01/28/2017 07:43 am ET Updated Jan 25, 2018

11 Classic Comfort Foods With A Twist

What beats your favorite comfort food on a cold day? How about a new and improved version of it? From Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto to BBQ Turkey Meatloaf, these cozy, creative recipes will keep you warm all winter long.

1. Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto


Sun-dried tomato pesto gives these grilled cheese sandwiches a gourmet twist. My son calls them "pizza paninis" since they taste like hot, crispy pizza sandwiches. GET THE RECIPE

2. Pecan Crusted Chicken Fingers with Honey Mustard Sauce


These are not your average chicken tenders. The chicken is breaded in a mixture of pecans and panko, then pan-fried until crispy and golden and served with a creamy whole grain honey-mustard sauce. GET THE RECIPE

3. BBQ Turkey Meatloaf


Comfort food doesn't have to be unhealthy. This BBQ turkey meatloaf is hearty, flavorful and -- bonus -- low in fat. GET THE RECIPE

4. Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Maple & Thyme


Instead of regular mashed potatoes, try sweet potatoes mashed with butter, maple syrup and fresh thyme. GET THE RECIPE

5. Chai Spiced Banana Bread


This sophisticated yet comforting banana bread is infused with warm chai spices like cardamom, cinnamon, ginger and allspice. GET THE RECIPE

6. Sweet Potato Biscuits with Honey Butter


Why settle for run-of-the-mill biscuits when you can have fluffy sweet potato biscuits instead? Adapted from Paula Deen's Southern Cooking Bible, these orange beauties are especially delicious slathered with homemade honey butter. GET THE RECIPE

7. Oven Baby Back Ribs with Hoisin BBQ Sauce


Slow-baked in a hoisin barbecue sauce until the meat falls off the bone, these baby back ribs with an Asian flair will satisfy your wintertime barbecue cravings. GET THE RECIPE

8. Guinness Lamb Stew


Tired of traditional beef stew? Make a hearty Irish lamb stew instead. Here, lamb is braised in a Guinness-spiked broth until fall-apart tender -- and the vegetables are added at just the right time so they don't get mushy. GET THE RECIPE

9. Thai Chicken and Rice Noodle Soup


Made with rotisserie chicken and Asian pantry staples, this fragrant chicken soup can be on the table in just 25 minutes. One reviewer wrote: "My husband gobbled and slurped. Truly. It wasn't pretty, but it is an accurate measure of how outstanding this recipe is." GET THE RECIPE

10. Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust and Caramel Sauce


Rich, dense, and creamy: cheesecake is serious comfort food. This pumpkin version is hard to beat. GET THE RECIPE

11. Baileys Cheesecake-Marbled Brownies


Want to take your brownies up a notch? Spiked with Baileys Irish Cream, these brownies with a swirl of tangy cheesecake are cakey on the bottom, alternately fudgy and creamy in the center and crisp on top. GET THE RECIPE