It’s dreary and chilly, which means we want to hunker down with a bubbling tray of mac and cheese every single night. But since that’s not the most sustainable diet from December to April, we’re seeking balance with these 51 healthy winter recipes instead. Think dishes like spicy Thai butternut squash soup, white turkey chili and sheet pan Dijon-maple chicken—they’re all cozy, comforting, nourishing and surprisingly healthy, but most importantly, don’t taste like cardboard.
51 Healthy Winter Recipes That Don’t Taste Like Cardboard
1. Instant Pot Harissa Bean Stew (202 Calories)
Who needs layers of sweaters when you have a spicy harissa soup?
2. Spiced Lamb Meatball And Escarole Soup (570 Calories)
If lamb shawarma and Italian wedding soup had a delicious baby, this would be it.
3. Instant Pot Spicy Thai Butternut Squash Soup (447 Calories)
It’s creamy and dreamy, but totally vegan. (Thank you, coconut milk and cashew butter.)
4. Low-carb Zucchini Enchiladas (448 Calories)
Skip the tortillas, and you’re left with a hearty main that’s low on carbs but heavy on the good stuff (i.e., cheese).
5. Hearty Stuffed Butternut Squash
Gorgeous? Check. Tasty? Double check.
6. Gluten-free Cauliflower Gnocchi Pomodoro (552 Calories)
We’ve never been known to turn down a big plate of pasta, especially when it’s made from cauliflower and sneakily low-carb.
7. Roasted Squash And Tofu With Soy, Honey, Chili And Ginger (324 Calories)
It’s sweet, spicy and ready in an hour. We see a new dinner go-to in our future.
8. Spicy Lemon-ginger Chicken Soup (387 Calories)
We love how simple this soup is, but you can customize it as you please, too. (We’re adding noodles the next time around.)
9. Immune-boosting Turmeric Golden Milk Daal (892 Calories)
When you’re feeling blah, it’s time to load up on garlic, ginger and, well, more garlic.
10. Creamy Vegan Lentil And Roasted Vegetable Bake (438 Calories)
To take it a step further and make this gluten-free, omit the breadcrumb topping and garnish this casserole with toasted pine nuts.
11. Chickpea Vegetable Coconut Curry (665 Calories)
It’s so much tastier than takeout (and better for you, too).
12. White Turkey Chili With Avocado (344 Calories)
It’s just like the chili you know and love, but lightened up with turkey instead of beef.
13. Indian-inspired Kitchari Bowls (426 Calories)
This restorative stew is energizing and tummy-settling at the same time.
14. Yotam Ottolenghi’s Roasted Butternut Squash With Lentils And Gorgonzola (298 Calories)
It is possible for a salad to fill you up and warm you up, and this is proof.
15. Harissa Chickpea Stew With Eggplant And Millet (600 Calories)
Feel free to switch out the eggplant for another in-season veggie, like squash or even Brussels sprouts.
16. Carrot Pasta (489 Calories)
Go ahead, help yourself to seconds.
17. Bibimbap Bowls (513 Calories)
Grain bowls are great, but they can get a little boring. Switch things up with this Korean-inspired number.
18. Creamy Vegan Corn Chowder (197 Calories)
Make a double batch and freeze half. Voilà, dinner for a month from now.
19. Vegan Slow-cooker Detox Coconut Soup (416 Calories)
It’s virtuous but magically creamy, thanks to a dose of coconut milk. (Oh, it’s also gluten-free.)
20. Loaded Baked Potato And Cauliflower Soup (358 Calories)
Lighten up the soup so you can load up on all the toppings.
21. Chicken And Snap Pea Stir-fry (228 Calories)
If you have five ingredients, a few pantry staples and 20 minutes, you can make this dish.
22. Sweet Potato Noodles With Almond Sauce (395 Calories)
Behold the “swoodle,” aka sweet potato noodle. It’s decadent and starchy like pasta, but way more nutritious.
23. Overstuffed Sweet Potatoes With Chipotle-lime Yogurt (372 Calories)
Not today, boring steamed veggies and plain chicken breast.
24. Whole30 Chicken Meatballs And Cauliflower Rice With Coconut-herb Sauce (411 Calories)
Tender, juicy meatballs, meet creamy, herby sauce. Whole30 or not, this is one you’ll want to keep in regular rotation.
25. Cauliflower Chili (185 Calories)
When you’re craving Texas chili but trying to eat less meat, this dish has your back.
26. Vegetarian Spinach Pumpkin Lasagna (311 Calories)
You wouldn’t know it, but there’s an entire bag of spinach hidden among those cheesy layers.
27. Instant-pot Matzo Ball Soup (276 Calories)
Whatever ails you, this is the cure.
28. Vegan Cauliflower Tikka Masala (189 Calories)
You’re serving this one with naan, right? Good.
29. Butternut Squash And Miso Brussels Sprouts Nourish Bowl (498 Calories)
We bet they don’t have this on the menu at your nearest salad bar.
30. Braised White Bean Tomato Bake With Cabbage, Carrots And Harissa (496 Calories)
Your fridge called, and it needs a clean-out. No worries, this dinner will take care of that.
31. Whole Roasted Cauliflower Turmeric Soup (243 Calories)
You don’t even have to chop anything. Need we say more?
32. The Best Damn Tomato Soup (90 Calories)
Leave the can opener in the drawer tonight. (And don’t forget the grilled cheese.)
33. Dijon-maple Chicken With Brussels Sprouts And Butternut Squash (529 Calories)
It’s ready in under an hour and requires a single pan. We’re sold.
34. Five-ingredient Green Curry (305 Calories)
From now on, we’ll only eat veggies when they’re smothered in a creamy curry sauce. Just kidding. Kind of.
35. Restorative Miso Noodle Soup (213 Calories)
It’s light and gut-friendly, yes, but it’s also cozy, easy to make and delicious to boot.
36. 20-minute Paleo Egg Roll Bowls (380 Calories)
Wonton wrappers, we hardly knew ye.
37. Charred Sweet Potatoes With Pistachio-chili Pesto (302 Calories)
This vegetarian number is technically a side dish, but it’s also filling enough to moonlight as a main course.
38. Roasted Vegetable And Lentil Salad With Pine Nut Cream (489 Calories)
You haven’t lived until you’ve tried Aran Goyoaga’s vegan pine nut cream. But careful: One taste and you’ll want to put it on everything.
39. Ginger-scallion Chicken Meatballs With A Sesame-soy Glaze (328 Calories)
Lean ground chicken isn’t too exciting on its own, but if you add tons of aromatics (like ginger, scallions and sesame oil), it totally transforms.
40. Sheet Pan Curried Butternut Squash Soup (304 Calories)
Sheet pan soup? Yep, it’s a thing, and it’s so easy to pull off.
41. Buffalo-stuffed Sweet Potatoes (455 Calories)
Honestly, we’d take a roasted sweet potato over bread any day.
42. Seared Scallops With Citrus-shallot Salad (317 Calories)
Winter is a bit of a produce desert, but don’t sleep on the in-season citrus.
43. Miso-tahini-glazed Roasted Eggplant With Farro (473 Calories)
Oh, you don’t like eggplant? Well, you must’ve never tried this nourishing bowl. (Seriously, the savory-sweet miso-tahini glaze is transcendent.)
44. Pozole Verde (429 Calories)
This meatless, hominy-based soup is delicious on its own, but the myriad toppings are what make the dish. Don’t skip ’em.
45. Sweet Potato Chili With Turkey And Black Beans (294 Calories)
This chili is super forgiving, so substitute ingredients (like black beans instead of kidney, or chicken instead of turkey) or add others where you see fit.
46. Instant Pot Carrot Ginger Soup (217 Calories)
Hello, 20-minute dinner. (Psst: It’s also dairy-free and vegan-optional.)
47. Baked Chicken And Ricotta Meatballs (454 Calories)
The addition of ricotta keeps these meatballs tender. Serve them over a grain, pasta or even a salad.
48. Instant Pot Coconut Salmon With Fresh Herbs And Lime (610 Calories)
Salmon has a reputation for being boring—this version is anything but.
49. Oven-baked Chicken Kofta Wraps (488 Calories)
They’re gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, paleo, Whole30 and, most important, delicious.
50. Crispy Tofu Steaks With Broccoli Rabe And Romesco (462 Calories)
This meat-free meal will have you saying, “Bye, ribeye.”
51. Flank Steak Tacos With Cucumber Salsa (458 Calories)
But if you don’t want to give up meat just yet, these lean (yet flavorful) tacos have your name on them.