Winter is the best time to gather friends and explore the splendor of the great indoors.
The season’s cold weather also provides a convenient excuse to attempt any comforting dish or drink you can think of.
Can you see your breath because it’s so cold? Probably best to warm up with a rib roast and a bottle of red. Is there a foot of snow outside? Might as well batch margaritas, whip up homemade salsa verde, and pretend that ever-growing snowbank is a sand dune. Here are 50 of our favorite recipes for winter hosting, when temperatures are chilly and living rooms are extra cozy.
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Winter is for citrus and citrus is happiest when keeping tequila company. Start your gathering with this simple winter margarita and serve something crunchy and salty to snack on.
If a margarita doesn’t satisfy your winter citrus craving, a punch that includes grapefruit, orange, lemon, and lime juice should do the trick. Bonus: This recipe serves a crowd.
If you’re getting together with friends for a long weekend, batch this bloody mary mix beforehand and your puffy eyed, Sunday morning self will be better for it.
Come for the bourbon, stay for the ginger-infused simple syrup. (You’ll want it around for adding to future sips, too.)
A dirty chai with a shot of bourbon? Absolutely.
Cardamom and a teaspoon of butter give this hot chocolate a rich, warming flavor that’ll restore you and your friends after a long day in the snow.
If you’ve got two days and dry yeast, you’re only about 15 minutes of active work away from having homemade focaccia at your get-together.
My favorite dinner party moments happen when someone translates an element of the restaurant experience into a home setting. Bread service—especially when it includes freshly baked rolls—is an eternal source of restaurant joy. And a dinner party with a Parker House Roll-focused bread service is where I want to be.
A more cold-weather flavor alternative to the rolls above, these taste like a cross between dinner rolls and monkey bread.
If it wasn’t clear before, I’m sure it is now: I want you to have rolls at your party. Serve these savory, cheesy rolls as a snack or as an accompaniment to a dinner featuring tomato sauce and red wine.
The next time you have friends coming over to watch a show and you’ve got a bit of time on your hands, whip up these soft pretzels and a batch of beer cheese.
An ideal bready side for the comforting, hearty chili. (Don’t worry, I’ve got recipe ideas below.)
Adding popcorn is a great way to incorporate salt and crunch into every bite of the fresh, acidic ceviche. Serve in small ramekins that can be easily distributed among party goers.
This fun and delicious bivalve preparation is perfect for your next gathering. Plus, “sriracha,” “lime,” and “butter,” are words that even by themselves excite nearly everyone.
Warning: Homemade salsa may lead to guests awkwardly crowding around a single bowl because they love it so much. Remember those margs from earlier? They’d go great with this.
“Great party, I just wish there weren’t so many meatballs,” is a phrase that has never been said. With a container of toothpicks on the side, these will disappear in a flash.
An ideal snack for pre- or post-dinner enjoyment, especially when everyone is sprawled out on the couch, contemplating another round of charades.
According to Chef Michael Solomonov, this Israeli-style hummus is all about the marriage of chickpeas and tehina, and this is one happy couple we fully support.
Pickled watermelon radishes lend a bold, acidic bite that pairs well with heavier cheeses and meats. Also, they’re easy to make and nice to look at.
This shrimp dish highlights the complex flavors of the shrimp, leaning into its briny, ultra-savory qualities. Serve on a platter with toothpicks as a cocktail snack.
When hosting a smaller group, pasta becomes manageable. As is the case with most great pasta dishes, this linguine with kale is greater than the sum of its very few (seven, to be exact) parts.
The recipe developer said it best, “Nothing brings people together like cheese and beer.”
Seafood stew is the perfect vessel for combining comfort and elegance—two qualities that, when working together, produce extra memorable occasions. Serve with fresh bread and plenty of wine and you’ve got the makings of a great evening.
Potential hot take: Turkey chili is the best kind of chili. Also, ground turkey is cheaper than ground beef, which means it’s a lot easier to rationalize making enough for the whole neighborhood.
With only a few minutes of active prep and cooking time, this pozole is big on flavor. Toppings like radish, cabbage, and lime wedges can be placed in small bowls so your guests can DIY their garnishes.
Ten minutes of prep and 30 minutes of instant pot cooking is all it takes to make a vegetable beef soup that will nourish your hungriest, coldest associates. Serve with fresh bread or grilled cheese.
While satisfying on its own, baking a loaf of bread is even more enjoyable when you know that it will become a honey and peanut butter sandwich in its final form.
This lamb and orzo combination lets you feast without too much fuss, thanks to the two-pot preparation.
I enjoy great acting, and the way this cauliflower performs its role as mac and cheese is Oscar-worthy.
Striking in both flavor and appearance, this salad achieves a perfect balance with acidic vinaigrette, rich manchego, and bitter radicchio.
Lentils are one of my go-to side dishes for cold-weather cookouts. Serve with pork chops, winter greens, and your favorite light beer.
It’s Sunday morning. You’ve been away with friends since Friday afternoon. Everyone is tired and cranky. You make everyone a soft-scrambled egg grilled cheese and suddenly, the bickering stops.
If you’ve got a lot of other dishes to make, don’t punish yourself by trying to nail the internal temperature of a large roast. Warm up a ham, smother it with this bright, peppery glaze, and call it a day. To serve, carve into slices and arrange a platter with mustard, pickles, and your favorite sliced bread.
Warm is my ideal winter salad temperature. The mellowed bitterness of roasted radicchio pairs perfectly with the salty bacon, acidic balsamic, and garlic shrimp.
Substantial but not too filling, this is the perfect dish to make for any potluck.
If you don’t have plans yet, make a platter of this sweet and spicy fried chicken and your friends will—for some reason—start showing up at your house.
Hot bacon dressing upgrades any salad from peripheral vegetable afterthought to unanimous crowd favorite.
In my world, pizza is best when cut into small, bite-sized pieces and served as an appetizer. If you don’t want to be part of that world, that’s fine, because this white clam pizza is good any way you slice it.
This chickpea pasta combines the nourishment of soup with pasta’s elegance. Top with steamed clams if you’re in a briny mood.
If you’re aiming to impress, there’s nothing more spectacular than making a perfect roast chicken.
Each winter, I host a lasagna, oyster, and martini party. If you’d like to do the same, I’d recommend this meaty rendition from our co-founder Merrill Stubbs.
A rib roast is a host’s best friend: delicious and memorable, yet easy to prepare. Rub with salt, pepper, and flour, then toss your roast in the oven—that’s it.
Mussels are quick (20 minutes, start to finish), delicious (the mustard, garlic, pepper combo is undefeated), and in partnership with crusty bread and dry white wine, what more could you want?
A carrot cake that is subtle, yet sophisticated (thanks cardamom) should be invited to every party.
Homemade ice cream is always a crowd pleaser, and the tea-infused flavor makes this one a standout, even when it’s chilly outside.
This loaf tastes like butterscotch mixed with pumpkin and is guaranteed to make your house smell much better while it bakes. The recipe makes two loaves, meaning if friends are staying over you can serve this bread for breakfast the following morning, or send them home with leftovers.
If you’re going to make an occasion out of a Sunday morning, consider this croissant French toast. With orange zest and Cointreau in the batter, it only makes sense that you pair it with a mimosa.
Sticky toffee pudding hits all the notes a winter dessert should. It’s warm, has caramel, and is so rich you will have no choice but to sit back and bask in your post-dinner glow.
Creamy, bright, and not too sweet , these lemon bars celebrate the subtle flavors of citrus picked at the height of its season.