8 Winter Solstice Recipes That'll Make A Dark Day Seem A Little Brighter

By Caroline Burke

The winter solstice is tomorrow, Dec. 21, and with that comes the shortest day and longest night of the entire year. Since the winter solstice happens in the middle of the holidays (and is a traditionally Pagan holiday in the first place), some people might not remember to actually celebrate it. But if you do decide to get together with friends to celebrate the occasion, there are tons of winter solstice recipes to keep you warm and honor the astronomical holiday.

The winter solstice is traditionally celebrated as a symbol of the changing seasons and of the Earth's "rebirth," so to speak, so the traditional meals to accompany the winter solstice have an emphasis on the Earth itself, focusing on nuts, berries, spices, squash, potatoes, and hunted game like goose and deer.

Now, nobody expects you to hunt and kill a deer for the winter solstice, but a few Earth-focused recipes will certainly do the trick — not to mention some warm drinks to get you to through this cold winter's night.

The winter solstice, if you choose to celebrate it, should be spent with friends and family; the meals are less important than the company. With that said, here are eight easy winter solstice recipes to cook up for the longest night of the year.

Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad
Studio Six

This Brussels sprouts recipe by Homemade Outings is sure to be a hit — at least, for people who like Brussels sprouts (don't worry yourself over people who don't like Brussels sprouts, because after all, you can't convert a non-believer). This recipe is extra yummy because it includes pomegranate, goat cheese, and roasted pepitas.

Vegan Butternut Squash Pizza
Jeremy Pawloswki

What better way to celebrate a Pagan winter holiday than with a vegan butternut squash pizza? This recipe by the Minimalist Baker is made with butternut squash sauce (say that five times fast), broccolini, and chickpeas to create a heavenly (and healthy) pizza dish.

Warm And Roasted Winter Salad Bowl
Davide Illini

If you're making cold salads in the winter, you're totally missing out. This warm and roasted salad bowl by Oh She Glows is the perfect way to heat up on a long, cold night.

With gold potatoes, yummy quinoa, and kale, you'll fill your stomach with all the right nutrients to get you through the longest night of the year.

A Hearty Winter Solstice Soup
Natasa Mandic

There's literally nothing more heartwarming than a big bowl of soup on a cold winter's night, and this winter solstice soup by Sara Meyes will keep you cozy through the long, chilly evening. With carrots, onions, potatoes, and a whole handful of herbs, this soup is sure to be a favorite you'll keep coming back to all season long.

Winter Solstice Goose
Jack Jelly

For those of you who are more, um, ambitious with your cooking, roasting a goose for a winter solstice get-together is a surefire way to confirm that your friends will never forget that night for the rest of their lives.

In all seriousness, though, roasting a goose is pretty similar to roasting a chicken. This roasted goose recipe by The Fruit Guys is easy to follow, and the goose is seasoned with dried fruit for an extra delicious flavor.

Rum Spiced Egg Nog
Nadine Greeff

Egg nog is the ultimate holiday drink — but it's not complete without a little hair of the dog. This rum spiced egg nog recipe by Autumn Earth Song includes vanilla extract, cloves, and cinnamon for the ultimate spiced winter bev.

Black Bean Squash Buckwheat Empanada
Alberto Bogo

This creative empanada recipe by Food By Mars is gluten-free and vegan, so it's sure to satisfy all of your friends' palates, regardless of their dietary preferences.

It does require a little extra work (the crust is homemade too, with buckwheat flour), but the effort will be much appreciated when everyone takes a bite of all that wintry goodness.

Nonalcoholic Wassail

Wassail is a type of hot, spiced beer that is characteristic of the winter solstice holiday tradition. This nonalcoholic wassail recipe by Patheos includes cranberry juice, white sugar, and cinnamon sticks to get you in the solstice mood.

And hey, nothing's stopping you from adding a little bit of liquor to the recipe, should you decide you want it. Cheers!