‘Tis the season once again for enjoying time with friends and family, toasting another year spent together. Often, though, you may be expected to bring a dish.
Or, perhaps you’re the host. Therefore, making all the dishes is your responsibility, and that’s quite a feat.
So what should you make? Rather than whipping up yet another Sunday roast or husting to Costco for a premade chicken, why not add a little creativity to your Christmas cooking?
These are our top 10 Yuletide dishes to inspire your culinary creativity.
A Little Tip
Budgets are a bit tight this year with inflation, and the holiday season can get pretty pricey in general when you consider buying presents and food.
Putting together dishes you already have the ingredients for is ideal, but even if you’re shopping for items, you can do it smartly by looking for coupons and making everything from scratch.
You could also look at fliers and compare prices at your local grocery stores. Another tip — use generic whenever you can.
And if you really want to save money, you might want to ditch any meal subscription plans you have.
For instance, canceling your meal delivery subscription is as easy as calling or filling out a relatively short online form and can save you cash this season.
1. Roasted Potatoes
Simple and satisfying: two adjectives that make for the perfect holiday side.
For this, you cut red potatoes into chunks, sprinkle them with some garlic powder, salt, and Parmesan, and pop them in the oven, sit back, and wait.
2. Mashed Potatoes
Butter, potatoes, milk, and some seasonings make for a no-frills dish, and people expect them at the Christmas dinner table.
But you can take your mashed potatoes to the next level by adding some cream cheese, sour cream, and seasonings of your choice, such as chives.
You can’t forget the Parmasan-Reggiano either!
I often follow this recipe, one of my favorite renditions.
3. Mashed Butternut Squash
Are you looking for something low in carbs? Try mashed butternut squash. It incorporates butter and milk like a standard mashed potato recipe.
Moreover, just like mashed potatoes, you can cut the squash into cubes and boil them.
For a richer flavor, you could bake the squash before mashing.
Sage works well with the sweet, rich flavor of the squash.
4. Stuffing Balls
Whether you made too much stuffing or want an appetizer, this dish is a hit for those who desire a food they can grab and go.
Use the same recipe for the stuffing for the turkey.
For some extra flavor, color, and nutrients, add some chopped spinach. Roll the mixture into evenly-sized balls and bake.
They’re crispy and perfect as an appetizer.
You can also serve them alongside your meal.
5. Pumpkin Spice Pudding
You can cheat a bit with this recipe and start with vanilla pudding.
Then, merely add canned pumpkin, ginger, clove, and cinnamon.
Top this creamy dessert with some whipped cream.
If you’re having trouble with consistency, you can rescue that thin pudding with cornstarch.
Enhance the appeal of this dessert by filling wine glasses or small glass dishes with the pudding and garnishing each one with whipped topping and some cinnamon.
6. Vegetable Medley
Green beans are the typical Christmas vegetable, but people usually mix them with a can of cream of mushroom soup and sprinkle some fried onions on top.
Take your vegetable game up a notch with this colorful, flavorful dish.
Though you can switch up the vegetables, broccoli, red peppers, and mushrooms work well if you’re unsure which ones to choose.
Season them with ginger and garlic and create a pineapple glaze.
Don’t worry if you don’t have pineapple juice for the glaze because lemon or orange juice also works.
7. Roasted Green Beans
We had to include at least one green bean dish on the list, or it wouldn’t be Christmas, right?
Before roasting the fresh green beans, toss them with olive oil, lemon, and garlic powder.
Add rosemary, chives, or thyme for some extra flavor if you like, but lemon and garlic are classic and flavorful on their own.
Finally, top the beans with almond slices and place them in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
Ina Garten’s green bean dish is also a lovely way to prepare green beans.
8. Spinach Salad
A standard iceberg lettuce salad is a bit bland for the holidays. You just don’t do it!
You can turn the tables on this traditional side dish by using spinach instead.
Hard-boil some eggs to mix in with it and give it color and some protein. Then, add your favorite veggies, such as tomatoes and onions.
Top the salad with some croutons (homemade ones if you’re ambitious).
So guests choose if and how much dressing they want, serve it in a bowl or serving dish with a spoon or ladle on the side.
P.S. Homemade vinaigrette could be the kick this salad needs!
9. Stuffed Pasta
Nothing says comfort food like stuffed pasta. You could choose from ravioli, tortellini, cannelloni, or manicotti.
You could also make either lasagna or a lasagna casserole.
All of these can be homemade if you have the time, but if not, stores sell them premade, either dried or frozen.
Traditionally, red sauce is the go-to for these dishes, but you could opt for pesto or Alfredo if you’re more adventurous.
10. Stuffed Spinach Rolls
Some people bring premade rolls to the festivities with packets of butter.
We’re not knocking this by any means because they’re delicious.
But if you want rolls that stand out and are more than delicious, try these.
Use a premade pizza dough, which is still uncomplicated and quick.
Then, make a filling using cream cheese, chopped spinach, garlic powder, and Parmesan.
Break the dough into equally sized-balls. Place some filling on half of the dough and fold the other half over it. Put them into the oven to bake.
You’ll have tasty rolls that look like you spent all day making them when it only took you less than 30 minutes.
Christmas is a time for family, friends, and laughs. The food makes the season, too! Fortunately, these recipes bring flavor and can put smiles on guests’ faces.
They work well if you’re responsible for only one dish for the party as well; you’ll make that one side to remember.
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