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December cooking isn’t only about the celebrations because we’ve got to keep eating between those holiday meals! We’re sharing a list of easy dinners and other seasonally focused recipes here in our list of What to Cook in December!
As the setting sun starts to creep up earlier and earlier each day, we know it can only mean one thing: winter is here. And while some of us know that the darker days can lead to some less than desirable elements of winter (hello: Seasonal Affective Disorder), there is still much joy to be had in cooking when the seasons change.
And while most new recipes coming out in December focus on all of those holiday celebrations, we all know we must eat between those meals, too! So this month, we’re focusing on all the seasonal recipes to get excited about cooking this December. Heartier produce abounds in the market, as well as the steadfast crops leftover in storage (like apples and root veggies) and they cook up to make some amazing comfort food meals. We’ve got the perfect list of recipes to make this December to help keep your spirits bright this season!
Seasonal Market Finds
- Root Vegetables (turnips, rutabaga, kohlrabi, etc)
- Winter Squash
- Herbs (sage, rosemary, thyme, etc)
- Brussels Sprouts
Maple Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon: If you are looking for a versatile side dish that works for both a quick weeknight meal or a decadent holiday dinner look no further than this recipe for Maple Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon! Cooking the brussels sprouts with bacon and maple syrup is sure to make this side dish a fan favorite for everybody! This paleo-friendly recipe is sweet and savory and definitely going to be in your winter meal plan rotation!
Gluten-Free and Paleo Pancakes: Always in season, these crazy popular paleo pancakes are a breeze to make and so comforting! They are on weekend rotation at my house, but even more frequently as the winter months creep in.
Orange Cranberry Roasted Chicken: There is a lot going on with this chicken! It’s roasted up with savory and sweet flavors like fresh oranges, cranberry, rosemary, garlic, and ginger. As the chicken roasts, you bast the chicken with all of those flavors and the skin turns a beautiful golden brown color. Serve it up with the amazing gravy that is made with the pan juices, and all your favorite sides. Of course, we’re sharing our favorite below
Cinnamon Roasted Sweet Potatoes: These three-ingredient roasted cinnamon sweet potatoes make for the perfect sheet-pan side-dish! If you haven’t tried the combination of cinnamon and sweet potatoes yet, this is a must-make! So simple, caramelized goodness, and so full of flavor! Plus, they’re awesome in my Harvest Salad with Maple Balsamic Dressing!
Maple Glazed Baked Ham: This Maple Glazed Ham is the perfect roast for the holidays! It’s the perfect balance of salty and sweet, is made using just a handful of simple ingredients, and contains no refined sugars. Bonus: it takes just 5 minutes to prep! Plus use it in Leftover Ham and Potato Hash, Ham and Cheese Waffles (Gluten-Free), and Split Pea Soup with Ham (Instant Pot or Stove Top).
Butternut Squash and Black Bean Enchiladas: If you are looking for the perfect veggie enchilada recipe then look no further. Butternut Squash and Black Bean Enchiladas are simple to make, using real wholesome ingredients, and are just so delicious! Bake some for now, and freeze some for later. Your future self will thank you!
Spaghetti Squash Italian-Style Casserole: This Spaghetti Squash Italian-Style Casserole is such a flavorful, simple, and healthy dinner casserole when you are craving comfort food!
Orange Cranberry Overnight Oats: This overnight oats recipe is the best make-ahead breakfast. It’s creamy (without any dairy) and bursting with seasonal orange, cranberry and pecan flavor. This vegan-friendly and gluten-free overnight oats recipe packs a lot of fiber into your breakfast to leave you satisfied all morning long! And it makes great meal prep, too.
Instant Pot Loaded Potato Soup: This Instant Pot Potato Soup taste just like a loaded baked potato! It’s creamy and topped with all of your favorite baked potato toppings. This comfort food soup is gluten-free and optionally made dairy-free!
Instant Pot Pot Roast: The Instant Pot is by far the best way to cook Pot Roast when you are short on time, but still want to enjoy this classic comfort food. This recipe is largely hands-off cooking which makes this a breeze to put together. It’s a hearty and delicious dinner that also happens to be Paleo and Whole30 friendly!
Air Fryer Home Fries: The best breakfast side dish, these Air Fryer Home Fries are really easy-to-make and perfectly seasoned. They’re made healthier by using less oil (and less hands-on cooking time) thanks to the air fryer!
Healthier Green Bean Casserole (Dairy-Free): This Green Bean Casserole is a lightened up, but just as delicious, version of a classic Thanksgiving side dish. It’s made up of crisp-tender, fresh green beans baked in a makeshift dairy-free cream of mushroom soup! It’s rich, creamy, perfectly seasoned, and topped with homemade healthier crispy fried onions!
Sausage, Peppers, and Onions: This low-carb and keto-friendly Sausage, Peppers, and Onions is one-pan dish that will be a new weekly dinner staple. It’s made in just twenty-minutes, is super easy to throw together, and is so delicious!
Gluten Free Classic Potato Latkes: These Gluten Free Classic Potato Latkes are just like grandma (or my nanny as we call her) makes them, only made without any refined white flour! They have the classic delicious flavors you want, and I guarantee that nobody will know they are gluten-free! We make them every single year and they are a family staple recipe for Hanukkah. Plus, make my Instant Pot Apple Sauce for serving!
Salad Roll-Ups (No Cooking Appetizer!): These salad roll-ups are a fun and healthy appetizer that are gluten-free, light, and requires no cooking! Plus, they are easy to make and customizable! This will be your new go-to app when you need something quick and delicious.
Egg Roll Soup: This Egg Roll Soup is an easy, weeknight dinner that is full of the flavor of an egg roll, without any of the fuss of wrapping and frying! This veggie and pork soup is family friendly and would make great leftovers! We also offer options to make it vegetarian, and it’s already Paleo, Whole30 and Keto friendly too!
December Drinks We’re Definitely Mixing Up:
NYE Holiday Champagne Punch: This Sparkling Citrus Punch is the ultimate holiday and New Year’s Eve lightened up cocktail! It is so delicious, it serves a crowd, and it is made with fresh, good quality ingredients you can feel good about serving!
Ultimate Kick-that-Cold Juice: Call us superstitious this year, but we’re getting ahead of cold and flu season and making sure we always have the ingredients on hand to make this amazing recipe. I always drink it when I’m feeling a little off or under the weather to give my body some extra vitamin C from this nutrient-dense homemade juice.
Slow Cooker Mulled Cider: This crockpot mulled cider recipe turns plain apple cider into a warm, cozy, perfectly spiced holiday drink. The slow cook time gives the spices and fruit so much time to infuse into the cider for a drink that’s absolutely bursting with flavor (and easy for you to make). I put this drink out at holiday parties and let everyone add in their favorite alcohol: vodka, brandy, bourbon, or wine!
French Kiss Cocktail: Tart, sweet, and with a bit of a kick, this French Kiss Cocktail is THE perfect cocktail to serve on New Year’s Eve, especially when you want to kiss this year goodbye! This raspberry and lemon sparking drink is simple to make and so delicious.