Are you looking for best winter dinner ideas to cozy up your chill day? If yes, then you are in right place. Winter is the blanket season to stay away from chilling winter winds , enjoying sun in the afternoon, playing indoor games. Not only a meal, but in fact every dish becomes special during this season. Let’s go back to our childhood days and reminisce the scrumptious meals cooked by our mother which we relished with great pleasure.
During winter, soups, casseroles, and bakes are the name of the game. These hot, easy dishes will get you through the season. For more winter eats, try our winter soups and salads! And if you have guests to impress, check out our favorite winter cocktails and desserts.
29 Best Winter Dinner Ideas
Ah, wintertime! It’s the most wonderful time of year—that is, except for the frigid cold weather, whipping winds, and slushy snow. To get us through this year’s winter forecast, we’re looking to a few cozy items to help keep us warm: heated blankets, comfy pajamas, and, of course, the best winter dinner ideas. Because there’s nothing like hearty comfort food to combat the chilly temperatures outside. Whether it’s a baked pasta recipe, a family-friendly casserole dish, or simply a bowl of soup, all of these winter dinners are sure to become weeknight favorites.
This time of year, it’s not just the weather outside that’s frightful—between the cookie swaps, football games, and shoveling snow, things can get pretty hectic. That’s why we’ve made sure to include plenty of quick family dinner ideas like easy sheet pan suppers and time-saving recipes, like Instant Pot chicken and dumplings. You’ll also find tons of hearty beef recipes, winter soups, and new twists on childhood classics, like a sloppy joe casserole that the whole family will love.
To finish off your comforting winter meal, look no further than a cozy mug of Ree Drummond’s white hot chocolate. Now, that’s sure to warm you right up!
1. Beef Stroganoff
Super rich flavors perfect for a chilly evening.
2. Coconut Curry Salmon
The coconut milk and spice go so well together, making a rich, but not heavy, sauce that really tastes and feels far more complicated than it is.
3. Baked Pork Chops
This oven-baked method will ensure your pork has a delicious crust and a perfectly cooked interior.
4. Turkey Biscuit Stew
Have some leftover holiday turkey? This recipe is what you need to turn it into a comforting meal!
This dish is served over biscuits and is packed with turkey meat.
It’s a hearty dinner that’s perfect for the winter. Don’t forget to add the peas and carrots for a nutrient boost.
Note: If you don’t have turkey, rotisserie chicken is a great substitute.
5. Butternut Squash Soup
Silky, sweet, and a little bit spicy, what’s not to love about butternut squash soup? It’s one of my all-time favorites!
The ingredients you’ll need are pretty easy to find. Maybe some of them are already in your pantry, like onions, carrots, and potatoes.
Of course, the star of this meal is the butternut squash. It’s the source of the soup’s delicate sweetness and slightly nutty flavor.
For more cozy dinner ideas, check out these easy soup recipes.
6. Chicken Piccata
This version of chicken piccata features oh-so-tender chicken meat swimming in a super creamy sauce.
7. Sausage and Vegetable Bake
Here’s a one-pan dish with ingredients that come together so quickly.
This oven-baked meal combines flavorful sausages and tender vegetables in a homemade gravy sauce.
The gravy sauce is easy to make, too! There’s no cooking required. Just pour the gravy mixture right into the pan along with other ingredients.
In 45 minutes, you’ll have a delicious meal that’s perfect for a busy, chilly weeknight.
8. Beef Stew
Old-fashioned beef stew is another favorite of mine. Even if winter is long gone, I find myself making this dish again and again.
This recipe requires everyday ingredients. You can also modify it using whatever you have on hand.
For the meat, I recommend using the chuck part. When cooked in a Dutch oven, it turns into a melt-in-your-mouth beef!
9. Skillet Lasagna
You don’t always need an oven to whip up a delicious lasagna. For this recipe, your weapon is a skillet!
The best part comes in two. First, you only need one skillet. Second, you’ll be using traditional lasagna ingredients for an authentic flavor.
Serve this dish with garlic breadsticks on the side. You’ll need those to soak up the fantastic pasta sauce!
10. Chicken Cornbread Casserole
Who doesn’t love the chicken and cornbread combination? I don’t know about you, but it has always been THE perfect duo for me.
That’s why I love this casserole dish! It features the sweet flavor of cornbread and the savory taste of the cheesy chicken filling.
This recipe is also adaptable. You can use leftover, boiled, or rotisserie chicken. Even canned chicken works!
11. White Chicken Chili
This dish is like traditional chili, but better. If you’re a chicken lover, you’ll adore this recipe.
Using basic ingredients like beans, chicken, corn, and peppers, you’ll have a comforting bowl of chili. It’ll warm you up inside out!
The use of white corn helps with the all-white finish. Want an extra hot meal? Serve this dish with some crispy jalapeño rings.
12. Split Pea Soup
This soup is made from mildly flavored split peas and smokey ham hock. Adding fresh thyme and bay leaves will make this dish more flavorful.
No ham hock? Be adventurous and try using bacon. No fresh thyme? The dried version works fine, too.
For a vegetarian meal, you can leave out the meat. It’ll still be delicious!
13. Three Cheese Skillet Mac and Cheese
The basic mac and cheese is already a hit at family dinners. But when you use three different kinds of cheeses, expect this meal to be gone in seconds!
This no-bake mac and cheese is extra creamy, extra cheesy, and extra delicious. Need I say more?
One last tip: breadcrumbs on top are a must if you want a crispy layer!
14. Ham and Potato Casserole
Like mac and cheese, ham and potato is such a beautiful pairing. Smother these two simple ingredients in a cheesy sauce, and you’ll have a new favorite casserole dish.
This recipe yields a big, filling meal that’s perfect for feeding a hungry crowd. It’s also affordable to make, so it’s definitely a win-win!
15. French Onion Soup
French onion soup with crusty bread and melty cheeses is like a warm hug served in a bowl.
The combination of caramelized onion, beef broth, and wine will nourish your soul and warm your heart.
Julia Child’s recipe for French onion soup is a must-try. It’s elegant, delicious, and will impress your guests at once.
16. Bacon Cheeseburger Pasta
Bacon cheeseburger pasta is a super tasty dish that you can make in less than 30 minutes.
Like other recipes on this list, the ingredients you’ll need are easy to find. Some of them are probably sitting in your pantry right now.
The ground meat, macaroni, and bacon create a wonderful texture.
Meanwhile, the beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, cheeses, and ketchup make a tasty blend of American flavors.
17. Beef Pot Pie
This beef pot pie is savory, hearty, and comforting. It’s better than your average frozen pot pie.
For a great shortcut, you can use a pre-made crust pie for this recipe. Underneath that unassuming flaky crust, you’ll see and taste the real magic.
The pot pie filling is a combination of savory beef, tender veggies, beef broth, and seasonings.
18. Chicken Tortilla Soup
Infuse Mexican flavors into your next weeknight dinner using this recipe.
Tortilla soup is a simple yet flavorful dish. It’s like Mexican tacos turned into a soup.
Everything you love on a taco night is here — beans, chicken, sour cream, tortilla chips, and more!
Of course, chicken makes this dish hearty and extra yummy!
19. Garlic Toast Pizzas
A warm toasted pizza is irresistible on a chilly night.
Top it off with pepperoni and mozzarella cheese for a simple yet delectable snack. Adults and kids will surely love this!
The garlicky flavor comes from the garlic Texas toast, while the turkey pepperoni brings a mild smoky taste.
This recipe is a quick one. You can make eight slices in 15 minutes!
20. Chicken Noodle Soup
This soup is not only perfect for harsh winter nights. It’s also a nourishing meal for sick days.
This chicken noodle soup is full of warm flavors and filling ingredients. It’ll leave you cozy and craving more!
Using chicken breasts will create a flavorful chicken stock. Don’t forget to add fresh dill and lemon juice for a slightly citrusy taste.
21. Chicken Gnocchi Soup
Olive Garden’s chicken gnocchi soup is crazy good! It’ll warm your senses with chicken, veggies, and potato gnocchi cooked in a creamy broth.
Again, the star of the show is chicken breast. Using rotisserie chicken is ideal since it can add great flavors to the soup.
22. Fried Pork Chops with Apples
Boneless chops and red apples are cooked in a Dijon-flavored sauce in this tasty dish.
Apples add a wonderful touch of sweetness to pork dishes. It’s no different for this recipe. Expect a heavenly combination of sweet and savory flavors.
I like my apples unpeeled to add more color and fiber to the dish.
23. Roasted Leg of Lamb
If you’re looking for something that requires minimal effort but yields delicious flavors, this is it.
Most people think that roasting a leg of lamb is difficult, especially for beginners. This recipe shows you easy steps to make this dish.
There’s no need to marinate the meat. With just a few simple ingredients and seasonings, you’ll impress the crowd with a tasty lamb dish.
24. Pumpkin Soup
Pumpkin soup is a popular Thanksgiving meal in the U.S., but you can make this anytime of the day (or night).
This soup is hearty and creamy with a smooth texture. Add additional cream at the end if you want yours to be extra creamy.
If you’re looking for a nice crunch, adding walnuts or croutons work like a charm!
25. Lentil Dal
This recipe is a plant-based meal from India. It’s the perfect dish to make if you want a meatless dinner or you’re looking for something warm and healthy.
In a nutshell, this soup is creamy, thick, and chock full of spices. Despite being an international dish, its ingredients are pretty easy to find in grocery stores.
Don’t skip the part where you have to saute the spices and aromatics. It’s important to build layers of flavors that’ll keep you warm from head to toe!
26. Cheeseburger Meatloaf
All the cheeseburger goodness packed in a meatloaf — give me some! For this recipe, you’ll just need a couple of pantry staples.
Biting into that warm, gooey cheese at the center will take away the wintry feeling. Meanwhile, the moist and juicy meat will reclaim your love for meatloaf!
27. Pumpkin Penne
Pumpkin pasta sauce with penne offers a comforting warmth on a winter night. In this dish, sweet will meet savory, creating a burst of luscious flavors.
You’ll have to combine the creamy pumpkin puree with parmesan cheese and savory spices.
If you use a canned pumpkin puree, you can finish doing everything in less than 30 minutes.
28. Skillet Shepherd’s Pie
Shepherd’s pie is classic comfort food. Its birthplace is in England, and it’s often made with ground lamb filling.
But for this recipe, beef will be the star of the show.
Add your choice of veggies into the filling and top everything off with mashed potatoes. Bake to perfection and you’re done!
29. Lighthouse Inn Potatoes
Lighthouse Inn in Connecticut closed in 2008, but its iconic and scrumptious potatoes live on.
Even without the Colonial Revival hotel, you can make this amazing side dish at home!
This copycat recipe is the key to creating yummy potatoes covered in silky sauce and parmesan-panko topping.
To achieve the authentic flavor, some say that you have to refrigerate the potatoes overnight before baking them.