As fall progresses and frost rolls in, so does the need to update our meal prep with recipes for cold weather. On that note, a good warm-weather meal should heat us up, whether through temperature or spice. Immediately, soups and stews come to mind as well as chili; the latter contains many spices to check both of our boxes.
The idea of comfort food provides nostalgic warmth as well. What exactly constitutes comfort food changes depending on who you ask, whether that's a steamy bowl of lentil stew or a hearty bulgogi BBQ steak bowl. From traditional plates to adapted classics, any of the following 14 recipes we curated below would make great dishes for cold weather. Add our selections to your seasonal rotation for durable warmth.
Keep scrolling for the best 14 recipes for cold weather.
Korean Bulgogi BBQ Steak Bowls
The Recipe: Korean Bulgogi BBQ Steak Bowls
Why We Love It: If you’re looking for heat, Korean BBQ should do the trick. This bulgogi recipe from Half Baked Harvest has simple instructions, with the bulk of your prep time spent marinating beef. You'll need thinly sliced flank or skirt steak, ginger, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, and sesame oil. A recipe for spicy peanut sauce is also included.
Pro Tip: "Finish each bowl with an egg, chopped green onions, kimchi, toasted sesame seeds and a good drizzle of the spicy peanut sauce," writes Tieghan Gerard, of Half Baked Harvest.
The Recipe: Pozole Rojo
Why We Love It: Pozole is a meat and hominy stew (and not to mention a staple in Mexican food culture), and this particular iteration differs from the verde dish with ample chiles in the broth. The best part about this pork stew from Hola Jalapeño is that leftovers will almost certainly taste better after being stored in your refrigerator for a day or two.
Pro Tip: Garnish with oregano, minced onion, lime wedges, cilantro, avocado, and cabbage.
Tomato Basil Penne With Spicy Italian Chickpeas
The Recipe: Tomato Basil Penne With Spicy Italian Chickpeas
Why We Love It: Motivation flies out the window when we are too cold, so our snow days consist of the easiest meals we can cook. Introduce this well-rounded tomato basil penne from Half Baked Harvest to your rotation, with simple pesto and chickpeas with a kick.
Pro Tip: Garnish with basil.
Simple Lentil Stew
The Recipe: Simple Lentil Stew
Why We Love It: This lentil stew from Hello Glow is remarkably simple to make and a go-to when we want a plant-based protein punch. The minimal ingredient list includes lentils, parsnips, bay leaf, broth, olive oil, and carrot.
Pro Tip: Add fresh parsley for garnish.
Braised Pork Belly Kimchi Stew
The Recipe: Braised Pork Belly Kimchi Stew
Why We Love It: Kimchi and pork belly are central ingredients to Korean comfort food, and since they're available at most grocery stores, are ingredients anyone can take advantage of. This stew from I Am a Food Blog offers diverse flavors, and what better time to try a new recipe than when you’re snowed in?
Pro Tip: Find kimchi in the refrigerated section in the grocery store, "Usually near the tofu," suggests I Am a Food Blog.
Butternut Lasagna With Wild Mushrooms and Sage
The Recipe: Butternut Lasagna With Wild Mushrooms and Sage
Why We Love It: Wild mushrooms offer a meaty, plant-based alternative when we're craving a steamy pasta dish on a cold day. In Feasting at Home's lasagna recipe, a butternut puree joins a ricotta, and sage and mushroom filling, plus some chopped spinach if you want something extra.
Pro Tip: Feasting at Home also includes a recipe for a Bechamel sauce you can opt to top lasagna with.
Moroccan Eggs With Harissa Yogurt
The Recipe: Moroccan Eggs With Harissa Yogurt
Why We Love It: For something stewy and abundantly spiced, we turn to Feasting at Home's Moroccan eggs. Make your own with ground lamb, eggs, cinnamon, fennel seeds, cumin, smoked paprika, chili flakes, diced fire-roasted tomatoes, and chopped spinach.
Pro Tip: Garnish with cilantro and chili flakes.
Vegan Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
The Recipe: Vegan Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Why We Love It: A baked potato can totally serve as a main, especially when it's stuffed with filling, seasoned chickpeas, like Orchids + Sweet Tea demonstrates in her recipe. Add kale, top with dairy-free yogurt (to keep things vegan) and fresh parsley or cilantro.
Pro Tip: Leftovers will keep in the fridge for 3–4 days.
Japanese Vegetable Curry
The Recipe: Japanese Vegetable Curry
Why We Love It: A plethora of pre-made curry roux options means you can use this Japanese curry recipe from Pickled Plum as a template for a range of curry dishes, from mild to spicy, sweet and savory. Then you'll need carrots, apple, ginger, potatoes, green beans, cherry tomatoes, and Japanese or Chinese eggplant (they're more slender in shape).
Pro Tip: Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
One Pan Creamy Gnocchi With Sausage
The Recipe: One Pan Creamy Gnocchi With Sausage
Why We Love It: This comforting recipe from Salt & Lavender comes together in one pan. For convenience, pick up store-bought gnocchi from the grocery store, and pair with Italian sausage, dry white wine, diced tomatoes, heavy whipping cream, parmesan cheese, and basil.
Pro Tip: No need to pre-cook gnocchi as it will cook directly in the sauce.
Tangy Green Tomato Chili With Beef
The Recipe: Tangy Green Tomato Chili With Beef
Why We Love It: Hola Jalapeño's chili recipe is brothy, tangy, and filled with hearty ground beef. Use green tomatoes (unripened tomatoes), or tomatillos in a pinch; along with all of the spices (cumin, oregano, paprika, coriander); plus garlic, stock, poblano peppers and jalapeño.
Pro Tip: Garnish with avocado slices, grated sharp cheddar cheese, and thinly sliced scallions.
Chicken and Dumplings
The Recipe: Chicken and Dumplings
Why We Love It: The addition of turmeric in Yes to Yolk's chicken and dumplings recipe gives this soup added depth and warmth. Shredded chicken, herbs, peas, and carrots swim in a savory broth with dumplings made from flour, baking soda, Greek yogurt, and eggs.
Pro Tip: Garnish with fresh parsley or chives.
Freekeh Porridge With Quinoa
The Recipe: Freekeh Porridge With Quinoa
Why We Love It: A hot breakfast like Sweet Potato Soul's freekeh porridge topped with fresh fruit warms the belly as the temps drop. All you need is cracked freekeh, red or tricolor quinoa, the milk or mylk of your choice, seasonal fruit, and nuts.
Pro Tip: Since freekeh is a Middle Eastern grain, keep with the theme and sweeten porridge with dates, like Jenné Claibrone of Sweet Potato Soul, does.
Apple and Cardamom Croissant Bread Pudding
The Recipe: Apple and Cardamom Croissant Bread Pudding
Why We Love It: Spoon Fork Bacon's bread pudding gets a twist with a croissant base, and seasonal flavors with apple, cinnamon and cardamom; and a drizzle of caramel to top it all off. You'll also need heavy cream, eggs, butter, milk, brown sugar, and vanilla extract.
Pro Tip: The longer you boil the ingredients for the caramel sauce, the thicker the sauce will be.