Down home cooking has a number of meanings to different people. First and foremost, we’re talking about comfort food. This is food that reminds you of home, and it makes you feel good and warm inside. For someone from southern America, the definition of down home cooking is going to be different to that of someone from Maine or California.

But for all intents and purposes, let’s focus on general foods from America that are considered down home cooking or comfort foods. Here are the top 5 must-try versions of this food genre.

1. Mac and Cheese

Mac and cheese can turn any bad day around. It’s got the two ingredients that Americans love most. First, you have the delicious macaroni or other pasta for the base. Second, you have cheese. We all love cheese!

Probably the best thing about mac and cheese is that you can play with it in many different ways. Try adding bacon or chives to spice it up, or play around with the cheeses that you put in.

2. Turkey or Chicken Pot Pie

Imagine that golden brown crust and the way it deepens in color around the edges. Imagine cutting into the first bite. The way the flaky crust breaks away only to reveal the oozy gooey, meat and veggie-filled center is to die for. This is turkey or chicken pot pie at its best.

3. Chicken Noodle or Rice Soup

Everyone loves a delicious bowl of chicken noodle soup. And of course, now that people are slightly more carb-focused, the white, starchy noodles can be replaced with brown rice if you choose.

This is a staple for many people who are sick. If you have the flu or a cold, chicken soup is the first thing you turn to. But even if you aren’t sick, this is a dish that can be served up to remind you of your mother or grandmother’s cooking when you were a child. It’s a delicious and nutritious reminder of days past.

4. Traditional Lasagna

Who said there would be no worldliness in this list? Traditional lasagna is of course from Italy. This country is the home of most pasta dishes, and it is definitely the home of lasagna.

This is a dish that can be modified to fit your dietary restrictions or needs as well. Consider using eggplant instead of pasta, or omit the meat and add more peppers and onions to make the dish healthier. Either way, it’s a great meal to have when you’re in need of some comfort food.

5. Classic Meat and Bean Chili

Again, comfort food is at its best when it includes pasta, meat and some spicy, warmed up veggies. A classic chili recipe is perfect for this occasion.

To perfect basically any chili recipe, just add beans, pasta and beef or chicken to a medley of different veggies, such as peppers, onions, tomatoes and celery. And of course, remember that chili is the perfect recipe to try when it’s a little “chilly” outside!