Thinking of doing something a little different this year for Thanksgiving or any other holiday? Below you'll find my favorite non-traditional Thanksgiving and winter holiday recipes organized by course. Easy to make, but always elegant on your table. Plenty of vegetarian and gluten-free options as well!
Personally, appetizers are my favorite part of the meal, any time of the year. But certainly around the holidays, I'm always looking forward to the appetizer spread before the main course!
Baked Brie with Fig Jam: Elegant, with a minimum of effort. Brie topped with fig jam, wrapped in puff pastry, and baked! Deliciously melty.
Buffalo Cauliflower Dip with Fresh Herbs: Hot wings flavor in vegetarian form. Cauliflower is roasted, then baked in a creamy hot sauce lightened with fresh herbs. Vegetarian + Gluten-Free
Blue Cheese and Pecan Endive Appetizer: Endive cups stuffed with a mixture of chopped dates, toasted pecans, and blue cheese, then drizzled with balsamic syrup. Delicious and elegant! Vegetarian + Gluten-Free
Holiday Main Courses
There are no turkey recipes here! Get creative and try something new for Thanksgiving dinner this year or as part of your holiday meal planning.
Antipasto Stromboli: Features puff pastry stuffed with your favorite Italian meats, cheeses, and vegetables baked into crispy buttery goodness.
Salmon Wellington: This is a show-stopper of a dish! Salmon fillets topped with creamy spinach and leeks, and wrapped in crispy, buttery puff pastry.
Coq Au Vin Blanc: A classic French dish! Chicken is simmered in white wine with mushrooms, onions, bacon, and herbs until tender and delicious. Gluten-Free
Creamy Spinach Artichoke Pasta: This dish has a fantastic spinach-artichoke sauce, along with sun-dried tomatoes, white beans, and toasted pine nuts. Vegetarian
Sheet Pan Roasted Chicken and Vegetables: This easy sheet pan dinner features roasted chicken, potatoes, carrots, and leeks seasoned with herbs. Bakes in under 30 minutes, and cleanup couldn’t be easier. Gluten-Free
Creamy Parmesan Garlic Mushroom Chicken: This low-carb Creamy Parmesan Garlic Mushroom Chicken dish features chicken in a creamy sauce loaded with mushrooms, garlic, spinach, and sundried tomatoes. Gluten-Free
Spicy Scallop Scampi: An impressive dish that comes together in under 20 minutes. Seared scallops topped in a garlic, lemon, white wine, and butter sauce! Gluten-Free
Holiday sides are one of my other favorite parts of a good holiday meal. Here's your chance to load up on vegetables and try some fun recipes you don't make every day.
Kale Salad with Cranberries: Chopped kale in a red wine vinaigrette tossed with dried cranberries, toasted hazelnuts, and creamy goat cheese. Vegetarian + Gluten-Free
Cauliflower Stuffing with Sausage and Pecans: A low-carb, gluten-free alternative to traditional stuffing. Packed with sausage, cauliflower, onions, celery, and pecans! Gluten-Free
Green Beans Almondine with Pomegranate Seeds: A traditional French dish of green beans served with a buttery almond topping. Pomegranate seeds take it over the top! Vegetarian + Gluten-Free
Sweet Potato Au Gratin with Blue Cheese: Just 5 ingredients: sliced sweet potatoes, creamy blue cheese, olive oil, cream, and pistachios for crunch! Vegetarian + Gluten-Free
Smashed Brussels Sprouts with Parmesan: A great way to embrace Brussels sprouts. Tossed with parmesan, garlic, and salt, they're crispy, tender, and delicious! Vegetarian + Gluten-Free
Pear Gorgonzola Salad with Glazed Walnuts: Arugula and radicchio tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette and topped with creamy Gorgonzola, pears, and glazed walnuts. Vegetarian + Gluten-Free
Since we're going non-traditional this year, we're not talking about pie. How about instead one of these small-ish cakes that need only a dusting of powdered sugar and maybe some fresh berries to serve? Or whipped cream, to take up the decadence factor?
French Yogurt Cake with Almonds: Easy recipe that delivers great flavor and excellent texture. Vegetarian
Easy Lemon Ricotta Cake: Features fresh lemon juice, ricotta cheese, almond flour, and olive oil. Super moist, lemony, and delicious! Vegetarian
Almond Flour Chocolate Cake: This cake has a fudgy texture and is packed with chocolate flavor. Almond flour adds mild nuttiness. Vegetarian + Gluten-Free
Christmas Puppy Chow: This one may not be elegant, but it sure is fun!
Let's not forget the holiday cocktails! Holidays are a great occasion to try a new drink, whether you're making it just for you or for a crowd. Here are a few favorites.
Cranberry Mimosa: The perfect winter cocktail, featuring sweet/tart cranberry syrup topped with sparkling wine and sugared cranberries for peak festive.
Vin Chaud: Mulled wine, is a cozy drink for the holidays. Red wine sweetened lightly with brown sugar and spiced with citrus, cinnamon, and ginger.
Hanky Panky Cocktail: This drink was invented by Ada Coleman in the early 1900s and features gin, sweet vermouth, and fernet branca. The perfect mix of sweet and bitter!
Hope you have enjoyed this list of non-traditional holiday dinner recipes. Leave a comment below and let me know what you tried! I read them all, and your feedback is invaluable to me. And please follow along on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook or subscribe to my newsletter. I'd love to inspire you with more delicious, healthy, and seasonal recipes!
Heidi | The Frugal Girls says
I really like how you taken traditional elements and given them a fun new twist. Your kale salad with cranberries is so tasty fun!
Chef Molly says
Thanks Heidi! And the green kale and red cranberries are so pretty on a holiday table!
This is such a great line up of dishes and drinks, Molly! I honestly love all of them - starting with that gorgeous looking baked brie, yum! Next time you're throwing a party, I'd love to be invited.
Chef Molly says
Ha! You're in, Katerina, the next time you visit France! 🙂