Nutrient-rich and deeply flavored, dark leafy greens are a versatile cold-weather ingredient. Kale, chard, spinach, and more are as delicious as they are healthy. While other produce fades away as summer gives way to fall and winter, they are bountiful well into the colder months. From spinach-artichoke dip to kale salad, we’ve rounded up our favorite recipes for winter greens.
Take a cue from Popeye and eat more spinach. This mild green is great in all sorts of dishes. For a creamy appetizer, try our spinach-artichoke dip made with a decadent combination of parmesan, mozzarella, cream cheese, mayonnaise, and sour cream. On the healthier side is egg drop soup upgraded from takeout status with the addition of spinach and edamame.
Heartier than spinach, chard is another delicious green. Try sautéing it with onions, mushrooms, and sweet corn to make a satisfying vegetarian taco filling. Or go with
hortopita, a Greek pie of phyllo (homemade or store-bought) layered with Swiss chard, herbs, and feta.
Kale has enjoyed fad status in recent years, but it’s more than a passing trend. Raw, it adds a pleasant bite to salad made with shredded Brussels sprouts or arugula and roasted butternut squash. It can also be stewed, sautéed, or baked into addictively crispy chips.
Find all of these dishes and more in our collection of winter greens recipes.
Tacolicious owner Sara Deseran first discovered this smoky salad, from Neil Fraser of LA’s Redbird, while cooking at the annual Sabores San Miguel festival in Mexico. The trick to getting tender, flavorful octopus is boiling it first, then marinating and grilling it.
This epic Genoese tart, filled with swiss chard, was traditionally made with 33 layers of dough—one for each year of Christ’s life.
For this hearty dip, we found that frozen artichoke hearts held up better than jarred ones.
Get the recipe for Spinach-Artichoke Dip »
Jenn Louis learned this recipe from home cook Gianna Messina in the Trentino-Alto Adige town of Trento. Near Italy’s border with Austria, the food takes on a distinctly Teutonic bent with spätzli, a close Italian cousin of German spätzle. Louis’ spiced, citrus-laced pangrattato, or bread crumbs, provide a welcome crunch and bright pop of flavor to this dish.
Spinach, Chive, and Yogurt Soup with Grilled Scallions
A combination of pesto, parmesan, and reduced cream makes a rich sauce for fettuccine or other long, thin pasta.
This green cocktail combines kale-infused rum with a housemade green harissa syrup, which adds sugar for balance and a hint of jalapeño for pop.
Kale takes on a crispy, addictive texture when drizzled with olive oil and baked. Try these chips tossed into salads, crushed and sprinkled on popcorn, or used to garnish finished dishes—if you can keep from eating them all immediately.
Get the recipe for Kale Chips
Crab dip is made even better when mixed with artichokes and spinach and topped with crispy pepperoni and cracker crumbs.
Get the recipe for Crab, Spinach, and Artichoke Dip »
It’s not hard to love North Indian saag paneer—meltingly soft spinach strewn with chunks of mild paneer, or fresh cheese—especially when scooped up with hot flatbread. Saag just means greens in Hindi, and though spinach is usually used in the U.S., in India saag paneer is also made with mustard, collard, fenugreek, or beet greens, and even amaranth or purslane.
—Margo True Get the recipe for Saag Paneer (Spinach with Fresh Indian Cheese) »
A handful of soybeans and fresh spinach lightens up this Chinese restaurant favorite.
Get the recipe for Spinach and Edamame Egg Drop Soup »
Writer Isabel Gillies tosses together this summery dish with cod fresh from the Maine shoreline and seasonal garden greens. Rainbow chard, bibb lettuce, spring peas, and fresh herbs contrast with the richness of butter-basted pan-seared cod.
Get the recipe for Pan-Seared Cod with Spring Vegetables »
Onions, mushrooms, sweet corn, and chiles in adobo add hearty, smoky flavor to this Swiss chard-based taco filling.
Get the recipe for Swiss Chard and Chipotle Tacos »
Don’t limit traditional pie spices—clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg—to the dessert table. In this cheesy, rich gratin, the spices take a savory note alongside kale, sweet potatoes, and sharp white cheddar.
Garlicky hunks of potato are mixed with wilted Swiss chard in this quick Croatian side dish.
This quick, zesty kale salad from Florida chef Jeffery Jew gets a decadent touch from rich pine nuts and ribbons of parmesan cheese.
This casserole combines sardines with a creamy Swiss chard and a layer of crunchy bread crumbs.
This is a pasta dish of strong flavors: Dark, earthy kale is offset by bright lemon cream and a warm, aromatic heat from crushed red chiles and garlic.
Crispy baked kale, sweet roasted squash, and peppery arugula and watercress are combined with pumpkin and pomegranate seeds in this colorful salad.
Get the recipe foFall Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash, Kale Chips, and Pomegranate Seeds »
After flavoring the beans for this creamy winter soup, smoked ham hock is shredded and pan-fried, rendering it crisp and intensifying its flavor.
This creamy dish from Toronto-based Indian cookbook author Smita Chandra makes a phenomenal spread, with oven-baked naan bread on the side. It’s made with the fresh Indian cheese called paneer, peas, and whole peeled tomatoes, along with plenty of tangy fresh fenugreek greens, and it’s spiced lavishly with turmeric, coriander, garam masala, and more. If you can’t find fenugreek greens, kale, Swiss chard, or another green can be substituted.
Cavolo nero, also known as Tuscan kale, Lacinato kale, or Dinosaur kale, balances thinly sliced, salty prosciutto over toast.
Get the recipe for Cavolo Nero and Prosciutto Bruschetta »
Meaty butter-basted grouper fillets are topped with a butter-rich, citrusy crab sauce and served over wilted kale and quinoa. Pickled fennel adds a dose of herby flavor that brings the dish together.
Get the recipe for Grouper in Crab Sauce with Black Quinoa and Pickled Fennel »
In this bulked-up version of the classic side dish, chard replaces spinach, and Gorgonzola adds depth and a creamier texture.
Get the recipe for Creamed Swiss Chard with Gorgonzola, Rye Bread Crumbs, and Walnuts »
In this dish, fresh spinach is sautéed with an array of spices.
Get the recipe for Andhra-Style Sautéed Spinach (Palakoora Vepadu) »
The leaves of cavolo nero (also known as Tuscan kale, Lacinato kale, or Dinosaur kale) cook slowly into a luscious heap when braised whole.
Farfalle with Cavolo Nero Pesto
In this rendition of traditional Genoese pesto, sweet and nutty cavolo nero (also known as Tuscan kale or Lacinato kale) is used in place of basil and pine nuts.
Get the recipe for Farfalle with Cavolo Nero Pesto »
Asian Greens with Garlic Sauce
Fried slices of prosciutto provide a crisp contrast to sautéed escarole.
Get the recipe for Escarole with Prosciutto »
These Greek pastries unite a buttery crust with bright-tasting fennel and feta cheese.
Get the recipe for Fennel and Herb Phyllo Pastries (Hortopita)»
Wild Greens with Fried Eggs (Horta me Avga Tiganita)
These fragrant collards are cooked with an Ethiopian-style spiced butter flavored with cardamom, fenugreek, and nigella seeds.
Ginger, chile powder, fennel seed, and turmeric add complex flavor to these tender collards.
Get the recipe for Kashmiri Collard Greens (Haak) »
Author Roberta Corradin’s mother, Lucia Gros Corradin, serves these ravioli in chicken or veal broth.
Shredded Brussels Sprouts and Kale Salad
Escarole lends sweet depth to this comforting soup from former Saveur executive editor Dana Bowen.
Get the recipe for Escarole Soup »
Utica greens, named for the New York town where Italian factory workers settled in the 1900s, is a sauté of escarole, bread crumbs, potatoes, and hot peppers.
In this simple, elegant salad, the spicy flavor of thinly sliced raw kale is offset by creamy Pecorino cheese, bright lemon, and sweet-tart dried currants.
Kale and fennel lend a unique sweetness to these briny puff pastry tarts. They’re perfect as appetizers, savory breakfasts, or as an accompaniment to a bowl of warm, wintry soup.
A spicy ginger kick and the subtle, unmistakably grassy sweetness of kale elevates this vegetal variation on the margarita, from the New York City bar The Wayland.
In Corsica, these herb-packed cheese dumplings showcase the wild greens of the island and make a great starter course to a summer meal.
Almost any vegetable can be substituted for spinach in this vegetarian appetizer sprinkled with pomegranate seeds. In Georgia, roasted beet and green bean versions are common.
Toasted walnuts, roasted butternut squash, baby kale, and a rich brown butter sauce combine over broad pappardelle noodles for a dish that perfectly captures fall’s best flavors.
Get the recipe for Pappardelle with Butternut Squash, Walnuts, and Baby Kale »