skynesher/E+ via Getty Images
The holiday season is a time to gather with family and friends, partake in seasonal activities and, of course, eat your favorite comfort foods. But this time of year is also hectic, which can make planning any holiday meal overwhelming. Luckily, we’re here to help. These are our favorite recipes for Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas and New Year’s.
Southerners are known for having delicious food on their tables, and the holidays are no exception. This appetizer for hominy fritters with homemade bacon thyme dipping sauce is inspired by hush puppies, which are a Southern staple.
Cheese balls are one of those vintage appetizers that no one makes anymore — but should. To make the crowd-pleasing snack, just shape cream cheese, crumbled bacon and shredded cheddar cheese into a ball and serve it with crackers or celery.
This pull apart Christmas tree-shaped bread consists of pizza bites that are made with mozzarella cheese and pepperoni. It’s the perfect snack to make before watching your favorite Christmas movies.
This recipe will give your favorite seafood joint some competition. The unexpected combination of shrimp, hot sauce, cilantro and fried onions is one that will delight and surprise your taste buds.
If you’re looking to finish off a loaf of bread, try making this dijon horseradish roast beef crostini appetizer. Mustard is delicately spread across rye bread and topped with a slice of roast beef, red peppers and parsley.
The best part about this creamy carrot soup is that it’s one of those comfort foods you can make ahead of time and freeze. The bright colors and seasonal flavors are sure to delight all of your guests.
There are plenty of dishes that can be made using apples, but these bourekas are one of the best around. Puff pastry is stuffed with apple filling and baked until golden brown, then the flaky appetizer is topped with a homemade silan sesame drizzle.
Served with a tangy marinade made of ketchup, brown sugar and barbecue sauce, these slow cooker porcupine meatballs are a great recipe for New Year’s Eve or game day potlucks. And don’t worry — this dish is made with ground beef, not porcupine.
Buffalo chicken dip is a necessity when it comes to any large get-together, including on holidays. The delicious dip is loaded with melted cheese, shredded chicken, hot sauce and cream cheese … are you hungry yet?
Cooking bacon in the oven is one of the best methods for cooking the protein. It crisps up perfectly while retaining all of the flavor. For this recipe, start by wrapping the bacon around your Tater Tots, then bake the snack for 20 minutes.
To make this quick appetizer, just spread sour cream and bacon bits over cooked pie crust. It’s one of the easiest refrigerated pie crust recipes that aren't pie.
These pretzel bites with spicy cheddar dip are one of the best foods to bring to any holiday party. The dish will keep your guests satisfied while they wait for the entrees to hit the table.
One way to have your kids help out in the kitchen this holiday season is by letting them assist with the finger foods. For these everything bagel pigs in a blanket, let your little one roll the hot dog into the puff pastry.
Layered with lump crab meat, melted cheese, Old Bay and cream cheese, this hot crab dip is a must-have dish at any holiday gathering. And while it may be tempting to open the oven and see if that cheese has bubbled up, not being patient is one of those bad cooking habits you need to stop.
No holiday appetizer spread would be complete without this lobster and spinach dip. The magnificent starter dish serves up to 16 people and requires just a few ingredients.
This restaurant-worthy dish will really show off your cooking skills this holiday season. Pork chops are crusted with pecans and topped with a colorful and festive apple chutney.
This recipe will give your favorite Italian restaurant a run for its money and is perfect for the Feast of Seven Fishes. Alaskan Pacific cod is dressed up with spicy fennel and tomato sauce, adding some nice heat to an otherwise mild fish.
If you’re hosting an intimate holiday dinner, then pork roast is the ideal protein. It’s sophisticated without being too complicated. Take the dish to the next level by stuffing it with capers and sliced fontina cheese and serving it with one of these incredible salad recipes.
This herbed prime rib, which can serve up to 24 people, is a great dish for large family gatherings.
There are plenty of meals you can make in a slow cooker or Instant Pot, but a slow cooker is best when used to make a tough meat like brisket nice and tender. The meat marinates inside the slow cooker for six hours with onion soup mix, Spanish onions, carrots and button mushrooms.
While holidays are all about tradition, it can be fun to mix things up after a while. Add flare to your family holiday gathering with this teriyaki salmon recipe, which uses Japanese-inspired flavors such as soy sauce and ginger.
If you’re planning to meal prep this holiday season, this recipe for stuffed jumbo pasta shells can easily be made ahead of time and stored in the freezer. This timeless recipe can serve up to 12 people on the big day.
From the stuffed shells to this restaurant-style eggplant parmesan, your holiday table will be full of vegetarian dinner recipes that are easy to make.
If you’re looking for a great way to use chicken this holiday season, then gumbo is the way to go. This recipe uses boudin rice to complement the flavor profile of this comforting dish.
Another way to get creative this holiday season without taking up too much room in the kitchen is by making this jerk chicken and rice. The best part about this flavorful dish is that it’s made using only one pot, so there’s no need to dirty up a bunch of dishes.
Easily made in less than an hour, this fried catfish recipe is a great holiday meal for all seafood lovers. Serve with a side of creamy homemade tartar sauce.
A food that’s said to be good luck on Jan. 1, pork and sauerkraut is a great way to kick off a new year. Just toss the ingredients into your slow cooker and sit back with some Champagne.
Begin the new year with a boost to your immune system by cooking this slow cooker lentil soup. The aroma in your house is sure to make your stomach growl.
A great way to bring a variety of cuisines to your holiday dinner table is by serving this soba noodles recipe. Cod rests on a bed of soba noodles after being cooked in a spicy tomato broth.
If you’re hosting a small holiday party and you really want to impress your guests, this pork tenderloin recipe is the perfect option. Wrapped with sliced apple and served with a flavorful shallot and garlic sauce, this recipe feels like something you’d order at an expensive restaurant.
The holiday season is loaded with all sorts of yummy recipes, but one way to make sure you’re getting in your key immune-boosting foods is by adding kale to the dinner table. This kale and apple salad is mixed with a homemade maple mustard dressing, making it perfect for winter.
The best part about our favorite holiday foods is that most of the recipes work well with the use of common pantry staples and spices. Just look at these green beans, which are seasoned to perfection with dried rosemary and thyme.
Holidays can be stressful at times, but one way to make the season better is by chowing down on some of your favorite foods and sticking to the basics, like garlic mashed potatoes.
Loaded with bacon, cheese and mashed potatoes, this homemade casserole is perfect for holiday potlucks and dinners with the family.
Amplify the flavor of Brussels sprouts by oven roasting them with perfectly crispy bacon.
One of the best holiday side dishes around, these roasted sweet potatoes are drizzled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
A recipe you're likely to find in your grandma’s cookbook, gelegtes kraut is an old-school German recipe made with sauerkraut and ground pork.
There are plenty of ways to work macaroni and cheese into your holiday feast, but this recipe uses cream cheese to give the classic noodle dish a silky texture and casserole-like integrity.
There are plenty of apple varieties to choose from when it comes to holiday cooking and baking, but for this challah stuffing recipe, you’ll want to use apples with a tart bite.
If you’re looking for a way to make your favorite holiday foods slightly healthier, this take on latkes uses cauliflower in place of potatoes. Mixed with bread crumbs, honey and turmeric, this recipe is just one of many trendy ways to elevate cauliflower.
Frying food at home has never been easier than it is with this recipe for salmon stuffed potato pancakes. If you want the dish to be a bit heartier, use up to a fourth-cup of batter and increase the frying time by a few minutes.
Of course there are plenty of soups and stews that you can make in an Instant Pot, but did you know that the kitchen appliance can also make applesauce? This recipe calls for just five ingredients and is ready in 35 minutes.
But, if you’re tired of the same old same old, this latke recipe uses sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes. Serve the side dish with harissa yogurt.
A grocery store item with a long shelf life, black-eyed peas are a common holiday side dish in the South. Cook the beans in your Instant Pot — like this recipe does — to save room on your stovetop and speed up the process.
When you’re doing your annual holiday grocery shopping, don’t forget to pick up collard greens. This recipe keeps the soul food staple simple with bacon, onion and chicken stock.
If you’re a guest during Thanksgiving, make sure you don’t come empty-handed. This recipe for ginger-spiced mashed sweet potatoes is the ideal flavor-packed dish to bring to a holiday feast.
Cornbread is one of those side dishes that every Southerner eats during Christmas. This recipe sticks to traditional techniques and uses pantry staple ingredients like eggs, butter, corn kernels and yellow cornmeal.
This rich and delicate kugel uses the light versions of cottage cheese and sour cream to render a delicious and slightly healthier version of the timeless dish.
This lemon olive oil ice cream is the perfect treat to end your Hanukkah feast and turn lemons into something other than lemonade. The dessert honors olive oil, a celebrated part of Hanukkah.
Sufganiyot, a traditional Jewish dessert, can be filled with custard, lemon curd and more, but in this recipe, the fried doughnuts are filled with jam.
This eggnog cream cheese pie is a no-bake dessert, which is a great option around the holidays if you’re running out of room in your oven.
While molasses isn’t the most creative ingredient to bake into your cookies, it’s a recipe you can’t skip during the holidays. Make sure to nab one of these chewy cookies when they’re fresh out of the oven — they’re sure to be gone in no time.
This pear and cranberry crumble pie is both sweet and tart on your palette. The blend of fruity flavors is cut with the sweetness of brown sugar, cinnamon and allspice, giving it that classic holiday flare.
Pecan pie is elevated by the addition of a rich chocolatey base. This Southern dessert is one of many incredible pies to serve during the holiday season.
Gingerbread cookies are so adorable that sometimes you even feel a little guilty for eating them. When using your cookie cutter, be sure to coat everything in flour. This makes working with the dough easier and is a genius hack that every baker should know.
In this holiday dessert recipe, biscotti — a traditional Italian cookie — is dipped in a milk chocolate hot cocoa glaze and coated with crushed peppermint.
Cinnamon rolls might be one of the most iconic breakfast foods in America, but they’re also a great breakfast or dessert to serve around the holidays.
Laying cookies out for Santa Claus is a tradition for many who celebrate Christmas. Give the big guy in red a delightful surprise this year with these Santa-shaped sugar cookies. Don’t forget to add his whipped cream beard at the end to finish off one of our best cookie recipes ever.
There are plenty of cherry desserts to choose from during the holidays, but this tart cherry cheesecake is one of the best around.
For this peppermint fudge cake, chocolate cake is flavored with crushed peppermint candy and buttercream frosting before being topped with peppermint ganache. It’ll give the best chocolate shop in your state a run for its money.
Hot cocoa muddy buddies is a simple dessert — cereal is coated in milk chocolate and tossed with sugar and hot cocoa mix for fantastical flavors of the winter season.
Made with just three ingredients, this apple twist on a cranberry vodka is the easiest thing you’ll make all holiday season. You just need apple-flavored vodka, cranberry juice and lime juice.
There are plenty of pumpkin cocktail recipes that are great for the holidays, but this take on a white Russian is one of the best. Infused with pumpkin pie spice extract, this is the perfect nightcap after a big dinner.
If you want to sip on a delicious drink during the holiday season but you’re skipping the alcohol this year, mocktail recipes are a great alternative. This recipe for a virgin sparkling sangria is made with a variety of juices, cinnamon sticks, sliced apples and oranges.
Moscow mules are one of the cocktails that never go out of style. This recipe adds a twist to the timeless drink by mixing ginger beer with caramel-flavored vodka and apple cider.
There are plenty of Irish foods you should include on your holiday table this year, but as far as drinks are concerned, Irish coffee is a must. The after-dinner beverage is made with hot coffee, Irish cream and Irish whiskey.
Muddled raspberries give this classy cocktail a beautiful reddish tint, making it perfect to serve around the holidays. Top the fruit with ice, lemon juice, ginger syrup, club soda, bitters and whiskey.
If you don’t want to wait until after dinner to enjoy a cocktail, this ginger highball goes perfectly with dinner. The simple combination of whisky and ginger ale creates an elegant and light holiday drink.
Although there probably won’t be any large New Year celebrations this year, you can still spend the holiday in style with some glamorous cocktails. This Bosc pear fizz cocktail is a light refreshing drink that’s made with gin, pear syrup, lemon juice and club soda.
If you’re not ready to let go of fall when the winter holidays roll around, this cocktail is a great way to hold on to those autumnal flavors. Made with Glendullan, apple cider, lemon juice and cinnamon syrup, this cocktail is rife with the sweet and tart flavors of fall.
While cocktails are a great thing to have at your holiday get-together, nothing gets you all cozy and filled with the holiday spirit quite like a mug of hot cocoa. This recipe uses milk chocolate as well as cocoa powder and milk to get a rich and creamy drink. And if you need something sweet to dunk in the hot chocolate, here are 50 of our best Christmas cookie recipes.
More from The Daily Meal: