Top 20 winter dinner ideas
Find inspiration to sit down to a hearty winter meal with our ideas for warming starters, comforting mains, indulgent desserts and soothing drinks
When the weather outside is cold and icy, there’s nothing better than sitting down to a hearty home-cooked meal. We’ve got everything you need for a magnificent spread, from soup starters, filling ragu and stews, and winter cakes and compotes. Finish your meal by warming your hands around a delicious hot chocolate or feel the burn of a little nightcap.
Check out our winter warmer recipes for more inspiration on keeping your spirits high and your stomach full this winter. There are plenty more delectable desserts to try with our winter dessert recipes, and why not check out our guide to the best-mulled wine to buy? If alcohol doesn’t take your fancy, we have plenty of non-alcoholic drink recipes and mocktail recipes to try.
1. Leek & potato soup
Of the winter soups, leek and potato is one of the most comforting and familiar. This recipe can be on the table in under an hour and is freezable, so if you batch cook it, you can reheat it later for a fuss-free lunch or dinner. You can also follow along with our helpful video tutorial.
Discover more winter soup recipes.
2. Winter panzanella
This winter panzanella is made using winter produce, such as cauliflower and radish. Toast cubes of leftover bread for an extra-crunchy panzanella – an Italian salad packed with flavour.
Discover more panzanella recipes.
3. Honeyed winter salad
Salads don’t have to be enjoyed only in the summer. Make this healthy salad using winter produce, such as butternut squash and parsnips. Not only is it low in salt, but it also counts for 3 of your five a day.
Discover more winter salad recipes.
4. Mushroom soup
Make the most of mushrooms with this comforting soup recipe using cream, onions and garlic. It’s super simple – taking only three steps to make – and freezable, so you can save the leftovers for another day. It goes perfectly with crusty bread, so why not impress your guests by making your own with our easy white bread recipe?
5. Charred leeks with anchovy dressing
We’ve made leeks the star of our elegant, simple starter. Hazelnuts add a creative crunch and the anchovy dressing gives the dish an umami depth of flavour.
Discover more leek recipes.
1. Chicken pot pie
Rustle up this chicken pot pie for an easy dinner. A family favourite, it can be made ahead and frozen for another day to make mealtimes easy. It’s high in protein and low in sugar and will warm you from the top of your head to the tips of your toes.
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2. Beef stew
A traditional braised beef casserole with thick, rich gravy and chunky veg – it’s an ideal recipe for cheap cuts, as slow-cooking guarantees a tender dish. It’s a beautiful mid-week meal that only takes 15 minutes to prepare.
Discover more winter stew recipes.
3. Sausage & mash pie
Enjoy this ingenious take on a family favourite – sausage and mash. It combines two storecupboard ingredients into one hearty pie that can be easily frozen. It’s also high in fibre!
Discover more sausage pie recipes.
4. Porchetta ragu
Be inspired by porchetta, the Italian rolled-pork dish. This ragu is ideal for guests as you can leave it simmering while you’re entertaining. This recipe serves 6-8 people but is also freezable, so if you have leftovers, you can reheat them quickly for a fuss-free supper.
Discover more dinner party main recipes.
5. Summer-in-winter chicken
This crispy chicken fried in a creamy sauce will bring back fond memories of summer. Simmer with ripe cherry tomatoes and add a dollop of pesto for extra nuttiness.
Discover more pesto recipes.
1. Marmalade & whisky bread & butter pudding
Upgrade the ultimate comfort dessert, bread and butter pudding. This one has citrus flavours from Seville orange marmalade and a woody kick from the whisky.
Discover more bread & butter pudding recipes.
2. Squidgy chocolate pear pudding
This hot, gooey chocolate pud, with dark chocolate and canned pears, can be made ahead and frozen – a perfect no-fuss dinner party dessert.
Discover more chocolate dessert recipes.
3. Self-saucing sticky toffee chocolate pudding
Combine sticky toffee pudding sponge with a generous helping of chocolate chunks and chocolate sauce for the ultimate indulgent dessert. It pairs perfectly with our ultimate vanilla ice cream or homemade custard.
4. Classic winter fruit cake
Enjoy this classic winter fruitcake as a gorgeous centrepiece for your winter meal. Using a shop-bought cake ensures this is effortless to whip up.
Discover more inspiration for Christmas cake decoration.
5. Winter compote
These winter compote tumblers make for a great breakfast or healthier dessert. They need 20 minutes of cooling time, so they’re a great make-ahead dessert to pop in the fridge the night before.
Discover more compote recipes.
1. Mulled wine cocktail
The perfect party drink, as it can be made well ahead, then brought out of the fridge as guests arrive. Or serve hot for a traditional winter warmer.
Discover more mulled wine recipes.
2. Cinnamon butter rum
Warm up in winter with a glass of fabulously decadent cinnamon butter rum. Gently heat all the ingredients until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved and then serve.
Discover more rum recipes.
3. Triple choc hot chocolate
Take a humble hot mug of cocoa to the heights of luxury with this super decadent recipe that combines double cream and whole milk with three types of chocolate.
Discover more hot chocolate recipes.
4. Winter whisky sour
This classic bourbon cocktail takes a festive turn with a splash of orange juice and edible gold glitter.
Discover more bourbon cocktail recipes.
5. Mulled apple juice
This drink is perfect for getting you in the spirit of winter without the dreaded hangover. With flavours of orange, cinnamon and cloves, it’s the ideal mulled alternative for drivers or children.
Discover more mulled drinks recipes.
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