Spend more time with your favorite people doing some fun winter activities around Michigan without having to worry about dinner. These cold-weather recipes are low effort and highly delicious.


Crock-pot: Chicken and Stuffing, The Cozy Cook

When you want a cozy, full meal to dig into at the end of a day spent outdoors, then this chicken and stuffing recipe is ideal. This takes only 10 minutes to prep and four hours to cook on high – the perfect amount of time to get a snowshoe trek in – but you can also set it on low if you’ll be out all day.


  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, salted and peppered if desired.
  • oz. cream of chicken soup
  • 8 sour cream, (equivalent to 1 cup)
  • 6 box stuffing mix
  • ¾cup chicken broth
  • cups green beans, fresh or frozen
  • cup baby carrots
  • teaspoon fresh parsley

Optional stuffing additions:

  • 1/2 cup onions, diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup crumbled sausage (cooked or raw)
  • teaspoons dry rosemary


  1. Place the chicken on the bottom of the crock pot and sprinkle with salt and pepper if desired.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the soup, sour cream, stuffing, and half of the broth. Layer the stuffing mix over the chicken.
  3. To keep the vegetables separate from the stuffing, place a layer of foil over the stuffing, then place your vegetables on top of the foil.  Poke holes on the bottom of the foil to allow the moisture to circulate instead of collecting on the top of the foil.  You can also layer the vegetables right on top of the stuffing if you’d prefer.
  4. Cook on high for 4 hours, or on low for 6-7.
  5. Before eating, check on the stuffing. If you’d prefer additional moisture, add the rest of the chicken broth, stir, and heat for an additional 10 minutes.
  6. Garnish the chicken with parsley if desired!


Instant Pot: Four-Havarti Instant Pot Mac and Cheese, Roth Cheese

Who doesn’t love mac ‘n cheese? This gourmet rendition will warm you up and stick to your ribs, as grandmother used to say. And since you can make it in an instant pot (one of the greatest inventions, ever!), you can enjoy it within 30 minutes. This recipe is perfect for a family or gathering of six, but it’s so good, you may want to double it.


  • 1 pound dried pasta (we recommend small shells or elbow macaroni)
  • Scant 4 cups water
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into chunks
  • 2 teaspoons ground mustard
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder or minced dried onion
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, cut into cubes
  • 1 cup milk or half-and-half
  • 4 cups (12 to 16 ounces) shredded Roth Havarti cheese (we used a blend of Original, Jalapeño, Horseradish and Chipotle)
  • Fresh parsley, for garnish


  1. Add dry pasta, water, butter, ground mustard, salt, garlic powder and onion powder to the bowl of the Instant Pot. Secure the lid.
  2. Set timer for 4 minutes on HIGH pressure. Ensure valve is set to SEALING. It can take up to 10 minutes for the Instant Pot to come to pressure.
  3. Release the pressure by flipping the valve to VENTING. Let pressure release for at least 2 to 3 minutes until no more steam is coming out.
  4. Open the lid, and add cream cheese and milk. Stir until melted and combined. Add Havarti cheese one handful at a time, stirring between each addition to ensure cheese is melted and consistency is creamy. Mac and cheese will thicken upon standing. Serve immediately.

Make the Night Before: Make-Ahead Lasagna, Taste of Home

The tantalizing smell of tomato sauce, Italian sausage, and melting cheese can be almost too much to bear, especially after a day out on the slopes. When you come home, just warm up the oven to 375 degrees and slide the pan in to bake it for about an hour. A perfect starter is a crisp green salad with Parmesan cheese, croutons, and a light dressing. (And don’t forget the crusty bread!)


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound bulk hot Italian sausage
  • 2 cups marinara sauce
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pizza sauce
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 carton (15 ounces) whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 12 no-cook lasagna noodles
  • 4 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese


  1. In a large skillet, cook and crumble beef and sausage over medium-high heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in marinara and pizza sauces. In a bowl, mix eggs, ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, parsley and pepper.
  2. Spread 1 cup meat sauce into a greased 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Layer with four noodles, half of the ricotta cheese mixture, 1 cup meat sauce and 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers. Top with remaining noodles, meat sauce and mozzarella cheese. Refrigerate, covered, 8 hours or overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 375°. Remove lasagna from refrigerator while oven heats. Bake, covered, 45 minutes. Bake, uncovered, until cheese is melted, 10-15 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.


Whip Up in a Minute: Minestrone, Life Made Sweeter

Relatively light, easy to make, and packed with veggies, minestrone will keep you full for hours.  What you throw in is completely up to you and your tastes. Melted Parmesan or mozzarella cheese on top just adds to its greatness.


  • 1 small onion , about 1/3 cup, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 medium carrot (about 1 cup) , chopped
  • 1 large celery stalk (about 1 cup) , chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 32 oz can diced tomatoes , (I usually use fire-roasted or Italian-style)
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 (32 oz carton – 4 cups) low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 medium zucchini (around 2/3 cups) , sliced into halves or quarters
  • 1/4 cup canned or cooked red kidney beans , drained and rinsed 
  • 1/4 cup canned or cooked cannelloni beans, chickpeas OR great northern beans , drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup dried small shell pasta
  • 1 cup fresh baby spinach chopped , optional
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar , optional but adds great flavor
  • Shredded or grated Parmesan cheese , for serving
  • Fresh parsley finely chopped , for garnish (optional)


  1. In a large heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add onions, garlic, carrots and celery and saute for about 4 minutes, or until vegetables are slightly softened.
  3. Add basil, oregano and thyme and cook for an additional 1 minute. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, bay leaf, vegetable broth and both of the beans. Depending on how large your pot is, add just enough water to cover the vegetables.
  4. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer for 20-25 minutes.
  5. Stir in the dried pasta shells and zucchini and cook for another 10 minutes, or until pasta is cooked. Stir in the spinach and allow to wilt (about 1-2 minutes). Add more water as needed if you like a thinner soup.
  6. Season with more salt and pepper as needed and stir in balsamic vinegar (if using).
  7. Serve warm with bread and top with Parmesan cheese and garnish with parsley if desired.