Healthy Easy Meals for Winter Holidays - Cold Weather Recipes

Half-eaten bowl of chili with crackers and sour cream
Half-eaten bowl of chili with crackers and sour cream | Source

Recipe Ideas for Winter

What kinds of foods come to mind when you think of winter? Hot soups and chili are some of my favorites. Making them is generally easy, and a piping hot pot of one of these can feed a lot of people.

Being busy with holiday preparations, who wants to spend time cooking and cleaning? Yet everyone has to eat. Here are a number of recipe ideas that are quick to prepare, with quantities that are easy to double, if you need to. If you have a small family, you will even have some leftovers for the next meal. These cold weather recipes will save you time during the busy holiday season as well as warm you up all winter long.


simmering pot of chili
simmering pot of chili | Source

Chili Recipes for Cold Weather

A big pot of chili is always a great winter dish. Chili can be really easy to make, is filling, and can easily feed a hungry crowd. There are basic chili recipes plus more complicated ones, with few to many ingredients and a variety of spices. I'll list an easy, basic chili recipe that is quickly made and yummy, too!

With whatever chili recipe you decide upon, you might consider adding vegetables, such as spinach or bell peppers for added nutrition. For the skeptics, you will be glad to know that the spinach cooks up so that you can hardly tell it's there. I've also seen this done with spaghetti sauce. Working in some spinach is a great way to get in some extra nutrition.

You can also add more vegetables to this meal by serving fresh vegetables on the side.

Instructions for Chili

  1. Brown beef and onions. Drain.
  2. Stir in tomato products.
  3. Open up one or two cans of beans, depending on your preference. Add those into the mixture.
  4. Add chili packet and stir in.
  5. Let chili simmer on low until ready to serve.

Ingredients for Easy Chili

  • 1 pound ground beef, turkey, or venision
  • 1 or 2 cans chili beans, kidney beans, pinto or black beans, (or a mixture!)
  • 1 can or 1 cup fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 chili packet
  • water, add to desired thickness
Great comfort food: Tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwich
Great comfort food: Tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwich | Source

Hot Soups and Stews Recipes

Hot soups and stews are excellent comfort foods when the weather is cool. Look for healthy canned soups or make your own if you have time. Here are some delightful soups and possible side items:

  • creamy tomato soup paired with a grilled cheese sandwich
  • vegetable soup with crackers or sandwich of your choice (ham & cheese is always good!)
  • potato soup with cornbread and fresh sliced carrots and celery

You could branch out and try a simple cauliflower soup served with a sandwich or fresh veggies on the side.

One of my favorites is taco soup, a recipe that makes a huge pot that will feed a crowd. This dish can be made on the stove or in the slow cooker.

Another option is a chunky stew. Just throw in chunks of beef or chicken in the crock pot and add some vegetables. Pour in a little water and thicken with flour or cornstarch.

Any of these options are great in the winter to combat the cold. These recipes are easy to make in bulk to feed hungry kids and guests that drop in with season's greetings.


You could use canned beans in a pinch, but beans made from scratch are healthier.
You could use canned beans in a pinch, but beans made from scratch are healthier. | Source

Beans for Warm and Easy Meals

Beans are not only easy and healthy, but they are also cheap. Spend your money on parties and Christmas presents, not on your daily meals. For a small family, a large pot of beans will last for a few meals. You can make them on the stove, but you have to keep an eye on them and add water now and then to keep them from burning.

A better option for cooking beans is to cook them in your slow cooker. Many cooks soak their beans overnight, but I usually don't plan far enough ahead. Put in desired amount in crock pot along with ham or other meat, if desired. You can add onions, salt and pepper, and then cover with water. Cook on low for about 8 hours, and then check on them for tenderness.

Choose from an assortment of beans: Pinto, navy, northern, red, or black beans are favorites. You can also cook kidney beans or black eyed peas. Serve over rice with salsa if you wish. Add a side salad or green vegetable such as spinach or other greens.

Beans are easy to make, low-fat and healthy. They are a tasty, warm meal for winter.


Loaded taco
Loaded taco | Source
Awesome loaded baked potato
Awesome loaded baked potato | Source

Easy Food Buffet Bars

A food buffet is an excellent option. Although the preparation takes a little time with putting out all the different ingredients, it is worth the effort. These suggested food bars make a lot of food, and everyone can just help themselves

Set out a taco bar with ground beef, refried beans, tomatoes, lettuce, other vegetable options,and several toppings.

For the potato bar, potatoes can be topped with chili or a number of vegetables. Broccoli, onions, tomatoes, and celery are a few of the vegetables that can be loaded onto a baked potato. Add choice of cheese, sour cream, chives, or other herbs.

Even hot dogs can be dressed up. Sure, the ole frankfurter isn't the healthiest of meals, but it can be loaded up with tomatoes and onions. Compare packaging, as you can get a bit more nutrition out of a turkey dog, if the family likes them. Loaded hot dogs are one of the easier things to put together when you're in a hurry.


What do you think about these winter meal ideas?

5 stars from 6 ratings of Healthy Easy Meals for Winter Holidays

Stress-Reducing Meals!

Wintertime is the perfect time for making big pots of steaming hot soups, stews, chilis, and beans. These foods can, for the most part, be made fairly quickly. They can be loaded with healthy ingredients and can feed a bunch of folks.

The winter holidays are busy times, with decorating, shopping, and visiting with family and friends. You can make the holiday season a little bit less stressful by making some easy meals to help get you through the hectic holidays.

Some of the recipe ideas in this article are dishes that I enjoy all year long but especially throughout the winter months. Perhaps you have some favorite winter meals that you would like to share in the comment section.


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Comments 44 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

Chili and stew are my two favorite winter meals.....in fact, I'm hungry. :)

Good job Vicki; I hope you are doing well!


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

Another for me to save in my recipe book. Great work Vickie and enjoy your day.

Eddy.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

My favorites, too, Bill! I'm still plugging along. Hope you are well, my friend!


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Eddy, I'm glad I can continue to contribute to your recipe book. :-) Have a great day!


peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

Chilli recipes help to warm up our body during winter season. Great recipes.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

I do love a nice bowl of chilli in the winter and also a nice broth or stew. Some great ideas here :o)


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

I agree, peachpurple. I start crazing chili as soon as cool weather hits! Thanks for reading.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Thanks, Jools! I love those things, too!


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

During the winter months I could live on soups, stews and chili.

This entire hub has made me hungry and I'm now craving chili. I just now noticed that you have a hub for slow cooker cabbage rolls that I need to check out.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Susan, I could live on them, too! Actually, that other hub is for slow cooker cabbage, not the rolls. (although I could use a good cabbage rolls recipe! )


Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

gosh..winter time...i usually hog like a pig. Your pix were great and your recipe was appealing.

Will give some of it a try esp the soup.

Thanks Vicki.


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 4 years ago from Jamaica

I am moving to the US where so I can use the winter as excuse to have these all the time...lol. These are great meal ideas for all seasons. My fiancé loves beans and I made a bean stew once every week. Yesterday was Moors and Christians. Love the ideas.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Ruchira--I eat more i the winter, too! Have some soup!


catgypsy profile image

catgypsy 4 years ago from the South

Ahhh...all my favorites! In fact, ironically, I just decided to make chili for dinner before I sat down to my computer! Great hub, Victoria!


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Ha, Cardisa, you are funny. Oh, yes, beans and other dishes like this are good year round. They're just so nice and warm in the winter. "Moors and Christians"? A certain kind of stew?


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

catgypsy--hope you enjoyed your chili! I'm going to make some soon, too!


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 3 years ago from Jamaica

Moors and Christians is a dish made with stewed black beans and served with rice. Given the name by the Moroccans and adopted by the Spanish. It is a signature Spanish combination. Originally white rice was used but I use brown rice instead. I think the black beans are the Moors and the white rice are the Christians...lol


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Vee....Stopped by to say Hello and interrupt your cooking class. Right! I don't do recipe hubs....however, I DO love chili and soups and can always learn something, even though I've cooked everything under the damned sun in the past 5 and a half decades. Our Mom had my sister and I "cooking" when we had to use a step stool to reach the stove!!

YUM YUM.....how's that for a vote??


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 3 years ago

I just had two of the mentions here this weekend: chili and tacos. They are so wonderfully easy to make and just fit right in with the winter season. Great post and recipe idea.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

That makes sense, Cardisa. Sounds good, too!


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Effer--My cooking class--LOL! I'm sure you're tired of cooking, that's for sure. I still enjoy it, but I've never really HAD to cook for a hubby or kids. I enjoy creating!!! I'll take your vote--and your step stool!


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Teaches, that sounds great! And thanks for commenting. It's always great to see you!


carol7777 profile image

carol7777 3 years ago from Arizona

It is really cold here in Prescott and your warmy meals sound delicious. Thanks for sharing all these great ideas. Voting UP and sharing on pinterest.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Carol, it's cold today down in Arkansas, too--the coldest we've had so far. I may have to make some chili soon! :-) Glad you're back from some time off!


tebo profile image

tebo 3 years ago from New Zealand

The chilli recipe seems nice and easy to make. Lots of other good ideas for feeding a hungry family. Great.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Thanks, tebo, for the input. Chili is so easy to make, and, oh, so good!!!


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 3 years ago from Nepal

I'm not a good cook, but I love cooking. This winter I'm living alone, and I need some exciting recipes like these one to cheer myself. However, I will have to replace beef with chicken.

Happy New Year


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Vinaya--Maybe these recipes will warm you up while you're alone this winter. And of course you can replace the beef with chicken! Happy New Year to you, too!


Rusticliving profile image

Rusticliving 3 years ago from California

I love soups and stews when it's cold outside. Just made a pot of Portuguese Bean soup the other night and I was in heaven! Love your presentation and ideas miss Vicki! Happy New Year my little Lynn sister! ♥ Thumbs up and shared!


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Hey RL, aka Lisa Lynn sis! Portuguese Bean Soup? Do you have a recipe!!! Thanks for reading and Happy New Year! Thanks for sharing this hub!!


Kris Heeter profile image

Kris Heeter 3 years ago from Indiana

These are great ideas! I just made a pot of homemade chili this evening with tomatoes I canned last summer and I tried using pumpkin puree I had made and frozen awhile back as a substitute for tomato paste (ran out of paste!). It turned out pretty good and I couldn't tell the difference really.


KDeus profile image

KDeus 3 years ago from Florida

These are great suggestions for easy meals! We love chili and even though we live in Florida, it takes the chill of some of the cooler winter evenings. I add a tiny bit of cocoa powder to mine to give it a little boost in flavor, too! Thanks for sharing! Voted up!


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Kris Heeter--Pumpkin puree??? Wow, interesting! :-)


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

KDeus--OOh, I might have to try adding cocoa to my chili. Neat idea! Thanks!


torrilynn profile image

torrilynn 3 years ago

I really liked your hub. Healthy choices for the winter time seem hard to make or come by but in actuality are really easy to make. Voted up.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

torrilynn--I am glad this hub helped you with some meal options for winter. Thanks for the vote!


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 3 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

Great ideas Vicki! I love those days during the winter when it "feels like a chili day" or "feels like a soup day." Thanks for the link too :)


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Sharyn--I love those "feels like chili" days, too! You're welcome about the link. Thanks for dropping by!


cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 3 years ago from Western NC

Good stuff here! Man, I am seeing all these food hubs and I haven't eaten lunch. So far I'm craving pineapple, cream cheese desserts, honey, tea, and now some chili. Haha. Must make some food now.

Awesome hub - you did great. I have cravings. ;)


sen.sush23 profile image

sen.sush23 3 years ago from Kolkata, India

Yes, wonderful discussion here, in this hub. Enjoyed reading . I do prepare a stew like the one suggested, but I didn't know Chili. Now I must make it for breakfast and see.

I must agree, that was done with flair- for food and writing.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

CC--You're so funny, girl! Go have some chili and tea; then hit the desserts! :-)


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

sen.sush23--OH, if you aren't familiar with chili, you've got to try it. It's so good, especially in cold weather. Thanks for the nice compliments!


cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 2 years ago from Western NC

It's 11 months later and you AGAIN made me crave chili now that I look at this hub again. Haha.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 2 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Cyndi--I know what you mean! Cold weather makes me crave chili and soup all season long! Go make ya some chili!

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