Healthy Make-Ahead Christmas Recipes

Planning a holiday meal is no easy feat, but make head recipes makes it a whole lot easier. From make ahead Christmas appetizers to make ahead desserts, these recipes are everything you need so you can get your holiday meal on the table with ease.

Staff Picks

Peppermint-Chocolate Greek Yogurt Bark

Rating: 5 stars 4
This eye-catching frozen peppermint-chocolate bark was inspired by Williams Sonoma's Original Peppermint Bark--our loose interpretation of the treat is frozen and made with Greek yogurt, chocolate and crushed candy canes. For the creamiest bark, be sure to use full-fat yogurt, as fat-free yogurt can get icy when frozen. Serve this healthy dessert when you want all those festive holiday flavors in a lightened-up--and totally delicious--package. Just don't stuff your Christmas stockings with this bark because it melts quickly.
By Adam Hickman

Vegan Green Bean Casserole

Rating: 5 stars 1
Now everyone can enjoy classic Thanksgiving favorites, like this dairy-free green bean casserole. We make a homemade vegan cream of mushroom soup using almond milk for the creamy base that's combined with fresh green beans. Top it off with classic french-fried onions (we have a vegan recipe for that, too!) for a side dish everyone will devour.
By Hilary Meyer

No-Sugar-Added Cranberry Sauce

Rating: 5 stars 1
Most cranberry sauce recipes add tons of sugar to mask the tart taste of the cranberries. In this simple cranberry sauce, we lighten things up by skipping the sugar and opting for a healthier combination of dates and apple cider which adds just enough sweetness without overpowering the cranberry flavor.
By Carolyn Casner

Vegan Scalloped Potatoes

Rating: 5 stars 1
These scalloped potatoes are surprisingly rich and creamy even though they're made with no dairy (milk, butter or cheese)--vegan comfort food at its best. We use almond milk, herbs and spices to make a flavorful sauce and finish the dish with a crunchy almond topping. This makes a satisfying side dish if you're cooking for dairy-free or vegan diets.
By Hilary Meyer

Healthy Banana Bread

Rating: 5 stars 5
Got leftover bananas? Give everyone's favorite baked good recipe a healthy whole-wheat spin with this easy banana bread recipe.
By Breana Killeen

Beet Salad

Rating: 4 stars 8
This simple beet salad recipe uses just a handful of ingredients to create a delightful side dish. Roasted beets add a sweet, earthy and aromatic flavor that shines in this side salad.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Upside-Down Cinnamon-Pecan Coffee Cake

Rating: 2 stars 2
Layering the ingredients in this coffee cake recipe right into the pan lets you skip the steps of making the batter and the nut topping separately. To make this healthy one-bowl dessert so it can be served like pull-apart rolls, dollop 16 equal portions of batter over the nuts. If you don't want to fuss with that, dollop the batter on top however you like.
By Stacy Fraser

"Use a Spoon" Chopped Salad

Rating: 4.5 stars 8
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.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Quinoa & Chia Oatmeal Mix

Rating: 4.5 stars 8
Make your own hot cereal mix with this healthy recipe. Keep it on hand and just cook up the amount you need when you're ready for a hot breakfast. One serving of the warm cereal contains 6 grams of fiber--almost a quarter of your daily quota-which helps stave off hunger throughout the morning.
By Carolyn Casner

Morning Glory Muffins

Rating: 4.5 stars 11
These Morning Glory muffins are full of everything you'd expect in the bakery favorite-carrots, apple and raisins, topped with nuts and toasted wheat germ. If raisins aren't your favorite, substitute an equal amount of the dried fruit of your choice.
By Patsy Jamieson

Sheet-Pan Eggs with Spinach & Ham

Rating: 4.5 stars 4
Making a big batch of eggs has never been easier with this one-pan oven-baked eggs recipe. Whether you are making brunch for a crowd or just want to meal-prep healthy breakfasts for the week, you'll have 12 servings ready in just 45 minutes.
By Carolyn Casner

Flourless Chocolate Cookies

Rating: 3.5 stars 7
These flourless cookies get their volume from whipped egg whites (like a meringue) instead of grains, making them gluten-free and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. A chocolate chip in each bite adds to the rich chocolate flavor.
Advertisement

Inspiration and Ideas

A Traditional Christmas Dinner Menu
Sticking to Christmas tradition, this classic dinner menu features holiday favorites. Many of these recipes can be made ahead of time, so you can spend your evening with family and friends.
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.
Turkish Spice Mix

Make a big batch of this Turkish spice mix to have on hand when you need to whip up a quick vegetable dip or flavorful, easy salad dressing. Or try it as a rub for grilled or roasted meat or vegetables. The spice mix is also perfect to give as a hostess gift along with a recipe card for turning it into a dip or vinaigrette (see Tips, below). For the freshest, most economical spices, head to a store that has a large, well-stocked bulk spice department.