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.

Maple-Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Rating: 4.86 stars 15
In this easy vegetable side dish recipe, sweet potatoes are tossed with maple syrup, butter and lemon juice and are roasted until tender and golden brown. The delicious glaze that forms on these maple-roasted sweet potatoes transform this ultra-simple dish into something sublime.

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.

No-Sugar-Added Sweet Potato Casserole

Rating: 5 stars 1
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.

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!

Loaded Scalloped Potatoes with Bacon, Cheddar & Chives

Rating: 5 stars 1
Imagine a loaded baked potato topped with bacon, Cheddar and chives combined with the creamy goodness of scalloped potatoes, and you have the ultimate comfort food casserole. This scalloped potato recipe is made healthier than original versions by using low-fat milk in place of heavy cream, but it still tastes just as rich and creamy.

Quinoa & Chia Oatmeal Mix

Rating: 4.67 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.

Easy Scalloped Potatoes

In this easy scalloped potatoes recipe, sliced potatoes are roasted in the oven before being mixed with a simple, creamy stovetop sauce and sprinkled with Cheddar cheese. A few minutes under the broiler turns the dish golden and crispy.

Flourless Chocolate Cookies

Rating: 4.5 stars 5
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.

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.