15 Hearty Home-Cooked Meals For The Winter: Easy winter meals for cold nights
Some of us have a love-hate relationship with winter. Stepping foot out into the cold, especially for early morning work commutes, isn’t the most enjoyable experience. But on the flip side, there’s nothing better than the warm embrace of your cosy home on a cold winter’s day.
And what better way to fully embrace the winter season than by cooking up a hearty home-cooked meal? Whether it’s a meal for one or you’ve got numerous hungry mouths to feed, these recipes are sure to warm your body and soul, leaving you feeling nourished and comforted beyond belief.
Chunky Chicken Soup
It would be a crime not to mention this timeless classic. If you’re feeling under the weather or have come down with something, what’s the go-to remedy that’s pretty much universal? That’s right, chicken soup. That’s why it’s perfect for the winter. Not only does this magical elixir boost immune health, but it also promotes the growth of healthy hair, skin and nails! The possibilities are endless when it comes to chicken soup – add some red chillies, ginger and bok choy for an Asian style chicken soup or keep it Western with a base of onions, carrots and celery.
Bold Mushroom Risotto
Risotto is a creamy rice dish cooked in broth, originating from Milan, Northern Italy. Some of us avoid making Risotto because it’s seen as one of those dishes you only eat at top class restaurants. But don’t let the fancy nature of this dish discourage you – it’s not that complicated to make. Once you whip up this warming and comforting dish for the first time, there’s no doubt it’ll make a weekly appearance on the dining table. This Mixed Mushroom Risotto recipe by the author of 27 bestselling cookbooks, stylist Donna Hay, is definitely one to try out and it’s super simple to make.
Winter Lamb Stew
Looking for a beyond-tender, melt in your mouth stew? This is it. When people talk about cooking “back in the olden days”, this is what they mean. Simply saute some diced lamb, onions and garlic in a casserole pot, before adding stock and veggies of your choice. Pop it in the oven and you’re done! It doesn’t get much easier than that. Here’s a recipe by Natasha’s Kitchen that we love. If this hearty stew doesn’t warm you up, we don’t know what will.
Miso Ramen Noodles
This may not be the first dish that comes to your mind when you think about meals that’ll warm you up, but it will -trust us. Miso (a traditional Japanese paste made from fermented soybeans) is abundant in probiotics, which are known to improve body temperature regulation. Apart from the health benefits, miso ramen has such a unique and robust flavour – salty, slightly sweet and nutty. It may not be for everyone, but you can’t knock it until you try it! Check out this recipe by Nami from Just One Cookbook for an authentic Miso Ramen.
Carbonara was created in the mid-20th Century and is still going strong today; a favourite among many. From spaghetti to linguine, rigatoni, fettuccine to bucatini, you can play around with a range of different pasta for your homemade Italian masterpiece. Once you experience the richness and creaminess that a Carbonara delivers to your taste buds, you’ll wonder why it hadn’t become a staple dish in your household sooner. Take a look at this Classic Carbonara recipe from the one and only, Jamie Oliver.
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Unbelievably creamy but not too heavy at the same time; that’s the beauty of this hearty and fresh soup. But the key to taking this soup from amazing to absolutely out-of-this-world-delicious is to oven-roast the squash. The caramelisation developed on the squash from roasting will give your soup a richer, sweeter, nuttier flavour.
This vegan-friendly recipe by Vegan Huggs is super simple to make – perfect for a lazy day in.
Beef and Potato Tagine
This Northern African casserole dish is rich in history but even richer in flavour, packing a punch thanks to the garlic, red onions, cumin and curry powder. The word “Tagine” actually refers to the clay pot in which the dish is traditionally cooked. But not to worry, you can still cook up this comforting dish with a cast iron pot or pan. This Beef and Potato Tagine by Jean-Francois Mallet is a winner in our books. Serve with a side of traditional cheesy focaccia if you’re feeling a little more peckish than usual.
Thai Green Curry
We love a good Chicken Korma or Rogan Josh, but we simply cannot ignore the texture, colour and taste of Thai curries. Kaffir lime leaves, used in green Thai curries, are arguably one of the most aromatic herbs out there. Combined with coconut milk, curry paste and a handful of other ingredients, and you’ll have a flavourful dish the whole family will love. The Spruce Eats has put together a Thai Green Curry that only takes 20 minutes to cook.
Creamy Leek and Mushroom Pie
Who doesn’t like pie? A creamy, flavourful filling encapsulated in crispy golden puff pastry. It really doesn’t get much better than that. The earthy flavour of mushrooms and slightly sweet mild-onion flavour of leeks is a match made in heaven. Whether you’re a meat eater, vegan, or lactose intolerant, this divine leek and mushroom pie by Aimee from Wallflower Kitchen caters for all!
Chili Con Carne
Since its creation, the origin of Chili Con Carne has been up in the air. Some say that its roots are in Mexico, while others debate that the dish originated in Texas. But something that isn’t up for debate is the hit of flavour you get with every mouthful of this bean, beef and spice combination. The literal translation of Chili Con Carne is “chilli with meat”. Despite its simple meaning, the flavours are so complex, making this such an enjoyable dish to tuck into on a chilly day (pun intended). We love a bit of a kick but go easy on the cayenne if you’re not a huge fan of spice. For a classic Chili Con Carne recipe, this recipe by Erren’s Kitchen is our go-to.
Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
You’ll find it hard not to stuff yourself with this irresistibly tasty meal. Sweet potatoes a great source of nutrients and fibre, and you have the freedom of filling them up with anything you like. We love this Mexian Quinoa stuffed Sweet Potato recipe by Simply Quinoa, and we’re sure you will too. The smashed avo on top contrasts beautifully with the deep orange, making it a real piece of art.
You don’t to be a culinary master to cook up something that tastes heavenly. That’s what hearty, home-cooked meals are all about, right? The shepherd’s pie has been around since the 1800s and is still loved by many to this day. The best part is, you can put your own little twist on this classic dish. A Lentil Shepherd’s Pie, beef, veggies or classic lamb – the choice is yours!
Osso Bucco is an Italian dish made with veal shanks, tomato, onion, carrots and garlic. This is one of those one-pot meals you can cook in a slow cooker, that’ll feed plenty of ravenous mouths. We doubt that you will, but any leftovers you have can be popped in the fridge or freezer to devour another day. Serve Osso Bucco with mashed potatoes (like Julie Goodwin does in this recipe), saffron risotto or soft polenta. If you’re keeping it low-carb or keto, try out some mashed cauliflower or cauliflower “rice”!
The Spanish never fail to impress; paella is a rice dish that can take on many variations – from containing meat to fish, seafood, and vegetables. Saffron is a must when whipping up a paella, as it gives the dish that distinct yellow colour. This Seafood Marinara Mix Paella by Mouths Of Mums is a budget-friendly way to warm up and chow down a flavorful meal.
Classic Apple Crumble
You know we had to mention a dessert…
That classic apple filling topped with that buttery crumble we all know and love. The delightful smell of a freshly baked apple pie will have your neighbours knocking on your door begging for a slice. We know this is all about winter and warm foods, but let’s make an exception for some rich vanilla bean ice cream to go with your decadent dessert. Follow Aussie icon Maggie Beer’s recipe and you won’t go wrong.
You can even turn this into a wheat free treat – perfect for those who are gluten-free!
Hot Fudge Pudding Cake
Ok, one more dessert…
Put on your favourite movie, snuggle up in a blanket and indulge in some chocolatey goodness this winter. We don’t recommend this be an everyday thing, but every once in a while, we need to treat ourselves, right? Check out this Hot Fudge Pudding Cake recipe by A Family Feast – we’ll let the photos do the talking.
With all these recipe ideas, winter is about to get a whole lot tastier for you. Or maybe you’ll feel inspired to cook up your very own home-made winter meal! Happy cooking.