The holidays are your holidays too! So instead of being trapped in the kitchen while your friends and family relax and enjoy the Yuletide joy, plan ahead and get most of the meal out of the way so that the season with be full of good cheer, great food, and good times for one and all.
Foolproof Turkey Breast
There’s no need to be intimidated by cooking a whole turkey for your holiday feast; Guy keeps things simple with this flavour-packed turkey breast recipe.
Green Bean Casserole
Instead of breadcrumbs, a rustic crouton topping adds bold crunch and body to the traditional green bean casserole. Easy to whip up on a weeknight but worthy of holiday entertaining as a delectable side or rich main course.
Make-Ahead Cranberry Sauce
This simple 5-ingredient cranberry sauce can be made in just 30 minutes, and can be made days or weeks in advance of your holiday celebration.
Sweet Potato Nacho Bake
Put out your sides with pride: Modern up the de rigueur sweet potato casserole by turning it into two great things that are even better together: Sweet potato oven fries, and nachos. But you know what? It’s also kind of a salad. This dish really has it all!
Roasted Broccoli Rabe
This healthy, warm vegetarian side dish is so simple yet bursting with flavour from shallots, tender broccoli rabe and juicy cherry tomatoes.
Mashed Potatoes, Two Ways
Ree Drummond has two delicious make-ahead recipes to make your dinner sides a snap! Find more inspiration with The Pioneer Woman’s best make-ahead dinners.
Easy to make and even easier to eat, this sweet, fresh and downright delicious salad makes a perfect side dish any time of the year.
Braised Quails with Wild Mushrooms
For a twist on tradition, these simple quail are like personal braised chickens; a meal in a pot full of buttery mushrooms, bacon and a good spiking of wine. Finish cooking before your guests arrive and then enjoy their company as your elegant main sits covered and at the ready, just waiting to impress.
Tip: Cook the quails a day ahead then refrigerate in pot. Reheat in braising liquid then remove birds and reduce the sauce as per recipe.
Peas with Shallots and Pancetta
This quick side of peas, crispy pancetta and sauteed shallots makes for an easy (and tasty) addition to your holiday menu.
Chipotle Smashed Sweet Potatoes
This unbelievably easy side dish contrasts sweet potatoes with a hint of fiery chipotle in adobo sauce, resulting an explosion of flavours.
Honey is used in this simple side to boost this fall veggie’s natural sweetness. Try using different coloured carrots — yellow, orange, white, red, purple — for a more vibrant presentation.
Sumac Roasted Tomatoes with Pine Nuts and Herbs
Just because winter’s here doesn’t mean we can’t still have a wee taste of summer. By roasting tomatoes to boost their sweetness, then adding more flavour and crunch with tart sumac and toasty pine nuts, this simple condiment would be fantastic on some warm pita wedges slathered with goat cheese.
Garlic and Thyme Prime Rib with Roasted Vegetables
Nothing says the holidays like a juicy prime rib (except perhaps, for a turkey, or a ham, or…) That said, for all of its impressiveness a prime rib is just about the easiest meal to serve a crowd.
Roast Salmon with Florida Grapefruit and Quinoa Salad
Entertaining during the holidays doesn’t have to be a big old meat-fest. Breaking up all of the heavy meals with a lighter and healthier one will be appreciated by many, and this easy roasted salmon with a zesty quinoa salad fits the bill. Florida grapefruit are in season when we need our vitamin C boost the most, and coupled with fibre-rich quinoa and Omega-3-savvy salmon, this delicious dinner will have you back in fighting form in no time.
Perfect Roast Chicken
Who better to trust with a classic than Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa herself? This circa-1999 recipe for roast chicken has stood the test of time with its easy prep (just 20 minutes) a perfectly roasted bird, and succulent veggies – the de facto “roasting rack” of onions, carrots and fennel turns into your bonus side dish. Make life easy on yourself and make this one tonight.
Quick and Easy Mini Biscuits
These biscuits come together in 20 minutes and couldn’t be easier. They’re the perfect crumbly, buttery side to serve with any meal.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta
An easy-to-make side dish that combines Brussels sprouts, Yukon gold potatoes and crisp pancetta is just what you need alongside that succulent turkey.
Roast Ham with Mashed Potatoes
This hands-off recipe is just what you need for a busy holiday season. Follow these simple step-by-step instructions for an easy dinner your family and guests will adore.
Homestyle Kefir Coleslaw
Seasonal, vibrant, crunchy and delicious, this simple slaw gets a boost from tart and creamy kefir, which is a drinking yogurt that lends itself beautifully to creamy dressings. Rich in calcium, protein and probiotics (good for gut health), this healthy sidekick is the ultimate foil for a heartier main.
The holidays are a time to treat-yo-self, and so it is that seafood has become a fixture on many seasonal tables. This pot of goodness, served with a coconut broth and garlic bread, can be made in minutes while your garlic bread dippers are broiling. Simply make the broth and prep the fish and seafood the day before, then once the coconut broth is reheated your fish, lobster and mussels will be cooked in under 10 minutes.
Prime Rib with Rosemary Salt Crust
Don’t be intimiated by a roast of prime rib. Ree shares her take on this holiday classic and makes this elegant, extravagant dish so easy.
Brisket with Parsnips, Leeks and Green Onions
Ah brisket, one of the most maligned meats around. It’s a frugal cut to be sure, but it’s also beyond flavourful, and when properly cooked low and slow becomes as tender as the finest steak. Here’s a tip for making this recipe even juicier: Cook the brisket a day ahead, then skim solidified fat from baking dish and thinly slice brisket against the grain. Add sliced beef back to the baking dish and reheat in its braising sauce.
Slow Cooker Moroccan Turkey Stew
I think we can all agree that slow cooker dishes are the ultimate make-ahead meals. This one benefits from both the seasonal appeal of turkey and the wonderful Moorish flavours of Morocco. Served over noodles or rice it’s a satisfying meal in a bowl.
Baked Sweet Potato with Sour Cream and Mint
These simple baked sweet potatoes – topped with a dollop of sour cream and chopped mint – are the perfect hearty, comforting side to go with your favourite Easter main.
Oven Roasted Turkey Breast with Leeks and Cornbread Stuffing
Anyone planning a holiday dinner for a large group, or an intimate holiday dinner for two, will want to check out this surprisingly easy recipe that only takes about an hour to prepare.