10 Best Meals For When It's Cold Outside That Will Make You Want To Stay Inside

Winter can be brutal. It gets dark early, the temperatures can be frigid, and you have to put on a million annoying layers just to get out the door. The plus side is, there are a ton of awesome seasonal cooking recipes that will actually make you okay with being stuck inside.

I'm personally a sucker for winter. I love the seasonal activities, the big sweaters, and of course — the potential for snow days. But even I can start to feel the effects of short, cold days after a few months, and it's in those darkest days (usually somewhere in February) that I really need to make an effort to create things to look forward to at home, since I know I probably won't be in the mood to trudge into the cold and meet friends somewhere 45 minutes away from my apartment.

And this is when cooking comes in. There's just something about cozying in with a blanket and a super comforting recipe that makes winter way more bearable, and — dare I say it— enjoyable. Some of the absolute best nights I've had are when I've convinced a friend or two to come over and we made something warm and soothing for dinner.

If you dread the cold, but enjoy cooking (or just eating), here are ten cold weather recipes that should help you out.

1. Mini Chicken Pot Pies

Lindsay Ann Bakes on YouTube

These are not only delicious, but adorable. They're also perfect for potlucks or when you're having more than a few people over.

2. Meatloaf

Laura in the Kitchen on YouTube

OK, I know meatloaf doesn't exactly sound sexy, but that's kind of crazy, because when made well it's seriously delicious. It's also awesome on whole grain bread the next day.

3. Shepherd's Pie

Food Wishes on YouTube

Traditional shepherd's pie is something everyone should make once in their lives, just to say they did it. And if you don't like lamb — no problem, you can always just substitute this recipe from Chef John's Food Wishes YouTube channel with beef or ground turkey.

4. Stew

Foods101withDeronda on YouTube

Not only is this a cold weather staple, but it's super economical and usually pretty low-maintenance, especially if you make it in a slow-cooker. I've thrown ingredients in my crockpot in the morning, gone about my day, and had an amazing stew ready for dinner on many a winter's day. Oh, and don't forget the rolls. Seriously.

5. Grilled Cheese With Tomato Soup

Everyday Food on YouTube

The great thing about grilled cheese and tomato soup is that it can be as "fancy" or as simple as you want. It can literally be a homemade extravaganza with the freshest ingredients, or just come down to a can of Campbell's and some Kraft cheese. Both options have their merits.

6. Spicy Thai Chicken Soup

Jamie Oliver on YouTube

Anything spicy is guaranteed to be a good call when it's cold out, so this twist on a classic comfort food is super perfect. It's also great for when you want something that will keep you warm without feeling overly heavy.

7. Leek And Potato Soup

Allrecipes on YouTube

This is one of my favorite soups of all time. It's super simple and hearty and taste amazing the next day as well.

8. Turkey Chili

Laura in the Kitchen on YouTube

Much like stew, slow-cooker chili is absolutely perfect for a low-maintenance, super-filling winter meal. Also, depending on how you make it, it can literally be packed with good for you ingredients, like beans and veggies.

9. Cinnamon Rolls

EatNowCryLater on YouTube

We can't forget dessert, and this cinnamon roll recipe from the YouTube channel EatNowCryLater is killer. Making them from scratch is also a super fun activity to do with a friend or loved one.

10. Homemade Hot Chocolate

Fifteen Spatulas on YouTube

This list wouldn't be complete without an awesome homemade hot chocolate recipe. This one from YouTube chef Joanne at Fifteen Spatulas even uses a real chocolate bar over cocoa powder for the smoothest chocolate taste.

Cold weather shouldn't get the best of you. And when it does, turn to a few of these super comforting recipes to get you through!

Images: Pexels