When it comes to fresh vegetables, people tend to think about spring and summer and the incredibly bounty those seasons bring. It's true that the colder months offer a more limited range of produce, but it's by no means impossible to eat delicious in-season vegetables in the winter. Kale, Brussels sprouts, carrots, and more—make the most of cold-weather produce with our favorite winter vegetable recipes.
Kale grows starting in mid-summer, but it reaches its peak during the winter. We love to use kale in all sorts of dishes, from pasta with sausage and lemon cream sauce to white bean soup with smoked ham hock. Tender baby kale is delicious raw—try it in a simple salad with pine nuts, parmesan, and a lemon vinaigrette.
Sweet winter carrots are an under-appreciated ingredient—they aren't just for rabbits. Try roasting carrots and turnips with toasted cumin seeds, mint, and lime juice. To double down on the sweetness, carrots and maple is a great combination. Try braising carrots in butter and glazing with maple for a rich, decadent side dish. And don't toss the carrot tops—they make a wonderful pesto to serve with roasted carrots and burrata.
Often neglected, cauliflower is experiencing something of a renaissance. Its mellow flavor works in a variety of preparations, from a hearty lamb stew with harissa to delicate but filling goat cheese soufflés. Charred cauliflower has a deep, nutty flavor—use it with shishito peppers in a Catalan picada sauce or in pasta with capers, bread crumbs, and a mustard brown butter.
Find these dishes and more in our collection of winter vegetable recipes.
April Bloomfield offers her crazy-good recipe for pan-roasted carrots with carrot-top pesto, shaved carrot salad, and creamy burrata. Get the recipe for Roasted Carrot Salad with Burrata »
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. Get the recipe for Kale and Sweet Potato Gratin »
Maple syrup enhances the sweetness of this simple sweet potato mash. Get the recipe for Maple Butter Mashed Sweet Potatoes »
This creamy, savory preparation brings out Brussels sprouts' natural sweetness. Get the recipe for Creamed Brussels Sprouts »
Braising—with a healthy dose of soy—is one of our favorite ways to bring out the texture and flavor of winter squash. Get the recipe for Soy-Braised Kabocha Squash »
It's rare that we encounter spaghetti squash not shredded into its eponymous noodle-like threads. But kept intact, it reveals a beautifully yielding texture and a savory, subtle flavor that's perfectly offset by a rich walnut-miso glaze. Get the recipe for Broiled Spaghetti Squash with Walnut-Miso Glaze »
A sauce of unabashedly flavorful ingredients—including evaporated milk and, yes, Velveeta cheese—makes for a spectacularly rich take on creamed spinach. Get the recipe for Spinach Madeleine »
Creamy baked yams mashed with butter, lime juice, and honey make an easy, bright autumn side dish. Get the recipe for Mashed Yams with Lime and Honey »
An aromatic combination of spices elevate the humble sweet potato oven fry to something truly special. Get the recipe for Sweet Potato Honey Fries with Curry-Honey Sauce »
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. Get the recipe for Kale and Sausage Penne with Lemon Cream Sauce »
Toasted cumin seeds, mint, and lime juice intensify the sweetness of simple baked root vegetables. Get the recipe for Cumin-Roasted Carrots and Parsnips »
This luxurious stove-top creamed spinach is enriched with sour cream and topped with crunchy spiced bread crumbs. Get the recipe for Creamed Spinach with Spiced Bread Crumbs »
These tender ravioli are filled with spinach and cheese and topped with a tangy tomato sauce bolstered with mushrooms, zucchini, and squash. Get the recipe for Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli »
It's tres French to pair crisp, spicy radishes with softened, salted butter; a thin-sliced baguette is the perfect vehicle. Get the recipe for Radish and Butter Sandwich »
Aleppo pepper (a tangy Middle Eastern spice), raisins, and raw cauliflower marry in this simple yet unusual salad. Get the recipe for Shaved Cauliflower and Radicchio Salad »
Packed full of glowing winter produce—sweet roasted beets, tart pomegranate seeds—this lentil salad makes a colorful addition to the winter table. Get the recipe for Lentil Salad with Beets and Pomegranate »
Pasties were originally made for miners—they could hold the pies' thick edging with dirty hands and discard it after eating. James Lowe updates the pedestrian pasty by marrying tender, earthy tubers with melty cheese for the filling. Get the recipe for Jerusalem Artichoke and Comté Pasties »
After flavoring the beans for this creamy winter soup, smoked ham hock is shredded and pan-fried, rendering it crisp and intensifying its flavor. Get the recipe for White Bean and Lacinato Kale Soup with Smoked Ham Hock »
Mix flaky chunks of smoked trout and roasted golden rutabaga with your choice of microgreens to add a fresh hint of early spring to this rustic salad. Get the recipe for Smoked Trout, Rutabaga, and Microgreen Salad »
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 »
For this luxurious dish, chef Robin Jackson, of Knight Inlet Lodge in British Columbia, lavishes pasta in a truffle-infused cream sauce and crowns it with chanterelles, lavender, pecorino, and shavings of truffle, which release their seductive aroma in the steam. Get the recipe for Tagliatelle with Black Truffle Cream Sauce »
For this Middle Eastern–spiced stew, cauliflower stems are minced and sautéed in the mirepoix to add flavor, while the florets are broiled and added at the end of cooking to offer crunch and body. Get the recipe for Lamb and Cauliflower Stew with Harissa »
Adding puréed cauliflower to an appetizer-sized soufflé gives the dish the heartiness to be a vegetarian main when served with a salad. Get the recipe for Cauliflower and Goat Cheese Soufflés »
Picada is a Catalan-style pesto, made here with almonds, parsley, and chocolate—a surprise ingredient that adds a pleasing touch of bitterness to this delicious side dish. Get the recipe for Charred Cauliflower and Shishito Peppers with Picada Sauce »
Simple ingredients—chewy, charred cauliflower, fried capers and bread crumbs, and browned butter, bolstered by whole grain mustard—combine for the ultimate late-winter pasta. Get the recipe for Pappardelle with Cauliflower and Mustard Brown Butter »
Like a lot of chefs, Jared Bennett of Metropole in Cincinnati is into charring vegetables to amplify their natural sweetness inside, and lend them a pleasantly bitter crust. The secret, he says, is precooking many of the vegetables and then just searing them in a smoking-hot cast-iron pan, so they don't go to mush before getting a char. One of his signatures: this sweet potato side dish with pomegranate, lemon juice, pistachio, and ricotta salata. Get the recipe for Charred Sweet Potatoes with Pickled Shallots, Pistachios, and Ricotta Salata »
Lovely persimmons aren't just for salads and desserts. We also like to cook them in savory dishes, including this crispy pork belly simmered with miso, honey, and sake. Get the recipe for Crispy Pork Belly with Persimmons »
This layerless lasagna recipe from Philadelphia chef Marc Vetri uses an egg-rich dough, but store-bought fresh pasta sheets can be substituted. Get the recipe for Open-Faced Lasagna with Acorn Squash and Smoked Caciocavallo »
Braising carrots slowly in butter, rather than steaming or boiling them, brings out their natural sweetness. Maple syrup adds a delicate glaze and a rich flavor. Get the recipe for Maple-Glazed Carrots »
This quick, zesty kale salad from Florida chef Jeffery Jew gets a decadent touch from rich pine nuts and ribbons of parmesan cheese. Get the recipe for Baby Kale Salad with Pine Nuts, Parmesan, and Lemon Vinaigrette »
The bold flavors of blue cheese, anchovies, and Worcestershire sauce—plus a little kiss from the flame—make otherwise mild-flavored leeks just the thing for a cold night by the fire. Roasting them under sealed parchment paper allows the leeks to steam, tenderizing them before they char. Get the recipe for Stuffed Leeks with Blue Cheese, Raisins, and Almonds »
The author’s creamed spinach is an ultra-fine, silky version of this traditional staple, puréed with parsley leaves for a vivid green color and vermouth for a pop of acidity. For the brightest green color, cool the spinach mixture down fully before puréeing, then reheat. You can eat this dish by the spoonful or use it as a sort of sauce through which to drag meat and vegetables on the plate. Get the recipe for Finnish Creamed Spinach With Crumbled Egg Yolks »
Funke uses a wheeled cutter to make even squares and a piping bag for the mortadella-and-cheese filling, but the perfect shape of these balanzoni? It’s all in the fingers. Get the recipe for Spinach Balanzoni with Brown Butter and Sage »
This hearty porridge is bolstered by roasted vegetables and enlivened with a salsa of turnip greens. Get the recipe for Cracked-Wheat Porridge with Hen of the Woods Mushrooms and Turnip-Top Salsa »