With family holiday dinners just around the corner, it’s officially time to start prepping. Cue the cravings for mouth-wateringly sweet treats.
When the holidays roll around, eating healthy can feel like a losing battle. But it doesn’t have to be! In fact, it can be easy put a healthy twist on your favorite holiday dinner dishes—all you need is a little creativity.
Try out these recipes for your holiday meal, including appetizers, main course side dishes, and dessert—all inspired by healthy-eating habits!
Healthy Recipes For Your Holiday Dinner
Everyone loves a good hors d’oeuvre. Start your holiday dinner off right with a selection of appetizers that have a healthy twist—while still being delicious.
Appetizer 1: Hummus-Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers
Great news: mini veggies make excellent appetizers thanks to their petit size (and delicious flavor). Everything from Mini Cucumbers to TOMZ® Snacking Tomatoes make a perfect addition to your pre-dinner appetizer spread.
Even better news: veggie appetizers don’t have to be boring! Try pairing your veggies with different dips or putting a fun spin on the prep. Hummus makes a great pairing with raw veggies—and it doesn’t have to stop with the typical dip. Try out these Hummus Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers for something a bit different than your average veggies and dip tray.
Appetizer 2: Crisp Cucumber Apple Dip
Skip the chips ‘n dip and swap them for a healthier veggie alternative. Veggies like Cucumbers, Tomatoes, and carrots all have the same satisfying crunch you get from chips without the guilt that comes with snacking on a handful of chips (or three).
Try out this Cucumber Apple Dip as an alternative to high-fat sour cream-based dips, replacing chips with fresh, crisp Cucumbers. For some extra spice with your crunch, you can also add jalapenos to this dip.
Appetizer 3: Cherry Tomato Bruschetta
Bruschetta is a popular favorite to enjoy before any meal, including holiday dinner. It may not be your typical holiday appetizer, but don’t let that stop you! Made with fresh Tomatoes, bruschetta is a healthy option that might just become a staple at all your holiday gatherings.
Try using different types of Tomatoes with your bruschetta appetizer for a unique flavor each time.
Nothing beats a home-cooked meal—especially during the holidays. These main course side dishes make a great addition whether you’re having ham, turkey, or something else—and will have everyone coming back to the table for seconds (or thirds!).
Side 1: Spiced Roasted Carrots & Peppers
Incorporating lots of veggie side dishes is a great way to boost the health factor of your holiday meal. Bell Peppers, carrots, broccoli, and beans are all perfect for creating a delicious veggie dish to enjoy alongside your meal. Try out this Roasted Carrots and Peppers recipe with just the right amount of spice to add to your meal.
Chef tip: choose fresh produce rather than canned options to make your side dishes—nothing can beat the flavor of a homemade side dish made with fresh veggies and ingredients! Who says healthy can’t be delicious?
Side 2: Roasted Potato Salad
Whether they’re baked, mashed, or roasted, potatoes make a perfect hearty side dish to go with your holiday turkey. And although they are starchy and high in carbs, that doesn’t mean they’re unhealthy—they’re actually a good source of calcium and are low in fat. For a healthier holiday dinner plate, just make sure you’re adding them to the side of a nice helping of veggies.
This Roasted Potato Salad includes Bell Peppers, celery, onions, carrots, and parsley for some added veggie benefits so you can enjoy your potatoes… and feel good about it!
Side 3: Turkey Stuffed Bell Peppers
No holiday dinner is complete without the turkey. Put a healthy spin on the main dish by pairing your turkey with Bell Peppers. These Turkey Stuffed Bell Peppers make a great main course alternative (or side!), with all the delicious flavor that you expect from a holiday meal.
And as an extra bonus, they’re super easy to make!
For those who have a weakness for sweet desserts, eating healthy probably feels impossible when dessert makes an appearance. But it doesn’t have to be! It can be easy to put a healthy spin onto those classic, sweet desserts we all love.
Dessert 1: Green Tomato Pie
A homemade pie is a staple at any family holiday dinner. Why not switch things up a bit with a Green Tomato Pie? The main ingredient might sound a little different—but this pie is just as tasty and sweet as your favourite apple pie. That makes it a delicious alternative to high-sugar store-bought pies!
To cut down on the sugar content even more, you can swap the raisins for fresh grapes.
Dessert 2: Roasted Pepper No Bake Cheesecake
If you’re looking for a simple dessert that doesn’t require any baking, try out this Roasted Pepper No Bake Cheesecake. It has a light, sweet flavor that makes a great dessert to top off a delicious meal.
If you’ve already got enough cakes and pies at the table, this recipe can also be used as a fruit dip for some extra sweetness with your favorite fruits. This also makes a great pre-dinner appetizer if you just can’t wait to dig in to something sweet!
Dessert 3: Red Bell Pepper Brownies
Who doesn’t love chocolate? This classic holiday dessert flavor can be irresistible when the dessert tray hits the table. Put your own spin on it with a secret (and surprising) veggie addition: Bell Peppers.
You read that right—the Bell Peppers complement the rich chocolate flavor with a sweet taste. Our favorite chocolate-inspired recipe: Red Bell Pepper Brownies.
So you’ve decided to host holiday dinner—now it’s time to make it happen. Here’s how to get a healthy holiday dinner menu on the table in 4 easy steps:
Step 1: Plan Your Holiday Menu (In Advance)
Plan out your holiday dinner menu at least a couple weeks in advance. This will give you plenty of time to decide what you want to include (and a chance for a test run if you’re trying a new recipe). Make a list of any appetizers, snacks, main dishes, and desserts that will be served.
This will also help you create a list of any ingredients you’ll need and delegate certain dishes to others if you’re planning a big dinner with extended family!
Step 2: Create A Plan Of Attack
Make sure that you know your day-of game-plan a week or so in advance, especially if you’re hosting a big family get together. That way, you can ensure you have all of the required ingredients and tools so you’re ready to cook when the day rolls around.
Step 3: Get Prepping
Start prepping early the day of your big dinner. You don’t want to be scrambling at the last minute to get everything prepared and into the oven—especially if you’ve got a room full of hungry family members! There are a number of things you can prep beforehand, including casseroles and cold sides to help make sure you’re not too stressed on the big day.
Step 4: Put It All Together
Last step: putting it all together. This is the fun part! Set out your best china and holiday centerpiece and sit down to a delicious family holiday dinner.
Looking for more healthy holiday meal ideas? Check out more of our recipes here.