70 Hearty Winter Dinner Ideas That Take 1 Hour or Less
It’s getting cold. Like, really cold. And while you’re craving a stick-to-your-ribs meal, you also don’t want to wait eight billion hours for a pot roast to take its sweet time in the oven. No worries, friend. Here are 70 hearty winter dinner ideas, all of which take roughly an hour or less to make.
1. One-Pan Spaghetti and Meatballs (30 minutes)
A classic choice with an updated twist. Consider this the lazy cook’s spaghetti and meatballs.
2. Cheater’s Italian Wedding Soup (1 hour)
It’s packed with beans, kale, Parm and tiny meatballs, so it’ll warm you from the inside out.
3. Roasted Squash Salad with White Beans, Bread Crumbs and Preserved Lemon (1 hour)
Salad? In winter? Trust us: This one has plenty of filling toppings that won’t leave you hungry in an hour.
4. Cheater’s Beef Stroganoff (30 minutes)
It’s buttery and rich, just like your mom used to make…except so much easier.
5. The Ultimate Pasta Pie (55 minutes)
This one is pretty much guaranteed to impress your dinner guests—even more so when they find out it took you less than an hour to make.
6. Kale Minestrone (1 hour)
It’s got all the usual suspects (greens, beans, cheese), plus a spoonful of pesto for a hint of freshness.
7. Skillet Gnocchi with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe (30 minutes)
You’re telling us you didn’t spend all day making this? Hmm, it definitely tastes like you did.
8. Baked Coconut-Curry Meatballs (45 minutes)
We’d like to dive straight into this sauce, but we’ll settle for dipping some naan in it instead.
9. Pasta Alla Norma (1 hour)
Cozy up to a bowl and you’ll feel like you’re in the sunny Italian Riviera.
10. Chicken with Feta Cheese, Dill, Lemon and Harissa Yogurt (50 minutes)
You had us at feta cheese (and again at harissa yogurt).
11. Ina Garten’s Baked Pasta with Tomatoes and Eggplant (30 minutes)
This 30-minute baked pasta is bubbly, cheesy and almost as good as a warm hug from the Barefoot Contessa herself.
12. Honey Mustard Sheet-Pan Chicken with Brussels Sprouts (50 minutes)
Fast, easy and minimal cleanup? Check, check and check.
13. Swedish Meatballs (40 minutes)
If you don’t serve them over a steaming bed of buttery mashed potatoes, are you really living?
14. Dijon-Maple Chicken with Brussels Sprouts and Butternut Squash (55 minutes)
Not only is this a one-pan meal, it’s also surprisingly good for you. We call that a win-win.
15. Gluten-Free Cauliflower Gnocchi Pomodoro (50 minutes)
Tender pillows of cheesy heaven that happen to be low-carb? Sign us up.
16. Healthy Zuppa Toscana (50 minutes)
You can have a hearty, satisfying dinner without it being gut-busting or heavy, and this soup is proof.
17. One-Pot Cheater’s Bouillabaisse (30 minutes)
One bite and you’re not huddled under a blanket on your couch; you’re in the French countryside sipping a glass of white wine.
18. Loaded Baked Potato and Cauliflower Soup (1 hour)
Cold days call for creamy soups with lots of irresistible toppings, like sour cream, bacon and cheddar cheese.
19. Cheater’s White Wine Coq au Vin (55 minutes)
It’s hearty, yes, but it’s also elegant and damn easy to make. You’re basically Julia Child.
20. Skillet Steak with Asparagus and Potatoes (1 hour)
It’s too chilly to go out to eat, but with this foolproof, restaurant-level dish, you don’t even need to leave your house.
21. Chickpea and Vegetable Coconut Curry (30 minutes)
If you’ve got chickpeas and coconut milk in your pantry, you’re already halfway to dinnertime.
22. Easy One-Pan Baked Ziti (1 hour)
Baked ziti? A favorite. All the cleanup afterward? Not so much. Here, thankfully, the dishes are pretty much already done.
23. Greek Chicken and Rice Skillet (40 minutes)
Everyone is coming over for dinner and you don’t know what to cook? We have an idea.
24. 5-Ingredient Smoked Gouda-Thyme Mac and Cheese (50 minutes)
Few meals are more comforting than a bowl of ooey-gooey mac and cheese. This one is kind of fancy, because you’re better than the boxed stuff.
25. Chicken Gnocchi Soup (40 minutes)
Chicken soup, we could never forget you. Crumble in some crackers and we’re in business.
26. Rotisserie Chicken Ramen (35 minutes)
Way, way better than the microwave version you lived on in college.
27. Baking-Sheet Pizza with Olives and Sun-Dried Tomatoes (1 hour)
It turns out your baking sheet basically guarantees a crackly, golden-brown crust.
28. Tomato Soup in Grilled Cheese Bread Bowls (50 minutes)
Serve these for the kids' next playdate to instantly become the coolest mom ever.
29. One-Pan Steak with Beets and Crispy Kale (40 minutes)
Who knew steak could be low-mess and no-fuss?
30. Spiralized Winter Vegetable Gratin (1 hour, 10 minutes)
OK, hear us out. This bake is so cheesy and decadent that it's well worth waiting an extra 10 minutes.
31. Baked Chicken and Mushroom Risotto (45 minutes)
Skip all the stovetop stirring—this creamy number comes together in the oven.
32. Cacio e Pepe (20 minutes)
Not only do you only need five ingredients to pull off this weeknight wonder, but they're all pantry staples that you likely already have.
33. Pad See Ew (10 minutes)
This Thai classic cooks up in a single skillet for minimal cleanup.
34. Skillet Pepper Steak (15 minutes)
A beef dinner doesn't need to be super unhealthy. One serving of this clocks in at only 230 calories.
35. Soba Noodles with Peanut Sauce (25 minutes)
The spicy sauce will taste great on chicken, salmon or shrimp.
36. Harissa Chickpea Stew with Eggplant and Millet (45 minutes)
We like swapping eggplant for squash in the fall. Come summer, use zucchini.
37. Baking Sheet Quesadillas (30 minutes)
Aka the most kid-friendly dinner ever.
38. Cast-Iron Pork Chops with Cacao-Spiced Rub (1 hour)
Salting the pork chops 45 minutes before cooking them makes for melt-in-your-mouth meat and crispy fat near the bone.
39. Spicy Chicken Stir-Fry (25 minutes)
Crisp green beans and crunchy peanuts meet spicy-sweet, kung pao-inspired chicken.
40. Sheet-Pan Lemon Butter Veggies and Sausage (40 minutes)
Loaded with carrots, radishes, bell peppers, asparagus, tomatoes, zucchini *and* eggplant.
41. Shrimp with Cauliflower “Grits” and Arugula (30 minutes)
The grits are bursting with butter, milk and goat cheese—but none of the carbs.
42. Vegetarian Quinoa Bake (45 minutes)
Canned green chiles and tomatillo salsa give this dish a solid kick.
44. Oven-Baked Buffalo Wings (45 minutes)
A dose of sweet chili sauce takes the edge off (as would a side of ranch dressing).
45. Chrissy Teigen's Cheesy Chicken Milanese (40 minutes)
Not only is the chicken stuffed with gooey mozzarella, but it's breaded with two types of bread crumbs for extra crunch.
46. Gnocchi Mac and Cheese (45 minutes)
Peanut butter and jelly. Cookies and milk. Some pairings are just meant to be.
47. Pumpkin Polenta (1 hour)
It works with fresh or canned pumpkin—the choice is yours.
48. Charred Cauliflower with Crunchy Garlic Chile Oil (25 minutes)
Sure, you can call it a side. But we'd argue this veggie dish is delicious enough to take center stage.
49. Firecracker Chicken with Rice (35 minutes)
Put down the phone and step away from the takeout menu. You've got this.
50. White Turkey Chili with Avocado (1 hour)
Trade traditional kidney beans, beef and canned tomatoes for white beans, ground turkey and canned corn.
51. Herb-Crusted Pork Cutlets (45 minutes)
Serve them sliced over a green salad, alongside a pile of fries or on a sub roll with tomato sauce and melted mozzarella.
53. Skillet Chicken Fajitas (1 hour)
Might we suggest sipping it with a glass of Pinot Noir? (If you aren't already blending margaritas, that is.)
55. Pork Scallopini with Lemon, Capers and Radicchio (20 minutes)
Zingy citrus, briny capers and potent Dijon mustard will snap you right out of your chicken slump.
56. Paleo Egg Roll Bowls (20 minutes)
All the filling (cabbage! scallions! ground pork!) minus the greasy wrapper.
57. Cauliflower Fried Rice (25 minutes)
Fact: A runny egg never hurts.
58. Thai Red Curry Noodle Soup (50 minutes)
Cilantro, basil and lime juice make it super fragrant, while coconut milk makes it creamy and comforting.
59. Cheater’s Skillet Paella (1 hour)
Just as delicious devoured by a roaring fire as on the porch in July.
60. Chicken with Creamy Mushroom Sauce (50 minutes)
BRB, drinking the sauce straight from the pan.
61. Honey-Mustard Sheet Pan Salmon (45 minutes)
Forget worrying about getting the perfect sear. Your sheet pan will take care of it.
62. One-Pan Sausage with Broccoli Rabe and White Beans (25 minutes)
Three main ingredients + four pantry staples = a ridiculously simple dinner for four.
63. Instant Pot Spicy Thai Butternut Squash Soup (30 minutes)
Oh, pressure cooker, what would we do without you?
64. Coconut Milk Braised Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Rice (30 minutes)
Whip it up on the stove or in the Instant Pot or slow cooker. This dish is versatile like that.
65. Garlic Butter Creamed Spinach Salmon (25 minutes)
Bring on the shallots, herbs, Parmesan cheese and creamy coconut milk.
66. Shrimp and Pasta Stew (45 minutes)
Since it stars canned crushed tomatoes, you can make this dish all year-round.
67. Warm Ginger-Scallion Pork & Kale Salad (30 minutes)
Raw kale can be a tad tough to swallow. Here, it's sautéed in honey-ginger dressing.
68. Chicken Pot Pie with Biscuits (1 hour)
The recipe calls for making the biscuits from scratch, but you can save time by starting with canned biscuits instead.
69. Restorative Miso Noodle Soup (30 minutes)
Cold and flu season doesn't stand a chance.
70. Cheater’s Spicy Sausage Pizza with Burrata (35 minutes)
Thanks, pre-baked flatbread crust. We couldn't have done it without you.