Simple Holiday Meal Ideas

With the holidays next week, it’s time to start thinking about the food.  No holiday is complete without a delicious spread of sweet and savory foods. However, if you are hosting it can be daunting planning out several days of food. So, what are some simple holiday meal ideas?

How I Holiday Meal Plan – 

First things first, it’s important to have a plan.  Your sanity will thank you for taking a little time upfront.  Grab your Simple Purposeful Living Meal Planner (shop here) and get to work.  

Usually, I just meal plan dinners a week at a time (check out these 7 tips to meal plan) but when I host guests I like to meal plan all 3 meals.  That way so I can make sure to get all the necessary groceries and so I can enjoy them without having to think about what to cook.  It’s all planned and ready to go.

You know me though I am keeping things very simple.  So, I rarely try new recipes when I am hosting guests.  I don’t want to be stressed if it turns out and I also buy lots of store-bought items to help lower the stress.  You can always unwrap something and put it on a platter ;).

So What’s On My Holiday Menu?

Christmas Eve Menu

On Christmas Eve, we normally go to church and then come home and enjoy appetizers while we open gifts.  The great thing about appetizers is they can be made ahead and warm in the slow cooker or oven until you are ready to eat them.  

Try these simple appetizer recipes – 

Baked Mexican Dip

Slow Cooker Sweet BBQ Meatballs

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Along with these delicious homemade dips, you can also serve veggies and dip, fruit and cheese, cured meats and crackers.  We also love serving chips, salsa, and guacamole.  I usually buy all of these items from the store.  Add in some delicious Christmas cookies and some store-bought candies for a little sweet treat.

Christmas Day Menu

We have little kids so we spend the bulk of our morning cozying up by the Christmas tree playing and assembling all the fun presents Santa brought.  I whip up some super simple reindeer doughnuts for an early breakfast before we pause for a larger brunch later.

woman holding reindeer doughnut

Reindeer Doughnuts

I just put a red m&m in the middle of a mini chocolate doughnut and add two broken pretzels to the top to resemble antlers.  The kids love them, they are yummy and don’t take any time at all.  They might even like to make them.

Christmas Brunch Menu

Then, for brunch, I will make a few quiches ahead of time to reheat in the oven.  Check out this simple quiche recipe.  I serve alongside refrigerated cinnamon rolls that I shape into Christmas trees.  Add a little bit of green food dye to the frosting for a festive tree-shaped cinnamon “roll”.

Christmas tree refrigerated cinnamon roll

Christmas Dinner

Since we set out a tray of cookies and have brunch.  We normally forego lunch and just have an early dinner.  This year we will just have our family of 6 so instead of a whole turkey, I just plan to make a turkey breast in the slow cooker.  I will use this recipe.

While the turkey is cooking, I will boil up some red-skinned potatoes.  I love using those because I don’t have to peel them.  I just use my mixer to mash them up, skin and all.  I add a little milk and butter until I get the right consistency.

Last but not least, you can serve it up with some package gravy, steamed vegetables, rolls and any leftover appetizers you might have.  If you want a delicious dessert besides cookies, you could try this simple no-bake oreo pie or simple ice cream pie recipe.

Need More Simple Holiday Meal Ideas?

With guests in town, we often go out to dinner one night and order pizza another night.  I also love to serve a soup or something made in the slow cooker.  I have listed some simple recipes below so you can add one of those to your meal plan.

Try these simple recipes for the other nights – 

Leftover Turkey Pot Pie Recipe

Simple Classic Chili Recipe

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

Simple Chicken Enchiladas Recipe

Walking Tacos Recipe (perfect for a large crowd)

 

Just Remember…

I can get stressed about the food and what to make but remember at the end of the day it’s about who’s gathered around the table.  The first year I hosted a major holiday meal at my house, the ham went up in smoke literally.  I served charred ham and you know what it makes a great story now!  Enjoy the season and remember to keep it simple on purpose, you will thank yourself later!

Take some time to sit down and plan out your meals, make a grocery list and order your groceries online.  You will avoid the crowds and added stress and have everything ready so you can enjoy your guests when they arrive.  Oh, and grab some paper plates while you are at it so you don’t have to dishes for every meal!

Check out the meal grocery list and meal planner here.

 

Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

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