Top Nine Lesser Known Festive Recipes That Will Become New Favourites

Everyone knows the festive favourites; turkey, pigs in blankets, sprouts, cranberry sauce, etc. If you feel like having something a little different in the festive season, then here are the top nine lesser known festive recipes that are sure to become new family favourites.

Image Credit

1. Holiday Lettuce Salad

The holidays aren’t just all about meat. This great holiday salad is sure to please the crowd and makes for a wonderful vegetarian alternative.

Ingredients

  • 10 cups of torn romaine lettuce
  • 2 medium red apples, cubed
  • 1 cup of shredded swiss cheese
  • 2 medium pears, cubed
  • Half a cup of dried cranberries
  • 6 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons of light corn syrup
  • 3 tablespoons of canola oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of grated onion
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup of chopped cashews
  • ½ teaspoon of salt

Instructions

  1. Combine the first five ingredients in a salad bowl
  2. Use a small bowl to whisk together the lemon juice, corn syrup, oil, onion, salt, and mustard for dressing
  3. Pour the dressing over the romaine mixture and toss
  4. Sprinkle with cashews

Image Credit

2. Christmas Tortellini and Spinach Soup

The wonderful red and green colours of this soup give it that ultimate festive feel.

Ingredients

  • 2 cans of vegetable broth
  • 1 9-ounce package of refrigerated cheese tortellini
  • 1 15-ounce can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can of diced Italian tomatoes, undrained
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon of pepper
  • 3 tablespoons of fresh basil
  • 3 cups of fresh baby spinach
  • ¼ cup of shredded Asiago cheese

Instructions

  1. Bring the broth to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the tortellini and reduce heat
  2. Simmer, uncovered, for five minutes
  3. Stir the beans, tomatoes, salt, and pepper into the pan and return to a simmer
  4. Cook for another 4-5 minutes until the tortellini is tender
  5. Stir in the basil and spinach and cook until the spinach wilts
  6. Serve topped with cheese

Image Credit

3. Merry Berry Salad

This green salad looks so appetizing thanks to the cranberries, apples, and almonds.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium green apple, diced
  • 1 medium red apple, diced
  • ½ cup of dried cranberries
  • ½ cup of toasted slivered almonds
  • 1 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese

For the dressing:

  • ½ cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of fresh cranberries
  • ½ cup of cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup of thawed apple juice concentrate
  • 1 teaspoon of ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of grated onion
  • 1 cup of canola oil

Instructions:

  1. Combine the main six ingredients. Make the dressing by pulsing the other seven ingredients in a blender until properly mixed. Add oil steadily during processing. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.

Image Credit

4. Eggnog Sweet Potato Bake

Eggnog is for more than just drinking, as this eggnog sweet potato bake recipe shows.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup of eggnog
  • 3 ½ pounds of sweet potatoes
  • ½ cup of golden raisins
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar

For the topping:

  • ¼ cup of quick-cooking oats
  • ¼ cup of all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup of packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup of chopped pecans
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons of butter, melted

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Scrub the sweet potatoes and pierce them with a fork several times. Place them on a foil lined baking pan and bake for an hour until tender.
  2. Remove the potatoes from the oven and turn the oven down to 350.
  3. Remove the peels from the potatoes when they are cool enough. Mash them in a bowl and stir in the raisins, eggnog, salt, and sugar. Transfer the mixture to a greased baking dish.
  4. To make the topping, combine the flour, brown sugar, oats, pecans, and spices together in a small bowl and stir in the butter. Sprinkle the topping over the sweet potatoes and bake for 30-35 minutes or until everything is heated through and the topping is lightly browned.

Image Credit

5. Crown Roast with Apricot Dressing

The apricot dressing in this recipe instantly takes any crown roast to the next level.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pork crown roast
  • 1/3 cup of apricot preserves
  • ½ teaspoon of seasoned salt

For the apricot dressing:

  • 1 cup of sliced fresh mushrooms
  • ¼ cup of butter, cubed
  • 1 finely chopped medium onion
  • 1 finely chopped celery rib
  • 1 cup of chopped dried apricots
  • ½ teaspoon of dried savory
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon of pepper
  • 3 cups of soft bread crumbs

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the roast in a shallow roasting pan and put on a rack. Sprinkle it with seasoned salt and bake for an hour.
  2. Brush the roast with the preserves and bake for another 1 or 2, until the thermometer reads 145 degrees.
  3. Transfer the roast to a serving platter and leave for 20 minutes before carving
  4. Make the dressing by beating the butter over a medium-high heat in a skillet. Add the onions, celery, and mushrooms and stir for 8 minutes until tender. Stir in the apricots and the seasonings and add the breadcrumbs. Toss to coat. Transfer the mixture to a greased square baking dish and bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned.
  5. Carve the roast between the ribs and serve with the dressing.

Image Credit

6. Roasted Acorn Squash and Brussel Sprouts

This simple recipe can be completed in just a few steps for a brilliant tasting squash with Brussel sprouts.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium acorn squash
  • 1 pound of fresh Brussels sprouts
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon of pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 ¾ cups of pecan halves
  • ¼ cup of maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons of butter

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut the squash into quarters lengthwise, discarding the seeds. Cut the quarters in half crosswise and discard the ends. Trim and halve the Brussels sprouts.
  2. Place the squash and sprouts together in a large bowl. Drizzle them with oil and sprinkle them with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Transfer them to two foil-lined baking pans and roast for half an hour or until the vegetables are tender, making sure to stir occasionally.
  3. While that’s cooking, toast the pecans over a medium heat in a skillet for 6-8 minutes until light browned, stirring regularly. Add the syrup and butter and cook and stir until the butter has melted.
  4. Sprinkle the vegetables with the pecan mixture and gently toss to combine everything

Image Credit

7. Holiday Brussels Sprouts

Take Brussels sprouts to the next level with this simple recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 package of Brussels sprouts
  • 1 package of frozen peas
  • 2 chopped celery ribs
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 cooked and crumbled bacon strips
  • 2 tablespoons of minced fresh chives

Instructions:

  1. Cook the sprouts and peas according to directions and drain
  2. Heat the butter in a large skillet on a medium heat. Add the celery and cook and stir until tender. Add the sprouts, peas, bacon, and chives, and toss to combine.

Image Credit

8. Christmas Day Chicken

Chicken is a great alternative to turkey. This recipe is more convenient because you can leave the chicken in the fridge overnight, cutting down how much work you need to do on the big day.

Ingredients:

  • 16 boneless and skinless chicken breast halves
  • 2 cups of sour cream
  • 4 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup of lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons of pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of seasoned salt
  • 2 teaspoons of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic salt
  • ½ cup of canola oil
  • 1 – 2 cups of crushed butter-flavoured crackers
  • ½ cup of melted butter

Instructions

  1. Place the chicken in two resealable plastic bags. Combine the sour cream, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and seasonings in a bowl. Pour the mixture over the chicken, seal the bags, and toss to coat. Store overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. Drain and discard the marinade. Coat the chicken with cracker crumbs and place in two greased baking dishes
  3. Combine the oil and butter and drizzle over the chicken. Bake for 50-60 minutes at 350 degrees until the juices run clear.

Image Credit

9. Pomegranate-Hazelnut Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Here’s one last way to spice up Brussels sprouts and get everyone, even kids, to eat them.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds of trimmed and halved Brussels sprouts
  • ¼ cup of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of coarsely ground pepper
  • 1 – ½ teaspoons of kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons of cubed butter
  • 2/3 cup of toasted chopped hazelnuts
  • 1 tablespoon of grated orange zest
  • ½ cup of pomegranate seeds

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the Brussels sprouts in a baking pan lined with foil. Drizzle them with oil and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Toss the sprouts to coat them. Roast for 20 minutes until tender, stirring occasionally. Remove the sprouts from the oven.
  2. While they are cooking, use a small heavy saucepan to melt the butter over a medium heat. Heat for five minutes or until golden brown, stirring constantly. Remove the butter from the heat and drizzle it over the sprouts. Add the hazelnuts and orange zest and toss to coat. Transfer the sprouts to a serving bowl and sprinkle them with the pomegranate seeds before serving.

Give these recipes a go this festive season and give your family new festive favourites!

Featured Image Credit