Winter is the perfect time to hunker down and batch up warming soups, stews, curries, bakes and casserole dishes. Plus, cooking in bulk is a great way to save time, money and energy in the kitchen, which can only be a good thing!
Seasonal root veg and leafy greens really come into their own during winter – kale, squash, sweet potato, celeriac, carrots and – the king of comfort food – potatoes. Here in the UK, you can still get your hands on lots of lovely produce from December right through January, February and March, so embrace it; shopping seasonally is not only kind to the planet, it’s often easier on your wallet, too. So, if you’re looking to brighten up dark evenings and chilly weekends, you’ve come to the right place – our cosiest winter recipes will keep you warm from the inside out.
Spinach, sweet potato & chickpea curry
Made entirely in the microwave, this veggie curry packs a real flavour punch, but won’t rack up your energy bill. With warming spices, creamy chickpeas and lots of lovely veg, you need this in your winter recipe repertoire. Plus, each tasty portion contains all five of your 5-a-day – it doesn’t get much better than that.
MORE: Delicious recipes at £1 per portion or less
Allotment cottage pie
Who doesn’t love a good cottage pie? Comforting, nourishing and downright delicious, this veggie version bigs up root veg and makes the most of Marmite and dried porcini mushrooms to command big flavour. If you don’t fancy using porcini, fresh mushrooms or a good stock cube will do the trick.
Chicken & squash cacciatore
Beautifully cooked chicken, tender butternut squash and the most delicious red wine sauce, this is a proper winter warmer. Swap the pancetta for smoked streaky bacon, if you like, or add a pinch of smoked paprika instead. You’ll only need one pan for this recipe, meaning less washing up, so you can spend more time under a blanket!
There’s no need to turn on the oven at all with this family favourite – it’s made entirely on the hob. Yes, really! Plus, we’re taking one of the cheapest cuts of meat to the next level with lots of clever flavour hacks. And if that wasn’t enough, one portion also contains 2 of your 5-a-day – a winter night’s dream.
Thai red chicken soup
You’ll only need five ingredients for this cracking soup recipe, but it packs a real punch. By poaching a whole chicken in the broth, you’ll end up with the most outrageous flavour and beautifully cooked meat. If you’re not a coriander fan, fresh parsley would be delicious.
MORE: Healthy soup recipes
Vegan shepherd’s pie
Hearty, satisfying and entirely vegan, this is a shepherd’s pie, but not as you know it! With crispy breadcrumbs, fluffy sweet potato and a flavour-packed veg filling, we guarantee you won’t miss the meat. Plus, it’s a great one for batching up and popping in the freezer for a rainy day – check out the tips to find out more.
Toffee apple buns
Soft, sticky buns laced with cinnamon, vanilla and lots of lovely apples; these are little bites of heaven. Here in the UK, apples are in season right up until February, so make the most of the seasonal bounty with this one-pan wonder.
Sweet potato chilli
Gift your future self by rustling up this one-pan batch-cook beauty. You’ll end up with 12 delicious portions, but you’ll only need 8 ingredients and just 12 minutes of prep time. Enjoy as is, batching up extra portions to stash in the fridge or freezer for future meals, or check out the tips for Jamie’s favourite ways to elevate the leftovers.
Proper chicken pie
Nothing says winter like a proper pie, and this one seriously delivers on the flavour front. With crumbly pastry, sweet leeks and beautifully cooked chicken – it’s sure to go down a treat. If you’re after a quicker, one-tray version, this Chicken & mushroom puff pie won’t let you down.
Everyone needs a good toad-in-the-hole recipe up their sleeve, and this one is a belter. If you don’t fancy mushrooms, this Brie and roasted grapes Yorkshire pud is sure to put a smile on your face. Or, go traditional with the best sausages you can afford in this Double whammy toad-in-the-hole.
MORE: Amazing mushroom recipes
Sweet pea fish pie
Making the most of frozen seafood, fish and veg, this budget-friendly fish pie is a thing of beauty. Plus, it serves 8, meaning you’re likely to have extra portions to stash in the fridge or freezer. What a treat!
Scrumptious sticky toffee pudding
You can’t beat a sticky toffee pud drizzled with toffee sauce – it’s iconic! This one makes the most of Earl Grey tea, lots of lovely spices and even a bit of leftover roasted pumpkin. If you’re after something more traditional, check out Jamie’s old-school recipe.
Squash & spinach pasta rotolo
When it comes to winter recipes, baked pasta is an essential. This veggie bake makes the most of butternut squash, frozen spinach and fragrant sage. Treat this as a principle recipe, flexing the ingredients as you see fit – check out the Easy Swaps for inspiration.
Fragrant squash curry
Hero a humble butternut squash in this lovely veggie curry. With creamy chickpeas, warming spices and charred tinned pineapple, this is no ordinary curry! You can easily get ahead of the game by making this the day before, so it’s ideal if you’re feeding a crowd.
Smoky aubergine daal
Soft, smoky aubergine with tender lentils and fragrant rosemary, Jamie’s take on a daal is a proper crowd-pleaser. By making the most of store-cupboard ingredients, it’s not only delicious, it’s easy on the wallet, too.
Frozen fruit & almond crumble
Big up lots of lovely frozen fruit in this winter staple – they’re often cheaper than fresh fruit, and there’s absolutely no compromise when it comes to flavour. What’s more, you’ll only need 6 ingredients to rustle this up and 30 minutes of oven time – it’s a no-brainer!
After more winter inspiration? Check out our top vegan winter recipes.