22 Winter Dinner Ideas


Y’know how some days you just cba to eat your kale and quinoa and salmon like a good little twenty-something?

But then like, you had a takeaway yesterday and really, REALLY can you eat two in a row in the middle of the week? I mean you COULD but you haven’t been to the gym since, well since, some time ago, you can’t exactly remember when it was.

So yeah, you’d ideally like to whip yourself up something in the kitchen. Something soothing on the soul and warming on the belly, but you’re so tired because life, you’ve kind of forgotten what exists in the world aside from pesto pasta and you fancy something a teeny tiny bit sparklier.

So here’s some ideas. Nothing fancy, just a list of good ol’ dishes you can whip up at home.

And plz plz comment with your fave ones below, I am in a dinner rut about five days of the weeks.

Thanks my babin’ rays of sunshine.

1. Macaroni cheese. Amped up with extra cheddar, breadcrumbs and a few sexy slithers of pancetta on top. Oh boy.

2. Peanut butter chicken. Ingredients basically include peanut butter and chicken (and lime and soy sauce), read it here.

3. Thai chicken broth, which basically involves frying up chicken with chilli, peppers and baby corn and then adding coconut milk and chicken stock. Best served with noodles or warm, crunchy bread.

4. Jumbalaya which is your choice of chicken, prawns and chorizo (all three of them or two of them or one of them, you do you boo), cooked with onions, peppers and cajun spices. Plus rice, stock and tinned tomatoes. This recipe explains it better than I ever could. Goes handsomely well with guacamole and/or (always and) soured cream.

5. Sweet potato hash. Grated sweet potato in a frying pan alongside whatever you have left in your fridge – bacon, mushrooms, sweetcorn, garlic, peppers – whatever you got. Scramble in an egg to make it stickier, or put under the grill with a few cheeky lumps of goat’s cheese or mozzarella to really make things naughty.

6. A pasta bake – ideally one with sweetcorn and tuna because they’re basically healthy and outweigh the thick layer of melted cheese on top, right?

7. Pork and apple stew. A great one if you have a slow cooker or a couple of hours on hand. Whack onions, carrots and celery in a big old pan with diced pork and fry together before adding of stock and apple juice and cooking for a further 90 minutes++. Best served with homemade suet dumplings (seriously friggin easy – just mix suet with self-raising flour and water).

8. Homemade Nando’s which is just you cooking a  sachet of microwave rice if you really just cba, and a chicken breast sliced through the middle to open it up into a butterfly shape and smothered in Nando’s saunce before grilling. Serve with halloumi, salad and corn on the cob. (You can also make macho peas by cooking peas and then blitzing half of them in a blender with chilli, mint and olive oil before mixing back with the other half).

9. Fajitas, tacos, burritos and burrito bowls. That whole shebang, you get what I’m saying. MEXICAN FOOD. Always best eaten with jalapenos, a lotta lot of cheese and refried beans. Oh sweet lord.

10. Homemade leek and potato soup, which involves simmering those two ingredients in a little bit of butter and garlic in a saucepan (maybe throw in half an onion too) and then adding in some vegetable stock, salt and pepper and cooking until the potatoes are soft. Then blend with a few sploshes of milk and TA DA, serve with a hunk of bread.


11. A one pot pasta dish. There’s 745637 recipes on Pinterest, but this is my current fave. It’s vegan too (y’know, if you don’t add the cheese) and has the tiniest ingredient list known to man.

12. Gnocchi. A bag of the fresh stuff from the supermarket griddled in a pan and paired with pesto, chorizo, mushrooms and a few flakes of Parmesan is just perfection.

13. A falafel bowl. Make your own or buy a bag of the frozen stuff for a pound from Tesco and serve with lots of salad leaves, tomatoes, a seriously big dollop of houmous, a few chunks of feta and some warm pitta bread. YUM.

14. A toad in the hole which is waaaaaay easier to make than it looks. Half cook your sausages in a large dish in the oven and then take them out and pour batter into the sizzling hot oil and let it cook away for another 10-15 minutes. Serve with mash, peas and onion gravy cooked with a heavy splash of balsamic vinegar.

15. Microwave a sweet potato for a few minutes then slice through the middle and top with pesto, cheese and whatever else you want and stick under the grill. Oh boy, so quick, 1-2 of your five a day and did I mention it’s topped with melted cheese?

16. Nachos. Really, really beastly nachos. Best made by emptying half a bag of the most cheap tortilla chips you can find into a dish and spooning on salsa and a handful (or two) of grated cheese. Add the rest of the tortilla chips and layer up – adding jalapenos or chorizo or cooked chicken to the top layer if you’re feeling fancy.

17. Make a fake pie without sides by whacking chicken/lamb/beef and some veg in a pot and topping with a layer of gravy (or those wonderful jelly stock pots). Finish off with a pastry roof made from ready-rolled pastry from the chilled aisle in the supermarket. Serve with chips or mash, your choice sweet things.

18. Cheat an almost-healthy pizza by grilling tortilla wraps on both sides and topping with salsa and any ingredients lurking in the fridge as well as plenty of cheese.

19. Go one step sexier than an omelette with a frittata (literally only found out I’ve been making frittatas this entire time…). Cook your ingredients in your frying pan first – like mushrooms and tomatoes – and THEN add in a couple of whisked eggs and leave it to cook through on a low-medium heat for a few minutes. Top with grated cheese and grill and then flip one half onto the other and VOILA all the protein.

20. Quesadillas (and if someone can teach me an unmessy way to make these we can be BFFs fo sho). Take a tortilla wrap in a pan and add refried beans, cheese and anything like mushrooms, peppers, chorizo, bacon, onions to one side of the circle (go easy on these ingredients and cut them small otherwise it won’t stick together. Flip over the over side to make it look like an omelette and lightly brown on each side until your cheese and beans have melted through and glued everything together. Serve with sourced cream and hot sauce.

21. Spag bol/lasagne/meatballs. Some sort of pasta with tomatoes and onions and mince. Always, always eaten with garlic bread because duh.

22. A fish pie (you can buy a pack of mixed fish especially for this for a few quid from your local supermarket). Combine said fish in a pie dish with a white sauce made using butter, flour and milk and a little bit of cheese and top with mashed potato and more cheese. Pop in the oven for half an hour and hello handsome.


  • Jen

    That list is making me want my dinner NOW. At 8am ?
    Home made chilli in the slow cooker is one of my faves this time of year. Serve with rice, tortilla chips, sour cream and loads of cheese ??

    • Yes Jen!! This is exactly what I was gonna say! Bang it in in the morning, leave it all day (the longer the better tbh), come home with your avocado and sour cream that you bought on the way home… HEAVEN. And the next day its even better *drools*

  • Miranda

    Well the only thing I was going to suggest was toad in the hole which I recently re-discovered. I love sausages <3

    I went to dinner at a friends which was sausage meat, tinned tomatoes, philly & chilli (if you like) with pasta and it was so yummy.

    This week I am mostly eating out 🙂

  • Pip

    SUCH a good list! opened a few of the recipes which will be getting Pinned pronto! 🙂

  • I just love it when you do lists like this! I made a really good veggie bubble and squeak the other day; sweet potato mash mixed with veggies! Super quick and easy x


  • Luuuuuurve jambalaya in winter! And also nachos (anything Mexican) and toasties and yum yum yum is it lunch time yet??
    JH | http://www.hellojenniferhelen.com

  • Now I want ALL DA FOODS.

    Shepherd’s pie is my all time winter fave and is super easy if you use those pre-made microwaveable mash things!

    Sophie Cliff

  • Rebecca

    I second that Shepherd’s pie suggestion, so quick and easy to do after work and really filling too. Thank god someone invented frozen mash!

    I also enjoy a hearty lasagna and garlic bread, Chili con Carne and rice, sausages with mash, veg and gravy and literally any kind of pie I can get my hands on. All of the stodgy foods, but it’s what my body craves during winter months, so it’s okay, right?

  • I haven’t had lunch and this has been torture to read from start to finish.

    Going to cry into my leftovers now


  • I am drooling right now. Winter food is my fav food, just so so comforting and delicious. I’d like some gravy now please?


  • Basically all of my favourite dinners in one post! My boyfriend and I love to make chili chicken ramen too (I like to this its *almost* as good as wagas…)

    p.s. tip for the mac and cheese – along with the bacon add jalapenos, its seriously amazing!

  • Well this just blew my boring ham sarnie lunchbreak “treat” right outta the water!!
    Brilliant post, Hannah – it’s great to have some new ideas, especially coming into the New Year.

    Gillian  xx  EyelinerFlicks.com

  • I want all of these and I want them now. My mouth is actually watering. They all sound so gorgeous and I think I need to write some of these down to remind myself to make them! Such an inspiring post because I never know what to cook for myself #adultprobz

    Sophie x | Essential Twenty

  • Defo on the Mac n Cheese bandwagon just with a cheeky splash of tabasco. Oh mama!

    I love a good slab of cottage pie too, with extra cheese and slice of tomato baked on top. Sheer winterial (new word) bliss. Or just a whole pie. Whatever works.

    B x

  • Macaroni cheese… always

  • YES Hannah. Thank you for all these ideas, just moved into a flat with the boyf and thinking of meals to feed me AND a growing lad is pretty hard. We have settled on bangers n mash Mondays and Fajita Wednesdays with anything else we can muster in-between. I am a fan of stuffed peppers, huge trays of roasted veggies with sweet potato and chicken, SOUPa soup – just your average soup with loads of nice bits and bobs added to it and a huge pan of tinned toms, chorizo, petters, onions, feta, two cracked eggs on top and a loaf of sourdough to dip in and soak up aaaaall the lovely juices. Hope this helps lovely! Immy x


  • Oh my, this post has made me feel all kinds of hungry! This is such a fab idea and has given me some inspiration as to what I can ‘maybe’ cook over Winter.

    Lauren xx

  • I think I’m sensing a cheese theme here, and I must say, I’m loving it

  • Steph H

    Amazing list and perfectly timed as I have promised to cook more in the new year. Try making toad in therror hole with pigs in blankets instead of normal naked sausages – major yum factor! Xx

  • This has made me soooo hungry!!

    Lauren Rose

  • Caz

    This post has made me so hungry! The toad in the hole looks so good 🙂

    Caz | thisiscaz

  • oh my god YES HANNAH! Thank you for this!
    Trudy x | TrudyJohanna

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