22 December 2021

Quick and easy winter recipes

Beef stew and dumplings

As the cold rolls in, hearty winter recipes become essential as we look for comfort in our meals. It’s the time of year when traditional recipes win and a big bowl of something comforting can turn your day around. If you are looking for some inspiration for quick and easy winter meals, look no further.


Is there anything more comforting than a stew? If there is, we certainly can’t think of it. A simple farmers dish, stew has been a pillar of British cuisine for decades and is always turned to when there is a nip in the air. It’s quick and easy to prepare and can be tailored to your tastes by adding vegetables like butternut squash or exotic spices, with the flavours all coming out in the slow cooking method. Whether you’d rather go for a veggies only version or a more traditional beef stew is up to you.

This recipe from Good House Keeping is perfect for the chilly winter, and to make it even simpler, buy pre-cut meat and vegetables: Good House Keeping’s Beef Stew with Dumplings Recipe.

READ MORE: Easy dishes to cook in bulk

Stir Fry

Straying away from the more traditional now (although still a family favourite) and we come to stir fry. Although it may not be the first thing you think of when considering winter dinner ideas, a stir fry is quick and easy to prepare, can be customised to your needs and taste and is a great way to make a meal from nothing – so no need to rush to the shops on a cold evening!

Judy from The Woks of Life offers this advice to someone building a stir fry from scratch who is wondering what to add: “A good stir-fry offers layered textures. Combine something soft like noodles or tofu, with something naturally sweet and crunchy like carrots, scallions, or bok choy, and finally, something with an umami savouriness, like meat or mushrooms.”

BBC Good Food has a great guide on how to make a stir fry if you need more guidance.

Woman holding warming bowl of soup


Is there a dish easier than soup? Even if you are making it from scratch, it doesn’t pose a massive challenge, but many supermarkets have great chilled soups that will warm your bones in the chilly winter and only take minutes to heat through. Served with a side dish of crusty bread to mop up your bowl, there is no better comfort food than soup. For a classic, chicken soup can’t be beaten, but head to your local supermarket and see the exciting flavours they have on offer, many often do winter soups with seasonal ingredients which are well worth a try.

Discussing the benefits of soup, Saga had this to say about one surprising health benefit: “If you find chewing through plates of steamed or roasted vegetables and salad a bit of a chore, or you're not overly keen on munching away on fruit, soup is a fantastic way to get your five-a-day. Two or three veggies either chopped or whizzed up in a soup provide plenty of vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants, and are less of a hassle to eat that way.”

Looking for some unique soup recipes you might not have tried before? American chef Ree Drummond shares her crowd-pleasing soup recipes on her website.

READ MORE: Meal delivery services

Slow-cooker meals

This is a broad stroke, however, slow-cooker recipes tend to be two things: quick and easy to make and comforting. For those with a slow cooker in the house, you’ll know how easy it is to simply dump in your ingredients in the morning and enjoy a delicious meal in the evening. And there is a wealth of slow cooker recipes online to enjoy, so you can keep a great variation in your diet.

Some popular slow cooker recipes from the BBC:

And you can do sweet treats too. Why not try these Chocolate Fudge Crinkle Biscuits?

Salmon sheet pan meal

Sheet pan meals

If you don’t have a slow cooker at home but love the convenience of everything cooking together, then why not try out some sheet pan meals? With everything cooked on one baking tray in the oven together, the flavours will mingle together, and it’ll be simple to prepare (and leave very little washing up!)

From salmon with green beans to harissa chicken with sweet potato, Feasting at Home share their top 25 Sheet Pan Dinners here. They say: “These ‘Make Life Simple’ Sheet-Pan Dinners will help make busy weeknights a little bit easier. All can be made on a single sheet pan, with very little fuss and even less clean-up!”

Quick and easy winter recipes:

  • Stew
  • Stir Fry
  • Soup
  • Slow-cooker meals
  • Sheet pan meals

Life should be easy, and these dishes aren’t only easy, but they are also delicious. It’s not just in cooking that life should be simple, getting around your home should be too. If you are struggling with independence in your home we have a range of curved stairlifts that can make getting between floors as simple as a bowl of soup.

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