We love summer foods, but there are also yummy winter choices. There are several winter dinner recipes that will keep you toasty inside.

Winter isn’t just about cold weather and snow. No way! Winter is also about enjoying some of the best comfort foods around. There are many winter dinner recipes that you can enjoy when the weather gets chilly. In fact, that’s one of them, Chili!

Recipes that will soothe your soul

Winter dinner recipes are more than Christmas and Thanksgiving dinner. They are often those wonderful dishes between the holidays. Sometimes they utilize leftovers and sometimes not. Here are a few great recipes for the winter season. Enjoy!

1. Chili

I make chili all the time, but it’s especially a treat during winter. With just a hint of heat and a hearty base, chili will quickly fill you up and keep you warm. It’s one of the best winter dinner recipes around. Try it for yourself.

  • 1 lb. Ground meat (beef or pork etc.)
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 2 or 3 tomatoes chopped or canned chopped tomatoes
  • 1 can pinto or black beans
  • 2 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp hot sauce (Lousiana or Texas Pete)
  • 1 chili pepper or jalapeno
  • Black pepper and salt to taste

Brown ground meats in a skillet with onions and garlic. In a small pot, add tomato sauce, chopped tomatoes and chilis, and beans. Drain beef and add to the pot of tomato ingredients. Add spices and adjust these spices to your individual tastes.

As for me, I usually add a bit more of this or that to please my family. To add more heat, add more peppers. For more texture, add corn. To thicken the sauce, sift in a dash or flour or meal, stirring slowly in the process. Serve with crackers or over freshly baked cornbread.

2. Slow cooker BBQ

If you want something low maintenance that will leave your tummy happy, then slow-cooker BBQ is the way to go. If you love those tasty BBQ plates or sandwiches then you’re going to love bringing the pit home. Give this one a try when you’re super busy with winter sports and chores.

  • One medium sized pork or beef roast
  • Two bottles of your favorite BBQ sauce or make your own as follows:
  1. Half a bottle tomato ketchup
  2. One dark-colored soda product
  3. ¼ cup brown sugar
  4. Hot sauces for an extra bit of flavor
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Large crock pot
  • Buns, bread, and sides like potato salad, chips or slaw

Add roast to crock pot and pour your BBQ sauce on top. Season a bit at first. Cover with lid and cook on low for maybe 4 hours or until meat is easily shredded and becomes pulled pork or beef. Serve on buns or with bread. Top with slaw and enjoy with potato salad or chips! Yum!

3. Southern fried chicken…yeah, I went there

Southern fried chicken

I think the key to good fried chicken is brine and the temperature settings on the oil. These two things will make or break your successful chicken. So here go the basics.

  • One whole dismembered chicken. Lol
  • 1 Quart buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 2 cups flour (all purpose)
  • Frying oil (vegetable etc.)
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp garlic salt
  • 2 tbsp black pepper

Alright then, let’s get started. First, place chicken, already cut apart, in a brine mixture of the buttermilk and salt. You should probably use a large container with a lid. Place top on the container and place in refrigerator for about 2 hours. When two hours are up, put your oil in a pot, either shallow frying or deep frying. This is entirely up to you.

Meanwhile, take the chicken out, pat dry and allow to come to room temperature. After chicken has warmed up a bit, turn on the stovetop, checking the heat periodically. You will want your oil to be at 350 degrees before cooking the chicken.

You can test this temp with a candy thermometer. In a shallow pan mix together your flour, paprika, garlic salt, and black pepper. On a separate pan, line paper towels to soak excess oil after the chicken is cooked. Also, prepare a large bowl with two eggs and a tbsp of water, whisk these together.



Now, dredge chicken through the egg mixture and then cover with the flour mixture and slowly lower into the oil, avoiding contact between the oil and your fingers…careful…careful. Cook for approximately 6-8 minutes or until chicken is golden brown.

Remove from oil and place on paper towel lined pan. Let chicken rest while the paper is absorbing the excess oil. Prepare sides and enjoy!

4. Teriyaki salmon filets

Teriyaki salmon filets

So, we’ve talked about some comfort foods for winter, now, how about some rather healthy ones, huh? Well, I love this recipe and sometimes interchange proteins to keep it interesting. The marinade used for this recipe can be used for other types of fish, chicken or steak. It’s too easy. Trust me.

  • Fresh salmon filets
  • Small bottle or teriyaki sauce
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Olive oil for sauteing
  • Seasonings such as McCormick’s Maple bourbon or etc.
  • Extra salt and pepper to taste

The first thing you want to do is place your salmon filets in a ziplock storage or freezer bag. Then cover the filets entirely with teriyaki sauce. Remove as much air as possible from the bag and lay flat on a plate or in a pan.

Marinade the protein for around half an hour. If your protein is chicken or steak, marinade the protein for at least an hour to a couple hours as these types of meat are denser and harder to absorb flavor.



Right before removing the salmon from the bag, chop garlic and add with olive oil in a large skillet. Turn skillet on medium/high heat. Now remove the salmon from the bag and rub down with the Maple bourbon seasoning. At this point, you can place your salmon in the skillet and cover.

Place skin side down in order to get a quick crisp. It usually takes only about a couple minutes on each side, but here’s a trick. When your salmon has changed in color about halfway up the filet, it’s time to flip it over and finish cooking.

You can enjoy this recipe with potatoes, rice or many other vegetables. It’s a winter favorite of mine when traditional foods have become too heavy for me. I think you’ll love it.

5. Taco soup

 Taco soup

Although this one may be easy, it’s one of the best soups for the winter season. Taco soup has just the right amount of zesty flavor with a hearty helping of ground protein. Try this one if you need a quick go-to winter dinner recipe. Here’s what you’ll need.

  • 1 lb ground beef or pork
  • 1 can whole kernel corn undrained
  • One pkg ranch seasoning dip mix
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes or fresh tomatoes
  • 2 pkg of taco seasoning
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1 can black beans
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 chili pepper or jalapeno chopped

To make this quick and simple winter dinner recipe, you will need to first brown the ground meat with the optionally chopped peppers. Drain the excess oils and set aside. In a small pot, add corn, tomatoes, and beans. Stir on low heat to get started.

Next add the meat and pepper mixture, taco, and ranch seasonings. Turn your stovetop temperature to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally Remove from heat and serve. This recipe is great topped with shredded cheddar cheese or sour cream.

You can enjoy this soup with fried tortilla strips or crackers.

Enjoy the season and warm your heart

There are so many winter dinner recipes and these are just a start. Instead of just sticking to traditional holiday fare, why not expand your appetite and try new cold weather treat. Please feel free to share your ideas as well because we can always use new ideas!

References:

By Sherrie H.


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