As the days get shorter and the nights get colder, it is time for us to start thinking about what we will be cooking up in winter. The best thing about this season is that there are plenty of hearty dishes that you can prepare when you’re looking for something warm and comforting. Here are five quick and easy recipes to consider.
1. Carrot or Parsnip Soup
Soup is a classic winter dish that is very easy to make, and it’s also extremely nutritious. Carrot soup can be made in advance and frozen for later use or served immediately if preferred. Parsnips are another good alternative, but the taste may vary slightly from carrots, so this should be taken into consideration when making your choice of which vegetable to prepare this tasty recipe with.
Although if you add some spices to parsnips you can make some tasty soups – check out this curried parsnip soup recipe – perfect for a holiday starter when you have the family around.
2. Spaghetti and Meatballs
Spaghetti and meatballs or spaghetti Bolognese is a surefire winner in most homes during the winter months. And if you’re not a meat eater you can always use mushroom as an alternative. But for us, spaghetti and meatballs is a winter staple as it’s easy to make, can pack huge flavour, and is something you can cook in batches and freeze to re-use again.
The greatness in any pasta dish lies in the sauce, and for us, when it comes to spaghetti and meatballs or spag bol, we’re all about the roasted tomatoes and peppers to begin with, and then canned tomatoes, tomato paste, bay leaf, herbs and garlic. You’ll find many recipes online for making a nice tomato sauce for spag bol or spaghetti and meatballs. Our advice is to try and tweak until you find the sauce that’s perfect for you.
3. Butter Chicken (or a Curry)
This is a popular dish originating from India. It is chicken in a creamy sauce with butter and spices such as ginger, garlic, onion, cumin seeds and garam masala. There are many variations of the recipe depending on where you buy it, but generally, it consists of really tender pieces of meat cooked in a rich tomato-based sauce that might just stain your clear braces!
This dish would be perfect served alongside naan bread which can also be bought at your local supermarket or Indian restaurant. You could even have some vegetables or salad if you’d rather not eat so many carbs with the meal.
If you’re not a fan of butter chicken, check out our quick and easy chicken curry recipe which will take no time at all and is perfect for the cold, dark winter nights.
4. Shepherd’s Pie
Shepherd’s pie is a classic British dish that has been consumed for years. It is made up of ground beef (although you can substitute this with lamb) which is mixed in with vegetables such as carrots, peas and onions before being topped off by mashed potatoes.
This mouth-watering dinner will be excellent served alongside some garlic bread or even chips if you don’t feel like cooking something else after work! Of course, the meal also works well if it’s just yourself but then again, who doesn’t love leftovers?
If this isn’t a dish for you, try out our Irish Stew recipe. Put all your ingredients into the slow cooker and leave to cook for the day, ready for when you’re finished work.
5. Lamb Roast
A popular winter dish among many families with children. It is also appetising and comes in different flavours such as garlic, rosemary or mint lamb roast recipe. A family can prepare this meal during the weekends when they have time to spare.
A lamb roast for us evokes memories of family gatherings around the dinner table. Often a dish for Easter Sunday, leg of lamb is a great choice in the build up to Christmas where you know you’ll have endless turkey, chicken and ham ahead of you.
Got Something to Add?
What are your go to dishes for the winter months? Share them with us in the comments section below, and if you try any of our recipes we’d love to hear your feedback.
Until next time, thanks for reading.
Helen, Nial and Lewis.