Best Holiday Recipes
Pomegranate, Cranberry & Brie Bruschetta
Make this simple festive appetizer for your holiday guests. Toasted baguette slices with creamy, melted brie are topped with an orange-cranberry-pomegranate mixture--each bite delivers an explosion of flavor and texture!
Balsamic Berry Vinaigrette Winter Salad
This festive salad features colorful greens, fruit and cheese tossed with a light and zesty dressing.
Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes
This healthy recipe is a savory riff on the traditional brown-sugar-and-pecan-topped sweet potato casserole so often found on Thanksgiving tables. Crispy baby kale leaves make a stunning garnish, but any green or herb that suits you will look great, fried or not.
Parmesan Scalloped Potatoes with Spinach
Classic scalloped potatoes get a burst of color, heartier texture and a healthy update with the addition of chopped spinach. The greens in this side dish also create a nice contrast to the creamy, velvety potatoes.
Cranberry Meringue Pie
If you're a fan of lemon meringue pie, you'll love this festive cranberry meringue pie recipe. For the fluffiest meringue, set your eggs out at room temperature for about 15 minutes or submerge (in the shell) in a bowl of lukewarm water for 5 minutes before beating--egg whites at room temperature will gain more volume than cold whites.
This gorgeous fruity punch is perfect for any party--serve it on its own for a fun mocktail that will please kids and adults alike. Or, set out optional alcoholic mix-ins, like tequila and/or vodka, for a mix-your-own cocktail station.
Rib Roast with Dijon-Sour Cream Sauce
This classic rib roast is seasoned with rosemary and marjoram and served with an incredibly simple--yet divine--mustard and sour cream sauce.
Chocolate Cream Pie
Chocolate cream pie isn't just a diner special--it's the perfect dessert for any celebration. We love the added flair of chocolate curls on top, but a pretty dollop of whipped cream on each piece would look just as elegant.
Caramelized Pear Custard Pie
This custard pie recipe elevates the simple pear to something heavenly. The pears are lightly caramelized, baked into vanilla custard, then topped with a cinnamon caramel sauce just before serving.
Cider-Brined Spatchcock Turkey
Brining is a classic way to prep roast turkey for the oven. It infuses the meat with so much flavor from apple cider, celery, onion, oranges and fresh herbs. Spatchcocking is the technique of removing the backbone of a turkey or chicken and pressing the bird flat. It's a convenient way to speed up the roasting time and it results in evenly browned, moist turkey.
Fig & Walnut Wild Rice Dressing
This gluten-free dressing (or stuffing, if you prefer) leans on a blend of brown and wild rice for a complex nutty flavor. Look for dried Mission figs in the bulk aisle or with the packaged dried fruit in your grocery store. You can swap in dried cherries or cranberries if you can't find dried figs.
Cranberry Coconut Trifle
No other dessert turns heads like a trifle. Festive in every way, this trifle recipe glows from within with scarlet layers of juicy cranberries. The filling is made from an astounding 6 cups of antioxidant-packed cranberries! We made the custard “skinny” with a combination of low-fat milk and light coconut milk. From-scratch brown-butter sponge cake, made with whole-wheat pastry flour, stands in for store-bought ladyfingers.
Quinoa Salad with Oranges, Beets & Pomegranate
Roasted beets and sweet dates, tangy oranges and juicy pomegranate seeds make this quinoa salad recipe festive. It pairs beautifully with turkey or roast pork.
Marmalade-Horseradish-Rosemary Glazed Ham
Orange marmalade, whole-grain mustard, and horseradish are combined with fresh rosemary to make a sensational glaze for this delicious ham. It's a perfect main dish for a holiday gathering or family reunion.
Acorn Squash Bisque
Rich in flavor and color, this squash bisque is a great choice to serve alongside other autumnal entrées such as roasted pork tenderloin, pork chops and turkey.
Loaded Bread Stuffing
This bread stuffing has more than your basic celery and onion--you'll love the unexpected addition of mushrooms, red pepper, carrots and water chestnuts! And while it's the perfect addition to your holiday menu, it's also a great choice for serving with chicken or fish any night of the week.
Eggnog Pie with Cranberry Sauce
This healthy custard pie recipe combines the flavors of gingerbread and eggnog into a festive holiday dessert. An easy cranberry sauce balances the sweetness of the pie with a touch of tartness. To lighten the load of holiday baking, each element can be prepared up to 5 days ahead.
Vegan Gingerbread Cookies
Coconut oil stands in for butter in this dairy-free, eggless cookie recipe for completely mouthwatering gingerbread cut-outs. Decorate cookies with a simple vegan icing or sanding sugar.
Peppermint Pattie Pots de Creme
We love York peppermint patties and the flavor of these festive pots de crème is a dead ringer for the candy. Unlike traditional über-rich custard recipes, this custard uses low-fat milk, only 3 egg yolks and 1/2 cup of half-and-half for its creamy richness. Just 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract in the custard gives plenty of minty flavor, but if you want that icy mountain-breeze sensation, add a whole teaspoon instead.
Roast Chicken with Pomegranate Glaze
This sweet-tart pomegranate molasses glaze is delicious combined with the citrusy sumac spice rub, and gives the roasted chicken a dark, ruby luster. Rub the chicken earlier in the day, or overnight, for the best flavor.
Snowman Meringue Cookies
You've never made a snowman like this! These cute lightened-up cookies are awesome on their own, or float one in a cup of hot chocolate and watch it melt away. When making meringues, make sure that your bowl and beaters are clean and that there is not a trace of yolk in the egg white; the smallest amount of fat will prevent the egg whites from forming meringue. Depending on the humidity in your kitchen, the baking time might vary considerably. Check to make sure your cookies are crisp throughout before removing them from the oven.
Gingered Cranberry Sauce
This maple syrup-sweetened sauce is the perfect side dish to your holiday bird. It cooks in less than 15 minutes and can be made several days ahead, freeing up time for you to prepare other dishes on the big day.
Sparkling Pomegranate-Chai Mocktail
This nonalcoholic punch recipe tastes like a cocktail but doesn't include a hangover. Perfect for the holidays or a brunch.
Roasted Vegetable Antipasto
A zesty vinaigrette makes these roasted Brussels sprouts, fennel, carrots and beets pop. If you can't find small carrots, halve larger ones crosswise then quarter lengthwise. Serve this vegetable antipasto as a side dish or appetizer.
Creamed Spinach Casserole
This creamy spinach casserole recipe is a more sophisticated cousin to creamed spinach. It's perfect for weekend entertaining or as a holiday side dish.
Spaghetti Squash with Pistachios & Sage
Serve this low-carb side dish with roast pork, roast chicken or a firm white fish, like halibut or cod. No microwave? Bake squash halves cut-side down at 400 degrees F until tender, 40 to 50 minutes.
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.
Peppermint Chocolate Tart
This rich chocolate tart dessert recipe is low in sugar, making it a perfect healthy finish to a heavy holiday meal.
Roasted Carrots with Calimyrna Fig Dressing
Whole roasted carrots make quite a statement on the dinner table when they're topped with a port wine-and-fig dressing. In this recipe, we like dried Calimyrna figs because they're a tad less sweet than Mission figs and taste slightly nutty as well.
Instant Pot Sweet Potato Casserole
Use any multicooker or electric pressure cooker to make this classic Thanksgiving side dish. The sweet potatoes get perfectly tender and almost caramelized while cooking under high pressure, plus using your multicooker saves stovetop and oven space.
Slow-Cooker Balsamic Short Ribs
Now here's a healthy beef short ribs slow-cooker recipe you can serve to company--even on a holiday. Serve with mashed celeriac or mashed potatoes, steamed green beans and a bold Italian red wine that has a touch of sweetness (think amarone or brunello).
Stained Glass Sugar Cookies
You won't believe how easy it is to make these seriously impressive cookies. Crushed ard candy melts in the center of these festive sugar cookies, making a gorgeous stained-glass effect. Use any shape cookie cutter you like, just make sure you have two--a big one for each cookie, and a slightly smaller one for the hole in the middle.
Peppercorn-Crusted Beef Tenderloin
This super-simple recipe covers beef tenderloin in a blend of cracked black, white and green peppercorns. Though it takes moments to prepare, since it's beef tenderloin it's perfect for a special occasion. Look for peppercorns in the bulk spice section so you can buy just what you need. The recipe will also work with black ones only.
Lemon-Dill Green Beans
This lemon and dill vinaigrette is a natural complement to green beans. It's also great tossed with steamed asparagus or drizzled over sliced fresh tomatoes. To make this recipe serve 10, multiply all the ingredients by 2 1/2: Use 2 1/2 pounds green beans, 3 tablespoons dill, 2 1/2 tablespoons each shallot, oil and lemon juice, 2 1/2 teaspoons mustard and 3/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.
Cranberry Crumble Bars
These cranberry-orange bars freeze well. Make a batch on a free afternoon and pop them in the freezer so you'll always have a healthy dessert on hand when company calls.
Pureed ripe pears naturally sweeten the fruity base for this healthy rum punch recipe. For garnish, cut very thin, whole slices from small pears and lay them on top.
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.
Purple Sweet Potato Pie
This purple version of classic sweet potato pie has a shot of brandy, which adds another layer of seasonal flavor. Serve with a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream.
Crispy Phyllo Spinach Tartlets
Frilly layers of phyllo dough surround the festive spinach and sun-dried tomato filling in a dressed-up version of Greek spanakopita. Serve these as a main dish for supper and you're sure to please vegetarians and omnivores alike.
Roasted Heirloom Squash with Sea Salt & Local Honey
Local honey not only supports your neighborhood bee farmers, but it's unprocessed and pure, unlike the filtered honey that's available in your grocery store. Just a couple tablespoons of honey is all that's needed to sweeten this yummy roasted squash recipe. The sweet taste contrasts nicely with the sea salt to make each bite melt in your mouth.
Cranberry-Rosemary Stuffed Pork Loin
This cranberry-rosemary stuffed pork tenderloin recipe looks gorgeous with the cranberry- and rosemary-flecked stuffing bursting from the juicy browned pork loin. Don't be scared by the task of double butterflying a pork loin--the process is fairly simple.
Fresh Ham with Red Pepper Glaze
For this fresh roast ham recipe, look for meat that hasn't been cured or smoked. Many markets stock fresh hams, but you may need to special-order one to be sure. Ask your butcher to remove the skin and leave a layer of fat to self-baste the ham as it roasts.
Galette with Kabocha Squash & Kale
Kale and kabocha squash pair deliciously in this healthy vegetarian galette recipe that looks as fabulous as it tastes. Kabocha squash doesn't need to be peeled, but if it isn't available, use buttercup squash instead.
Looking for a unique, diabetes-friendly desert? This shortbread, flavored with rosemary and topped with a white chocolate drizzle, is ready in just 40 minutes.
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.
Sauteed Broccoli & Kale with Toasted Garlic Butter
In this easy vegetable side dish, broccoli and kale are drizzled with a butter, garlic and crushed red pepper sauce. Serve this healthy recipe alongside roasted chicken, turkey or ham--or on top of your favorite whole grain, such as quinoa or farro.
Patti Anderson, a professional quilter, had never entered a cooking contest before she took our challenge. This quick, no-fuss, chewy chocolate cookie is made on your waffle iron. No need to haul out the big mixer, you can mix the batter with a small hand mixer or even by hand. Kids love these!
Winter Greens Salad with Squash & Cranberry Vinaigrette
In this winter greens salad recipe, the steamed squash adds a tender yielding texture and a mild, almost nutty taste. Combine with some nutritious bitter greens and a sweet-sour cranberry vinaigrette and you have an amazing salad.
Honey-Glazed Roasted Delicata Squash
Tangy cider vinegar, sweet honey, crunchy pine nuts and fresh mint come together to make an amazing glaze in this healthy roasted winter squash recipe. If you use delicata, the whole squash--including the gorgeous skin--is edible.
Winter Meat & Cheese Board
A cheeseboard is an ideal stationary hors d'oeuvre for holiday entertaining. Select a variety of cheeses, making sure to include an aged variety, a creamy cheese, a blue cheese and perhaps a smoked cheese. Round out the platter with cold cuts, bread, an abundance of seasonal fruits, dried fruit, crudité, nuts and olives. We even included some dark chocolate to cap it off!
Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Onions
Fresh herbs, onion and bacon sauté alongside Brussels sprouts in this easy vegetable side dish recipe. This savory dish is delicious in the fall and winter months, when Brussels sprouts are in season. If you can find them still attached to the stalk, don't be intimidated--buy them, as they're likely more fresh. Recipe adapted from The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters.
Slow-Cooker Spinach Artichoke Dip
This creamy, crowd-pleasing dip comes together with ease in your crock pot. Leave it in the slow cooker all party long to keep it warm for serving with perfect, melty cheese in every bite. Whole-wheat bread and raw veggie dippers allow you to dig in without the guilt.
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.
Bourbon Hot Cocoa
Chocolate and bourbon? Say no more. Make this delicious hot chocolate recipe from scratch on a cold winter day.
This fresh-tasting, 10-minute salad is a simple mixture of fresh baby spinach and dried cranberries. To save time, we use bottled Italian dressing, but with a few extra minutes you can easily switch up the flavor by making your own dressing--just try our All-Purpose Vinaigrette (see associated recipe).