food

31 delicious, cheap and easy to make winter recipes that'll make you glad you stayed in.

Winter.

The mornings are tougher, the days shorter, and while coats and sweaters are nice in theory, carrying around the extra bulk and weight gets tiring very quickly. Really the only saving grace the bitter months from June to August have going for them is the oodles of comfort that make spending a night in so much more tempting.

Soups are great, casseroles too, with anything slow-cooked, braised, rich, creamy and cheesy a solid plus in our books. And there there are the desserts…

To ease us in to the harsh nights we hounded our favourite food bloggers for their best winter-warming dishes and we don’t mean to brag, but we’ve got a pretty great list.

Scroll below for 31 of our favourite dishes that have us dying for a night in. Netflix and glass of red optional.

1. Sweet Potato Gratin.

Layers of creamy, rich, flavourful, sweet potato-ey goodness await for you in this simple gratin recipe. Not great in the kitchen? Well the good news is that if you can chop a potato, mix together some herbs and drizzle in some thickened cream, you’ll very quickly master this recipe.

Sweet Potato Gratin
Image: Phoodie.

Find the full Sweet Potato Gratin recipe here.

2. Immune Boosting Sweet Potato Soup.

Give yourself extra insurance against cold and flu season with this anti-inflammatory (ginger), anti-microbial (garlic and leek) and beta-carotene (sweet potato) rich soup. The addition of chili also makes it warming and the coconut milk gives the dish a lovely sweet richness. Yum.

Immune Boosting Sweet Potato Soup
Image: Nadia Felsch.
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Find the full Immune Boosting Sweet Potato Soup recipe here.

3. Cheat's Mini Zucchini Quiche.

In our humble opinion, quiche is a dish that often gets overlooked and we think that is outrageous. It's egg-y, veggie-filled and bite-sized rendition of the cafe favourite makes it the perfect snack for when that 3pm energy crash rears its ugly head.

Cheat's Mini Zucchini Quiche
Image: Phoodie.

Find the full Cheat's Mini Zucchini Quiche recipe here.

4. Spring Roll Bowl.

It doesn't have to be all bulky stews and slow-cooked everything, this Instagram-worthy deconstructed spring roll bowl looks a lot more impressive than the 25 minutes that it takes to make

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Spring Roll Bowl
Image: 28 by Sam Wood powered by IQS.

Find the full Spring Roll Bowl recipe here.

5. Baked Onions with Cream, Cheese and Thyme.

Creamy, cheesy and a breeze to make. You don't need to be Martha Stewart or Donna Hay to whip up this winter warmer. Serving suggestions include putting this dish down as a side to a roast dinner, or just on its own with a crusty baguette.

Baked Onions with Cream, Cheese and Thyme
Image: Phoodie.
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Find the full Baked Onions with Cream, Cheese and Thyme recipe here.

6. Butternut Hummus.

Winter is the season for Netflix binges and nights in - preferably wrapped in doona. For a healthy snack option (amongst the chocolates, cheeses, chips and biscuits) this butternut pumpkin recipe gives the mezze plate staple a sweet twist.

Butternut Hummus
Image: Wholesome Child.

Find the full Butternut Hummus recipe here.

7. Easy Peasy Lentil Soup.

Think of lentils as the protein-packed, low-calorie superfood without the inflated price tag and this recipe incorporates a hell of a lot of them. Unlike some soups out there, they'll also guarantee you fullness for ages which cuts that cheeky in-between meal snack and we know we shouldn't be reaching for.

Easy Peasy Lentil Soup
Image: Nadia Felsch.
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Find the full Easy Peasy Lentil Soup recipe here.

8. Bolognese without the Spaghetti.

Pasta is the ultimate comfort food and before you roll you eyes at the spaghetti-less, spaghetti bolognese, this recipe uses soba noodles which are similar in taste and texture to its Italian counterpart, but higher in fibre and protein. Most major supermarkets stock it too.

Bolognaise without the Spaghetti
Image: Nadia Felsch.

Find the full Bolognaise without the Spaghetti recipe here.

9. Veggie-Packed Garlic Bread Toastie.

A toastie is to a sandwich what toast is to bread, and whether you need a quick lunch-time option, or a crunchy addition to your soup, this garlicky and cheesy toastie is deliciously moreish while still nutritionally dense due to all the kale and broccolini.

Veggie-Packed Garlic Bread Toastie
Image: 28 by Sam Wood powered by IQS.
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Find the full Veggie-Packed Garlic Bread Toastie recipe here.

10. Pea Tabbouleh.

If you want a side dish that cleanses the palate while still being filled with flavour, this cucumber, tomato and parsley option will do just that. The peas add extra vitamins, minerals and fibre,

Pea Tabbouleh
Image: Phoodie.

Find the full Pea Tabbouleh recipe here.

11. Cheesy Cauliflower French Toast with Mushrooms.

If you want nourishing recipes and easy to incorporate meal tips that satiate adults and children alike, Mandy Sacher of the Wholesome Child is your go-to woman (she's even got her own book that's currently 15 per cent off). In this case she puts a savoury spin on the lazy Sunday brunch favourite with cheesy pieces of mushroom and cauliflower. Yumm.

Cheesy Cauliflower French Toast With Mushrooms
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Find the full Cheesy Cauliflower French Toast With Mushrooms recipe here.

12. Gluten-Free Meatballs.

This version is breadcrumb-free alternative making it perfect for friends and family with gluten intolerances. Add them to soups, pastas and casseroles or think outside of the box and make your very own green bowl or grazing platter.

Gluten-Free Meatballs
Image: Nadia Felsch

Find the full Gluten-Free Meatballs recipe here.

13. Tangled Thai Chicken Salad.

Your classic roast chook might be the best food prep hack out there and this recipe proves it. This recipe promises a tasty, healthy meal that only involve elements that you can pre-make and combine in the comfort of your office kitchenette.

Tangled Thai Chicken Salad
Image: 28 by Sam Wood powered by IQS.
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Find the full Tangled Thai Chicken Salad recipe here.

14. Beef and Veggie Meatballs.

Meatballs are another thing you can make in batch and store in the fridge to add to pastas, veggie bakes and casseroles as needed. For extra penny-pinching potential buy your mince in bulk when it's on offer and switch around the veggies to whatever is seasonal (and thus cheaper).

Beef and Veggie Meatballs
Image: Wholesome Child.

Find the full Beef and Veggie Meatballs recipe here.

15. Lamb and Vegetable Soup with Barley.

A hearty soup is exactly what winter is all about, and this recipe from Phoodie couldn't be easier to make. The barley and sumptuous lamb pieces will keep you full and it's the perfect recipe for you to use up all your left over vegetables ensuring nothing goes to waste.

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http://phoodie.com.au/2012/07/05/phoodies-lamb-and-vegetable-soup-with-barley/
Image: Phoodie.

Find the full Lamb and Vegetable Soup with Barley recipe here.

16. Wholesome Child’s Baked Beans.

Cheap, cheerful, and much healthier than the store-bought versions that are filled with sugar, making your own baked beans is the way to go.

Make a big batch at the beginning of the week and use to bulk out your favourite hearty soups, wraps or casseroles or devour them by the spoonful on a baked potato or humble piece of toast.

Wholesome Child’s Baked Beans
Image: Wholesome Child.
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Find the full Wholesome Child’s Baked Beans recipe here.

17. Truffle Mac and Cheese.

Yes, truffles are known for being expensive, luxury food items, restricted to the dining tables of hatted, multi-star restaurants, but truffle cheese is much more affordable and available in supermarkets. This moreish, gooey and flavourful mac and cheese bake utilises truffle brie and cheddar with truffle. We'd recommend you help yourself to a massive serving and serve with added parmesan on top.

Truffle Mac and Cheese
Image: Phoodie.

Find the full Truffle Mac and Cheese recipe here.

18. British Battered Fish, Chips and Mushy Peas.

The quintessential English pub dish, fish and chips when made correctly are bursting with Omega-3 fatty acids and B6 and B12 vitamins. While fish might seem like a more costly option, cheaper fish like cod and sole are both affordable choices. Just strike up a chat with your local fish monger.

British Battered Fish, Chips and Mushy Peas
Image: 28 by Sam Wood powered by IQS.
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Find the full British Battered Fish, Chips and Mushy Peas Recipe here.

19. Cheat's Spanakopita.

Flaky pastry, and a creamy filling, as Phoodie says, this spanakopita dish is the five minute dinner that you can make with just one hand AND it also only requires five ingredients - how's that for efficiency?

Cheat's Spanakopita
Image: Phoodie.

Find the full Cheat's Spanakopita recipe here.

20. Hearty Minestrone.

Another soup recipe, to keep yourself toasty and warm - this one is filled to the brim with veggies and healthy whole-grains like chickpeas and wholemeal pasta. Feel free to substitute the pasta with brown rice, quinoa or any other gluten-free alternatives to suit.

Hearty Minestrone
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Find the full Hearty Minestrone recipe here.

21. Broccolini, Walnut and Parmesan Tart.

Another tasty tart option for you to add to your repertoire and this one lets you take advantage of all the broccolini that's in season during the winter months. You can also impress all your colleagues, friends and strangers that you're one of those people that know and revolve your diet accordingly to what's 'in season'. Bonus smug points ahoy.

Broccolini, Walnut and Parmesan Tart
Image: Phoodie.

Find the full Broccolini, Walnut and Parmesan Tart recipe here.

22. Mushroom, Leek and Cheddar Frittata.

The humble frittata is the dish that keeps on giving. Make it for dinner the night before and you have your breakfast and lunch sorted for the next few days - if it'll last that long that is. This recipe also manages to hide an abundance of vegetables like mushrooms, tomatoes and leeks for little nutritional boost.

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Mushroom, Leek and Cheddar Frittata
Image: Nadia Felsch.

Find the full Mushroom, Leek and Cheddar Frittata recipe here.

23. Cauliflower Salad with Pine Nut, Green Beans and Tahini Yoghurt Dressing.

If you're a salad-year-round person when it comes to work lunches, you might find that as the weather cools so does your affinity for lighter options that leave you unsatisfied. However, this cauliflower-based, Middle-Eastern salad is a flavourful and filling option that won't leave you feeling stodgy and prone to the post-lunch carb-induced slump. Think of it as a light lunch with substance.

Cauliflower Salad with Pine Nut, Green Beans and Tahini Yoghurt Dressing
Image: Foodie.
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Find the full Cauliflower Salad with Pine Nut, Green Beans and Tahini Yoghurt Dressing recipe here.

24. Veggie Packed Pasta Sauce.

Is there anything more quintessentially winter than a big bowl of delicious pasta with a heavy grating of Parmesan on top? We think not.

This staple, tasty veggie-filled version will satisfy all your pasta-cravings while being completely guilt-free, you can even use it as a base for pizzas and other dishes that require a tomato-based sauce.

Veggie Packed Pasta Sauce
Image: Wholesome Child.

Find the full Veggie Packed Pasta Sauce recipe here.

25. Stuffed Eggplants with Tomato, Feta and Parsley.

There's nothing more satisfying than the first scoop of a casserole dish filled with a saucy, delicious, unassuming creation that reminds you of your grandma, and this stuffed eggplant casserole is what comfort food dreams are made of. You have the crispiness of the Parmesan and breadcrumb top and the oozy goodness of the stuffed eggplants that have been left to cook in a tomato stew. A glass of red wine while indulging in your culinary feat isn't required but highly encouraged.

Stuffed Eggplants with Tomato, Feta and Parsley
Image: Foodie.
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Find the full Stuffed Eggplants with Tomato, Feta and Parsley recipe here.

26. Lentil and Veggie Soup.

A lighter version of the Easy Peasy Lentil Soup recipe listed above, the addition of diced tomatoes gives this dish a tangy bite, while the cumin and veggies pack in lots of flavour. This is also a great dinner to lunch option that you can make and eat the night before and take the rest into work.

Lentil and Veggie Soup
Image: Wholesome Child.

Find the full Lentil and Veggie Soup recipe here.

27. Sugar-free Mulled Wine.

Just because they've taken out the white stuff, doesn't mean this mulled-wine is lacking in flavour or spice. The best thing about making home-made mulled wine is that once you have the spices they'll last an age and you can wow your friends with this relatively easy recipe for glasses and glasses to come.

Sugar-free mulled wine
Image: 28 by Sam Wood powered by IQS.
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Find the full Sugar-free Mulled Wine recipe here.

28. Pumpkin Spice Porridge.

Warming, comforting and filling, pumpkin might sound like an odd thing to add to your breakfast but it will give you a dose of beta-carotene, potassium and vitamin C as well as adding a hit of sweetness and richness to your meal. What's not to love?

Pumpkin Spice Porridge
Image: Wholesome Child.

Find the full Pumpkin Spice Porridge recipe here.

29. Banana Bread Breakfast Muggin.

Fact: winter mornings suck a lot more than their warm-weathered counterparts. Take advantage of the extra snooze time with a two-minute microwavable breakfast that you can prepare the night before and eat on the go.

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Banana Bread Breakfast Muggin
Image: 28 by Sam Wood powered by IQS.

Find the full Banana Bread Breakfast Muggin recipe here.

30. Mint Chocolate Mousse with Peppermint Crisp Crumble.

There's something about the colder weather that amps up the chocolate cravings, and sometimes all you want is to cancel all your plans (sorry to be that person) and re-watch Sex and the City from beginning to end with only your closest girlfriends (and begrudging partner) for company. When that mood strikes, might we suggest this creamy mousse that's full of minty, chocolatey goodness.

Mint Chocolate Mousse with Peppermint Crisp Crumble
Image: Foodie.
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Find the full Mint Chocolate Mousse with Peppermint Crisp Crumble recipe here.

31. Three Ingredient Cadbury Crunchie Fudge Slice.

This is the recipe for when you realise that you've committed yourself to an office bake sale or afternoon tea and realise you have very few hours to come up with the goods. It's as easy as the recipe suggests and if you had to, you could purchase all three ingredients at your local service station. You know... because desperate times call for desperate measures and all that.

3 Ingredient Cadbury Crunchie Fudge Slice
Image: Foodie.

Find the full Three Ingredient Cadbury Crunchie Fudge Slice recipe here.

Do you have a cheap and easy go-to recipe? Sharing is caring and we'd love to hear yours.

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