When it comes to seasonal vegetable recipes, people tend to think about spring and summer and the bounty those seasons bring. It’s true that the colder months offer a more particular range of produce—roots, cabbages, greens, and more—but it’s easy to eat delicious in-season vegetables in the cold-weather months as well. When we spy
kale, Brussels sprouts, carrots, turnips, beets, winter radishes, and more at the farmers’ market, our wheels start turning about the many ways to utilize fall and winter vegetables in sides, mains, soups and stews, and even desserts.
Kale grows starting in mid-summer, but it reaches its peak during the winter. How to cook with kale can be answered with all sorts of dishes, from pasta with crispy sausage bits to white bean soup with a smoked ham hock. Tender baby kale is delicious raw—try it in a simple salad with
toasted pine nuts, parmigiano, and a lemon vinaigrette.
Sweet winter carrots are an under-appreciated ingredient. For new carrot recipes, try roasting carrots and turnips together in olive oil then dressing with toasted cumin seeds or coriander, mint, and a lime juice vinaigrette. For more idea of what to pair with carrots, think maple syrup, a buttery glaze for braising or sauteeing, or loads of fresh herbs like Italian parsley and dill. And don’t toss the carrot tops—they make a wonderful
pesto to serve on pasta, atop crostini, alongside a vegetable platter, or with roasted carrots and burrata.
The mellow flavor of some cold-weather vegetables works well in a variety of preparations. For cauliflower recipes or potato recipes, turn to ideas like hearty
lamb stew with harissa or delicate but filling goat cheese soufflés. Roasting either vegetable will give it a deep, caramelized flavor flavor— toss it with warm vinaigrette or serve sprinkled with capers, toasted nuts or bread crumbs, and a drizzle of mustard brown butter.
We could go on. But instead, check out some of our absolute best vegetable recipes for winter.
A cool and tangy crème fraîche dressing adorns roasted beets for a simple, colorful side dish. We like to use a combination of red and golden beets for presentation.
Get the recipe for Roasted Beets with Orange and Crème Fraîche»
Boiled buttery Yukon gold potatoes are smashed and roasted crisp in this side dish. A finishing sprinkle of za’atar, a heady Middle Eastern mix of spices, seeds, and herbs, brings these potatoes to the next level.
Get the recipe for Crispy Smashed Za’atar Potatoes »
Adding a grated russet potato to this braise helps to temper the sour sweetness of the cabbage.
Get the recipe for Braised Red Cabbage »
Greens laced with freshly ground peanut butter and fermented seafood for a funky umami kick is a common one-pot dish in West Africa.
Get the recipe for “Creamed”Collard Greens with Peanut Butter and Chile »
Root Vegetable and Quinoa Salad with Pickled Sunchokes
Piles of colorful carrot ribbons—which skew more savory than sweet, thanks to a lemony coriander-flecked dressing—come out of the oven glistening and retaining some of their bite. The keys to the couldn’t-be-flakier crust beneath: keeping the ingredients as cold as possible, and not overhandling the dough. Leftovers of the tart can be refrigerated and recrisped in the oven the next day.
Get the recipe for Shaved Carrot Tart with Ricotta »
There’s no shortage of greens you can cook, but the Memphis BBQ Company goes for turnips. The vegetables grow wild in the Mississippi Delta, and the greens can be cooked just like collards. Cube up the turnip roots for a full side dish.
Get the recipe for Braised Turnip Greens »
Cabbage is a staple vegetable in Slovenia; here it is wilted in bacon fat and spiced with cayenne before being tossed with homemade noodle dough for this traditional pasta dish.
Get the recipe for Homemade Pasta With Spicy Cabbage and Bacon »
With winter looming, this salad with endive, comte and walnuts is a great choice for cold weather. The recipe, adapted from Susan Herrmann Loomis’s
The French Farmhouse Cookbook, is from a cook in the town of Vinay, where walnuts are produced. The crisp and bright salad is made heartier by the addition of nuts and cheese. Get the recipe for Endive and Walnut Salad »
Tahini’s nutty, luxurious properties don’t stop at hummus. Keep the sesame paste flowing with this bright red purée of boiled beets, lemon, and garlic.
Get the recipe for Tahini-Beet Dip »
Grapefruit supremes (segments of pulp separated from the membrane) and aged balsamic vinegar brighten this classic Italian salad from author Dana Bowen.
Get the recipe for Tricolore Salad with Grapefruit Saba Vinaigrette »
Sweet pomelo pairs beautifully with chiles, peanuts, and mint in this recipe for a classic Thai salad from Talde in Brooklyn, New York.
Get the recipe for Thai Pomelo Salad (Dtam Som Oo) »
For this Piedmontese dish, a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar adds a tangy complexity.
Garlic confit, a silky, spreadable condiment, relies on a French technique for gently poaching peeled whole cloves in oil or fat. The process caramelizes the cloves and draws out their sweetness, yielding a sumptuous spread. We love to use it in dishes like these skillet-cooked greens from Linton Hopkins, chef and owner of Restaurant Eugene in Atlanta, which feature garlic confit and a piquant sorghum gastrique.
Get the recipe for Garlicky Skillet Greens with Ham »
Rosemary and thyme add aromatic depth to roasted root vegetables in this hearty side.
Get the recipe for Roasted Winter Vegetables»
Slow-Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Garlic Labneh
Sprouts, Kohlrabi, and Beet Salad with Herbed Crème Fraîche Dressing
Three-Beet Salad with Orange-Yogurt Dressing
Piquant kashkaval, a Balkan cows’ or sheep’s milk cheese, and mildly spicy shifa peppers add sharpness to these fried potatoes.
Get the recipe for Israeli Fried Potatoes with Kashkaval Cheese »
Pope John Paul loved it and you will too!
Get the recipe for Butternut Squash and Smoked Mozzarella Pizza »
Combine chopped red, purple, and russet potatoes with sliced onions, herbs de provence, coarse sea salt and olive oil in a tightly sealed tinfoil packet and place on grill for thirty minutes, shaking the tinfoil packet occasionally to evenly cook.
Get the recipe for Potatoes Roasted with Saffron »
The pale yellow, thin-skinned sweet potato and the moister, orange-fleshed American “yam” (which is not really a yam, but another kind of sweet potato) both work well for these alternatives to conventional french fries.
“This is a nod to tahini dip, done in a way where you also get sweet and sour flavors from fresh and fermented vegetables,” Burns says. “The sesame helps emulsify, and lemon juice, garlic, and spices lend a little acid and heat.” If you have another fermented vegetable on hand, you can substitute all fresh squash and use the lacto-brine from that vegetable in place of or in addition to the lemon juice.
Get the recipe for Fermented Squash and Sesame Dip »
Armenian Stuffed Cabbage (Dolmas)
Coleslaw gets a makeover as a filling and hearty casserole that test kitchen assistant Sarah Ruth Maier grew up eating at family functions.
Get the recipe for Van Valkenberg Hot Slaw »
Tahini’s nutty, luxurious properties don’t stop at hummus. Keep the sesame paste flowing with this vibrant, creamy carrot purée.
Get the recipe for Carrot-Tahini Dip»
In Crete, boureki is a rich, layered dish typically consisting of potatoes and squash, often topped with a generous amount of cheese before baking. Boureki may be eaten at room temperature, but it is especially irresistible when the cheese is still warm.
Get the recipe for Layered Pumpkin and Cheese Gratin Squares (Boureki) »
Roasted Carrot Salad with Burrata
This creamy, savory preparation brings out Brussels sprouts’ natural sweetness.
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.
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.
Creamy baked yams mashed with butter, lime juice, and honey make an easy, bright autumn side dish.
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 »
Toasted cumin seeds, mint, and lime juice intensify the sweetness of simple baked root vegetables.
Get the recipe for Cumin-Roasted Carrots and Parsnips»
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 »
After flavoring the beans for this creamy winter soup, smoked ham hock is shredded and pan-fried, rendering it crisp and intensifying its flavor.
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 »
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 »
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 »
Pappardelle with Cauliflower and Mustard Brown Butter
This layerless lasagna recipe from Philadelphia chef Marc Vetri uses an egg-rich dough, but store-bought fresh pasta sheets can be substituted.
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.
This quick, zesty kale salad from Florida chef Jeffery Jew gets a decadent touch from rich pine nuts and ribbons of parmesan cheese.
Cracked Wheat Porridge with Mushrooms
This luscious, cakelike pudding, made with milk-poached butternut squash batter and crowned with caramel-drenched delicata, rides the line perfectly between side dish and dessert, “kind of like yams with marshmallows,” says Joe Beef’s Red Morin, who serves it with caramel sauce or sweetened whipped cream. For an easy caramel sauce and squash topping (pictured right), double or triple the quantities of delicata and granulated sugar, and repeat step 4 as needed. Or if you want to amp up the savory nature of the dish, nix the caramel and offer grated cheddar at the table.
Get the recipe for Cast-Iron Squash Pudding »
Kabocha, Japanese pumpkin, makes a lighter pie with a vivid orange color. This pie trades in usual expected flavors for a slightly spicy dose of ginger and black pepper.
Get the recipe for Sweet and Spicy Kabocha Pie »