31 Cozy Winter Dinner Ideas

Cuddle up indoors with these comforting meals

Vegetarian Mushroom Stroganoff

The Spruce/Leah Maroney

When the temperature outdoors plunges, there's no better time to hunker down inside, cuddle up by the fire, and eat some hearty, warming food. There are plenty of cozy recipes here, including quick and easy options for weeknight suppers, meatless meals, Sunday roasts, and a few classic comfort foods you may not have tried but are sure to love. And the dishes span the globe as well, from Korean to Indian to French, offering a wide variety of flavors to please many palates.

  • 01 of 31

    Instant Pot Chicken Pot Pie

    Instant Pot Chicken Pot Pie

    The Spruce/Zorica Lakonic

    Chicken pot pie is winter comfort food at its finest, chock-full of moist chicken morsels, potatoes, onions, and carrots in a creamy sauce with a flaky, buttery crust. While there are multiple steps in this recipe, it's not complicated, and the filling cooks quickly in the Instant Pot. The ingredients call for making your own pastry but feel free to use store-bought dough for easier preparation.

  • 02 of 31

    Korean Ground Beef Bowls

    Korean Ground Beef Bowls

    The Spruce/Pete Scherer

    There is something so heart-warming about a bowl of saucy, browned ground beef and rice, especially when topped with a perfectly fried egg. This stick-to-your-ribs Korean bulgogi-style dish is uniquely flavorful and aromatic, with Asian pear, onion, garlic, ginger, honey, and sesame flavoring the beef. Stir in some gochujang hot sauce, if you like, and a little kimchi if you have it on hand, for a cozy winter meal.

  • 03 of 31

    Vegetarian Mushroom Stroganoff

    Vegetarian Mushroom Stroganoff

    The Spruce/Leah Maroney

    Lusciously rich, creamy, and practically begging to be ladled over hot egg noodles, this mushroom Strogranoff is the plant-based version of the classic beef Russian dish. Cook it up in just 30 minutes for your meatless Monday dinner, or enjoy it as a vegetarian pasta anytime. You may even convert some carnivores with this satisfying and hearty recipe.

  • 04 of 31

    Easy Chicken Parmesan

    Easy Chicken Parmesan

    The Spruce

    Chicken parmesan is a famous Italian-American dish beloved by kids and adults alike. You can make this family-friendly combination of crispy breaded chicken, cheesy goodness, and tangy tomato sauce in under an hour. Serve it with a side of spaghetti, garlic bread, and a simple green salad for a wholesome weeknight meal.

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  • 05 of 31

    Indian Butter Chicken

     Indian Butter Chicken

    The Spruce

    Born in India, butter chicken has taken the world by storm with its magical spice blend and tangy, smoky tomato gravy. This traditional Punjabi recipe does require several ingredients, some of which only may be found in Indian food markets, but the steps to make it are simple, and the resulting flavors clearly worth the effort. It makes a stunning dinner with fluffy, steamed basmati rice and a side of naan bread.

  • 06 of 31

    Easy French Onion Soup

    Easy French Onion Soup

    The Spruce/Cara Cormack

    Conjure up a cozy bistro lunch at home with this classic French onion soup that needs only 5 ingredients. Brimming with sweet, caramelized onions in rich, beefy broth, and topped with crispy, toasted bread and melting cheese, it's just the thing to warm you up on a cold winter day. Make it into a filling meal with a side of Caesar salad.

  • 07 of 31

    Oven Braised Beef Short Ribs With Cabbage

    Oven Braised Beef Short Ribs With Cabbage

    The Spruce/Diana Rattray

    Meltingly tender beef short ribs braised to perfection with bacon, apple juice, beef broth, and wedges of cabbage is the comfort meal you need after a cold-weather hike or a day of sledding. Serve the ribs over mashed potatoes, cheese grits, or polenta for a hearty winter meal.

  • 08 of 31

    French Chicken and Sausage Cassoulet

     French Chicken and Sausage Cassoulet

    The Spruce/Nita West

    Cassoulet is a French countryside classic, combining many types of meats with beans. This modern update on the traditional, slow-simmered stew boasts an irresistible, hearty flavor with a more streamlined ingredient list consisting of bacon, chicken, sausage, white beans, vegetables, and herbs. For the tenderest beans, soak dried beans overnight in a large pot of salted water (using 2 tablespoons of salt per pound of beans) and a pinch of baking soda.

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  • 09 of 31

    Bavarian Ham Hock Dinner

    Bavarian Ham Hock Dinner

    The Spruce/Katarina Zunic

    On a cold winter night, try your hand at making schweinshaxe. The flavorful, oven-baked, herb-crusted ham hock and vegetable dish is a German tradition when the days get colder and folks find themselves hankering for a hearty dinner. A creamy sauce made of the drippings and sour cream finish off this comforting meal.

  • 10 of 31

    Iron Skillet Roast Chicken

    Iron Skillet Roast Chicken

    The Spruce

    If you love roast chicken, but don't have the hours needed to cook it in the oven, this genius recipe may become your go-to when time is an issue. Using your cast iron skillet and a smaller bird means that you can cook a whole roasted chicken in only an hour. The result is meat that is juicy through and through, with well-seasoned, crispy skin. Roast some cut-up potatoes or other sturdy veggies in a separate dish, for a complete, warming meal to serve your family or company.

  • 11 of 31

    Vegan Shepherd's Pie

    Vegan Shepherd's Pie

    Diana Miller/Getty Images

     

    This vegan shepherd's pie is what meatless winter comfort food is all about. A saucy filling of vegetarian ground beef substitute, green peas, gravy, and corn is crowned by a heavenly, browned mashed potato crust. The dish is comforting, hearty, flavorful, and entirely meat-free, and will please vegans and omnivores alike.

  • 12 of 31

    Spicy Korean-Chinese Seafood Soup

    Spicy Korean-Chinese Seafood Soup

    The Spruce/Diana Chistruga

    Spicy Korean-Chinese seafood soup (or jjampong) is a popular order at Chinese and Korean restaurants around the world. It is a nourishing mix of egg or udon noodles, mixed seafood, pork, and vegetables in a fiery, savory red soup base. If the ingredients are prepped ahead, it takes only 30 minutes to brew up a big pot of this cozy soup to set on your dinner table.

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  • 13 of 31

    Instant Pot Pork Enchiladas

    Instant Pot Pork Enchiladas

    The Spruce/Leah Maroney

    Bake up a tray of restaurant-style pork enchiladas and watch everyone come running to the table. Rich, a little spicy, and blanketed in melting cheese, these enchiladas are the ultimate easy Mexican-style weeknight food. The Instant Pot shortens the cooking time for the pork, which is then shredded and layered with cheese, onion, and prepared sauce in pan-fried tortillas. Once rolled up and topped with more sauce and cheese, they are baked until bubbling.

  • 14 of 31

    Salmon Spaghetti Carbonara

    Salmon Spaghetti Carbonara

    Eivaisla/Getty Images

    If you have leftover cooked salmon in the fridge, use it to make this deeply rich and comforting seafood pasta carbonara. Long spaghetti or fettuccine noodles are the perfect match for the smooth and creamy sauce, which envelops the noodles studded with meaty chunks of salmon, crisp and salty bacon, and bright-tasting green peas.

  • 15 of 31

    Braised Lamb Shoulder Chops

    Braised Lamb Shoulder Chops

    The Spruce

    Use your Dutch oven and your favorite dry red wine to make these saucy, fork-tender braised lamb shoulder chops. Onion, rosemary, and garlic flavor the simple sauce that tenderizes the chops, which braise low and slow in the oven for a fall-apart texture. This dish makes a great weekend meal paired with garlic mashed potatoes and a green vegetable.

  • 16 of 31

    Instant Pot Chicken and Dumplings

    Instant Pot Chicken and Dumplings

    Diana Rattray

    Being able to enjoy chicken and dumplings in well under an hour is sure to make your winter weeknights better. The old-fashioned, comforting family entree is a cinch to assemble in the Instant Pot and cooks in fewer than 15 minutes. Simple drop dumplings thicken the stew slightly as it cooks, and a little heavy cream added at the end brings just the right touch of richness.

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  • 17 of 31

    Easy Pad Thai Noodles

    Easy Pad Thai Noodles

    The Spruce/Ali Redmond

    Treat yourself to a bowl of Thailand's national noodle dish with this easy pad Thai recipe that uses ingredients you can find at most grocery stores. The flavorful noodle stir-fry includes chicken, shrimp, eggs, rice noodles, and vegetables, all tossed together in a sweet and sour sauce. Top each bowl with a squirt of fresh lime juice and lots of crushed peanuts, if desired.

  • 18 of 31

    Italian-Style Meat Lasagna

    Meat Lasagna

    The Spruce/Victoria Heydt

    Beefy, cheesy, saucy, and layered with tender pasta noodles, this easy, Italian-style meat lasagna brings together everything we love about the classic baked pasta dish. There's no need to boil noodles or slave away over a sauce in this shortcut version that makes the perfect family dinner on busy weeknights.

  • 19 of 31

    Oxtail Soup

    Oxtail Soup

    The Spruce/Julia Estrada

    Despite their name, oxtails are actually beef tails, and they make the most marvelous soup. They have a similar flavor and texture to beef short ribs, and their high-fat content produces a thick and silky soup when simmered for hours. This recipe with onions, carrots, celery, and thyme is a great winter meal in one bowl that will warm your insides.

  • 20 of 31

    French Onion Soup Pasta

    French Onion Soup Pasta

    The Spruce/Leah Maroney

    Full of rich French onion soup flavor with caramelized onions, buttery breadcrumbs, and nutty gruyere cheese, this bistro-inspired pantry pasta is an elegant way to warm up on colder days. While the flavors are sophisticated, it is a quick and easy weeknight dish that any home cook can tackle in a little over 30 minutes.

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  • 21 of 31

    Instant Pot Beef Pot Roast

    Instant Pot Pot Roast

    The Spruce/Diana Rattray

    Normally, a moist and juicy beef pot roast would take all day long to cook, but if you use the Instant Pot, the cooking time will be shortened dramatically. For a complete, filling meal of pot roast and vegetables, all you need is 90 minutes. Pressure cooking the beef is a fabulous way to tenderize it and create all that melt-in-your-mouth texture you crave.

  • 22 of 31

    Chicken Alfredo Lasagna

    Chicken Alfredo Lasagna

    The Spruce/Morgan Walker

    This recipe is an inspired mash-up of a classic lasagna with the popular chicken Alfredo pasta dish, creating a creamy and delicious entree that you can get on the table in less than an hour. Mushrooms and spinach are layered with cooked chicken and pancetta in between tender lasagna noodles, all draped in a cheesy sauce, sure to satisfy any comfort food craving.

  • 23 of 31

    Hearty British Winter Root Vegetable Soup

    Hearty British Winter Root Vegetable Soup

    The Spruce/Elaine Lemm

    When it's cold outside, it's time to bundle up indoors with a warming bowl of British winter root vegetable soup. Hearty and stew-like, this soup boasts loads of chunky vegetables and various pasta shapes in a heart-healthy tomato and chicken soup base. Top with Parmesan cheese and parsley for a filling, nutritious way to keep winter at bay.

  • 24 of 31

    Kentucky Hot Brown Turkey Sandwich

    Kentucky Hot Brown Turkey Sandwich

    The Spruce/Diana Chistruga

    A beloved Louisville tradition, the Kentucky hot brown sandwich is a mouth-watering choice for a winter sandwich supper. The hot, open-faced sandwiches are made by topping toasted bread with leftover or deli turkey meat, sliced tomatoes, and a gooey Parmesan cheese sauce. It's all broiled in the oven until browned and bubbling, and then topped with crispy bacon slices, for the ultimate finishing touch.

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  • 25 of 31

    Mushroom Risotto

    Mushroom Risotto

    The Spruce

    Mushroom stock is the magical ingredient that makes this richly-flavored mushroom risotto one of the most delicious variations on the classic Italian recipe. This risotto is creamy and velvety without needing an ounce of cream; it does require lots of stirring, but is otherwise simple to prepare, and will reward you with a wonderful, substantial-tasting dish.

  • 26 of 31

    Crescent Beef Stroganoff Bake

    Crescent Beef Stroganoff Bake

    The Spruce/Diana Rattray

    You need fewer than 10 ingredients for this hearty, family-friendly ground beef stroganoff casserole with cheddar cheese. The crave-worthy bottom crust is made with a can of refrigerated crescent roll dough, while the rest of the ingredients, like onion, mushrooms, spices, sour cream, and shredded cheese, are probably stocked in your fridge or pantry.

  • 27 of 31

    One-Pan Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese

    One-Pan Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese

    Diana Rattray

    This easy, one-pan macaroni and cheese with broccoli is a great way to sneak some veggies into your family dinner, while distracting them with tender pasta and a velvety-smooth, sharp cheddar cheese sauce. It is a cinch to cook on the stove-top using just one saucepan, so the clean-up is easy, too.

  • 28 of 31

    Vietnamese Coconut Chicken Curry

    Vietnamese Coconut Chicken Curry

    The Spruce/Diana Chistruga

    When the temperature dips into minus territory, soothe yourself with this wonderful Vietnamese coconut chicken curry. Luxuriously thick and rich, chunks of chicken, russet potatoes, sweet potatoes, and carrots are bathed in a creamy coconut milk sauce. Add some cooked rice noodles and serve with crusty baguette slices for sopping up the broth.

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  • 29 of 31

    Vegetarian Black Bean and Corn Chili

    Vegetarian Black Bean and Corn Chili

    The Spruce/Andrea Livingston

    Whether meat-based or not, a bowl of warming chili on the coldest days is a welcome dish. This vegetarian version calls for mostly canned ingredients and is topped with crunchy corn tortilla strips, making for a quick and easy winter weeknight dinner choice. You can make it vegan, if you like, by omitting the cheese and optional sour cream topping.

  • 30 of 31

    Georgia-Style Brunswick Stew

    Georgia-Style Brunswick Stew

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

    On frosty winter days, Brunswick stew is a great answer to the eternal question of what to make for dinner. This deeply delicious Southern dish with chunks of chicken or pork, cream-style corn, and barbecue-flavored tomato broth, cooks up on the stovetop in just 30 minutes, for a satisfying weeknight dinner with cornbread and a tossed green salad.

  • 31 of 31

    Hamburger Soup With Black-Eyed Peas and Kale

    Hamburger Soup With Black-Eyed Peas and Kale

    The Spruce/Diana Rattray

    Kids especially love hamburger soup, which lets them eat a favorite dinner food with a spoon. Parents of picky eaters will like knowing this hearty, one-bowl winter dinner is packed with protein and healthy nutrients from vegetables, lean ground beef, canned tomatoes, and canned black-eyed peas. Cook it up in well under an hour for a filling family meal.