My Favorite Recipes for Thanksgiving and Christmas

In just one week, it’ll be Thanksgiving. Wild, right? I don’t know about you, but I still feel like summer just ended. Luckily, I’ve been doing this whole food blogging thing for a while, so I’ve got an extensive list of recipes that are perfect for the holiday season (specifically Thanksgiving and Christmas). Full disclosure, this collection isn’t necessarily traditional. Odds are you’ve got the traditional recipes covered. You can text your mom for her stuffing recipe or google your favorite chef’s mashed potatoes. I like to think that these recipes are a fresh and modern take on Thanksgiving and Christmas food. For example, I have an apple pie recipe, but it’s a miso caramel Dutch apple pie. And it’s to die for. If I’ve piqued your interest, keep reading.

In terms of organization, I thought I’d keep things nice and simple and do this numbered listicle style. I’ll start with things like appetizers, then work my way through sides and salads, and finally finish with desserts. And I’ll scatter drinks throughout. That just feels accurate.

1. Baked Brie with Brown Sugar, Cranberries, and Sliced Almonds

Baked Brie with Brown Sugar and Cranberries

Baked brie is an unbeatable part of any holiday meal. It’s a certified crowd pleaser (for anyone who eats dairy, that is), and it’s incredibly easy to make. My go to is this baked brie with brown sugar, cranberries, and sliced almonds. It’s so good. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.

2. Castelvetrano Olive Tapenade

Close up shot of vegan castelvetrano olive tapenade glistening with olive oil and topped with some olives and parsley.

This incredibly addictive castelvetrano olive tapenade is the perfect addition to your holiday table because it’s both vegan and gluten free. It’s also very easy to make and tastes amazing. If you’ll be having gluten free guest(s), just make sure that you serve it with gluten free bread or crackers. Or if you want to include a variety of dipping vehicles, make a separate gluten free serving so as to avoid cross contamination.

3. Phyllo Shells Filled With Whipped Ricotta and Butternut Squash

A plate of phyllo shells filled with whipped ricotta and butternut squash with honey being drizzled onto them.

Don’t these bite sized appetizers look extremely fancy? They taste it, too. They’re also quite easy to throw together, and can be prepped in advance!

4. Lavender Sage Gin Sour

A close up of a foamy lavender sage gin sour.

I adore this drink. It’s light, sweet, and herbal. It’d pair perfectly with most Thanksgiving or Christmas dishes. Plus, if you make a big batch of sage simple syrup, it’ll be easy to prepare them all night!

5. Chopped Kale Salad with Apricots, Farro, and Garlic Vinaigrette

Vertical shot of chopped kale salad with apricots and farro.

This kale salad is a fan favorite of mine. Which is odd, because it’s kale. But it’s really lovely and would pair perfectly with most fall or winter dishes. Additionally, it’ll hold up better than most salads because again, it’s kale. That means that you can prepare it in advance and it won’t be a nightmare by the time you serve it.

6. Creamy Au Gratin Potatoes with White Cheddar and Lavender

An overhead shot of a skillet of au gratin potatoes with white cheddar and lavender surrounded by straw flowers.

Potatoes au gratin are a classic holiday dish, but I bet you haven’t seen a version that included lavender. Don’t worry, though. The lavender and white cheddar are beautiful together. In fact, I like the pair so much that I made a mac and cheese using the same combo. More on that later.

7. Vegan Colcannon with Confit Garlic

Garlic olive oil being drizzled onto a heaping plan of vegan colcannon.

More of a mashed potato fan? Try this vegan colcannon with confit garlic. It’s basically mashed potatoes with kale mixed into it. Not only is it bursting with flavor, but it’s another vegan and gluten free dish, making it great for a group with dietary restrictions.

8. Roasted Radishes with Brown Butter and Chives

Overhead shot of pink, purple and white roasted radishes with brown butter and chives.

Roasted radishes may be a little bit unconventional for Thanksgiving, but isn’t that kind of refreshing? This side (which is basically my take on a classic French pairing) is delightfully easy to make, and extremely tasty. It’s also much lower in carbs than potatoes, so if that’s something you care about this may be a good option for you.

9. Hasselback Sweet Potatoes with Garlicky Herb Sauce

A platter of three hasselback sweet potatoes with garlicky herb sauce.

I’m not a huge fan of the classical sweet potato casserole. Y’know, the one with the marshmallows? I loved it when I was a kid, but now it’s just way too sweet for me. These hasselback sweet potatoes with garlicky herb sauce are more my speed. They’re sweet and savory morsels that look stunning on a plate.

10. Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts with Spicy Nuts, Crispy Shallots, Balsamic Glaze, and Pomegranate Arils

Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts with Spicy Nuts, Crispy Shallots, Balsamic Glaze and Pomegranate Seeds

Brussels sprouts hater? Not after you try these. These bad boys are a sweet and spicy flavor bomb. They’re also made in the air fryer, making them perfect for a holiday where you need to conserve oven space.

11. Stovetop White Cheddar and Lavender Mac and Cheese

A bowl of white cheddar and lavender mac and cheese on top of a colorful terrazzo platter.

See, I told you I was a big fan of white cheddar and lavender together. Trust me, this stovetop mac and cheese will be beloved by kids and adults alike.

12. Hot Buttered Rum with Apple Cider

Hot Buttered Rum with Apple Cider

The holidays are all about decadence, so why not up the ante with a hot buttered rum with apple cider? This drink is unreasonably good, and will keep you warm and toasty all night long.

13. Garlicky Green Beans with Pomegranate Tahini Sauce

Vertical shot of a terracotta platter of green beans coated in a pomegranate tahini sauce and topped with pomegranate arils.

I’ll be honest, I’m not a huge green bean casserole fan. I just prefer my green beans a bit brighter. If you feel the same way, or are just looking to try something new, these are for you. They come together quickly and easily, and are vegan and gluten free. And don’t even get me started on the pomegranate tahini sauce I slathered them in. It’s a sweet and sour delight.

14. Pistachio Stuffin Muffins

Pistachio Stuffins

These pistachio and Ritz cracker stuffing muffins are a must have item in my family. The stuffing recipe was my grandma’s. I didn’t change a thing – just put them in a muffin tin for cute little single serving stuffins. Try them, they’re pure magic.

15. Impossible Shepherd’s Pie

A close up shot of a skillet filled with impossible shepherd's pie.

This is a great main course option if you don’t eat meat or don’t like turkey! It’s got all the comfort you crave from the holidays, but without any meat.

16. Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce

A vertical shot of pasta with pumpkin alfredo sauce.

This silky smooth pumpkin Alfredo sauce is another great meatless option! Throw it over some pasta, and you’re golden.

17. Blood Orange and Earl Grey Hot Toddy

A mug filled with an earl grey hot toddy. It's garnished with a slice of blood orange.

This blood orange and earl grey hot toddy is one of my favorite warm cocktails. It’s super comforting and perfect for when you’re looking for something a bit lighter.

A pumpkin pie with biscoff crust and cookie butter mascarpone whipped cream with a slice cut out of it. The scene is also decorated with pumpkins and rustic details.

This title is a mouthful, but are you not drooling after reading it and seeing that photo? Up your pumpkin pie game, I dare you.

19. Apple Butter Burnt Basque Cheesecake

A full apple butter burnt basque cheesecake alongside some apples, wine, and fall leaves.

This golden beauty is the perfect option if you’re looking to try a new dessert out this holiday season. It’s easy to make, and ultra delicious.

20. Mini Gingerbread Bundt Cakes with Cranberry Cream Cheese Glaze

Powdered sugar falling onto a gingerbread bundt cake with a dark background.

Honestly, these are out of control good. They’re extremely cute and easy to decorate, and the flavors are fire. And who doesn’t love a single serving cake?

21. Miso Caramel Dutch Apple Pie

Lifestyle shot of miso caramel dutch apple pie.

This pie is everything. I really just can’t properly describe to you how divine miso caramel is, and it just suits this pie perfectly. If you’re an apple pie fan, you won’t be disappointed.

22. Cardamom Linzer Cookies with Raspberry Rose Jam

Linzer Cookies with lights sparkling in the background.

These cookies are definitely more of a Christmas confection than a Thanksgiving one, but it’s fine. We’re talking about all things fall and winter holiday this post. If you’re a fan of Linzer cookies, I encourage you to give these a go! The flavor combination is a dream.

23. Fudgy Minty Brownie Cookies

Female hand picking up a fudgy minty brownie cookie from a plate.

I literally had to hide a bunch of these in my freezer so that I wouldn’t devour them all in one sitting. If you love brownies and cookies, you need these in your life. And so does Santa. Or the people at your Thanksgiving feast. Whatever, just make them.

Ok, I think this post is long enough.

If you made it this far, I hope you found something that strikes your fancy! And if you make anything on this list, I hope it becomes your new favorite! Or that you at least like it. Let me know what you think in the comments or on Instagram.

Thanks for sticking around and I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas! A wonderful holiday season, really.

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