35 healthy winter dinner recipes that will hit all your comfort food cravings


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Photo: Grateful Grazer

Real talk: The last thing anyone wants to eat when winter hits is a salad. Polar vortexes and frigid winds require big bowls of pasta, hearty soups, warm casseroles…basically anything that’s cozy and stick-to-your-ribs filling. (Sorry, salads.)

Admittedly, these aren’t exactly the type of meals that have a rep for being healthy. But this is 2019—you can make anything healthy if you have the right recipes and ingredients on hand. To that end, check out these 35 healthy winter dinner recipes. They’ll hit the spot on those freezing nights, but they won’t weigh you down or leave you feeling gross later either. Talk about a win-win.

Scroll down for 35 healthy winter dinner recipes to keep you satisfied until spring.

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Photo: Hummusapien

1. Creamy vegan broccoli cauliflower soup

We’re in the middle of a cauliflower revolution, and this rich soup from blogger Hummusapien is a way to enjoy the veggie beyond your usual pizza crust or stir fry. The potatoes add to its heartiness, and also give some potassium and vitamin C. It’s also made with a full head of broccoli, which ups the amount of folate and fiber.

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Photo: Oh She Glows

2. Instant Pot cauliflower and butternut Thai curry

Another way to make good use of all the cauliflower in your fridge is with this easy Instant Pot recipe, which brings the heat in more ways than one. The starring ingredient in Oh She Glows’ recipe is butternut squash—a glorious winter veggie—and red lentils up the protein factor, keeping you satisfied long past you’ve emptied your bowl.

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Photo: Golubka Kitchen

3. Roasted root vegetable, red rice, and lentil stew

What would a winter dinner recipes roundup be without a good stew, right? This one from Golubka Kitchen is vegan and packed with healthy ingredients like turmeric and ginger along with lots and lots of veggies.

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Photo: Blissful Basil

4. Vegan smoky jackfruit stew

Another way to get your stew fix the vegan way is by making jackfruit the key ingredient, like in this recipe from Blissful Basil. When cooked, the plant has a similar consistency of meat. Pre-shredded jackfruit can be found in almost every supermarket, making this way easier to make on a weeknight. Blended cashews make this stew extra creamy while paprika adds some heat to the mix.

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Photo: Fit Mitten Kitchen

5. Greek spaghetti squash bowls

This recipe is one of Fit Mitten Kitchen blogger Ashley Walterhouse’s most popular ever—and it’s easy to see why. Her Mediterranean spin on classic spaghetti squash amps up the flavor. She fills hers with ground turkey, artichokes, spinach, and of course, a few key spices.

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Photo: The Healthy Maven

6. Spiralized zucchini mac and cheese

Sometimes, all you want is a big bowl of mac and cheese…but you’re low-carb. That’s where spiralized zucchini saves the day. What makes this recipe from The Healthy Maven stand out from the other “cheesy” spiralized zucchini recipes you may come across is the crumb crust, made with gluten-free rolled oats, olive oil, sea salt, and pepper. So damn satisfying.

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Photo: Pure Ella

7. Shredded carrot fish casserole

This isn’t your mom’s tuna-noodle casserole. Despite having a more sophisticated flavor profile, Pure Ella’s version is really just a handful of ingredients: white fish, carrots, onion, tomato paste, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Easy, peasy, done.

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Photo: Deliciously Ella

8. Sweet potato and black bean shepherd’s pie

Deliciously Ella’s recipe upgrades the classic dish by subbing white potatoes for sweet, and the typical frozen veggie mix for a blend of black beans, red kidney beans, tomato, mushrooms, onion, and cloves. Talk about the perfect protein-veggie balance!

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Photo: Love and Lemons

9. Baked feta with chickpeas & kale

If you’re all about the Mediterranean diet, here’s a dinner idea beyond the usual plate of salmon drizzled in olive oil. Feta, chickpeas, and kale (as seen in this dinner from Love and Lemons) all make regular appearances in dinners compliant with the plan. And they happen to taste pretty darn delicious together.

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Photo: Choosing Chia

10. Spicy Thai vegan ramen

There’s nothing quite like a bowl of ramen to warm your body—and soul—but often, it’s made with a meat-based broth. Not this recipe from Choosing Chia, which uses vegetable broth and coconut milk. It’s also made with ginger, which supports good digestion.

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Photo: A Tasty Love Story

11. Vegetarian potato pizza 

Your homemade pizza is about to flat-out destroy your usual delivery order. Potatoes, mozzarella, olives, thyme…Consider this your new crowd-pleasing go-to for when your friends come over for wine and Netflix. (Thank you, A Tasty Love Story!)

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Photo: The Foodie Dietitian

12. Slow-cooker chipotle corn chowder

Take 15 minutes to prep this meal from The Foodie Dietician before you head off to work and come home to a hearty, creamy corn chowder that will have you licking your spoon.

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Photo: VeguKate

13. Curry cauliflower fried rice with roasted chickpeas

If you’ve been searching for the perfect cauliflower fried rice recipe, consider it found. Not only is VeguKate’s recipe full of some of the most nutritious ingredients on the planet—including inflammation-fighting turmeric and iron-rich spinach—while the chickpeas add lots of protein.

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Photo: Healthy Happy Life

14. Spinach-stuffed grilled cheese 

Fact: You never outgrow grilled cheese. Sandwiched between the bread in this recipe from Healthy Happy Life are spinach, vegan cheese, tomato, and mushrooms— turning the carb-and-cheese loaded classic into a well-rounded meal.

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Photo: My First Mess

15. Vegan barbecue lentils with millet polenta 

In the summer, barbecue is enjoyed outside. But now that you can’t leave the house without your puffy coat, that’s not really an option. Get your BBQ fix in the winter with this cozy bowl from My First Mess. The smoky flavors are still there, but you also get a creamy polenta as the base. It’s like summer and winter merged in the best possible way.

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Photo: Lee From America

16. Tuna melt

Have a craving for the deli classic? Put your broiler or toaster oven to use with this simple recipe by Lee From America, made with vegan mayo and vegan cheese. If you don’t eat fish, you can even swap out the tuna for chickpeas—it will still hit the spot.

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Photo: Heavenlynn Healthy

17. Roasted tomato soup with beetroot and rosemary 

Is there a more Instagrammable soup than beet? I think not. While most recipes are just straight up beet (which is def an acquired taste), this one tapers it a bit by blending it with roasted tomatoes, vegetable broth, and even a little honey.

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Photo: 8th and Lake

18. Warming vegetable and black-eyed peas soup

Literally every single ingredient in this soup recipe from 8th and Lake is good for you, from the starring black-eyed peas, to the supporting players like kale, bok choy, and tomatoes—and even the spices, like ginger. You can enjoy every single bite knowing you’re truly nourishing your body.

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Photo: The Iron You

19. Roasted eggplant and tomato gratin

Anyone else a little tired of eggplant parmesan? This casserole recipe from The Iron You is just as satisfying, but it’s made with Mediterranean diet-approved ingredients like tomato, olive oil, almond meal, and yes, mozzarella cheese.

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Photo: Nutrition Stripped

20. Spicy tempeh stuffed peppers 

Well+Good Wellness Council member McKel Hill, RDN, gives classic stuffed peppers a vegetarian twist by using tempeh in place of ground beef. And a smart blend of nutritional yeast, fajita seasoning, and cumin really amp up the flavor. The only thing it’s missing? Guacamole.

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Photo: My New Roots

21. Big comfy sweet potato 

An easy weeknight win: bake a sweet potato and stuff it with some of your nutritious fave go-tos. For My New Roots blogger Sarah Britton, that means black beans, avocado, and onion. But it’s the sauce she drizzles on top, made with cacao powder, ghee, and a few warming spices that really make this recipe a stand-out.

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Photo: Naturally Sassy

22. Whole roasted cauliflower

Make this trendy veggie the star of your meal with this roast recipe from Naturally Sassy. The spices make it so flavorful on its own that it doesn’t need much else, though topping it off with chopped tomatoes and pomegranate seeds give the texture a more varied feel.

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Photo: Half-Baked Harvest

23. One skillet Greek sun-dried tomato chicken and farro

Don’t you love recipes that make clean-up a cinch? This Mediterranean-style meal is a great weeknight meal. And if you have leftovers, stuff them into pita bread, add tzatziki, and voilà—gyros for lunch!

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Photo: Gimme Some Oven

24. Verde chicken enchilada casserole

No need to whip up any sides—this delectable casserole from Gimme Some Oven is a balanced meal all in one dish. The not-so-secret sauce that makes it so delish is a blend of roasted green chilis, garlic, onion, jalapeño, vegetable stock, cumin, salt, and pepper. Make a batch of it and use up the leftovers with rice and veggies the next day.

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Photo: Live Eat Learn

25. Roasted vegetable Buddha bowls with yum sauce

How vibrant and gorgeous is this Buddha bowl from Live Eat Learn? The base is made of roasted sweet potatoes and spiced chickpeas. As for that bright pink couscous? It’s made by adding in shredded raw beets. Talk about tasting the rainbow.

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Photo: Naturally Ella

26. Zucchini soba bowl with tahini sauce

Instead of filling your bowl entirely with soba noodles, go halfsies, mixing in zucchini noodles à la Naturally Ella. (Yep, you’ll need your spiralizer.) Adding tahini butter and ginger really makes this dinner a winter win.

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Photo: Clean Food Dirty City

27. Sweet potato noodles and kale pesto

Why should zucchini noodles get all the love? Sweet potatoes spiralize just as well, as Well+Good Wellness Council Member Lily Kunin highlights in this recipe. She adds pumpkin seeds to give it some protein, but if you want more, adding in tofu will do just the trick.

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Photo: Nom Nom Paleo

28. Paleo chicken chow mein

This recipe from Nom Nom Paleo is the perfect answer to those nights when you’re craving takeout Chinese, but don’t want the grease. Never underestimate the power of adding in sweet potato to feel full and satisfied.

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Photo: Jessica In The Kitchen

29. Mushroom, wild rice soup

One pot, one delicious dinner. This is one of those amazing kitchen sink recipes (courtesy of Jessica In The Kitchen) where you can throw any veggies you happen to have in the fridge. As long as you have some wild rice and vegetable broth, all your bases will be covered.

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Photo: Pinch of Yum

30. Brussels sprouts tacos

The typical Brussels sprouts recipe suggests roasting ’em and calling it a day—maybe adding some bacon if you’re Paleo or Whole30. But they actually work really well in tacos, as proven by Pinch of Yum. It’s an easy way to up that fiber.

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Photo: Healthy Nibbles and Bits

31. Tofu wontons with yellow curry

Healthy Nibbles and Bits blogger Lisa Lin explains on her blog that “wonton” is translated to “swallowing clouds,” and it’s no surprise—this soup is heavenly. Her step-by-step directions detail exactly how to fold  the wontons, so don’t get intimidated. They can also be made in a batch and stuck in the freezer, so you can pull them out as you need ’em.

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Photo: The Gourmet RD

32. Swedish meatballs

This Swedish meatball recipe is registered dietitian-approved, and is packed with protein thanks to two different kinds of meat. If you tend to come home from your workouts ravenous, this is a good meal to heat up.

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Photo: With Food and Love

33. Easy braised artichokes with lemon and macadamia nut oil

There’s a misconception that artichokes are difficult to make, but in reality, they’re not! They also taste downright delicious when they’re dripping in a heart-healthy oil like macadamia nut. This 30-minute meal from With Food And Love is sure to make its way into your regular rotation.

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Photo: Sharon Palmer

34. Instant Pot chickpea curry

Vegetarian: check. Gluten-free: check. Dairy-free: check. This curry recipe from blogger and dietician Sharon Palmer has all the boxes marked—and you can make it in your Instant Pot. When your day has been absolutely insane, this dish will save you.

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Photo: Grateful Grazer

35. Coconut noodle soup

Chicken noodle isn’t the only soup that does the job on sick days. This vegan one from Grateful Grazer is full of healing ginger and inflammation-fighting turmeric. And of course there’s still plenty of noodles to slurp up.

Now that you have dinner more than covered, check out these breakfast and lunch recipes.

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