25 Quick Winter Recipes for Hearty Meals
As the days grow shorter and the weather grows colder, so grows your desire to bundle up in a blanket, hunker down with some wintery comfort food, and hibernate until the new year. Finding the motivation to cook when it's too cold to even think is like finding out where you last put your slow cooker: Why bother when things like Chinese takeout exist?
However, if you don't want to spend the winter months dedicating your paycheck to Postmates or resorting to living solely on frozen pizza, you have options. Easy, quick, and delicious options, even! So, hit pause on your marathon-viewing of 90 Day Fiancé, and find what you're going to make for your next meal. Or dessert. Or snack that will turn into your full-on dinner. You decide—we have the options.
Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup
Science has yet to find anything melted cheese can't fix. Pair this grilled cheese with sriracha ketchup and convince yourself you're eating vegetables. (Or, you know, you could have it with tomato soup.)
One-Pan Chicken Fajitas
There is no jealousy and no regret like that that comes from watching someone else at a restaurant get served a sizzling hot pan of fajitas. With this recipe, you can satisfy your fajita FOMO from home (and without leaving your house).
Is there anything more satisfying than throwing a bunch of stuff into a pot, going to watch a holiday rom-com, and returning to the pot to find a chili has formed? It's like magic—but instead of a dove or a playing card, you get chili!
Quesadillas and Guacamole
Not that you need an excuse to eat melted cheese, but quesadillas give you the added bonus of getting to enjoy the life-fuel that is guacamole. Melty cheese, cooling guacamole…is there a better pairing?
Trail Mix Popcorn
To those who say the perfect snack doesn't exist, I say this: popcorn paired with the entirety of Great British Bake Off. If you want to get really fancy, add some nuts, chocolate chips, and dried fruit and voila! Trail mix popcorn.
If there's one thing winter is good for, it's providing the perfect weather to enjoy baked pasta. The cold can never take away our collective love for baked pasta.
Sausage and Pepper Pizza
Winter cooking tip: Keep some store-bought pizza dough in your fridge at all times. It will come in handy more often than you think. And it gives you the opportunity to create the exact pizza you're craving, minus the delivery charge.
Spinach Artichoke Dip
Did you know you don't have to wait for a football party or holiday gathering to eat spinach artichoke dip? You're an adult and can eat spinach artichoke dip whenever you want, we're giving you permission.
Vanilla Bourbon French Toast
Winter weekends create the extra challenge of finding a reason to get out of bed at all. This is where French toast comes in, sweet and delicious and topped with whatever you please. It's brunch, without having to leave the house in the cold.
Did you aspirationally buy bananas again? Let them fulfill their destiny with this easy recipe for banana pancakes. Fun fact: You can eat pancakes at any time of day. Pancakes have no rules!
If you're looking to satisfy your sweet tooth and have some pumpkin puree hanging out in your fridge, this recipe was made for you. It's seasonal. It's sweet. It pairs perfectly with the Netflix Fireplace for Your Home if you don't have an actual fireplace.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chocolate chip cookies are as close to dessert perfection as humans have gotten this far. They're simple, delicious, and easily customizable. Add some chopped pecans. Throw in some peanut butter chips. Dip them in hot chocolate. To each their own cookie. We truly don't think there's a wrong way to enjoy them, but this recipe is the starting point for baking the best.
Fudgy Pumpkin Brownies
Still looking for something to do with that leftover pumpkin puree? Turn it into pumpkin brownies. They are the chocolaty, seasonal treat that will satisfy both your sweet tooth and your desire to only eat pumpkin-flavored things.
Winter is the precise time to up your hot chocolate game. Ditch the powdered stuff and make some homemade hot cocoa using your favorite fancy chocolate. You can even add some peppermint schnapps or Irish creme liqueur for spiked hot chocolate. Your cocoa, your rules.
Easy Mac and Cheese
As mentioned, melted cheese is essentially a medicinal cure-all. Rather than resorting to another boxed mac and cheese, do yourself the service of making macaroni and cheese from scratch.
Kale and Apple Salad
OK, hear me out: Sometimes you need to eat something that isn't strictly cheese-based. In these instances, this kale and apple salad will make you rethink what a salad can be. The topping-to-leaf ratio is perfect. The crispy prosciutto is a blessing to your salad bowl. It is exactly the kind of salad you'll want this winter.
Crispy Tofu Bites
Dip dinners—dinners focused on consuming various dips—are the best dinners, and tofu bites are among the best dip vehicles. Pair it with baked potato wedges to trick your brain into thinking it's eating French fries, something it longs to do all year long.
Thai Carrot Sweet Potato Soup
Not to be dramatic, but I'm all about this creative soup. I mean, there's peanut butter in it. Peanut butter!
Loaded Baked Potatoes
If left to my own devices, I would do nothing but sleep and eat potatoes all winter long. Give me a hashbrown breakfast. Let me take an afternoon nap among my pillowy starches. At night, leave me to sleep atop a bed of mashed potatoes, waking only to snack on a bowl of that buttery mash before falling back into my hibernation. Baked potatoes are an excuse to eat one big potato as a meal, and thus, we must celebrate them.
Buffalo Cauliflower Bites
If you're craving wings, but not craving the cleanup that comes with having to fry your own wings, these buffalo cauliflower bites are what you seek. If you're skeptical of the glory that is cauliflower, this recipe will turn you into a believer.
Maple Turmeric Chicken
Sometimes getting the motivation to cook is just seeing an unexpected flavor combo and thinking, "Huh, I've got those things in my pantry." This recipe calls for maple syrup, which you definitely have, and turmeric, which you probably forgot you bought when Golden Milk Lattes started being a thing.
Coconut Chicken Tikka Masala
The next time delivery from your go-to Indian restaurant has an hour wait, try this recipe. It's quick, delicious, and will make you feel like Ina Garten-levels of culinary. (Psst. If you're in a pinch, cumin or curry powder are passable substitutes for garam masala.)
Creamy French Onion Pasta
Can't choose between soup and pasta? Of course, you can't. They are two perfect dishes. With this recipe, you don't have to.
There is no bad time to eat nachos. However, there is a perfect time to eat nachos, and that is when you're snowed in and bundled up in blankets. That is when nachos shine.
If all else fails, at least there is wine. If you want to get fancy and festive, turn it into mulled wine. See? Cooking isn't that hard after all.
It can be tempting to hide under a blanket all winter, and we don't blame you. With these easy winter recipes, you can add some nutrition to your diet without having to leave the comfort of home.