13 Must-Make Dinners Before Winter's End

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

Can you believe Monday is the official start of spring? Before long, swimsuit season will be upon us. But there’s still time to enjoy the best-of-the-best cold weather recipes. From lasagna to beef stew to bolognese, how about one last hurrah for these cozy winter comfort foods?

This recipe comes from Julia Turshen’s lovely cookbook, Small Victories: Recipes, Advice + Hundreds of Ideas for Home Cooking Triumphs, Chronicle Books, 2016. A few smart “cheats” make it not only the simplest lasagna I’ve ever made, but also the lightest and most elegant. GET THE RECIPE

In this classic French beef stew, aka Beef Bourguignon, chunks of beef are slowly braised with garlic and onions in a wine-based broth. After a few hours, the meat becomes meltingly tender and enveloped in a rich, deeply flavored sauce. With over 1,000 reviews, it’s my all-time most popular recipe. GET THE RECIPE

This pasta in a richly flavored meat sauce is perfect for Sunday night family dinner. The sauce simmers on the stove for several hours, making the house smell delicious and inviting. GET THE RECIPE

This is my favorite brisket recipe, and it’s surprisingly simple to make. There’s no wine, stock or bottled sauces added; instead, the brisket is cooked on top of a massive heap of onions, which slowly caramelize and release their juices, making a flavorful French onion soup-like braising liquid all their own. GET THE RECIPE

If you’re in need of a little pick-me-up, this soul-satisfying soup is just the ticket. You can make it with ingredients you likely have on hand; it’s ready in 30 minutes yet tastes like you spent all day in the kitchen; and it’s hearty enough to be a complete meal. GET THE RECIPE

You can’t beat meltingly tender short ribs slow-cooked in a sweet and tangy BBQ sauce. And here’s the best part: only 15 minutes of prep work and the oven does the rest. Unlike many roast or stew recipes, it’s not necessary to sear the meat first — you simply slather it with sauce, put it in the oven, and let deliciousness ensue. GET THE RECIPE

The soup is a bit of a “potschke,” as my mother would say (meaning it requires some fussing) but once the prep work is done, you pretty much throw everything into a pot and forget it. If you have two large pots, you might as well double the recipe and freeze some for later — you’ll be glad you did. GET THE RECIPE

This rolled turkey breast with sausage stuffing beats a basic roast turkey any day of the year. Not only does it cook in just 1-1/4 hours, it can be made entirely ahead of time and is a cinch to carve. GET THE RECIPE

This show-stopping beef tenderloin with a deeply flavored red wine sauce is delicious and deceptively simple. The sauce can be prepared mostly ahead of time so there’s very little fussing at dinnertime. Perfect for company! GET THE RECIPE

In this sweet and spicy dish, chicken is immersed in a honey, citrus and chili-infused marinade, and then roasted with carrots and dates. Herbs, scallions and pistachios are added for freshness, color and crunch. GET THE RECIPE

This meatloaf is like one big giant meatball, only it has a lot more flavor and is a lot less work. Leftovers are even better the next day, sliced and topped with melted cheese in a warm sandwich. GET THE RECIPE

Chili is a winter mainstay, whether for a cozy dinner in front of the TV or a casual party. This one is melt-in-your-mouth tender, thick, and rich — perfect to serve over rice or scoop up with tortilla chips. GET THE RECIPE

Made with a rotisserie chicken and pantry staples, this fragrant Thai soup is almost instant gratification — and it’s guaranteed to leave you feeling cozy, happy, and all warmed up. GET THE RECIPE