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.

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Beet Salad

Rating: 4 stars 9
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 Bruce Weinstein & Mark Scarbrough

Fried Apple Pie Rolls

Rating: 4.5 stars 16
In this healthy take on apple pie, egg roll wrappers stand in for pie crust, saving you calories and the headache of rolling out dough. We like to use Granny Smith apples because they hold their shape and provide tart balance to the sweet filling. Try dipping these handheld crispy treats in whipped cream.
A portrait of Breana Killeen, M.P.H., RD
By Breana Lai Killeen, M.P.H., RD

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Onions

Rating: 5 stars 11
Fresh herbs, onion and sautéed bacon flavor this easy Brussels sprouts 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.
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By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Maple-Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Rating: 5 stars 15
In this healthy side dish, sweet potatoes are tossed with maple syrup, butter and lemon juice and roasted until golden brown. The delicious glaze that forms transforms this simple dish into something sublime.
By Kathy Farrell-Kingsley

Quinoa & Chia Oatmeal Mix

Rating: 4.5 stars 9
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 six grams of fiber—almost a quarter of your daily quota.
By Carolyn Casner

Cauliflower Casserole with Everything Bagel Seasoning

Rating: 4.5 stars 2
The cheesy-seedy crust that tops this healthy cauliflower casserole recipe evokes everything bagels. Serve for the holidays or as a hearty side dish with roast chicken.
By Nora Singley

Cranberry Crumble Bars

Rating: 3.5 stars 12
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.
By Summer Miller

Smoked Tuna Spread Canapés

Try this easy canapé recipe for your next cocktail party. Smoked tuna, cream cheese and cucumber slices on crunchy almond crackers. This is an appetizer that your guests will be reaching for first.
By Diabetic Living Magazine

Flourless Chocolate Cookies

Rating: 4 stars 8
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.
Hilary Meyer
By Hilary Meyer

The Best Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Rating: 5 stars 1
This is our go-to recipe for homemade cranberry sauce. It's simple (just five ingredients!), is lightly sweet without being too sugary and has just the right amount of zesty flavor from orange peel. Plus, it's so easy--it goes from stove to table in just 20 minutes!
By Carolyn Casner

Oven-Roasted Squash with Garlic & Parsley

Rating: 5 stars 6
Learn how to roast squash in this healthy recipe adapted from Alice Waters. Look for squash varieties, including buttercup, kabocha or hubbard, at your farmers' market and try them in this tasty side dish.
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By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Lemon-Garlic Marinated Shrimp

Rating: 5 stars 5
Marinating precooked shrimp in garlic- and lemon-infused oil is a simple yet elegant appetizer.
Eating Well Bio Page
By EatingWell Test Kitchen
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Inspiration and Ideas

20 Delicious Christmas Appetizers That Can Be Made Ahead of Time
These make-ahead Christmas appetizers will help you spend less time in the kitchen and more time with loved ones. Pick a few for your holiday spread.
16 Easy Make-Ahead Christmas Desserts You Can Prep in 30 Minutes or Less
Plan in advance with these easy, make-ahead Christmas dessert recipes. Whether it's cookies, cakes or other tasty treats, you can make these desserts a few days in advance of the holiday. Plus, these desserts only require 30 minutes of prep time, so you can focus on preparing the rest of the meal. Desserts like Cranberry Cheesecake Bars and Peppermint-Chocolate Greek Yogurt Bark are healthy, seasonal and delicious.
No-Sugar-Added Sweet Potato Casserole
Rating: 5 stars 2

Instead of loading up this comfort food side with tons of brown sugar and marshmallows, we have turned to sweet spices, vanilla and inherently sweet dried fruit to enhance the natural sweetness of the sweet potatoes. A topping of pecans and pepitas replaces traditional marshmallow topping to keep it healthy and add texture and color for a beautiful casserole.