Winter warmer recipes to get you through the cold weather

beef pie cut in half on a chopping board

Alice Piper

Posted June 02, 2022

Need something tasty to warm up with this winter? Here are the best winter food and drink recipes to warm the soul and fill the belly. 

The mercury has well and truly dropped in Victoria with low temperatures affecting most of the state.  

As a result, you might be looking for some new recipes with a hearty kick to warm up family members big and small, and get you through those cold winter days and nights without having to crank the heater.  

We’ve rounded up the best winter warmer recipes that are all easy to make, taste delicious, pair with a glass of wine or a good coffee, and might even stir up some nostalgia, evoking memories of winters past with their classic flavours.  

Best winter warmer recipes  

Winter dinner recipes

Braised beef and Guinness pie  

Sometimes, all we want on a cold winter’s night is a hearty, flavoursome homemade pie, and this braised beef and Guinness pie will be a family favourite in no time.  

If you’re feeling up to it, you can make your own shortcrust and puff pastry, however, supermarket pastry will be just fine for this dish, but for the filling, RACV City Club Executive Chef Jason Camillo has some advice.  

“For the pie filling the best meat to use is either beef shoulder or chuck,” he says. “However, I like to use beef cheeks for this recipe." 

However if pies are something you love to eat, but aren’t so keen on making, check out our list of the best pies in regional Victoria to sample some of our state's best. 

Slow-cooked beef ragu with potato gnocchi 

If you’re looking for some winter comfort food, you’ve found it. This slow-cooked beef ragu with potato gnocchi is as comforting as it gets – rich tomato-based ragu with pillowy soft gnocchi will please everyone in your household.  

Not only is this super quick to make, it’s also very cost effective too as it uses inexpensive cuts of meat, such as chuck, blade, oyster, flank or skirt steak, and slow cooking helps to break down the muscle, making the meat more flavoursome and tender.   

Better yet, if you have a slow cooker, just set and forget for up to eight hours and you’ll have a winning winter dish with minimal effort. 

Perfect roast beef

When we think of a versatile meal, it has to be roast beef - perfect for families, a Sunday lunch with friends, and even makes great leftovers for sandwiches. 

For this recipe, Camillo has infused the beef with the flavours of rosemary, thyme and garlic, as well as a bit of pizazz with orange zest.

"This roast beef recipe always brings back memories of my Nanna’s Sunday roast," he says. "She used dripping in the bottom of the pan, and potatoes and onions as vegetables–just cut in half–and these would be crispy on the bottom but soft on the inside."

Camillo does have some advice for making the perfect roast beef, though: "Using a meat thermometer and resting the roast for half your cooking time will give you the best results," he says. 

roast beef on plate with carrots

For the perfect roast beef,  infuse the beef with rosemary, thyme and garlic. Image: Getty


Gluten-free zucchini pasta with mushroom and tomato sauce 

Pasta is a real pantry staple no matter what the season, but in winter, it is one of the easiest things to whip up after a busy day, and this gluten-free zucchini pasta with mushroom and tomato sauce which includes three types of mushrooms, passata and white wine is perfect for just that.  

Using the versatile zucchini Camillo has devised this “tagliatelle” type recipe by cutting the zucchini into pasta ‘strips’, ideal for those who are coeliac, gluten intolerant, or just looking to cut down on the carbs.  

Truffled polenta with Milawa King River gold cheese  

You’d be hard pressed to find a better combination than polenta and cheese, and this creamy hot polenta dish is sure to elevate any mid-week meal, or impress guests at a weekend get together.  

Another one of Camillo’s creations, he has put a unique twist on this dish that really showcases the delicate flavour of the truffle. 

Hot tip: The best way to truffle polenta is to keep your truffles in an airtight jar with the fine polenta until you are ready to use the truffle. The polenta will naturally absorb the flavour.  

Slow-braised lamb shanks, spinach and bintje potato mash 

There’s a place we go when we eat a dish that connects to our roots, and Camillo says the slow-braised lamb shanks, spinach and bintje potato mash is a dish that does it for him, connecting him back to his Italian heritage.  

“My family is from the far northeast of Italy, on the border of Slovenia, in the mountains. Polenta is a staple there and everyone does it slightly differently,” he says.  

Camillo also has some advice if you give this one a try: “This dish is at its best when the meat is so tender and falling off the bone that you will only need a spoon to eat it,” he says.  

So, make sure you let the shanks braise for long enough in the oven so they’re juicy and tender. 

zucchini noodles

Gluten-free zucchini pasta with mushroom and tomato sauce. Image: Getty


Winter snack recipes 

Easy sausage rolls

Sausage rolls make the perfect lunchtime treat, after school snack, or winter warmer on a cold and rainy day, and this Aussie favourite will be your next go-to for a weekend of baking. 

RACV's Le Petit Gateau Executive Pastry Chef Amit Sinha has elevated the humble sausage roll and turned it into something a little fancier than you might remember, however, it's as easy to make as ever - so get your hands dirty and enjoy!

Salted caramel chocolate chip cookies 

Think gooey caramel, delicious chocolate and moreish texture, and you've got some delectable salted caramel chocolate chip cookies

Try getting the kids involved with this one as it's a great recipe for a rainy-day activity with a hot chocolate in hand and a movie on in the background. 

Winter dessert recipes

Apple Crumble 

Take a step back to your childhood with this delicious (and easy) apple crumble recipe, because really, is there anything better on a cold winter’s night than a hot bowl of gooey, crunchy, and perfectly caramelised apple crumble? 

The best part about making an apple crumble is it’s a great way to use up some old apples sitting in the fruit bowl, and you don’t even need to peel them. This Apple Crumble recipe can also be made gluten free by swapping out the plain flour for brown rice flour. 

Winter drink and cocktail recipes 

Simple mulled wine  

It’s hard not to think of sitting by an open fire in your winter woollies when the words ‘mulled wine’ get mentioned – and this simple mulled wine recipe is perfect for doing just that.  

With fresh apples, oranges, black pepper, and cinnamon, Bourke Street Green Bar Manager, Rob Pierce says the balancing of spices is key to this recipe: “Be careful with the spices as they are quite strong flavours, so no more than two or three of each,” he says. 

Old fashioned cocktail 

The classic old fashioned cocktail has been around since the 1800s, and for good reason thanks to its elegant nature, as well as having the ability to be adapted depending on the drinker’s preference.  

Serve this one as an end of week Friday night treat by the warmth of a fire, or at your next weekend dinner party to impress even the most seasoned cocktail connoisseur.  

Learn how to make a classic Old Fashioned cocktail

Fancy a warming meal outside of home? Sojourn has you covered with a focus on local and sustainable produce. 
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