9 Meals to Warm You Up on a Cold Winter Night
This morning, my Google assistant sweetly informed me that, “due to current wind conditions, it feels like -25 degrees today.”
Gee, I’m really glad I asked.
On a frigid winter day like today — when the kids are home from school and my significant other tries in vain to thaw out the car — it takes something rich and flavorful simmering on the stove to warm us up and set our spirits high.
Next time you’re craving comfort food on a cold weather day, try one of my nine go-to recipes. Slip into your fluffiest slippers, order your groceries for delivery and get ready to be everyone’s favorite person!
In the oven
1. Baked mac and cheese with panko parmesan topping
This oven-baked mac and cheese with Gruyere, sharp cheddar and a crunchy panko parm topping with smoked paprika is a total crowd-pleaser. The trick is to whisk cold (rather than warm) milk into the flour when making the sauce so you don’t get clumps.
2. Rainbow roasted veggie bowl
This 30-minute meal will surely brighten up a drab winter day. To make this vegan-friendly roasted vegetable bowl, toss a mix of root vegetables in oil, salt and curry powder and pop them in the oven. Add in some bell peppers, cabbage and broccolini 10 minutes later. Serve your rainbow-colored veggie roast with leafy greens and drizzle of tahini.
3. Shepherd’s pie baked potatoes
This clever combination of two of my favorite comfort foods, shepherd’s pie and baked potatoes, is surprisingly easy. Start by cooking the russet potatoes in the microwave while you cook the beef and veggies in a saucepan. Finish it off in the broiler to get the cheese bubbling on top.
On the stovetop
4. Chicken pot pie mugs
When it’s below freezing outside, I wrap up the whole family in a huge blanket and serve hand-warming mugs filled with Rachel Ray’s chicken pot pie recipe. Just cook the chicken, veggies and cream sauce on the stovetop, ladle it into a few oversized mugs and top each one with a biscuit.
5. Hearty beef and Guinness stew
The rich flavor from the Guinness Stout in this beef stew will warm you up right away. Begin by cooking bacon, beef and onions in a Dutch oven before adding the veggies and sauce. Let this simmer for a few hours (while you shovel the driveway) and you’ll be rewarded with a hearty hot meal.
6. Creamy chicken piccata
With a dry white wine cream sauce brimming with capers and mushrooms over a bed of angel hair pasta, this chicken piccata recipe tastes exactly like my favorite dish at Cheesecake Factory. When it’s too cold to go out, this makes for the most indulgent dinner in.
In the slow cooker
7. Butternut squash soup
Made with yummy squash and Yukon gold potatoes, I love topping this butternut squash soup with goat cheese and bacon crumbles. It can also be made vegan by swapping out the chicken stock for vegetable broth. Toss the veggies into the slow cooker in the morning and finish up with an immersion blender at dinnertime for the smoothest consistency.
8. Crockpot chicken and dumplings
Nothing says comfort food like chicken and dumplings — and nothing gets you there as quickly as canned cream of chicken soup and Pillsbury biscuits! Cook the chicken with onions and soup first. A few hours later, drop in veggies and biscuit dough. Even your mother-in-law won’t know you didn’t make this from scratch.
9. Vegetarian chili
Slow-cooker vegetarian chili is easy to customize using your favorite ingredients — or whatever you have left in the pantry after that crazy ice storm. Warm spices create the perfect base for a hearty mix of beans, tomatoes, bell peppers and whatever else you add. Get your family’s favorite chili toppings ready (over here that means shredded cheese, green onions and cornbread muffins on the side) and enjoy your chilly chili night.
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