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As the autumnal months draw closer to an end, the last of the yellow, orange and red leaves fall from the trees and the days continue to get shorter, it’s time to think about those lovely winter warmers that get you through the week.

Winters can be tough at the best of times. Getting up when it’s dark, coming home when it’s dark. The cold. The wet.

Having not lived in a house for over two years, I’ve grown used to the long, cold months of winter. For those of us without wood burners, tucking in to a good hearty meal is probably the warmest we’ll be all night. I’ve selected a few of my favourite winter dishes that are quick, easy and can be made on the stove top.


Stove top lasagne

A van friendly take on the Italian classic. It tastes just as great with mushrooms and spinach. It’s a great dish to experiment with any leftover veggies laying around.


  • 2 tbsp. oil

  • 1 medium red pepper, chopped

  • 1 medium courgette, sliced

  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 1 can chopped tomatoes

  • 180g lasagne sheets

  • 25g ricotta

  • 25g mozzarella

  • Fresh basil leaves, for garnish



  1. In a deep pan or skillet, heat oil. Throw in courgette, onion, pepper and garlic. Cook for around 5 minutes until softened, stirring regularly. Add the tomatoes and reduce to low heat.

  2. Break the lasagna sheets up in to small pieces ensuring each piece is mostly covered, add a small amount of water if necessary. Cover the pan and simmer for 12-15 minutes until the pasta is al dente. Stir periodically.

  3. Add the ricotta and mozzarella and again cover and cook for 10 minutes. The cheese should have melted nicely and the pasta thoroughly cooked. Season to taste and garnish with fresh basil.


 Stove top Mac ’n’ Cheese


There’s millions of recipes and variations out there for this. This particular one is my favourite as it packs a bit of heat.



  • 120g dried macaroni

  • 30g salted butter

  • 2 tbsp. flour

  • ¼ tsp. salt

  • Black pepper, pinch

  • 500ml milk

  • 400g grated cheddar

  • 1 tbsp. English mustard

  • Sriracha, dash



  1. Boil macaroni in salted water for 10-12 minutes until al dente.


  2. In a saucepan, gently melt the butter over a medium flame. Stir in flour, mustard, sriracha, salt and pepper. Add milk slowly to create roux whilst whisking.

  3. Stir in cheese until completely melted then add drained macaroni.


Chilli Sin Carne

This is my take on a classic chilli, minus the meat! It’s a great winter warmer, really filling and this recipe will make about 6 meals so it’s great value.  Try adding TVP if you’re missing the meat. WARNING: This is a seriously huge pot of chilli. Reduce amounts where needed.



  • 5 medium onions, chopped

  • 6 cloves of garlic, diced

  • 4 carrots, sliced

  • 1600g chopped tomatoes

  • 400g lentils, drained

  • 400g kidney beans, drained

  • 150ml Vegetable broth

  • 1 ½ tbsp. Pimento or smoked paprika

  • 2 tbsp. chilli powder

  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce

  • Coriander, garnish



  1. Heat 2tbsp. oil in wok. Fry carrots for 5 minutes or until slightly browned and soft, stirring often.

  2. Add onions and garlic as well as ½ tbsp. of pimento or smoked paprika and fry until softened.

  3. Add chopped tomatoes, beans, vegetable broth and remaining spices.

  4. Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes or until sauce reduces to a thick consistency.

  5. Season with soy sauce to taste. Garnish with coriander and serve with rice or bread.


Cowboy Casserole

This is a favourite from when I was a kid. A little different now without real sausages, but it works a treat with any vegetarian sausage out there too. With only six ingredients, this hearty meal is a sure winner .This recipe is for a stove top casserole, but if you can slow cook it, do!


  • 2 tbsp. cooking oil

  • 2 medium onions, chopped

  • 400g chopped tomatoes

  • 400g baked beans, with sauce

  • 2 tbsp. Pimento or smoked paprika

  • 4 vegetarian sausages



  1. Heat oil in wok. Fry onions and sausages for 5 minutes.

  2. Add chopped tomatoes, baked beans and paprika.

  3. Simmer for 15 minutes on a low flame.

  4. Season to taste. Serve with boiled or creamy mashed potatoes.




A vegetarian take on the classic Moroccan dish. 


  • 2 tbsp. cooking oil

  • 1 small butternut squash, cut to thumb-sized pieces

  • 2 onions, roughly chopped

  • 1 courgette, roughly chopped

  • 1 red pepper, roughly chopped

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained

  • 1 can chopped tomatoes

  • 1 pack dried apricots

  • 2 tbsp. honey

  • 1 tsp. cumin

  • 1 tsp. coriander

  • ½ tsp. cinnamon

  • 1 tsp harrisa paste or chilli powder

  • Coriander, garnish



  1. Heat oil in wok. Fry butter nut squash on a low flame with lid on for 10 minutes or until slightly softened. Stir occasionally.

  2. Add courgette, pepper and onion, frying for 5 minutes until brown.

  3. Add spices, stir for 3 minutes.

  4. Add chickpeas, apricots, honey and tomatoes. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes on a low flame.

  5. Season to taste. Serve with couscous. Garnish with coriander.

What are your favourite winter dishes? Comment below.