13 Easy Winter Dinner Ideas that Are Ready in 20 Minutes

Mushroom and Beef Ravioli Soup
Photo: Andy Lyons

Though it's easy to default to soups and stews all winter season, those can take a long time to simmer to perfection. Skip the wait and lengthy prep times and dish up one of our easy winter dinners instead. Including hearty chili, creamy pasta, and delicious tostadas, these 20-minute dinners featuring in-season ingredients and flavors are perfect for busy winter weeknights.

01 of 13

Apple-Pecan Pork Chops

Apple-Pecan Pork Chops
Jacob Fox

The classic combo of pork chops and applesauce get a grown-up upgrade in this quick and easy winter dinner recipe. Garnish with thyme or rosemary, and this one-skillet dish tiptoes from autumn into winter.

Test Kitchen Tip: Satisfy those with bigger appetites by spooning this recipe over fluffy, buttery mashed potatoes.

02 of 13

Mushroom and Beef Ravioli Soup

Mushroom and Beef Ravioli Soup
Andy Lyons

No need to simmer and stir all day. Speed up your soup game with this semi-homemade cozy winter dinner idea that starts with store-bought stock and frozen beef ravioli. To help the recipe taste like you spent all day on it, dress things up with fresh thyme, mushrooms, peppers, and onions.

03 of 13

Smoked Salmon Flatbread

Smoked Salmon Flatbread
Andy Lyons

A smear of store-bought onion-chive cream cheese creates a creamy base for golden salmon, blushing radishes, and freshly torn lettuce. Purchased flatbreads help cut down on prep time for this easy winter dinner recipe (that also works well for brunch, as a twist on bagel and lox).

04 of 13

Torta Ahogada (Drowned Sandwich)

Torta Ahogada (Drowned Sandwich)
Jason Donnelly

Tortas, pressed Mexican-inspired sandwiches, are trendy right now. This one is made in 15 minutes and features fresh guacamole, enchilada-soaked chicken, pickled jalapeños, and cool queso fresco. Serve the cozy winter dinner idea with a side of chips and salsa to round out the south of the border feast.

05 of 13

Lemon-Ginger Fish

Lemon-Ginger Fish
Kritsada Panichgul

Freshen up your dinner routine with a quick and easy winter dinner recipe. Start with a skillet, simmering lemon-squeezed cod in freshly grated ginger. Then wilt baby spinach in the microwave for a simple, vitamin-rich base.

Buy It: Cuisinart 12-Inch Deep Fry Pan with Cover, $45, Bed Bath & Beyond

06 of 13

Beef and Blue Pizza

Beef and Blue Pizza
Andy Lyons

Taking a break from takeout? No need to feel blue—you can still enjoy pizza in about the same amount of time; a purchased Italian bread shell makes this pizza oven-ready in mere minutes. Slather on olive oil, then top with roast beef and blue cheese for an outstanding flavor pairing. Sweet peppers and onions give the finished product tangy crunch.

07 of 13

Pesto Penne with Deli-Roasted Chicken

Pesto Penne Deli-Roasted Chicken
Blaine Moats

Market-fresh deli chicken and a jar of pesto make this pasta dinner a snap to prepare. Stud the restaurant-quality easy winter dinner recipe with roasted peppers, Parmesan, and broccoli florets. It's an all-in-one meal.

Buy It: Classico Basil Pesto Sauce, $3, Walmart

08 of 13

Chunky Bean and Chicken Chili

Chunky Bean and Chicken Chili
Andy Lyons

If guests pop in unexpectedly this season, don't stress about the menu. Just put some chili ingredients in your Dutch oven and dinner can be ready in 20 minutes! This hearty chicken chili recipe is quick, easy, and hearty. Green chiles add a little touch of heat. Top the cozy winter dinner idea with tortilla chips for a bit of crunch.

09 of 13

Turkey Steaks with Spinach, Pears, and Blue Cheese

Turkey Steaks with Spinach, Pears, and Blue Cheese
Andy Lyons

No time for a roasted turkey? Treat yourself to sage-rubbed turkey tenderloins. We layer this quick and easy winter dinner recipe with grilled spinach, juicy slices of pear, and creamy crumbled blue cheese to amp up the seasonal appeal.

10 of 13

Fish Tostadas with Chili-Lime Cream

Fish Tostadas with Chili-Lime Cream
Jason Donnelly

Trade tostadas for more-common tacos for the same flavors with a visual twist (plus, you can pile the toppers higher). For a quick and easy winter dinner recipe your family will gobble right up, stack broiled tilapia, veggies, and a chili-lime cream on crunchy tostadas.

Test Kitchen Tip: If tilapia is not your thing, try branzino or red snapper.

11 of 13

Smoky Mushroom Stroganoff

Smoky Mushroom Stroganoff
Andy Lyons

All the savory, meat-like satisfaction, just minus the beef. Vegetarians, we've got you covered with this quick and easy winter dinner recipe. A creamy mushroom sauce dresses up garlicky egg noodles in this meatless twist on a classic Italian entreé.

12 of 13

Layered Turkey Enchiladas

Layered Turkey Enchiladas
Andy Lyons

Lasagna takes a trip south with this winter dinner idea. This layered supper features a slightly tart cranberry enchilada sauce, chicken or turkey, a medley of veggies, and lots of cheese.

Test Kitchen Tip: Try it with black beans if you don't have any poultry handy or you want a vegetarian variation.

13 of 13

Broccoli-Potato Soup with Greens

Broccoli-Potato Soup with Greens
Andy Lyons

Cheesy potato soup in 13 minutes? Yes, it's possible! Gouda cheese gives the delicious soup smoky flavor, while broccoli and winter greens (such as curly endive, chicory, escarole, or spinach) boost the nutrition of the quick and easy winter dinner.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles