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Winter Produce Guide (+ 115 Recipes to Make this Winter)

Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean there’s nothing growing! In this winter produce guide, I’m sharing a list of winter fruits and vegetables as well as my favorite winter recipes.  

collage of winter produce recipes

Winter Fruits and Vegetables Guide 

Eating seasonally in the winter may seem challenging at first, but once you know which fruits and vegetables are in season during the winter it’s not hard at all! 

The most common winter fruits and vegetables are fairly hearty. Think: root vegetables, squashes, citrus fruits with thick peels, and so on. 

In this winter produce guide, I’m sharing a list of winter fruits and vegetables. 

I’m also including my favorite winter recipes. I have so many winter appetizers, dinners, and desserts that are too good not to share! 

List of Winter Vegetables 

Cooler temperatures and limited sunlight are good for growing heartier vegetables, like pumpkins, beets, and cabbages. 

This list of winter vegetables is by no means an extensive overview of all the winter produce, but it’s a good place to start. 

photo of raw brussels sprouts on a plate

What vegetables are in season in the winter? Here are the most common ones: 

  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage 
  • Cauliflower
  • Celeriac (celery root) 
  • Escarole 
  • Fennel
  • Horseradish
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi 
  • Leeks
  • Mushrooms
  • Parsnip
  • Radicchio 
  • Shallots 
  • Squash (pumpkin, butternut squash, kabocha squash, spaghetti squash, etc.)
  • Sweet potatoes 
  • Turnips  

List of Winter Fruits 

Many people mistakenly believe that fruit cannot grow during the colder months. However, citrus fruits are actually in season during the winter, as well as a handful of others. 

photo of clementines in a wire basket on a farmhouse table

What fruits are in season in the winter? Here are the most common ones:

My Favorite Winter Recipes

Winter is one of my favorite times to cook. I love eating comforting soups and stews when it’s snowy outside, and don’t even get me started on all of the yummy baked goods!

Below are some of my all-time favorite winter recipes. I tried to include a little bit of everything — appetizers, salads, entrees, and more.

These recipes all use winter produce you can easily find at your local grocery store or farmers market. Leave me a comment below if you make any of the recipes I’ve shared!

Apple Recipes

Although sold in supermarkets year-round, apples are best in the fall and winter.

For most recipes, you’re fine to use any apples you have on hand. However, certain apple varieties are better for specific recipes than others.

Some of the best apples for baking are Jonagold, Pink Lady, and Rome Apples. I like to eat Gala and Red Delicious apples raw, and McIntosh apples are delicious when turned into applesauce.

To browse all of the apple recipes, head over to search the Apple Recipe Category.

Beet Recipes

Red beets are the most popular variety in grocery stores. For more variety, head to your local farmers market. If you’re lucky, you’ll find candy cane, orange, yellow, and possibly even white beets!

Both the root and stalk of a beet are edible, so don’t let any part of the vegetable go to waste. Beet greens can be sauteed or eaten in salads.

The beet root can be roasted and stored in the fridge to enjoy throughout the week in sandwiches, soups, salads, and more.

To browse all of the beet recipes, head over to search the Beet Recipe Category.

Broccoli Recipes

Broccoli is best between October and April. It’s a versatile winter veggie that can be eaten raw, steamed, boiled, roasted, sauteed, and thrown into stir-fries.

When buying broccoli, look for florets that are bright green and firm. If the florets have started to yellow or turn brown, the broccoli isn’t very fresh.

Remember that broccoli stalks can also be eaten. The last inch or so of the stalk is usually too woody to eat, but the remainder can be pureed into soups and sauces or roasted.

To browse all of the broccoli recipes, head over to search the Broccoli Recipe Category.

Brussels Sprouts Recipes

If you think you don’t like Brussels sprouts, give them another try! It’s possible you over cooked them the first time or would prefer them when cooked another way entirely.

If possible, buy Brussels sprouts that are still on the stalk. They’ll keep for longer in the fridge.

If your local grocery store only sells loose Brussels sprouts, remove any damaged or wilting outer leaves and store them in a paper bag in the fridge. They’ll last for weeks!

To browse all of the Brussels sprouts recipes, head over to search the Brussels Sprouts Recipe Category.

Cabbage Recipes

There are so many more recipes to make with cabbage than cabbage rolls!

The most common variety of cabbage in the US is Dutch cabbage, which is typically large, perfectly smooth, and green. Other cabbage varieties to try include Savoy and Napa cabbage.

Use cabbage as a base for your favorite coleslaw, throw it into soups and stir-fries, or stuff it with your favorite meat and vegetable mixture.

To browse all of the cabbage recipes, head over to search the Cabbage Recipe Category.

Cauliflower Recipes

Because it’s so mild in flavor, cauliflower pairs well with a variety of seasonings and ingredients.

Try mashing steamed cauliflower for a low-carb take on mashed potatoes. Blend roasted cauliflower into a veggie soup. Dunk raw cauliflower florets into your favorite dipping sauces.

Like many other winter vegetables on this list, the entire cauliflower can be eaten (florets, stem, and leaves).

To browse all of the cauliflower recipes, head over to search the Cauliflower Recipe Category.

Citrus Recipes

Popular winter citrus fruits include grapefruit, kumquats, lemons, oranges, and clementines.

Tart grapefruit can be halved and sprinkled with sugar for a simple breakfast. Or, brulee grapefruit for an easy but elegant winter dessert.

Kumquats are sweet-tart citrus fruits that are about the size of an olive. Both the flesh and the skin of kumquats are edible.

There are many varieties of lemons and oranges that are worth trying. Meyer lemons add a special flair to any baked good, and blood oranges are particularly delicious when juiced.

To browse all of the citrus recipes, head over to search the Citrus Recipe Category.

Cranberry Recipes

Did you know that cranberries are grown in bogs? They grow on vines that are layered with sand, peat, gravel, and clay.

Because they’re so tart, cranberries are usually cooked down and sweetened to make cranberry sauce, or they’re folded into baked goods. However, cranberries can also be eaten fresh in salsas and relishes.

Cranberries freeze well, so consider buying them in bulk while they’re on sale this winter.

To browse all of the cranberry recipes, head over to search the Cranberry Recipe Category.

Kale Recipes

Lacinato, Curly, Red Russian — these are just three of the most common kale varieties.

Kale is a slightly bitter leafy green that can be enjoyed raw in salads or simmered for hours in soups and stews. If eating kale raw, I recommend removing the leaves from the stems and massaging them in the salad dressing. This softens the leaves and makes them easier to eat.

For tips on storing kale, check out this post on How to Freeze Kale.

To browse all of the kale recipes, head over to search the Kale Recipe Category.

Leek Recipes

Leeks are related to onions and garlic and have a very mild onion flavor. Leeks are tasty but you need to learn how to clean leeks properly because they can be rather dirty since they grow in sandy soil.

You can only use the white and light green part of a leek; the dark green top is woody and tastes bitter and is best tossed into your compost bin.

Leeks grow in sandy soil, so you need to clean them properly before adding them to recipes.

To browse all of the leek recipes, head over to search the Leek Recipe Category.

Mushroom Recipes

I’ve included mushrooms on this list of winter vegetables despite the fact that they’re technically a fungi.

White button mushrooms are the most common in US grocery stores, but there are so many varieties to try. Cremini and portobello mushrooms are actually the same type of mushroom as white button mushrooms, but they’ve been allowed to grow for longer before being harvested.

Mushrooms have a meatier flavor that make them a great vegetarian substitute in soups and stews, and large mushrooms can even be grilled and eaten like hamburgers!

To browse all of the mushroom recipes, head over to search the Mushroom Recipe Category.

Pear Recipes

When buying pears at the grocery store, buy ones that are firm and unblemished. Keep them on your counter to ripen, then store in the fridge to keep them fresher for longer.

You’ll know a pear is ripe when it’s slightly soft near the stem end. It should also smell fragrant.

Eat pears raw, or turn into pear sauce. Pears can also be incorporated into many baked goods.

To browse all of the pear recipes, head over to search the Pear Recipe Category.

Pomegranate Recipes

Contrary to what you might think, the color of a pomegranate’s skin doesn’t indicate its ripeness. Instead, you want to select pomegranates that are large and feel heavy for their size.

The easiest way to deseed a pomegranate is to quarter it, then gently remove the seeds in a bowl of water. The seeds will float to the top and can be patted dry and transferred to an airtight container.

Note that the skin and pith of a pomegranate can’t be eaten.

To browse all of the pomegranate recipes, head over to search the Pomegranate Recipe Category.

Pumpkin Recipes

To a botanist, pumpkins are considered fruits rather than vegetables. Why? Because the seeds are inside.

Pumpkins are not part of the actual plant. They’re actually the products of the seed-bearing structure of flowering plants. Vegetables, by definition, are the portion of the plant that is edible – leaves, stems, roots, tubers, etc.

Pumpkin pie is a classic pumpkin recipe, but you can also incorporate pumpkin into soups, chils, curries, and more!

Make sure you check out this post for 25 Pumpkin Recipes to Try This Fall and 8 Ways to Use Leftover Pumpkin.

To browse all of the pumpkin recipes, head over to search the Pumpkin Recipe Category.

Sweet Potato Recipes

Orange-fleshed sweet potatoes are the most popular in the US. They’re incredibly sweet in flavor and can be roasted, mashed, or made into casseroles.

White-fleshed sweet potatoes are less common, though you might be able to find them at your local farmers market. These sweet potatoes are starchier and much less sweet.

Sweet potatoes can be stored in a cool, dry place for up to a week. Do not store them in the fridge, as that will make the flesh toughen up.

To browse all of the sweet potato recipes, head over to search the Sweet Potato Recipe Category.

Winter Squash Recipes

Popular winter squash varieties to try include butternut squash, acorn squash, spaghetti squash, and delicata squash.

Winter squash lasts several weeks as long as it is stored in a cool, dark place. This makes it an ideal pantry vegetable! If meal prep is something you do ahead of time, squash will last a few days in the fridge just fine once it is peeled and cut.

If you've never cooked spaghetti squash before, check out this handy post: How to Cook Spaghetti Squash - 3 Ways!

To browse all of the winter squash recipes, head over to search the Squash Recipe Category.

More Seasonal Produce Guides:

This Spring Produce Guide tells you everything you need to know about what is in season this during the spring, cooking with spring ingredients, and plenty of spring recipes to try.

There are so many seasonal fruits and vegetables to enjoy during the summer season. Here’s a full Summer Produce Guide, including a list of summer fruits and vegetables and 115 summer recipes.

This Fall Produce Guide will tell you everything you need to know about what is in season this time of year along with 50 fall recipes to try.

Don’t see what you’re looking for here? You can always head over to check out the recipe index to look for more recipes.

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