Holiday Recipes to Have in Your Back Pocket 

holiday recipes
Photo by Mgg Vitchakorn on Unsplash

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The holiday season is a time of joy, family, and, of course, delicious food. But, amidst all the hustle and bustle, not everyone has the time or energy to prepare intricate meals. That’s why having a few no-fuss, yet utterly delicious, recipes up your sleeve can be a game-changer. These holiday recipes are not only simple to make but are sure to impress your guests with their festive flair and mouth-watering flavors.

1. One-Pot Creamy Garlic Parmesan Pasta


  • 400g of your favorite pasta
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley for garnish


  1. In a large pot, combine the pasta, broth, cream, butter, and garlic. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is cooked and the sauce has thickened. This should take about 15-20 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese until melted and smooth.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Garnish with fresh parsley before serving.

This one-pot wonder is not only easy to clean up but also packs a punch with its creamy, garlic-infused sauce. It’s a comforting dish that’s perfect for a cozy holiday meal.

2. Cranberry Balsamic Roasted Chicken


  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup cranberry sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon thyme, chopped


  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper.
  3. In an oven-safe skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, skin-side down, and cook until the skin is golden brown, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Flip the chicken and cook for another 5 minutes.
  5. In a bowl, mix together the balsamic vinegar, cranberry sauce, garlic, rosemary, and thyme. Pour this mixture over the chicken in the skillet.
  6. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast for 25-30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
  7. Let it rest for a few minutes before serving.

The tangy and sweet combination of cranberry and balsamic gives this dish a festive twist. It’s a simple yet elegant main course that will surely impress your holiday guests.

3. No-Bake Chocolate Peppermint Bars


  • 20 chocolate sandwich cookies
  • 5 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • Crushed peppermint candies for topping


  1. In a food processor, pulse the chocolate sandwich cookies until they are fine crumbs. Mix in the melted butter until well combined.
  2. Press this mixture into the bottom of a lined 8×8-inch baking pan, creating an even layer. Refrigerate for 15 minutes to set.
  3. In a saucepan, heat the heavy cream until it just begins to simmer. Do not boil.
  4. Pour the hot cream over the white chocolate chips and let sit for 1 minute. Then, stir until smooth.
  5. Add the peppermint extract to the white chocolate mixture and mix well.
  6. Pour this over the chilled cookie base and spread into an even layer.
  7. Sprinkle the crushed peppermint candies over the top. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until set.
  8. Cut into bars and serve.

These no-bake bars are a festive and easy treat that captures the spirit of the holidays. The combination of chocolate and peppermint is classic and loved by many, making it a perfect sweet ending to any holiday meal.


The holiday season need not be synonymous with culinary stress or complex cooking ventures. The three no-fuss holiday recipes presented – One-Pot Creamy Garlic Parmesan Pasta, Cranberry Balsamic Roasted Chicken, and No-Bake Chocolate Peppermint Bars – offer a perfect blend of simplicity, flavor, and holiday cheer. 

These dishes, ranging from a comforting pasta to a festive chicken entrée and a delightful no-bake dessert, are not only easy to prepare but also promise to delight your guests with their taste and presentation. 

By incorporating these holiday recipes into your holiday menu, you can enjoy more time with loved ones without compromising on a delicious, festive meal. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a beginner in the kitchen, these recipes are sure to make your holiday gatherings both stress-free and memorable.