Stress-Free Holiday Recipes

December 8, 2021
| Created by Genevieve Daly, RDN, CD

The holidays are here, and with that comes holiday dinners and celebrations. Love to host but hate the stress of holiday cooking? Here are a few key tips to making sure your holiday meal goes as smooth as possible. 

Start with premade appetizers

Worried that your dishes may take longer than initially planned? The best insurance policy is having premade appetizers. Vegetable trays are a great option, but if you’re wanting to increase the wow factor of your meal, we have some delicious recipes that require little to no cooking, leaving your oven and stove available to prep your main course dishes. 

One or two fancy dips is all it takes to transform a boring vegetable platter into a grown-up crudité spread. This muhammara recipe packs a smoky, slightly sweet flavor that’s perfect for dipping pita, vegetables, or crackers into. 

This oyster mushroom and whipped ricotta toast can be made in advance and assembled just prior to your guests arriving. Use sliced baguettes from our artisan bread department to make these into delicious bite-sized appetizers. 

Make the filling for this pomegranate, gorgonzola, and walnuts on Belgian endive ahead of time so it’s ready to serve when your guests arrive. Skip the walnut toasting step to make this a recipe that comes together in 5 minutes or less. 

These mini wedge salad bites are the perfect bite-sized salad for your next dinner party. Make the skewers ahead of time and dress just prior to serving to keep these salad bites tasting their best. 

Embrace oven-less sides

Oven space is usually limited during the holiday season, so turn to the stove top for cooking your side dishes. These simple yet classic butter mashed potatoes deserve a spot on everyone’s dinner table. They come together in about 30 minutes, with most of that time being passive cooking on the stove top, leaving you more time to focus on other dishes. These garlic Chinese long beans are a healthy, delicious vegetable side that comes together in just 10 minutes. Grab the pre-trimmed green beans from our produce sous chef area to save even more time on prep! Ditch the plain old side salad and try out this Brussels sprouts pancetta salad instead. The miso gives the dressing an umami flavor while the Granny Smith apple packs a sour crunch. 

Set and forget proteins

Between entertaining guests and finishing any last-minute dishes, nothing is better than picking a protein you can pop into the oven and leave alone. This mustard peach glazed ham is smothered in a sweet and tangy glaze that your guests are sure to love. If you’re looking for a main dish with a real wow factor, try out this roasted leg of lamb.  The mint pesto is a fresher, more flavorful take on the classic mint jelly that’s traditionally paired with lamb. If you’ve never roasted a whole chicken before, this roasted chicken with glazed cipolline onions is a great first recipe to start with.  

To avoid any last-minute meal hiccups, be sure to ask your guests if there are any food allergies or dietary preferences ahead of time. If you’re unsure of how to accommodate a certain diet, don’t hesitate to reach out to our dietitian at for recipes ideas. 

Happy Holidays!