31 Healthy Recipes to Make in December
Quinoa Avocado Salad with Buttermilk Dressing
Persimmons add sweetness to this tossed green salad that sports a healthy salad dressing. A sprinkling of crispy fried quinoa adds unexpected crunch, putting the salad over the top in the best way.
This crab-stuffed mushroom recipe is perfect for Christmas, New Year's Eve and other holiday parties or any other time you need a quick and easy appetizer. The filling is light and fresh thanks to hearts of palm, a tender vegetable with a mild flavor (similar to artichokes) that doesn't mask the rich, sweet flavor of fresh crabmeat.
Make-Ahead Broccoli-Cheddar Quiche
This easy, cheesy broccoli quiche gets its creamy texture from evaporated milk. It's also a great recipe to make ahead: simply reheat before serving or cut into slices and reheat each morning for breakfast. Using pre-cut microwaveable broccoli cuts down on prep time, but if you have broccoli crowns sitting around, go ahead and use those up. Just be sure to cook the broccoli until it's just barely tender or the final dish will have overcooked, soggy broccoli.
Slow-Cooker Chicken with Rosemary & Mushrooms over Linguine
The classic pairing of shallots and mushrooms gives this easy slow-cooker chicken recipe a timeless quality that's sure to please everyone at your table. Swirling the stock and flour together at the beginning is a pro tip for creating a thick sauce that moistens the final dish and helps all the ingredients come together.
Irish Pork Roast with Roasted Root Vegetables
In this easy one-pan dinner, boneless pork loin roast is cooked over a bed of carrots and parsnips for an all-in-one dish that makes an impressive centerpiece for a holiday meal or Sunday dinner. Choose free-range heritage pork if you can—its flavor really shines with no more seasoning than a bit of thyme and a little sea salt. If you'd like, dress up the meal with a traditional Irish apple condiment—Ploughmans chutney or Bramley applesauce, which you can find in specialty stores and online.
Roasted Salmon with Spicy Cranberry Relish
This ruby-red cranberry relish recipe gets refreshing crunch from apple and celery. It's also delightful alongside a roast chicken or pork loin.
Mushroom & Tofu Stir-Fry
This tofu veggie stir-fry is quick and easy, making it a great go-to weeknight meal. Baked tofu has a firm, toothsome texture that crisps well in a hot pan. You can find it in flavors like teriyaki and sesame, both of which are delicious here. Or opt for a smoked version, which has the same texture with a more robust flavor. Serve over brown rice.
Eggs Benedict Casserole
An eggs benedict casserole is not only delicious, hearty and filling, but it also gives you the ingredients and taste you love from eggs Benedict in an easy, make-ahead form. We suggest making the sauce while your casserole cooks and serving the final product with some fresh fruit.
Slow-Cooker Beef-Barley Soup with Red Wine & Pesto
Hearty, thick, rich—this is just how a winter soup should be. The meat and carrots become tender yet retain their texture, and the kale offers freshness. Garnish each serving of this slow-cooker beef and barley soup with additional pesto and fresh basil and oregano sprigs, if desired.
Arepas with Spicy Black Beans
These corncakes are a common style of flatbread in Colombia and Venezuela. Arepas are made with precooked cornmeal and served warmed with butter or cheese, or split open and filled, or topped, as we've done here. Our arepas filling is loaded with fragrant spices and vegetables to elevate the dish.
Slow-Cooker Chicken & Tomato Ragout over Polenta
Cooking the polenta in chicken stock infuses it with robust savoriness, and melting the Parmesan cheese into the polenta further adds a salty, nutty quality. It's the perfect balance to the acidic, tomato-forward sauce. And while this slow-cooker chicken dish is fancy enough to serve to guests at a dinner party, the use of presliced mushrooms and quick-cooking polenta keeps the hands-on time to a minimum. Garnish with fresh oregano and basil leaves, if desired.
Creamy White Chili with Cream Cheese
This rich and creamy chili comes together in a flash thanks to quick-cooking chicken thighs and canned white beans. Mashing some of the beans acts as a fast thickener when your soups don't have a long time to simmer. Cream cheese adds the final bit of richness and a hint of sweet tang.
Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad
This raw Brussels sprouts salad featuring shaved Brussels sprouts, toasted pecans, sweet-tart cranberries and nutty Parmesan cheese is tossed with a light and lemony vinaigrette. You can shave the Brussels sprouts using a chef's knife—or use the slicing attachment of your food processor to make it even easier. This quick and easy recipe is perfect for fall or anytime you have crisp, fresh Brussels sprouts on hand.
Air-Fryer Brussels Sprouts
These super-crispy and browned air-fryer Brussels sprouts with sweet onions and salty bacon—all amped up with bright lemon juice—are sure to be a hit, whether you serve them for a weeknight side dish or as part of your holiday spread for Thanksgiving. This recipe makes enough to serve eight but is easily halved, though once you taste it you may well want a double serving. And if you prefer a vegetarian side, simply omit the bacon.
Mini Feta & Potato Frittatas
These mini frittatas make a great breakfast or brunch for a crowd, and help keep portion size in check. Grate whole nutmeg on a microplane or box grater for the most fragrant results.
Broiled Lobster Tails
This easy holiday appetizer calls for lobster tails, the meatiest part of the lobster, which you can buy fresh or frozen. We've also included three easy and delicious compound butters to choose from to pair with the lobster meat: this recipe makes classic lobster thermidor butter, with the rich mix of Parmesan cheese, herbs and brandy; see Tips (below) to swap in an earthy porcini mushroom butter or a bright fennel and lemon butter.
Beet & Goat Cheese Salad
This stunning winter salad gets its sweet, earthy flavor from roasted beets and balsamic vinegar. Creamy goat cheese and peppery arugula add color and balance, while toasted walnuts add crunch. A mandoline is the best way to get thin, even slices from the roasted beets.
Chicken & Vegetables with Creamy Coconut Noodles
Teach your kids about the power of aromatic compounds with this recipe: Adding coconut milk to the broth not only adds subtle coconut flavor, but the fat in the liquid also helps the ginger, lemongrass and basil "bloom," releasing even more tastiness.
Slow-Cooker Chicken Sausage with Cabbage & Apples
The cabbage comes out tender without being mushy and gives the slow-cooker chicken sausage a slightly sweet flavor. A splash of vinegar at the end perks up the whole meal with a bit of acidic brightness. There are several varieties of smoked chicken sausage from which you can choose. We recommend using an apple-flavored smoked sausage to complement the apples and vinegar.
Crunchy Cauliflower Bites with Curry-Lime Aioli
Reminiscent of chicken nuggets, this cauliflower is a great way to get kids to eat their veggies. Want to get another veg on your child's plate? This easy vegetable dish also works with broccoli and can be served as an appetizer, side or vegetarian main course. You can also swap in a dairy-free mayonnaise to make these easy cauliflower bites vegan.
Creamy Chicken & Celeriac Noodles
With a little help from a spiralizer, celeriac is transformed into fettuccine "pasta." Tossed with spinach, chicken and a luscious Parmesan cream sauce, lower-carb pasta never tasted so good. You get a bigger portion of celeriac "noodles" and still save more than 100 calories over 1 cup of regular pasta.
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.
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).
Slow-Cooker Chicken with Potatoes, Carrots & Herb Sauce
Impress the in-laws, neighbors or any other dinner guests with this pretty dish. It's a slow-cooker chicken recipe that actually looks and tastes like it was oven-roasted. To save time, prep the vegetables a day ahead or in the morning, and then refrigerate until ready to brown the meat and start the slow cooker.
Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
Oven-roasted fingerling potatoes can be a special holiday side dish, but they're quick enough to enjoy on a weeknight too. The secret to these crispy roasted fingerling potatoes? Getting the baking sheet nice and hot before you spread the potatoes on it.
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.
Balsamic Berry Vinaigrette Winter Salad
This festive salad features colorful greens, fruit and cheese tossed with a light and zesty dressing.
Easy Roasted Root Vegetables
There's nothing easier—or tastier!—than a pan of roasted root vegetables. Clean them, trim them, and season them with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and let them roast to perfection in the oven while you focus on the rest of your meal.
Potato & Leek au Gratin
We mix Yukon gold and red-skin sweet potatoes with mild leeks in this easy au gratin recipe. The combination of Parmesan and Cheddar makes this dish irresistible.
Loaded Potato Bowl with Chicken & Broccoli
Cauliflower and potatoes mash into a creamy puree that has fewer calories than mashed or baked potatoes alone. Here, we top the puree with chicken and broccoli to make a satisfying and complete meal. The cheese, sour cream and bacon toppings make this easy dinner resemble a lower-calorie loaded baked potato.
Sausage, Brussels Sprout & Potato Soup
Bake up some Manchego cheese toasts and uncork a bottle of Ribera del Duero to enjoy alongside this healthy pot of soup. Both sweet and hot Italian sausage work well.