Traditional Dutch winter dishes
The autumn and winter seasons in the Netherlands can be fairly cold and damp, so it’s likely you’ll be in search of some good hearty meals to warm yourself up when the weather is bleak.
Luckily, a lot of traditional Dutch food is warm and comforting, making it perfect for this time of year.
Meals to eat in the Netherlands this winter
Do like the Dutch and enjoy some of these traditional winter dishes this season - we promise they’ll fill your belly and warm your soul!
Snert: Dutch pea soup
The number one Dutch dish you think of when it comes to warm and filling food has got to be pea soup. This authentic Dutch speciality is called snert or erwtensoep, and is a thick green soup traditionally made with split peas, carrot, onions and celery, and filled with cubes of bacon. It's also customary to serve this hearty winter soup with slices of rookworst (smoked sausage).
There are some modern variations on the dish, and of course you can serve it without the bacon so your vegan and vegetarian friends can also enjoy it, but one key aspect to a good bowl of snert is that it should be thick enough for a spoon to remain standing upright in it.
Aardappelen: Potatoes, potatoes, and more potatoes!
The Dutch definitely love their potatoes; whether they’re boiled, fried, mashed or roasted, potatoes accompany most main meals in the Netherlands, making them a key ingredient in Dutch cuisine.
Stamppot is the general name given to any mashed potatoes with vegetables, often mixed with carrots, and it’s a great example of a versatile and affordable meal that can be eaten and enjoyed by the whole family.
Andijviestamppot: Dutch endive mash
One example of a popular and iconic variation on the traditional stamppot is andijviestamppot, which is made using curly endive (also known as frisée or endive lettuce). The contrast between the slightly bitter edge of the curly green chicory leaves and the creamy potatoes is the key to the unique flavour of this authentic Dutch dish.
Many traditional andijviestamppot recipes simply combine mashed potatoes and raw curly endive with a bit of butter, milk, nutmeg and seasoning.
Boerenkoolstamppot: Dutch kale mash
Dutch boerenkoolstamppot is another very popular version of stamppot. It’s similar to andijviestamppot, but is made with shredded kale instead of endive lettuce.
Hutspot: Dutch mashed potatoes
Hutspot, also a Dutch classic, consists of potatoes, carrots and onions all mashed together. Brussel sprouts (spruitjes) are a popular ingredient that the Dutch like to mix in with their mashed potatoes as well.
Groentesoep: Dutch vegetable soup
Traditional Dutch vegetable soup with meatballs, or groentesoep met balletjes, can be tweaked to suit every season. Winter versions often also contain meatballs, kale, carrots and celeriac.
Hachee: Dutch stew
Hachee is a traditional beef and onion stew that’s perfect for the cold winter months. The long, slow cooking time produces extremely tender meat and a sauce with a wonderfully rich flavour.
The word hachee comes from the French verb hacher, which means "to chop". Hachee has been around since the Middle Ages and like many traditional Dutch dishes, it was originally a peasant dish, created as a means of using up leftover meat and vegetables. Most hachee recipes use equal parts of beef and onion and the onions are caramelised. The flavours in this stew include cloves, juniper berries, black peppercorns, bay leaves and vinegar.
Hachee remains a very popular dish in the Netherlands to this day, and most Dutch supermarkets carry ready-to-eat hachee microwave meals. But nothing beats homemade hachee of course, and there are also vegetarian and pescetarian variations to this traditional recipe.
Traditional Dutch foods to warm you up when it’s cold outside
Whether you’re curious to explore the world of Dutch cuisine, or just looking for some inspiration for tomorrow’s dinner, these dishes are great examples of meals you can eat when it’s cold and rainy outside.
What are your favourite Dutch dishes during the winter months? Share them in the comments below!
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