Winter Vegetable Recipes Your Kids Will Love

Michiganders have oodles of options when it comes to choosing locally grown veggies. On your next shopping trip, look for Michigan-grown winter staples like potatoes, carrots, squash and onions – and start cooking! Not sure what to make? We’ve got you covered! Here are five winter vegetable recipes that you and your kids are sure to enjoy. Kid not a fan of veggies yet? Try sneaking in a few with our hidden vegetable recipe ideas.

Potato Nachos

It’s a classic snack that’s primo for the after-school munchies (or the football game). Rustle up some russet potatoes for this recipe from the Michigan Potato Industry Commission.


  • 1 1/2 lb. russet potatoes
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1 tsp. Mexican seasoning blend
  • 1 cup Mexican blend shredded cheese
  • 1/4 cup rinsed and drained canned black beans
  • 1/4 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup sliced black olives
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 3 Tbsp. canned, diced green chilies
  • Salsa, guacamole and sour cream (optional)


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Scrub potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch thick wedges. Place potatoes into a medium-size bowl with the oil, garlic salt and Mexican seasoning. Stir well to coat potatoes with oil and seasonings. Transfer to a large baking sheet and spread into a single layer. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring several times, until crisp and golden brown. Top with cheese, beans, tomatoes, olives, onions and chilies. Bake for 5 minutes more to melt cheese. Serve with salsa, guacamole and sour cream.

Latkes (Potato Pancakes)

Still hankering for more ‘taters? This crispy delight taps into the state’s fine baking-potato crop, again courtesy of the Michigan Potato Industry Commission.


  • 2 lb. fresh Michigan baking potatoes, peeled
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp. canola oil
  • Vegetable cooking spray


Preheat oven to 450 degrees; make sure your oven rack is in the middle of the oven. Lightly spray two baking sheets with vegetable cooking spray. Grate the potatoes in your food processor or by hand. Combine the grated potatoes and next seven ingredients in a large bowl; stir well. Spoon rounded tablespoons of the mixture onto the baking sheet. Press lightly to form a round cake. Bake for 10 minutes or until they look golden brown on the bottom. Turn the latkes over, and bake for 5 minutes longer or until golden brown. Transfer to a serving platter. Serve with applesauce and sour cream. Makes 24 latkes.

Chicken and Dumplings

Can you think of a better winter family comfort food? This delicious recipe incorporates onions, carrots and celery. It’s provided by Cynthia Hodges, the Ann Arbor food blogger behind Mother’s Kitchen.


  • 3 lb. stewing chicken, cut up
  • 2 medium Michigan onions, peeled and cut in half
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 3 Michigan carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 3 parsnips, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1 tsp. poultry seasoning
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 1/2 cups water, divided
  • 1/4 cup flour

For the dumplings

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 Tbsp. snipped parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme or dill
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tsp. vegetable oil


Put vegetables in the bottom of a large slow cooker and place chicken on top of vegetables. Add seasonings and 3 cups water. Cover, cook on low for at least 8 hours. Remove chicken from pot and turn slow cooker on high. Remove chicken from bones and return to the pot. Mix 1/2 cup water with 1/4 cup flour and stir in broth to thicken and cover.

Make dumplings by mixing dry ingredients and herbs in a small bowl. Mix milk and oil and add to dry ingredients; stir with a fork until combined. Drop by spoonfuls on top of chicken stew; make about 4-6 dumplings, and cover and cook for 15 minutes in slow cooker on high. Do not remove lid to check for doneness until 15 minutes have elapsed. Check with a toothpick and see if the dumplings are done after 15 minutes; if not, cook 5 minutes longer with the lid on.

Easy Michigan Carrot Bread or Muffins

Pack in a little crunch – not to mention plenty of health perks – with this recipe from the Michigan State Department of Agriculture, courtesy of Priscilla Massie, a culinary historian who hails from Allegan Forest, Mich.


  • 1-3/4 cup sifted flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2/3 cup Michigan milk
  • 1/3 cup shortening, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 cup Michigan sugar
  • 3 medium Michigan carrots, grated or chopped and put in blender


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a blender, combine the milk, melted shortening, egg, vanilla, sugar and carrots. Blend until the carrots are finely chopped. Pour the carrot mixture over the dry ingredients; mix until moistened. Fill greased or papered muffin pans 2/3 full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Makes 12 to 15 muffins (or use the batter to fill small loaf pans 2/3 full).

Sweet Potato Orange Muffins

Not just for pies, the sweet potato is packed with beta-carotene – one of a few ways it’s healthier than standard white potatoes, according to Absolute Michigan. Toss a little fruit into the mix with this keeper from the Michigan Sugar Co.


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2/3 cup Michigan’s Pioneer or Big Chief Golden Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 can (16 oz.) yams (sweet potato), drained
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Michigan carrot, shredded


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease muffin tins; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and wheat flour. In a large bowl, mash sweet potatoes. Add Pioneer or Big Chief Golden light brown sugar, eggs, orange juice, carrots and vanilla; mix. Add dry ingredients to liquid ingredients and mix well. Fill muffin tins 3/4 full. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until tops are brown. Let stand to cool then remove from tins.

This post was originally published in 2010 and has been updated for 2016.


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