Mixed root vegetables

Winter food — what to make in January

Looking for popular food for January? Find some creative ideas from our list of seasonal fruits, vegetables, meats and seafood. Need even more ideas? You can also check out our list of January food holidays.

This is the month root vegetables and hearty soups traditionally take the spotlight but many of the dishes in January are popular because they are believed to be bring good fortune for the new year; Lentils, like cabbage and cooked greens, symbolize money and good fortune. Fish symbolizes moving forward and abundance. Pomegranates also represent abundance as well as happiness and fertility. Pork means progress. Long, unbroken noodles signifies longevity. Pickled herring eaten at the stroke of midnight… well, let’s just say there’s a lot more going on with popular food in January than just what happens to be in season.

January Food Ideas

Black-eyed peas, black bun, blood oranges, cabbage, Cara Cara oranges, cardoons, cherimoya, chiacchiere, citron, cornbread, croissants, doughnuts, dumplings, fish, grapes, greens, Hoppin’ John, lentils, Meyer lemons, Murcott mandarin orange, oranges, long noodles, niangao (sticky cake), olives, ollie bollen, pickled herring, pomegranate, pomelos, pork, ring/circular-shaped cakes, rosca de reyes, shortbread, soba, tangerines, whole fish, vaselopita

January Drink Ideas

Barleywine, bordeaux blend, Brandy Alexander, cabernet sauvignon, Champagne, Coquito, holiday ales, hot-buttered rum, Hot Toddy, Irish coffee, malbec, milk, porters, oaked chardonnay, Scotch ale, smoked rauchbier, sparkling wine, stouts, syrah, winter beer, zinfandel

Seasonal Fruit

  • Almonds
  • Apples
  • Asian pears
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cactus pears
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cherimoya
  • Citron
  • Coconut
  • Dates
  • Grapes
  • Grapefruit
  • Guava
  • Key limes
  • Kiwano
  • Kiwi
  • Kumquats
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Mandarins
  • Olives
  • Oranges
  • Papaya
  • Passionfruit
  • Pears
  • Pecans
  • Persimmons
  • Pineapple
  • Pistachios
  • Pomegranate
  • Pomelos
  • Raspberries
  • Starfruit
  • Tangelos
  • Tangerine
  • Texas red grapefruit
  • Tomatoes
  • Ugli fruit
  • Walnuts

Seasonal Vegetables

  • Acorn squash
  • Arugula
  • Beets
  • Bell peppers
  • Bok Choy
  • Broccoli
  • Broccoli rabe/Rapini
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Butternut squash
  • Cabbage
  • Cardoons
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Chard
  • Collard greens
  • Cucumbers
  • Dandelion greens
  • Delicata squash
  • Endive
  • Escarole
  • Fava greens
  • Fennel
  • Garlic
  • Green beans
  • Herbs
  • Iceberg lettuce
  • Jicama
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Lambsquarters
  • Leeks
  • Mizuna
  • Mushrooms
  • Mustard Greens
  • Nettles
  • Onions
  • Orach
  • Parsnip
  • Pea shoots
  • Potatoes
  • Pumpkins
  • Radicchio
  • Radishes
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Rutabagas
  • Salsify
  • Scallions
  • Shallots
  • Spaghetti squash
  • Spinach
  • Sprouts
  • Sunchokes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Tatsoi
  • Turnips
  • Watercress
  • Winter squash
  • Zucchini

Seasonal Meat & Seafood

  • Sole
  • Goose
  • Grouper
  • Mahi Mahi
  • Mussels
  • Oysters
  • Quail
  • Rabbit
  • Trout
  • Salmon
  • Scallops
  • Swordfish
  • Venison
  • Tilapia

Food in italic is entering or leaving their peak season, or may only be available in limited quantities. Food in bold is available all year long, but may not consist of one species (for instance, tilapia is a common term for nearly a hundred different cichlid fish) or be imported from different regions of the world at different times of the year (avocados, pineapples) and therefore may have different flavors and characteristics.

Also, please note: While almost all fruits and vegetables, meat and seafood are available in some preserved form out of season and many of the most popular are effectively in season year round, the availability and quality of seasonal foods can vary dramatically according to species, region and natural circumstances (like weather and disease).

Image: Zichrini/Pixabay