In the aftermath of Christmas, all you want to do is cosy up and keep as warm as winter blues settle themselves in for the months to come. The socialising has come to an end, as has its accompanying budget. Cold weather previously deemed ‘festive’ is now verging on unbearable and while the outside world is preaching about January diets, the only thing appealing to you is the warmth of your favourite comfort foods.
You’ve employed otherwise recommended strategies to keep toasty and warm – cranked up the heating, pulled out your best blankets and treasured your extra layers. A comforting, piping hot meal is all that’s left on the checklist for shaking off those lurking winter blues. While January may be for traditional hearty stews, comforting soups and please, don’t ration the warm sticky toffee pudding, it’s also a great time to trial the numerous new cookbooks received over the holidays or to get to work on resolutions to further your cooking skills.
A lack of socialising funds doesn’t have to mean hibernating like a boring hermit for all of January. Try hibernating like a snug, very full hermit instead, one whose taste buds have truly come alive with delicious new dishes. An evening of cooking flavoursome comfort food is the perfect indoor activity.
Try these 10 recipes perfect for enjoying on a wintery evening.
This Halloumi Bake from Lazy Sunday Cooking is one of those delightful recipes made using what’s already in your cupboard – perfect for when it’s too cold to face going outside, even if it’s just to the shops. It ticks all the the cheese craving boxes with the addition of cayenne pepper and paprika to offer a little warmth. Thrown in for good measure are the delicious lamb sausages to satiate all hunger.
Another one pot wonder with enough spice to warm you right through to spring. There’s so much to love about this dish. Let’s start with the spicy tomato sauce that will warm your bones right through, the soft eggs and melted goat’s cheese, the heavenly pan-fried tomatoes, the lack of dishes. Heaven. You’ll want to eat it over and over again.
Everyone loves to get their fix of ramen but usually that means venturing outside, something we’re determined to avoid with these recipes. This recipe from Half Baked Harvest shows a simple and quick way to make your own amazing ramen from the comfort of your kitchen. It’s easy, healthy and doesn’t compromise on flavour, what’s not to love?
This Spicy Southern Kitchen recipe is pure comfort food. The sauce brings a little bit of everything to the table (literally) with chunky tomato sauce and puree bringing a twist to the traditional creamy sauce, add in the spice and you’ve got the perfect combination for a rich and creamy sauce that isn’t too heavy. Best served by the fire with a glass of red wine.
Little Spice Jar’s Sweet Potato Lentil Soup recipe will warm you right to the soul. The smell throughout the house of the soup cooking will be enough to get your taste buds tingling. Simply place your ingredients into the slow cooker and cook on a low setting for 6-8 hours before adding the soup into the blender along with puree, lemon juice and a little bit of spinach. Cosy night in, sorted.
What’s a winter warmer recipe without a little (or a lot of) carbs? Unworthy, we’d say. Thankfully this recipe from The Modern Proper agrees. In the words of the recipe’s creators themselves, “This dish meets our standards for the perfect night in; 1. easy 2. comforting 3. cheesy 4. delicious (duh!).”
They had us at cheesy.
Ah, stew. The ultimate comfort food staple and this time, those at Boulder Locavore have kicked things up a notch with a Middle Eastern twist to the traditional stew recipe. Their replacement of white potatoes with sweet potatoes and addition of a whole host of spices gives this stew a little more sass, bringing a fragrant and bold dish to your winter warmer repertoire.
A welcome weeknight hero, Half Baked Harvest’s skillet roasted chicken recipe will warm hearts and bellies all winter long. Not only can you make it for your family but this super easy recipe is fancy enough to impress guests at your next dinner party.
A quick gluten-free dish filled with goodness, add it to the ever-growing, fantastic list of one pot wonders. This one is a game changer. It ticks a lot of the dietary requirements in one go – vegetarian, gluten free, healthy, nutritious – and will take you less than 30 minutes to prepare. What are you waiting for? Get your chilli on a la Joyful Healthy Eats.
Some nights you just want to deal with a dish you barely have to think about, one that you can chuck it all in a pan but trust that it will still taste sensational. This recipe from The Wonky Spatula is just that. A little bit of spice, a little bit of garlic, a touch of cinnamon and some simple seasoning is all you need to bring this Bistro Steak winter warmer to life.