31 Healthy Recipes to Make in December
Smoked Gouda-Broccoli Soup
Smoked paprika and smoked Gouda give this broccoli-and-cheese soup recipe a double hit of smoky flavor. If you can't find smoked Gouda, smoked Cheddar gives delicious results as well.
Honey Buzz Cocktail
While gin lets the grapefruit shine through, this punch recipe also works with bourbon. Using the Angostura bitters is optional, but the cinnamon-clove flavor gives this drink a bit of holiday-appropriate spice.
Balsamic & Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower
Roasting isn't usually the first cooking method you think of for cauliflower but the results are quite delicious. The florets are cut into thick slices and tossed with extra-virgin olive oil and herbs. Wherever the flat surfaces come into contact with the hot roasting pan, a deep browning occurs that results in a sweet, nutty flavor.
Chickpea Curry (Chhole)
Made with convenient canned beans, this quick and healthy Indian recipe is an authentic chickpea curry that you can make in minutes. If you want an additional vegetable, stir in some roasted cauliflower florets. Serve with brown basmati rice or warm naan.
Oatmeal-Coconut Cookies with Cranberries & White Chocolate
Our classic oatmeal cookie recipe gets a flavor twist with coconut, white chocolate chips (which have a more delicate flavor than milk or dark chocolate) and tart dried cranberries. The result is a chewy, sweet treat that's sure to leave you coming back for more.
Greek Salad Nachos
This vegetarian nacho recipe is a fun combination of two favorites--nachos and Greek salad. It uses whole-grain pita chips instead of the tortilla chips used in traditional nacho recipes, and it's loaded with the classic fresh vegetables in Greek salad as well as creamy hummus and salty feta cheese. And it doesn't even need the oven! Easily doubled, this makes a great appetizer or light dinner.
Crunchy Popcorn Cauliflower
A cunchy, savory pretzel-pecan coating turns roasted, caramelized cauliflower into an irresistible appetizer or kids' snack that mimics flavored popcorn. Serve this popcorn cauliflower straight from the oven with a dipping sauce and watch these tasty little bites disappear.
Holiday Spice Punch
This punch recipe is a good strong sipper, ideal for warming up on a cold day. As the ice melts, the drink mellows a bit and this punch actually gets better and better as the evening wears on.
Balsamic Berry Vinaigrette Winter Salad
This festive salad features colorful greens, fruit and cheese tossed with a light and zesty dressing.
Slow-Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup Meal-Prep Freezer Pack
Not only does this chicken noodle soup recipe utilize the crock pot for a set-it-and-forget-it easy dinner, you can also prep all the ingredients ahead of time and store them away in the freezer to pull out on a day where you forgot to plan dinner. That's a meal-prep win! Just make sure you thaw the food before adding it to the slow cooker--otherwise it will remain at an unsafe temperature for too long.
One bite of this light and airy cranberry-lime cheesecake recipe and it will become your go-to recipe for dessert. Part-skim ricotta cheese adds a delicate texture and stands in for some of the higher-fat cream cheese. Be sure to use a large, wide piece of heavy-duty foil to wrap the pan--the foil helps prevent water from seeping into the cake as it bakes.
"Use a Spoon" Chopped Salad
When Paul Newman and Michel Nischan opened their Westport, Connecticut, restaurant Dressing Room, Paul's request was that the menu always include a chopped salad that you could eat with a spoon. This chopped salad recipe is full of great flavors, colors and textures, featuring celery, carrots, red pepper, apple, cucumber, greens, cabbage, goat cheese and almonds. This is great for any holiday meal: you can let it stand and it stays crisp.
These homemade sausage balls are a healthy riff on the original--we add riced cauliflower for moisture and a veggie boost, whole-wheat flour stands in for prepared biscuit mix, and sharp Cheddar adds flavor. Serve these sausage balls for brunch, as an appetizer, or mix them with your favorite marinara for dinner.
Sugar Cookie Cutouts
Here's a low-calorie, lower-fat version of traditional sugar cookie dough. Roll out and shape it for all your favorite holiday cookies.
Brandy Alexander Punch
Skip eggnog in favor of this classic holiday cocktail recipe. We even sized it up for a thirsty group of revelers.
Roasted Pears with Brie & Pistachios
Roasted pears with Brie and pistachios is delicious as a first course or a side with roast pork or lamb. Leave the stems on for the prettiest presentation.
Broccoli, Ham & Cheese Quiche
This quiche recipe is full of broccoli, Cheddar cheese and smoky ham surrounded by a crispy hash brown crust. Look for precooked shredded potatoes in the dairy section or in the produce section--or use frozen hash brown potatoes in this easy quiche recipe.
Parmesan-Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts
These roasted Brussels sprouts are about to be your new favorite side dish. In addition to getting brown and crispy in the oven, they're topped with Parmesan cheese and balsamic vinegar for a hit of salty, savory flavor. This makes a great vegetable side to serve with roasted meats.
Holiday cookies don't get any cuter than these mini gingerbread houses that kids and adults alike will love. Use a mini gingerbread house cookie cutter to cut out all the parts (the kids will love helping with this part), then build the houses and let the kids go to town decorating. Line up your finished creations to make a gingerbread house village, eat them up or prop them up on mugs of cocoa for dipping and munching.
EatingWell Crudité Vegetable Wreath with Ranch Dip
Take your veggies and dip to the next level with this colorful crudité wreath. This vegetable appetizer is a stunner with white cauliflower, red tomatoes and green broccoli, green beans, snap peas, kale and Brussels sprouts. It's also a delicious way to start your celebration with veggies (which there are rarely enough of at parties and holidays). The homemade ranch dip, which uses nonfat Greek yogurt in place of sour cream, takes just a few minutes to make, or you can use a healthy store-bought dip.
Slow-Cooker Garlic Mashed Potatoes
This simple slow-cooker mashed potatoes recipe skips tedious peeling and boiling and helps save precious stovetop space by letting the slow cooker do the work. It's a great timesaving set-it-and-forget-it side dish recipe to round out any hearty meal. Buttermilk makes the mashed potatoes creamy while garlic and shallots add flavor.
Caramelized Onion & Brussels Sprout Galette
Serve this vegetarian tart recipe as a main dish or in thinner slices for an appetizer or side dish. Since you'll be pleating the dough to create a rustic look, buy ready-to-roll pie crusts rather than prepared pie shells--you'll find them in the dairy section of your market with other ready-to-bake items or near the frozen desserts.
Pear-Pecan Cheese Ball
Sweet pear, salty Cheddar cheese and crunchy nuts make this healthy cheese ball recipe an alluring holiday treat. Serve with an array of crudités and crisp party crackers.
Red-Wine Hot Chocolate
If you love red wine and you love chocolate, you'll love this rich, full-flavored red-wine hot chocolate. It's two of your favorite things together in one warm, cozy mug.
Blueberry-Almond Overnight French Toast
Pick your favorite table-worthy baking dish for this healthy French toast recipe--the breakfast casserole goes straight from the oven to the table. Serve with pure maple syrup.
Hasselback Caprese Chicken
Using the hasselback technique (cutting crosswise slits every half-inch along the chicken breast) cooks the chicken faster and ensures you get a burst of flavorful gooey filling with each bite. This quick one-pan high-protein and veggie-packed dinner is easy to make and the whole family will love it.
Butternut Squash Queso Fundido
This cheesy dip recipe is lightened up by subbing mashed butternut squash for some of the melted cheese. We also loaded it with chili-spiced caramelized onions. Serve this healthy makeover with tortilla chips or sliced jicama for dipping.
Greek-Style Stuffed Mushrooms
Perk up any appetizer buffet or antipasto tray with these tempting mushrooms brimming with broccoli, feta cheese, garlic, and oregano.
Oatmeal-Almond Protein Pancakes
Depending on the type of protein powder you pick, you might need to reduce the amount of liquid in this protein pancake recipe. Whey-protein pancakes need less liquid than those made with soy, hemp or pea protein. Serve with yogurt and a DIY fruit sauce (warmed frozen berries with a pinch of sugar).
Healthy Dark Chocolate "Puppy Chow"
Crunchy, sweet, salty ... healthy?! Yes, indeed. We gave this classic sweet treat, also called muddy buddies, a grown-up makeover using whole-grain cereal and dark chocolate. Dig in!
Pomegranate Champagne Punch
For a nonalcoholic version, combine 2 1/2 cups seltzer and 2 cups pomegranate juice.