Instead of curling up on the couch and resorting to delivery, whip up one of these fast and easy winter recipes you’re guaranteed to love. From hearty soups to carb-filled comfort foods and seasonal side dishes, these doable recipes won’t take you long to make, but taste like they did.
1. Five- Ingredient Butternut Squash Alfredo
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided, plus more to taste
2 cups diced butternut squash
1-teaspoon olive oil
8 ounces linguine 3/4 cup half and half
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Season liberally with salt (it should taste as salty as the sea).
- Place diced squash on a small baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and add the pepper. Use hands to toss. Spread evenly on baking sheet. Roast for 12-15 minutes or until soft.
- Cook linguine until just under aldente.
- Add squash and 1/2 cup of half and half to a large skillet. Turn the heat on medium and bring to a simmer. Use the back of a fork or potato masher to puree the squash into the liquid. Once all of the squash is combined, add in the remaining half and half and salt.
- Use tongs to transfer hot pasta to sauce and reserve about a cup of starchy cooking liquid. Add cheese. Use tongs to toss the cheese, pasta, and sauce together. Ladle in about 1/4 cup of the starchy cooking water to loosen the sauce up. Add more if necessary.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese.
2. Fast and Easy Chicken Noodle Soup
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 bone-in, skin-on chicken breast or 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
6 cups stock, chicken or vegetable
1-tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 medium-sized carrot, diced
1 celery stick, diced
1/2 leek, cleaned and diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
3 cups dried egg noodles
1/2 cup fresh parsley, stems removed
Salt and pepper, to taste
- If working with raw chicken: Heat a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan or dutch oven over medium-high heat, and then add the butter. When the butter is fully melted, place chicken breast skin side down. Sear for 7 minutes, flip, and sear for an additional 5 minutes. Add broth, cover, and cook for 10-15 minutes. Flip chicken, cover, and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, depending on the size and thickness of the meat. Remove chicken from pot, reserving stock for soup. Once cool, shred into bite-size pieces.
- For chicken noodle soup: Wipe out the pot and set over medium heat; add oil, onion, carrot, celery, leek, garlic, bay leaf, and thyme. Stir occasionally, and cook until vegetables are soft and translucent, but not browned. Add reserved stock, and bring to a simmer. Add noodles, and cook for 5-6 minutes, or until the noodles are tender. Stir in shredded chicken. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in parsley leaves before serving.
3. Brussels Sprouts With Bacon
1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, cleaned and halved
4 slices bacon, chopped
1-teaspoon olive oil, if necessary
1-tablespoon brown sugar
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped dried figs
Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Spread Brussels sprouts on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with bacon. Roast for 10 minutes until bacon fat starts to render. Pull the pan out and toss Brussels sprouts in bacon fat. Sprinkle with salt. If not enough fat has rendered, add 1-teaspoon olive oil.
- Roast another 10 minutes. Pull pan out and add brown sugar and shallots. Roast another 10 minutes or until shallots are softened and sprouts are crisp on the outside. Pull pan out and toss with dried figs. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
*Recipes reprinted from: www.popsugar.com