Simple Recipes for Holiday Gatherings

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Whether you’re looking to expand your list of go-to recipes to bring to a holiday potluck, or seeking something simple, fast and cheap to make, these recipes are sure to be a hit.

Whenever we gather with family and friends around the holidays, there is almost always food, and our conversations tend to migrate to the kitchen. We associate the holidays with food, both for the good memories gathered around the kitchen or a dining table, and the notorious overindulgence in sweets.

Holiday potlucks can have a wide variety of foods, so be sure to fill your plate with nutritious options. MyPlate offers these tips for a holiday plate makeover:

  • Tweak the sweets – Fruits make delicious desserts.
  • Cheers to good health – Drink water to manage calories.
  • Bake healthier – Use recipes with pureed fruits instead of butter or oil.
  • Spice it up – Use spices and herbs instead of sugar and salt.
  • Brighten your meal – Fill half your place with fruits and vegetables.
  • Skim the fat – Try skim evaporated milk instead of heavy cream.
  • Swap the grains – Choose whole wheat flour instead of white flour.
  • Go easy on the gravy – A little bit of gravy goes a long way.

If you want to contribute a quick, easy side to an upcoming holiday gathering, consider Black Bean Salsa or Pumpkin Spice Greek Yogurt Dip. Both recipes take only five minutes to whip together, and they will add some color and fruits and vegetables to your holiday spread.

Black Bean Salsa with Chips

Black Bean Salsa

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Servings: 4


  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup corn
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, or 2 fresh tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp lime juice


Begin by washing hands with soap and water.

In a large bowl, gently mix together beans, corn, tomatoes and onions.

Add lime juice and oil. Stir to coat. Season with pepper if needed.

Serve immediately, or set aside for 30 minutes for flavors to intensify.

Source: I Love Vegetables

Pumpkin Spice Yogurt Dip

Pumpkin Spice Greek Yogurt Dip

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Servings: 4


  • 2 cups vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Apple slices, graham crackers or pretzels for dipping


Begin by washing hands with soap and water.

Place all ingredients into a bowl.

Stir ingredients to combine.

Pour into a dish and serve.

Try this recipe with sliced fruit, pretzels or graham crackers. Enjoy as a spread on toast, with banana for a yogurt parfait, or add a dollop onto oatmeal.

Source: The Lemon Bowl

If your holiday gatherings will include a loved one with dementia or an older adult who has difficulty eating, check out our free e-book, Secrets to Making Mealtimes Easier.

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