10 Cold-Weather Drink Recipes to Wow All Ages

If there’s one thing that’s synonymous with cooler weather, it’s the fact that the season brings tons of occasions to celebrate with friends and family. Here’s a thoughtfully curated roundup of 10 Cold-Weather Drink Recipes that will satisfy adults and kids alike. Mix one up for your next get-together!

Title image for 10 Cold-Weather Drink Recipes to Wow All Ages.
This post is sponsored by Sonoma Syrup Co.

Am I the only one who starts getting excited about all of the fall and winter holidays in the dead heat of summer? There’s something about the endless celebrations, travel, and loads of family time that just makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. Not to mention the FOOD and DRINKS. The cold-weather months are a time for not only comforting, hearty foods, but also belly-warming cocktails and mocktails. They’re a time for connection, celebration, and indulgence in things you only get to partake in once or twice a year. If you ask me, the food and drink we get to consume over these next few months is reason to celebrate in itself!

With all of the family time these holiday months can bring, you’re no doubt looking for a festive beverage or two for one special occasion or another (and – let’s be honest – us big kids often need something with an extra little kick to get us through all the craziness!) These 10 cocktails and mocktails are all festive and incredibly easy to make, especially with the addition of my favorite infused syrups from Sonoma Syrup Co. There’s a little something for everyone, whether you’re a little kid or big kid, a whiskey fan or a vodka fan.

You’ll also find a brand new cocktail recipe I created just for this roundup. My Pumpkin Apple Bourbon Smash features all of my favorite fall flavors (and, yes, that includes bourbon!) in one frosty glass. It’s certainly going to be on repeat in our household this holiday season. Read on for the recipe and nine other great drink ideas!

Spicy Ginger Sangria by Sonoma Syrup Co.

A glass of Spicy Ginger Sangria with glasses, ice and ginger simple syrup in the background.

Sangria is a fantastic drink for entertaining because you can make a big batch of it in advance and let adults serve themselves. This seasonally appropriate version features flavors of ginger, citrus, figs and apples – it’s like winter in a glass! And because the only booze in this recipe is red wine, the sangria isn’t nearly as strong as some of the other batch cocktails I’ve included in this roundup. Use a wine like Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot to really make the sangria full-bodied. It will warm up cold bellies (or stressed out parents) in no time! It’s also a great option to serve for a winter brunch in lieu of mimosas.

Honey Roasted Pear Sparkling Cocktails or Mocktails  by Cotter Crunch

A few glasses and a pitcher of Honey Roasted Pear Sparkling Cocktails.

I love this recipe because there’s both a cocktail and mocktail version, making it a great option when you have guests of all ages to cater to. For a fun spin on the original recipe, try substituting Infused Apple Cider Drinking Vinegar for the balsamic vinegar, or add in some Vanilla Bean Infused Simple Syrup in lieu of the vanilla extract. Roasting fruits before adding them to cocktails gives them a whole other dimension of flavor. It’s a fun way to add an unexpected twist to whatever you’re serving!

Pumpkin Apple Bourbon Smash by CaliGirl Cooking

An overhead shot of two glasses of Pumpkin Apple Bourbon Smash on a wooden platter.

This festive, easy-to-make cocktail features all of my favorite fall flavors – apple, pumpkin and bourbon! Sonoma Syrup Co.’s Pumpkin Pie Latte Syrup is a great way to add real pumpkin flavor to drinks without the extra body of pumpkin purée, and the touch of apple cider makes this drink truly next-level. It comes together in less than 10 minutes and is the perfect libation to sip on after the kids have all gone to bed and it’s time to kick up your feet.

Pay attention to the quality of apple cider you use. I like the cloudy, unfiltered stuff (usually from smaller producers) because it adds so much more flavor than the typically more watery juice.

If you want to make this recipe kid-friendly, simply omit the booze. It would also be just as tasty served warm as it would over ice!

Pumpkin Apple Bourbon Smash
Prep Time
5 mins
Total Time
5 mins
 

This Pumpkin Apple Bourbon Smash combines the best flavors of fall to make one delicious cocktail. It takes less than 5 minutes to mix up and enjoy in front of a crackling fire.

Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: apple, apple cider, bourbon, cocktails, drinks, fall, pumpkin
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 220 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 4 ounces bourbon
  • 2 ounces Sonoma Syrup Co. Pumpkin Pie Latte Syrup
  • 4 ounces high-quality apple cider
  • 8 dashes angostura bitters
For garnish:
  • 2 dashes ground cinnamon
  • 2 apple wheels
Instructions
  1. Combine all cocktail ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled 3/4 full with ice. Shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds.

  2. Fill two rocks glasses with ice and strain shaker contents evenly amongst the two.

  3. Add a dash of ground cinnamon to the top of each cocktail and garnish with apple wheel. Enjoy!

The Lemon Toddy by Sonoma Syrup Co.

A lemon tree with a beehive.

I don’t know about you, but I love me a good hot toddy. This Lemon Toddy can be served as-is (without the booze) or add a healthy glug of whiskey to kick things up a notch. This is the perfect drink for the dead of winter when you’re fending off colds or snuggled up in a cozy cabin with snow falling down outside. With both alcoholic and nonalcoholic options, it’s the perfect family-friendly recipe and a great way to stay healthy in a season that is rife with sickness.

Apple Cider, Cranberry and Ginger Punch  by Martha Stewart

A few glasses of Apple Cider, Cranberry and Ginger Punch.

This is another easy batch cocktail that can easily be made with or without booze. Liven up the entire batch with a healthy glug of gin, or split it up and omit the gin from half so there is some for kids and adults alike. The combination of apple, cranberry and ginger is like winter in a glass. You can even cut down on the ingredient list by subbing in some lemon simple syrup for the fresh lemon juice and sugar. This recipe makes four servings, but feel free to double or triple the recipe for a larger group. It’s so easy to do!

Peppermint Mocha by Sonoma Syrup Co.

A woman holding a warm peppermint mocha.

Call me basic, but I’m a HUGE fan of the peppermint mocha once the cool weather rolls around. In fact, I’ve even been known to order one after the winter holidays have passed and I’m still sporting my leather boots. With this recipe, you can easily make a Peppermint Mocha in the comfort of your own home without having to trek to Starbucks. For the kiddos, just omit the espresso and they’ll have a tasty Peppermint Hot Chocolate on their hands (and hopefully not all over their clothes.) It’s also super-easy to make it dairy-free!

SPICED Vanilla Bean Steamers  by The Kitchn

A Vanilla Bean Steamer on a tables with a jug of milk and vanilla beans in the background.

If you’re not a fan of peppermint or chocolate, this is the warm winter drink for you! This particular recipe uses tea bags, but you can also simply heat or froth up your choice of milk with some delicious Vanilla Bean Infused Simple Syrup. If you do go the tea route, feel free to branch out from just the turmeric tea mentioned here. Peppermint, chamomile and Earl Grey are all great alternatives to try instead. I love a good vanilla steamer right before bed, especially at the end of a stressful day. Think of it as an easy act of self-care when the holiday craziness gets to be too much. I guarantee it will give you a more peaceful night’s sleep, plus, this recipe is great for the kiddos, too!

Vanilla Bean Creamsicle by Sonoma Syrup Co.

A Vanilla Creamsicle cocktail in a martini glass!

While hot drinks are all the rage when the weather outside is less than ideal, this Vanilla Bean Creamsicle cocktail will no doubt warm you up inside as well. Vanilla and orange are two classic winter flavors that compliment each other nicely, and vodka will lend that extra kick you may be looking for when things get a little too hectic or stressful. This is the perfect drink to serve at an adults-only party, or even a winter lunch or brunch with your closest gal pals. Get fancy with martini glasses filled to the rim and a tasty selection of appetizers to go with!

Winter Spiced Vanilla Eggnog by CaliGirl Cooking

Two glasses of Winter Spiced Vanilla Eggnog amid twinkly lights.

A cold-weather drink roundup wouldn’t be complete without a classic homemade eggnog recipe! While homemade eggnog may sound intimidating, it’s really not that hard to make. And the flavor payoff is so worth it! I encourage you to give it a shot. Don’t be shy about using the raw eggs, just pay attention to where you buy them to ensure they’re of the highest quality and, of course, don’t indulge in this while pregnant. Adding plenty of Vanilla Bean Simple Syrup and of-the-season spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves make this eggnog its own party in a glass.

Ginger Grapefruit Bourbon Sour by HGTV.com

A punch bowl of Ginger Grapefruit Bourbon Sour with two filled glasses and sliced grapefruit alongside.

Let’s wrap up this list with one final batch cocktail! This Ginger Grapefruit Bourbon Sour is a true party in a punch bowl. There’s something about serving a punch that automatically ups the festive factor of any get-together, plus it’s easier on the host. I love that this recipe is brimming with fresh citrus and zesty ginger in addition to everyone’s favorite tummy-warmer: bourbon. And here’s a handy shortcut for ya: instead of slaving away over the stove to make your own ginger simple syrup as the recipe calls for, simply swap in Sonoma Syrup’s White Ginger Infused Simple Syrup! Your party prep just got that much easier.

So, what do you think? Out of all of these cocktail and mocktail recipes, is there one you’re just dying to make? I don’t know about you, but I hope I get the chance to give every single one of them a try.  Let me know which one you’re going to try first in the comments below!

Ground Beef “Not-So-Sloppy” Joes That Even Your Little One Will Love!

These Ground Beef “Not-So-Sloppy” Joes take a classic Sloppy Joe recipe and turn it into something the whole family – even your youngest eaters – will love. Sloppy Joe filling is tucked into fluffy crescent cups for a neater, handheld version of the popular weeknight dinner.

If you have questions about starting solid foods, consult a physician or health care provider.

An overhead shot of Not-So-Sloppy Joes laid out on a cooling rack.

This post is a collaboration with Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. on behalf of the Beef Checkoff. I received compensation, but all opinions are my own.

I hope you’re ready for an easy weeknight dinner that the entire family is going to love, because these Ground Beef “Not-So-Sloppy” Joes totally fit the bill. They’re quick, easy, and so tasty you won’t even know they’re made specifically for tiny appetites.

That’s right, I’m thrilled to be partnering with Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. to bring you this baby-led weaning-friendly recipe and share all of the amazing benefits of introducing beef as a first food to your babes.

By now you likely know what a huge proponent I am of the baby-led weaning method, which encourages the introduction of ALL foods in their most natural form starting from very early on in a child’s solid food journey. With BLW, it’s recommended that foods like peanut butter, eggs, dairy, and, yes, beef are all introduced before a child turns one in order to expand their palates and set them up for optimal physical and cognitive development.

You can read more about the baby-led weaning method here. In the meantime, let’s dig into some of nutrition benefits of beef, and how it lends itself to these important developmental milestones.

A close-up shot of "Not-So-Sloppy" Joes in their baking pan.

Nutritional Benefits of Beef for Babies

Beef contains high-quality protein, iron and zinc, all of which are essential nutrients for a child’s healthy growth and development. With more than ten essential nutrients, beef can assist in improved recall skills and reasoning abilities, and also support brain health and optimal cognitive development. You can read more about the nutritional benefits of beef as a first food on BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com.

While beef purées are certainly an option for ensuring your baby receives all of these benefits, I wanted to create a recipe with beef in one of its more natural forms for all of my baby-led weaning fans out there. So how did I create a Sloppy Joe recipe that’s baby-led weaning approved?

A "Not-So-Sloppy" Joe on a kids' plate with zucchini and tomato salad.

 

Let me tell you!

Ground Beef Sloppy Joes That are Baby-Led Weaning Approved

If you’re not too familiar with baby-led weaning, there are a few things to pay special attention to when offering foods to your little one:

CHEWING AND SWALLOWING ABILITY

When presenting food to a babe who’s just starting to eat, you want to make sure it’s appropriate for his or her current chewing and swallowing abilities. Ground beef – which I used for these Ground Beef “Not-So-Sloppy” Joes – is a great option as it’s already in small pieces and easy to chew. It’s even “gummable” for babies who may not have many (or any) teeth yet.

SALT

Sodium deserves some special attention when it comes to cooking for your little one. While adults can consume between 1,500-2,300 mg of sodium a day, babies and toddlers should be consuming much less, between 400-800 mg per day. That’s why you won’t see any added salt in this recipe, however, if you feel you want more salt in your Sloppy Joe mixture, feel free to set some “joe” mix aside for your baby and then season the rest as you wish.

SUGAR

While many traditional Sloppy Joe recipes use brown sugar as a sweetener, I try to steer away from pure sugar as much as possible when cooking for new eaters. To sweeten up the sauce a little bit, I recommend adding just enough maple syrup to tone down the acidity of the tomatoes.

THE MESS

If there’s one thing anyone who’s already gone through baby-led weaning can attest to, it’s that it makes a huge mess! In BLW, babies are encouraged to practice self-feeding from the very beginning, so things definitely don’t stay neat and tidy. The great thing about this Ground Beef “Not-So-Sloppy” Joe recipe is that the mess of the Joe filling will be at least somewhat contained by those fluffy crescent cups, and babies won’t even need to wield a fork to get to the good stuff.

"Not-So-Sloppy" Joes cooling on a rack, surrounded by a blue and white checked napkin.

While the nutrients in beef offer an ample amount of benefits, tomatoes and bell peppers give the recipe an extra dose of nutrition. With less mess and babies’ nutritional needs in mind, these “Not-So-Sloppy” Joe’s will be the perfect addition to your weeknight dinner rotation, not to mention they’ll be enjoyed by the whole family!

For more great family recipes and additional information about the health benefits of beef, be sure to check out BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com.

I’d love to hear all about your BLW adventures with beef in the comments below!

Ground Beef "Not-So-Sloppy" Joes
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
12 mins
Total Time
42 mins
 

These Ground Beef “Not-So-Sloppy” Joes take a classic Sloppy Joe recipe and turn it into something the whole family - even your youngest eaters - will love. Sloppy Joe filling is tucked into fluffy crescent cups for a neater, handheld version of the popular weeknight dinner.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: baby-friendly, baby-led weaning, beef, entree, kid-friendly, main course, weeknight
Servings: 24 cups
Calories: 212 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 pound Ground Beef
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried ground mustard
  • 1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons coco aminos
  • 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Salt to taste (for adults)
  • 3 cans refrigerated crescent dough (enough dough for 3 dozen crescents)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven according to crescent dough package directions. Spray cupcake pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

  2. Warm olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until just translucent, about 3 minutes, then add bell peppers. Once bell peppers begin to soften, add Ground Beef. Stir in pan until it begins to brown, then add garlic powder and ground mustard. Continue stirring until most of the meat is browned.

  3. Add crushed tomatoes and tomato paste to pan and stir until combined, then stir in the coconut aminos, maple syrup and balsamic vinegar. If you want to add some salt for the adults and older kids in the family, now’s the time to do it, but go as light as you can. Turn the mixture down to low and let it simmer while you prepare the crescent cups.

  4. Unroll the crescent dough from its package and separate each triangle. Cut the top off of each triangle and then reattach it to the side to make a rectangle (as shown in the photos). Press rectangles one by one into the cupcake molds.

  5. Take a tablespoon measure and scoop 1-2 tablespoons into each crescent cup. Place cupcake pans in preheated oven and bake according to the crescent package directions (typically at around 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes), or until golden. Leave in pan until cool enough to touch, then gently remove, using a butter knife to gently ease them out if necessary.

Recipe Notes

DISH DENSITY: Low

Coconut Passion Fruit Chia Pudding Parfait

This Coconut Passion Fruit Chia Pudding Parfait is just as suitable as a healthy dessert as it is as a wholesome breakfast. Coconut milk chia pudding, thick passion fruit puree and homemade haupia all come together in a single dish. You won’t be able to stop eating this tasty treat!

Two dishes of Coconut Passion Fruit Chia Pudding Parfait topped with pink flowers.

One of my favorite parts about traveling is finding new foods and dishes that inspire me to get in the kitchen and create my own special version of them. On any typical vacation, I’ll probably come home with at least two ideas of recipes I want to recreate on my own. It’s one of the reasons I love traveling so much – there’s nothing like it to broaden my imagination and get my home-cooking skills flowing again as soon as I get home.

If you’ve been following me on Instagram, chances are you noticed we took a little trip to visit my cousin and her new baby in Kauai at the end of July. While the great majority of our vacation was spent hanging out in our beautiful vacation rental and lounging by the pool with our babes, we did manage to get out for a few tasty treats.

There’s a small local market close to where we stay in Poipu that, while not fancy, is perhaps best known for the shave ice “wagon” that parks out front of it or the sushi bar inside of it. We stopped in for some Spam musubi one day on our way home from the beach, and my cousin came out with a Mason jar full of what looked to me like the dreamiest (and tastiest) chia pudding concoction I’d ever seen in my life:

A Mason jar of coconut chia pudding layered with haupia and passion fruit puree.

Coconut chia pudding was layered in between passion fruit puree and creamy haupia, and as soon as I tasted a bite of it I casually informed her that she better eat however much of it that she wanted FAST, because otherwise I would 😉

Lucky for me (and for little Raia, who couldn’t get enough of it!) she was more than generous with sharing and I was able to savor each bite just enough so I’d remember how to make my own at home. Lucky for you, I’m sharing that homemade recipe with you today!

There are a few things that go into this Coconut Passion Fruit Chia Pudding Parfait, but no step is too difficult. Just remember that you’ll want to start the process a day before you want to serve it, as both the haupia and the chia pudding need to set up in the fridge overnight. It’s also good to give the passion fruit puree some time to set up in the fridge since you’ll be heating it thicken it up.

Here’s how the process goes:

Step 1: Make the haupia.

Full disclosure, this was the first time I’d made haupia from scratch, and I was blown away by how easy it was! I used this recipe from Tasting Table, which involves just four ingredients:

Cornstarch
Water
Coconut milk
Sugar

It’s a quick and easy process, just boil everything together, pour it into a baking dish and refrigerate overnight. No baking or fancy temperature taking required. You can also find haupia mix packets in Asian grocery stores (or on Amazon [*affiliate link]), but after making this from-scratch recipe, I’ll tell you I never feel the need to buy the packets again!

Looking down on a dish of Coconut Passion Fruit Chia Pudding topped with coconut chips and a pink flower.

Step 2: Make the chia pudding.

If you’ve never made chia pudding before, prepare to meet your new favorite make-ahead breakfast. All it takes is some chia seeds, coconut beverage (or milk of your choice) and some vanilla and honey. Pour everything into a Mason jar, shake and seal, then place this in your refrigerator overnight as well. Are we seeing how easy this is yet?

Step 3: Thicken up (and sweeten) some passion fruit puree.

I know, I know, you’re probably wondering where in the heck you’re going to find some passion fruit puree. But I’ve made it easy for you! You can order it on Amazon [*affiliate link], and it’s even on Prime so it will be at your doorstep in just a couple of days.

We were lucky enough to have some passion fruit puree in our freezer from a family friend that grows them, so I simply thawed that but then thickened it up on the stove with some cornstarch and a little extra sugar for sweetness. I highly recommend giving whatever puree you end up getting a taste before doing this, and only adding sugar as needed.

Step 4: Assemble, top with toasted coconut flakes and enjoy!

The next morning, your parfaits will be ready in seconds. Simply take your serving vessel (I like small Mason jars or clear parfait dishes) and start layering:

First goes the coconut chia pudding,
Then goes the passion fruit puree,
Followed by cubes of your homemade haupia,
All topped with roasted coconut strips to add the perfect crunch.

An overhead shot of a wooden spoon resting in a dish of coconut chia pudding.

If you’re looking for a special kid-friendly breakfast treat that still packs a ton of nutrition, this Coconut Passion Fruit Chia Pudding Parfait is the answer.

And if coconut and/or passion fruit aren’t your thing, check out some of my other tasty chia pudding recipes like this Tropical Matcha Chia Pudding, this Coconut-Vanilla Chia Pudding Parfait, and this baby-friendly Oat Milk Chia Pudding with Blueberry Orange Compote!

Coconut Passion Fruit Chia Pudding Parfait
Prep Time
30 mins
Refrigerator Time
8 hrs
Total Time
8 hrs 30 mins
 

This Coconut Passion Fruit Chia Pudding Parfait is just as suitable as a healthy dessert as it is as a wholesome breakfast. Coconut milk chia pudding, thick passion fruit puree and homemade haupia all come together in a single dish. You won’t be able to stop eating this tasty treat!

Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Hawaiian
Keyword: breakfast, chia, coconut, dairy-free, dessert, Hawaiian, healthy, kid-friendly, passion fruit, snack
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 570 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 2 cups diced haupia pudding Link to recipe in Notes
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 2 cups unsweetened vanilla coconut beverage
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups passion fruit puree Link to purchase in Notes
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • Sugar, as needed to sweeten
  • Roasted coconut chips, for topping
Instructions
  1. The night before you plan to serve the parfaits, prepare the haupia according to directions and allow to set up in the refrigerator overnight.

  2. The same night, combine chia seeds, coconut beverage and vanilla in a glass bowl with a lid and place in the refrigerator. If you can, give the bowl a shake a few times before bed to make sure the seeds are well incorporated with the coconut beverage. 

  3. You’ll also want to prepare the passion fruit puree the night before. Place the puree in a saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer. In a small, separate bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water, then whisk into the passion fruit puree. Continuously whisk as you add however much sugar you need, probably a few tablespoons but taste as you go. Remove puree from heat and let cool before transferring to a Mason jar or other container and refrigerating overnight.

  4. In the morning, scoop chia pudding into your serving vessels, then top with passion fruit puree, then the diced haupia. Top with toasted coconut chips and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Dish Density: Medium

Haupia pudding recipe from Tasting Table.

Passion fruit puree link to purchase [*affiliate]

Easy Weeknight Beef and Veggie Stir-Fry

An easy weeknight beef and veggie stir-fry recipe that’s ready in just 30 minutes. Serve over brown rice for a well-balanced meal that the entire family will love!

A close-up of a big pan full of Easy Weeknight Beef and Veggie Stir-Fry.

When it comes to types of recipes you guys like to see here on the blog, some of the most requested are easy, weeknight meals. It’s something I’ve been working on bringing you more of, especially now that I’m in that season of life where they are oh-so-important. After all, there’s nothing like having your hands full with raising a tiny human to really put you in your place when it comes to what types of recipes you have time to make anymore.

So when my brother (who happens to have his hands full with three tiny humans of his own) texted me asking for a good homemade stir-fry recipe, I knew it was time to get one in my arsenal – and share it with all of you!

Why Stir-Fry is a Great Weeknight, Family-Friendly Meal

If you think about it, stir-fry is a pretty ultimate weeknight meal, for a number of reasons:

  • It comes together quickly
  • It’s adaptable for many different diets
  • You can pretty much throw in whatever you have on hand
  • It’s very nutritionally balanced
  • With the exception of some rice to serve it over, it’s a one-dish meal

Does this convince you that you need to make this Beef and Veggie Stir-Fry ASAP?

Well, what if I told you that, once you have the base recipe for this stir-fry down, you’ll be able to make this dinner in tons of different ways and improvise it however you want it so that you’re never serving the exact same thing twice? Let’s talk about the basic building blocks of a good stir-fry…

A dish of Easy Weeknight Beef and Veggie Stir-Fry ready to enjoy.

Basic Building Blocks of a Good Stir-Fry

When it comes to making stir-fry, there are just a few building blocks you need to make it a hit with the fam.

PROTEIN

You’ll want to always include some sort of protein, whether that’s beef, chicken, shrimp, tofu, etc. This will give the meal it’s “stick-to-your-ribs” quality so that you’re not raiding the kitchen for a snack two hours after eating.

VEGGIES

The fun part about stir-fry is that you can really use any combination of veggies you want. I used carrots, zucchini, broccoli and snow peas for this recipe, but some other great ideas might be:

  • Bell peppers
  • Mushrooms
  • Bok choy
  • Water chestnuts
  • Mini corn
A TASTY SAUCE

There are tons of different ways you can go with sauces for stir-fry, but the basic one I’ve included in this Beef and Veggie Stir-Fry will work with just about any protein and veggie combination you decide on.

What You Need to Whip Up a Stir-Fry In No Time

The other great thing about stir-fry for dinner – especially on a weeknight – is how very little equipment it involves. If you have a wok, use it! But if not, a big, deep saute pan will do just fine. Aside from an Instant Pot or rice cooker to make some rice to serve it with and a wooden spoon to stir, that’s all you need!

An overhead shot of two delicious plates of Easy Weeknight Beef and Veggie Stir-Fry.

So if all of these reasons don’t convince you, you can stop reading now, but if an Easy Weeknight Beef and Veggie Stir-Fry sounds right up your alley for dinner this week, read on for the recipe!

And in case you’re looking for some more weeknight dinner inspiration, check out these recipes:

Easy Weeknight Beef and Veggie Stir-Fry
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 

An easy beef and veggie stir-fry recipe that’s ready in just 30 minutes. Serve over brown rice for a well-balanced meal that the entire family will love!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Asian, beef, dinner, entree, main course, stir-fry, weeknight
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 354 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the stir-fry:
  • 4 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
  • 3/4 pound flank steak, cut into thin strips or cubes
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 1/2 cups snow peas, cut in half or thirds
  • 1 large carrot, sliced
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
For the sauce:
  • 1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup chicken or beef broth
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili-garlic paste (optional)
For topping:
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
Instructions
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of sesame oil in your wok or large pan on the stove over medium heat. Once oil is shimmering, add flank steak and sear on all sides. Remove from pan and set on a plate while you start the vegetables. 

  2. Return wok to heat on the stove and add 2 more tablespoons of sesame oil. Once oil is shimmering again, add garlic and vegetables and stir to combine. Let veggies cook over medium heat while you mix up the sauce.

  3. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together all sauce ingredients. Add to the vegetable mix, then add the flank steak back to the pan. Continue to cook on medium heat until sauce has thickened slightly and vegetables are cooked.

  4. Serve over rice and top with green onions and sesame seeds.

Recipe Notes

DISH DENSITY: Medium

“Feed a Crowd” Make-Ahead Breakfast Enchiladas

These Make-Ahead Breakfast Enchiladas are the perfect breakfast to feed a crowd with less than 30 minutes of prep time the morning of. They’re loaded with eggs, shredded meat and vegetables and topped with the easiest homemade red enchilada sauce.

A finished dish full of Make-Ahead Breakfast Enchiladas.

If you haven’t yet discovered the beauty of make-ahead enchiladas, you’ve really been missing out! They’re a great meal prep dish for weeknights, as they can be composed well in advance and then just popped in the oven right before you’re ready to serve them. They’re also incredibly freezer-friendly once they’re cooked, making them a great option to make for friends and family who have just had a baby, experienced an illness or death in the family, etc., etc.

And what do I love most, in particular, about these Make-Ahead Breakfast Enchiladas? The fact that I can prep them and just pop them in the refrigerator the night before I need to serve a crowd in a hurry.

I don’t know about you, but our little one does NOT have the patience to sit around and wait hours for her first meal of the day, so these have been a fantastic option for us in the mornings when we have family visiting and need to get something on the table fast.

So let’s get into the details about how to make the only crowd-pleasing breakfast you’ll want to serve from now on:

How to Master Enchilada Prep

The first thing you’ll want to do is make your enchilada sauce. Sure, you can use store-bought [*affiliate link], but let me tell you, this was the first time I’d ventured into making enchilada sauce on my own and it was soooo easy. You should totally do it because you’ll never turn back. And most of the ingredients are things you’ll already have on hand in your pantry.

A dish of breakfast enchiladas being prepared, covered with homemade red enchilada sauce.

There are three other ingredients you’ll need to prepare before assembling your enchiladas:

  1. Shredded meat of your choice (I love buying the Trader Joe’s carnitas or making up a quick batch of my favorite Instant Pot Shredded Chicken.)
  2. Sautéed onions and peppers.
  3. Scrambled eggs.

Once you have the sauce and these three essential components ready to go, you’ll want to set up a big assembly line for all of your tortillas. The more space you have to spread out multiple tortillas, the faster the assembly process will go.

Now line up your tortillas and assemble away!

Tortillas lined up and filled with eggs, vegetables and shredded meat to make breakfast enchiladas.

Fill your choice of corn or flour tortillas with the shredded meat, vegetables and scrambled eggs. Roll each one up tight and line them all up in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.

Before tucking the enchiladas away in the refrigerator for the night (or into the freezer if you plan on serving them more than a day later), top them with your homemade enchilada sauce and plenty of shredded cheese.

Then cover, refrigerate (or freeze) and tuck them away until you’re ready to serve!

A dish of make-ahead breakfast enchiladas all prepped and ready to be refrigerated or frozen until serving.

How to Feed a Crowd

The morning you’re ready to serve these yummy enchiladas, simply uncover the dish and pop it into a 350-degree oven for 15-20 minutes (more if the enchiladas have been frozen.) If you want to get the cheese on top extra brown and bubbly, turn on the broiler for the last five minutes or so.

Finally, you can’t forget the toppings! Be sure to top your breakfast enchiladas with plenty of fresh cilantro and avocado before dishing them out to your hungry crew.

This is the perfect breakfast for any time of year: summer mornings when you want to get outside first thing, busy school days when you have lots of hungry mouths to feed, or special holidays when your house is brimming with family and friends.

A single serving of delicious make-ahead breakfast enchiladas.

Make-Ahead Breakfast Enchiladas
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hr 30 mins
 

These Make-Ahead Breakfast Enchiladas are the perfect breakfast to feed a crowd with less than 30 minutes of prep time the morning of. They’re loaded with eggs, shredded meat and vegetables and topped with the easiest homemade red enchilada sauce.

Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: breakfast, enchiladas, freezer-friendly, kid-friendly, make-ahead, meal prep, Mexican
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 446 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the sauce:
  • 3 ounces tomato paste
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons olive or avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
All other ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon olive or avocado oil
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 8 eggs
  • 8 medium tortillas (corn or flour)
  • 12 ounces shredded meat (carnitas, beef or shredded chicken)
  • 5 ounces shredded cheese (I used a mix of cheddar, fontina and jack)
  • Cilantro, for topping
  • Sliced avocado, for topping
Instructions
  1. First, make the sauce. Place tomato paste and broth in a medium saucepan over medium heat.

  2. In a small bowl, mix together the oil and flour with a fork, then add it to the saucepan with the tomato paste and broth. This will help thicken it.

  3. Add the remaining ingredients to the saucepan mixture and stir to combine. Bring to a gentle simmer, cooking until sauce thickens slightly, then turn down the heat to low to keep warm while you make the rest of the enchilada components.

  4. Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

  5. If you are planning on serving the enchiladas right away, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

  6. Place a medium saute pan over medium heat on the stove and add 1 tablespoon oil. Once oil is warm, add bell peppers and onions. Saute until onions are translucent and fragrant, then move the mixture to a separate mixing bowl.

  7. Using the same saute pan, scramble the eggs using the leftover oils and juices from the vegetables. Once eggs are cooked, remove to your other mixing bowl.

  8. Lay tortillas out onto a large prep space so you can assemble them all at once. Divide the vegetables, shredded meat and eggs evenly among the 8 tortillas.

  9. Roll each one up and tuck it into the prepared baking dish. It’s okay if they’re a bit snug.

  10. Once all of the tortillas are tucked into the baking dish, top them with the enchilada sauce, then with the shredded cheese.

  11. At this point, you can cover and freeze or refrigerate the enchiladas until you are ready to serve them OR you can bake them right away.

  12. When you’re ready to bake, place the enchiladas on a rimmed baking sheet (to catch any drips) and pop them into a 350-degree oven for 15-20 minutes. If your enchiladas are frozen, you may need closer to 30-35 minutes. To make the cheese on top extra-bubbly and brown, turn the broiler on for the last 5 minutes or so of baking.

  13. Once enchiladas are warmed through, remove from the oven and top with fresh cilantro and sliced avocado before serving.

Recipe Notes

DISH DENSITY: High