Make It a Meal: 5 Easy Mid-Winter Dinner Menu Ideas

overhead view of Delicious Meatless Baked Ziti recipe in an oval baking dish
Photo: Brie Passano

What's for dinner tonight? One of these easy dinner menus! As we get into peak comfort food season, you'll appreciate the ease of simple suppers that don't take a lot of fuss to make. We've paired five satisfying main dishes with seasonal side dish and/or dessert ideas, plus tasty wine and beer options, so all you have to do is mix and match to get a tasty meal.

01 of 06

Menu #1: Blackened Ranch Pan-Fried Chicken Thighs

overhead view of Blackened Ranch Pan-Fried Chicken Thighs plated with mashed potatoes and green beans
Brie Passano

Using a cast-iron skillet helps these chicken thighs cook quickly. The ranch seasoning blackens as it cooks, making the skin very crisp.

Serve with: Frisée Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing or Creamy Yukon Mashed Potatoes

Beer Pick: Blue Moon Sunshine Citrus Blonde or similar citrus-forward golden or blonde ale.

02 of 06

Menu #2: Pepper-Crusted Beef Tenderloin with Chocolate-Port Sauce

overhead view of Pepper-Crusted Beef Tenderloin with Chocolate-Port Sauce
Brie Passano

Make a quick, velvety pan sauce with chocolate and port and turn a steak into a celebration.

Serve with: Roasted Winter Root Vegetables or mixed green salad with your favorite dressing.

Wine Pick: Stolpman Vineyards Crunchy Rôastie Syrah or similar dark berry-forward red wine.

03 of 06

Menu #3: Oven-Fried Pork Chops

overhead view of Oven-Fried Pork Chops served on salad
Brie Passano

"Tip: Set a rack on a baking sheet, lightly spray the chops with butter-flavored cooking spray, and bake them on the rack. No need to turn—they still get crispy on both sides!" — SCORPIOG

Serve with: Whole Spice Fragrant Rice (Pulao) or Red Cabbage and Apples

Beer Pick: Anchor Brewing Anchor Bock Beer or other dark and malty ale.

04 of 06

Menu #4: Cauliflower Clam Chowder

overhead view of a bowl of Cauliflower Clam Chowder
Jason Donnelly

This healthier take on clam chowder has puréed cauliflower and potatoes to keep it creamy while celery leaves and lemon zest balance each bite.

Serve with: romaine lettuce with cherry tomatoes, onion, and feta or Flourless Triple Chocolate Cookies.

Wine Pick: Yalumba Eden Valley Viognier or similar full-bodied white wine.

05 of 06

Menu #5: Delicious Meatless Baked Ziti

overhead view of Delicious Meatless Baked Ziti recipe in an oval baking dish
Brie Passano

This elegant, meatless baked ziti is an easy dish ready in 45 minutes.

Serve with: Wilted Spinach Salad or Tres Leches Bread Pudding

Wine Pick: Zenato Valpolicella Superiore or other dry Italian red wine.

Was this page helpful?
You’ll Also Love