18 Cozy, Comforting Winter Dinner Recipes You'll Make on Repeat

Enjoy these hearty soups, stews, pastas, sheet-pan meals, and more during the cold-weather season.

Baked Shells
Photo: Chris Testani

Wondering what to make for dinner when it's cold outside and you're short on time? Enter our easy winter dinner ideas, most of which are made in the oven. An all-in-one sheet-pan meal, for example, gives you time to catch up on things while it bakes. But don't count out the stovetop: It wins for cozy soups and stews that can be made quickly with items you already have on hand, whether that's fresh fish, leftover roast chicken, homemade stock from the freezer, or store-bought broth.

Don't shy away from dipping into your freezer in winter, since green vegetables are frozen at peak freshness and can provide what seasonal produce cannot (they'll also help you get dinner on the table in a flash). And of course, there will be pasta—it's reliably satisfying and always crowd pleasing. All to say, you'll rely on this collection of comforting winter dinner ideas until spring.

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Pan-Roasted Chicken with Za'atar, Potatoes, and Greens

Pan-Roasted Chicken with Za'atar, Potatoes, and Greens
Linda Pugliese

In this sheet-pan chicken dinner, flavors mingle while everything cooks together. Use a herb mix such as za'atar, or substitute with your favorite spice blend, when making this simple roast, which you can enjoy on a weeknight.

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Loaded Baked Sweet Potatoes


Healthy and full of satisfying flavors, this dinner is practically hands-off—and you won't even need to wash a baking pan when you're done.

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Baked Shells and Broccoli with Ham and Cheesy-Creamy Cauliflower Sauce

Chris Testani

Baked pasta with cheese? Yes, please. Adding cauliflower, broccoli, and ham makes this a truly comforting meal.

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Fusilli with Bacon, Onions, and Mushrooms


Looking for a quick dinner that transports you to the Alps? Try this hearty pasta dish. Chop bacon, onions, and mushrooms—and you're ready to go. You'll need a pot of water for pasta and one big skillet for everything else.

05 of 18

Shortcut Italian Wedding Soup

Shortcut Italian Wedding Soup
Alpha Smoot

Here's a home-style dinner that comes together fast. It might seem like hot Italian sausage is the central ingredient, but we think the real star is the pasta. You can use tiny, round pastina—but other small shapes, such as orzo or even Israeli couscous, work just as well.

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Bucatini with Cauliflower, Capers, and Lemon

James Ransom

This vegetarian pasta is a weeknight winner. It combines traditional Sicilian flavors with an innovative one-pot cooking method similar to the one we use for our famous one-pot pasta (the pasta cooks in what becomes the sauce). Then, the cauliflowers broils on top of the pasta.

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Cannellini-Bean and Greens Stew

white beans greens stew
Julia Gartland

Rustic bread toasted in olive oil and sage sets up the Tuscan flavors of this hearty vegan bean stew. Grated Parmesan on top is optional.

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Pork Paprikash

Pork Paprikash with Noodles

A quick turn at the stove is all that's needed to replicate the flavors of a long-simmered paprikash when you use pork tenderloin and an irresistible creamy sauce. Serve over egg noodles for a satisfying winter dinner.

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30-Minute Spaghetti and Meatballs


Everyone loves spaghetti and meatballs, but the dish takes time to make. Try this genius take on a weeknight—instead of making meatballs from scratch, you crumble sausages and quickly reshape them into the meatballs.

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Seared Halibut Tacos with Grapefruit-Avocado Salsa

halibut tacos
Marcus Nilsson

No halibut? No problem! Just about any fresh fish will make great tacos. Use what you like and relish in the fact that there's no deep-frying. These tacos are light and zesty, with crunchy cabbage and the refreshing flavors of sunny places thanks to the salsa.

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Bangers and Mash

Martyna Szczesna

Sometimes traditional and hearty is the only thing that will do for dinner. If you can't find British bangers, carry on! Your favorite sausages will be absolutely smashing with this onion pan sauce.

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Picadillo-Style Chili

Yuki Sugiura

Beef picadillo, a comfort food in Cuba and Latin America, will fill you up when served over rice. It is simple to cook, savory, and spiced with a touch of sweetness—and it takes only 30 minutes.

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Beef and Cabbage Tacos

Yuki Sugiura

This simple pan fry of beef makes a satisfying filling for tacos. Add shredded red cabbage, lots of juicy lime, and avocados for a dish to brighten the winter table.

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Quick Chicken Curry With Spinach and Peas

Bryan Gardner

A well-stocked cabinet of warming spices will be put to good use in winter, especially in this quick coconut-milk curry that relies on ground coriander and turmeric. (It also pays to have a jar of mango chutney on hand for serving with curries and stews.)

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Smoky Salmon-and-Potato Stew


Smart use of canned and bottled ingredients has always been the key to winter cooking—as this robust seafood stew proves. Diced tomatoes and clam juice are the key ingredients to a flavorful broth.

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Curried Shrimp and Noodle Soup

Curried Shrimp and Noodle Soup
Alpha Smoot

Make this dinner as rich and spicy as you like. It's another recipe that takes advantage of pantry items and frozen shrimp, something we always keep on hand for quick meals.

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Turmeric-Ginger Chicken Soup

ginger spice chicken soup
Pernille Loof

What could be more comforting on a cold night than chicken noodle soup? This invigorating, gingery dish is golden with turmeric and super quick to put together, since it starts with a rotisserie chicken.

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Broiled Yogurt-Marinated Chicken and Chickpeas

Yogurt-Marinated Chicken and Chickpeas
Chris Simpson

Here's a protein-packed winter dinner that's bright and lively, not heavy. For our sheet-pan meal, skinless, boneless chicken thighs are marinated in a yogurt-lime mixture, then broiled with spiced chickpeas and served with colorful vegetables and fresh cilantro.

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