The weather outside is frightening and you need some winter dinner ideas to keep you warm and safe.
The wintertime is a great time to cook some of those meals that you avoid during the hotter months. Simmering something on the stovetop or baking in the oven for hours heats up the house. In the summer, we tend to avoid this, but in the winter, it’s the perfect way to cook.
Good winter recipes have the ability to give you the feeling of warmth right when you take the first bite.
Your entire insides will be filled with happiness and your taste buds will be dancing from the winter food recipes below.
As winter rolls in, so does the desire to enjoy warm and comforting meals during those chilly evenings. This time of year calls for dishes that not only nourish the body, but also warm the soul. With an abundance of seasonal ingredients available, creating delicious winter dinner ideas can be both enjoyable and simple.
Incorporating hearty ingredients into nutrition-packed meals is the way to go this season. Root vegetables, flavorful spices, and protein-rich ingredients help satisfy cravings and provide the energy needed for staying cozy and content during the colder months. From soups to stews, casseroles to warm salads, the possibilities are endless.
Winter dinner ideas are not only about indulging in heavy dishes, but also exploring unique flavor combinations and utilizing the season’s bounty. It’s the perfect time to experiment with new recipes and create memorable meals for friends and family to gather around, fostering warmth and connection in the midst of cold weather.
The real secret to cold weather recipes is they don’t take nearly as long to make as you might think. You’ll be able to have dinner ready and the dishes cleaned while still being able to watch your favorite show.
You’ll get all kinds of flavors from winter dinner recipes too, from savory to sweet, and all of them bring comfort to your cold situation.
Pick your favorites from the easy winter meals below so the next time the temp starts dropping you have something ready to go.
You don’t have to travel to IKEA every time you have a craving for Swedish meatballs.
This delicious recipe does meatballs right and you can add them to all kinds of winter dishes too.
If you’ve ever had a pot pie before then you know just how delicious this turkey biscuit stew is going to be.
Filled with healthy ingredients like peas and carrots, you’ll also get the creamy sauce with chunks of chicken in it to fill you up.
And who can forget the perfectly toasted biscuits that will practically melt in your mouth when you have a bite.
This recipe is guaranteed to please the entire family.
Everyone loves a good sloppy Joe and when it’s cold outside, you might not want anything else.
The fact this sloppy joe recipe is on a pizza just makes it that much more irresistible so see how your family reacts when you put it on the table.
It’s ok if you don’t typically like butternut squash because this recipe is going to change your taste buds.
You’ll be able to get all the ingredients you need at your local store and can even make it in your slow cooker or instant pot for an easy dinner.
The best part is you don’t have to pre-cook anything and you can still get a delicious flavor like it took you hours to make.
Serve this with some bread so you can soak up all the delicious sauce that’s left at the bottom of the bowl.
5. Potato Soup
Here’s another classic wintertime soup that the entire family will love.
In fact, it’s so good you’ll want to keep the ingredients on hand at all times so you can make this potato soup whenever you get a craving for something warm and comforting.
It’s easy enough to make every day but if you’re looking for some dinner ideas or even trying to impress your guests, this is one recipe to bust out.
Having savory cold weather food really gets you in the season and this chicken piccata recipe is great for dinner any time of year.
Have everything ready in less than 30 minutes so you can actually focus on finishing errands without worrying about a complicated meal you need to get together.
This is one of those cold weather meals you can throw on top of some hot rice or pasta to fill it up.
It’s perfect for the family because of the decadent flavors but the lemon citrus helps round out all the flavors.
Chowders are a time-tested dish that you can always count on to hit the spot when you’re hungry.
There’s nothing quite like a hot and hearty soup to warm you up from the inside out so try this ham and corn chowder recipe that is simple enough for even beginner cooks to take on.
This is one of those dishes that everyone in your family will love so it’s easy to add to your winter meal rotation.
There are no healthy winter recipes that are easier to make than this sausage and vegetable bake.
The ingredients are simple, the prep is very minimal, and you can have it on your table in less than an hour without any fuss.
Take advantage of all the vegetables that are abundant right now because this bake makes them look amazing.
You can use these as a side for different meals or you can cook up some pasta or rice and toss it all together.
9. Tortilla Pie
Ok, admittedly this is less of a pie and more of a casserole, but either way, it tastes absolutely delicious.
This is a hearty dish that’s filling all on its own or you can serve it with fresh bread to enjoy the flavors even more.
You might think casseroles are too old-fashioned but this tortilla pie will make you realize how tasty they are when done right.
10. Beef Stew
Cold winter dinner ideas don’t get any more classic than the beef stew.
You can get everything you need at your local store and once it’s all in the pot you can walk away and do whatever else needs to be done.
This one is so good that you’ll probably end up making it even if it’s not cold outside so you might as well add it to your regular rotation.
Do yourself a favor and make a big old pot of this beef stew so you can have something ready to warm up when you need it.
Even though the actual Lighthouse Inn closed in 2008, the famous recipe lives on and the secret behind this dish is what makes it so delicious.
The ingredients responsible for these potatoes are so simple but they pack incredible flavors that you’ll enjoy every time you make this recipe.
This is one comfort food you can’t resist so, whether you’re looking for some dinner ideas or just want to spice up your sides, you have to try these potatoes.
12. Skillet Lasagna
Skillet lasagna is one of those winter dinners that you can make any time of the year and the entire family will still enjoy it.
Instead of cooking it in an oven, you’ll be using a cast iron pan so you can get all the flavors of lasagna right to your dinner table without waiting hours.
Let everyone decide how much they want on their plates so they can build their own idea of perfection.
Make sure you have some garlic bread to serve on the side to help get every last drop of this delicious recipe.
There’s nothing quite like a hot and delicious shepherd’s pie to warm you up on a cold winter’s day.
Shepherd’s pie is already comforting and tasty, but when you add in some mashed potatoes and bread crumbs on top, the flavors elevate this classic dish into something magical.
This is one meal that can be enjoyed by everyone in your family and it will win over any guests you have over too.
Cornbread goes well with a ton of different hearty dinner ideas but when you add chicken, it becomes a whole new experience.
This is a perfect cold weather version of some classic southern cooking that you can make ahead and then let your oven do its thing while you’re gone.
You could still have this as a side but it can also work on its own when you serve it at the table. The kids will go absolutely nuts for it.
If you have a big pan go ahead and fill the entire thing up so you can portion out pieces for later.
Mix your pasta recipe up with this pumpkin pasta sauce that has all the flavors of fall to create something truly special for your family.
It’s a great way to get them to eat their vegetables while also enjoying hearty noodles for dinner.
You can make this pumpkin sauce ahead of time and store it in your refrigerator so you can quickly reheat it without having to run to the grocery store.
If you’re not considering chili with your other winter meal ideas then you’re not doing it right.
This white chicken chili is one of the easiest recipes to make and it’s also very versatile.
You can use this chili as a side for all kinds of other meals or you can serve up some tortilla chips on the side so people can build their own bowls.
It’s easy to adapt this into your routine because there are tons of variations that are all just as tasty.
Give this a try and you’ll never go back to waiting all day for chili again.
Meatloaf is already delicious on its own, just like a cheeseburger but when you combine them you get one amazing dish.
It’s surprising how much flavor there is with this simple combination so it will be a hit at your house whether or not they like cheeseburgers or meatloaf.
For the perfect side dishes, try serving them with some loaded fries for an indulgent meal that anyone can enjoy.
18. Split Pea Soup
Winter healthy recipes don’t get better than split pea soup and this recipe has withstood generations of approval.
You can really make this as savory as you want by adding more or less of the ingredients listed.
19. Lentil Dal
When you’re tired of the same old flavors you need to mix things up with some delicious dal.
Dal is a traditional Indian dish that’s easy to make and this lentil dal has some sweet flavors that are just perfect for the holidays or an evening meal with your family.
It’s not too spicy but it certainly packs some flavor so you can enjoy it even if you don’t typically like Indian food.
Southern dinner ideas for cold nights have to involve some form of mac and cheese and this recipe does not disappoint.
You’ll be able to make it in a cast iron pan with three different kinds of delicious cheeses that will all melt right in when you stir them together.
21. Pumpkin Soup
It doesn’t have to be Thanksgiving for you to enjoy some delicious pumpkin soup.
This is a wonderful dish that you can serve to your family or have as the perfect midnight snack so you don’t feel too hungry before bedtime.
When you need some warm dinner ideas, this soup will cure what ails you and it’s so easy to make for even beginner home cooks.
The starchiness of the potato goes perfectly with the savory ham flavors in this casserole recipe.
It’s one of those cold day dinner ideas that doesn’t take a chef to make. You can whip up the entire thing in no time and people will think you spent hours making it.
If you’ve never had a leg of lamb before, then you’re in for a real treat.
This is a hearty and delicious winter dish that’s perfect for enjoying during the holidays or any other special occasion you might be celebrating this season.
The best part about serving leg of lamb is all your guests will love it because the flavors are so rich they’re sure to come back for seconds.
Talk about savory flavors, this French onion soup is one of the most classic soups to make during winter.
It’s a bit on the pricey side to make this but there are some great deals around the holidays that you’ll want to take advantage of.
You’ll be able to serve this up at the dinner table in a wonderful crock that will keep it nice and hot. Plus, this is another recipe that you can make ahead of time so all you have to do is heat it up on the day of your party or family gathering.
Now, don’t get scared when you read the title of this recipe because it tastes nothing like it sounds.
When you combine the crunchy flavor of fried pork chops and apples with other amazing ingredients, this becomes one fantastic winter meal.
It’s certainly a different take on comfort food but we promise you won’t be disappointed.
The perfect side dish for this is mashed potatoes and gravy, just as it should be.
There aren’t cold weather dinner ideas that gets much tastier than this one.
All you have to do is cook up some bacon, brown some ground beef or turkey, and add it all into a cream sauce with the pasta.
From start to finish this will take less than an hour which means you can make it for a weeknight dinner without even needing to miss your favorite show.
Gnocchi mixed with chicken in this incredible soup is so filling you can have this for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
The famous Olive Garden recipe is easily recreated with this gnocchi soup recipe and it has all the flavor you love.
This is one hearty meal that will fill your belly and warm your heart on chilly nights.
28. Beef Pot Pie
As if pot pie wasn’t good enough, this beef pot pie recipe really takes it up a notch.
Southern dinner recipes are known for being comfort food and this one is warm, hearty, and just plain delicious.
Who can forget the classic chicken noodle soup on a cold day? It’s the perfect warm food to fill your belly.
This is a fairly easy recipe to make and it’s the perfect meal for those chilly days when you need something hot and hearty to enjoy.
Plus, there are plenty of leftovers that will last you throughout the week so you can freeze them and heat them up as needed without having to run to the store.
When you need some warm dinner ideas that you haven’t tried before, this chicken tortilla soup is a great option.
It’s got all of the flavors you know and love from traditional tortilla soup recipes but it gives it a little twist with some southwestern flair.
There are plenty of different ingredients in this but they’re absolutely necessary to create the balance that you know and love about Mexican food.
These bite-sized garlic toast pizza snacks are the best warm dinner meals for the entire family.
They are super simple to make because all you need is to top off the toast with all your ingredients and stick them in the oven.
What’s even better is you can use any ingredients you want and this will still turn out to be a fantastic meal.
30+ Easy Winter Dinner Ideas (+Garlic Toast Pizzas)
- 8 slices frozen Texas garlic toast
- 8 Tbsp. marinara or pizza sauce
- 2 ounces pizza toppings such as pepperoni
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese shredded
- Pre-heat your oven to 375°F.
- Put the bread onto a cookie sheet.
- Add pizza sauce to the bread slices.
- Top with pizza toppings and cheese.
- Bake for 5 minutes.
Organize all the required ingredients.
Enjoy the food.