From boozy stews and squash-topped shepherds pie to holiday cookies and citrus cakes, these recipes will end your year on a cozy, festive note.

The Recipes You Should Be Cooking This December

Thomas J. Story

December is a month for indulging in dishes that will keep you warm and help you celebrate, as the end of the year should go out with a bang—not just at a party on Dec. 31 but also in the kitchen all month long. As the temperature drops and we start to see snow sticking to the ground in the chillier parts of the West, you’ll want to keep a few warm soup recipes in your back pocket. With seasonal produce like turnips, squashes, and carrots coming into season throughout the winter, these sturdy vegetables make for great additions to stews or can be roasted for salads served warm. 

Our recipe for brandied cranberry stew is studded with the seasonal berry, kabocha squash, and tender pieces of bone-in beef short rib. Serve it over a bed of celery root and potato mash for a deliciously decadent dinner (that makes for even better leftovers). For dessert, lean into seasonal citrus like tangerine and lemon in sweet dishes like a tangerine sesame cake or walnut lemon packets. Odds are the walnut lemon packets will become a household favorite after the first batch makes its way out of the oven. Each packet is stuffed with a walnut and lemon meringue filling, encased in a slightly sweet sugar cookie-like dough. 

If you’re lucky enough to see the start of crab season this month in California, make a beeline to your local fishmonger to get a few Dungeness crabs before they’re gone for the year. Boil and crack the crab before tossing it in a citrus butter sauce or take the time to deshell it and mix it into creamy mac and cheese. For all of our favorite recipes to make in the month of December, keep on reading! 

Starters and Salad

Main Dishes