Nothing screams winter like hearty, rich meals to help stave off the cold. No matter your outdoor climate, you can make these meals just simply for the fun of it, even if it’s 80 degrees out! These quick meals are great for any day of the week, whether you’re just coming home from work, away from home on a weekend, or having a big get-together. 


I’m sure you’re sick of hearing about soups during the winter, but they truly are amazing for cold weather. If the usual recipes like cream of potato, vegetable or tomato are leaving you feeling bored, then it’s just time to switch it up! The variety of soups you can make is literally endless! Simply switch up the ingredients of well-known (or well-used) soups, and voila, you’re set. Take vegetable soup and add in different vegetables, such as leeks, kale, quinoa, barley, and more. Make cream of butternut squash soup instead of cream of potato. 

If you want to turn up the heat, you can make the soups come alive with a large variety of spices too! Instead of adding the usual spices to your go-to soups, pick a few that are a little on the spicier side. If your kids are going to be having some you may not be able to go fully crazy until you have your own bowl in front of you. You can even dip into different chilis with a variety of different beans and spices as well. There are even white-based chilis if you’re feeling daring! 

Bake It Up

Casseroles are another go-to hearty meal that warms the whole house, but can feel tiring after a long winter. It may be time to switch them up as well, picking different proteins for the filling and different soup bases. Transform that tired tuna casserole into a tilapia bake! You can even make a quick casserole-type meal without the pan and oven! Simply grab a saucepan with a lid, and using soup base and a variety of ingredients, you can whip up a saucy noodle dish quickly that resembles a long-cooking meal. 

Go Italian

The power of Italian food when prepping quick meals is often-forgot. You can easily get a sauce together in a crock pot that stews all day, still giving that authentic spaghetti sauce flavor. You can even cook the protein the night before and have it simmering in the sauce all day, leaving you to simply boil some noodles. The sauces can vary as well, making a more vegetable based sauce with mushrooms, bell peppers, or squash, or adding more individual spices to make it sweeter or spicier. 

The possibilities are endless! Have your kids pick one of these quick meals a week and see how quickly it becomes a fan favorite!

Katie Kyzivat

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