8 Holiday Recipes To Enjoy With Your Family

The holidays are here! My favorite part of the holiday season is all the delicious food  and sharing meals with family and friends. But if you’re like me your to-do list is a mile long and somewhere on that list is to plan out our holiday menu. If it’s still on your list too, here are 8 delicious and easy holiday recipes to make for your guests.

Cooking at the holidays is a great time to create long lasting memories. Growing up every year we went to my grandparents’ house and made the traditional Italian Feast of the Seven Fish. We call crammed into the tiny kitchen and it was a hot and a bit smelly (lol) night. But we all had the best time and looked forward to it every year. Now as a mom I hope to create some of those same memories with my daughters. As usual all these recipes have been tested and approved by my family, I hope yours enjoy them as well.

Appetizer Recipes:

Here are a few crowd pleasing appetizers to have ready for when your guests arrive. These three are light and EASY to make. No need to make overly complicated appetizers that require the oven (which is probably already full!).

Growing up with an Italian mom we have antipasto trays at all the holidays. These skewers have all the same delicious ingredients but keep every ones hands to themselves 🙂 These skewers are vegetarian but feel free to add in some of your favorite meats like prosciutto, salami, pepperoni, coppa, capicola and sopressata.

What are some of your families traditional holiday recipes?

antipasto skewers

Antipasto Skewers

Servings 15 skewers


  • 15 olives pitted
  • 15 grape tomatoes
  • 15 mozzarella balls
  • 14 oz artichoke hearts canned, halved
  • 15 leaves basil leaves

Optional: Serve with provolone and prosciutto stuffed sweet peppers.

    Optional: drizzle vinaigrette over the finished skewers.

      These wedges are bright, light, full of flavor and easy to eat! And they only take a few minutes to roll up!

      apple wedges

      Apple, Prosciutto, and Brie Wedges

      Servings 12 wedges


      • 1 medium apple cut into 12 wedges
      • 12 slices prosciutto
      • 2 oz brie cut into 12 wedges
      • 1 cup arugula
      • 3 tbsp pomegranate seeds


      • Slice the apple and brie into 12 wedges
      • Place a wedge of apple, brie and arugula on one slice of prosciutto and wrap.
      • Either add the pomegranate seeds into the wedge or sprinkle over the top.

      Personally, I don’t think you can go wrong with caramelized onions and pretty much anything! While they take a little bit of time to make, you can make them a day or two ahead to save time on the big day. I like to make a big batch for leftovers. They would be fantastic with leftover beef or prime rib like we have as one of our main dishes every year.

      Roast Beef Crostini

      Caramelized Onion, Roast Beef and Goat Cheese Crostini


      • 3 slices roast beef
      • 1 oz goat cheese
      • 1 lg onion thinly sliced and caramelized
      • 1/4 cup arugula
      • 1 pkg crostini I used Bruschettini Snack Size Toasts


      • Layer the caramelized onions, then arugula, roast beef and top with goat cheese. Optional- top with fresh cracked black pepper.

      Main Dish Recipes:

      What does your family family traditionally serve as the main dish? Turkey? Ham? Prime Rib? Duck? Roast Beef? My husband makes a prime rib every year but I am not a huge red meat fan. These next two recipes are great alternatives!

      brown sugar and dijon glazed pork

      Brown Sugar and Dijon Glazed Pork Tenderloin


      • 2 lb pork tenderloin
      • 1 tsp salt
      • 1/2 tsp black pepper
      • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
      • 3 tbsp dijon mustard
      • 1/3 cup brown sugar
      • 1 tbsp parsley chopped for garnish


      • Preheat oven to 375°
      • Season the pork with the salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning
      • Mix together the glaze: mustard and brown sugar
      • Generously brush the glaze over the pork tenderloin
      • Place on a baking sheet and cook until internal temperature hits 145-155°
      • Let rest for 10 minutes. Slice and garnish with chopped parsley.

      This roasted chicken is super moist and picky eater approved. Save this recipe for all year long!

      roast chicken

      Lemon and Herb Roasted Chicken


      • 6 lb whole chicken
      • salt
      • black pepper
      • 2 tsp rosemary finely chopped, plus extra sprigs for inside
      • 3 tbsp butter melted
      • 1 lemon quartered
      • 3 cloves garlic minced
      • 1 tbsp sage finely chopped
      • 1 tbsp parsley finely chopped
      • 1 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
      • 1 large onion quartered


      • Pre heat the oven to 450°
      • Mix butter, rosemary, sage, parsley, salt, pepper, and juice of 1/2 the lemon together.
      • Place chicken in a roasting pan breast side up. Loosen the skin from the chicken.
      • Slather the butter under the skin of the chicken reserving some for the skin. Smear the remaining butter all over the surface of the chicken.
      • Stuff remaining 1/2 lemon and rosemary sprigs inside the chicken
      • Place onion and wine (or chicken broth) in roasting pan
      • Transfer to oven and cook for 10 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 350° and cook for additional 1 hr 15 min or until chicken has reached 165°
      • Let chicken rest for 15 minutes. Carve and serve.

      Side Dish Recipes:

      The most commonly made food on Christmas is potatoes! I personally LOVE potatoes in any way, shape or form. And I love mashed potatoes but they tend to be full of dairy and I sadly have to pass on them. #lactoseintolerant So I went on a mission to create some “dairy free but equally as delicious” mashed potatoes. Mission accomplished!

      Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes- Dairy Free/Vegan


      • 2 bulbs garlic
      • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
      • 2 lbs potatoes diced, leave skin on
      • salt and pepper
      • 1/2 cup milk I used unsweetened plain almond milk
      • 1/4 cup butter i used plant based
      • parsley chopped for garnish


      • Make the roasted garlic
      • Preheat oven to 400°
      • Cut garlic bulbs 1/2 inch from the top. Place on foil drizzle with EVOO. Close the foil tightly around the garlic
      • Roast for 40-45 minutes. Let cool and squeeze the cloves out of the bulbs into a bowl.
      • While garlic is roasting cook the potatoes
      • Place diced potatoes into a large stockpot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce to medium and boil until fork tender about 20 minutes.
      • Drain potatoes and return to stockpot.
      • Add in milk, butter, S&P and roasted garlic. Can add the cloves whole or mashed.
      • Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with parsley.

      Bacon and Brussels’ are a super common combo but to be honest I get a bit sick of them. Add in some cheese (I used dairy free) and bake in the oven with a crispy panko topping and BAM they’re back to being the star side dish! Even with the dairy-free cheese these were a HUGE hit with my family.

      Bacon and Brussels Sprouts Casserole

      Bacon and Brussels Sprouts Casserole


      • 6 slices bacon
      • 2 lbs Brussels sprouts trimmed and halved
      • 2 tbsp butter I used plant based
      • 1 tsp salt
      • 1/2 tsp black pepper
      • 2 tsp dijon mustard
      • 1 tbsp lemon juice
      • 8 oz colby jack cheese I used Violife Dairy-Free
      • 1/2 cup milk I used unsweetened almond milk


      • 1/2 cup panko
      • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
      • 1/4 tsp salt
      • 1/4 tsp pepper
      • 1/4 cup pecorino romano grated
      • 1 tbsp parsley chopped


      • Cook the bacon in the air-fryer at 400° for 15 minutes. If you don't have an airy-fryer bake in the oven or pan fry.
      • Preheat oven to 375°
      • Cook Brussels in butter over medium heat for about 12-15 minutes, season with S&P. Cook until almost tender
      • Make the topping: combine ingredients and stir well
      • Remove Brussels from the heat. Add in milk, dijon, lemon juice, cheese, bacon
      • Transfer to oven safe baking dish. Top with panko topping.
      • Bake 18-20 minutes until edges are bubbling and panko is golden brown.

      Lastly, it wouldn’t be a holiday meal without some root vegetables. The combination of carrots, parsnips and turnips is sweet, nutty and starchy. If you have never tried parsnips or turnips this is a great way to test them out!

      maple glazed root vegetables

      Maple Glazed Root Vegetables


      • 2 large carrots peeled and sliced
      • 2 large parnsips peeled and sliced
      • 2 small turnips peeled and sliced
      • 2 tbsp maple syrup
      • 3 cloves garlic minced
      • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
      • salt to taste


      • Pre heat oven to 400°
      • Peel and sliced the vegetables into similar size pieced
      • Mx together the maple syrup, EVOO, garlic and salt
      • Place all vegetables in a mixing bowl.
      • Pour the maple syrup mix on top of the vegetables and stir to evenly coat
      • Place vegetable into a oven safe baking dish
      • Bake for 35 minutes or until veggies are fork tender.

      I hope these 8 holiday recipes make planning out your Christmas menu easier! If you make any of them I’d love to know! Post them on Instagram and tag me @katebriennutrition!

      As always if you have any nutrition questions or want to talk about creating a healthy relationship with food and sign up for one of my FREE Ditch the Diet Consultations contact me here!

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