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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Creamed Spinach Casserole

Rating: 3.4 stars
2
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.

Lemon-Garlic Marinated Shrimp

Rating: 4.88 stars
3
Marinating precooked shrimp in garlic- and lemon-infused oil is a simple yet elegant appetizer.

Quinoa & Chia Oatmeal Mix

Rating: 4.67 stars
5
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.

Morning Glory Muffins

Rating: 4.54 stars
6
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.

Cauliflower-Broccoli Gratin

Rating: 3 stars
1
This creamy broccoli-and-cauliflower casserole is a hassle-free side dish that just about everyone loves. Our healthier version skips the heavy cream and butter found in most recipes--saving about 160 calories and 12 grams of saturated fat compared to a traditional version.

Healthy Banana Bread

Rating: 4.8 stars
3
Got leftover bananas? Give everyone's favorite baked good recipe a healthy whole-wheat spin with this easy banana bread recipe.

Layered Mashed Potato & Mushroom Casserole

Rating: 4.82 stars
3
Fancy up regular mashed potatoes with a layer of mushroom duxelle--a sauté of finely chopped mushrooms and shallots. We omitted the traditional butter in the duxelle and added chard for a nutritional boost. Serve this hearty side in place of mashed potatoes at any holiday feast or enjoy it as a vegetarian main dish.
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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.

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

Rating: 4.27 stars
4

Here's a simple recipe for low-fat vanilla ice cream. Our version has all the richness you'll need but about 90 fewer calories than store-bought premium ice cream and a whopping 15 grams less total fat and 10 grams less saturated fat per serving.