30 Citrus Recipes to Brighten the Coldest Winter Day

Add a fresh burst of citrus with recipes for soups, winter salads, cakes, and more

In the midst of cold weather cooking, when rich meats, stews, and casseroles reign supreme, a dose of bright citrus is a welcome reprieve. While we think of grapefruit as winter’s bright jewel, the cold season is also prime time for lemons and limes. After you’ve consulted our winter produce guide and purchased your fruits, it’s time to toss them with salads, bake them into cakes, or fire them on the grill to give your cocktail a hint of summer. Here are our favorite citrus recipes to make through the winter.

Glazed Grapefruit Cake

Glazed Grapefruit Cake
Broiled, sugared grapefruit slices and a citrus glaze top this moist cake scented with zest. Get the recipe for Glazed Grapefruit Cake Ingalls Photography

Citrus Salad with Arugula & Ricotta Salata

Citrus Salad with Arugula & Ricotta Salata
Adapted from Anna Watson Carl’s cookbook The Yellow Table, this salad is best made in the winter when blood oranges are readily available. Navel oranges make a good substitute in other seasons—either way, it’ll be the prettiest dish on the table. Get the recipe for Citrus Salad with Arugula & Ricotta Salata » Signe Birck

Three-Beet Salad with Orange-Yogurt Dressing

Three-Beet Salad with Orange-Yogurt Dressing
In this bold salad, roasted, pickled, and raw beets tangle with a creamy orange–yogurt dressing. Get the recipe for Three-Beet Salad with Orange-Yogurt Dressing » Ryan Liebe

Blood Orange and Onion Salad

Blood Orange and Onion salad
Blood oranges, which are available from December through April, serve as the basis for this refreshing mid-winter salad, a classic in Sicily. Get the recipe for Blood Orange and Onion Salad » Farideh Sadeghin

Orange-Scented Olive Oil Cake

Orange-Scented Olive Oil Cake
Serve this moist, dense, candied orange-studded cake with vanilla gelato, sea salt, and a drizzle of fruity olive oil. Get the recipe for Orange-Scented Olive Oil Cake » Matt Taylor-Gross

Sautéed Crab with Avocado, Grapefruit and Herb Salad

Sautéed Crab with Avocado, Grapefruit and Herb Salad
Crabmeat is rubbed with a smoky chile paste, then sautéed and tossed in a refreshing salad of creamy avocado, tart grapefruit, and herbs. Get the recipe for Sautéed Crab with Avocado, Grapefruit and Herb Salad » Penny De Los Santos

Kale and Citrus Salad

Kale and Citrus Salad
A bright, flavorful, and not too heavy winter salad combines some of the best cold-weather flavors—kale, orange, and pumpkin seeds—with sweet honey and airy ricotta. Get the recipe for Kale and Citrus Salad »

Smoky Grapefruit Gin and Tonic

Smoky Grapefruit Gin and Tonic
Meant for long afternoons overlooking lakes, porches, and thick novels, gin and tonics are the balm of summer. Add a slice of salt-sprinkled grilled grapefruit, and cut the tonic with soda, and the highball grows not only more aromatically complex, but even more refreshing. Get the recipe for Smoky Grapefruit Gin and Tonic » Eric Medsker

Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars
Lemon bars are a light, brightly-flavored dessert, best served with a sprinkling of confectioners’ sugar. Get the recipe for Lemon Bars Noah Fecks

Lemon and Rosemary Chicken (Pollo Arrosto)

Lemon and Rosemary Chicken (Pollo Arrosto)
Garlic, lemon, and rosemary enhance simple, juicy roast chicken. Get the recipe for Lemon and Rosemary Chicken (Pollo Arrosto) » André Baranowski

Greek Lemon Chicken Soup (Avgolemono)

Greek Lemon Chicken Soup (Avgolemono)
Even though this soup is usually served at Christmas dinner in Greek households, the lemon flavor makes it great year-round. Get the recipe for Greek Lemon Chicken Soup (Avgolemono) » Maxime Iattoni

Honey-Grilled Chicken with Citrus Salad

Honey-Grilled Chicken with Citrus Salad
This grilled chicken dish is the Holy Trinity of weeknight cooking: delicious, quick, and made from easy-to-find ingredients. Get the recipe for Honey-Grilled Chicken with Citrus Salad » Farideh Sadeghin

Rum-Broiled Grapefruit

rum-broiled grapefruit
Rich dark rum is brushed over grapefruit halves, which are then sprinkled with sugar and cayenne pepper before broiling. Get the recipe for Rum-Broiled Grapefruit » Ingalls Photography

Butter Lettuce Salad with Pistachios and Orange Crème Fraîche Dressing

Butter Lettuce Salad with Pistachios and Orange Crème Fraîche Dressing
A simple salad pairs end-of-season citrus with fresh butter lettuce topped with pistachios. Get the recipe for Butter Lettuce Salad with Pistachios and Orange Crème Fraîche Dressing » Helen Rosner

Djej Besla (Chicken and Onion Tagine)

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Chicken is smothered in stewed onions and flavored with saffron, turmeric, lemon, and olives for a satisfying one-pot dish. Get the recipe for Djej Besla (Chicken and Onion Tagine) » Todd Coleman

Grapefruit and Seafood Ceviche

Grapefruit and Seafood Ceviche
Grapefruit juice, fiery jalapeño, and fragrant ginger transform shrimp, scallops, and calamari into an aromatic, spicy salad. Get the recipe for Grapefruit and Seafood Ceviche » Ingalls Photography

Shaker Lemon Pie

Shaker Lemon Pie
With its flaky, buttery crust and marmalade-like citrus filling, not a crumb of this sunny lemon pie will be left on the dessert board. Get the recipe for Shaker Lemon Pie » Andre Baranowski

Lemon Parmesan Dip

Lemon Parmesan Dip
Creamy and bright-tasting, lemon parmesan dip makes for an excellent accompaniment to a chip or crudité platter. Get the recipe for Lemon Parmesan Dip » Helen Rosner

French Lemon Tart

Lemon Tart
The crust for this simple, jammy lemon tart is very flaky. If you have dough left over after rolling out the shell, use it to make a crisscross pattern over the top. Get the recipe for French Lemon Tart » Farideh Sadeghin

Fennel and Citrus Salad with Charred Squid

Fennel and Citrus Salad with Charred Squid
The zest and segments of four types of citrus enliven shaved fennel and charred squid in this winter salad. Get the recipe for Fennel and Citrus Salad with Charred Squid » Ryan Liebe

Preserved Lemons

Preserved Lemons
Lemon and salt—powerful on their own, but even better when combined and let mature into preserved lemons, a North African pantry staple. Get the recipe for Preserved Lemons » Romulo Yanes

Dry-Cured Olives with Rosemary and Orange

Dry-Cured Olives with Rosemary and Orange
These olives are incredibly simple—all you have to do is mix them with orange zest and juice, rosemary, and pepper, then let them sit for an hour. Get the recipe for Dry-Cured Olives » Farideh Sadeghin

Temple-Orange Tart

Temple-Orange Tart
Every part of the orange is used in this subtly sweet tart, including the zest, juice, and flesh. If temple oranges are not available, navel oranges or tangerines make excellent substitutions. Get the recipe for Temple-Orange Tart » Andre Baranowski

Semolina-Coconut Cake with Orange and Rose Waters

Semolina Coconut Cake with Orange and Rose Water (Basbousa)
This elegant cake is soaked in a fragrant lemon syrup, perfumed by flower waters. The garnish is candied rose petals sprinkled with toasted coconut. Get the recipe for Semolina-Coconut Cake with Orange and Rose Waters » Matt Taylor-Gross

Pumpkin Soup with Orange and Parmigiano-Reggiano

Pumpkin Soup with Orange and Parmigiano-Reggiano
Caramelized roasted pumpkin gets an unorthodox hit of flavor from orange zest and juice, stirred in just before serving to brighten this wintry soup. Get the recipe for Pumpkin Soup with Orange and Parmigiano-Reggiano » Anders Schonnemann

Seaweed Salad with Orange and Macadamia Nuts

Seaweed Salad with Orange and Macadamia Nuts
Chef Josita Hartanto of Berlin’s Lucky Leek mixes three marinated seaweeds with sweet caramelized mushrooms, steamed vinegary rice, and crisp toasted nori in this vegan rice bowl. All of the seaweeds used here can be found online so search them out, as they each contribute a different texture and taste to this salad. Get the recipe for Seaweed Salad with Orange and Macadamia Nuts » Matt Taylor-Gross

Wasakaka Sauce

Wasakaka sauce
Wasakaka is similar to Argentina’s chimichurri. With just four ingredients, wasakaka is one of the simplest Caribbean condiments there is, and it’s almost always served with roasted and grilled chicken. Get the recipe for Wasakaka Sauce » Matt Taylor-Gross

Lemon Meringue Tarts

Lemon Meringue Tarts
“The single best gauge of a bakery’s quality is its lemon tart,” says tart expert Maury Rubin. “There’s a dance to balancing the sweet and tart flavors appropriately, and in a good bakery the filling will never taste buttery or eggy—it will taste like lemon.” This recipe, adapted from Rubin’s Book of Tarts and infused with lemon zest for extra citrusy flavor, is the ideal. Alternatively, lemon juice and zest can be swapped out for equal parts lime. Get the recipe for Lemon Meringue Tarts » Ryan Liebe

Orange and Ginger Brownie Cookies

Orange and Ginger Brownie Cookies
These drops were born of fiddling with my favorite brownie recipe. A little more flour and chocolate, and a different way of baking, and presto chango, cookies. The orange and ginger are holiday add-ins. Adapted from Dorie’s Cookies. Get the recipe for Orange and Ginger Brownie Cookies » Christina Holmes

Smoked Lemon-Lime-Ade

Smoked Lemon-Lime-Ade
This lemonade is rendered smoky-sweet with the juice of grilled lemons and limes and toasted simple syrup, which has a mild caramel flavor that does a lot to complement the grilled fruit. Get the recipe for Smoked Lemon-Lime-Ade » Eric Medsker