Seasonal eaters can get a bit of the winter doldrums after a few months of eating the same old recipes for root veggies and winter greens. And that’s a shame! Because there are as many recipes for winter greens as there are days of the season. For real.
Whether you’re into kale or Swiss chard, spinach or mustard greens, if you’re looking to shake up your winter green routine, this roundup of delicious recipes is sure to add some spice to your routine.
Kale was one of the first winter greens to soak up the limelight, so there’s no shortage of delicious kale recipes out there. Kale is just as delicious raw as cooked, doubling the possibilities for this member of the cabbage family.
Photo by Oliver Parini, reprinted with permission from “The Connecticut Farm Table Cookbook”, The Countryman Press 2015
1. Kale Salad with Millet and Sour Cherries
This delicious kale salad features a host of flavorful ingredients including millet, homemade dried sour cherries, pistachios, goat cheese, and a maple dressing. While kale salads have become pretty omnipresent and maybe even a bit tedious in recent years, this is a kale salad you can definitely get excited about.
2. Stuffed Kale Recipe with Bulgur Rice
This stuffed kale recipe offers delicious Greek-inspired flavors, with a bulgur rice base flavored with tomato, oregano, garlic, lemon, and bell pepper. It’s like a Greek salad in a handy, individually-wrapped package.
Image by Kimberley Stakal
3. Creamy Vegetarian Pasta with Kale and Butternut Squash
This creamy vegetarian pasta recipe uses butternut squash to create the creaminess that you’d usually expect from a cheese- and cream-laden dish. The result is much lighter than the original, yet full of sweet flavor and wonderful texture, not to mention the richness lent by the kale.
Photography by Alice Gao
4. Kale Pesto
The earthiness of kale is the perfect way to make your pesto recipe a little bit healthier and even more flavorful. Use it as a topping for pasta or bruschetta.
Image by Anna Brones
5. Kale and Hazelnut Quinoa Cakes
Instead of burgers, why not try these kale and quinoa cakes? These little patties are made with quinoa, kale, white beans, and hazelnuts, packing them full of both protein and fiber. Serve them like your favorite burger or falafel recipe.
Collard greens are classically simmered with pork in the south, but that’s far from the only way you can prepare them. We like collard greens when slow-cooked and tender, but you might be surprised at just how tasty they are raw.
Photo by Ally-Jane
6. Classic Southern Greens and Black Eyed Peas
This classically Southern dish is bursting with both flavor and vitamins, thanks to hearty black eyed peas and collard greens. The secret to a great pot of beans is the vinegar that balances the flavors and cuts through the richness of the dish.
Image: Melody Polakow
7. Raw Hummus Wrap
Until recently, collard greens weren’t often served raw, but in this recipe, the power of the raw green is highlighted. Collard greens have enough heft and structure to hold up when used as a wrapper in this tasty wrap stuffed with raw vegetables and homemade raw hummus.
Broccoli greens aren’t the most common of winter greens, but that doesn’t mean you should be neglecting them. Broccoli leaves taste a bit like broccoli itself, though they have a slightly milder flavor.
8. Hawaiian Quinoa Pilaf
This bitter winter green is a nice change from collards or kale. In this broccoli greens recipe, the natural bitterness of the greens is balanced by sweet potato and coconut, which add a tropical flavor.
Swiss chard comes in a rainbow of colors, which is one of the reasons it’s so fun to use in the winter, when the choice of colorful produce grows sparse. It also has a very nice earthy, mineral flavor that’s wonderful in a variety of recipes.
Photograph by James Oseland
9. Wild Greens with Fried Eggs
It couldn’t get simpler than this wild greens recipe: any green you like, including Swiss chard, can be used to make the base, flavored with fennel, mint, parsley, and garlic. The greens are topped with perfect fried eggs for a delicious, easy-to-make dish.
10. Vegetarian Stuffed Chard
This stuffed chard recipe is inspired by the ingredients of the Pacific Northwest, with hazelnuts, cranberries, and goat cheese making up the vegetarian filling.
Photo by Ally-Jane
11. Swiss Chard and Amaranth Fritters
These flavorful fritters are made with cooked amaranth, feta cheese, and a bit of cumin; the Swiss chard adds a nice earthy flavor to them, not to mention vitamins and minerals. Serve them plain as appetizers, or use them as a substitute for your favorite veggie burger.
Mustard greens, as their name suggests, have a nice mustardy flavor that becomes less pungent the longer that they are cooked.
Image by Kimberley Stakal
11. Dairy-Free Pumpkin Alfredo
This creamy play on fettuccine alfredo features two healthy veggies in the mix: pumpkin purée is included in the non-dairy alfredo sauce, while greens form the base. The combination of both of these ingredients makes this pasta dish a healthy choice for any weeknight meal.
Spinach is an old standby, but it should by no means be forgotten. Whether you’re opting for baby spinach with its soft leaves and slight sweetness or more minerally large spinach leaves, this winter classic is a must for your winter greens repertoire.
Spinach and ricotta cannelloni image via Shutterstock
12. Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni
Cannelloni is a classic Italian comfort food dish, but it gets a bit of a makeover in a spinach cannelloni recipe made with rich and creamy bechamel sauce.
Photo Credit: Thomas Strosse
13. Spinach Detox Soup
This flavorful soup is not only delicious, it’s also the ideal detox soup for winter. The combined vitamins and nutrients of spinach, broccoli, and zucchini form the green base for this soup, flavored with ginger, garlic, and fresh herbs.
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Leafy greens image via Shutterstock