Top 15 Recipes to Get Through the Stressful Holiday Season

During this time of year meal-planning can be a real pain. Everybody is busy preparing for the holidays and all that decorating, shopping, cleaning, baking and planning uses up most of your free time, and then you still have to cook. So here is a list of recipes that are delicious yet quick and easy to make. Whether you only have 30 minutes, one-pot or one day, it is still possible to make a delicious dinner.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, says a song and no one else. When you really think about it the holiday season it is the most stressful time of all. That to-do list, that was way too long with chores to begin with, has multiplied and so have the people around you. Wherever you go it is jam-packed with people browsing for gifts or stocking up non-perishable groceries as if the world was ending tomorrow. There will still be pasta and chocolate in stores tomorrow. Then once you get home you still have a million things on your plate one of which is a necessary evil: dinner. You might leave laundry for another day, unfortunately it won’t go anywhere, but you have to eat, preferably not fast food, every day. This inspired me to compile this list of recipes to help make your life a little easier this holiday season, as we probably all need it. Some of these recipes are ready in thirty minutes or less, others might take a little longer but only require one pot and very little intervention. The ones that I called Make-Ahead Recipes for Days you make a ragout of sorts, that keeps a few days, which you can then serve with various sides on different days. This way you can still enjoy a homecooked meal with varying degrees of effort, just do whatever sounds good and you have time for.

30 Minutes or Less

Start to finish these recipes require only 30 minutes and very little effort. This way you can enjoy a freshly cooked meal even in a time crunch.

Garlic Lemon Spinach Spaghetti

Spicy Mushroom Spaghetti

Greek Gyro Filled Flatbread

Express Chinese-Style Stir-Fry

Beef and Broccoli Noodles Vegan Style

Veggie Tortilla Wrap

Vegan Rice Cauliflower Bowl

Zucchini Rice Bowl

One-Pot Recipes

One-Pot recipes are often quite quickly made but most importantly do they eliminate the need to clean every dish in the kitchen. You’ll have to do enough dishes at Christmas.

Cabanossi One Pot Pasta (vegetarian/vegan alternative)

Spicy Western One-Pot Rice

Garbanzo and Spinach Bowl

Greek Gyro Rice Skillet

Make Ahead Recipes for Days

Any of these recipes can be cooked once and the leftovers keep well in the fridge or freezer for another busy day. Just make a different side, or the same side, on the day you want to serve it.

Thai-Style Red Curry

Pisto – A More or Less Traditional Spanish Ratatouille

Spicy Kebab Pan

Mild Chicken/Turkey Gulash

Spicy Chicken/Turkey Gulash

Spaghetti Bolognese – One “Classic” Recipe with Three Variations (Classic, Turkey and Vegan Mushroom)

There you have a list of fifteen (technically more than fifteen due to different variations to give you options) recipes that are quick to make, easy to prepare ahead or require less clean up after. Obviously you don’t have to use my recipes but they might serve you as an inspiration. When it gets this busy around the holidays it is very easy to run out of ideas what to cook or out of time. I certainly needed this list because I have been eating sauerkraut for the past three days. No variation, just the same dish of sauerkraut and potatoes. I will certainly be cooking many of these recipes in the next few weeks of holiday stress. What are your favourite recipes to make this time of year? I am always up for a little variety in my meal plan. I hope you have a wonderful, stressfree day!

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