Winter Dinner Ideas – Healthy Seasonal Recipes

When cold winter nights set in, and you want to mix up your weeknight menu or need fresh ideas on hearty comfort-food dishes, this round-up is for you! Today, we have 31 winter dinner recipes that are easy to make, bursting with warm winter spices, and will warm even the pickiest eater from the inside out.

winter squash tacos on circular white plate

Jump To Winter Dinner Recipes

If you’re looking for inspiration for easy winter recipes, healthier versions of comfort-food recipes, and interesting family-friendly dinners with seasonal ingredients then this collection of 31 easy winter recipes will be your go-to list!

Along with some of our favorite winter dinner ideas we’ve also included a featured recipe: Winter Squash Tacos. It’s comforting, full of warm spices, and everything you want on a chilly evening. 

What Is In Season In Winter?

One of our key goals at Healthy Seasonal Recipes is to help you find ways of cooking with seasonal veggies and fruits and other ingredients. This is a list of some of the foods that are in season in wintertime:

  • Cruciferous veggies: Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi and broccoli and other brassicas are all hearty winter veggies that can withstand frost.
  • Winter squashes: Thick skinned storing squashes like pumpkin, butternut squash and kobocha are all known as winter squashes. See our featured recipe at the bottom of this post for Winter Squash Tacos!
  • Onions and garlic: These are harvested in the late summer and fall and keep all winter. Shallots also fall into this category.
  • Root vegetables: Common roots include carrots, parsnips, turnips, rutabaga and celeriac. Ginger and galangal and other roots used for seasoning and cooking are also in season in winter.
  • Mushrooms: One of our favorite ways of adding veggies to comfort food recipes is to use mushrooms! They’re a great way to healthify easy winter meals for family.
  • Peanuts and nuts
  • Shellfish: Oysters, mussels and other shellfish are great at this time of year
  • Tropical fruits and citrus: Grown in sunnier climates, oranges and other fresh citrus come into season in early winter and are available all winter long. Look for pineapple, mango and other tropical fruit too.
  • Persimmons and pomegranates: Look for these in your produce department. They are usually kept with other “exotic” fruits at room temperature.
  • Cranberries: Harvested in the late fall, cranberries are in season from late October through early winter.

31 Winter Dinner Recipes

Satisfying Casseroles

When cold weather hits, we find ourselves craving those soul-satisfying casseroles. And while nothing satisfies better than traditional recipes, sometimes, you need to lighten or spice up a classic! So, here are our favorite lighter versions of family-friendly casseroles that are sure to please everyone around your table.

Healthy Vegetarian Dishes

Here are some of our favorite veggie-packed vegetarian dishes for you to try this winter. But don’t worry, they’re hearty and bursting with flavor that even your meat-loving relatives will leave the table feeling full and satisfied.

Hearty Winter Sandwiches

Sometimes, there is nothing better than a sandwich. And when it comes to wintertime, grilling is not always an option. So, we’ve come up with a few of our favorites that take healthy spins on indoor classics!

Nutritious Chicken Recipes

Who says chicken has to be boring? With these recipes, you can kiss bland chicken goodbye because these dishes are not only healthy but they are bursting with flavor that will make your taste buds sing.

Light Fish Dishes

Flavorful, light seafood can also be soul-satisfying on those dark, long winter nights. These recipes are bold and full of flavor, yet won’t leave you feeling weighed down like traditional comfort food dishes.

Comforting Beef and Pork Recipes

Comforting, wintertime dishes, usually call for a meat of substance! And these beef and pork-inspired dishes deliver in all the right places. Satisfying, hearty, yet light enough that you won’t feel guilty for indulging!

Thanks so much for reading! If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my email newsletter to get a free weekly menu plan and the latest recipes right to your inbox. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you thought!

Happy Cooking! ~Katie


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Our easy-to-make winter squash tacos are ready in less than 30 minutes and bursting with bold flavors. Made with nutritious winter squash, warm spices, and a light and healthy homemade crema, these winter tacos are sure to satisfy on those cold winter nights.

For the Tacos

  • 1 small butternut squash, pie pumpkin, or another smooth-skinned winter squash, about 1 pound 9 ounces
  • 8 soft corn tortillas
  • 4 teaspoons avocado oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle chili powder, to taste
  • 1 cup canned tomato sauce
  • 1 cup drained canned black beans

For the Crema:

  • 2 tablespoons sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

Optional for Serving:

  • 2 scallions, finely sliced
  • 1 avocado, diced or sliced
  • 1/4 cup crumbled cotija cheese
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 4 tablespoons toasted pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)

  1. Peel squash or pumpkin with a vegetable peeler. Cut in half and remove seeds with a measuring spoon. Cut into ½-inch thick slices and then into ½ -inch dice. 
  2. Wrap the tortillas in foil and place in the oven set at 325°F. Heat through for about 12 to 15 minutes. 
  3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, squash or pumpkin, garlic, and ¾ teaspoon salt, and stir to coat with the oil. Cover and cook, removing the lid to stir occasionally, until the squash is tender, 6 to 8 minutes. If the mixture is browning too much before the squash or pumpkin is tender, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water and reduce heat to medium to prevent burning. 
  4. Remove lid, sprinkle on pumpkin pie spice and chipotle, and stir to coat. Cook, stirring often until the spices are fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomato sauce and black beans and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat. 
  5. While the squash is cooking, whisk sour cream, mayonnaise, lime zest, lime juice, and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt in a small dish.
  6. Assemble tacos by dividing the squash mixture among the warm tortillas. Top with any desired optional toppings such as scallions, avocado, cotija, cilantro, or pepitas. Drizzle on the crema and serve immediately.

  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: winter dinner ideas, easy winter recipes, winter dinner ideas healthy, easy winter meals for family

About the Author

Katie Webster

Katie Webster studied art and photography at Skidmore College and is a graduate of the New England Culinary Institute. She has been a professional recipe developer since 2001 when she first started working in the test kitchen at EatingWell magazine. Her recipes have been featured in numerous magazines including Shape, Fitness, Parents and several Edible Communities publications among others. Her cookbook, Maple Quirk Books was published in 2015. She launched Healthy Seasonal Recipes in 2009. She lives in Vermont with her husband, two teenage daughters and two yellow labs. In her free time, you can find her at the gym, cooking, stacking firewood, making maple syrup, and tending to her overgrown perennial garden.

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