Here are all the best cozy winter dinner ideas that will please everyone! These recipes feature seasonal produce and hearty comfort foods.

Winter dinner ideas, winter dinner recipes

Let’s face it: winter is hard in the kitchen. There’s none of the carefree breeziness of summer, with its laid-back no cook meals and vibrant produce. But here’s the thing: turn to cozy, comforting foods and hearty seasonal ingredients, and there’s a treasure trove of inspiration waiting to be explored. Here are all our top winter dinner ideas for the season! Try our fan-favorite shepherd’s pie, cozy pasta bakes, or pizza soup. Some are rich and comfort-laden, some are fresh and healthy. Ready to get started?

And now…our top winter dinner ideas!

More winter inspiration

Want more ideas for the season? Outside of these winter dinner ideas, here are a few more seasonal recipe lists to peruse:

What’s seasonal in winter? Browse by ingredient with recipe ideas for Butternut Squash Recipes, Sweet Potato Recipes, Spaghetti Squash Recipes, Acorn Squash Recipes, Kale Recipes, Spinach Recipes or Beet Recipes.

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Vegan shepherd's pie

20 Winter Dinner Ideas!

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6 1x


Here are all the best cozy winter dinner ideas that will please everyone! These recipes feature seasonal produce and hearty comfort foods. This Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie hits all the cozy notes.


  • 1 recipe Vegan Mashed Potatoes
  • ¼ cup olive oil, divided
  • 8 ounces portabella mushrooms (2 large mushroom caps)
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried sage
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 15-ounce can lentils, drained (or 1 ½ cups cooked lentils; see note*)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (or liquid aminos)
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary, for the garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Start the mashed potatoes: Start the Vegan Mashed Potatoes recipe. (You can also make these in advance; just reheat before spreading onto the filling to bake.)
  3. Prep the vegetables: Meanwhile, dice mushrooms into bite-sized chunks. Peel and slice the carrots into thin half-circles. Cut the onion into thin slivers length-wise (also called French cut; see the instructions in 1:40 of the linked video).
  4. Make the filling: In large pot, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil on medium high heat. Cook the mushrooms for 5 minutes until golden and tender. Reduce the heat to medium and add 2 tablespoons olive oil and the sliced onion and carrots. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon kosher salt and cook 5 to 7 minutes until the onions are tender and just browning.
  5. Reduce the heat to medium low. Stir in the flour, fennel seeds, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and dried sage and cook for 1 minute. Add the vegetable broth, peas, lentils (drained if canned), soy sauce and remaining ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Cook for about 5 minutes until the broth is very thick and the vegetables are heated through.
  6. Finish the mashed potatoes: When the potatoes are done cooking, mash them according to the instructions in that recipe.
  7. Bake: Pour the filling into a 2-quart small baking dish. Spread the mashed potatoes in a layer on top. Bake 18 to 20 minutes until the potatoes are lightly browned. If desired, broil for 1 to 2 minutes to brown the top. Garnish with chopped rosemary and serve warm.


*If you can’t find canned lentils, cook your own lentils and add 1 ½ cups of the cooked lentils to the filling. Use our Brown LentilsGreen LentilsFrench Lentils, or Black Lentils recipes: you can cook them in water and omit the seasoning (or leave it for extra flavor!). Do cook with the kosher salt, but don’t add extra after cooking.

  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Winter
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Winter dinner ideas, Winter dinner recipes

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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  1. thank you for all, easy stuffed shells especially, great to have all of these when I don’t want to have to think about what to make, just pick a recipe!