hot chocolate sitting on table with pinecones and pine fir for winter wedding

Winter Wedding Food Ideas: 31 Menu Options

Nov 16, 2020
By Wedding Spot

So, you’ve chosen to embrace the magic of winter for your wedding. Congratulations! This festive time of year is great for those who want to save some money, love winter themes, or want to tie their celebrations in with the holidays. Winter also offers wonderful flavors to inspire your wedding menu. Roasted meats and vegetables, hearty comfort foods, and warming spices will make your guests feel nostalgic, warm, and ready to have a good time. We’ve put together a bunch of winter wedding food ideas to get you started, each of which links to a recipe you can use for inspiration. We’ve also included some creative vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, and gluten-free options for guests with dietary restrictions, ensuring that everyone can take advantage of your winter wonderland. 

Explore 31 winter wedding food ideas your guests will be sure to enjoy:

Appetizers ideas for your winter wedding

1. Baked camembert with cranberry-orange compote. This dish (literally!) oozes comfort and flavor. It can be part of a beautiful show-stopping display of winter treats, or stand on its own as part of a cheese platter or table. The delicious combination of cheese and winter cranberries will have guests stopping back to the table over and over.

2. Crispy sheet pan meatballs with salsa verde. Meatballs are a simple appetizer that can easily be served on toothpicks for easy eating during your cocktail hour. These ones have a punch of salsa verde flavor to spice things up.

3. Feta and spinach puff pastries. Puff pastry makes an entrance into a lot of winter appetizers, and with good reason. It’s light, fluffy, buttery, and a great vehicle for everything from vegetables and fruits to cheese, meats, and nuts. These festive spinach and feta puff pastries are sure to be a crowd favorite.

4. Brussels sprouts with bacon jam. Crispy brussels sprouts are one of the best things about winter, and adding bacon is sure to make these dainty lollipop-like treats into a real hit. For a vegetarian version, try pairing the brussels sprouts with a fig or date jam to get a similar sweet and savory mix.

5. Brie stuffed crispy baby potatoes. Who can say no to a tiny warm potato with cheese? These baby potatoes are stuffed with melty brie for a hearty yet elegant appetizer. These are easy enough to be passed hors d'oeuvres, or can appear on a warm appetizer table.

6. Carrot parsnip bisque. There’s something really warm and comforting about hot soup on a cold day. This carrot parsnip bisque can be served in individual ramekins or even shot glasses, and would be great paired with grown-up grilled cheese sandwiches or another toasted appetizer.

7. Pomegranate feta salad (vegetarian). Not all winter foods need to be heavy. This pomegranate feta salad is festive and fun, especially with the red and green colors around the holidays. If you can’t get pomegranate, you can also use dates, figs, or cranberries for a nice winter flavor.

8. Figs with bacon and chile. These one-bite-wonders have everything you could ask for: A touch of sweetness, savory bacon, a spicy kick, and a beautiful look on any winter wedding plate.

9. Wild mushroom ragout on crispy polenta. Polenta is a fun gluten-free option that replaces the traditional hors d'oeuvres bread or toast. This version has a hearty winter mushroom ragout to bring a touch of savory elegance to your passed appetizers.

Winter wedding food ideas for main courses and sides

10. Beef Wellington. This showstopper dish combines comfort food coziness with true elegance. This is Gordon Ramsay’s version, and probably the most famous modern version of the dish. You can also serve these as individual puff pastry parcels for each guest.

11. Spicy nut roast (vegan, gluten-free). The warming flavors in this spiced nut roast will please all of the vegan and vegetarian guests at your winter wedding. It’s also easy to prepare and serve, making it a great choice for a crowd.

12. Baked mac and cheese. This is the ultimate comfort food, and you can elevate it just enough to make it special for your big day. This version layers in gruyere and cheddar cheeses, but you can easily substitute your favorites like monterey jack, smoked gouda, or swiss to get a different flavor.

13. Moroccan lamb tagine. Stewed and braised meats make a great choice for a wedding, as they can be prepared ahead of time and served without worrying about doneness levels or the meat getting dry. This Moroccan lamb tagine has lots of warming winter spices to go with your winter celebration.

14. Pumpkin ravioli (vegan). This vegan ravioli will have even die-hard meat eaters coming back for more. Pumpkin, clove, and nutmeg flavors bring a cold-weather vibe to this dish, which is then expertly paired with a white wine sage butter sauce. It’s sure to impress!

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15. Miso glazed salmon. Go for a slightly lighter option with this miso-glazed salmon recipe. Many guests don’t want to stuff themselves before dancing the night away, and this provides a nice light way to embrace winter flavors.

16. Mashed or baked potato bar. If you started out your wedding prep dreaming of summer classics like a burger bar, why not opt for the comfort food version of winter with a mashed potato bar? This fun presentation allows guests to add a variety of toppings to their mashed or baked potato, giving everyone their perfect cravable comfort food in the process.

Winter wedding dessert ideas

17. Vanilla creme brulee. This torched confection impresses guests, even though it’s relatively simple to pull off for a crowd. Serve these in individual ramekins for easy guest access. You could even add your initials dusted on top in sugar for an extra touch of fun!

18. Raspberry Nutella puff pastry heart. This simple dessert offers a cute way to showcase your love to your guests with its beautiful heart shape. The options for the filling are endless. Although this version uses raspberry and Nutella, you could also use apple, honey, fig, or cranberry spreads to make the dessert your own.

19. Chocolate lava cakes. There is something continually impressive about the oozing warm chocolate that comes pouring from the center of a chocolate lava cake. These mini versions mean that each guest gets that impressive experience. They’re great for chocolate lovers, which usually make up a large portion of any guest list!

20. Pumpkin custards with gingersnap crumble. Pumpkin isn’t just for fall wedding food! These custards are paired with a gingersnap crumble to make the dessert more wintery, and they don’t disappoint. These custards are easy to serve for a crowd, and are a simple make-ahead option for a catered wedding.

21. Tagalong cookies (gluten-free). This gluten-free version of a Girl Scout classic is nostalgic, fun, and very tasty. You could even provide these as favors in individual bags for guests to remember your special day.

22. Gingerbread bundt cake. It’s getting more popular to skip the traditional wedding cake, but you can still get your cake fix with another winter dessert. This bundt cake brings all the holiday flavors of a gingerbread house to your special day, and is sure to bring joy to both kids and adults.

23. Hot cocoa cookies. These cookies will remind your guests of the winter warmth of hot cocoa. The chewy chocolate cookie is topped with a fluffy marshmallow and chocolate shavings, and can even be finished with a drizzle of hot fudge or caramel for an extra special winter wedding dessert. 

24. Irish coffee milkshake shooters. These tiny milkshakes are a combination of dessert and signature cocktail, but whatever you call them, they’ll be sure to delight your guests. Irish cream liqueur is blended with coffee ice cream, topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings to create a fun grown-up dessert.

Signature drink ideas for your winter wedding

25. Hot chocolate bar. Hot chocolate is a winter classic for a reason. This can be served at the end of the night by a fire pit, during an outdoor cocktail hour under heat lamps, or with your desserts for an extra dose of chocolate. Topping ideas include marshmallows, sprinkles, graham cracker crumbles, hot fudge, whipped cream, and M&Ms with your initials on them.

26. Mulled wine. Mulled wine is another winter and holiday classic, but a bit more elevated than hot chocolate. The smell of mulled wine steaming in the corner of the room will surely draw all of your guests in and make them feel ready for a festive celebration.

27. Orange cranberry margarita. The orange and cranberry flavors in this margarita are classic for winter, and pair well with the traditional flavors in a margarita. The cocktail also looks beautiful when prepared, setting off winter-white or woodland themes well.

28. Cinnamon bourbon hot toddy. The hot toddy is no longer a drink reserved for the grandparents. Modernize this warming treat with your favorite bourbon and winter cinnamon for a cocktail that is sure to please guests of any (legal drinking) age.

29. Blood orange French 75. The French 75 is an elegant classic cocktail often served on New Year’s Eve. This version adds the vibrant flavor and color of blood oranges, making it an extra special addition to your winter wedding menu.

30. Caramel apple spice cider (non-alcoholic). This non-alcoholic winter warmer is almost a dessert, but just refreshing enough to fall into the signature drink category. Let your guests act like kids by providing lots of fresh whipped cream and caramel for toppings!

31. Vanilla chai tea White Russian. A White Russian is already a great cold-weather cocktail, but when paired with warming chai flavors, it really becomes special. Try serving these cocktails by the fire at the end of the night for a lovely ending to your perfect day.

Make your big day unforgettable with these winter wedding food ideas!

Once you have your dream menu created, it’s time to taste! Read on for everything you need to know before your wedding tasting.

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Wedding Spot

The Wedding Spot blog is designed to help couples navigate every step of the wedding planning journey. From before the engagement to after you say “I do,” our goal is to give you the tips, ideas, and inspiration to prepare for your big day — and all that comes with it.