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Menu Ideas for Special Holiday Meals

Updated on March 12, 2011

Will you be hosting a holiday meal at your home this year? Whether you're cooking for your immediate family or a large group of friends or relatives, it's only natural to want any holiday meal occasion that you host to be memorable.

When planning the menu for a holiday dinner or party, it's a good idea to include some tried and true favorites as well as a few unique dishes. By seeking out new recipes to serve with the traditional dishes that people expect on holiday occasions you're sure to create a few new holiday traditions of your own!

Try a few of these interesting recipe ideas to serve instead of – or along with – traditional holiday dishes like turkey, ham, cranberry sauce, and green bean casseroles!

Salad and Appetizer Recipes

Cold Salad Recipes -- Prepare a few tasty cold salads that can safely be served buffet style. A few of the best options include Broccoli & Bleu Cheese Salad, Traditional Ambrosia, and Cucumber & Onion Salad. You'll find preparation instructions for these – and other cold salads – in this hub.

Pickled Vegetables -- Pickled carrots and pickled squash are a great addition to a family holiday spread, and can be enjoyed as appetizers or side dishes.

Gelatin Salad Recipes -- Create tasty gelatin salads like the ones you probably enjoyed at special family meals when you were a child.

Main Dish Menu Ideas

Cornish Game Hens -- If you want to create an elegant holiday meal occasion, continue preparing Cornish game hens as your main course.

Spicy Boiled Shrimp -- Jazz up your holiday meal with seasoned shrimp served hot or cold.

Seafood Gumbo Recipe -- Start your own tradition – one shared by many Southern families – by preparing a huge pot of homemade seafood gumbo to serve on holiday meal occasions.

Holiday Side Dish Suggestions

Acorn and Butternut Squash Recipe -- A colorful and delicious winter squash casseroles are a perfect complement for cold weather holiday meals.

Cabbage and Cheese Casserole -- A tasty cabbage and cheese casserole is a great side dish for any special occasion meal.

Italian Eggplant -- Prepare this simple and elegant Italian eggplant recipes to lend an international flair to your next holiday gathering.

Potato Casserole Recipes -- No holiday meal occasion is complete without at least one potato dish.

Delicious & Unexpected Dessert Options

Mango Dessert Recipes -- A delicious tropical fruit salad or homemade mango sorbet can be the perfect refreshing dessert for the end of a holiday meal.

Peach Gelato Recipe -- Try your hand at making this easy, no cooking required recipe for homemade peach Gelato for a fresh and fruity dessert perfect for any special occasion.


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  • sunnymarie profile image

    sunnymarie 7 years ago

    Great info! Thanks for sharing