Our Favorite Holiday Entertaining Ideas!
For everyone planning a Christmas Eve, Christmas day, or New Year’s Eve dinner celebration, these are our favorite holiday entertaining ideas! These holiday recipes spark major joy and will make you look like a star in the kitchen.
Check out some of our favorite appetizers and hors d’oeuvres, fantastic, flavorful side dishes that go well with anything, and the best, most impressive mains.
Don’t forget dessert! Try our best-ever Italian rainbow cookies or these festive and fun tiramisu cream puffs. So delicious!
These sweet and spicy mixed nuts are made up of pecans, walnuts, almonds, and cashews, and are flavored with cinnamon, cayenne, and maple syrup. Homemade spiced nuts are the quintessential crunchy drinking snack your guests will crave at any get together or cocktail party.
Also check out: Homemade Cocktail Sauce
Quick and simple marinated olives are an easy party appetizer or light snack before the main meal! Gently heat high quality extra virgin olive oil on a stove top with garlic, rosemary, vinegar, and fresh citrus. Pour over mixed olives, the marinate for 1 hour.
Also check out: Green Olive Tapenade
Bacon Wrapped Dates
Bacon wrapped dates are a salty, sweet 4 ingredient appetizer that you can make in minutes! Pitted medjool dates, marcona almonds, blue cheese, and bacon are all you need to make this highly addictive, crunchy snack that disappears in actual minutes! These will become the star of all future dinner parties!
Also check out: Phyllo-Wrapped Feta with Truffle Honey
Bite-size antipasto skewers are a staple for holiday entertaining! Mix-and-match your favorite Italian cured meats, cheeses, vegetables, and olives to create something everyone will enjoy. Turn the skewers into a festive holiday wreath, then watch them disappear!
Also check out: Antipasto Salad
Mashed Potatoes with Sour Cream
Mashed potatoes with sour cream is a classic recipe that can be enjoyed all year long. Use a ricer to achieve that silky smooth, creamy texture, then flavor with sour cream and lots of fresh chives. An easy family favorite you’ll make again and again!
Also check out: Garlic Mashed Potatoes
French Green Beans with Walnut Vinaigrette
Every day sautéed string beans get the star treatment with the addition of a salty, crunchy walnut and anchovy vinaigrette. Add lots of fresh herbs and scallions to brighten up the flavor. An easy, light side dish for holiday meals and weeknights alike!
Also check out: Lentil Salad
Roasted Root Vegetables
Roasted root vegetables are an easy, flavorful side dish to enjoy all fall and winter long. Mix and match veggies that you love most: beets, parsnips, carrots, sweet potatoes, shallots, radishes. Roast until tender, then add a bit of creamy goat cheese (we recommend Selles-Sur-Cher). The perfect side dish that goes with everything from roast chicken to steak to seafood!
Also check out: Accidental Vegan Roasted Vegetable Salad
Duck Fat Potatoes
Duck fat potatoes are the crispiest, most delicious potatoes you will EVER make! When cooked with duck fat, the potatoes take on a seriously rich flavor. Parboiling the potatoes first with a touch of baking soda helps ensure a creamy center and super crispy exterior. You will serve these with everything!
12″ Staub Braiser pictured above
Also check out: Red Skin Mashed Potatoes
Roast Rack of Lamb
Roast rack of lamb is an elegant main course for holiday meals and dinner parties alike! Panko breadcrumbs, goat cheese, and fresh rosemary create an herb crust that turns golden brown when roasted. Serve with roasted grapes and a red wine reduction.
Also check out: Smoked Leg of Lamb
Beef Tenderloin with Parmesan Cream Sauce
When you’re looking for easy elegance, there is nothing more special than a whole beef tenderloin. It’s incredibly simple to cook (yes, really!) — even foolproof — and made more beautiful by a homemade Parmesan cream sauce. This showstopper is loved by all and is an easy option to feed a large crowd during the holidays.
Also check out: Braised Beef Short Ribs
Pan Seared Duck Breast
Juicy and succulent, these pan seared duck breasts will impress everyone! The trick to ultra crispy skin? Dry the duck breasts uncovered in a refrigerator! Serve with a simple pan sauce made with Port (or red wine) and cherries for an elegant date night in or intimate small gathering during the holidays. And don’t forget to save the rendered duck fat to make epic duck fat potatoes!
Also check out: Duck Legs With Chinese Five Spice
Slow Baked Salmon
Weeknight slow baked salmon cooks slowly at a low temperature leaving the fish incredibly moist and tender throughout. As the herb shallot compound butter melts, it seeps into the salmon, flavoring the fish with shallots, lemon zest, and fresh herbs. A simple, yet elegant salmon recipe any night of the week!
Also check out: Crispy Pan Seared Salmon with Lemon Parmesan Sauce
Roast Leg Of Lamb
Slow roast leg of lamb is perfect for Passover or Easter! Braised bone-in lamb leg cooks low and slow until juicy and fall-off-the-bone tender. Serve with lots of white wine sauce for a flavorful and special celebratory meal!
Cook the lamb in a large dutch oven!
Also check out: Lamb Ragu with Mint and Ricotta
Chocolate Dipped Biscotti
Chocolate-dipped biscotti cookies with pecans are simple to make, but easier to eat! Twice baked cookies are dipped generously in melted chocolate, then sprinkled with crunchy pecan pieces. Serve alongside a hot cup of coffee – perfect for dunking! – or give away to loved ones during the holiday season. Pro tip: make a double batch and freeze one for later!
Also check out: Rosemary Shortbread Recipe
Italian Rainbow Cookies
These Italian rainbow cookies (also known as tri color cookies) require some extra TLC to assemble, but they’re really quite easy to make. Plus, they taste better than the cookies you buy at the bakery! Your whole family will go crazy over these homemade rainbow cookies!
Also check out: Bakery Style Black And White Cookie Recipe
Tiramisu Cream Puffs
The most fun dessert to serve at your holiday parties! Fill these traditional cream puffs with an untraditional filling that tastes exactly like tiramisu and watch them disappear lightning fast!
Also check out: Cannoli Cream Parfaits
Pumpkin Dump Cake
Pumpkin Dump Cake is perfect for any fall gathering! It combines canned pumpkin puree and a spice cake mix, along with lots of chopped pecans and chocolate. It’s almost like a pumpkin pie and a cake in one, but easier! You’ll love this topped with homemade whipped cream, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or a drizzle of caramel sauce. A fall baking must make!
Also check out: Chocolate Cherry Dump Cake
Cranberry Gin Shaker
The holiday season is a perfect time to impress your guests with delicious cocktails! This cranberry shaker combines gin, elderflower liqueur, fresh lemon juice, mint, and a homemade cranberry simple syrup that is irresistible! Garnish with sugar coated cranberries for an elegant touch.
Also check out: Paper Plane Cocktail
The French 75 is a classic gin cocktail with fresh lemon juice, homemade simple syrup, and champagne. It is light, effervescent, and perfect on a hot summer day!
Also check out: Southside Cocktail
If you make any of these holiday entertaining recipes, please let us know by leaving a review below or on the specific blog post!
Looking for more entertaining ideas? Check out these appetizer recipes!
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