The European grocery has just about everything on sale, from must-have additions for your charcuterie board and crackers to pies galore and eggnog too.
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a collage of the Lidl holiday deals
Credit: Courtesy of Brand

Holiday season is here in full force and all the weight of its pressure is on. When it comes to gatherings, particularly with close friends and family, we're still making up for lost time and feeling the compulsion to make each one not only count, but exceed expectations. We want to serve the best—memorable, unique, high-quality bites that match the caliber of the company we keep. 

However, that's no easy task we've assigned ourselves. Sourcing and curating gourmet or seasonal food items can be a wild goose chase at times. And with inflation looming ever larger on our financial horizons, it's even more challenging to fill the table with those types of bites.

But we have good news: you can leave it to Lidl this year.

In the past year, this European budget-minded grocer has made a big splash in the U.S., taking the Eastern Seaboard by storm with over 150 locations and counting. And this means three big things for hosts and hostesses in Lidl markets: easy access to fancy European snacks and seasonal novelties … and paying less than you'd expect for them. 

Without further ado, these are some of our favorite picks on how to level up your holiday entertaining game with fun, exciting apps, snacks, desserts and drinks without getting too spendy. 

Apps & Snacks

No matter how wild people get with trends like butter boards and the like, there's really no substitute for a good meat and cheese board. While some may argue it's become a predictable staple, Lidl's holiday selection is wide enough to keep anyone from being bored by your board. 

For charcuterie, take a break from Italian and grab the Tapas de España from the refrigerated section, which features Serrano ham, chorizo and salchichón in a variation of the usual prosciutto and salami combo. Or you can veer into French territory with duck l'orange or wild boar pâté by Three Little Pigs, then take a detour to Australia by serving it with Olina's Bakehouse artisan crackers, which you can get in Cracked Pepper if you want a bit of a bite or festive Cranberry & Sunflower Seed for sweetness. Both go well with mild cheese, but there are some bold choices you'll want to include, too. Gouda with truffle or nettle are unexpected fromages to keep an eye out for this season.

Of course, you can't have a meat and cheese selection without some salty, briny olives to go with them. Lidl's got plenty of them, from basic pitted to pimiento-stuffed manzanilla to a Mediterranean medley. Or, to appease all palates, just get the 1-pound DeLallo Entertaining Collection, which has pitted olives jubilee, Greek feta salad, Provolini antipasti and pitted Kalamata olives. Pick up some tomato and olive focaccia from the fresh bakery to really go all-in on these flavors.

But of course, we can't round out appetizers without some hot selections, especially when the weather outside is frightful. You can turn it up with comforting bar bites like toasted mac and cheese bites with or without bacon, or skip the mac and go straight for cheese with an authentic Swiss fondue.

On the other hand, seafood always makes a splash at any holiday party, and earns you host-with-the-most points instantaneously. Grab a few boxes of scallops wrapped in hickory-smoked bacon or crank up the heat with BAP-certified Hot & Spicy Butterfly Shrimp.   

Sips & Sweets

Skipping right to the good stuff since we know you have entrees on lock: desserts, drinks and dessert drinks. 

In the dessert category, there's an awful lot of pie. In addition to the brown-box factory-baked kind you can expect at any supermarket, Lidl also carries its own line of frozen pumpkin, cherry, apple and pecan pies. That's in addition to name-brand pies like Mrs. Smith's, too.

If baking isn't enough DIY for you, Lidl has a heaping selection of gingerbread house kits under different brands and in collaboration with Pez and Oreo for something different. They're also carrying winter-geared snickerdoodle-flavored and red crème-filled Oreos, too, if you want more from that brand. To round out that sandwich cookie situation, don't sleep on the Lidl-brand candy cane crème version.

All of that is obviously super seasonal, but what says "winter" better than chocolate? Lidl has already made a name for itself with its usual selection, so it's no surprise that its holiday offerings run a wide range. Interesting choices include the Frankford-Dunkin' chocolate collaboration, which features the "donut" brand's Boston Kreme, Brownie Batter and Chocolate Crème flavors; Queen Anne cordial cherries (for the non-Cella camp!); Partake gluten-free chocolate peppermint cookies; and Niagara Chocolates clusters and cups. 

If you'd rather your guests sip their chocolate, there's an enormous array of those options, too. Be unexpected with Frankford peppermint hot chocolate bombs or just plain cute with white chocolate snowmen that dissolve to reveal marshmallows when hot milk is poured over them. Alternatively (and more cost-effectively), you can dress up classic hot chocolate packets with toppings like peppermint whipped cream or winter-themed Peeps in lieu of conventional marshmallows.

And hot chocolate isn't the only classic holiday beverage Lidl has fully embraced. They're carrying eggnog for everyone, from traditional non-boozy 'nog to Almond Breeze's nondairy take to Southern Comfort's version. For those who want to celebrate with a more overt tipple, affordable prosecco is certainly something to cheers over.