Thanksgiving is right around the corner and Christmas and Hanukkah will be here before you know it. You might be wondering what to prepare this year and you’re in luck because we have compiled a list of the best holiday recipes. Our goal was to find the yummiest dishes that don’t require a ton of effort on your part. Tasty holiday recipes that don’t have an exaggerated number ingredients list or a staggering number of steps will keep you sane while you prepare your holiday feasts.
We sourced recipes from all over the internet, that the editors and writers at Mamas Uncut love, to bring you a comprehensive list of the best holiday recipes for this year. If something looks delicious to you, just click the name of the dish and you will be redirected to its recipe. Bookmark this list to return for all of your holiday recipe needs.
Starters, Appetizers, Snacking
Cheesy, spicy, sausage balls are a popular holiday recipe that can be made in advance and even frozen. We encourage you to up the spice in this basic recipe from Betty Crocker. Add mustard powder or sage (can there ever be too much when paired with pork?) or red pepper flakes for an extra kick. Pro tip: prepare the balls but don’t bake them a day before you want them prepared. Sitting overnight in the fridge allows the flavors to marry and become even more delicious.
The classic cheese ball we all know and love gets a makeover with these cute little cheese ball bites. We like the pretzel handles but they can also be placed on top of crackers if that’s more your speed. These are a perfect starter to make ahead. Just pull them out of your fridge to come to room temperature before serving.
Frozen puff pastry makes quick work of these cheesy spinach puffs. These vegetarian puffs are filled with cream cheese and a Mexican cheese blend for a little kick.
If you prefer your spinach delivered in dip form, this classic spinach artichoke dip is going to be the holiday recipe for you. This dip’s prep is an absolute breeze and will take you no more than 15 minutes. You can assemble everything ahead of time and bake it about 40 minutes before you want to serve it.
A classic shrimp cocktail with a zesty/spicy homemade dipping sauce is a real crowd-pleaser that’s never going out of style. It’s one of our go-to holiday recipes. You might think it’s an undertaking but the cocktail sauce can be made 2 weeks ahead, and shrimp can be poached a day or two ahead, both kept wrapped and refrigerated.
Ree Drummond‘s hot wings are the ones to beat as far as we are concerned. These wings are easy to come together and have a spicy sauce that’s hot but not too hot for most. Who says you can’t have messy fingers this holiday season?
It doesn’t get much more festive than this! This cheesy bread is rolled into balls and shaped into a Christmas tree. Grab a ball of dough from your grocery store or favorite pizza shop and this will come together so quickly.
Deviled eggs are one of the most classic holiday recipes that have been on Thanksgiving and Christmas spreads for decades. This recipe kicks up the flavor with punchy ingredients like the addition of pickle juice. These can be made a day in advance.
Update the old roasted carrot recipe with one that offers creamy, nutty goodness from the whipped tahini and a surprising crunch from the crispy quinoa. Yum!
These Brussels sprouts get a fresh makeover with the addition of BBQ sauce and other Asian ingredients that bring tang and depth of flavor. These babies can be prepared in your air fryer for convenience but if you don’t have one, that’s totally fine. They crisp up just as nicely in the oven.
Classic stuffing is so great you might not want to mess with perfection. But, for us, a little spice is always nice. Chorizo and mild Calabrian Chile bring a meaty heat to this dish that cuts through the richness of the stuffing. If you’re looking to try something new, this is one of the most exciting stuffing recipes we’ve come across.
IYKYK about the Mac and Cheese from Panera. This copycat dish captures the sublime creamy, cheesy, goodness of Panera’s signature. It will get along well with your other holiday recipes and is as easy as it gets.
Have you ever seen a more elegant Butternut Squash Side? This holiday recipe finds roasted squash topped with a buttery sauce with all things warm spice and some sweet additions to bring out the natural sweetness. This could be the holiday recipe that your friends and family will not stop talking about.
Kabocha squash has become more and more readily available in supermarkets across the country. If you have not had it yet, treat yourself to this deceptively simple preparation that pairs salty miso with sweet maple for some seriously amazing flavor.
For some families, celery is a polarizing ingredient. If that’s not the case for yours, you are in for a real treat with this crunchy and refreshing Celery Salad. Instead of gloopy dressing, this one is finished closer to a vinaigrette so it’s lighter and brighter.
If you’re looking for lighter holiday recipes, consider your salad options and go for something a bit more unconventional. Chrissy Teigen‘s Vegan Broccoli Salad has a little sweetness, a little spice, and a hint of creaminess thanks to the dressing. Not every holiday recipe should result in a food coma.
Sure, that mushroom soup green bean casserole is fine but we prefer something a lot lighter with much more texture. Alison Roman‘s Green Beans and Greens holiday recipe is crunchy, punchy, and totally comforting. This dish is sauteed quickly and comes together in about 20 minutes. As with most of Roman’s recipes, a few ingredients tell an outsized story.
If you want to skip the souffle this year and go with something out of the box, consider roasting Sweet Potatoes and topping them with funky Kimchi Butter. Sweet, salty, earthy, and balanced once you try these sweet potatoes you will wonder how you ever ate them any other way.
Okay, we admit we’re in Alison Roman’s cult but her holiday recipes are simple to come together and really deliver. The same is true for her Turkey Recipe which encourages you to season your bird with reckless abandon. In addition to the basic steps to follow, she’s also included ways for you to spin the recipe to add new flavors and more dimension to the holiday turkey.
This crusty, juicy Prime Rib Roast uses a reverse sear method for a great crust but with meat inside that is evenly cooked and very tender. If you follow this method, you will not have a dry, tough roast but just in case, there is a delightful horseradish and mustard cream sauce. This holiday recipe could replace turkey for Thanksgiving this year or land on your Christmas table.
Ham is great for Thanksgiving and Christmas and this Sweet yet Salty Ham is the holiday recipe that will really please a crowd. This large ham will take a few hours to roast in the oven but needs almost an hour to rest. That means it can hang out and cool while you roast your sides. It’s just as delicious at room temperature as it is warm.
This Grilled Turkey is split in half before hitting the grill to ensure even cooking and deliciously crisp skin. In this holiday recipe, vinegar spiked with chiles offers a satisfying zing next to the richness of the turkey meat. If you want to bust out the grill this holiday season, here’s the holiday recipe for you!
Beef Wellington is a retro dish that’s delightful and much easier to make than you might expect. Mushrooms add depth and complexity to the beefy filling while an herbaceous and citrus-infused sauce brings brightness and acidity that cuts through the richness of the beef. It’s Beef Wellington for the modern era.
Our favorite Pumpkin Pie holiday recipe is from King Arthur Flour. Say no to bland pumpkin pie! This spice-forward pie has one of the smoothest, creamiest interiors which is a match made in heaven. It does call for one specialty ingredient, Vietnamese Cinnamon, but you can order it today to get it before you back. Trust us, it’s worth it.
Are you not looking forward to baking a pie this year? We’ve got a holiday recipe for you that can be made weeks ahead as in today to be enjoyed on Thanksgiving. In fact, it keeps in the freezer for several weeks so you could do a batch for your next holiday gathering as well. Oreo cookies and cream is the classic flavor combo in this delightful holiday recipe.
Some folks prefer cake over pie and if that’s true for you and your family we highly recommend this Pumpkin Bundt Cake. Bake it once and prepare to count it among your most prized holiday recipes.
Want to take Apple Pie to the next level? You must try this holiday recipe that takes all of the elements that make apple pie special (cinnamon, sweet apples, and a touch of tartness) but bumps up the flavor and crunch factor a ton!
If you enjoyed reading about these recipes, keep on scrolling. We’ve got some of the most stunning Christmas cakes to share with you. You are not going to believe your eyes!
Naughty or Nice?
A chocolate peppermint cake is just what you need. This smooth cake is bedazzled with a wreath on the front that encourages you to take stock of the year and your behavior. This bake wants you to know that it’s okay to just do your best.
All We Want for Christmas Is You
Wow! This elegant cone-shaped beauty is a work of art. The person who created this marvel shared that the design is based on retro Christmas tree decorations. We love it. The icing here has been applied using the Lambeth piping method which is a signature of the finest bakers in London and across the UK.
Now We Need a Snowflake Bundt
Who knew that all you needed to make your most beloved spice cake truly shine is to bake it in a bundt pan that is shaped like a snowflake? A dusting of powdered sugar is all this baby needs to stop the show.
Wrapping Paper Cake
You can’t go wrong with a chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream icing. Here’s proof. This gloriously magical bake is studded with object that evoke the holiday season. The decorations are meant to look like wrapping paper and we think this baker nailed it.
Fit for Whoville
It’s totally acceptable to lean into your weirder inclinations. We find a Christmas cake here with a color palette that doesn’t scream red and green. In addition to the beautiful icing on display, you’ll also find airy meringues plastered to the side of this dreamy bake.
Come Through, Rudolph!
We’re all about this trend that transforms cakes into reindeer! This beauty is outfitted with a red nose so you know it’s the king of the deer, Rudolph. A very shiny nose, indeed.
Santa Would Be Impressed
Do you want to give Santa is milk and cookies in cake form? This brown sugar and coconut milk chocolate chip cake should do the trick. How smart are the little chocolate chips used to decorate? Yes, please.
A Kiss from A Sugar Plum Fairy
Have you ever had the pleasure of seeing what this baker described as a Sugar Plum Fairy cake? It’s a lightly spiced cake filled with Swiss meringue buttercream and apricot preserves. Purple is now a Christmas color.
Ginger on Ginger on Ginger
We love the drip icing effect even if it’s become a staple at this point. It never fails to delight. The cake itself is a ginger sponge lightly iced with vanilla frosting and a chocolate drip. Yes, we would like a slice of cake that brings all the best parts of a gingerbread into cake form.
Pastel Candy Cane
Have yourself a very pink Christmas with the soft color subbed in for red in a traditional candy cane stripe. Everything about this cake’s decoration is subtle from the color choices to the shapes, there are no hard edges or strict lines. However, it still looks incredibly tidy. We’re into it.
You Like Icing?
We want to meet the wizard who managed to frost this cake with some of the most intricate work we’ve ever seen. Poinsettias are the main takeaway here and we did not know we needed to see them on cake until we witnessed this masterpiece.
We Want to Eat This Tree
Here’s another tree-shaped cake that has been decorated with icing colored in vibrant color. The baker who shared this image described the creation as a “rainbow swirly sprinkle cake.” We’re totally onboard.
Mulled Wine Cake to Mull Over
We’ve seen several cakes that are joyfully busy so we thought we’d take a moment to meditate on this peaceful, unfussy cake. It’s a “dark and [fudge-y] mulled wine chocolate cake, filled with my [favorite] damson and orange jam. Top pped with cream cheese frosting,” the baker shared. Sign us up!
Happy Hanukkah! This amazingly blue cake has a distinctive drip of white icing and a subtle menorah design that looks so peaceful. We don’t care if this cake turns our mouths blue! It looks so marvelous!
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: 25 Pie Tattoos to Celebrate Pie Season AKA the Holidays
Pretty in Pink
We can’t seem to get enough pastel this holiday season. It just might be the trend of the holidays in 2020. Someone put a lot of love into decorating this work of art. They’ve adorned the cake with meringue bobbles, gingerbread men, and coconut balls. Oh, and plenty of sprinkles! We’ve never wanted to cut into anything more!
There you go! 15 wonderfully decorated holiday cakes that make this season so bright and delicious. What are you planning on baking for those you love most?
Andrew is an Assistant Editor for Mamas Uncut with over ten years of experience as a writer in the creative, marketing, and blogging spaces. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a passion for telling stories in a variety of mediums. Obsessively making lists, reporting celebrity news, and diving into emerging pop cultural topics are a few of his interests.
- 1 Starters, Appetizers, Snacking
- 2 Sides
- 2.1 Roasted Carrots with Whipped Tahini, Sticky Dates & Crispy Quinoa
- 2.2 Asian-Inspired BBQ Brussels Sprouts
- 2.3 Chorizo and Calabrian Chile Stuffing
- 2.4 Copycat Panera Mac & Cheese
- 2.5 Hasselback Butternut Squash with Sage
- 2.6 Kabocha Squash in Maple Soy Brown Butter
- 2.7 Celery Caesar Salad
- 2.8 Chrissy Teigen’s Broccoli Salad with Creamy Cashew Dressing
- 2.9 Green Beans and Greens With Fried Shallots
- 2.10 Roast Sweet Potatoes with Kimchi Butter
- 3 Mains
- 4 Desserts
- 5 Naughty or Nice?
- 6 All We Want for Christmas Is You
- 7 Now We Need a Snowflake Bundt
- 8 Wrapping Paper Cake
- 9 Fit for Whoville
- 10 Come Through, Rudolph!
- 11 Santa Would Be Impressed
- 12 A Kiss from A Sugar Plum Fairy
- 13 Ginger on Ginger on Ginger
- 14 Pastel Candy Cane
- 15 You Like Icing?
- 16 We Want to Eat This Tree
- 17 Mulled Wine Cake to Mull Over
- 18 Dramatic Blue
- 19 Pretty in Pink
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