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Since Holiday Cooking Is Upon Us, These Are The 50 Most Crowd-Pleasing (And Delicious) Recipes To Serve At Any Gathering

We've got every festive recipe you could ever ask for...and then some.

Holiday foods are varied, but they all have one thing in common: They're undeniably delicious.

Whether you're celebrating a literal holiday or just having a festive holiday season dinner with friends and family, you're sure to find something delicious here. From sweet showstoppers to traditional favorites (and even some new flavor combinations), we've got it all.

1. Pastry-Wrapped Holiday Ham

If a Beef Wellington and pigs in a blanket had a baby, it would be this holiday showstopper. It's both a great centerpiece for your holiday table and a totally easy main, thanks to refrigerated crescent rolls and a pre-cooked ham.

Recipe: Pastry-Wrapped Holiday Ham | Shop This Recipe 



2. Pomegranate Spritzer

You can use pomegranate molasses (which makes the base of this drink) in a ton of recipes, sweet and savory, so don't worry that it'll go to waste. And if you're serving a younger crowd, sparkling cider or grape juice is a great sub for champagne.

Recipe: Pomegranate Spritzer | Shop This Recipe 

3. Apple-Stuffed Donuts

These are great for any holiday, but especially for Hanukkah, where fried foods reign supreme. And if you sneak these in so you don't have to eat a jelly donut, more power to you.

Recipe: Apple-Stuffed Donuts | Shop This Recipe 



4. Makai Paka

Corn is a traditional part of a Kwanzaa table (one for each child!), and this dish incorporates that decoration right into the meal. Plus, it's delicious — and super easy to make vegan if you need it to be. All you have to do is sub in vegan butter.

Recipe: Makai Paka | Shop This Recipe 

5. Prime Rib With Garlic Herb Butter

There's nothing that says "We made it through the year!" quite like a big slab of perfectly cooked beef. And it's a surprisingly hands-off recipe, too: The roast hangs out in the oven while you hang out with your family and friends.

Recipe: Prime Rib With Garlic Herb Butter | Shop This Recipe 



6. Apple Pie From Scratch

It really doesn't matter what your main course is, be it Beef Wellington, turkey, or even salmon — apple pie will always steal the show. This recipe is fully from scratch, crust and all...but if you use a store-bought crust I promise not to tell.

Recipe: Apple Pie From Scratch | Shop This Recipe 

7. Roasted Carrots

Sweet, a little tart, and full of all those good roasty flavors, these carrots are the surprising star of any holiday meal. And they're adaptable, too! If you don't have maple syrup, commenters have had success with honey or even orange marmalade.

Recipe: Roasted Carrots | Shop This Recipe 



8. Clams Carbonara

I've often thought linguine with clams could use a more flavorful sauce, and carbonara also tends to be a little plain on its own — enter this recipe, which combines the best of both dishes. If you're Italian, or even if you're not, you've gotta make this one of your Seven Fishes this Christmas Eve.

Recipe: Clams Carbonara | Shop This Recipe 

9. Roasted Vegetables

Roasted Brussels sprouts have (rightfully) earned a spot on many menus, but they can be a little lackluster on their own. This version jazzes the veggie up with onion wedges, pears, and a handful of dried cranberries for the ultimate in autumnal flavors.

Recipe: Roasted Vegetables | Shop This Recipe 



10. Boozy Chocolate Orange Fondue

If you can't find a chocolate orange to melt down for this fondue, plain semi-sweet chocolate and orange liqueur would still be delicious. Folks will rave about this dessert for ages — even though it's basically zero effort.

Recipe: Boozy Chocolate Orange Fondue | Shop This Recipe 

11. Gambian-Inspired Groundnut Stew (Domoda)

If you're having a Kwanzaa celebration this year, this stew is a great fit — it's a hearty main dish that showcases traditional West African flavors. And if you want to make it for New Year's Eve, or Hanukkah, or just a particularly cold Tuesday, it's a great fit there, too.

Recipe: Gambian-Inspired Groundnut Stew (Domoda) | Shop This Recipe 



12. Potato Latkes

Hanukkah has passed for this year, but you can always keep this recipe in your pocket for next year — it's a classic that won't let you down. If you have a food processor, it's worth breaking out for all the shredding here. Otherwise you'll get a killer arm workout!

Recipe: Potato Latkes | Shop This Recipe 

13. Creamy Hot Cocoa

There's a secret ingredient in this vegan hot cocoa that gives it that almost pudding-like consistency of truly gourmet hot chocolate...but I won't spill the beans. (OK, yes I will — it's pureed sweet potato!)

Recipe: Creamy Hot Cocoa | Shop This Recipe 



14. Best Beef Brisket

A good brisket is a labor of love, but the broiling, the braising, the resting, and the reducing all add up to a gorgeous result. It's a great centerpiece for the Hanukkah table...or any table, really.

Recipe: Best Beef Brisket | Shop This Recipe 

15. Ultimate Mac ‘n’ Cheese

No holiday table is complete without mac 'n' cheese, no matter what the holiday is. And this one has something for everyone to enjoy, from garlic butter bacon breadcrumbs to seven (!!) types of cheese.

Recipe: Ultimate Mac ‘n’ Cheese | Shop This Recipe 



16. Apple Cider Cupcakes

Whether you make your own apple cider or use a jug from the store, these cupcakes are warming, sweet, and festive enough for any celebration. They're also a great break from cookies and pie, which can get a bit overdone this time of year.

Recipe: Apple Cider Cupcakes | Shop This Recipe 

17. Show-Stopping Beef Wellington

Beef Wellington seems intimidating, but all of the steps are actually very simple. To be fair, there are a lot of steps...but if you take your time and do them right, you'll be rewarded with a Wellington that Gordon Ramsay himself would be proud of.

Recipe: Show-Stopping Beef Wellington | Shop This Recipe 



18. Slow Cooker Matzo Ball Soup

Look, I'm a firm believer that you don't have to wait until Hanukkah to enjoy a warm bowl of matzo ball soup, and once you give this recipe a try, you'll understand exactly why.

Recipe: Slow Cooker Matzo Ball Soup | Shop This Recipe 

19. Chocolate Braided Swirl Bread (Babka)

Make this recipe as a show-stopping dessert that's sure to impress each and every one of your guests — no need to tell them that you'll be having the leftovers for breakfast long after they're gone.

Recipe: Chocolate Braided Swirl Bread (Babka) | Shop This Recipe 



20. Parchment Garlic Butter Salmon

Whether you're serving two people or twelve, this one is a great option. The salmon packets are easy to assemble (and they can all bake at the same time), so everything will be fresh and hot when you're ready to eat.

Recipe: Parchment Garlic Butter Salmon | Shop This Recipe 

21. Vegan Challah Bread

Traditional challah gets its richness and shine from eggs, but this vegan version substitutes coconut oil for a loaf that's just as delicious without any animal products. Serve this as a side with your holiday dinner, make it the base for a leftover sandwich, or turn it into the best French toast ever.

Recipe: Vegan Challah Bread | Shop This Recipe 



22. Hot Toddy

If you're hosting any outdoor gatherings this holiday season, this hot toddy would be a great addition. It's made in a slow cooker, so it'll keep itself (and your guests) warm for hours.

Recipe: Hot Toddy | Shop This Recipe 

23. Baked Lobster Tails

Lobster tails are a great compromise for folks who want to eat lobster but can't quite bring themselves to boil a whole one alive. (It's me. I'm people.) These bake up super fast, and they're the perfect main to serve with a festive holiday meal.

Recipe: Baked Lobster Tails | Shop This Recipe 



24. Slow Cooker Collard Greens and Ham Hocks

If you grew up in the South, you probably already have collard greens on New Year's. If you don't, you should — they symbolize an increase of wealth in the upcoming year...and also, they're just really delicious.

Recipe: Slow Cooker Collard Greens and Ham Hocks | Shop This Recipe 

25. Peppermint Brownie Cookies

These cookies are chewy, moist, and each beautifully showcases that crackly top you'd expect in a brownie — all in a perfectly handheld package.

Recipe: Peppermint Brownie Cookies | Shop This Recipe 



26. Diaspora Chili-Spiced Black-Eyed Peas

This one is a crowd-pleasing dish for celebrating Kwanzaa, or an incredibly flavorful spin on traditional New Year's black-eyed peas. Either way, they more than deserve a spot at your table this year. 

Recipe: Diaspora Chili-Spiced Black-Eyed Peas | Shop This Recipe 

27. Ultimate Mashed Potatoes

These potatoes have been tested (and tested, and re-tested, and tested again) so you can be sure they're the absolute pinnacle of mashed potato perfection. You won't find a silkier spud anywhere.

Recipe: Ultimate Mashed Potatoes | Shop This Recipe 



28. Sugar Swirl Cookies

Slice 'n' bake cookies just got a big upgrade. The swirled doughs and sprinkled edges of these cookies make them fancy enough to showcase in any cookie swap or gift box — no decorating required.

Recipe: Sugar Swirl Cookies | Shop This Recipe 

29. Ultimate Green Bean Casserole

For the longest time, I wasn't a huge fan of green bean casserole. As it turns out, making it with real, whole ingredients instead of condensed soups makes a huge difference...but nothing can top those little fried onions from the can.

Recipe: Ultimate Green Bean Casserole | Shop This Recipe 



30. Shrimp Cocktail

Shrimp cocktail may be shockingly simple to make, but for some reason it just has a ~classy~ vibe. If you're hosting the kind of holiday party where cocktails (and cocktail dresses) are involved, you simply must include shrimp cocktail.

Recipe: Shrimp Cocktail | Shop This Recipe 

31. Cinnamon Roll Wreath

This clever treat uses pre-made pizza dough, which means you can easily make it in the sleepy lull after presents have been opened (but before toys start to get played with). By the time it's all baked and ready to eat, everyone will perk back up.

Recipe: Cinnamon Roll Wreath | Shop This Recipe 



32. Pigs in a Blanket

I can't think of an easier, more crowd-pleasing appetizer than pigs in a blanket. If you want to make these three-ingredient beauties even easier, they're just as yummy sans cheese.

Recipe: Pigs in a Blanket | Shop This Recipe 

33. Cheddar, Sausage, and Egg Breakfast Bake

This is a great make-ahead brunch for Christmas morning or any time you have guests this season. Just prep it the night before and bake it off in the morning, so you won't feel rushed while you're still trying to wake up.

Recipe: Cheddar, Sausage, and Egg Breakfast Bake | Shop This Recipe 



34. Pull-Apart Garlic Rolls

Pro-tip: If you want instant holiday cred, become the One Who Brings the Rolls. You can trust me: I'm the One Who Brings the Mac 'n' Cheese, so I know what I'm talking about. It's up to you whether or not you let people know that these are just jazzed-up refrigerated biscuit dough.

Recipe: Pull-Apart Garlic Rolls | Shop This Recipe 

35. Mulled Sangria

Wine + fruit + heat = a good time for all. If you're sensitive to pulp, commenters note that you can totally strain this before serving.

Recipe: Mulled Sangria | Shop This Recipe 



36. Garlic Parmesan-Stuffed Mushrooms

These are a great appetizer, an excellent side dish, or heck — with big enough mushrooms, it's a decadent vegetarian main. Commenters recommend doubling this recipe, because these babies go FAST.

Recipe: Garlic Parmesan-Stuffed Mushrooms | Shop This Recipe 

37. Scalloped Potatoes

Mashed potatoes may be a classic, but scalloped potatoes are way up there too, IMO...especially if your holiday dinner includes ham or steak. And if you have a mandoline, you'd be wise to break it out for this recipe. It makes getting those perfectly even slices of potatoes super easy.

Recipe: Scalloped Potatoes | Shop This Recipe 



38. Pull-Apart Holiday Monkey Bread

Is this a side? Dessert? Breakfast? Yes, yes, and yes. This gooey, cheesy, cranberry-y pull-apart bread is sure to outshine anything else on the table.

Recipe: Pull-Apart Holiday Monkey Bread | Shop This Recipe 

39. Apple Brie Crostinis

Any time you mix cheese with fruit, people will think you're fancy. These are just three ingredients — four, if you count the optional honey drizzle — but they seem way more complex and sophisticated.

Recipe: Apple Brie Crostinis | Shop This Recipe 



40. Bacon Asparagus Pastry Twists

You could probably wrap a flip-flop in puff pastry and it would taste delicious. Thankfully, bacon and asparagus are much more appetizing than a flip-flop, and the friends and family at your holiday party will probably like them way more.

Recipe: Bacon Asparagus Pastry Twists | Shop This Recipe 

41. Pumpkin Pie With Maple Pecan Crumble

These two Thanksgiving classics combine beautifully to create a pie that works for just about any holiday. Honestly, you could make this baby in like, February. It would still work.

Recipe: Pumpkin Pie With Maple Pecan Crumble | Shop This Recipe 



42. Brie, Bacon, and Cranberry Mini Pies

Brie is the true unsung hero of holiday appetizers. It's smooth, soft, creamy, and it pulls together sweet and savory elements like nothing else.

Recipe: Brie, Bacon, and Cranberry Mini Pies | Shop This Recipe 

43. Mini Gingerbread Cheesecakes

Making these mini cheesecakes in a cupcake tin means you can use a whole, pre-made gingersnap as the crust — no crushing or mixing required. If you happen to have access to a Trader Joe's, I bet their Triple Gingersnaps would be amaaaaazing in this.

Recipe: Mini Gingerbread Cheesecakes | Shop This Recipe 



44. Chicken, Cranberry, and Pear Spinach Salad

Am I daydreaming about what kind of cheese I would most like to crumble on top? Absolutely. (Goat, I think, but bleu is a strong second place.)

Recipe: Chicken, Cranberry, and Pear Spinach Salad | Shop This Recipe 

45. Sausage and Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash

Whether you need a side dish or a main course, these beauties are here for you. They're sweet, savory, and perfectly seasonal.

Recipe: Sausage and Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash | Shop This Recipe 



46. Raspberry Poppyseed Linzer Cookies

The lemon and poppyseeds in this dough are a classic flavor combination in an unexpected form. They play really well with the sweet-tart raspberry jam, for a flavor combination the whole family is sure to love.

Recipe: Raspberry Poppyseed Linzer Cookies | Shop This Recipe 

47. Holiday Seafood Pot

If you're lucky enough to spend the holidays at the beach, you're legally obligated to have a seafood boil at some point. The fresh seafood, potatoes, corn, and sausage are truly the perfect combination here.

Recipe: Holiday Seafood Pot | Shop This Recipe 



48. Fruitcake Cupcake Holiday Wreath

These cute lil' cupcakes can/will totally convert any fruit cake haters for good. They're sweet, fruity, and the glaze keeps them super moist. The wreath arrangement is just the cherry on top.

Recipe: Fruitcake Cupcake Holiday Wreath | Shop This Recipe 

49. Hasselback Butternut Squash

Vegans and omnivores alike will go wild for this dish. The squash soaks up a ton of delicious sauce, and the topping of chives, hazelnuts, and pomegranate seeds is just as stunning to look at as it is delicious to eat.

Recipe: Hasselback Butternut Squash | Shop This Recipe 

50. Chocolate Banana French Toast Breakfast Bake

Talk about a multitasker: This is decadent enough to serve with a scoop of ice cream on Christmas Eve, and still technically breakfast-y enough to have with a cup of coffee on Christmas morning. It's a win-win.

Recipe: Chocolate Banana French Toast Breakfast Bake | Shop This Recipe 

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