Blog, Recipes

Our Favorite Holiday Recipes

By: Amanda Magnus

When the holidays roll around it is full of endless parties and gatherings to attend it seems. It’s fun to be able to get together with family and friends. But it can be hard to come up with what food to bring to these gatherings. Whether it’s an appetizer, a side dish or a dessert we have you covered!


There are two appetizers that are my favorite and my go-to options to bring to parties and gatherings. The first is beer cheese dip. This is a super simple recipe but so delicious. It is very addictive though and hard to stop snacking on once you stop! All you need is 2 blocks of cream cheese, 2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar, a packet of ranch dressing seasoning and some beer. You dump your cream cheese, ranch packet and beer in a bowl and mix with a hand mixer. You can mix by hand but it will take a bit more work. As far as how much beer I just pour until the consistency is getting almost brownie batter consistency. Then I stir in the cheese. Put in the fridge to set up for an hour and you’re ready to go. Just bring some pretzels to dip and you’re set!

Picture courtesy of

The second appetizer that is always a hit are BBQ little smokies. This is also super easy to make. You just need to be able to have a crock pot and a place you can plug it in to keep them warm. I usually just double this recipe right away but if you aren’t doubling all you need is 2 packages (14oz each) little smokies, 16oz BBQ and 16oz grape jelly. The first time I tried this, I wasn’t sure about the grape jelly…but trust me – it’s so good mixed with the BBQ. Put everything in your crockpot and stir it up. Once things start to get warm, the jelly will melt into the BBQ and be easier to mix. And that’s all you have to do!

Side Dish

My favorite side dish is green bean casserole! I usually put green beans in whatever I can. And as I’m typing this I wonder if doing a tater tot green bean casserole would be good? Well okay, I’m sure it would be good…you can’t go wrong with tots and green bean casserole! I may have to give this a try and let you know how it turns out. 🙂 Okay, back to the casserole. What you’ll need is 2 cans of green beans, 1 can cream of mushroom or cream of celery soup (I’ve tried both and either will work), 2/3 cup milk and salt and pepper to taste. You’ll also want crispy fried onions to top it with. Preheat your oven to 350. Mix all of the ingredients, except the fried onions, together and put into a 2 quart oven safe dish. Bake for 30 minutes, top with desired amount of fried onions and put back in the oven for 5 more minutes. Take out of oven and enjoy! You can also add other seasonings to this dish like garlic and onion powder too. Feel free to experiment!


Desserts can be hard to come up with something good to bring. I used to try and find these fancy looking, complicated recipes. But, they never quite were as amazing as I had hoped. But you know what doesn’t disappoint? A pan of brownies! And honestly I often opt for a pan of brownies.

I think brownies are always good! And to make them look a little fancy I’ll sprinkle them with some powdered sugar. For the holiday season sprinkling with some crushed up candy canes is a great idea too! Brownies are easy to dump in some add ins. Caramel, nuts, chocolate chips, and peanut butter chips are all great ways to dress up your brownies!

Photo by Sarah Pflug

In Review

So as you can see, you don’t have to spend hours slaving away in the kitchen to come up with some great food to bring to your holiday parties this year. Often times the simplest recipes are some of the tastiest. Hopefully these ideas will give you some new ideas or inspiration for all of your food needs this holiday season!

Tell us what is your favorite dish to bring to pass at gatherings? Do you make the same thing or switch it up? Do you prefer to bring something sweet or savory?

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