7 Festive Holiday Recipes Your Family Will Love

Add a little extra holiday cheer to breakfast, lunch, and dinner by preparing festive foods your family will love. Using basic — and often healthy — ingredients and a little creativity, you can easily prepare fun dishes such as Mashed Potato Snowmen, Reindeer Pancakes, and Dreidel-Shaped Ravioli. Keep reading to discover seven seasonal recipes that will make mealtime more merry.

Source: Thinkstock

1. Reindeer Pancakes

Make sure your loved ones have a fun and festive start to their day by preparing Ziggity Zoom’s Reindeer Pancakes. If you’d like to make a variety of holiday flapjacks, you can also make a few snowman-shaped pancakes, as well. Perfect for weekend breakfasts or Christmas, your family will love sitting down to this morning meal.

Ingredients:

  • Pancake mix
  • Eggs
  • Vegetable oil
  • Milk
  • Red food coloring
  • Green food coloring
  • Plastic squeeze bottles

Directions: Make pancake mix according to directions on package. Prepare batter using directions for 2 cups pancake mix. Divide batter into containers. For reindeer, mix ½ cup batter and 5 drops red food coloring. For green batter, use ½ cup mix and 4 drops green food coloring. Leave remaining batter as is.

Pour each color batter into a squeeze bottle. Heat griddle to medium heat. For reindeer, make a dot for eye, then add plain batter on top of eye to form a 2-inch circle. Add a red nose and a red collar. To form antlers, make a thin line touching head and then make a small branch coming from first part of antler. Antlers will spread, so only make a fairly thin antler. Serve and enjoy!

Source: iStock

2. Christmas Breakfast Casserole

This easy-to-make breakfast casserole is filled with red and green colors, creating a festive-looking dish that’s chock-full of nutritious ingredients. Mom on a Mission’s recipe, which was adapted from Bob Evans, can also be made ahead of time and stored in the freezer.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound crumbled and cooked sausage
  • 6 slices wheat bread, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 cup diced green and red peppers
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1½ cups milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread bread cubes in a sprayed 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Top with sausage, peppers, and cheese. Whisk eggs, milk, salt, and mustard until well blended; pour over cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until set. Let stand 5 minutes.

Source: iStock

3. Make-Ahead Snowman Cheese Ball

Looking for a fun seasonal snack? Betty Crocker’s Make-Ahead Snowman Cheese Ball is a great dip to serve with vegetables and crackers. The recipe yields 7 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese (16 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons basil pesto
  • 1 tablespoon grated onion
  • ¼ teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 2 drops red pepper sauce
  • 1 container (4 ounces) whipped cream cheese, softened
  • Decorations, if desired
  • Assorted crackers and vegetables, if desired

Directions: Mix 3 packages cream cheese and the cheddar cheese; divide into 3 equal parts. Combine 2 parts to equal two-thirds of mixture; mix in pesto. Mix onion, mustard, and pepper sauce into remaining one-third mixture. Cover each cheese mixture and refrigerate about 4 hours or until firm enough to shape. Shape each cheese mixture into ball.

Wrap each ball, label, and freeze. About 12 hours before serving, remove balls from freezer. Thaw in wrappers in refrigerator. Arrange balls on serving plate with smaller ball on top for head of snowman. Frost snowman with whipped cream cheese before serving. Decorate as desired. Store covered in refrigerator.

Source: iStock

4. Christmas Tree Pizza

Thanks to Kidspot, preparing a Christmas Tree Pizza has never been easier. By carefully arranging your toppings and strategically cutting your crust, you can serve up festive pizza slices for supper. There’s no better way to deliver holiday cheer to your dinner table!

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices ham
  • ⅓ punnet cherry tomatoes
  • 4 cherry bocconcini (mozzarella balls)
  • ½ cup char-grilled peppers
  • ½ bunch spinach
  • 1 medium pizza crust
  • ½ cup tomato puree
  • 1 cup grated pizza cheese

Directions: Preheat oven to 465 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a small pastry cutter to cut circles from the ham. Slice cherry tomatoes in half and bocconcini into rounds. Slice peppers into thin strips. Pick spinach leaves from stems and wash them well, then slice. Pour over boiling water to wilt. Drain. Place pizza crust on a lined baking tray and top with puree and pizza cheese. Place kitchen string across pizza to divide it into four quarters and act as a guide.

Decorate each quarter with the ingredients to represent a Christmas tree. Place a cherry tomato in the top corner for the star. Place mounds of wilted spinach as branches. Use peppers as a tinsel garland. Use ham and tomatoes as ornaments. Finally, dot empty spaces with bocconcini slices. Remove string. Bake pizza for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven and slice into quarters. Remove two pieces of the crust from each slice, leaving the middle section intact to represent the tree trunk.

Source: iStock

5. Mashed Potato Snowmen

Potatoes, butter, milk, carrots, peppercorn, and seasonings are all you need to make Ricardo Curisine’s adorable side dish. To shape your snowmen balls, use 6 tablespoons of potatoes for the biggest ball, ¼ cup for the medium ball, and 2 tablespoons for the smallest one. ‘Tis the season for Mashed Potato Snowmen!

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups peeled and cubed potatoes (about 8 potatoes)
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup milk
  • Salt and pepper

Decoration

  • 1 carrot
  • 16 pink peppercorn
  • 8 sprigs fresh rosemary

Directions: In a saucepan, cook the potatoes in salted water until very tender, about 15 minutes. Drain. With a masher, mash the potatoes with the butter. With an electric mixer, purée the mixture with the milk. Adjust the seasoning. The purée should be firm. With three different sizes of ice cream scoops, shape three balls of potatoes. Create the eyes with two pink peppercorns, the nose with a piece of carrot, and place a sprig of rosemary as a broomstick.

Source: iStock

6. Golden Santa Bread

Why serve plain dinner rolls when you can make Golden Santa Bread instead? Taste of Home’s recipe may look complex, but it’s a dish you can easily prepare using basic bread ingredients and a touch of food coloring. It yields 16 to 18 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 4 to 4½ cups bread flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 packages (¼ ounce each) active dry yeast
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup butter, cubed
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 raisins
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 to 3 drops red food coloring

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. In a small saucepan, heat milk, water, and butter to 120 degrees to 130 degrees. Add to dry ingredients; beat just until moistened. Beat in eggs until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a stiff dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 to 8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide into two portions, one slightly larger than the other. Shape the larger portion into an elongated triangle with rounded corners for Santa’s head and hat. Divide the smaller portion in half. Shape and flatten one half into a beard. Using scissors or a pizza cutter, cut into strips to within 1 inch of top. Position on Santa’s face; twist and curl strips if desired. Use the remaining dough for the mustache, nose, hat pom-pom and brim. Shape a portion of dough into a mustache; flatten and cut the ends into small strips with scissors.

Place above beard. Place a small ball above mustache for nose. Fold tip of hat over and add another ball for pom-pom. Roll out a narrow piece of dough to create a hat brim; position under hat. With a scissors, cut two slits for eyes; insert raisins into slits. In separate small bowls, beat egg each yolk. Add red food coloring to one yolk; carefully brush over hat, nose and cheeks. Brush plain yolk over remaining dough. Cover loosely with foil. Bake 15 minutes. Uncover; bake 10 to 12 minutes longer or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

Source: iStock

7. Dreidel-Shaped Ravioli

Create a Hanukkah-themed dinner by making Chabad.org’s Dreidel-Shaped Ravioli. To prepare this recipe, which yields 20 to 25 ravioli, you’ll need a dreidel-shaped cookie cutter and a pasta maker. If you don’t have a pasta maker, feel free to use a rolling pin instead.

Ingredients:

Dough

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Filling

  • 1 cup ricotta cheese, drained
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon basil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese

Directions: Put the flour, salt, eggs, and oil in a food processor and pulse until dough forms a soft crumb. Pour the crumbs onto your surface and bring together into a ball of dough. Cover with wrap and set aside for at least 30 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the filling ingredients. Set aside. Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Keep the pieces wrapped until you’re ready to use them. Roll the first piece of dough through a pasta machine until it’s paper thin.

Place spoonfuls of the filling along the dough, 1 to 2 inches apart, until halfway down the pasta sheet. Brush the dough around the filling with egg wash and gently fold over the second half of the dough to cover the filling. Gently press down around the filling, as you go, making sure there are as few air pockets as possible. Use a dreidel-shaped cookie cutter to cut around each pocket of filling and press the edges well, to make sure they are properly sealed.

Set the ravioli aside and repeat with the remaining dough and filling, until there is none left. Bring a pot of salted water to boil. When the water is at a rolling boil, drop the ravioli into the pot, a few at a time. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until pasta is tender and ravioli have floated to the top. Remove with a slotted spoon and serve with your favorite sauce.

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