31 Recipes to Make in January

Tadka Dal with Roti
Photo: Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

After the busyness of December, January can be a welcome respite — a time to kick back, slow down, and fill your meal plans with comforting dishes. Think Collard Greens Ramen, Tadka Dal with Roti, and a Lemon Curd Tart when you need something sweet. It's also a great time to go beyond root vegetables to vibrant winter chicories, such as Belgian endives, puntarelle, and more. Read on for even more recipes to cook this month.

01 of 31

Roasted Mushroom and Vermouth Risotto

Roasted Mushroom and Vermouth Risotto
Christopher Testani

Roasting mushrooms concentrates their flavor, while dry vermouth offers an aromatic kick to this otherwise classic risotto.

02 of 31

Burmese Samusa Soup

Burmese Samusa Soup
Greg DuPree

This vegan soup from Desmond Tan's Burma Superstar in San Francisco features a broth that's seasoned with black mustard seeds, cumin, and turmeric. Fresh cabbage, herbs, and chiles top each ample bowl, contrasting tender lentils and potatoes with a pleasing crunch.

03 of 31

Warm Sausage and Lentil Salad

Warm Sausage and Lentil Salad
Christopher Testani

This earthy French classic, with smoked sausages, greens lentils, and pungent mustard vinaigrette, is custom-tailored for winter weekends in front of the fire. Updated twist: toasted walnuts add great crunch.

04 of 31

Persimmons, Pomegranate, and Purslane with Pepitas

Persimmons, Pomegranate, and Purslane with Pepitas
Victor Protasio

Suzanne Goin refers to this salad as "The 4 Ps" and thinks of it as a persimmon salad with an arugula garnish, rather than the other way around.

05 of 31

Spicy Sesame, Bacon, and Egg Congee

Spicy Sesame, Bacon, and Egg Congee Recipe
Victor Protasio

Taking a cue from Chef Mei Lin of Nightshade in Los Angeles, we're adding spicy pork, creamy egg yolks, and crunchy sesame to classic congee. Low and slow cooking is the key to getting its texture right; adjust the heat as needed to maintain a gentle bubble that results in tender grains.

06 of 31

Coconut-Creamed Swiss Chard

Coconut-Creamed Swiss Chard Recipe
Victor Protasio

Unsweetened coconut milk and refined coconut oil add a creamy richness to this vegan Swiss chard side from chef Rocco DiSpirito. Reducing the coconut milk deepens its flavor and lends a velvety texture that truly mimics dairy.

07 of 31

Oven-Braised Veal Stew with Black Pepper and Cherries

oven-braised-veal-stew-with-black-pepper-and-cherrie-FT-RECIPE0120.jpg
Victor Protasio

This rich, wintry stew with a tart bite from sour cherries, adapted from Beyond the North Wind by Darra Goldstein, gets its deep flavor from tender veal. Choose pork shoulder for a fattier, slightly juicier dish.

08 of 31

Charred Vegetable Ragù

Charred Vegetable Ragu
Victor Protasio

"Ladled over a pile of tagliatelle and topped with more cheese, this nourishing sauce tastes slow-cooked and comforting, especially on a wintry weeknight," Food & Wine's Kelsey Youngman writes.

09 of 31

Lemon Curd Tart

Lemon Curd Tart Recipe
Victor Protasio

To make a simple topping for this elegant dessert, add two tablespoons sugar to the leftover egg whites and whip to stiff peaks to make a meringue. Garnishing the tart with mixed citrus segments adds a natural sweetness to balance the rich, tart lemon curd filling. Read Jamila Robinson​​​​​​​'s essay about this recipe, Romancing the Stove.

10 of 31

Tadka Dal with Roti

Tadka Dal with Roti
Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Briefly heating spices and dried chiles in oil or ghee allows their flavors to bloom, creating a flavorful tadka that serves as the backbone of this dish. It also adds a crispy, spicy finish to the creamy mixture of mung beans, lentils, and pigeon peas.

11 of 31

Kiribath with Lunu Miris (Coconut Rice with Sambal)

Kiribath with Lunu Miris (Coconut Rice with Sambal)
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Spicy red onion sambal is spooned over diamonds of coconut rice in this Sri Lankan dish, served to commemorate new beginnings. While a mortar and pestle is traditionally used to pound the sambal, it also can be gently pulsed together in a food processor.

12 of 31

Puntarelle-Citrus Salad with Roasted Beets

Puntarelle Citrus Salad with Roasted Beets
Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Christine Keely

Puntarelle stays bright and crisp in this salad, while beets bring a tender, earthy sweetness. Puntarelle is a specialty buy—check your local farmers market, or substitute another bitter chicory like Belgian endive.

13 of 31

Hoppin' John with Turnips and Turnip Greens

Hoppin' John with Turnips and Turnip Greens
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Todd Richards spices up his family recipe for this Southern favorite (often enjoyed on New Year's Day) with harissa for extra heat. Richards makes the traditional ham hock optional so that vegetarians can enjoy the dish as well, and adds smoked paprika and cumin to deliver a similar savory depth. Turnips become soft and tender after a quick braise, adding body to the dish.

14 of 31

Poulet Mafé

Poulet Mafe
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Audrey Davis

In Senegal at the Keur Moussa monastery, a typical meal includes poulet mafé, a thick peanut sauce with chicken, root vegetables, and cabbage served over rice, fonio, or millet couscous. For chef Pierre Thiam, poulet mafé is the ultimate comfort food. His advice: "Be patient when cooking mafé. Let the stew simmer slowly until the oil rises to the surface."

15 of 31

Classic London Broil with Rosemary and Thyme

London Broil with Rosemary and Thyme
Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Red-wine vinegar and Worcestershire sauce effortlessly infuse quick-cooking flank steak with bold flavor. Pile the thinly sliced steak on crusty rolls for sandwiches, or serve with buttery baked potatoes and a salad of crisp lettuces.

16 of 31

Rosy Hibiscus-Gin Lowball

Rosy Hibiscus Gin Lowball
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Margaret Dickey / Prop Styling by Kathleen Varner

On the fence when it comes to gin? Try a sip of this gateway cocktail. Known as sorrel in parts of Africa, roselle—the type of hibiscus used in most hibiscus teas—complements the floral notes of gin, resulting in a refreshing, balanced beverage. Stir leftover hibiscus tea into lemonade for a refreshing nonalcoholic sipper.

17 of 31

Endives in Schmaltz with Peanuts

Endives in Schmaltz with Peanuts
Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Christine Keely

Mildly bitter Belgian endive cooked in schmaltz, or rendered chicken fat, becomes sweet and tender, with golden, caramelized edges. Fresh lime juice and crunchy roasted peanuts balance the richness of this simple-to-make side dish.

18 of 31

Collard Greens Ramen

Collard Greens Ramen
Greg DuPree

Chef Todd Richards is known for his personal, globally inspired take on Southern cuisine, and his Collard Greens Ramen is no exception. Riffing on a memorable bowl of yaka-mein he had as a child, Richards' soup begins with a pot of collards and a generous pour of bourbon, which cooks down into an intense potlikker.

19 of 31

Oxtail and White Sweet Potato Stew

Oxtail and White Sweet Potato Stew
Johnny Miller

A red wine braise, complete with other mulling ingredients like fresh orange and whole spices, makes the oxtails in this stew fall-apart tender and flavorful. The longer the braise, the better, says New York chef JJ Johnson. "I forgot about it in the oven and returned to find it perfectly cooked," he says.

20 of 31

Brown Butter-Raspberry Baked Oatmeal

Baked Oatmeal with raspberries, coconut, pecans
Photo by Andrew Bui / Food Styling by Caitlin Haught Brown

In this baked oatmeal, perfectly tender spiced oats mixed with sweet and tart fruit are topped with crispy coconut and pecans. The recipe calls for raspberries — blackberries, blueberries, or sliced strawberries would work as well. Blooming the spices in the hot brown butter releases their flavors and infuses the entire dish with a nutty warmth.

21 of 31

Kete Bread Rolls

Kete Rolls
Photo by Eva Kolenko / Food Styling by Carrie Purcell / Prop Styling by Jillian Knox

Kete, buttery, flaky Turkish pastries, come in many variations, some sweet and some savory. This savory version adapted from The Turkish Cookbook (Phaidon) incorporates crushed walnuts and a hint of fresh thyme to make herbaceous, multilayered bread rolls with a satisfying crunch to them. When folding the kete, the most important step is rolling the dough into spirals to create flaky layers. The kete bread rolls are best enjoyed warm from the oven the day they're made, but leftovers are delicious gently toasted in the oven.

22 of 31

Meatballs in 'Nduja Sauce

Meatballs in Nduja Sauce
Aubrie Pick

These meatballs are tender, savory, and juicy thanks to a rich blend of pork shoulder, belly, and spicy, spreadable 'njuda. Traditionally, meatballs shouldn't be overworked, but treat these more like a sausage filling — thorough mixing helps the fat emulsify properly. Substitute 70/30 ground pork for pork belly and pork shoulder if desired.

23 of 31

Safran Şerbeti (Saffron Cordial)

Safran Serberti
Photo by Eva Kolenko / Food Styling by Carrie Purcell / Prop Styling by Jillian Knox

During Ottoman times, şerbeti made with saffron was commonplace at communal bathhouses known as hammams; nod to its roots by making this cordial part of a moment of self-care, or enjoy it anytime you need a refreshing drink.

24 of 31

Sweetened Condensed Milk Carnitas

Carnitas
Photo by Eva Kolenko / Food Styling by Carrie Purcell / Prop Styling by Jillian Knox

A fragrant blend of dried herbs, spices, and garlic flavors this slow-cooked pork, which gets a touch of balancing sweetness and acidity from fresh orange juice. A surprising ingredient here, sweetened condensed milk, helps the pork caramelize during cooking. Source a well-marbled pork roast for this recipe; the extra fat doubles down on the rich pork flavor. Many cooks in Mexico City add sweetened condensed milk to carnitas, says Pati Jinich, who created this stunningly good recipe.

25 of 31

Pici Pasta with Roasted Garlic and Tomatoes

Pici with Roasted Garlic and Tomatoes
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Micah Morton / Prop Styling by Missie Neville Crawford

If you've never made pasta before, pasta expert Meryl Feinstein recommends starting with pici, a thick, hand-rolled spaghetti from Siena that looks like a plump udon noodle. Pici is made with all-purpose flour, water, and olive oil, and it doesn't require any special equipment, making it especially approachable for beginners. Feinstein likes to coat the dough in olive oil before rolling it out because pasta dough dries out quickly. "The more time you take to roll out the pieces, the more the surface will dry out and start to crack. I never like people to feel rushed, and olive oil is a little bit of insurance; it keeps the dough silky and smooth." Pair the handmade pasta with a simple, jammy sauce of sheet pan–roasted canned tomatoes and garlic.

26 of 31

Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potato Hand Pies

Brussels sprouts and Sweet potato hand pies
Gerard + Belevender

Made with Lisa Ludwinski's Sister Pie All-Butter Pie Dough, the golden, crispy pastry encasing these savory hand pies shatters almost like a croissant. Lightly mashed sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, tangy sour cream, and aged cheddar make up the creamy-cheesy filling.

27 of 31

Venison Meatballs

Venison Meatballs with Cumberland Sauce
Photo by Greg Dupree / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Cookbook author Hank Shaw likes to use ground venison for his British take on cocktail meatballs. He seasons them with warming spices and herbs and leavens them with ground oats — a Scottish twist that also makes them gluten-free. Because ground venison tends to be quite lean, Shaw includes the succulent fat from thick-cut bacon, which lends a pleasing richness and rounded flavor, and serves the meatballs in his version of the classic Cumberland sauce.

28 of 31

Spaghettoni with Butter and Brewer's Yeast

Spaghettoni with Butter and Brewer's Yeast
Photo by Eva Kolenko / Food Styling by Carrie Purcell / Prop Styling by Jillian Knox

At Lido 84, his restaurant on Lake Garda in Northern Italy, chef Ricardo Camanini oven-dries fresh cakes of yeast for hours, but the store-bought powdered version works just as well. Tossing the spaghettoni with the butter constantly at the end of cooking emulsifies the sauce. You'll want inactive brewer's yeast for this recipe. The version from Twinlab has a delicious, funky, umami flavor.

29 of 31

Seafood-and-Seaweed Chowder

Seafood and Seaweed Chowder
Caitlin Bensel

A combination of dry hard cider and dried seaweed brings a sweet, mild salinity to the stock, making it ideal for precooking the mussels and clams before using it as the base of the chowder.

30 of 31

Ossola-Style Gnocchi with Sage-Butter Sauce

Ossola-Style Gnocchi with Sage Butter Sauce
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Micah Morton / Prop Styling by Missie Neville Crawford

Meryl Feinstein's Ossola-Style Gnocchi with Sage-Butter Sauce are hearty cold-weather dumplings from the Ossola Valley in northern Piedmont, only a few miles from the Swiss border. In addition to potatoes, these gnocchi include winter squash, chestnut flour, and nutmeg. The chestnut flour provides nuttiness and warmth: "It makes me want to put on a sweater and sit by the fire," Feinstein says.

31 of 31

Smoked Mozzarella Mezzelune with Braised Onion Sauce

Smoked Mozzarella Mezzalune with Braised Onion Sauce
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Micah Morton / Prop Styling by Missie Neville Crawford

Mezzelune (which means "half-moons" in Italian) is a crescent-shaped stuffed pasta similar to ravioli. They're a relatively simple shape to try that requires little equipment to make at home. Meryl Feinstein of Pasta Social Club fills hers with rosemary and smoked mozzarella. A little semolina flour will give the pasta dough more structure and bite, but feel free to omit it and use the same weight of "00" flour or all-purpose flour. If you can't find smoked mozzarella, another smoked cheese like gouda will work in a pinch.

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