42 Dishes You Need To Make This Holiday

by Rachael Ray Show Staff 7:50 AM, December 19, 2014

Rachael Ray Show

Aired December 19, 2014

If you're hosting family and friends this holiday season, look no further than this ultimate recipe guide. From drinks to appetizers, main dishes, sides, desserts and brunch, we have you covered! Spread a little love and holiday cheer with these delicious dishes.

1.) Eggnog Fake-Out

If you aren’t the classic Eggnog fan, we have a fake-out recipe that tastes just as delicious. Creamy vanilla ice cream is mixed with a cup of bourbon and freshly grounded nutmeg to taste. Mix it all together and pour. Add a cinnamon stick for garnish!

2.) Cider-Soaked Spatchcock Turkey

If you're thinking of making a turkey for your holiday, this Cider-Soaked Spatchcock Turkey is perfect for your meal. The brine has fresh apple cider, thyme, peppercorns, onions, bay leaves and extra virgin olive oil to make this turkey succulent. 

3.) Sweet and Sour ('Agrodolce') Braised Beed Short Ribs with Pink Horseradish Cream

Meaty beed short ribs are dredged in salt and pepper seasoned flour with fresh veggies, garlic, sage and rosemary added to the pot. To add even more flavor, vinegar, wine and porcini are combined and brought to a boil. The braised meat is moist and very tender. Serve over a bed of mashed potatoes and add a dollop of Pink Horseradish Cream for holiday color and flavor.

4.) Pesto Chicken Wings

If you're looking for a full flavor, healthier option for chicken wings, this one's for you. These Pesto Wings are baked in the oven until golden brown. We slather them with fresh basil, pasrley, walnuts, zesty lemon juice and olive oil. Toss the wings in the pesto sauce and serve with sliced lemons. Be sure to give your guests extra napkins because they won't be able to put these delicious wings down! 

5.) Cheese Boat

Sure, you could serve a regular ol' plate of cheese to your party guests -- but why not go the extra mile by making this incredibly delicious -- not to mention time-saving -- cheese boat? Your guests will eat it up in the amount of time it took you to make it (hint: mere minutes), then spend the rest of the party asking how they can make it themselves.

6.) Warm Feta Dip with Artichokes

Who knew that your canned artichoke hearts could wind up being the life of the party?! All you have to is mix your artichoke hearts with feta cheese, mayo, parmesan cheese, garlic and sweet pimientos, pop it into the oven for about 20 minutes and voila! You just made the best party dip, ever.

7.) Sausage Hors d’Oeuvres

What if we said you could whip up the perfect party hors d'oeuvres in just minutes? Trisha's recipe for mini sausage meatballs does exactly that, without sacrificing any flavor or creativity. To make this recipe extra tasty: Leave out a side bowl of ranch dressing for dipping. It'll keep your guests coming back for seconds (and thirds, and fourths, and … you get the idea).

8.) Lemon Shrimp

It's time for your everyday shrimp cocktail ring to get a makeover! Tangy, lemon zest and sherry vinegar are added to buttery olives and fresh onions to create a powerful marinade for your cooked shrimp. Scoop the mixture into large bowl for your friends and family to share.

9.) Mexican Corn Fritters

Sure, we like fresh salsa with corn chips, but you’re going to love these Mexican Corn Fritters! Smokey grilled corn and fresh scallions are added to a bread batter and rolled into tiny balls. After they are fried, the fritters come out delectably golden brown and crispy. Hit them with a little salt and dip in a creamy mayo and Parmesan sauce.

10.) Turkey Meatballs with Sweet Mango Glaze

Savory turkey meatballs made with grated Parmesan, spices and breadcrumbs are baked in the oven until golden brown. Drizzle the mango balsamic glaze for a sweet and savory combination. Your guests won’t be able to stop eating these bite-sized treats!

11.) Ranch Goat Cheese Ball

We love ranch-anything! This recipe takes creamy goat cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, dried dill and chives and mixed together and formed in the share of a Christmas present. Using the chive stem,  wrap it around the cheese ball to form a bow. The presentation is absolutely adorable.

12.) Pumpkin Hummus

With three simple ingredients, you just found your next go-to appetizer. Take some canned pumpkin and mix it with store bought hummus. Add some sweet pomegranate seeds for garnish. This appetizer is mighty festive and delish!

13.) Pigs in a Wreath

This classic holiday party app is getting the holiday upgrade you've been waiting for. Your guests will go absolutely gaga for its incredible taste and adorable presentation, plus it won't cost you too much time or money to make. What's not to love?

14.) Pizza Cheese Ball

Your friends and family will love this flavorful Italian style Pizza Cheese Ball. It combines tangy sundried tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, sharp Parmesan, Italian spices and a palmful of red pepper flakes. All that deliciousness is mixed throughout softened cream cheese and sour cream. Spread over buttery crostini or breadstick crackers for serving. It’s like eating a slice of your favorite pizza every time. Now that’s amore!

15.) Beef Meatballs with Blue Cheese and Horseradish

Yum! We love these savory beef meatballs dunked in creamy blue cheese and spicy horseradish sauce. This meatball recipe uses ground sirloin and plenty of spices like garlic, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, grated shallots and panko breadcrumbs. The explosion of flavorful meatballs and sharp blue cheese is a winning combination.

16.) Broccoli Rabe and Sausage Bites

A bundle of broccoli rabe mixed with plenty of garlic, olive oil and spices is added to ground fennel sausage. We then slather fresh ricotta on toasted baguettes and add our sausage and broccoli rabe. Top with aged sharp provolone for a gooey, cheesy top. Slice these into bite size pieces for your friends and family to enjoy.

17.) Apricot Glazed Ham

For some, the main star of their holiday meal is ham. We take a bone-in, cured, smoked ham and smother it with a sweet and tangy apricot jam. Our secret to this glaze is using apricot, spicy Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, fresh sage, ground cloves and cinnamon. The sweetness from the jam, the acidity from the vinegar and the spiciness of the Dijon all work in harmony to make this ham your standout dish.

18.) Christmas Pasta

Rac likes to make this family favorite with bone-in-beef short ribs, fresh veggies, plenty of garlic, fresh rosemary, thyme, sage and oregano leaves. Added to the mixture is hot and sweet Italian sausage, tomato sauce and pecorino cheese. This dish is by far one of our favorite pasta dishes. It’s an absolute crowd-pleaser.

19.) Fried Turkey


Magic happens when John McLemore mixes honey with pecans and slathers it on a Turkey! Sweet and savory doesn’t begin to describe this gorgeous deep-fried bird! It’s golden brown on the outside, and succulent on the inside. If you’re looking for an interesting turkey twist, congrats! You’ve found it!

20.) Braised Pork with Fennel, Apples and Onions

Another show-stopping holiday dish is Braised Pork with Fennel, Apples and Onion. We take a pork shoulder and marinate it in onion, garlic, fresh thyme, oil, apple brandy, fresh orange and lemon zest, fruity wine, chicken stock and Dijon mustard. We finish it by adding Honeycrsip apples and cider. The flavor of this braised pork will overwhelm your taste buds in the best way possible.

21.) Cherry Tomato Shrimp Fra Diavolo

If you’re looking for a new dish for your Seven Fishes meal, try this! Al dente pasta is tossed with butterflied shrimp, fresh cherry tomatoes, shallots, thinly slice garlic, red pepper flakes and flat leaf parsley. This dish bursts with flavor and spice.

22.) Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts Butternut Squash and Chicken Thighs

We love this recipe because it just requires one pan. Simply put all of your fresh and hearty veggies, crushed garlic, olive oil, spices and some lemon for an extra burst of flavor. Pop it out of the oven and a small holiday dinner is served. 

23.) Coffee Rub Cider Brisket

We absolutely love the taste of this delicious Coffee Rub Cider Brisket. With a just a teaspoon of espresso powder, ground all spice, cloves, sage, parsley and thyme this brisket is seasoned to perfection. Added into the pan is cloudy cider, beef stock and root veggies. In a separate skillet, we cook hearty potatoes, crispy apples, leeks and thyme until they’re tender. Sounds amazing, right? That’s because it is.

24.) Potato Cake with Onions

Not only is the Potato Cake with Onions beautifully presented, it’s mouth-wateringly amazing. Thinly sliced Yukon potatoes are stacked and smothered in clarified butter, seasoned with ground mace and laced with sweet onions.

25.) Roasted Cauliflower Broccoli and Pasta Bake with White Cheddar

Crispy pancetta is folded into a creamy white cheddar cheese sauce, with roasted cauliflower and broccoli. Stir in al dente pasta and you have the best holiday casserole ever. Top with crunchy, buttery bread crumbs.

26.) Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Buttery and creamy mashed potatoes get amplified with four large cloves of garlic, salt and freshly ground black pepper. If you have leftovers (which we doubt you will), fry as potato cakes in a skillet.

27.) Garlicky Romaine with Croutons

This is an easy-to-make salad that will compliment your holiday meal. To make this dressing we use crushed garlic, grainy mustard, red wine vinegar, peanut oil and spices to give a garlicky irresistible flavor to the salad.

28.) Grant’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

It’s hard to explain how amazing these chocolate chip cookies really are. They’re so delicious that we had to beg our resident Cookie Man, Grant to give us his recipe. And luckily, he did! We use all the classic ingredients, of light-brown sugar, butter, semi-sweet chocolate chips and add in old-fashion oats. Once the cookies come hot, out of the oven, sprinkle a little sea salt on top of the cookies. They’re a chewy, salty, sweet goodness that you’ll need a tall glass of milk to wash it down!

29.) Gingerbread Hugs

This adorable Gingerbread Man will be the cutest Christmas cookie ever. Fold over his arms to hug peppermints, sprigs of rosemary or candies. It’s almost too adorable to eat…almost!

30.) Chocolate-Mint Crinkle Cookies

Calling all of our chocolate lovers out there! This one is for you. Coco powder and mini dark chocolate chips are melted together with our super-secret ingredient—grinded loose-leaf mint tea leaves! Once your dough is formed, roll into balls, coat in powdered confectioner’s sugar.

31.) Salted Peanut Shortbread

These bite-sized Salted Peanut Shortbread cookies may be small, but they’re mighty good! These decadent cookies are sweet and salty and are the perfect addition to your Christmas Cookie tray or Cookie Swap! Wrap them up into little tins and give them as gifts, too!

32.) Basic Chewy Cinnamon Sugar Cookies

Who doesn't love a warm, chewy cinnamon sugar cookie? This is the perfect cookie recipe to add all of your favorite, decorative toppings, too! Get the kids involved by having them decorate the tops with mini colorful candies, colored sugars, and caramels to make their cookie unique and personal.

33.) Fluffernutter Truffles

We love a no-bake cookie! Simply add peanut butter cookies, marshmallows, marshmallow cream, and a full cup or peanut butter all into a food processor. Roll them up into balls and for an extra touch, dip them in melted chocolate. 

34.) Snow Ball Cookies

These adorable Snow Ball cookies are cute, delicious and super simple to make. After your sweet dough is made with flour, rich vanilla extract, bold cinnamon and soft butter. After the dough is made, roll into balls and toss in powder sugar. The vanilla cookie is then tossed in sweet powdered sugar. They're highly addictive. You've been warned.

35.) Minty Thin Cookies

This Minty Thin cookie is actually a fake-out recipe. With only three ingredients this recipe couldn’t be easier or more delicious to make. Take your favorite salty cracker, dip in dark chocolate and add in mint extract. Once the crackers are cooled and harden, enjoy.

36.) No-Bake Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

Only three ingredients make one amazing cookie. It seriously couldn’t be easier. We take salty butter crackers, slather on creamy peanut butter and dip them in chocolate. The crunchy cracker mixed with the amazing peanut butter-chocolate combo is outstanding. Your guests will absolutely love this delectable cookie.

37.) Snickerdoodles

We love this classic Snickerdoodle cookie recipe! This decadent shortbread mix uses all-purpose flour, baking soda, salt, vegetable shortening, butter and cream of tartar. We then create a sweet ground cinnamon mixture to dust on top! It’s festive and delicious.

38.) Spiced Bacon Skewers

If you’re looking for a delicious brunch option to serve your guests the next day, try these Spiced Bacon Skewers. Take thick cut, apple-wood smoked bacon and season with sugar, cayenne, ground cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Thread a skewer through each slice of bacon and bake until crispy.

39.) Eggs Benedict Bread Pudding

Eggs Benedict Bread Pudding is the perfect brunch holiday meal. Toasted English muffins pieces are combined with savory Canadian bacon, fresh asparagus and topped chives. Serve with a generous pour of hollandaise sauce over top.

40.) Piña Colada Muffins

These muffins are a sweet treat to serve for brunch. Coconut cream, fresh pineapple and rum extract are baked inside each muffin. We glaze them with even more rum extract, sugar and coconut milk. It’s as if you’re bringing a warm, island feel to your holiday table.

41.) Stuffed French Toast

Buttery white-bread toast is filled with grated Gruyère cheese, fresh oregano, thick cut bacon and beefsteak tomato. Soak each of these sandwiches into a creamy egg mixture and griddle. Top with a fried egg and fresh chives.

42.) Monkey Bread

Anyone who grew up on Monkey Bread will love this fake-out. Chop up your store-bought biscuit bread like you normally do. But instead of cinnamon, add in some pumpkin pie spice. Then, mix some pumpkin purée and brown sugar into your melted butter mixture. The sweet, pumpkin and cinnamon taste throughout fluffy dough will be an instant hit. It's a little sweet dessert to go with your holiday brunch.