There’s no need to make the holiday season more hectic when it comes to entertaining. It may sound too good to be true, but ease and elegance can coexist. This collection of 54 festive appetizer and main dish recipes is here to help out along the way. This year, let’s stress less and celebrate more with our friends and family. Isn’t that what the holidays are all about?



1. Havarti, Pear and Thyme Puff Pastry Bites: There’s both sweet-savory and make-ahead appeal to these bites. When you get a chance, simply whip up a batch or two and stash them in your freezer for future entertaining purposes. (via Shared Appetite)


2. Garlic Parmesan Roasted Shrimp: You won’t need any cocktail sauce to make these roasted, well-seasoned shrimp palatable. They’re so much better than the precooked kind found in the freezer aisle. (via Damn Delicious)


3. Feta, Sun Dried Tomato and Pistachio Truffles: Enjoy these savory, creamy-crunchy marbles inspired by favorite Greek flavors. The mini cheese balls are perfectly poppable on their own — no crackers required. (via Half Baked Harvest)


4. 10-Minute Pear Ricotta Crostini With Honey Thyme: Simply elegant, you’ll love just how quickly these flavorful, ricotta-topped toasts come together. (via The Pig and Quill)


5. Smoked Salmon Pinwheels: Serve these four-ingredient pinwheels as a fun cocktail party appetizer or sandwich for your next tea party. You can’t go wrong with the classic combo of smoked salmon and cream cheese. (via For the Feast)


6. Roasted Grape, Honey and Goat Cheese Crostini: Roasting grapes with chopped rosemary and a drizzle of olive oil infuses them with savory, herbal flavor while amping up their sweetness at the same time. Here, they’re accompanied by goat cheese atop slices of bread, but any creamy variety will do in a pinch. (via A Beautiful Mess)


7. Red and Green Bruschetta: Invite these pomegranate and avocado toasts to your next Christmas party. They’re already dressed up in red and green just for the occasion. (via Bite by Michelle)


8. Mushroom Pastry Bites: Each flaky bite of this pastry is packed with plenty of umami goodness — mushrooms, cheese and whole-grain Dijon are one heck of a combo. (via The Law Student’s Wife)


9. Persimmon, Brie and Prosciutto Crostini: We’re all about these fancy, open-face grilled cheese sandwiches. They’re colorful, flavorful and a cinch to prepare. What’s not to love? (via The Wandering Fig)


10. Garlic Prawns and Avocado Crostini: It might come as a surprise just how filling these toasts are. So much so that you can even get away with serving them as a light meal. (via Cafe Delights)


11. Sticky Asian Cocktail Sausages: With their sweet, sticky glaze, we definitely recommend spearing these nibbles to help keep fingers clean. (via My Fussy Eater)


12. Salmon Crisp Hors d’Oeuvres: It’s as simple as switching out the cracker to make these crisps into an entirely new-seeming (and even gluten-free) appetizer. (via Mom de Cuisine)


13. Pistachio, Feta and Pomegranate Crostini: You’ll love the pop and bright flavors featured atop these festive, fancy toasts. (via Recipes From a Pantry)


14. Neufchâtel and Smoked Salmon Endive Boats: Crisp endive is an ideal vessel for delivering a flavorful mix of zesty cheese, smokey salmon and dill. (via Brit + Co)


15. Easy Baked Arancini: Traditionally, these fried risotto balls take hours and hours of prep. This healthy, time-saving hack makes all that a thing of the past. (via Hungry Couple)


16. Potato Pancakes: We’d love it if these petite potato latkes decided to show up to every party we attended. (via Cookbooks 365)


17. String Cheese Mozzarella Sticks: These sticks transition from swanky holiday parties to sporty events with ease. (via The Chic Site)


18. Roasted Herbed Chestnuts: Contrary to popular belief (or holiday songs), no open fire is required to make these roasted chestnuts. (via Sprinkled Side Up)


19. Baked Chipotle Butternut Squash Chips: Turn both nachos and the usual chips and dip on their heads with these beautiful, no-potato chips topped with all kinds of good stuff. (via Soil and Sea)


20. Puff Pastry Wrapped Olives: A dirty martini would pair wonderfully with these briny, pastry-wrapped bites. (via Cooking Channel)


21. Herbed Cheese Straws: No question, these flaky straws will be nibbled up in no time at all… they always are. (via Popsugar)

22. Sweet-Spicy Glazed Shrimp: If you usually serve shrimp cocktail at your holiday gatherings, this sweet-spicy alternative is a great way to shake things up. (via Martha Stewart)

23. Garlic-Parmesan Knots: Whether you put these knots out as an appetizer or include them in your holiday bread basket, they’re bound to disappear in a flash. (via The Comfort of Cooking)

24. Beer Bread Sticks: No kneading or proofing required. Simply stir up the flour, butter and beer dough, press it into a pan and bake. In practically no time at all, you’ll be nibbling happily on these chewy-crispy sticks. (via Top With Cinnamon)

25. Brie and Cranberry Phyllo Turnovers: You can count on this flaky combo of phyllo, gooey brie and tart cranberries to give your appetizer spread an extra touch of festive flair. (via Cookin’ Canuck)

26. Blue Cheese Appetizer: Three B-letter ingredients — blue cheese, biscuits and butter — come together to form one heck of a beautiful appetizer. Even better: it’s meant to be enjoyed family-style, so dig in with mini forks or toothpicks. (via Half Baked Harvest)

27. Stuffed Mushrooms: It’s hard to stop popping these luscious, spinach-stuffed mushrooms one after the other. Switch up the flavor by filling each ‘shroom with an assortment of different dips. (via A Nutritionist Eats)

28. Roasted Red Pepper Crostini: Roasted red peppers are just one of many options for creating this three-ingredient crostini. Get creative and top your toast to your heart’s content. (via Kitchen Treaty)

29. Prosciutto-Wrapped Breadsticks: A quick schmear of herbed cream cheese followed by a prosciutto wrap is all it takes to create these almost sinful sticks. The crunchy-creamy combo is a total delight. (via Noble Pig)

30. Kale Chips: Lighten up your appetizer spread with these crispy homemade veggie chips. Anything but boring, you can season them up simply with just a sprinkle of salt, or choose a spicier route. (via Kitchen Konfidence)

31. Bacon-Wrapped Dates: Sweet dates are the perfect match for bacon and blue cheese. The latter is stuffed inside each fruit to create a sweet and savory sensation for your taste buds. (via Little Leopard Book)

32. Chips and Dip: You can always rely on on a bowlful of dip made with sour cream, flavored cream cheese and a packet of seasoning mix to be a hit. Serve chips, crackers or fresh veggies alongside and get dippin’. (via Unsophisticook)

33. Spinach Alfredo Skillet Dip: Your pasta is going to have to share its beloved Alfredo. Here, spinach and sauce are simply stirred together, popped in a skillet, then rimmed with slices of French bread to create one tempting dip. (via Pillsbury)

34. Baked Goat Cheese: Crostini or garlic bread would be delicious served alongside this gorgeous tomato, basil and goat cheese masterpiece. (via The Wicked Noodle)

Main Dishes


35. Maple Balsamic Cross Rib Roast: Simply toss this roast in the Dutch oven and let it do its thing for a few hours. Your (minimal) efforts will be rewarded big time. (via The Healthy Foodie)


36. Pork Tenderloin With Maple Balsamic Cranberry Sauce: Festive, quick and easy? Check, check and check. This juicy tenderloin is perfect for your next holiday dinner party. (via Seasons and Suppers)


37. Parchment Paper Lobster: There’s no need to reserve lobster for summer months. Baking tails in parchment packets couldn’t be easier, and results in an elegant meal to share with those near and dear. (via She Knows)


38. The Easiest Turkey: Roasted turkey on the table in ninety minutes or less? Yes, it can be done. (via The Crepes of Wrath)

39. Nach Waxman’s Brisket of Beef: This brisket recipe is a classic, and easy to master too. With fewer than ten pantry staples needed, you’ll be done gathering ingredients in a flash. (via Food 52)


40. Mushroom + Spinach Stuffed Pork Tenderloins: Stress less during the holiday season with this saucy recipe for veggie-stuffed pork. (via The Tummy Train)


41. Vinegar Braised Chicken and Onions: A bit of simmering cuts the tang of vinegar, transforming it into a much sweeter sauce for these succulent braised chicken pieces. (via Bon Appétit)


42. Beer Braised Short Ribs With Orange Gremolata: Hopefully you can spare a cold one to make these tender short ribs. You’ll love how the citrusy gremolata sprinkled over top adds a layer of bright flavor to the dish. (via That Oven Feelin’)


43. Pancetta Wrapped Roasted Cod With Artichoke Pesto: Here, simple cod fillets get a welcome upgrade in both the flavor and elegance departments. Artichoke pesto and pancetta sure do work wonders. (via Food52)

44. Crispy Baked Honey Mustard Chicken: There’s no reason for holiday dinners to be a hassle. These chicken thighs prove that even easy recipes can be impressive. Seasoning the panko coating with a whirl of garlic, lemon zest and fresh thyme takes things to a whole ‘nother level. (via Little Spice Jar)


45. Broiled Flat Iron Steak With Herb-Roasted Mushrooms: Steak is an impressive and unexpectedly easy dish to serve your guests. And while the flat iron cut may be no filet mignon, it’s certainly a more affordable option that will still earn you rave reviews. (via Life’s Ambrosia)


46. Roasted Lemon-Rosemary Chicken: Crowned with slices of caramelized lemons and sprigs of rosemary woven in between, this brightly flavored chicken is a delight to behold. (via Simply Fresh Dinners)

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47. Kay’s Best Braised Beef: Pop this beef in the oven for a few hours or put it in the slow cooker before work. Either way, the meat turns out meltingly tender and delicious. (via The Loveliest Food)


48. Turkey Leg Roulade: This rolled-up, herb-stuffed turkey leg just goes to show that gourmet food doesn’t have to require gobs of effort. (via Food Republic)

49. Rack of Lamb With Arugula Pesto and Orange Balsamic Drizzle: Anything-but-ordinary pesto is a great way to elevate this shockingly easy rack of lamb. (via Reclaiming Yesterday)


50. Really Easy Duck Confit: Try your hand at confit-ing with this super simple duck recipe. Trust that it’s every bit as delicious as its more traditional counterparts. (via Food52)


51. Chicken Chasseur: We can practically taste the creamy, white wine-lemon sauce already. And it tastes oh-so-good. (via Urban Cookery)


52. Slow Cooker Braised Short Ribs With Herbed Spaetzle: There’s a pretty long list of (approachable) ingredients required, but your slow cooker does practically all the work. It’ll only taste like you’ve been hard at work for hours and hours. (via The Suburban Soapbox)

53. Beer and Honey Pork Chops: Upgrade plain pork chops with a spicy-sweet-tangy sauce that’s a snap to prepare. (via Bacon, Egg + Cheese{cake})

54. Maple Bourbon Glazed Salmon: Made without a single pat of butter or sprinkle of cheese, this full-flavored dish — with sides of sweet cranberry chutney and salt-roasted potatoes — is an especially terrific option for those dairy-free diners. (via Half Baked Harvest)

What easy holiday recipes do you have up your sleeves? Share yours in the comments below.