What’s in Season in January – Culinary Hill

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Discover the best seasonal produce to add to your January meal plan. Feast your way through the month with our January produce guide in your back pocket. I’m dishing up the most delicious seasonal recipes to make this month with citrus fruit, winter squash, root vegetables, and more.


Think you can’t eat fresh, in season produce in January? I’m here to convince you otherwise! True, your outdoor vegetable garden and any fields nearby might be dusted with snow (or at least are a lot quieter this time of year). Every fruit and vegetable has a season, and some vibrant and sturdy fruits and veggies thrive in the cooler weather as we kick off a new year.

No matter the time of year, seasonal produce is not only more flavorful, but also more budget-friendly. To spice up your meal prep (’tis the season for healthy eating resolutions, after all!) or for inspiration for every meal of the day, stock up on these fresh fruits and veggies during your next supermarket run or online grocery order.

Still have leftover produce from last month? See what’s in season in December.

Looking ahead to next month? Discover what’s in a season in February.

What’s in season in January?

  • Tropical and citrus fruits: While it might be one of the coldest and darkest months of the year, these fruits are here to brighten things up and take your taste buds on a trip to a warmer climate. Citrus stars like clementines, oranges, tangerines, tangelos, grapefruit, and lemons make up one of the largest categories of what’s in season in January. And joining them in fine form in the produce aisle, you’ll spy a bounty of tropical fruits like kiwi and pomegranates. All are dreamy in cocktails (or spirit-free variations on the theme if you’re conquering Dry January), smoothies, fruit salads, marinades, and more.
  • Rose family fruits: A rose by any other name…smells like apples and pears, two members of this fruit family. Ideal from fall through winter, these sturdy fruits work well in various baked goods recipes, like pies, crumbles, and crisps. They complement any brown bag lunch entree beautifully, too. Or invite them over to the savory side; apples and pears are incredible as part of pork and chicken sheet pan dinners.
  • Brassica vegetables: Also known as cruciferous vegetables, this category is full of nutrition-strong stand-outs that have been linked to lower risk for cancer…and are also tasty and remarkably versatile, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, and turnips can flex from salads and stews to dips and stir-fries, these veggies can absolutely please picky eaters if you prepare them with care.
  • Winter squash and root vegetables: January produce is brought to you in part by the letter “P.” That’s because parsnips, potatoes, and sweet potatoes are all shining this time of year. Winter squash, including acorn, pumpkin, butternut, delicata, and spaghetti squash, are similarly-textured and mildly-flavored. That means you could use any or all of the above in mashes, soups, salads, or casseroles. 

The Best Fruits and Vegetables to Eat in January

Fruits Vegetables
Apples Beets
Avocados Broccoli
Clementines Brussels Sprouts
Grapefruit Cabbage
Kiwi Cauliflower
Lemons Kale
Mangoes Leeks
Oranges Parsnips
Pears Potatoes
Pomegranates Sweet Potatoes
Tangelos Turnips
Tangerines Winter Squash

Tropical and Citrus Fruit Recipes

Give that citrus a squeeze for juice, if you please. Just be sure to save enough so you can infuse that bright, punchy flavor into homemade salad dressings, cocktails or non-alcoholic drinks, salads, and sauces. Feature pomegranates and kiwi atop fruit pizza, in salads, or as-is for a burst of island flavor (even if you’re living in what feels like an arctic tundra).

Citrus salad on a white plate.


Citrus Salad

Citrus Salad with strawberries and pomegranate is healthful fruit salad elevated to a higher level, gorgeous enough for a special occasion yet easy to make.

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Rose Family Fruit Recipes

What’s in season in January? Apples and pears, but time is of the essence; both are nearing the tail-end of their peak. Extend their life by transforming either into slow-cooking them into fruit butter, or blitz up pear or applesauce. Pie, quick bread, or muffins are never a bad choice, either.

A bowl of applesauce with apples behind it.


Applesauce Recipe

This classic homemade Applesauce Recipe is super easy to make and can last for a long time by freezing or canning (we included instructions for both). The sugar is optional depending on the sweetness of your apples, too.

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Brassica Vegetable Recipes

Prime for salads, stir-fries, and so much more, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, and Brussels sprouts are crisp and ready to enjoy raw or cooked. Load up your crisper drawer with these seasonal vegetables to toss into pasta dinners, grain bowls, salads, stews, casseroles, or side dishes. Or in the case of cabbage, stuff it!

A bowl of Cauliflower mashed potatoes.


Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

If you’re craving a side dish change, skip the spuds and try these Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes. It’s an easy way to eat more veggies and they taste almost as good as the real thing!

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Winter Squash and Root Vegetable Recipes

If a sheet pan roast is your dinner BFF, you’ll swoon over all of the sturdy, adaptable potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, and winter squash that are in season in January. These versatile vegetables are also excellent in a wide variety of side dishes, soups, stews, and game-day-worthy appetizers. Again, when in doubt, feel free to stuff ’em!

Someone holding a pan with four air fryer baked potatoes.


Air Fryer Baked Potatoes

For the best easy baked potato recipe, flip on your air fryer. Convection heat bakes potatoes quickly while crisping up the skin. You won’t want to cook potatoes any other way after mastering how to air fry baked potatoes!

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Meggan Hill is a classically-trained chef and professional writer. Her meticulously-tested recipes and detailed tutorials bring confidence and success to home cooks everywhere. Meggan has been featured on NPR, HuffPost, FoxNews, LA Times, and more.

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