Let's face it: We're on the cusp of the holiday season. This festive timeframe now officially begins November 1 (at least as far as we're concerned - and seriously, Christmas songs are invading the atmosphere earlier and earlier every year) and carries us through to the new year.
Every Recipe You'll Need to Get You Through the Holidays, Gallery
It's party season, it's family season, and, most importantly, it's a time of year to be generous and loving - and is there a better way to show you care than to cook for the ones who mean the most to you? We think not.
Use this guide for inspiration or pull it out in a pinch when you're in need of a tried-and-true recipe. This collection comprises the heavy hitters, so to speak; these recipes in the major food categories are perfect for combatting the cold, for sharing, and for bringing to family dinners or parties.
Each of the following recipes, of course, has an element of seasonal or festive flair, but note, however, that this recipe roundup is not meant to satisfy Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner celebrations, and we don't include any turkey, ham, or even traditional pumpkin pie recipes - we'll have many other guides to address those! Avoid stress and make this holiday season seem like a piece of cake with help from this ultimate guide to holiday cooking. istockphoto.com
Breakfasts for a Crowd
Are the in-laws coming to town? Planning ahead for hungover friends who couldn't drive home waking up on your couch (or floor)? Try making these big breakfasts perfect for catering to larger groups. Erin Scott
Old-Fashioned Cinnamon Rolls
These old-fashioned cinnamon rolls are full of butter, cinnamon, and childhood nostalgia. They're generously topped with a simple confectioner's sugar glaze.
For the Old-Fashioned Cinnamon Rolls recipe, click here. Denise Woodward and Laudalino Ferreira
A strata is like a breakfast bread pudding filled with eggs, bread, whatever fillings you could think of, and just a touch of cream. This dish is ideally made the night before so the bread has time to absorb the egg mixture, but in a pinch, you can use soft, fresh bread the morning of.
For the Ham, Asparagus, and Tomato Strata recipe, click here. istockphoto.com
Slow-Cooker Cinnamon French Toast
Similar to the vegetable strata, this slow cooker cinnamon French toast is made in the same way, but in your slow cooker. It's the perfect dish to make when you want minimal cleanup, and it's great for when you have bits and bobs of leftover bread that need to find a home.
For the Slow-Cooker Cinnamon French Toast recipe, click here. istockphoto.com
Slow-Cooker Coconut Rice Pudding
The brown rice cooks gently until it turns soft, fragrant from the coconut milk, and mildly sweet from the maple syrup. Serve this dish like oatmeal; the coconut milk adds a richness that will have you double-dipping back into your Crock-Pot.
For the Slow-Cooker Coconut Rice Pudding recipe, click here. Erin Scott
What would the holiday season be without decadent hot chocolate and a little festive cheer? istockphoto.com
Glögg is the Scandinavian recipe for mulled wine. Festive spices, red and port wine, figs, and raisins macerate over heat, and when it is ready to serve, the glögg is strained and poured into mugs. Glögg is traditionally served with blanched almonds, raisins, and pepparkakor (Scandinavian gingersnap cookies) on the side.
For the Glögg recipe, click here. Aquavit Restaurant
Hot Buttered Rum
This steamy beverage is perfect for warming up on the coldest of fall/winter days. Dark rum, brown sugar, butter, and spices infuse hot water in a cocktail shaker; it's then strained into a warmed mug.
For the Hot Buttered Rum recipe, click here. Thinkstock
Perfect Hot Chocolate
If the weather outside is frightful, don't worry: This classic hot chocolate is so delightful!
For the Perfect Hot Chocolate recipe, click here.
Rittenhouse Inn Wassail Punch
Wassail is spiced hot cider with bourbon; wassail also means to "drink plentiful amounts of alcohol and enjoy oneself with others in a noisy, lively way."
For the Rittenhouse Inn Wassail Punch recipe, click here. Sheri Giblin
You may love it, you may hate it, but there's no denying that this classic winter beverage is a recipe worth having up your sleeve.
For the Spiked Eggnog recipe, click here.
Traditional Hot Toddy
Embrace the changing seasons and warm up on a cool evening with a traditional and comforting hot toddy.
For the Traditional Hot Toddy recipe, click here. Alexandra Fairweather
From first courses to passed hors d'oeuvres, start the evening off on the right foot with these dishes. istockphoto.com
Baked Brie With Apple Cranberry Relish
Complete with tart apples, sweet dried cranberries, and nutty pecans, this baked Brie is easy to prepare and makes for a stunning appetizer.
For the Baked Brie With Apple Cranberry Relish recipe, click here. istockphoto.com
Brussels Sprout and Cranberry Holiday Salad
This salad has nuts for extra crunch, oranges for a fruity aroma, and a classic honey mustard dressing that is simultaneously biting and sweet. It's delicious on any occasion but especially perfect during the winter holiday season.
For the Brussels Sprout and Cranberry Holiday Salad recipe, click here.
Gorgonzola and Fig Crostini
This is the perfect appetizer, side, or snack for either intimate dinners or large parties.
For the Gorgonzola and Fig Crostini recipe, click here. istockphoto.com
Spicy Rosemary-Roasted Nuts
These salty, spicy, rosemary-infused roasted nuts are so simple to make. They will fill your kitchen with a wonderful earthy and woodsy aroma when they come out of the oven.
For the Spicy Rosemary-Roasted Nuts recipe, click here. istockphoto.com
Soups and Stews
Soups and stews are among the most comforting dishes, and these hot and hearty dishes will warm bellies all season long. Erin Kunkel
Beef and Irish Stout Stew
In this stew, the heavy Irish stout not only tenderizes the beef but also adds a lovely malty dimension.
For the Beef and Irish Stout Stew recipe, click here. istockphoto.com
Chicken and Dumplings
Few recipes are more comforting or downright delicious than simple chicken and dumplings. Most cooks (especially Southern cooks) won't get any fancier with seasonings beyond parsley, but other fresh herbs like chives, tarragon, or savory can also elevate the flavor profile.
For the Chicken and Dumplings recipe, click here. Art Smith
Crock-Pot Italian Chicken and Broccoli Rabe Chili
Chicken and spices marry and cook together for a few hours before the broccoli rabe and peppers are added into the mix. When finished, the chicken is shredded and grated Parmesan is sprinkled over the top.
For the Crock-Pot Italian Chicken and Broccoli Rabe Chili recipe, click here. Andy Boy
Curry Pumpkin Soup
This spiced pumpkin soup could not be more perfect for the season; the crumbly Italian sausage along with the ginger, cumin, and coriander flavors will please your palate and leave you with delightful warmth.
For the Curry Pumpkin Soup recipe, click here. Erin Kunkel
This is a simplified version of the classic Italian seafood stew. The vegetable base can be made ahead of time and frozen (great to have on hand for surprise guests). When ready to serve, simply heat up and stir in the seafood to cook.
For the Holiday Cioppino recipe, click here. Whole Foods Market
Slow-Cooker Chicken Pot Pie Soup
This is truly a comfort food soup. It's thick and creamy and tastes like chicken pot pie without the crust - but you should definitely serve this soup with fresh bread or a hot buttery biscuit.
For the Slow-Cooker Chicken Pot Pie Soup recipe, click here. Jennifer Drummond
A collection of stunning mains you can bring to the table guaranteed to impress each and every guest in attendance. Shutterstock
Brisket With Carrot and Onion Gravy
This classic preparation of brisket is cooked with just carrots and onions. Ask your butcher to remove the tough silverskin before you purchase your cut to make the cooking and serving process easier.
For the Brisket With Carrot and Onion Gravy recipe, click here. istockphoto.com
What could be better than bread dipped in hot gooey cheese? There is also a tradition in the Swiss and French Alps that when nearing the end of the meal, when the last of the cheese is almost gone, a whole egg is cracked and stirred into the remaining cheese. It creates a richly decadent and insanely delicious sauce meant to extend the meal and the fun.
For the Cheese Fondue recipe, click here. istockphoto.com
Maple Syrup Pork Roast
This dish uses the popular flavors from a roast ham glaze on a less salty piece of pork for a trimmer, healthier roast.
For the Maple Syrup Pork Roast recipe, click here. istockphoto.com
Slow-Cooker Pot Roast
Most pot roasts use white flour to thicken the cooking liquid, but here the cooked vegetables are pureed to create a thick and deeply flavored gravy to serve with the roast. Best of all, you can cook the roast as you leave for work in the morning so that when you return, you will be welcomed home with an amazing aroma and dinner ready to go.
For the Slow-Cooker Pot Roast recipe, click here. Danielle Walker
Prime Rib With Decadent Horseradish Cream
When you talk to your butcher, make sure to order an untrimmed rib roast with the fat and rib bones still intact - as the fat melts, it will baste the meat and keep it juicy during the long cooking time.
For the Prime Rib With Decadent Horseradish Cream recipe, click here. istockphoto.com
Sausage-Stuffed Acorn Squash
Acorn squash halves are stuffed with spicy sausage, chopped onions, spinach, and cranberries, and then topped with breadcrumbs, sharp cheddar, and sliced almonds for a contrasting textural crunch.
For the Sausage-Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe, click here. Jimmy Dean
Spinach and Artichoke Chicken Parmesan
Lean and tender chicken breasts are cooked in a garlicky tomato sauce with baby spinach and marinated artichoke hearts, and then finished with a generous layer of shaved Parmesan.
For the Spinach and Artichoke Chicken Parmesan recipe, click here. Prego's Farmers Market
Stewed Chicken With Apples, Carrots, Honey, and Apple Cider
Chicken thighs are braised with seasonal vegetables and apple cider. When it comes out of the oven, the chicken is so moist and tender that it falls off the bone.
For the Stewed Chicken With Apples, Carrots, Honey and Apple Cider recipe, click here. Jennifer Abadi
These vegetable-forward side dishes may even steal the spotlight from your main course. istockphoto.com
Crispy Brussels Sprouts
The key to this side dish is patience: Let the Brussels sprouts brown to ensure that the edges are charred and crispy. Then, top with breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan to enhance the flavor and add the most delectable crunchiness.
For the Crispy Brussels Sprouts recipe, click here. Scratch Cookbook
Caramelized Butternut Squash
Coconut sugar, black pepper, and cinnamon coat butternut squash that is then roasted in the oven to caramelize the sugars and lightly crisp the edges.
For the Caramelized Butternut Squash recipe, click here. Lexi's Clean Kitchen
Roasted Organic Cauliflower With Parmesan
Roasted cauliflower gets a kick of flavor from garlic and umami-rich Parmesan.
For the Roasted Organic Cauliflower With Parmesan recipe, click here. Thinkstock
Eggplant Casserole With Pomegranate
Verjuice, which is made from unripe grapes, has a mellow, fruity flavor that will highlight the sweetness of both the eggplant and pomegranates.
For the Eggplant Casserole With Pomegranate recipe, click here. Tara Fisher
Green Bean Mushroom Madeira Casserole
Fresh mushrooms, Madeira wine, mascarpone cheese, and fresh green beans simmered in savory broth come together to create an utterly delicious, creamy, and flavorful side dish.
For the Green Bean Mushroom Madeira Casserole recipe, click here. Campbells
Maple Roasted Carrots
Tender and colorful carrots are cooked with garlic and then topped with buttery maple syrup and rosemary glaze.
For the Maple Roasted Carrots recipe, click here. Red Stamp
Pressure Cooker Mashed Turnips
Cook these white root vegetables in your pressure cooker in mere minutes. With the help of stock and sour cream, this mash is teeming with delicious flavor.
For the Pressure Cooker Mashed Turnips recipe, click here. istockphoto.com
In this dessert section, we only highlight a handful of awesome holiday recipe staples. Don't worry if we missed a few of your favorites; The Daily Meal is chock-full of awesome holiday dessert recipes and has hundreds of cookie recipes for the holiday season if you need more inspiration. Sarah L. Bolla
Angel Food Cake With Lemon Ginger Cream
Contrast the uber-sweet and over-indulgent holiday desserts with this impossibly light and airy angel food cake frosted with a bright citrus and gingery whipped cream.
For the Angel Food Cake With Lemon Ginger Cream recipe, click here. Jamnation
Brown Butter Pecan Pie With Espresso Dates
Cut the sweetness of traditional pecan pie with wonderfully intense rich and chewy dates that have been cooked in espresso for a memorably delicious dessert.
For the Brown Butter Pecan Pie With Espresso Dates recipe, click here.
Food & Wine
Actual gingerbread is overlooked far too often. This cake-like bread is made with dark molasses, brown sugar, and potent ginger; serve it with an unsweetened whipped cream and be prepared to fall in love.
For the Gingerbread recipe, click here. istockphoto.com
Mountain Rose Apple Pie
This apple pie is filled with a super crisp variety of apples as well as a buttery, oat crumble layer to ensure a satisfying texture in the finished pie.
For the Mountain Rose Apple Pie recipe, click here.
Food & Wine
Pumpkin Pie Bars
If you're feeding a crowd, these easy pumpkin pie bars are the answer, there's no need to roll out dough or crimp crusts for these delicious bars.
For the Pumpkin Pie Bars recipe, click here.
Food & Wine
Red Velvet Vacherin
Make this vacherin for an unusual and elegant holiday dessert that's sure to impress.
For the Red Velvet Vacherin recipe, click here.
Ricotta, Cranberry, and Pear Mini Tarts
These beautiful, gluten-free tartlets are a lovely embodiment of the warmth and sweetness of the holiday season.
For the Ricotta, Cranberry and Pear Mini Tarts recipe, click here. Sarah L. Bolla
Ritz Cracker-Bacon Brickle
This toffee-bacon-cracker combo is sweet, salty, and crunchy all at once. It's a perfect accompaniment to serve with a cheese course dessert; specifically, a Jasper Hill Farm Winnimere Cheese is an excellent pairing according to cheese expert Tia Keenan.
For the Ritz Cracker-Bacon Brickle recipe, click here. Noah Fecks
Sticky Toffee Pudding
This quintessential English dish is gooey and insanely delicious. Serve warm with clotted cream, and it will no doubt be a crowd favorite.
For the Sticky Toffee Pudding recipe, click here. istockphoto.com
Here's a good go-to sugar cookie recipe to keep in your back pocket throughout the holidays. Gramercy Tavern in New York City uses this sugar cookie recipe to make its edible ornaments and decorates them with colorful royal icing. These cookies will be such a hit; you may even decide that it's totally acceptable to leave them up all winter.
For the Sugar Cookies recipe here, click here.
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The Worst US Airports for Holiday Travel
Our 50 Best Brunch Recipes for 2018
The Ultimate Family Holiday Survival Guide
31 Simple Recipes Because the Holidays Are Difficult Enough
Every Pumpkin Spice Product You Can Buy Right Now istockphoto.com