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50 Winter Dinner Ideas That Will Keep You Cozy All Season Long

These hearty recipes are perfect for both busy weeknights and holiday entertaining.

<p>Antonis Achilleos</p>

Antonis Achilleos

You either love or hate that time of year when the sun goes down earlier, the weather gets chilly, and you have to bundle up just to venture out to your mailbox. And while the winter months can be cold and dreary, it’s the perfect time to whip up some delicious dishes that will bring comfort and warmth to your kitchen.

With that in mind, we’ve put together a helpful list of winter dinner recipes that are sure to satisfy any palate and preference. From vegetarian dishes like spiced sweet potato soup and spinach and artichoke quinoa casserole to hearty dishes like Southwestern beef chili and butternut carbonara, you’ll love cooking these five-star meals for your family all season.

Spiced Sweet Potato Soup With Pistachio Dukkah

Alison Miksch
Alison Miksch

If you’re a sucker for sweet potatoes, you’re going to want to make this silky, flavorful soup as soon as possible. Spices like cumin and coriander add warmth, while the pistachio Dukkah provides the crunchy topping. This hearty soup is filled with nutrients and antioxidants, making for an ideal healthy weeknight dinner.

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Winter Lentil Soup

Kana Okada
Kana Okada

Sometimes the most comforting meals are the ones that are loaded with vitamins and nutrients. Whether you’re feeling under the weather or just need a veggie-packed dish, this hearty soup will do you wonders. Consider serving with toasted bread.

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Cheesy Sausage Pasta Bake With Brussels Sprouts

Caitlin Bensel
Caitlin Bensel

Why make boring roasted Brussels sprouts when you can add them to a delicious pasta bake? The combination of sweet Italian sausage, rich Gruyere cheese, and rigatoni is truly something to write home about. Plus, it's ready in less than an hour.

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Chicken and Vegetable Pot Pie

Maria Robledo
Maria Robledo

Use store-bought pie crust to top this creamy chicken pot pie. The secret ingredient responsible for the pie's creamy interior? A half cup of dry white wine. Use rotisserie chicken as another easy shortcut to this winter dinner staple.

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Simple Shepherd's Pie

Greg DuPree
Greg DuPree

Quick disclaimer: Once you eat a bite of this comforting shepherd's pie, you might not be able to stop (or stop thinking about it for days to come). It seriously is just that good. The beef and potato casserole pairs perfectly with a glass of red wine on a cold winter's night.

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Spaghetti Squash Parmesan

Greg DuPree
Greg DuPree

We will not stop talking about this delicious vegetarian twist on chicken parmesan. Spaghetti squash when roasted creates pasta-like strands, creating a perfect base for a tasty Italian dish like this. Crunchy panko breadcrumbs top the cheesy, creamy squash to create a crave-worthy and easy winter meal.

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Spicy Dumpling Soup

<p>Jen Causey</p>

Jen Causey

If you're looking for a vegan dinner option with a little bit of spice to warm you up, you have to try this dumpling soup. Plus, thanks to store-bought frozen vegetable dumplings, it's ready to eat in just 30 minutes. You'll know the dumplings are ready when they float to the soup's surface.

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Ricotta Roll-Ups in Creamy Pumpkin Sauce

Victor Protasio
Victor Protasio

If you have yet to cook with pumpkin, here is a great winter dinner recipe to get you started. While it may take a bit of effort, the subtle sweetness of the pumpkin paired with fresh sage, ricotta, and mozzarella makes these pasta roll-ups the dish of the season. To top it all off, the pasta is homemade, adding a whole other level of freshness.

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Butternut Squash Carbonara

Antonis Achilleos
Antonis Achilleos

Trying to sneak extra veggies into your family’s dinner? Look no further than this butternut squash carbonara. It’s smokey, sweet, and perfect for a weeknight meal since it can be whipped up in just 30 minutes.

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Spicy Rigatoni alla Vodka

Vodka sauce is undoubtedly loved by all, especially in cold weather when you crave something hearty. And why wouldn’t it be? It’s decadently creamy, full of flavor, and ideal for bread dipping. But keep in mind that this sauce is best enjoyed when made fresh and served immediately.

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Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili With Sweet Potatoes

Con Poulos
Con Poulos

There’s just something about slow cooker recipes that exude comfort and joy. Not only is this low and slow chili simple to make, but the fresh ingredients and spice blend give it an abundance of flavor. We urge you to go a little crazy with toppings: Sour cream, cheese, chives, tortilla chips, sliced scallions, and radishes all go great atop this bowl.

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Southwestern Beef Chili With Corn

Hector M. Sanchez
Hector M. Sanchez

A warm, hearty bowl of chili must be one of the most comforting meals to whip up, and this one has a little extra heat thanks to the poblano peppers. Aside from being delicious, this Southwestern chili is healthy, filling, and great for freezing leftovers. It's ready in just 30 minutes, and we promise you'll at least be tempted to go back for seconds.

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Kicked-Up Mac and Cheese

Antonis Achilleos
Antonis Achilleos

Mac and cheese is a fan favorite for children and adults alike. And while a classic mac and cheese is hard to beat, this “kicked-up” version is certainly worth a try. It’s extra cheesy with a bit of spice from chopped green chiles and fresh jalapeños.

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Potato Tot Breakfast Casserole

Greg DuPree
Greg DuPree

We smell a new holiday tradition! If you’re looking for the perfect special breakfast to make for dinner, this potato tot casserole has it all. It’s rich and cheesy and has everything from breakfast sausage to spicy jalapeños and chopped veggies. The best part is that you can customize it based on your family’s preferences.

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Classic Chicken and Dumplings

Abi Gunasekaran
Abi Gunasekaran

People say “chicken soup is good for the soul,” but we think homemade chicken and dumplings are where it’s at. Don’t get overwhelmed by the thought of making dumplings from scratch. They’re simple to whip up and require just six pantry staples.

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Saucy Simmered Eggs

Victor Protasio
Victor Protasio

Need inspiration for a last-minute dinner recipe? Shakshuka is always a good idea because it’s tasty, satisfying, and will warm up any belly. Plus, you probably already have all the ingredients in your refrigerator and pantry.

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Vegan Cashew-Cauliflower Soup

Jennifer Causey
Jennifer Causey

This comforting vegan soup is ultra creamy and rich, thanks to cashews. The softened cashews are mixed in with cauliflower, vegetable broth, cannellini beans, onion, garlic, thyme, and oregano. Top the soup with additional cashews, a swirl of olive oil, and freshly ground pepper before serving.

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Slow Cooker Squash Lasagna

Romulo Yanes
Romulo Yanes

You're going to love this lasagna recipe. First of all, it only requires 15 minutes of hands-on prep time before the slow cooker takes over. Layered in between lasagna noodles are squash and ricotta mixtures. It's hearty and comforting and boasts a whopping 32 grams of protein per serving. Serve with a side salad if desired.

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Creamy Potato Cabbage Soup

Greg DuPree
Greg DuPree

In less than 30 minutes, serve yourself up some of this warm and creamy soup. Cabbage, onions, potatoes, and carrots boil in a pot of vegetable broth, creating a healthy and tasty weeknight dinner. Serve with fresh bread to sop up every bite.

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Butternut Enchilada Casserole

<p>Jennifer Causey</p>

Jennifer Causey

If you're a fan of enchiladas, you're gonna love this healthy butternut squash twist. Although you may not immediately think of squash when you think of enchiladas, when it's seasoned with chipotle chile powder and roasted with other veggies, it creates a tender and smoky enchilada interior. The toppings take the dish to the next level.

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Smoky Turkey Chili

Caitlin Bensel
Caitlin Bensel

This chili recipe takes a Mexican twist with a few key ingredients. Tomatillos, poblano peppers, and cinnamon blend to create this spicy chili recipe. We topped the bowl with sour cream, jalapeños, and pepper jack cheese, but feel free to get creative and top it off with what you like.

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Spiced Chicken and Chickpea Soup

Caitlin Bensel
Caitlin Bensel

If cold and flu season has got you down, try out a bowl of this chicken soup filled with nutrients. Ready in just an hour, this soup is a low-maintenance option for a winter weeknight. Ingredients like carrots, ginger, garlic, spinach, and lemon make this soup fresh and filling.

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Butternut Squash and Sausage Stuffing

<p>Greg Dupree</p>

Greg Dupree

Who says stuffing can only be served on Thanksgiving? This sausage and squash stuffing is unlike any other recipe you've tried. Filled with tender cubes of butternut squash, savory sausage crumbles, and fresh sage and parsley, this winter dish is uber-filling, moist, and the perfect casserole for the whole family to devour on a weeknight.

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Four Cheese Lasagna

Natasia Hanratty
Natasia Hanratty

A classic lasagna dinner might just be synonymous with comfort food. Made with four types of cheeses—provolone, mozzarella, ricotta, and parmesan—this casserole is sure to send you to cheese heaven. Serve with a fresh green salad and some garlic bread for a well-rounded meal.

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French Onion Casserole

Victor Protasio
Victor Protasio

French onion soup takes on the shape of a casserole in this cozy dinner idea. Reminiscent of mac and cheese, penne pasta gets coated with a creamy sauce of caramelized onions, Gruyere, and cheddar. You can make this casserole up to two days ahead: Simply follow the instructions until the baking step and keep it covered in the refrigerator until then.

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Tortellini With Sausage and Greens

<p>Fred Hardy</p>

Fred Hardy

Calling all pasta lovers: This tortellini and sausage dish is outright delicious and might just become your new go-to pasta dish. Frozen tortellini is the shortcut ingredient that makes this weeknight meal take only 25 minutes to whip up. Choose your favorite greens to throw into the mix: spinach, kale, or escarole.

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Butternut Squash and Chicken Pozole

<p>Christopher Testani</p>

Christopher Testani

Never heard of Pozole? This classic Mexican soup is made with hominy and meat. In this case, we used chicken. You can whip it up in no time by taking a couple of shortcuts: Use precooked rotisserie chicken and precut butternut squash. Serve with tortilla chips for dipping.

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Slow Cooker Beef and Noodle Curry

<p>Fred Hardy</p>

Fred Hardy

The slow cooker does most of the work in this curry dish. The beef becomes extremely tender and juicy after sitting in the slow cooker for hours. Pour the savory mix over the rice noodles then serve for a flavor-packed meal.

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Cheesy Potato Casserole

Alison Miksch
Alison Miksch

Okay, this casserole is definitely a guilty pleasure. Layers of thinly sliced potatoes cook in a cheesy, creamy sauce. Serve with your green vegetable of choice—think broccoli or green beans—and some garlic bread that's fresh out of the oven.

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Slow Cooker Coffee Braised Brisket With Potatoes and Carrots

Sang An
Sang An

A single bowl of this down-home brisket and potatoes recipe might not be enough. Save a cup of coffee from your morning brew to pour into the slower cooker. When mixed with tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar, the coffee braises the beef to perfection. Serve with your favorite bread for a delicious, laid-back meal.

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Spinach and Artichoke Quinoa Casserole

Antonis Achilleos
Antonis Achilleos

If you’ve ever wanted to eat a whole bowl of spinach and artichoke dip—well, now you can (sort of). This unique spin on everyone’s favorite dip is flavorful, easy to make, and completely dairy-free. Plus, the quinoa makes it super-filling.

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Kimchi Soup with Tofu and Bacon

Jennifer Causey
Jennifer Causey

In just 25 minutes, whip up this warm and spicy bowl of kimchi soup. With ingredients such as kimchi, bacon, onion, ginger, and gochujang, this comforting recipe is inherently tasty and full of the deep flavor you desire. Each bowl is topped with a drizzle of sesame oil, chopped scallions, and freshly ground pepper.

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Cheesy Baked Beans and Tomatoes

Victor Protasio
Victor Protasio

All you need is a few pantry staples to throw this 20-minute weeknight meal together. Fresh mozzarella cheese. cannellini beans, tomatoes, and just a few seasonings are heated together in a skillet before being transferred to the oven to broil for a few minutes. Serve with toasted bread to help scoop up every last bit of goodness.

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Broccoli, Spinach, and Three-Cheese Lasagna

Quentin Bacon
Quentin Bacon

This comforting pasta bake is made with a few shortcuts, including frozen broccoli and no-boil lasagna noodles. Plus, three different types of melty cheese are found in every crevice. The hearty bake is rounded out with a quick and easy salad that is included in the recipe.

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Sausage, Lentil, and Kale Soup

Greg DuPree
Greg DuPree

A hearty soup that's ready in just 40 minutes? Yes, you heard that right. Nutritious lentils, kale, and protein-packed sausage mix for the most delicious, cozy soup. Serve with your favorite crusty bread to sop up every last bit.

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Skillet Chipotle-Pork Enchiladas

<p>Victor Protasio</p>

Victor Protasio

A crave-worthy Mexican dish with all your favorite toppings, this weeknight meal is sure to satisfy your hungry bunch. Instead of having to individually roll and fill each enchilada, corn tortillas are cut into triangles and layered underneath and atop the savory pork mixture.

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Slow Cooker Chicken and Pasta Soup

Romulo Yanes
Romulo Yanes

With only 5 minutes of hands-on time, the slow cooker does all the hard work to make this chicken and pasta soup. While we used the cutest star-shaped pasta, use your favorite small pasta. Serve alongside buttery crackers, and a chilled glass of white wine, if you desire.

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Slow Cooker Chicken Tostadas

Caitlin Bensel
Caitlin Bensel

Chicken breasts become infused with salsa, onion, and poblano flavors while in the slow cooker. While we recommend topping your tostadas with our quick and fresh pico-de-gallo recipe, you can also buy it from the store if you're looking to save even more time. These crunchy chicken tostadas go perfectly with a side of rice and beans.

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Fettuccine With Cheesy Artichoke Sauce

Victor Protasio
Victor Protasio

This winter dinner recipe calls for freshly made fettuccine. However, if that is not possible for your busy weeknight, swap it with a pound of store-bought fettuccine. Roasted and buttery artichokes give a nutty flavor to the sauce, while lemon zest brightens the dish, and a handful of Parmesan makes it irresistibly cheesy. Sprinkle each bowl with fresh parsley right before serving.

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Slow Cooker BBQ Sweet Potato Bakers

Max Kelly
Max Kelly

Pick up a rotisserie chicken from the store to put together these finger-licking BBQ sweet potato spuds. Each baker is topped with a dollop of sour cream and freshly chopped chives. With just 10 minutes of active time before the slow cooker takes over, this filled sweet potato recipe might just become a repeat meal.

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Reuben Quesadillas

Antonis Achilleos
Antonis Achilleos

If you're a Reuben fan, you have to try this Tex-Mex twist on the sandwich. Between whole wheat tortillas lies Thousand Island dressing, corned beef, sauerkraut, and Swiss cheese. Quick, tasty, and gut-friendly, this scrumptious meal is ready to eat in just 15 minutes.

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Slow Cooker Mexican Beef Sliders

Caitlin Bensel
Caitlin Bensel

After sitting in the slow cooker all day, the beef becomes incredibly tender and juicy. The meat is then placed between slider-sized buns, along with tangy pickled jalapenos, crunchy coleslaw, lime juice, cilantro, and salt. Save any leftover meat for yummy tacos or nachos.

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Rotisserie Chicken Pot Pie

<p>Greg DuPree</p>

Greg DuPree

Rotisserie chicken is the perfect shortcut in this skillet pot pie recipe. Buttery and flaky puff pastry becomes golden when brushed with an egg wash before baking. Leftovers can be kept in the fridge for up to three days.

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Miso Noodle Soup

<p>Greg DuPree</p>

Greg DuPree

Ten ingredients and 15 minutes are all it takes to whip up this delicious bowl of miso noodle soup from the cookbook 15 Minute Meals by Ali Rosen. Unami-packed thanks to miso paste and soy sauce, the bowl is full of flavor (and for even more flavor, swap the water for vegetable broth). On a cold night when all you need is something warm in your hands and in your belly, this cozy bowl of soup will be a winner.

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Crunchy Nacho Bake

<p>Greg DuPree</p>

Greg DuPree

If you're not sure what to make for dinner tonight, this nacho casserole is an easy "yes." Once the beef is cooked, black beans, tomatoes, cream cheese, and taco seasoning are added to the mix. The topping options are nearly endless: pico de gallo, jalapenos, cilantro, sour cream, you name it!

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Eggplant Parmesan Panini

Caitlin Bensel
Caitlin Bensel

Eggplant parmesan meets a panini in this tasty twist on the classic vegetarian dish. Melted fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, marinara sauce, and roasted eggplant are packed inside of ciabatta bread before hitting the grill or panini press. Complete the meal by serving the panini alongside a fresh garden salad.

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Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup

Jennifer Causey
Jennifer Causey

On a cold day, nothing will hit the spot quite like this chunky chicken taco soup. The slow cooker makes it possible for you to only spend 10 minutes on this meal. Top with all of your favorites to take it to the next level.

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Artichoke Mac and Cheese

Jennifer Causey
Jennifer Causey

Mac and cheese lovers: You'll want to make this recipe all winter long. This 20-minute pasta dish is paradise in the form of creamy, cheesy pasta. Artichokes elevate the classic, adding a tangy, nutty flavor and great texture.

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Portobello Patty Melts

Greg DuPree
Greg DuPree

Here's a warm vegetarian patty melt to satisfy all your winter cravings. Portobello mushroom caps give a deep flavor while fontina cheese glues it all together between toasted sourdough bread. Sweet potato fries and crisp cornichons are the perfect pairing for this melt-in-your-mouth sandwich.

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Deep-Dish Eggplant Parmesan

Move over, chicken Parmesan—it’s time to give eggplant the credit it deserves. You don’t have to be a vegetarian to devour this hot, cheesy, saucy Italian dish. Make this deep-dish eggplant Parm for a dinner party or on a cold winter’s night.

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Related: 27 Essential, Easy Chicken Recipes for Every Day of the Week

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