Once the holidays are over we are left with a whole lot of chilly winter nights. My best tactic for not falling into the winter blues? Make plenty of really cozy and simple family dinner recipes that will brighten your dinner table!
Having a seasonal meal plan in place is a game changer for family meal planning. First, it makes it easier to create weekly plans and shopping lists. Second, it adds built-in variety throughout the year. Finally, a seasonal meal plan means you take advantage of seasonal foods and products.
Stovetop meals are staples for busy weeknights and are often ready to go in under 30 minutes. This category has soups, tacos, and skillet meals the whole family will love.
The taco filling can be made ahead of time for busy weeknights and the bright and fresh flavors will perk up taco Tuesday!
Make this dinner with a pot of cous cous for a super-quick and satisfying meal. Omit the shrimp for picky eaters and you still have a complete meal that will keep bellies full.
This is divine on a blustery, cold evening and perfect for snow day dinners. Much of this meal can be made from the pantry or freezer, so keep these ingredients on hand for last-minute dinner plans!
Make a big batch and store some in the freezer, because this farro soup thaws and reheats well. This one is great for nursing any winter sickies in the house.
We make this recipe year-round and it's so refreshing in the midst of rich winter meals. Make a big batch because this dinner makes great leftover lunches.
Pulling a hearty casserole out of the oven on a chilly night is just the thing to warm up the kitchen. Many of these oven meals can work as main dishes or sides.
Prep these ahead of time and keep them in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake them off. Add some guacamole and sour cream for extra deliciousness.
We serve this gnocchi as a main dish with a side salad, but it's equally good as a side with baked chicken or broiled flank steak.
These tacos freeze really well so you can build a freezer stash for crazy weeknights or quick lunches. They can be made with soyrizo or chorizo!
This satisfying casserole is a great vegetarian main dish and can even work as a breakfast casserole if you like your breakfast to be savory and delicious (and don't we all?).
Bake this up and serve it for brunch, lunch, or dinner. It is a great vegetarian main dish or can be paired with hummus, pita, and Avgolemono Soup for a mediterranean spread.
Simple Sides to Complete a Meal
A simple roast chicken or baked fish needs sides to make a complete meal. Try any of these below to bring a little pizzaz to your winter dinners.
Hearty, rich, and delicious, this side can stand alone as a main dish but pairs well with beef or braised short ribs.
I love the bright coriander in this dressing! This would be a great accompaniment to baked fish for a lighter meal.
Pair this salad with crispy skin-on baked chicken thighs and you are in for a treat.
The deeply caramelized onions and aromatic spices make this a natural pairing with marinated lamb or beef.
Make a simple romaine salad with tomatoes and avocado and add this creamy and flavorful dressing. This makes a great base for a big dinner salad with grilled steak or fajita chicken and veggies.
Toss roasted cauliflower or carrots in this dressing for a flavor punch that will make a great salad, grain bowl, or side.
When you have a bit more time on a winter weekend, make one of the main dishes below. They aren't 30-minute meals, but the extra time means deep flavors and major comfort food vibes. There are also a couple of party favorites in this category for entertaining with family or friends.
Pot pie, but easier! This is a one skillet meal that bakes up beautifully for a weekend dinner that will please everyone.
Tender pork with a crispy breading and a tangy cider gravy? Yes, please! This dinner cries out for mashed potatoes, so it's great for a Sunday supper.
When you make a batch of this Mole Sauce, you are in for a treat. Mole enchiladas, roasted chicken thighs with mole, or mole tostadas are all within reach.
Making French Onion Soup is a great afternoon project for a winter's day. Your patience in deeply caramelizing the onions will be rewarded with a rich and savory soup!
Invite some friends over, crack open a few bottles of wine, and chat an afternoon away over a pot of heavenly molten cheese. Fondue is a winter favorite for a reason.
Going to a party for the big game? You'll score if you arrive with this melty rich Buffalo dip in hand!
A Little Something Sweet
The holidays will pass, but that doesn't mean you can't have a little sweet treat! Keep it simple with snacking cakes, easy cookie bars, or one-bowl cookies.
A snacking cake is perfect for afternoons with a cup of tea. In our house, this Cranberry Orange Snacking Cake qualifies as breakfast sometimes, too!
These are a perfect treat all year round, and I'd bet you have all of the ingredients on hand to make these any time the craving strikes,
No softened butter required, these cookies can be mixed up at a moment's notice! The fresh citrus and fragrant cardamom will brighten the grayest of winter days.
Follow Along on Social Media
Let me know which of these cozy and simple family dinner recipes you are going to try. I want to see what you make! Tag your photo with #planeatpostrepeat and mention me @planeatpostrepeat on Instagram or Facebook. I can give you a virtual high five and thank you for cooking one of my recipes!