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Warm and Comforting Recipes for Cold Weather Weeknights

Dark commutes. Slippery roads. Icy cold wind. The winter season can be tough, and there’s nothing more comforting than a hot meal on a cold, winter night. This winter, we’re all about the warm casseroles and healthy bakes to help get us through the season (Sorry, salads).

With wholesome ingredients and warming spices, these nourishing and hearty meals are anything but boring. For cold winter weeknights, try these recipes to help warm up your kitchen, and your stomach!

White Chicken Chili

White Chicken Chili

Recipe from Once Upon a Chef

Made with a rotisserie chicken, this hearty white chicken chili is a one-pot meal you can have on the table in under an hour. Serves 4-6.


2 (14.5 oz) cans white beans, rinsed and drained
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
2 medium poblano peppers, seeded and diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 ½ tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ancho chili powder
1 rotisserie chicken, skin removed and shredded (about 4 cups)
¾ cup frozen corn
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Optional for serving:
Sour cream
Crushed tortilla chips
Shredded cheese
Lime wedges



  1. In a food processor, blend 1/2 of the beans (1 can) with 1 cup of the chicken broth. Set aside both the puréed beans and the remaining whole beans.
  2. Add the oil to a large pot or Dutch oven and heat it over medium-high heat. Add the onion, jalapeño pepper, and poblano peppers and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one minute more. Add the cumin, coriander and ancho chili powder and continue to cook, stirring frequently, for one minute more to toast the spices. Add the chicken broth, puréed beans and 1/2 tsp of salt; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
  3. Stir in the shredded rotisserie chicken, reserved whole beans, corn, and lime juice; bring back to a simmer and cook until everything is heated through about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning with more salt and lime juice, if necessary. Stir in the cilantro.
  4. Ladle the chili into bowls and serve with sour cream, shredded cheese, crushed tortilla chips, and lime wedges.
Paleo Chicken Marsala

Paleo Chicken Marsala

Recipe from Kim’s Cravings

Paleo-friendly and gluten-free, this better-for-you Chicken Marsala has a flavorful mushroom sauce for a comforting and filling meal. Serve with zucchini noodles to keep it Paleo, or gluten-free brown rice pasta for a healthy pasta dish.

4 chicken breasts, thinly sliced or butterflied
Kosher salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
¼ cup arrowroot starch
2-4 tbsp olive or avocado oil
2 tbsp ghee
2 shallots, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz sliced mushrooms
1 cup chicken broth
1 tbsp balsamic or sherry vinegar
½ cup dairy-free milk
juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped



  1. Season chicken on both sides with kosher salt and black pepper, to taste.
  2. Place 1/4 cup arrowroot on a plate or in a shallow bowl. Dredge the chicken cutlets so that they are just lightly coated on all sides. You don't have to use all of the arrowroot, you just want the chicken lightly coated. Set chicken aside on a plate.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1-2 tbsps oil and swirl the pan so the bottom is coated in the oil.
  4. Sear the chicken (you may need to do this in batches depending on the size of your skillet), until lightly golden brown on both sides, about 3-4 minutes a side. After both sides are browned remove from skillet and set aside on a plate. (it doesn't necessarily have to be completely cooked through yet, it will continue to cook in the sauce later). If you are working in batches, you will likely need to add more olive oil in between to ensure the skillet isn't too dry.
  5. When all of your chicken is browned, reduce heat to medium. Add ghee and let melt, then add the shallots, garlic, and sliced mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté until mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add the chicken broth, milk, vinegar, and the juice of the lemon. Stir to combine and reduce heat so that the sauce is just simmering.
  7. Nestle the chicken back into the sauce and let simmer for 8-10 minutes, or until the sauce thickens and the chicken is completely cooked through.
  8. Top with fresh parsley and serve!
Kale and Wild Rice Casserole

Kale and Wild Rice Casserole

Recipe adapted from Half Baked Harvest

Full of wild rice, kale, and caramelized mushrooms, this is the perfect side dish and easy to make too. Serve with baked chicken, turkey, or fish.

2 bunches kale leaves, torn
1 lb cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter, or dairy-free alternative
2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
2 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
4 tbsp flour
1 cup milk
1 cup chicken broth or veggie broth
1/4 cup heavy cream or canned coconut milk
4 cups cooked wild rice
1 ½ cup gruyere cheese, shredded (remove for dairy-free)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 large sweet onions, sliced into thin rings
Salt and pepper


  1. Grease a 2-3 quart casserole dish. Set aside.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add kale to the skillet and add 1 cup of water. Cover the skillet and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the kale is wilted. Once the water has been absorbed, remove from the skillet and set aside.
  3. Return the skillet to medium heat and add 2 tbsps of olive oil. Sprinkle in the mushrooms in a single layer and let them sizzle until they have caramelized on the bottom, about 2 minutes. When the bottoms are caramelized, toss them once and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Continue to cook without stirring for about 5 minutes. Add the butter to the skillet and cook until the butter begins to brown.
  4. Once the butter is browned, reduce the heat and add the garlic, thyme, and nutmeg and cook for about 10 seconds. Add the kale back in and toss well.
  5. Sprinkle the flour over the kale and mushrooms and cook for 1 minute. Add the milk and chicken broth, bring to a boil and cook 2-3 minutes or until there is a thick sauce. Add the cream and stir to combine. Remove from the heat and stir in the cooked wild rice. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish.
  6. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  7. Wipe the skillet and add the olive oil, cook over medium-high heat. Add the onions and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly until the onions begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Continue to cook until the onions are golden brown, about 20 minutes.
  8. Sprinkle half the cheese over the casserole and then add the onions and the remaining cheese. Bake the casserole for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the onions are crispy.

There’s nothing better than cozying up to a good home-cooked meal on chilly winter nights. Even on busy weeknights, you can whip up these quick and easy recipes for a healthy family meal. Cold weather calls for cozy recipes to help you warm up and wind down. Stay warm!