9 Wintry, Cozy Meals to Feed a Crowd

Cook, Dinner, Entertain, Holidays, In Season, Mains, Recipes

ham

 

Whether it’s a holiday, a snow day on which somehow all the neighborhood kids landed at your place, or you’ve been inundated with a house full of relatives, you need a few great big-batch recipes up your sleeve. Here are a few we think are especially suited to colder weather.

 

1. White Bean and Ham Hock Soup

Slow-Cooker White Bean and Ham Hock Soup

 

It can be tempting to load up on carbs and heavy cuts of meat when the mercury drops, but this delightful soup actually relies on tender white beans for its punch of protein. Fresh thyme and parsley lighten the intense, rich, wonderfully smoky ham hock base.

 

2. Breakfast Strata Lorraine

Breakfast Strata Lorraine

 

Sometimes, yes, you’ll find yourself with a full house first thing in the morning. But don’t panic; just plan things out the night prior, and you’re golden. This breakfast strata is a snap to make, can be assembled the day before, and contains tons of greens in addition to satisfying ham and Gruyère.

 

3. Grilled Pork Chops

Pork Loin Chops with Romesco Sauce and Grilled Onions

 

If yours is the sort of family that never quite closes up the grill for the season, take advantage of the fact that you have the most convenient feed-a-crowd appliance at your behest. We like to make the dreamy Romesco sauce that goes with these chops a day in advance, so as to let the flavors meld, and serve them simply with grilled, thick-sliced bread and a big green salad.

 

4. Beef and Sausage Lasagna

Beef and Sausage Lasagna with Marinara

 

What is it about lasagna? Something about smelling it cooking in the oven makes a person instantly feel taken care of, and this recipe is hearty enough to feed the hungriest friends. And although yes, vegetarian lasagna can be lovely, carnivores flip when they see one brimming with ground beef and spicy Italian sausage.

 

5. Sheet Pan Fajitas

Sheet Pan Fajitas

 

Rainbow-hued fajitas produce a similar drool-inducing effect, although their strong suit is that signature sizzle. This beef-and-bell-peppers recipe is a reader favorite in part because of the limited amount of dishes left to do afterwards. A broad sheet pan makes cleanup a breeze.

 

6. Savory Bread Pudding 

savory bread pudding

 

There’s a bread pudding for everyone, whether you go for this hearty mushroom-bacon number or this bright, green one. Bread pudding is a dish often relegated to the sweets realm, but there’s no need for that (although yes, sweet bread puddings are delightful). Since it transforms nearly-stale bread and all sorts of leftover veggies and other yummy tidbits into something tasty, why not give one a whirl?

 

7. Mushroom, Salami and Black Olive Pizza

Mushroom, Salami and Black Olive Pizza

 

There’s a reason that, when you take a head count for people hungry for pizza, folks underestimate just how much they’ll want some when it arrives. So make one for a crowd. This pizza is particularly pretty, loaded up with mushrooms, salami and black olives, and features a dough that comes together in a flash in your food processor.

 

8. Seafood Stew

seafood stew

 

Seafood stew feels luxurious even when it only takes the cook half an hour to pull it together. We love that this soup is just as good with shrimp and clams as it is with mussels and cod, so you can use what looks good at the market. Fold in squares of polenta at the last minute to make it even heartier, or give people what they really want—bread to dunk in that stunning broth.

 

9. Maple-Bourbon Glazed Ham

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One of the smartest hostesses we know does the same thing every Easter and Christmas brunch: She sets out a big, high-quality ham, which she has glazed herself, alongside little ramekins full of mustard and pickles. She puts out a big basket of fluffy Parker house rolls to eat alongside or turn into ham sliders. And just like that, it’s a party. There’s something about a whole ham, particularly this Kurobuta one, that looks extravagant (and as though it was a ton of work). Brush it with a maple-bourbon glaze, and let your guests tear it apart. Nothing says “it’s the holidays!” quite so well.

Get more gift guides, recipes, and holiday ideas at our Williams Sonoma Holiday Headquarters

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