As we approach the busiest week of the year, we know you have enough on your to-do list. Whether you’re preparing for houseguests or wrapping all the presents, finding time to plan a menu can be stressful in and of itself. The good news? We’ve researched, vetted, and carefully compiled a holiday dinner menu from start to finish. Complete with appetizers, entrees, side dishes, a dessert, and a cocktail, we’ve chosen elevated and inspired recipes that are approachable enough for any skill level. All that’s left to do is prep your kitchen, order the groceries, and recruit a few family members to help you cook.
This appetizer is our team member Leigh’s go-to whenever she’s hosting. It’s such an elegant way to start any meal, but even better? It’s incredibly quick and easy. The oil is flavored with red pepper flakes and garlic, pairing beautifully with warm, crusty bread slices.
Our Creative Strategist, Sam, serves these Ricotta Stuffed Figs whenever there’s a special occasion to celebrate. To start, you’ll slice each fig, keeping them connected at the bottom. Next, dip your figs into honey followed by chopped pistachios, and fill with about a tablespoon of ricotta cheese. Don’t have ricotta on hand? Goat cheese would be a delicious alternative.
Nothing pleases a crowd like a classic roast chicken. To make it feel extra special, you’ll make a marinade of olive oil, pomegranate molasses, pomegranate juice, honey, balsamic, lemon, garlic, and pomegranate seeds. Allow the chicken to sit in that marinade for at least 30 minutes (or overnight), and transfer to a roasting dish. It will cook for about an hour and a half and make your home smell delicious in the process.
Whether you have vegetarians at your table or just want a meatless option available, having a second entree option is always a good idea. Our Editorial Director, Steph, loves this vegetable-forward pasta made with spinach and ricotta stuffed shells, buttery béchamel sauce, and caramelized mushrooms. It’s such a cozy winter dish that’s perfect for the holiday season.
We know potatoes are a classic side dish, but we’re shaking things up this year. This Cheesy Crispy Cauliflower Gratin is going on holiday dinner menu, thanks to Gaby Dalkin. As a professional chef and cookbook author, we fully trust her expertise and wouldn’t be surprised if this dish steals the whole show.
If the idea of cooking a holiday dinner sounds intimidating, this recipe is for you. It’s a simple green bean side dish flavored with olive oil, sea salt, lemon juice, and garlic to dress up the fresh vegetables. The toasted almonds add a nice element of crunch, tying everything together.
You can go a million different directions with holiday desserts. Of course, cookies are always a winner, but we’re making a spiced Gingerbread Cake from Bon Appetit. We are not going to lie—this one is time-consuming, so plan to make this ahead and store for up to a day in advance. Serve it with dark roast coffee and enjoy your seasonal dessert by the fire.
No holiday dinner menu is complete without a festive cocktail, and this one from Monique of Peaches 2 Peaches looks like a hit. She put her twist on a Gin & Tonic with pomegranate juice, Champagne, and fresh thyme. You can adjust the simple syrup to your preferred sweetness level, and don’t forget to add pomegranate seeds for garnish.
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