7 Winter Vegetable Dishes and Ideas to Add Variety to Dinner

By Angela Tague in Healthy Feeling

Are you looking to try something new in the new year? Or are you sick of the same old dinners, over and over again?

I am too. That’s why this season, I’m vowing to get more curious when it comes to shopping for fresh winter produce. I’ve been researching and planning some delicious winter vegetable dishes to explore and revive in the new year.

Add some of these cold-weather staples to your shopping list for a new take on dinner:


The yucca plant is a popular choice in southwest gardens. The spiny green plant requires little water and offers both edible blossoms and roots. In the grocery store, you might notice the root vegetable called cassava. It looks like it could be a simple substitute for a potato since it boils, mashes, and fries well. This recipe for garlic mashed yucca is the perfect comfort food for a cozy night in.



I’ve always been curious about this large, purple root vegetable. I recently learned it’s a hybrid of cabbage and turnip and grows best in colder, northern climates. Fresh rutabagas should be firm without any shriveling and are best steamed or stewed since they’re a starchy vegetable. I suggest adding them to a slow cooker stew


In the past, I’ve added cubed parsnips to a medley of roasted root vegetables, and they were wonderful. The slender, white carrot-shaped vegetable with a mildly sweet flavor can easily be peeled and sliced. Make this quick mixture of roasted veggies (parsnips included) and herbs as a side dish for your next week night dinner.



Are you looking for a new leafy green to try? Belgian endive, or escarole, has a slightly bitter flavor (it reminds me of adult kale) and grows in small bullet-shaped heads, similar to leaf lettuce, but with tightly packed leaves. It can be enjoyed raw, braised, sautéed, or stewed. I recently enjoyed a simple salad of raw, sliced endive, sweet apple cubes, and blue cheese crumbles topped with a lemon vinaigrette, and it was magnificent!


This root vegetable is starchy like a potato and related to anise, carrots, parsley, and parsnips. Both the white root and green fronds can be enjoyed, if you like the taste of parsley mixed with celery. You might notice this vegetable called celery root or knob celery at the supermarket. Try mashing or french frying the root.



This bulb-shaped white, leafy vegetable has wispy green fronds poking out the top. Despite its funny appearance, this vegetable tastes a lot like black licorice or anise. It’s commonly sliced and used in winter vegetable dishes, salads, and slaws, much like cabbage. I’m anxious to try this creamy baked fennel with parmesan recipe.


Growing up, my grandmother always sliced long, slender leeks and added them to a creamy potato soup. This vegetable has a mild onion flavor and reminds me oversized spring green onions. You can try adding them to a pan of sautéed vegetables or whip up this delicious leek and steel-cut oats soup.

What are you favorite winter vegetable dishes? What are the best random vegetables to try when the weather gets cold? Chime in by tweeting @TomsofMaine!

Image sources: Flickr | Flickr | Flickr | Flickr

This article was brought to you by Tom’s of Maine. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of Tom’s of Maine.

Why It’s Good

Keep dinners exciting and seasonal by trying new winter produce. Swapping out the usual corn, potatoes, and green beans for uncommon winter vegetable dishes introduces your kids to new flavors and textures, which will hopefully broaden their palates! As a bonus, you can create new, exciting meals that your family will be curious to try.