20 Riffs on Classic Holiday Foods to Make This Season
Between festive dinner parties, seasonal soirées, office potlucks and cozy evenings at home, the opportunities to try new appetizer, side dish, and cookie recipes are endless. We're boiling things down to our top DIY recipes for the season that riff on classic recipes. We've got something for every need.
Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls: When holiday sweets abound, don't forget to lay a good foundation for the day by eating breakfast (Yes, cinnamon rolls count as breakfast during the holidays!). Our recipe gets the job done and gives you all the seasonal feels with sweet potato and toasted nuts.
Crescent Roll Cornucopia: We all love a good cheese plate, but this edible cornucopia adds some special seasonal flair. It's an impressive centerpiece, but we promise our step-by-step instructions make this easy to DIY.
Mistletoe Jello Shots: A green Jello mold as a centerpiece is probably a no-no, but these hilarious mint, lime-y tequila shots are a party-starter. Set them in the fridge, then knock back the magic.
Slow-Cooker Mulled White Wine: This big-batch drink recipe makes your entire home smell like Christmas, and you don't even need to worry about red wine spills. If you have leftovers, chill them overnight, and add a little sparkling water or bubbly for a delicious spritzer.
Peppermint Eggnog Jello Shots: If you're not into sipping a whole glass of eggnog, offer your guests a quick shot. This project requires no special equipment, has no weird artificial ingredients, and is filled with minty, bourbon-y, flavors.
Romanesco Christmas Trees With Parmesan Snow: We'll admit that veggies aren't the first thing many think of when planning a holiday menu. However, try serving this at your next party, and you won't hear any complaints.
Paleo Green Bean Casserole: We made over this holiday classic so you don't have to miss a beat when you're eating paleo. We think it may even be tastier than original version.
Christmas-y Quinoa Salad: Eating red and green doesn't have to come from artificial sources. Parsley and pomegranates make it pretty enough to have a place at the holiday table.
Gnocchi Mac and Cheese: Just when you thought it couldn't get better than mac and cheese, we give you this version. Gnocchi stands in as the pasta, and we're throwing in not one, not two, but three kinds of cheese. It even travels well.
Bourbon Sweet Potato Casserole: Who needs marshmallow topping when you can have pecan streusel?! Did we mention there's also a healthy dose of bourbon and maple syrup in this?
Paleo Thanksgiving Dressing: Chestnuts roasting on an open fire... Well, maybe not in your household, but you can incorporate them in this dressing in place of breadcrumbs.
Whole30-Friendly Mashed Potatoes: If you find yourself in the middle of a Whole30 during holiday season, this recipe feels like an indulgence while helping you stay on target. It relies on healthy fats like olive oil and cashew milk, so your tastebuds won't miss a thing.
Christmas Cookies: Who can resist a classic iced cookie during the holidays? What separates us from the pack is our 'grammable decorations. Get ready to make some adorable llama cookies and more...
Milk-and-Dark Chocolate Toffee: Make this once and you'll find yourself reaching for this recipe again and again. It calls for two kinds of chocolate, and if you want to make it even more unique, sub in a different flavor extract like almond, mint, or orange for the vanilla.
Gingerbread Houses: These design-minded houses (in themes like color-blocked and gold-studded) are layered with tons of candy and colored frostings.
Make-Ahead Christmas Cookies: On cold winter nights, sometimes you just need a cookie, hot out of the oven. Instead of typical chocolate chips and pecans, mix in cranberries, white chocolate, and pistachios into the dough.
DIY Naked Applesauce Cake: Rather than gingerbread cake, go for this very trendy naked applesauce cake. Transform it into an adorable winter scene with the help of figurines, cranberries, cinnamon sticks, and caramel sauce.
Slab Pie: If you have a large crowd to feed, bake your pie in a rimmed half sheet tray (not several round pie pans). Bonus: You can put a festive, custom message on top.
Easy Vegan Hand Pies: The best hosts know that one key to a great party is keeping it simple. This recipe requires just a few ingredients and is so short, you can memorize it. Easy as pie (really!).
Italian Rainbow Cookie Cake: This decadent cake is inspired by the classic Italian rainbow cookie. Rich almond butter cake is sandwiched between blankets of sweet jam and chocolate fudge frosting.
Learn how to Light It Up with our tips and DIYs that create new spins on old traditions. We keep the best but tweak the rest so you can have a memorable experience that’s uniquely you.
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(Photos via Brit + Co)