A holiday gathering will always begin with great food. When hosting a holiday gathering, it is always attractive to explore new, complex recipes to take your seasonal celebrations to the next level. Yet, with the right ingredients, simple recipes can become just as impressive.
Choosing simple holiday recipes will have you spending less time in the kitchen and more time with family and friends, celebrating and creating special memories. Use of premium ingredients in everything from soups to main dishes and desserts can create rich, flavorful works of culinary art.
If you’re short on time this busy season, check out these awesome holiday recipes for creating an easy Christmas menu.
Balsamic Minestrone Soup
Made with zucchini, spinach leaves, kidney beans, vegetable broth and vinegar with caramelized onions sauce, this soup is as healthy as it is delicious.
- 2 tablespoons Bertolli® Mild Olive Oil
- 1 large onion, chopped (about 1-½ cups)
- 2 large carrots, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 jar (24 ounces) Bertolli® Traditional Marinara with Italian Herbs & Fresh Garlic Sauce
- 5 cups vegetable broth
- 1 medium zucchini, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 2 cups lightly packed baby spinach leaves, chopped
- 1 can (15.5 ounces) low-sodium red kidney beans, rinsed
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 cups cooked ditalini pasta
- Heat oil in large saucepan on medium-high heat. Add onions and carrots; cook 5 min. or until tender. Stir in sauce, broth, zucchini, spinach and beans. Bring to boil; cover. Cook on medium-low heat 10 min.
- Stir in cheese and pasta. Cook 5 min. or until heated through. Serve with additional Parmesan and a dollop of pesto, if desired.
Focaccia, Cranberry and Sage Stuffing
Put a different spin on your stuffing recipe and delight your family with something new.
- 1 loaf Focaccia bread, cut into cubes
- ¼ cup Bertolli® Mild Olive Oil
- 1 large onion diced
- 4 ribs celery chopped
- 3 Fuji apples, cored and chopped
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 4 large eggs
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- ¼ cup fresh sage leaves, chopped
- 2 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
- Bertolli® Extra Light Tasting Olive Oil Spray
- Preheat oven to 300°
- Place cubed focaccia bread on a baking sheet and dry bread in oven 15-20 minutes, taking care not to brown.
- Just enough to dry the bread, but not toast it. Set aside and turn oven up to 350°.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add celery and apple and sautÃ© until celery starts to soften. Add the onion and cranberries and saute until all vegetables are soft but not browned.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and broth. In a larger bowl combine the bread cubes and the apple mixture. Add the fresh sage, salt and pepper. Adjust seasoning at this stage before pouring in the egg mixture. Pour the liquid mixture over the bread mixture and toss until well coated.
- Pour stuffing into a 9 x 13 pan lightly coated with olive oil spray. Bake covered for about 30 minutes. Uncover and bake another 15 minutes or until top is browned.
Cranberry Riesling Brined Turkey
Take your turkey to the next level with this seasonal brine made with sweet Riesling, garlic cloves, thyme, fresh cranberries and pure olive oil.
- 1 quart water
- 6 bay leaves
- 2 Tbsp whole black peppercorns
- 1 Tbsp mustard seeds
- 1 ½ cups kosher salt
- 1 750ml bottle Riesling wine
- 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
- 8 cloves, garlic crushed but left in the skins
- 1 bunch (a good handful) fresh thyme
- 2 cups fresh cranberries, slightly crushed enough to cover turkey ice water
- 16-pound turkey, giblet package and neck removed
- ½ cup Bertolli® Mild Olive Oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Bring first 4 ingredients to a boil. Stir until salt is dissolved. Cool to room temperature.
- Pour the brine into a 5-gallon stock pot or container.
- Pour in the bottle of wine, then add one shallot, garlic, thyme (reserve some thyme for stuffing turkey), and 1 cup of the cranberries. Slowly lower in the turkey.
- Pour enough ice water into the pot to cover the turkey. Place lid on the pot and refrigerate for at least 24 hours.
- Heat oven to 500°. Remove the turkey from the brine, pat dry, and stuff with reserved shallot, thyme and cranberries.
- Place turkey in roasting pan. Generously massage Bertolli® Olive Oil into skin of turkey.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Use kitchen twine to tie the legs together so turkey will keep its shape.
- Place in roasting pan and roast at 500° for 20 minutes. Lightly brush skin again with olive oil, reduce heat to 350° and roast until internal temp reaches 155-160° with a meat thermometer.
- Once turkey is removed from the oven, allow it to rest for 30 minutes loosely covered with foil before carving.
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