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Baby, it’s cold outside. With temperatures really starting to drop, there’s nothing better to come home to than a bowl full of steaming comfort. But after a tough day of trying not to slip over and nose blowing, you’re no doubt looking for some hearty yet easy to make dinner ideas for winter nights. Look no further!

Slip off your scarf and have a read of our inspiring list of deliciously easy winter meals. From quick winter soups to hearty winter meals, meat filled pies to vegetarian winter recipes, we’ve got the food ideas that will fend off the frost.  

11 Winter Meal Ideas to Snuggle Down With…

Heat Up With Meat: Winter Meals for Meat Lovers

1. Meat Pie

A winter classic for the hardcore meat lovers. Choose from shortcrust or puff pastry and pack full of steaming tender meats, veg and gravy. Winter meal ideas don’t come much simpler, especially if you choose to by pre-made! Red meats tend to go down well in the winter, like steak and ale pie for example, or steak and kidney for a patriotic pick. Or if you prefer poultry, then treat yourself to a mouthwatering chicken, bacon, mushroom and leek pie. If you are thinking of making one at home, add mustard and chicken stock for extra flavour and to make this a quick to prepare winter meal, cook your meat before baking in the pie case.


2. Shepherd’s Pie

All hail the legendary Shepherd's Pie. It always goes down a treat, especially in the winter. For extra crispiness, top your mashed potato with cheese and breadcrumbs. And it’s also worth adding a splash of Worcester sauce to your mince and gravy. If you’re specifically after healthy winter recipes, go for a low fat, lean lamb mince. To give your Shepherd's Pie a bit more goodness, why not chuck in some chopped carrots.


3. Roast Dinner

You simply can’t go wrong with a roast dinner, though this is more of a weekend winter warmer. First on the agenda, it’s time to choose your meat. Are you a fan of turkey, beef, pork, or lamb? To make your roasties extra crispy, toss them around with flour once you’ve drained them, before they go in the oven. And if you’re feeling naughty or maybe just a bit festive, why not cook them with goose fat? For a twist on traditional boiled veggies, pop carrots and butternut squash in the oven for some added colour and crunch. Don’t forget to use all the meat juices to make your gravy.


4. Lamb Tagine

We’ve been quite quintessential with our winter meal ideas so far, so we thought we’d switch things up a little with a Moroccan lamb tagine. It’s a brilliant winter warmer and a healthy winter meal, coming in at under 500 calories. For this dish the key is in the spices, so stock up on paprika, cumin, ginger, cinnamon and turmeric - an absolute winning combination.


5. Toad in the hole

OK, we didn’t stray away from the British Isles for too long, but we couldn’t overlook this British classic. This is one of those easy winter meals that simply combines two elements - sausages inside a Yorkie – what’s not to love? The key here is to get some decent quality sausages, because they will make or break this dish. Try and pick a banger that has a nice robust skin, to avoid the Yorkshire Pudding becoming too soggy when cooked. Add a dash of rosemary to take this dish to the next level. Again, you’ll find this dish in our freezer aisle if you’d rather get home and get those slippers on.


6. Bangers and mash

A winning winter dish that’s so easy to make. Again, make sure you take time over the sausages - the strong flavours of pork and leek never fail to satisfy. If you’re going to really nail this dish you need to get the gravy right, try frying some onions and cooking them in the gravy for extra texture and flavour. Here’s a tip for getting super smooth mash: ensure the potatoes are fork tender, and don’t forget to add lashings of butter and a splash of milk. Microwavable pre-made mash potato is in plentiful supply on out shelves however…


7. Lancashire Hot pot

Lamb Hot Pot

This stew, originating from the North West of England, is a definite crowd pleaser. Ideal if you’ve got the whole family or a few of your mates round for dinner. If you’re making at home, it’s best cooked as slowly as possible so the lamb melts in your mouth and the flavour explodes. Buy stewing lamb and add to the slow cooker with carrots, onions and potatoes. Make sure you brush the potatoes with dripping to give them a lovely crispy glaze.


8. Fish pie

Hearty and comforting winter food doesn’t have to be heavy - fish pie is a delicious winter favourite. It’s usually made with white smoked fish, but if making at home, you can throw in some salmon and prawns too. A core fish pie recipe includes potatoes, your choice of fish, cheese and parsley. For speed, you can pick up one in store.


Comforting Treats Without the Meat: Vegetarian Winter Meals

9. Vegetarian Casserole

If you’re after hearty vegetarian winter meals then a vegetarian casserole won’t fail to delight. And the great thing about this dish is you can really make it your own - simply use whatever nutritious veggies you fancy. Try Mediterranean style with courgettes, lentils, peppers, paprika and tomatoes, or opt for a more wintery combo of carrots, leeks, sweet potato and onion.


10. Carrot and Coriander Soup

If you want a lighter dish, then this vegetable soup recipe is one of the tastiest and healthy winter meals. Try using shallot onions instead of the usual white onions for a slightly different flavour. The trick to making this soup super tasty is frying the carrots with onions in the pan before boiling.


11. Chilli sin carne (vegetarian chilli)

Get your daily dose of veg by throwing together a chilli sin carne - a meat free chilli dish. It’s easy to make and also a wonderfully healthy option packed with goodness. The basis of your veggie chilli can be made up of peppers, sweet potato, onions, tomatoes and kidney beans. But you can experiment with different vegetables if you wish…  

For more detailed winter warmer recipes, visit the Recipes section of our website.


Explore Winter Warmer Recipes and Quick Winter Meals from SPAR

We hope this has given you some dinner ideas for winter nights this year. Whether you’re trying a few or want to challenge yourself with all 11 on our winter warmer list, discover all the ingredients you need for making at home, as well as pre-made winter favourites at your nearest convenience store.