Stuffed peppers

Photo: Ben Fink

The Peppers That Keep on Giving
Stuffed peppers were big in the '50s and '60s, but all these years later, we still love the novelty of getting an individually sized bell pepper neatly packed with savory, seasoned beef on our plate. You'll probably have leftover stuffing, which is great warmed and scooped up with pita chips or piled onto soft rolls, à la sloppy joes.

Get the recipe: Mamaw's Stuffed Peppers

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The Incredibly Versatile Roast (That's Not Chicken)
You know how roast chicken can be the basis of potpie, a strata or any number of dishes? Think of carnitas as its heftier cousin. These crispy cubes of roasted pork are a staple of Mexican and Guatemalan cooking. They're terrific tossed with pasta, folded into a tortilla or served over creamy polenta, mashed sweet potatoes or with cornbread.

Get the recipe: Carnitas
Chicken, Mushroom, and Radicchio Lasagna

Photo: Genti & Hyers

Low-Fat Lasagna That Doesn't Taste Like It
With chicken instead of beef, two heads of radicchio and a béchamel sauce made from 2 percent milk, part-skim ricotta cheese and part-skim mozzarella cheese, this layered noodle dish is lighter than most versions—but it's still filling. It serves at least eight, so a family of four can enjoy it for two meals.

Get the recipe: Chicken, Mushroom and Radicchio Lasagna

Vegetarian? Try this meatless lasagna recipe
Cardamom-Spiced Meat Loaf

Photo: Genti & Hyers

A Standard Supper Reimagined
Meatloaf is grand, but next-day meatloaf sandwiches might be even grander. Try tucking slices of this rendition (made with cardamom, cumin and cinnamon) into pita pockets and topping them with plain Greek yogurt for a hot-cool combination.

Get the recipe: Cardamom-Spiced Meat Loaf

Get more great comfort food recipes here
Baked country ham

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The Ham with a Thousand Possibilities
Baking a country ham is a great thing to do on a lazy Sunday afternoon, and not just because it'll make your kitchen smell amazing. Ina Garten's take on the classic holiday dish makes a warm and homey supper, and you'll be able to use the salty, sweet meat all week, layering it into sandwiches, baking it into quiche, adding it to any pasta with a creamy sauce, or frying it up next to scrambled eggs.

Get the recipe: Baked Country Ham

A delicious way to use leftover ham
Creole Gumbo

Photo: Francesco Lagnese

A Southern Meal That Instantly Says "Party"
Gumbo may not be an everyday dish (this recipe includes crab, shrimp, oysters, chicken, sausage, veal and ham), but it's just the thing for a crowd. A big pot can bubble away on the stove next to a warm bowl of rice, and guests can help themselves. The stew freezes well too.

Get the recipe: Creole Gumbo

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Roast pork tenderloin

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Pork Tenderloin, Take 1
A roast pork tenderloin rubbed with mustard, garlic and ginger is an easy, good-for-you weeknight dinner, and if you throw some chopped root vegetables or winter squash in the pan, you've got a one-dish meal. Though this recipe makes enough for one very hearty eater (or two more moderate-size portions), you can easily double or triple it.

Get the recipe: Roast Pork Tenderloin
Pork hash

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Pork Tenderloin, Take 2
Give last night's leftover pork tenderloin new life in this traditional New England supper. It's a hash made from onion, celery, potatoes, beets and diced pork.

Get the recipe: Red Flannel Pork Hash
Baked Bass with Fingerlings and Zucchini

Photo: Con Poulos

Fish Anyone Can Make (Really!)
Roasting a whole fish may sound intimidating, but this user-friendly recipe isn't complicated and uses the brilliant trick of cooking the fish on top of a bed of cut-up vegetables. The result is impressive, with each part of the dish infusing the other with flavor. Save the leftovers for fish cakes (see next page).

Get the recipe: Baked Bass with Fingerlings and Zucchini
Fish cakes

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The Reason You'll Never Throw Out Leftover Fish Again
You'll need 3/4 cup flaked cooked fish for these wonderful cakes, which also incorporate (precooked) mashed potatoes, scallions and ginger. They're crusty on the outside (thanks to a coating of beaten egg and a dusting of panko) and tender on the inside.

Get the recipe: Fish Cakes

Next: 8 big-pan desserts for your big, hungry crowd