to the latest episode.

Credit: Photo: Kevin Estrada/©The CW Courtesy Everett Collection

Jane the Virgin

In this romantic dramedy and satirical telenovela series, Jane, a 23-year-old virgin, is accidentally artificially inseminated by her gynecologist. Drama ensues. The show, which ended last year, featured wild storylines that captured fans’ hearts. Throughout the seasons, Jane would make grilled cheese sandwiches with her mother or grandmother whenever something emotional happened, so it’s only fitting that you do the same before watching this show.

Credit: Saeed Adyani/Netflix

Grace & Frankie

In the first episode, Grace and Frankie learn that their husbands have fallen in love with each other, and want to get married. The two women have always been rivals, but now the new divorcées are forced to live together and rely on each other. Grace and Frankie form a hilarious and heart-warming bond, a friendship we’d all be lucky to have. It’s not clear whether Frankie is or isn’t vegan — she is called vegan in the show, but then chows down on cheese and crab legs at other times — but we do learn that her favorite restaurant is Del Taco, so these roasted cauliflower tacos fit the bill. Grace would gladly wash it all down with a margarita, and you can, too.

Credit: Courtesy of Netflix

The Great British Bake Off

Many food shows involve stressful cooking competitions. The Great British Bake Off is the opposite of that. It calms, it soothes, it comforts. The contestants aren’t cutthroat competitors; they genuinely want the best for their fellow baking buds. As for a good recipe to pair with your Bake Off-bingeing, opt for a savory chicken pot pie. This version doesn’t have a bottom crust, so no threat of soggy bottoms here.

Credit: Courtesy of Netflix

Queer Eye

In 2018, the Queer Eye reboot premiered on Netflix, with a new Fab Five group bringing emotionally-charged makeovers to a whole new generation of men. On the first episode, food and wine expert Antoni Porowski taught Tom how to make an easy, accessible, fresh guacamole that had a surprising (to some) addition of Greek yogurt. The added ingredient caused uproar on social media, with some people hesitant to embrace the recipe. Our version doesn’t include Greek yogurt, but we won’t tell anyone if you decide add a dollop. 

Credit: Courtesy of Neal Street Productions

Call the Midwife

Set during the Baby Boom in the 1950s and 1960s, Call the Midwife follows a group of nurse midwives caring for a community in an impoverished neighborhood in the East End of London. They have other duties, but the primary work is delivering babies, and caring for the mothers and newborns. I’m obsessed with the show and how it tackles difficult issues and changes in medicine and society with grace. I’m also obsessed with shepherd’s pie, a popular British comfort food dish my mother cooked a lot during my childhood. It’s a perfect pairing with the BBC show.

Credit: Pop TV

Schitt’s Creek

Watch with: Halva Smoothie

This light-hearted Canadian comedy became one of the decade’s most beloved shows after being picked up by Netflix. Named for the town it’s set in, the series embraces small-town comforts and quirky hospitality, as well as quirky characters. The best thing to eat while watching Schitt’s Creek is something you won’t spit out too easily from laughing too hard. Start with this sweet and savory smoothie that strays away from the expected flavors, just as Twyla’s “Surprise-Me-Smoothies” do at Café Tropical in Schitt’s Creek.

Credit: NBC/Getty Images

The Good Place

In this fantasy comedy show, Eleanor Shellstrop enters the afterlife, and is sent to the “good place,” where she struggles to define what it means to be good, and where she isn’t able to curse (“What the fork!”). The restaurants in the dystopian universe continually change. In one, the good place was filled with pastas. You could dine at The Pesto’s Yet To Come, Lasagna Come Out Tomorrow, Ziti of Stars, or You Do The Hokey Gnocchi and You Get Yourself Some Food. So go ahead and make an easy Instant Pot Baked Ziti before cozying up to this comfort watch.

Credit: NBC/Getty Images

The Golden Girls

If you haven’t watched an episode of this cult-favorite show, what have you been waiting for? The Golden Girls follows four mature women — Dorothy, Rose, Blanche, and Sophia — in their “golden years,” and who make aging look fabulous. It’s been said that over the course of the series, the Golden Girls ate more than 100 cheesecakes, and so you should, too. Because cheesecake fixes everything.

Credit: FPG/Getty Images

I Love Lucy

Sometimes, classic comfort is best. You can’t go wrong with I Love Lucy, especially the episode where Lucy and her best friend Ethel go to work in a candy factory. You know the famous scene: They can’t keep up with wrapping chocolates fast enough, and end up shoving them in their own mouths. You’ll want to do the same with these easy-to-make Oreo balls.

What’s your favorite comfort watch?