Insanely Easy Weeknight Dinners For December

Let us take care of dinner this hectic holiday season.

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steak au poivre soup

With Thanksgiving in the rearview, winter is officially upon us. Time to bust out those slow cookers, casserole dishes, and big soup pots—December is THE month to get cozy with your meals. Join us as we deck the halls (and our dinner tables), weather all the holiday hubbub, and celebrate the past year (along with the meals with friends and loved ones that got us through it). We’ve got 40 recipes to help inspire you to make dinner this December— one for every day of the month, and then some.

We’ve included a good mix of entirely new recipes, like our salmon and potato skillet, our za’atar sheet-pan chicken, our pimento cheesesteaks, and our creamy sausage and white bean soup, as well as some old favorites, like our brie spaghetti, our slow cooker pork shoulder, our skillet chicken cacciatore, or our Instant Pot baked potatoes. Craving some serious comfort food? We get it, December and the end of the year can bring up a lot of big feelings for us all. Try our garlic bread-topped chicken pot pie, our vegan shepherd’s pie, our matzo ball soup, or our one-pan cheesy sausage gnocchi—they’re like a warm hug in a meal.

Of course, we’re also taking inspiration from the BIG holidays in December—Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s Eve. There’s no better time to attempt a showstopping dinner main, like our best-ever brisket, our baked ham with brown sugar glaze, our beef Wellington, or our slow cooker pot roast. But we also know you’ll be looking for dishes to bring to holiday potlucks and parties, as well as fast meals you can throw together on your way out the door to them. For those busy nights, make our tricolore skillet lasagna, our cornbread casserole, our chimichurri chicken salad, our Cracker Barrel-inspired broccoli cheddar chicken casserole, or our sloppy Joe meatball bake.

Looking to end your year with bang, or want to really indulge before the New Year pressures get to you? Enjoy our best holiday cocktails, Christmas cookies, winter desserts, and holiday Jell-O shots while you still can!

brie spaghetti
1 of 40
Brie Spaghetti

You know about baked feta pasta, now try its fancier cousin, brie spaghetti. We used a whole wheel of brie for effect, but you can get away with something about (or a little over) half the size. A little bit of brie goes a long way.

Get the Brie Spaghetti recipe.

chicken cacciatore
2 of 40
Skillet Chicken Cacciatore

After a long winter day, this dish is oh so comforting, not in the least because it all comes together in one pot. Just don’t skip the Italian side dishes! We love this served on its own with crusty bread for dipping, or garlic bread if you're feeling fancy.

Get the Skillet Chicken Cacciatore recipe.

pimento cheesesteaks
3 of 40
Pimento Cheesesteaks

If you love a gooey Philly cheesesteak and are as obsessed with pimento cheese as we are, these are calling your name. A delightful cross between a Northern game-day classic and a Southern party staple, the cheesesteaks are loaded with thinly sliced steak, peppers, and onions, and smothered with melted pimento cheese.

Get the Pimento Cheesesteaks recipe.

steak au poivre soup
4 of 40
Steak Au Poivre Soup

Steak au poivre is a French classic that's typically made with filet mignon or sirloin steak covered in a creamy, peppery sauce. The sauce is downright drinkable and was made to be eaten with a spoon, so we thought—let’s soup-ify it!

Get the Steak Au Poivre Soup recipe.

chickpea noodle soup delish
Erik Bernstein
5 of 40
Chickpea Noodle Soup

Whether you’re hungover, heartbroken, or just plain hangry this December, you can count on this comfy winter soup to make it all a little better. Cooking the pasta in the soup will yield a velvety, substantial broth, but for a leftover-friendly version, boil the noodles separately so they don’t bloat in the broth over time!

Get the Chickpea Noodle Soup recipe.

salmon  potato one skillet meal with herbed yogurt sauce
6 of 40
Salmon & Potato Skillet

While the potatoes here cook, the salmon takes a quick bath in an easy marinade that will double as cooking fat in this simple dish. In just 45 minutes, you’ll have a delicious and filling meal that can be customized every time you make it.

Get the Salmon & Potato Skillet recipe.

chicken matzo ball soup
7 of 40
Chicken Matzo Ball Soup

True Jewish food-philes know that matzo ball soup isn’t just for your Passover feast. (If you’ve ever been to a Jewish deli or a diner in New York City, you see it on menus all year round.) For many who love it, it’s the taste of warmth and comfort, perfect for wintery Hanukkah.

Get the Chicken Matzo Ball Soup recipe.

instant pot lasagna
Park Feierbach
8 of 40
Instant Pot Lasagna

Love lasagna? This recipe might take a couple shortcuts, but it's loaded with layers of flavor. We like popping the cooked lasagna under the broiler for a second to get some color, but it's totally optional if you'd rather get this Italian classic done FAST.

Get the Instant Pot Lasagna recipe.

slow cooker pot roast
9 of 40
Slow-Cooker Pot Roast

When it comes to comfort food, there might be nothing better than warm, fragrant pot roast and potatoes. Some people might be intimidated at the thought of cooking such a large piece of meat, but in reality, pot roast is one of the easiest things you can make—and this recipe takes that simplicity to the next level by utilizing your slow cooker.

Get the Slow-Cooker Pot Roast recipe.

chicken alfredo bake
Parker Feierbach
10 of 40
Chicken Alfredo Bake

Think of this as a creamier baked ziti. Penne tossed with creamy Alfredo sauce, chicken, and (a lot) of mozzarella—what more could you want?

Get the Chicken Alfredo Bake recipe.

crock pot chicken enchilada soup
11 of 40
Crock-Pot Chicken Enchilada Soup

Looking for a low effort, stick-to-your-ribs dinner this December? You've come to the right place. This Tex-Mex-inspired soup is hearty, delicious, and endlessly riffable—start by swapping in and out your fave toppings (we're partial to ALL of them, but you do you).

Get the Crock-Pot Chicken Enchilada Soup recipe.

cheesy one pan sausage gnocchi
Andrew Bui
12 of 40
One-Pan Cheesy Sausage Gnocchi

This easy dinner harnesses the power of seasoned sausage, jarred marinara, and fresh potato gnocchi to make a super-flavorful dish with minimal prep and active cooking time. Perfect for a lazy December night when you're craving the 3 Cs: comfort, carbs, and CHEESE.

Get the One-Pan Cheesy Sausage Gnocchi recipe.

instant pot baked potatoes
Parker Feierbach
13 of 40
Instant Pot Baked Potatoes

Cooking your "baked" potatoes in your Instant Pot takes less time than the oven, which means you can focus on what's really important—the toppings! No pesky fork pricking, either: Just throw them in and pressure cook them for ~15 minutes.

Get the Instant Pot Baked Potatoes recipe.

creamy sausage and white bean soup
14 of 40
Creamy Sausage and White Bean Soup

A little heat tamed by cream turns this nearly effortless sausage and white bean soup into a feel-good go-to. Why add a Parmesan rind, you may ask? Because it makes the soup salty and nutty and is undeniably good. Pro tip: Keep the sausage pieces chunky so they don’t get lost.

Get the Creamy Sausage and White Bean Soup recipe.

turkey à la king
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Turkey à la King

Turkey à la King tastes just like chicken pot pie filling without the pie crust, making it super-simple to put together. Serve it over split biscuits, like we did here, or rice, cornbread, puff pastry, or even crêpes.

Get the Turkey à la King recipe.

slow cooker pork shoulder
Parker feierbach
16 of 40
Slow-Cooker Pork Shoulder

With just a little bit of initial effort you can leave this pork shoulder to cook gently in your slow cooker all day. Then, you'll come home to the most fragrant and tender piece of meat—all with very little effort. The spiced garlicky herb sauce is absolutely heavenly and will make this the best pork of your life. Is there a better holiday gift out there!?

Get the Slow-Cooker Pork Shoulder recipe.

stewed black eyed peas on a red plate, alongside greens and buttered cornbread, all on a wooden surface
June Xie
17 of 40
New Year's Black Eyed Peas

Southern U.S. tradition dictates that eating black eyed peas on New Year's will bring luck, good fortune, and financial prosperity. So if you want to make it rain this new year, you had better eat up all these delicious beans, along with a slice or two of golden cornbread to lock down that wealth and health for good measure.

Get the New Years Black Eyed Peas recipe.

tricolore skillet lasagna
18 of 40
Tricolore Skillet Lasagna

We love a classic lasagna, but it can be a lot of work. This easy skillet version has everything we love about the original—including the frilly-edged long noodles—but without the confusing layering steps. Instead, you'll toss the cooked noodles in an oniony marinara sauce, dollop with pesto, and top with ample slices of fresh mozzarella and a shower of grated Parmesan.

Get the Tricolore Skillet Lasagna recipe.

prime rib
Parker Feierbach
19 of 40
Prime Rib

Prime rib is known for being a must at the holiday dinner table because of its ability to serve a crowd and the irresistible taste. Juicy and full of flavor, this show-stopping roast is not as difficult to perfect as you may think. Plus, it's impressive, making your guests think you labored for hours in the kitchen, while in reality the oven did all the work for you. 😉

Get the Prime Rib recipe.

cranberry apple quinoa salad
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Cranberry Apple Quinoa Salad

We don’t believe in boring salads at Delish, and crunchy apples and tart cranberries bring a lot of life to this one. The slightly sweet and lemony dressing is easy to make, and you’ll want to have extra on hand to pour it over everything. Feel free to add some protein to make this more hearty, or leave it as is for a light dinner this December.

Get the Cranberry Apple Quinoa Salad recipe.

cornbread casserole
Parker Feierbach
21 of 40
Cornbread Casserole

Though we kind of hate to admit it, we LOVE Jiffy cornbread mix. It's easy to make, and it's damn good in dishes like this chili and cornbread casserole. If you want to go the homemade route, try halving our delicious homemade cornbread for this recipe. It might turn out even better.

Get the Cornbread Casserole recipe.

za'atar sheet pan chicken
22 of 40
Za'atar Sheet-Pan Chicken

We’ve made a lot of great sheet-pan dinners, but this za’atar chicken recipe is a new favorite. Bone-in chicken thighs, baby potatoes, broccoli, and red onion are all tossed in a simple marinade, then roasted to crispy, schmaltzy perfection. And just to kick it up another notch, we’re drizzling it all in a creamy tahini sauce to finish it off. 😍

Get the Za'atar Sheet-Pan Chicken recipe.

chimichurri chicken salad
Joel Goldberg
23 of 40
Chimichurri Chicken Salad

This festive-looking salad couldn't be more simple to make. Toss shredded (rotisserie) chicken with a good amount of parsley (this is inspired by our favorite condiment, chimichurri, after all), garlic, olive oil, and vinegar and serve with toasted bread or in lettuce wraps.

Get the Chimichurri Chicken Salad recipe.

one pan tuna pasta
Andrew bui
24 of 40
One-Pan Tuna Pasta

Using canned or jarred tuna in pasta is a cheap and delicious way to add some protein to a meal. Italians do it with pasta al tonno, and Americans do it (in our own way) with tuna noodle casserole. This recipe is a bit of a riff on pasta puttanesca, using familiar ingredients such as capers, anchovies, and olives.

Get the One-Pan Tuna Pasta recipe.

beef brisket with a nice crust that has been partially sliced
Ethan Calabrese
25 of 40
Best-Ever Beef Brisket

Making a giant, roasted brisket for your family or friends is basically the best way to say “I love you” through a dish. You might think of brisket and immediately think of smoking and cooking for hours and hours. This preparation is much easier and quicker, but doesn't sacrifice any flavor or tenderness.

Get the Best-Ever Beef Brisket recipe.

garlic bread topped chicken pot pie
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Garlic Bread-Topped Chicken Pot Pie

Nothing is more comforting than chicken pot pie topped with a buttery crust. Swap out the crust for garlic bread, though, and now we are really talking. The tops of the bread get golden and crunchy, while underneath, their texture comes out kind of like dumplings. 😋 It's a killer unexpected addition to any Thanksgiving meal (and is especially great for potlucks!).

Get the Garlic Bread-Topped Chicken Pot Pie recipe.

thanksgiving leftover tacos
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Thanksgiving Leftover Tacos

Still have some turkey leftovers come December? People love the heralded Thanksgiving sandwich, but there’s something about using a tortilla (see our Thanksgiving Crunchwrap) that'll take them to a whole new level. Especially when you top that with turkey that has been made brand-new in a pseudo-mole sauce spiked with gravy, chipotle chiles, and dark chocolate.

Get the Thanksgiving Leftover Tacos recipe.

beef wellington
Ethan calabrese
28 of 40
Beef Wellington

Some people like to make their own puff pastry for their Beef Wellington. Those people are overachievers. We've found that not only is store bought puff pastry much more convenient, but it's also incredibly delicious. We're particularly fond of this brand, and honestly don't think we could make a better version if we tried.

Get the Beef Wellington recipe.

instant pot copycat bourbon chicken with rice
29 of 40
Instant Pot Copycat Bourbon Chicken

If you were hanging out in malls in the '90s, you've likely been chased down in the food court to sample this delectable, perfectly sauced chicken thigh recipe on a toothpick. Now as an adult, you can make this dish at home in the convenience of the Instant Pot any time you like!

Get the Instant Pot Copycat Bourbon Chicken recipe.

unstuffed cabbage casserole
Parker Feierbach
30 of 40
Unstuffed Cabbage Casserole

We took everything you love about traditional stuffed cabbage and turned it into a crowd-friendly, no-fuss casserole. You don't even need to cook the rice beforehand—it cooks in the big and bubbly bake. Make this for luck on New Year's to bring some green (AKA money) into your life for next year.

Get the Unstuffed Cabbage Casserole recipe.

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