As the days grow shorter and the weather gets colder, it's time to start thinking about your winter menu. These recipes will surely make your guests feel warm and cozy inside and out. From soup to dessert, we've got you covered with numerous winter menu ideas.
One winter dish that is sure to please your customers is beef stroganoff. This hearty dish is a great winter comfort food to keep customers warm through the holidays. It is made with tender chunks of beef, mushrooms, and onions in a rich cream sauce. Serve it over egg noodles or rice for a complete meal and garnish with some fresh parsley.
How To Make Beef Stroganoff
- Cook noodles until al dente.
- Drain the noodles.
- Sauté the steak while the pasta is cooking in a single layer. Once browned, put the steak on another plate.
- Sauté veggies (onions, mushrooms, garlic) until browned. To deglaze, add some wine to the mixture.
- Whisk beef stock, a savory sauce of your choice, and flour together.
- Pour the mixture into a pan to sauté and let simmer.
- Add steak and Greek yogurt to the sauce mixture.
- Season the mixture with salt and pepper.
- Pour the mixture over noodles or rice.
- Garnish with parsley and enjoy.
Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Looking for a winter side dish that is both tasty and nutritious? Look no further than sweet potatoes with sweet maple glaze. Sweet potatoes are a great source of fiber and vitamins, and they pair perfectly with the sweetness of maple syrup. Simply bake the sweet potatoes in the oven until they are tender, then brush on the maple glaze.
How To Make Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- Cut sweet potatoes into 1-inch pieces, so they cook evenly.
- Preheat the oven to 425℉ and cover your sheet pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Grease sheet pan with nonstick spray.
- Place the cut sweet potato on the sheet pan without overcrowding them. Use as many pans as needed.
- Drizzle olive oil onto the sweet potatoes and salt. Baked for 20 minutes.
- Mix maple syrup and cinnamon together.
- After 20 minutes, pour maple syrup onto sweet potatoes and coat them evenly. Then bake for another 10-20 minutes.
- After 10-20 minutes, serve and enjoy.
Apple Salad With Raisins & Walnuts
This apple salad is a great option for winter. It is made with crisp apples, raisins, walnuts, and a light dressing. The sweetness of the apples and raisins pairs perfectly with the crunch of the walnuts. This salad is sure to become a new customer favorite.
How To Make Apple Salad With Raisins & Walnuts
- Whisk yogurt, mayo, lemon juice, salt, and pepper together.
- Mix baby spinach, chopped celery, sliced red onions, raisins, and walnuts in a large bowl.
- Drizzle dressing into the salad and toss to coat evenly.
- That’s it! Serve and eat.
Mexican Hot Chocolate
What would winter be without a little hot chocolate? This Mexican hot chocolate is made with milk, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and a touch of spice. It is the perfect way to warm up on a cold winter day. This winter comfort drink can be served with whipped cream, a cinnamon stick, and marshmallows for an extra special treat.
How To Make Mexican Hot Chocolate
- Combine milk, cocoa powder, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract, chili powder, and cayenne pepper in a medium sauce pan set to medium-high heat.
- Add chocolate and heat until fully melted. Make sure the mixture is not boiling.
- Pour hot chocolate into mugs and garnish as desired.
Lentil & Butternut Squash Soup
Soups are a great, cozy food to include during the winter season, and they can be very healthy too. This lentil and butternut squash soup is packed with nutrients and flavor. The lentils provide a hearty base, while the butternut squash adds sweetness and creaminess. Plus, this soup is vegan, plant-based, vegetarian, and gluten-free.
How To Make Lentil & Butternut Squash Soup
- Mince garlic.
- Chop carrots, leeks, butternut squash, and kale.
- Put leeks in a large pot over medium heat. Make sure the olive oil is heated enough before, and sauté for about 4 to 5 minutes until soft.
- Add garlic and carrots to the pot and sauté again for another 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add squash, lentils, thyme, oregano, and kosher salt with vegetable broth to boil. Let it simmer for 20 minutes or until the lentils and butternut squash have softened.
- Once you have reached the last few minutes of cooking, add chopped chard.
- Simmer until tender, and add any additional seasoning if you find it needs more.
Garlic Herb Roasted Turkey
The holidays wouldn't be complete without a delicious roasted turkey. This garlic herb roasted turkey is flavored with a blend of rosemary, sage, and thyme. It is certain to be the star of your holiday meal menu. Serve it with mashed potatoes or maple-glazed sweet potatoes, a traditional feast.
How To Make Garlic Herb Roasted Turkey
- Preheat the oven to 450℉. Coat your baking dish with cooking spray.
- In a bowl, place your butter, garlic, sage, rosemary, thyme, parsley, salt, and pepper. Stir the mixture.
- Begin to loosen the skin of the turkey to spread half of the butter underneath it. Place the other half of the butter on the top of the turkey.
- Place the turkey in a baking tray and bake for 15-20 minutes.
- Reduce oven temperature to 350℉. Then, bake for about an hour and baste with pan juices.
- To check the temperature, insert the thermometer into the thicker parts of the meat. When the thermometer reads 165℉, it is ready to come out of the oven.
- Cover the turkey with food wrap and let it sit for 10 minutes.
- Garnish with rosemary, and it is ready to serve.
Carrot & Walnut Pudding
Carrot and walnut pudding is a classic winter dessert. This carrot and walnut pudding is made with fresh carrots and walnuts and topped with ice cream. It is the perfect treat to enjoy after a hearty winter meal. You can even drizzle some caramel on top for more flavor.
How To Make Carrot & Walnut Pudding
- Preheat the oven to 356℉.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix flour, baking powder, oil, carrot, sugar, eggs, 1 tsp of vanilla extract, and golden syrup.
- Mix for 2-3 minutes, preferably with an electric mixer. Then, throw in the walnuts and stir.
- Place the pudding mixture into basins and cover each with a circle of greased baking paper. To allow them to expand, fold a single pleat of baking paper into six discs and place them on top of each pudding basin, and secure them with string.
- Bake in the oven for about an hour. Once done, allow it to cool for 5 minutes.
- Add sifted icing sugar, lemon zest, mascarpone, and vanilla to a small bowl.
- Stir the mixture and chill in the fridge.
- Serve pudding with toppings and walnuts.
Very Merry Bourbon Alexander Cocktail
What would a winter menu be without a festive cocktail? This Very Merry Bourbon Alexander is made with bourbon, chocolate liqueur, and cream. It is the perfect drink to enjoy during the holidays. Serve it with cranberries and rosemary sprig for garnish.
How To Make Very Merry Bourbon Alexander Cocktail
- Combine 1 ounce of bourbon, 1 ounce of crème de cocoa, 1 ounce of half-and-half, and 1 egg white into a cocktail shaker.
- Add a simple syrup and salt to a cocktail shaker. Shake the ingredients.
- Strain into a coupe glass and add cranberries and a rosemary sprig for garnish.
Red Wine Venison Stew
This red wine venison stew is the perfect dish to enjoy on a cold winter day. It is made with tender chunks of venison, carrots, celery, and potatoes in a rich red wine sauce. Serve it with a loaf of warm bread for dipping.
How To Make Red Wine Venison Stew
- Preheat the oven to 350℉.
- Combine flour, salt, and pepper in a large bowl with venison.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings in a large Dutch oven over medium. Cook until browned, about 15 minutes. Work in batches needed.
- In a double-layered cheesecloth, place thyme, cloves, juniper berries, bay leaves, and lemon peel strips. Secure tightly.
- In a dutch oven, add onions, carrots, mushrooms, garlic, and 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings. Stir for 15 minutes until the onions have softened. Add broth, lemon juice, tomatoes, cheesecloth mixture, and browned venison. Simmer over medium-high and transfer to preheat the oven.
- Braise until the venison is fork-tender for about 2 hours. Then stir in wine for an hour.
- Go back to the stovetop and simmer to medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer until the sauce becomes thick. Do this for about 10-15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and begin to discard any face that has come to the surface. Throw the cheesecloth and season the stew with salt and pepper.
- Pour over egg noodles and top off with parsley and sour cream.
Candy Cane Milkshake
This candy cane milkshake will make anyone's mouth water. It is made with milk, ice cream, and peppermint extract. Serve it in a tall glass and a fun candy straw to complete the look.
How To Make A Candy Cane Milkshake
- Blend ice cream, milk, and peppermint in a blender.
- Add 3 drops of pink food coloring and blend on high.
- Pour into frozen mugs or mason jars.
- Crush candy canes or peppermints into fine pieces. Use a food processor or rolling pin.
- Pour whip cream on top and garnish with candy cane crumbs.
Pomegranate & Apple Salad
This salad has many textures and flavors in one. It is made with crisp apples, pomegranate seeds, and a light dressing. The sweetness of the apples pairs perfectly with the tartness of the pomegranate seeds, which enhances the dish.
How To Make Pomegranate & Apple Salad
- Add greens to a preferred-sized bowl.
- Include salad toppings on top: 1 cup of pomegranate seeds, 1 honey crisp apple that has been thinly sliced, ¼ cup of chopped pecans and walnuts, and 2-3 teaspoons of feta cheese.
- In a bowl, add ⅓ cup olive oil, ¼ cup balsamic vinegar, 3 tbsp of honey, ½ tsp of black pepper, and a pinch of garlic.
- Whisk ingredients.
- Drizzle dressing over salad and serve.
Creamy Mashed Potato Soup
Don’t ever waste leftover mashed potatoes again. This decadent soup is made with milk for a creamy texture and can surely warm up customers as the weather is getting cooler. Creamy mashed potato soup is a cozy comfort food that will make customers keep coming back for more. You can substitute with cauliflower or sweet potato as desired.
How To Make Mashed Potato Soup
- Combine celery, onion, and 1 ½ cups of chicken stock in a small Dutch oven.
- Boil over medium-high heat. Switch to medium-low to simmer and stir until vegetables are tender. Do this step for about 30-40 minutes.
- Mix mashed potatoes and chicken stock with a whisk until combined. Stir in some milk if you desire a creamier texture. Cook over medium-low until warm (4 to 6 minutes).
- Season with salt and pepper and butter. Garnish with celery leaves or any other topping of your choice.
This banana foster is a simple yet rich treat that would be a great addition to your dessert menu. It is made with ripe bananas, brown sugar, and butter. The bananas are cooked until they are soft and caramelized. Serve them over a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
How To Make Banana Foster
- Melt your butter in a big deep skillet over medium heat. Add rum, brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon to a low boil.
- Add sliced bananas and walnuts into the pan until soft. Remember to flip each side for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Serve with vanilla ice cream.
Turkey & Bean Chili
This turkey and bean chili is made with lean turkey, black beans, and a variety of spices. The chili is hearty and filling, but it can also be easily customized to your liking. Add some diced tomatoes, green onions, or sour cream on top. Serve it with a side of tortilla chips for a complete meal.
How To Make Turkey & Bean Chili
- Start off by heating a large saucepan over medium heat. Throw in 1 cup of chopped onion, ⅓ cup of seeded poblano pepper, 1 teaspoon of minced garlic, and 1 ¼ pounds of ground turkey.
- Begin to stir in 1 tablespoon of chili powder into the mixture and add 2 tablespoons of tomato paste, 2 tablespoons of dried oregano, 1 teaspoon of ground cumin, ¼ teaspoon of salt, and ¼ teaspoon of black pepper.
- In the chicken broth, begin to stir in 19 ounces of cannellini beans, and 14.5 ounces of diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and bring to a simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir in the cilantro and garnish with lime wedges.
There is no winter festivity without mulled wine. This popular winter cocktail has a lovely aroma of wine, maple syrup, cinnamon, star anise, and cloves. Adding mulled wine to your bar's menu can help make your guests feel in the holiday spirit.
How To Make Mulled Wine
- Cut oranges into round slices and place them into your pot or Dutch oven. Squeeze the juice from the remaining oranges inside the pot.
- Pour your choice of wine into the pot with brandy. In the mixture, add 1 tablespoon of maple syrup, cinnamon sticks, star anise, and cloves.
- Start to cook the mixture over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Once bubbles begin to appear on the surface, reduce the heat.
- Serve in mugs and garnish as you like. A touch of cranberries gives this cocktail the full festive look.
Winter is a great time to enjoy comfort foods. These recipes are perfect for chilly days and getting in the holiday season. From soups, drinks, and desserts, there’s something for everyone in this roundup of winter menu ideas. Time to get your customers so cozy that they will want to hibernate at your restaurant all winter long.