The 31 Best Recipes to Cook This January

updated Jan 8, 2021
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Happy New Year! While not many things feel “normal” these days, putting 2020 behind us and sliding into January feels like the fresh start we’ve all been waiting for. Now it’s time to settle into a month of great cooking and eating. On one hand, just coming off several weeks of non-stop cookies and holiday treats, we’re ready to pile our plates with vegetables and dig into all the wholesome grain and green salads. If you make just one salad this month, try the baby gem lettuce salad from the Falastin cookbook; most of the Kitchn team will be making it on repeat. A hearty wheat berry salad or smashed chickpea salad are both great make-ahead options, and perfect if your goal this year is to nail down your lunch routine.

On the other hand, these cold winter days also have us craving easy, family-friendly comfort foods. I’m talking about the creamiest stovetop mac and cheese or a pot of chicken chili you can pull off on a weeknight. And don’t forget soup. Pull out your slow cooker for the easiest French onion soup you’ll make, lean on your Instant Pot for rich and creamy potato soup, or try the tomato soup topped with cheesy croutons we’ve all been gaga for.

More time at home and indoors is a great reason to keep on baking. If you’ve got birthdays coming up this month and you love a good cake, you simply cannot go wrong with a milk chocolate Bundt. Want to switch things up this year? You can’t go wrong with triple-decker mint brownies or bittersweet brownies with salted peanut butter frosting. And for a baking project, I’m carving out time this month to make a loaf of cinnamon swirl bread.

If you’re kicking off the new year with a round of Whole30, you’re going to need some solid recipes by your side. Having done several rounds, I strongly recommend a big batch of Kalua pork and using some of the leftovers (or using a rotisserie chicken) for Asian-style cauliflower fried rice. And if you’re partaking in Dry January, how about keeping a fun non-alcoholic drink on hand, like a punchy ginger switchel?

There’s pots of soup, brownies, salads, slow cooker chicken, and so much more — here are 31 of our favorite winter recipes to inspire your cooking all month long.

1 / 31
Weeknight White Chicken Chili
A must for your January meal plan! This weeknight chicken chili is loaded with chunky textures and a rich, ultra-creamy broth with warm, smoky cumin and chili-tinged undertones.
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2 / 31
Bittersweet Brownies with Salted Peanut Butter Frosting
It's Contributing Editor Patty's birthday month, and she prefers to celebrate with brownies — not cake. She's kicking off the festivities with these Kitchn favorites.
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3 / 31
Mint Brownies
Patty also has her sights set on these fudgy brownies topped with mint buttercream and finished with dark chocolate ganache.
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4 / 31
Kale & Quinoa Salad with Dates, Almonds & Citrus Dressing
If you're clamoring to eat more green things this month, consider this simple and oh-so-satisfying salad a must. The mix of crunchy, chewy textures can't be beat.
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5 / 31
Garlicky Sautéed Shrimp with Creamy White Beans and Blistered Tomatoes
This 20-minute dish, inspired by the Spanish tapas dish gambas al ajillo, makes for a flavorful weeknight dinner with very little effort, and it's got Lifestyle Editor Lauren excited. "Ever since Amelia talked about making this recipe by Yasmin Fahr, I have been craving it!"
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6 / 31
Pressure-Cooker Kalua Pig
If you're starting the year with a round of Whole30, a big batch of this shredded pork will leave you with food for days. Just remember to use no-sugar bacon.
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7 / 31
Asian Cauliflower Fried Rice with Kalua Pork
This Whole30-friendly dish calls for Kalua pork, although you can easily substitute any kind of shredded meat or even browned ground meat.
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8 / 31
Irish Coffee
"I know it's Dry January," says Senior Contributing Food Editor, Sheela, "but really, it's also Irish coffee season, which is a favorite winter treat, made decaf and sipped for dessert on the couch with a good book."
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9 / 31
Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake
Assistant Food Editor, Nicole, has had this cake waiting on standby for the second that blood oranges show up at the grocery store.
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10 / 31
Hot Cocoa
The best part of cold, snowy January days? Hot cocoa, of course! Here's our favorite way to make it at home.
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11 / 31
Hoppin' John Risotto with Collard Pesto
This Southern New Year's Day classic with an Italian twist is at the top of Food Editor Meghan's list of 2021 family dinners.
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12 / 31
Ginger Switchel
This punchy non-alcoholic drink will be Studio Food Editor Amelia's go-to through Dry January.
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13 / 31
Slow Cooker Chicken Bacon Ragù
The hardest part of cooking up these saucy chicken thighs with fennel and bacon is deciding whether to serve them with buttery mashed potatoes, creamy polenta, or egg noodles.
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14 / 31
Roasted Tomato Soup with Cheesy Crouton Topper
Sheela had the good fortune of testing this last year, and now she plans to make it on repeat through the dark, cold nights of January. It's that good!
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15 / 31
Slow Cooker Oatmeal with Honey & Fruit
Toss everything in the slow cooker before going to bed and come morning you've got a hot oatmeal and quinoa porridge with your name on it.
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16 / 31
Winter Wheat Berry Salad with Figs & Red Onion
This is an oldie, but goodie. And Amelia is keeping this wholesome grain salad in regular rotation this month.
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17 / 31
Cinnamon-Raisin Swirl Bread
Winter long weekends call for baking projects, and this swirl bread is at the top of Food Editor Kelli's list. "I plan to add a generous pinch of cardamom along with the cinnamon; I bet it will be so good."
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18 / 31
Tuscan Bread & Tomato Soup (Ribollita Soup)
If you make just one pot of soup this month, follow Editor-in-Chief, Faith's, lead and go for an easy, satisfying Tuscan ribollita with white beans, kale, and bread.
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19 / 31
Creamy Mac and Cheese
If the cold days have you going for serious comfort, you cannot go wrong with simple stovetop mac and cheese. Not only is it the absolute creamiest, but it also only takes five ingredients and 20 minutes to whip up.
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20 / 31
Cast Iron Pressed Pizza Sandwiches
"There are two things I crave the most this time of year: pizza and grilled cheese", says Lifestyle Director, Lisa. "And this cast iron pressed sandwich combines both of those things. I won’t be camping, but I’ll be camped out at my kitchen table while I eat this for lunch on repeat!"
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21 / 31
Easy, Creamy Instant Pot Potato Soup
A duo of milk and cream cheese give this Instant Pot potato soup an irresistible thick and creamy texture, while bacon adds a gentle smoky aroma.
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22 / 31
Baby Gem Lettuce with Charred Eggplant Yogurt, Smacked Cucumber, and Shatta
"Our January Cookbook Club pick is Falastin, and I’m so excited to make this baby gem lettuce salad after Amelia talked about it on Instagram," says Features Director, Arie. "It might be cliché, but after the holidays I just want to stuff my face with greens."
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23 / 31
Birthday Bundt Cake
This milk chocolate Bundt cake is easy enough to bake up on a weeknight, but beautiful enough for a celebration, and it's exactly what Meghan is baking up for her daughter's birthday.
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24 / 31
Whole30 Italian Meatballs with Marinara
Inspired by the classic, these Whole30 Italian meatballs are packed with fragrant herbs, but skip the grains and dairy.
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25 / 31
Tartiflette (French Potato, Bacon, and Cheese Casserole)
Studio Food Editor Jesse is quick to tell me how excited he is about making tartiflette this month. "I made it a few months ago when testing it and my roommate and I loved it. Also, I'm already freezing, so the idea of eating a warm, bubbling potato dish topped with an entire wheel of cheese sounds like the perfect treat. What's not to love about potatoes + bacon + cheese?"
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26 / 31
Croissant Breakfast Sandwich
You know what's really going to make 2021 a great year? Stocking your freezer with BEC croissant breakfast sandwiches.
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27 / 31
Slow Cooker French Onion Soup
Everything you love about the classic version, with a fraction of the effort.
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28 / 31
3-Ingredient Cottage Cheese Pancakes
Deputy Food Director, Grace, has her sights set of these high-protein pancakes. "I've got a goal to eat more protein in the new year, and what better place to start than breakfast?"
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29 / 31
Smashed Chickpea Salad (Sandwiches)
Here's one to bookmark if your 2021 goal is meal prepping lunch. This vegetarian chickpea mixture will keep for days in the fridge, then come lunch layer it between some bread, stuff it in a pita or tortilla, pile it on a bowl of greens, or just eat it as is.
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30 / 31
Chicken and Wild Rice Bake
This one-dish dinner is totally ingenious. It'll take a while to bake, but it's all hands-off, and the result is magical.
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31 / 31
Freeze-and-Bake Lemon Poppy Seed Scones
A warm breakfast baked good is only moments away when you fill the freezer with these make-ahead scones.
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