If you can open an oven door, you can master these veggie dishes.

By Jorie Nicole McDonald
February 04, 2021
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Don't be fooled by the copious amounts of fried chicken and buttermilk biscuits on the table; Southerners love their vegetable recipes too, especially the winter ones. If perfectly prepared, butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, and curly kale can be just as satisfying as Mama's homemade banana pudding. Not convinced? Give these four easy and delicious recipes a try and serve them together on one platter for a winter vegetable extravaganza.

If you can open an oven door, you can master this recipe. Sweet and savory all at once, these Melting Sweet Potatoes put traditional sweet potato casserole to shame. Be sure to use a rimmed baking sheet so the vegetables soak up the chicken stock while baking; this simple step creates a recipe so tender and rich you're sure to make it again and again. Top it off with a homemade buttery maple-walnut sauce for a decadent final touch. Pro tip: Melt the butter in a large bowl in the microwave so you can toss the sweet potatoes right in to avoid getting another dish dirty.

Crispy and tender green beans come together with pearl onions that have been beautifully caramelized with garlic, butter, and balsamic vinegar to form one showstopping vegetable dish. The key to this recipe is blanching the green beans before sautéing them. FYI, blanching simply means boiling veggies and then plunging them in an ice bath. This method of cooking creates bright and crispy, restaurant-style green beans. To achieve a perfectly golden-brown crust, be sure to completely dry the pearl onions with a paper towel before caramelizing.

Stop stewing winter greens! Mustard greens, collard greens, and even turnip greens deserve better. Instead try wilting them, mixing them in a salad, or stir frying them. Better yet, take a crack at this recipe for Sautéed Mustard Greens with Garlic and Lemon. The combination of garlic, lemon juice, and crushed red pepper makes the dish addictively scrumptious.

Even though this recipe is a healthier version of classic Caesar salad, we won't judge you for adding extra breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. The tangy, Greek yogurt-based dressing flawlessly coats all of the curly kale's nooks and crannies, and the addition of Worcestershire sauce truly takes this recipe to a whole new level of flavor.

Each of these winter vegetable recipes makes an excellent side dish for a protein-based Southern classic, but we think they've earned the right to sit on your dinner table as the shining main star. Whether you're craving kale, mustard greens, sweet potatoes, or green beans, these tried-and-true recipes will not disappoint.