Healthy and hearty comfort food recipes

Winter warming recipes to make this season
Lucy Scott,-Senior Editor

These tasty winter warmers will see you through the cold snap

January, the month where everyone seems to be giving something up. Well, not us (especially not in this case). Give the month a delicious dose of self-care by cooking up a storm and adding new recipes to your repertoire. 

It’s a great time for root vegetables such as potatoes, parsnips, winter squash and pumpkins, and Waitrose has cleverly created a new batch of recipes that even novice cooks can whip up. Go one step further and use an air fryer or a slow cooker to make your nutritious meal even simpler. 

Here’s to hearty stews, warming pies and perfect-for-lunch filled potatoes.

Air fryer Moroccan-style parsnip & green olive stew

Air-fryer Moroccan-style parsnip & green olive stew


medium parsnips, scrubbed and cut into 3cm chunks

1 large orange pepper, sliced into thick strips

1 onion, cut into 8 wedges

1 tbsp olive oil

3 tbsp Belazu tagine paste

250ml vegan vegetable stock

100g pitted green olives

400g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

4 Medjool dates, halved lengthways and stoned

1/2 unwaxed lemon, zest and juice

200g wholewheat couscous

1/2 x 25g pack mint, leaves picked


  1. Turn the air fryer to 180ºC and make sure the grate is in the base of the bowl. Toss the parsnips, pepper and onion in the oil and season. Tip into the air fryer and cook for 10 minutes, stirring halfway through.

  2. Carefully remove the grate so the vegetables are sitting directly in the bowl. Add the tagine paste, stock, olives, chickpeas, dates and lemon zest. Stir well, then cook for another 12 minutes, stirring halfway. Add the lemon juice, then keep the tagine warm by turning the air fryer to its lowest heat setting.

  3. Meanwhile, put a kettle on to boil and place the couscous in a heatproof bowl. Pour over 250ml just-boiled water. Cover and leave to absorb for 6 minutes. Fluff up with a fork, then serve in warm bowls with the stew, with the mint leaves scattered on top.

Air fryer salmon fishcakes

Air-fryer salmon fishcakes


2 large baking potatoes (250-300g each)

220g Scottish salmon tail fillets, skin removed

1/4 x 25g pack flat leaf parsley, chopped

25g nonpareille capers, roughly chopped

lemon, zest

1 British Blacktail Medium Free Range Eggs

25g wholemeal breadcrumbs (about 1 slice)

1 tsp vegetable oil

For the salad

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

2 tsp clear honey

1 tsp wholegrain mustard

140g wild rocket

150g baby plum tomatoes, halved


  1. Heat the air fryer to 200ºC. Scrub the potatoes and prick with a fork then put in the air-fryer basket and cook for 40 minutes or until soft. Remove from the basket and leave to stand until cool enough to handle. Cut the potatoes in half, scoop the flesh into a mixing bowl and mash.

  2. Cook the salmon fillets in the air fryer at 200ºC for 10 minutes until cooked through. Flake the flesh with a fork and add to the potato along with the parsley, capers, lemon zest, egg and breadcrumbs; season. Using clean hands, mix all the ingredients together until thoroughly combined. Shape the mixture into 4 patties.

  3. Brush each fishcake with oil and lift into the air-fryer basket – you can line the base with parchment to make it easier to remove the fish cakes. Cook for 5 minutes at 200ºC, turn over and cook for a further 5 minutes. Meanwhile, for the salad, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, honey and mustard. Put the rocket and tomatoes in a bowl and toss with the dressing. Serve the fishcakes with the salad on the side.

Air fryer twice-baked potatoes with kale, ham & goat’s cheese

Air-fryer twice-baked potatoes with kale, ham & goat’s cheese


2 large baking potatoes

1 tbsp olive oil

200g pack thick-cut cavolo nero

1 garlic clove, crushed

1/2 x 180g Cooks’ Ingredients Smoked Ham Batons

75g soft goat's cheese

4 salad onions, trimmed and finely sliced

200g Bellaverde sweet stem broccoli, trimmed


  1. Turn the air fryer to 190ºC and make sure the grate is in the base of the bowl. Rub the potatoes with ½ tbsp oil and season. Make a small slit in the top of each potato and put them on top of the grate. Cook for 40 minutes, turning halfway, until crisp, golden brown and tender in the centre when tested with a knife.

  2. Remove the potatoes from the air fryer and, in a large bowl, use your hands to scrunch the cavolo nero with the remaining ½ tbsp oil and the garlic; season. Tip into the air fryer and cook for 4 minutes, stirring halfway, until just beginning to crisp at the edges.

  3. Set half the cavolo nero aside and tip the remainder back into the large bowl. Cut the top off each potato and carefully scoop the flesh into the bowl, leaving a border of about 1cm. Add the flesh from the ‘lids’ too, then discard the skins from the tops. Add the ham, goat’s cheese and salad onions, roughly mashing the mixture with a fork. Spoon the filling into the potato skins and cook in the air fryer for a final 5 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, steam the broccoli for 3-4 minutes until tender or cook in the air fryer. Once the potatoes are cooked, transfer them to warm serving plates and return the reserved cavolo nero to the air fryer for 1-2 minutes to heat through. Toss with the broccoli and serve alongside the stuffed potatoes.

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