27 Cheesy and Comforting Winter Dinner Recipes
Cozy up against the cold weather with these cheesy and comforting dinner recipes. These dinners are packed with hearty proteins and nutritious vegetables to create a flavorful and satisfying meal. Recipes like our Jalapeño Popper Casserole and One-Pan Chicken Parmesan Pasta are healthy, delicious and will keep you warm all winter long.
One-Pan Chicken Parmesan Pasta
This chicken Parmesan pasta uses the one-pot pasta method to cook your noodles, chicken and sauce all in one skillet for a fast and easy dinner with minimal cleanup. Finish the dish under the broiler to achieve a delicious melted cheese crust.
Cheesy Spinach-&-Artichoke Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
This spaghetti-squash-for-pasta swap slashes both carbs and calories by 75 percent for a delicious, creamy casserole you can feel good about eating. It's worth roasting the squash versus cooking it in the microwave if you have the time: the flavor gets sweeter and more intense.
Ground Beef & Pasta Skillet
Sneak extra vegetables into your child's day (and yours too!) with this easy one-skillet pasta recipe. Finely chop mushrooms to resemble the texture of ground beef and stir them into a classic meat sauce for an extra-healthy twist on a dinnertime favorite.
Our take on this popular Mexican dish certainly does not disappoint. Packed with protein and easy to make, this recipe is the perfect dinner solution.
Jalapeño Popper Casserole
In this jalapeño popper casserole, tender, juicy bites of chicken are slathered in a creamy, slightly spicy, sauce with a crunchy topping of panko breadcrumbs and crispy bacon. Enjoy this casserole over rice for dinner or serve it with chips as a game-day appetizer.
White Chicken Lasagna
This creamy white chicken lasagna features no-boil noodles and precooked chicken to keep things simple and streamlined. Presliced mushrooms, frozen spinach and preshredded cheese also help shorten the prep time. Make this easy lasagna recipe anytime you're short on time and have leftover chicken on hand.
Air-Fryer Chicken Parmesan
An air fryer is a great way to enjoy chicken Parmesan with much less oil. A 5- or 6-quart air fryer fits two chicken breasts perfectly to get that signature crispy crust. (A smaller air fryer will work too, but you may have to overlap the breasts a little.)
Broccoli & Chicken Alfredo Spaghetti Squash
This low-carb, gluten-free take on fettuccine Alfredo is lower in calories than classic versions, and it provides protein and extra vegetables thanks to a spaghetti-squash base.
These chicken nachos have crunchy chips topped with hot spiced shredded chicken, beans and melted cheese with cooling chunks of avocado, red onion and cilantro. If you like the heat, add jalapeño slices at the end. These quick nachos work well with shredded chicken breast or rotisserie chicken if you have leftovers around.
Meatball & Creamed Spinach Skillet
Spaghetti and meatballs is a no-brainer, but pairing meatballs with a pile of creamed spinach topped with marinara and cheese is a flavorful twist. Pick your favorite frozen meatballs--beef, chicken or veggie--for this healthy dinner recipe.
Mac & Cheese with Collards
Dark leafy collards add bold flavor and boost the calcium in this healthy skillet mac and cheese recipe with a crispy topping. If you don't have collards, kale, Swiss chard and spinach are delicious substitutes.
Spaghetti Squash Lasagna with Broccolini
In this low-carb spaghetti squash lasagna recipe, garlicky broccolini, spaghetti squash and cheese are combined for a healthy take on a favorite casserole. This bakes right in the squash shells for a fun presentation. Serve with a big Caesar salad and some warm and crusty whole-grain bread.
Delicata, Rosemary & Blue Cheese Pizza
Topping your pie with squash brings a big vitamin A boost to this pizza—it provides 120% of your Daily Value per serving. The delicata contributes extra fiber, too, thanks in part to its edible skin. We make the oven a multitasker to get this winter pizza on the table fast. The crust bakes on the bottom rack while the vegetables roast. Once the pizza is assembled, a blast from the broiler crisps the edges and melts the cheese.
Smoked Turkey, Kale & Rice Bake
This hearty one-skillet dinner is loaded with celery, kale, tomatoes and quick-cooking brown rice. It's easy to make the recipe vegetarian by substituting smoked tofu for the turkey.
Two-Bean Enchilada Casserole
This classic and comforting Mexican dish is easy to make on a busy weeknight.
Sweet Potato Mac & Cheese
Fiber-rich sweet potato is used as the base for the cheese sauce in this healthy, homemade macaroni and cheese recipe. The bright orange color tricks your eyes into thinking this healthy macaroni and cheese recipe is loaded with cheese, but there's actually only about half as much cheese as compared to a traditional recipe.
Pizza-Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
Skip the dough and stuff all of your favorite pizza toppings into spaghetti squash boats for a fun and healthy dinner that'll please the whole family. We love the combination of mushrooms, bell peppers, pepperoni and mozzarella, but feel free to mix it up with your favorite pizza ingredients. You could throw in a bit of chopped cooked broccoli, for example, or add some olives or chopped artichoke hearts. And of course feel free to omit the pepperoni to make the dish vegetarian. Round out the meal with a simple salad.
Cheesy Meatball Bake
Use leftover Italian meatball soup along with beans, reduced-fat cheese, tortillas and an easy tomato sauce to make a family-pleasing casserole that's great for weeknights.
Loaded Potato Bowl with Chicken & Broccoli
Cauliflower and potatoes mash into a creamy puree that has fewer calories than mashed or baked potatoes alone. Here, we top the puree with chicken and broccoli to make a satisfying and complete meal. The cheese, sour cream and bacon toppings make this easy dinner resemble a lower-calorie loaded baked potato.
Roasted Vegetable Lasagna
Roasted vegetables add tons of hearty flavor to this easy vegetarian lasagna made with jarred pasta sauce.
Southwestern Stuffed Acorn Squash
Cumin and chili powder season a filling of turkey sausage, tomatoes, black beans and Swiss cheese for creamy acorn squash. Serve this stuffed squash with warmed corn tortillas for wrapping up bites of all the tasty ingredients.
Slow-Cooker Cheesy Rice with Broccoli
This dish is sure to be a kid favorite that adults will crave, too. Broccoli and cheese is a classic pairing for a reason, and when served with rice and umami-rich mushrooms, the combo is even more comforting. Garnish with shaved Parmesan and additional kosher salt and black pepper, if desired.
Cheesy Vegetable Pasta Alfredo
This cheesy pasta recipe is made in a slow cooker but is relatively quick taking just 2 1/2 hours from start-to-finish. It's full of vegetables, whole-grain linguine and of course, lots of cheese!
Vegetarian Spaghetti Squash Lasagna
This low-carb riff on classic lasagna layers mushrooms and tomato sauce with spaghetti squash noodles instead of lasagna pasta. Make the layers right in the shell of the spaghetti squash and top with mozzarella cheese for a melty top and fun presentation. Serve with a green salad and a glass of Chianti for an easy, healthy dinner.
Broccoli & Sausage Skillet Pizza
Using a cast-iron skillet for this healthy pizza recipe gives you deep-dish pizza results with extra-crispy sides, but you can make it free-form too. Stretch the dough into a 12-inch oval and place on a large baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Top and bake at 450 degrees F until the cheese is melted and the crust is crisp, about 20 minutes.
Cheesy Beef Enchilada Casserole
This veggie-packed beef enchilada casserole is mild, so put out hot sauce and chopped jalapeños if you're feeding heat-seekers. The quick and easy dinner recipe makes extra cheese sauce--save it to make One-Pot Mac & Cheese with Cauliflower & Brussels Sprouts later in the week (see Associated Recipes) or serve it with steamed vegetables, such as broccoli, for an easy side dish.
Spinach & Cheese Stuffed Shells
Our stuffed shells are filled with spinach, sautéed onions and part-skim ricotta and topped with prepared marinara sauce and Parmesan cheese. The shells hold and reheat well, which makes them great for entertaining.