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27 Fast and Easy Holiday Recipes


Holiday recipes - Dr. Axe

Cooking during the holidays can be challenging. When you’re juggling personal obligations, different eating habits, and maintaining your sanity, the last thing you want to think about is what you’re going to make for the holiday meal! Luckily, there’s no need to stress anymore. I’ve scoured the internet for some of my favorite fast and easy holiday recipes. These delicious dishes are all crowd-pleasers that your family will love.

Note about recipes: I recommend using grass-fed dairy and goat milk, replace table salt with sea salt or kosher salt, replace canola and vegetable oil with coconut oil or ghee.

27 Fast & Easy Holiday Recipes

HOLIDAY RECIPES: Light & Easy Side Dishes

1. Autumn Fruit Salad With Cinnamon Greek Yogurt Dressing

This light holiday side is a snap to make and you’ll feel great serving it to guests. Crisp apples, firm pears, and juicy grapes are tossed in a homemade yogurt-based dressing. The result is a zesty salad with some of fall’s best fruits.

 Photo: Autumn Fruit Salad With Cinnamon Greek Yogurt Dressing / Kitchen Treaty

2. Green Beans and Caramelized Shallots

Fresh, roasted green beans are topped with sweet caramelized shallots in this easy recipe. You won’t believe how much flavor just four ingredients will impart on this side. Make extra — there won’t be leftovers!

Green Beans and Caramelized Shallots
 Photo: Green Beans and Caramelized Shallots / Rikki Snyder Photography

3. Quinoa With Caramelized Butternut Squash and Roasted Brussels Sprouts

When protein-packed quinoa is combined with caramelized butternut squash and golden-brown Brussels sprouts, the result is this nutritious side dish. It’s healthy, comes together quickly, and tastes amazing — what more do you need? Skip the brown sugar and opt for coconut sugar or maple syrup instead.

Quinoa With Caramelized Butternut Squash and Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Photo: Quinoa With Caramelized Butternut Squash and Roasted Brussels Sprouts / Iowa Girl Eats

4. Garlic Asparagus

Load up on greens at the dinner table with this elegant, easy recipe. This garlicky asparagus requires just three ingredients and minutes to prepare.

Holiday recipes - Dr. Axe
 Photo: Garlic Asparagus / Dr. Axe

5. Spinach, Arugula, Almond, and Pomegranate Salad

It’s time to add pomegranates into your life. Rich in antioxidants, this fruit deserves a place at your holiday table, and this super simple recipe is the perfect way to do it. With only a handful of ingredients, this is a recipe that tastes just as good as it looks!

Spinach Arugula Almond and Pomegranate SaladPhoto:  Spinach, Arugula, Almond, and Pomegranate Salad / Life’s Ambrosia

6. Wild Rice and Butternut Squash Salad

If you’re not a squash convert, this easy salad might turn you into one. Nutty wild rice and an easy maple syrup dressing are combined with fresh herbs and roasted squash for a beautifully colored, delicious dish.

Photo: Wild Rice and Butternut Squash Salad / Heartbeet Kitchen

HOLIDAY RECIPES: Hearty Side Dishes

7. Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

A good-for-you mac and cheese recipe? This cauliflower-based version skips the noodles and focuses on wholesome ingredients like goat milk cottage cheese and cheddar. The result is a cheesy baked dish of deliciousness. Trust me — no one will miss the pasta!

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
Photo: Cauliflower Mac and Cheese / Dr. Axe

8. Kale, Mushroom, and Chickpea-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

This healthy recipe gives new meaning to “loaded potato.” Roasted sweet potatoes are stuffed with vitamin-rich kale, mushrooms, and chickpeas and drizzled with a homemade lemon-honey tahini dressing that’s lip-smacking good. These make an excellent side dish or a light main dish.

Kale, Mushroom, and Chickpea-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Photo: Kale, Mushroom, and Chickpea-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes / Dishing Up the Dirt

9. Gluten-Free Baked Meatballs

These gluten-free meatballs make a wonderful starter or side. They’re packed with flavor and bake in just 12 minutes. Serve as-is or with your family’s favorite dipping sauce — your kids will love these!

Gluten-Free Baked Meatballs
Photo: Gluten-Free Baked Meatballs / Dr. Axe

10. Mashed Faux-tatoes

Who needs mashed potatoes when cauliflower tastes just as good? This easy side has all the flavors you love about mashed potatoes, but it’s full of fiber and nutrients. Add a little garlic or your favorite herbs — it’s easy to customize!

11. Paleo Green Bean Casserole

There are no canned soups or processed ingredients in this healthy take on the classic Thanksgiving dish! Instead, you get a casserole loaded with fresh green beans and mushrooms, crispy oven-roasted onions, and a whole lot of tastiness. Opt for beef or turkey bacon (or omit entirely to keep this vegetarian).

Paleo green bean casserole
Photo: Paleo Green Bean Casserole / Fed + Fit

12. Baked Cauliflower Casserole

This cauliflower casserole is the perfect addition to your holiday table. It’s easy to make and, while coconut milk gives it a creamy, decadent texture, it’s good for you, too! Make sure to use grass-fed beef or turkey bacon instead of the pork variety!

Baked Cauliflower Casserole
Photo: Baked Cauliflower Casserole / Paleo Porn

13. Paleo Sausage, Apple, and Cranberry Stuffing

There’s no bread in this yummy stuffing but you won’t miss it at all. Chicken or turkey sausage stands in perfectly for pork and, with raisins, apples, and cranberries all making guest appearances, this stuffing just might become a new favorite.

Paleo Sausage, Apple, and Cranberry Stuffing
Photo: Paleo Sausage, Apple, and Cranberry Stuffing / Paleo Newbie

14. Roasted Fall Vegetables

Your favorite veggies turn into a tasty side dish when in this super simple healthy recipe. Sweet potatoes, carrots, onions, and parsnips (and any other root vegetable you love!) are tossed in a salty-sweet seasoning and roasted. If you have veggie haters, this dish will change their minds.

Roasted Fall Vegetables
Photo: Roasted Fall Vegetables/ Dashing Dish

15. Pumpkin Walnut Pie

This savory pie is similar to a quiche, but it’s full of nutritious ingredients. Speed up preparation time by using your favorite pre-made crust. This one’s a keeper!

16. Sweet Potato Casserole

This Paleo-friendly sweet potato casserole has the flavors you’re craving with clean ingredients. Eat this casserole guilt-free at your holiday!

Sweet Potato Casserole (Grain Free, Paleo, Gluten-Free)
Photo: Sweet Potato Casserole / Deliciously Organic

17. Sweet Potato Hash in Maple-Glazed Acorn Squash

A sweet potato hash served inside a squash? That’s right! This grain-free stuffing gets packed into a perfectly roasted squash. The result is a hash that tastes great whether you follow a Paleo diet or not!

stuffed squash
 Photo: Sweet Potato Hash in Maple-Glazed Acorn Squash / The Sprouting Seed

HOLIDAY RECIPES: Healthy Entrees

18. Garlic Lamb Roast Recipe

One of the easiest, tastiest recipes you’ll make this holiday season, this garlic lamb roast comes together easily. Place it in the crockpot in the morning and you’ll have an amazing roast in 6 to 8 hours with no work required. Just don’t blame me if your family can’t stay out of the kitchen while this is cooking — the smell is amazing!

19. Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast

Whether you’re enjoying a smaller holiday meal or just don’t want to roast an entire turkey, sticking to just turkey breasts is a simple way to get meat on the table in much less time. Scale up depending on how many people are at the dinner table.

Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast
Photo: Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast / Oh Sweet Basil

20. Herb-Roasted Turkey Thighs

If dark meat is more up your alley, you’ll love this turkey thigh recipe. Instead of cooking up the entire bird, you’ll get thighs that are crispy on the outside and moist on the inside, as a result of being roasted in broth. The optional turkey gravy is a lovely addition — use almond flour instead of all-purpose to keep it clean.

Herb-Roasted Turkey Thighs
Photo: Herb-Roasted Turkey Thighs / Wishful Chef

21. Kale and Wild Rice Bowls With Honey-Balsamic Vinaigrette

These wild rice bowls are heaped with fresh kale, sautéed chicken, crunchy almonds and topped with sweet cranberries and apple. If your family’s skipping the bird this year, these bowls are a great alternative; no one’s going hungry with these! Sprinkle with fresh goat cheese if possible.

Kale and Wild Rice Bowls With Honey-Balsamic Vinaigrette
Photo: Kale and Wild Rice Bowls With Honey-Balsamic Vinaigrette / Iowa Girl Eats

22. Lentil and Rice Loaf

Fiber-filled lentils mean you’ll be satisfied for hours with this veggie-friendly main dish loaf. Make an extra loaf and keep it in the freezer for busy nights.

Lentil Rice Loaf
 Photo: Lentil and Rice Loaf / Straight Up Food


23. Baked Pears With Walnuts and Honey

Who knew that simply baking pears with cinnamon, honey, and walnuts could produce such a stunning dessert? It’s easy to make and tastes great to eat. You’ll love this one.

roasted pears
Photo: Baked Pears With Walnuts and Honey /

24. Dark Chocolate Nut Clusters

Few things are better than freshly roasted nuts dipped into melted dark chocolate. A few pieces of these nut clusters will end your holiday meal on a high note. Sweet and salty combine for a dessert you’ll love.

Photo: Dark Chocolate Nut Clusters / Skinny Ms.

25. Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread

This yummy, fluffy bread is the perfect after-dinner companion to a cup of coffee or a glass of milk. Your family will love the pumpkin flavor; you’ll love that it’s baked with all-natural ingredients. Everyone wins!

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread
Photo: Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread / Dr. Axe

26. No-Bake Pumpkin Cookies

A hint of pumpkin flavor combines with coconut and cozy spices like nutmeg, allspice, and cloves for a no-bake cookie that’s a breeze to make. A cookie that doesn’t take up precious oven space? Sign me up!

No-Bake Pumpkin Cookies
Photo: No-Bake Pumpkin Cookies / Plaid & Paleo

27. Gluten-Free Peach Cobbler

Warm, soothing and oh so good, this grain-free cobbler with will have you coming back for seconds and thirds.  Not only is it delicious, but with almond flour, coconut flour, ghee, and chia seeds, it is nutritious, too!

Photo: Peach Cobbler Recipe / Dr. Axe

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