Irresistible Orange Recipes for Peak Citrus Season

It's peak citrus season! We gathered 24 a-peeling orange recipes, from salads and weeknight dinners to cookies, mocktails, and more.

Orange Recipes for Citrus Season

Go into a supermarket any time of year and you’ll find a bin of bright and sunny Navel oranges. This may fool you into thinking citrus is an evergreen fruit, but it does have a season. Oranges are a winter fruit, which is when they're juiciest and most flavorful. You're also more likely to get your hands on niche varieties, such as blood oranges and Cara Caras.

The best orange has a firm peel without any soft spots and it feels heavy for its size. Store oranges at room temperature if you plan to use them within several days. Otherwise, they’ll keep longer in the produce drawer of your fridge.

Here are a few varieties that may cross your path:

  • Navel: The most common of the bunch, Navel oranges have a thick peel and a bright globe of fruit beneath it. They’re impossibly sweet and juicy when you get a good one. 
  • Valencia: These aren’t the prettiest of the pack, but they have a sweet tangy flavor that’s brilliant for juicing. 
  • Cara Cara: On the outside they appear much like a Navel orange, but inside the flesh has a pinkish hue along with fabulous bright flavor. Use it any way you might use a Navel orange. 
  • Blood: With a tart flavor and color that ranges from red-tinted to beet-red, blood oranges add a splash of color to savory salads and bright fruity cocktails.
  • Seville: These hail from their namesake Spanish city where you can find them adorning citrus trees along the streets. They are bitter and preferred for marmalade and drinks. 

Oranges work well in a variety of sweet and savory dishes. Take advantage of the season’s peak by adding them to your culinary repertoire. Below we gathered our favorite orange recipes from salads and quick weeknight dishes to sweet treats both baked and for drinking.

  • Festive Beet Citrus Salad with Kale and Pistachios

    Beet Citrus Kale Salad
    Elise Bauer

    Beets and oranges are a classic duo, paired here in a healthy and satisfying salad. The recipe makes enough for a small crowd, so scale it back if needed and play with the proportions to your taste. The kale holds up well over time, so leftovers are good for a few days. 

  • Jicama, Avocado, and Orange Salad

    Overhead view of a summer citrus and avocado salad in a serving bowl. Mint and lettuce are also in the bowl.
    Kalisa Marie Martin

    This salad is just as tasty to eat as it is pretty to look at. It’s crunchy, creamy, savory, and sweet. Serve it as a side dish to roast chicken or your favorite fish dish.

  • Broccoli Slaw with Cranberry Orange Dressing

    Broccoli Slaw with Cranberry Orange Dressing in a white bowl
    Elise Bauer

    Don't toss your broccoli stems! They're sweet and tender, and fantastic tossed with cabbage, carrots, and a tangy cranberry orange dressing. This slaw makes a good side dish for roast or pulled pork.

  • Maple Orange Glazed Carrots

    Maple Orange Glazed Carrots
    Elise Bauer

    This easy side dish is a slam-dunk crowd pleaser. Sauté rounds of carrots in butter and glaze them with maple syrup and fresh orange juice. A light shower of orange zest and a pinch of cinnamon brings it all together. 

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  • Cod with Tomato and Orange

    Ling Cod Tomato Orange
    Elise Bauer

    Tomatoes, onions, green olives, and oranges are a classic combination in Spanish cuisine. Here, it works well with fish. The dish cooks up in minutes, making it an easy midweek meal. Leftovers are great the next day. Swap in halibut for cod if that appeals you.

  • Shrimp with Orange Beurre Blanc

    Shrimp with Orange Beurre Blanc
    Elise Bauer

    Set out a plate of these bright buttery shrimp and your guests may think they’re in a fancy restaurant. Luckily, it’s easy enough for a home cook. The beurre blanc is embellished with orange zest, white wine, and shallots—it's magical with sautéed shrimp. Steamed rice and asparagus or broccoli make great sides. Drizzle the oh-so-delicious citrus sauce all over them too.

  • Roasted Chicken Thighs with Fennel and Orange

    Roast Chicken Thighs with Fennel and Orange
    Aaron Hutcherson

    This one-pan supper is just the sort of thing for a cold winter night. Fennels and oranges add brightness to the juicy chicken thighs rubbed with garlic and herbs. It’s easy enough for a family dinner and festive enough for special guests. 

  • Spatchcocked Grilled Chicken with Orange and Ginger

    Ginger-Orange Spatchcocked Chicken
    Sally Vargas

    Spatchcocked is just another way of saying butterflied, a method for butchering a chicken so it cooks more quickly and evenly. Leave the chicken in the orange ginger marinade for as long as you can (at least two hours) to guarantee a juicy, flavorful bird.

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  • Chinese Orange Chicken

    Side view of chinese take out orange chicken recipe in a scalloped white bowl with a partial view of a bowl of white rice to the left.
    Nick Evans

    If you’re a fan of crispy takeout orange chicken, this is the ticket to making it at home. It’s surprisingly easy; all you need is a large skillet. And don’t skip the orange zest in the sauce—it’s the most important ingredient.

  • Flank Steak with Orange and Avocado Salsa

    Flank Steak with Orange and Avocado Salsa
    Sally Vargas

    Here is a lighter take on a steak dinner with a decidedly south-of-the-border vibe. Season flank steak with ancho chili, cook in a skillet or on the grill, and serve with an avocado and orange salsa. Serve it over salad greens or tuck it into tortillas for a modern taco.

  • Mojo Marinated Grilled Pork Kebabs

    A quarter sheet pan has pork kebabs with grilled pineapple stacked on it.
    Marta Rivera

    Easy, delicious, and loaded with flavor (thanks to three types of fresh citrus), these tender pork kebabs are a win. The punchy garlic and citrus-flavored marinade pairs beautifully with the pineapple and peppers threaded onto skewers. If there is snow outside and your grill is off-limits, roasts these in a 400°F instead.

  • Mexican Fruit Cocktail

    Mexican Fruit Cocktail
    Elise Bauer

    Hold onto your hats people! This is a flavor bomb salad thanks to the oranges, pineapple, apple, jalapeños, lime, and cilantro. Inspired by a fruit cocktail recipe from the Jalisco region of Mexico, this is an excellent side dish for taco night and or simply, a snack. 

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  • Cardamom Citrus Fruit Salad

    Fruit Salad
    Elise Bauer

    Festooned with juicy orange segments along with other citrus superstars, this salad looks like a little jewel box. It’s ideal as a light winter dessert, maybe with a dab or two of crème fraîche, if desired.  

  • Parfait With Maple Yogurt, Citrus and Pomegranate

    Winter Citrus Parfait

    Simply Recipes/Sarah Fritsche

    Made with thick, maple-sweetened yogurt, orange, grapefruit, and pomegranate arils, these pretty parfaits are just as suitable for a brunch buffet as a dinner party sweet treat. 

  • Slow Cooker Orange Almond Rice Pudding

    Jewish Kheer Recipe
    Rachel Narins

    This rice pudding leans on rice cereal instead of whole rice. That makes for an extra creamy pudding made with ease using the slow cooker. It’s scented with orange zest and almond extract, and topped with fresh orange pieces. Comfort in a crock pot. 

  • Orange-Spiced Whole Wheat Muffins

    Whole Wheat Muffins with Nuts
    Alison Conklin

    Lightly sweet with a cinnamon sugar topping, these wholesome muffins are good for breakfast or an afternoon snack. Break one open and add a drizzle of honey or smear of salty butter, or both.

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  • Orange Bread

    Orange Bread
    Elise Bauer

    Who doesn’t love a cozy quickbread? This one is made with orange zest, golden raisins, and an orange lemon glaze. It’s moist and tender, thanks to the full cup of yogurt in the batter. Cut yourself a warm slice, set it on a plate, and make yourself a cup of tea. Consider it a form of therapy.

  • Chocolate Orange Shortbread Cookies

    Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
    Elise Bauer

    A heavy dose of orange zest perfumes these elegant chocolate cookies. Like any shortbread, you won’t find a long list of ingredients, though they do require rolling and cutting. That is just part of the fun. 

  • Orange Poppy Seed Cookies

    Orange Poppy Seed Cookies
    Elise Bauer

    If you’re a fan of all things lemon poppy seed, these cookies are a natural next step. They’re flavored with orange zest with a buttery flavor and delicate crumb. In a word: Yummy!

  • Triple-Layer White Cake With Orange Curd Filling

    Triple Layer White Cake
    Elise Bauer

    Consider this multi-tiered beauty a special occasion cake. Orange plays a role in both the cake and the curd filling. It's sweet and tangy with a classic cream cheese frosting. 

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  • Blood Orange French 75 Cocktail

    Blood Orange French 75 Cocktail
    Elise Bauer

    The classic French 75 is one of the chicest cocktails under the sun. Here it gets a minor makeover by swapping in blood orange for lemon juice. It’s just as lovely to drink, plus a little more colorful. 

  • Classic Mimosa

    Prosecco, orange juice, orange slices and three glasses of the best mimosas are on a tray. Whole oranges are to the left of the tray.
    Elana Lepkowski

    Cocktails don’t get any easier than a mimosa, the classic combination of orange juice and sparkling wine. A clear brunch favorite. The key? Skip the orange juice concentrate and squeeze your own. It's totally worth it.

  • Winter Spiced Orange Mocktail

    Spiced bitter orange mocktail with cinnamon and star anise
    Elana Lepkowski

    Winter Spiced Orange Mocktail is built with a bittersweet nonalcoholic flavored syrup squash. It's made with Seville oranges. The mocktail embellished with club soda, bitters, and a beautiful slice of fresh orange. You won’t miss the booze.

  • Seville Orangeade

    Seville Orangeade
    Elise Bauer

    While traditionally used to make marmalade, Seville oranges are also excellent juiced. Though not widely available, you can find Seville oranges online via Melissa's Produce, at some specialty stores, and at some farmers markets.