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.
Hilary Meyer
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.
Hilary Meyer
By Hilary Meyer

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

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

Hasselback Potatoes with Cheese

Rating: 5 stars 2
Hasselback potatoes are the perfect side dish for people who love crispy potato-chip-like slices as well as the tender interior of a baked potato. Simple to prepare, these hasselback potatoes look impressive and decadent with melted Cheddar cheese and a sprinkle of paprika on top.
By Carolyn Casner

Frozen Pumpkin Mousse Pie

Rating: 5 stars 10
While pumpkin pie deserves respect as a Thanksgiving icon, it's fun to shake up tradition. Surprise your family and friends with a frozen pie this year--it just might become one of their holiday favorites. No need to let them know how easy it is.
By Kathy Farrell-Kingsley

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.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

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.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

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.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen
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Inspiration and Ideas

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.
18 Make-Ahead Christmas Appetizers
After spending your morning opening presents and breaking into your new Christmas gifts, you may find yourself pressed for time before your guests arrive (don't worry, we've all been there!) Here are our best make-ahead Christmas appetizers to ensure your guests have something delicious to munch on before dinner.
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.