The Pack Report

The Best And Top-Rated Cold Weather Winter Recipes

When the temperatures drop and continue to elongate during the winter months, these top-rated and best-tasting cold-weather winter recipes hit the spot. From vegetarian recipes to game day go-to’s, and bacon-infused dishes, these are the meals you will be craving constantly and get our good eats stamp of approval.

With the upcoming Super Bowl, we recommend these game-day appetizers that will please anyone’s palette. Many of these recipes are from All Recipes and had us drooling and running for our apron – p.s we recommend this one.

Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Nothing says game day eats like something buffalo sauce flavored. Take a twist on your usual protein, such as chicken, and replace chicken with buffalo cauliflower bites. Vegetarian-friendly, with added health benefits, cauliflower bites are a fresh spin on a party classic. For various flavors, test out grilling, roasting, frying, or baking your cauliflower. Lastly, pair your bites with a rich homemade ranch or a tangy blue cheese dip. 

Your Needed Ingredients:

  • olive oil cooking spray (such as Pam)
  • 1 cup water
  • ¾ cup gluten-free baking flour 
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder, or to taste
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 heads cauliflower, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup hot pepper sauce (such as Frank’s)
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Whisk together water, flour, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a large bowl until the batter is smooth and somewhat runny. Add cauliflower pieces to the batter and mix until evenly coated; spread onto the prepared baking sheet.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes. Set aside.
  4. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat; stir in hot pepper sauce and honey until smooth. Brush the hot sauce mixture over each cauliflower piece, repeating until all is used.
  5. Return to the oven and bake until cauliflower is browned – about 10 minutes. Let cool for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Spicy Jalapeno Poppers

If you want even more kick than buffalo sauce, get ready for the heat because this one is for you. Introducing the best spicy jalapeno poppers recipe. With the creaminess of the filling, the spice from the pepper, and the meat compliments from the crumbled bacon, all guests will be singing your praises. You can control the heat depending on whether you remove the jalapeno seeds. A crowd pleaser for a reason, and be prepared for these to be gone within the first 5 minutes they kit the plate. 


  • 1 (16 ounce) bag of cheddar cheese
  • 12 jalapeno peppers, seeded and halved
  • 12 slices bacon 
  • 1 softened cream cheese cube
  • Garlic powder (optional)
  • Green onion (optional)

Cooking Instructions:

  • Preheat the broiler.
  • Place one softened cream cheese cube in the bowl. 
  • Add shredded cheddar cheese to the bowl and mix with salt, pepper, garlic powder (optional), and one stalk of green onion (optional).
  • Insert the mixture into the jalapeno halves – facing up. Wrap the jalapeno halves with the bacon slices, securing them with a toothpick, if necessary. Place on a medium baking sheet.
  • Broil 5 to 10 minutes, or until the bacon is evenly brown.

Cheesy Kale Chips

Seaweed chips are the rage of the times, but if those don’t sound appetizing to you, try our recommendation of cheesy kale chips instead for your upcoming spread. These cheesy kale chips are vegetarian-friendly, gluten-free, keto-accepted, kid-approved, and compliment your tortilla chips and crackers perfectly. If you want to be a little bad (wink, wink) we recommend dipping them in Top the Tater or the tastiest homemade pimento cheese dips! 


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch curly kale, torn
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast
  • ⅓ teaspoon salt

Cooking Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees F (95 degrees C).
  • Drizzle olive oil over the kale in a large bowl and sprinkle with the nutritional yeast and salt. Stir with your hands to coat kale.
  • Spread kale onto baking sheets.
  • Bake in preheated oven until kale begins to get slightly crisp; rotate racks and flip the chips, and continue baking until completely crisp, 45 to 60 minutes total. Make sure to keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t burn; if you notice certain chips ready much sooner than others, take them out.

Siracha Maple Bacon

If you want a carnivore’s go-to dish that is different than little smokies and meatballs, you must try this siracha maple bacon recipe from The Kitchen Whisperer! We recommend using this bacon in various dishes, including homemade bloody mary’s, scrambled eggs, added into an elote dip, or eating right off the plate as is. Keep in mind, if pork is not your choice of meat, substitute with turkey bacon instead!


  • 1 lb thick cut bacon
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1-2 teaspoons Sriracha Chili sauce *the extra teaspoon is optional as it depends on your spice level tolerance
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon water (optional)

Cooking Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Combine brown sugar, Sriracha sauce, and cinnamon in a bowl.
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  • Place a wire cooling rack on top.
  • Spray the rack with cooking spray.
  • Place the pieces of bacon on top of the rack, trying not to overlap.
  • Microwave the spice mixture for 15-20 seconds until it’s spreadable.
  • Spoon or brush the mixture on top of the bacon.
  • Place in oven and cook for 13 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and flip the bacon.
  • Reheat the spice mixture. If necessary, add the water to help make it spreadable.
  • Spoon or brush the mixture on top of the bacon
  • Return to the oven and cook for 13 minutes.
  • If the bacon is not crispy enough (remember it’ll crisp up as it cools), flip the bacon over, spoon any remaining spice mixture and bake for a few more minutes. OR you can broil for 1 minute on each side but watch as this will burn.
  • Remove from the oven, allow to cool 1 minute on the rack, and then using cooking tongs, remove the bacon from the rack and plate.

Quinoa, Apple, and Spinach Stuffed Honeynut Squash

Where fall flavors meet protein-packed goodness, this Quinoa Stuffed Honeynut Squash recipe packs a punch of hearty flavors combined with homemade flare, making it the ultimate bombshell recipe you didn’t see coming. This recipe is provided by our friends at From Scratch Fast. 


  • 4 small or 3 medium honeynut squashes or 2 acorn squashes, halved lengthwise, seeds scraped out and discarded
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ medium onion, finely diced
  • 1 celery stalk, finely diced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • ½ green apple, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme
  • ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 2 cups cooked red quinoa, see notes below
  • ½ cup low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans
  • 1 cup shredded Comté cheese (or you could use Gruyere)

Cooking Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Place the squash halves, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Roast until tender, 25-30 minutes for honeynut squash or 40-50 minutes for acorn squash. Remove the pan from the oven and flip each squash over so that the cut side is facing up. Set aside (if there’s a lot of liquid on the pan, transfer the squash halves to a clean parchment-lined pan). Increase the oven temperature to 550˚F.
  • While the squash bakes, make the filling. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and celery, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables start to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, apple, rosemary, thyme and cinnamon. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables and apples are tender, about 2-3 minutes longer. Pile in the spinach, and cook, stirring, until wilted.
  • Stir in the quinoa, and season with salt and pepper. Pour in the broth and cook, stirring, until mostly absorbed. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the apple cider vinegar and pecans. Season with more salt and pepper as needed.
  • Season the squash halves with salt and pepper (if using acorn squash, I like to dot the top of the squash with a few small pieces of butter and drizzle them with a little maple syrup, as acorn squash isn’t quite as rich and sweet as honeynut). Scoop the filling into each squash cavity (an ice cream scoop works great for this), mounding it firmly. Pile the cheese over the filling.
  • Roast the stuffed squash in the 550˚F oven until the cheese is lightly toasted, about 4-6 minutes.

We hope these recipes help influence you and elevate your upcoming dinner party, game day spread, or your typical weeknight dinner. 

  • Happy cooking, friends!