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10 Feel-Good Food Shows to Binge-Watch Over Your Holiday Break

Stream for holiday comfort.

The holiday season is here! After the ups and downs of another year where the news cycle was dominated by the pandemic, it’s time to start winding down. What better way to do that than indulging yourself with heartfelt food shows and cooking up a storm? Whether you’re going big with the celebrations this year or holding your loved ones close with a prayer of gratitude, these cooking and baking shows will offer inspiration and comfort. Expect a dash of competition, a spoonful of laughter, and a plateful of feel-good factor—it’s a cheery, appetizing way to say goodbye to the year.

1 OF 10

'The Big Family Cooking Showdown'

Families in the UK compete together in this heartfelt British cooking show. It lasted for just two seasons (blame ratings), but it’s so much fun to watch sisters, parents, brothers, and even grandparents working up a sweat in the kitchen. The family dynamics are entertaining to watch and you get introduced to the quirks and personalities of each of the three members on the teams. Judges Giorgio Locatelli and Rosemary Shrager sweetly encourage passionate families to cook their best and pick top winners.

The first season is hosted by Zoe Ball and Nadiya Hussain and season two brings Chef Tommy Banks, and all add to the show’s feel-good factor. 

Watch it on Netflix.

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'Nadiya Bakes'

Nadiya Hussain, winner of The Great British Bake Off and host of The Big Family Cooking Showdown, has her own food shows! On Nadiya Bakes, the delightful celebrity chef returns to baking—her happy place—with indulgent desserts and sinful savory dishes. From hot cross buns and potato rosti quiche to chocolate fondant and jam roly poly, this British cooking show is layered with deliciousness. Nadiya promises simple dishes and gorgeous treats and introduces chefs in the UK that she follows. She’s a soothing presence on the screen and comes with mouth-watering bakes—what’s not to love about this show?

Watch it on Netflix.

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'Nailed It!'

This food show is unlike any other and you’ll love it if you’ve ever messed up something in the kitchen. Terribly, irredeemably. Nailed It! gets home cooks to recreate masterpieces—really incredible cakes and desserts—and they NEVER nail it. It’s hilarious to watch them struggle with complicated techniques, and you feel for the judges and presenters Nicole Byer and Jacques Torres, who have to taste everything (edible or not) and decide a winner. 

This is laugh-till-you-cry funny for everyone—contestants, judges, and audience. There are six seasons and holiday specials, and the show has also traveled to France, Germany, Mexico, and Spain.

Watch it on Netflix.

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'Selena + Chef'

Singer Selena Gomez filmed herself learning to cook in August 2020 when the world went under lock and key. A professional chef teaches her and the viewers a new cuisine in each episode and the show donates $10,000 to a charity in every episode. She tackles seafood tostada with Antonia Lofaso, guacamole with Angelo Sosa, steak sandwiches with Curtis Stone, and seafood gumbo with JJ Johnson.

The third and newest season has Padma Lakshmi, Jamie Oliver, and Ayesha Curry, among other celebrity chefs. The show has been renewed for its fourth season and it’s a fun-loving food series to binge-watch this month.

Watch it on HBO Max.

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'Best Leftovers Ever'

This one has chef Rosemary Shrager, too! Another feel-good cooking competition with zero drama, this one gets home cooks to turn unappetizing leftovers into palate-pleasing dishes. Each episode has a theme—game day, fancy food, holidays—and there are hits and misses while contestants think of fresh takes. The set, as well as the format, is fun and bright and the presenter, Jackie Tohn, keeps things entertaining. Also watch this to know how to avoid food wastage—judges David So and Rosemary Shrager give great tips for those sitting at home with a fridge full of old dishes.

Watch it on Netflix.

6 OF 10

'MasterChef Australia'

Not as cut-throat as its American cousin, MasterChef Australia has a sweet vibe to it. Contestants are helpful to each other, judges don’t pit them against one another, and there’s passion without any aggression. 

After 11 seasons, 2020 brought new judges on the panel: Jock Zonfrillo, Melissa Leong, Andy Allen. The country went into lockdown while they were filming, so the show introduced social distancing measures, reduced crew, and guests started to appear virtually. MasterChef Australia premiered this year as well, and Junior MasterChef Australia also had its run. Even after so many seasons and spin-offs, MasterChef is a treat for a food lover. 

Watch it on Tubi.

7 OF 10

'School of Chocolate'

In this newly-released food show, French chocolatier Amaury Guichon mentors experienced chefs to play and create with chocolate, and the best student in the class gets a cash prize as well as a chance to teach a masterclass at Guichon’s pastry academy in Vegas. There are no eliminations, so all eight contestants stay in the competition and the educational format sets it apart from the usual cooking reality shows. What will also astound chocolate lovers is how creative pastry art can be–from an edible pastry pencil that writes to a chocolate chandelier.

Watch it on Netflix.

8 OF 10

'Taste the Nation'

TV host and cookbook author Padma Lakshmi goes on a quest in the U.S. to find what defines the melting pot of American food. She meets immigrants and Indigenous communities, and explores diversity in the American kitchen, from Thai food in Las Vegas to Native American dishes in Arizona. Watch this show to know about local chefs and communities and also their history and heritage. There’s also a holiday edition, released this year, celebrating Chanukah, Thanksgiving, Nochebuena, and Lunar New Year. 

Watch it on Hulu.

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'Holiday Baking Championship: Gingerbread Showdown'

Food Network’s Holiday Baking Championship is filling the screens with Christmas goodness as contestants create magical masterpieces with gingerbread. These are no ordinary gingerbread houses, mind you. Gingerbreaders and their baking assistants create snow globes, light shows, and gnomes to win the title and $10,000 worth of festive prizes! It’s hosted by Jesse Palmer and judged by Nacho Aguirre, Kardea Brown, and Breegan Jane.

Watch it on Discovery+.

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'The Great British Baking Show'

No gimmicks, no prize money, no yelling, no drama—The Great British Baking Show (or the Great British Bake-Off, as it’s titled in the UK) is a unicorn in the world of cooking reality shows. Contestants are kind to each other and there’s fun and gentleness that’s otherwise missing when you’re hardcore competing to be the best. It has gained a massive fan following during the pandemic and even celebrities can’t stop gushing over it. 

The holiday special with two hour-long episodes is out and you can go back to the previous seasons for a hit of sugar and sweetness.

Watch it on Netflix.