Being lazy on a cold, cloudy day feels right, but so do warm comfort foods. With these simple stew recipes, you can have both! These stews require little effort and won’t cramp your lazy Winter day style. Plus, they’ll feed you for days!

These are the recipes we use as foundations for branching out. I often find myself throwing in random ingredients that I think will blend well, and it’s always worked out. That’s the beauty of stew – you can really do whatever you want with it.

Winter Herb & Sausage Stew

What do you get when you mix Italian sausage, cool winter herbs, and broth? Trust me, you’ll want to find out for yourself. Dubbed Lauren’s favorite, this one finds its way into our home a few times each Winter.

Start Here: Cook Italian sausage in a pan, drain the excess fat, then add it to a pot of hot chicken broth.

Go Here: Add veggies like carrots, potatoes, and white beans.

Then, Winter Herbs: Mint, coriander, thyme, oregano, lemongrass turn the meaty broth into a cool, refreshing stew.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

This warmer soup entered our home for the first time this Winter, and boy was it delicious! There are a bunch of different recipes out there, so feel free to explore. This one, though called soup, is actually more like a stew.

Start Here: Cook your chicken and pull it apart with a fork, then add it to a pot of hot broth.

And Then: Saute some onions, peppers, and garlic. Add it to the broth, along with a bean of your choice (we like black beans) and corn. Season with chili powder or cayenne seasoning.

Top With: Crispy tortilla chips, Mexican-style cheeses, parsley, and sour cream.

Classic Beef & Bean Chili

I hesitate to call this a stew, but it doesn’t depart from the other two much and it’s one of the easiest, most filling things anyone can cook. I used to avoid making chili, intimidated by chili competitions and a falsely-percieved high barrier of entry. When I finally made my own chili I was blown away at how rewarding it was compared to the amount of effort I put in.

Start Here: Cook your ground beef, half an onion, and a couple cloves of garlic in a skillet. Add the mixture to a pot with a can of tomato sauce and a can of diced tomatoes.

Add This: Black beans, pinto beans, white beans, kidney beans. All the beans. Add them. Spice it all up with some fajita seasoning, chili powder, and oregano. Almost any combination of spices will work well!

Top With: Mexican cheeses or parsley. We like to dip crackers or Triscuits in this hearty mix!

Keep It Simple

These recipes are meant to be a starting point, don’t forget that. No onion – no problem! Cumin instead of chili powder? Try it out and see how it goes. The only thing you absolutely must do is cook your meat thoroughly so that the entire meal is safe and tasty.

Other than that, just add your veggies, broth, spices, and whatever else you feel like trying. The combinations are endless.

Play around, get creative, and stay warm out there folks.

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