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73 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 73 hearty winter dinner ideas, all of which take roughly an hour or less to make.

30 Cold-Weather Pasta Recipes That Will Warm You Right Up


1. One Pan Spaghetti and Meatballs (30 minutes)

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: one pan, kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser

A classic choice with an updated twist. Consider this the lazy cook’s spaghetti and meatballs.

2. Cheater’s Italian Wedding Soup (1 hour)

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: high protein, crowd-pleaser

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)

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, vegetarian, <500 calories

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)

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: high protein, crowd-pleaser, special occasion–worthy

It’s buttery and rich, just like your mom used to make…except so much easier, thanks to flavor-boosting sour cream and mustard.

5. The Ultimate Pasta Pie (55 minutes)

  • Time Commitment: 55 minutes
  • Why We Love It: special occasion–worthy, crowd-pleaser

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)

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly

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)

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: one pan, kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser

You’re telling us you didn’t spend all day making this? Hmm, it definitely tastes like you did. (That’s the magic of store-bought gnocchi.)

8. Baked Coconut-Curry Meatballs (45 minutes)

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly

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)

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: beginner-friendly, vegetarian

Cozy up to a bowl of this eggplant pasta and you’ll feel like you’re in the sunny Italian Riviera.

10. Chicken with Feta Cheese, Dill, Lemon and Harissa Yogurt (50 minutes)

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why We Love It: special occasion–worthy, beginner-friendly

You had us at feta. This stunner is as easy as oven-roasting the poultry and potatoes, then topping everything with a bright mixture of cheese, lemon and harissa yogurt to balance out the rich, crispy chicken.

11. Ina Garten’s Baked Pasta with Tomatoes and Eggplant (30 minutes)

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: beginner-friendly, make ahead

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)

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why We Love It: sheet pan recipe, <10 ingredients

Fast, easy and minimal cleanup? Check, check and check. Plus, the Brussels sprouts get caramelized and browned right next to the chicken, so they soak up all the delicious pan juices.

13. Swedish Meatballs (40 minutes)

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, high protein

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)

  • Time Commitment: 55 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, high protein, sheet pan recipe

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)

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why We Love It: gluten free, special occasion–worthy, vegetarian

Tender pillows of cheesy heaven that happen to be lower in carbs than their pasta counterpart? Sign us up.

16. Healthy Zuppa Toscana (50 minutes)

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, high protein, low sugar

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)

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion–worthy, high protein

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)

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, <500 calories, gluten free

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)

  • Time Commitment: 55 minutes
  • Why We Love It: special occasion-worthy, one pan, crowd-pleaser

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)

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: one pan, special occasion–worthy, high protein, gluten free

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)

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: vegetarian, beginner-friendly, dairy free

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)

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: one pan, beginner-friendly, high protein

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)

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: one pan, special occasion-worthy, low sugar

Everyone is coming over for dinner and you don’t know what to cook? We have an idea, and it stars golden-brown chicken, tangy feta and plenty of olives.

24. 5-Ingredient Smoked Gouda-Thyme Mac and Cheese (50 minutes)

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, crowd-pleaser, vegetarian

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)

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, beginner-friendly

Chicken soup, we could never forget you. Crumble in some crackers and we’re in business.

26. Rotisserie Chicken Ramen (35 minutes)

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly, <10 ingredients

Way, way better than the microwave version you lived on in college (but just as effortless to make).

27. Baking Sheet Pizza With Olives and Sun-Dried Tomatoes (1 hour)

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: sheet pan recipe, crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly

It turns out your baking sheet basically guarantees a crackly, golden-brown crust.

28. Tomato Soup in Grilled Cheese Bread Bowls (50 minutes)

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why We Love It: kid-friendly, vegetarian

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)

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: sheet pan recipe, beginner-friendly, gluten free

Who knew steak could be low-mess and no-fuss? (Your trusty baking sheet is who.)

30. Spiralized Winter Vegetable Gratin (1 hour, 10 minutes)

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: one pan, vegetarian, <500 calories

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)

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why We Love It: one pan, beginner-friendly, <10 ingredients

Skip all the stovetop stirring—this creamy number comes together in the oven.

32. Cacio e Pepe (20 minutes)

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, vegetarian

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 on hand.

33. Pad See Ew (10 minutes)

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <15 minutes, one pan

This Thai classic cooks up in a single skillet for minimal cleanup.

34. Skillet Pepper Steak (15 minutes)

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <15 minutes, one skillet, <500 calories

A beef-heavy dinner doesn’t need to be super unhealthy. One serving of this clocks in at only 230 calories, thanks to all those veggies.

35. Soba Noodles with Peanut Sauce (25 minutes)

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, crowd-pleaser

The spicy sauce will taste great on chicken, salmon or shrimp.

36. Harissa Chickpea Stew with Eggplant and Millet (45 minutes)

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why We Love It: vegetarian, dairy free, high protein

We like swapping eggplant for squash in the fall. Come summer, use zucchini.

37. Baking Sheet Quesadillas (30 minutes)

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: sheet pan recipe, vegetarian

Aka the most kid-friendly dinner ever. It’s vegetarian as-is, but you can also add shredded chicken or ground beef for a boost of protein.

38. Cast Iron Pork Chops with Cacao-Spiced Rub (1 hour)

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: special occasion–worthy, keto, high protein

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)

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, one pan, beginner-friendly

Crisp green beans and crunchy peanuts meet spicy-sweet, kung pao-inspired chicken.

40. Sheet Pan Lemon Butter Veggies and Sausage (40 minutes)

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: sheet pan recipe, beginner-friendly, high protein, kid-friendly

Loaded with carrots, radishes, bell peppers, asparagus, tomatoes, zucchini *and* eggplant.

41. Shrimp with Cauliflower “Grits” and Arugula (30 minutes)

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: low carb, <30 minutes

The grits are bursting with butter, milk and goat cheese—but none of the carbs.

42. Vegetarian Quinoa Bake (45 minutes)

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why We Love It: one pan, crowd-pleaser, vegetarian

Canned green chiles and tomatillo salsa give this dish a solid kick.

43. Spicy Turkey Enchiladas with Pumpkin Seeds (40 minutes)

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, beginner-friendly

File this under Best Ways to Use Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey.

44. Oven-Baked Buffalo Wings (45 minutes)

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, crowd-pleaser

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)

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: special occasion–worthy, high protein, low sugar

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)

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly, kid-friendly

Peanut butter and jelly. Cookies and milk. Some pairings are just meant to be. Add gnocchi and a luscious, cheesy sauce to that list.

47. Pumpkin Polenta (1 hour)

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, <500 calories, vegetarian

It works with fresh or canned pumpkin—the choice is yours.

48. Charred Cauliflower with Crunchy Garlic Chile Oil (25 minutes)

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, vegetarian, gluten free

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)

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why We Love It: beginner-friendly, kid-friendly

Put down the phone and step away from the takeout menu. You’ve got this.

50. White Turkey Chili with Avocado (1 hour)

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: low sugar, high protein, crowd-pleaser

Trade traditional kidney beans, beef and canned tomatoes for white beans, ground turkey and canned corn.

51. Herb-Crusted Pork Cutlets (45 minutes)

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients

Serve them sliced over a green salad, alongside a pile of fries or on a sub roll with tomato sauce and melted mozzarella.

52. Mini Cranberry Potpies (1 hour, 5 minutes)

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 5 minutes
  • Why We Love It: special occasion–worthy, crowd-pleaser, vegetarian

Trust us: These Christmas-bound cuties are worth waiting five more minutes for.

53. Skillet Chicken Fajitas (1 hour)

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: one pan, high protein, kid-friendly

Might we suggest sipping it with a glass of Pinot Noir? (If you aren’t already blending margaritas, that is.)

54. Sheet Pan Sticky Pomegranate Chicken and Honey Roasted Squash (35 minutes)

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <500 calories, sheet pan recipe

We didn’t know a dish this elegant could be made so quickly. Heck, you’ll even have time to whip up dessert.

55. Pork Scallopini with Lemon, Capers and Radicchio (20 minutes)

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: high protein, special occasion–worthy, <30 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)

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, paleo, kid-friendly

All the filling (cabbage! scallions! ground pork!) minus the outer shell.

57. Cauliflower Fried Rice (25 minutes)

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <500 calories, low sugar, <30 minutes

Fact: A runny egg never hurts. To speed up your prep time, just buy pre-riced cauliflower in the produce aisle.

58. Thai Red Curry Noodle Soup (50 minutes)

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion–worthy

Cilantro, basil and lime juice make it super fragrant, while coconut milk makes it creamy and comforting.

59. Weeknight Skillet Paella (1 hour)

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion–worthy, high protein

Just as delicious devoured by a roaring fire as on the porch in July.

60. Chicken with Creamy Mushroom Sauce (50 minutes)

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion–worthy, one pan

The decadent sauce is made completely from scratch, but it’s just as easy as dumping in a can of cream-of-whatever.

61. Honey Mustard Sheet Pan Salmon (45 minutes)

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why We Love It: sheet pan recipe, high protein, dairy free

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)

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, sheet pan recipe, <30 minutes

Three main ingredients + four pantry staples = a ridiculously simple dinner for four. (Psst: Any type of sausage works here.)

63. Instant Pot Spicy Thai Butternut Squash Soup (30 minutes)

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: Instant Pot recipe, <30 minutes, vegan

Oh, pressure cooker, what would we do without you?

64. Coconut Milk Braised Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Rice (30 minutes)

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, dairy free, <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)

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, special occasion-worthy

Bring on the shallots, herbs, Parmesan cheese and creamy coconut milk.

66. Shrimp and Pasta Stew (45 minutes)

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <500 calories, high protein

Since it stars canned crushed tomatoes, you can make this dish all year-round.

67. Warm Ginger-Scallion Pork and Kale Salad (30 minutes)

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: paleo, <30 minutes, high protein

Raw kale can be a tad tough to swallow. Here, it’s sautéed in honey-ginger dressing to soften it up.

68. Chicken Pot Pie with Biscuits (1 hour)

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly

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)

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: vegan, <30 minutes, <10 ingredients

Inspired by the calming, nourishing power of classic miso soup, this version gets a hearty upgrade with soba noodles, meaty mushrooms and spinach.

70. Cheater’s Spicy Sausage Pizza with Burrata (35 minutes)

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, beginner-friendly, <10 ingredients

Thanks, pre-baked flatbread crust. We couldn’t have done it without you.

71. Easy Chicken Tortellini Soup (30 minutes)

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: beginner-friendly, kid-friendly, one pot

It’s as comforting as a classic egg noodle soup, but gets two major boosts of flavor from miso paste and cheese tortellini.

72. Rigatoni with Vodka Sauce (30 minutes)

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly

While it wouldn’t really be vodka sauce without it, you can skip the booze if you don’t have it on hand or you’re feeling lazy—it happens, we would know. Just say it’s tomato cream sauce and call it a day.

73. 3-Cheese Pumpkin Pasta Casserole with Spinach (50 minutes)

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, high protein

This casserole is creamy, comforting and big enough to feed a crowd, but still feels modern thanks to dollops of ricotta and plenty of spinach.