As the days get colder and shorter these tips for easy winter menu planning and ideas for delicious family meals will help keep you organised and the family fed this winter.
The change of seasons is a good time to change up your menu planning. Taking into account fruit ad vegetables are in season, and adding in a few winter family favourites is a great way to keep your meal plan interesting, and on budget.
What Fruit and Vegetables are Season During Winter?
Choosing fruit and veggies that are in season means you are getting the freshest options, and they are easier on your budget too. If you are lucky enough to have a veggie garden you may even be able to grow some of these seasonal foods to include in your winter menu.
What is in season during winter will depend a little on where you live and how cold it gets, but this is a general list of winter seasonal fruits and veggies:
|Winter Fruits||Winter Veggies|
|Kiwi Fruit||Turnips, parsnips and sweedes|
|Mandarins||Greens – kale, spinach, silvebeat/chard|
|Grapefruit||Pumpkin (winter squash)|
Making A Winter Menu Plan
No matter the season I always start my menu planning by making a master list of meals.
I sit and brainstorm as many meal ideas as I can and sort them into breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts and snacks, adding them to my master meal list.
You can find a printable master meal ideas list to fill in here.
Once I have my list of winter meal ideas I can add them to my winter menu plan.
Sometimes I plan for an entire month (find out how I meal plan for a month in half and hour here), sometimes I just plan for one week, and sometimes I use my master meal ideas list as a very loose plan and just pick something randomly off the list to make.
However you plan your meals out, or even if you don’t, having a list of seasonal meals is a great way to enjoy some delicious winter meals with your family.
Winter Family Meal Ideas
These winter meal ideas are perfect for a warm and wonderful winter family meal.
Whether it is a warming, hearty, winter dinner, or a delicious hot breakfast for a treat, or an easy winter lunch – these family meal ideas and recipes are a great option for a winter menu.
Winter Dinner Ideas
- Chicken Mushroom and Broccoli Pasta.
This easy pasta meal is full of delicious broccoli and will be a hit with the kids.
- Broccoli and Garlic Pasta
This is the dinner you make when you don’t want to make dinner!
- Tuna and Rice Bake
This delightfully retro dinner will definitely warm you up!
- Quick and Easy Chicken Noodle Soup
I know the best soups simmer for hours, but if you are busy, try this recipe!
- Shepherds Pie
Technically this cottage pie, but whatever you call it, it’s delicious!
- Letil-ese – Vegetarian Spaghetti Bolognese
This vegetarian twist on a class is so good, the family won’t even notice there is no meat!
- Easy Chilli Recipe
We use this chilli recipe to make tacos, enchiladas and of course just as delicious chilli.
- Meat and Veggie Pasties
You might not know how much you love turnips till you have them in a pasty!
Winter Lunch Ideas
- Savoury Triangles
These make a great hot lunch, but they are also delicious cold.
- Homegrown Alfalfa Wraps
Winter is the perfect time to grow some sprouts in your windowsill, and eat them for lunch!
- Mini Pizza Quiche
Pop a few hot quiches in a thermos and they’ll still be warm by lunch time!
- Easy Pinwheels – Three Ways
This is another great hot or cold lunch option.
- Rice and Veggie Muffins
Fill these savoury muffins full of all the in season veggies!
- Spinach and Potato Slice
This is a great way to add more leafy greens to your lunch menu.
- Leek and Potato Cakes
There is no better combo than leek and potato!
Winter Breakfast Ideas
- Apple and Oat Pancakes
These delicious pancakes freeze well so make a big batch for easy winter breakfasts.
- Apple and Cinnamon Baked Pancake
This is a great way to make a lot of pancake for a crowd quickly and easily.
- Apple and Oat Bars
We make these for a quick and portable breakfast, but they also make a great snack.
- Homemade Granola
This is delicious sprinkled over warm oatmeal, or just on it’s own.
Winter Deserts and Treats
- Fruit Sponge Desert
This is an old family recipe and a huge favourite with my kids.
- Quick and Easy Apple Crumble.
This is so easy the kids can make it!
- Chunky Apple Bread
Easy to make, and so delicious it will be gone before it has even cooled!
- Fruit and Veggie Muffins
Add apple, pear, and carrot to these delicious muffins.
- Orange and Cranberry Bread
A lovely orange cake that is easy to make.
- Cinnamon Spice Sweet Potato Muffins
Even if you don’t like sweet potatoes (like me) you’ll love these muffins!
- Orange and Choc Chip Muffins
These easy to make muffins are sure to be a hit with your family.
- Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding.
It’s not winter if you don’t celebrate by eating chocolate pudding!
- Rhubarb Tea Cake
We grow lots of rhubarb in our garden so this cake is always a winner.
- Easy Carrot Cake
This no nuts carrot cake is easy to make so good!
- Easy Rhubarb Jam
Just when we run out of all the berry jam, there is enough rhubarb in the garden to make winter jam!
- Lemon and Rhubarb Cookies
These tangy cookies will be a firm favourite!
What is on your winter meal plan?
Read the comments or scroll down to add your own:
I just did our monthly plan and it does run very similar to this. I love soups though in winter for the nights we have swimming, with some crusty bread. The slow cooker chicken noodle soup is a big hit in our house and I could easily serve it up once a week with no complaints.
I have fond memories of mums home made pita bread, she used to make all our bread when we lived in Nigeria, must have been hard going, late 70’s, wood fire oven. But it tasted delcious, especially with egg and lettuce.
I can’t even begin to imagine making all of our bread and I have a bread machine to do the kneading and rising bit!!
Deb G says
I like the idea of having a ‘night’ for something too… we’ve been trying a bit of that. Your list is inspiring.. far from simple – to me it sounds delightfully interesting! Do you have a recipe for Chicken and Mushroom pasta – why such a favourite?
It’s ace you get a go at regular meal planning, I bet you will love it :) My meal plan sheet has equal space given over to what we are doing on the day, good recap of the calendar for the week ahead.
I made a great risotto the other night but I am not feeling it for the left overs!! I always find that with risotto so will probably not be a winner this winter.
I am hanging for a slow cooked shank stew, great over polenta or couscous to keep things interesting. Best over mash tho, buttery salty mash mmmm.
I’ve been buying the butterflied legs of lamb from woolworths and making a potato bake, some couscous, some tzatziki and a green salad. Nice not quite winter not quite summer meal :)
We are not normally so “meaty” but I am finding if I plan a meat meal we end up eating more veggies, rather than the small amount we’d eat in a pasta or rice dish. I might experiment with some other veggies for a potato bake like dish, to do for a few nights as a side dish. Tonight we are having posh sausages and mash as per A’s request, probably with carrots and broccoli (honey and cheese sauce respectively lol)
oooh I am totally drooling over the lamb, potato back and tatziki and salad… though I am not a couscous fan, but maybe you’ll convert me with a meal like that! Yum!
Had the empanadas for dinner tonight – made my own filling though with lamb mince and diced veges. They were fantastic!
What a great idea! Thanks for sharing this. I have been menu planning every week, but think that a fortnightly plan for winter will be much better for us all.