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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Best-Ever Beef Brisket recipe.
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!).
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.
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.
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!
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.