15 Minimalist Recipes for a Healthier Holiday Season

on November 30, 2015


Simplify, Simplify, Simplify

With the hustle of the holidays officially in full swing, the last thing you want on your plate is a list of tricky recipes calling for a long list of complicated ingredients you can't even begin to pronounce. Fear not. These 15 festive recipes feature simplified ingredient lists for a healthier holiday season.

How Sweet Eats

Spicy Acorn Squash with Feta

This recipe couldn't be easier: slather acorn squash with a sweet chili glaze, roast, and garnish with crumbled feta cheese and herbs.

Get the Recipe: Spicy Roasted Squash with Feta and Herbs

Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

Cinnamon Sugar Almonds

Candied nuts are a favorite around the holiday season, but the store-bought stuff is often loaded sugar and preservatives. Make your own lightened-up version at home for a delectable party nibble or holiday gift.

Get the Recipe: Cinnamon Sugar Almonds

Damn Delicious

Cinnamon Pecan Butternut Squash

Butternut squash is a natural pairing for candied pecans. Sweetened with maple syrup and garnished with fresh rosemary, squash has never looked better.

Get the Recipe: Cinnamon Pecan Butternut Squash


Creamy Cauliflower Soup

A simple cauliflower puree is responsible for this soup's creamy base. Topped with crisp onions and served alongside warm bread, it's the ideal dish to cozy up with.

Get the Recipe: Cauliflower Cream Soup

Minimalist Baker

Vegan Mashed Potatoes

Turns out, it's TOTALLY possible to make creamy and fluffy mashed potatoes without all that dairy. Garlic and chives take this side dish to the next level.

Get the Recipe: Vegan Mashed Potatoes

A Family Feast

Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

Seasoned with olive oil and freshly ground black pepper, this effortless side dish is an ideal pairing for any of your favorite fall or winter dishes.

Get the Recipe: Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

Cupcakes OMG

Paleo Sweet Potato Casserole

Lighten up on the calories in this traditional casserole by using coconut milk and oil instead of heavy cream. Good news: the crunchy pecan topping is still as delicious as ever!

Get the Recipe: Paleo Sweet Potato Casserole

RecipeTin Eats

Classic Pumpkin Soup

Enjoy this thick and creamy spiced soup with just a handful of key ingredients. Simmer until tender, and blend for a hearty cold weather companion.

Get the Recipe: Classic Pumpkin Soup

The Fit Cookie

Healthy Holiday Cookie

Bring a batch of these to your next cookie swap or event for guilt-free indulgence. These cookies are no-bake, and they're chock full of healthy grains, nuts and dried fruit.

Get the Recipe: No-Bake Trail Mix Cookies

Nosh My Way

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast

The secret to ultra-juicy turkey breast without the fuss? Throw it in the slow cooker. This recipe calls for only five ingredients and minimal prep time.

Get the Recipe: Five-Ingredient Slow Cooker Turkey Breast

Turnip The Oven

Simple Spiced Pear Bellini

Up your cocktail game with this crisp, bubbly bellini-it's perfect for a holiday cocktail party or weekend brunch.

Get the Recipe: Five Ingredient Spiced Pear Bellini

Collegiate Vegan

Mulled Wine

Mulled wine is a warm favorite this time of year. Add apple cider, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and oranges to your favorite red wine for this festive sip to see you through the entire season.

Get the Recipe: Mulled Spiced Wine

Two Peas and Their Pod

Baked Brie with Apples and Salted Caramel

Apples and cheese were meant to be, and never have they come together so beautifully. Creamy brie is baked in the oven until gooey and topped with sautu00e9ed apples and salted caramel sauce. This appetizer would be perfect for a holiday party (but be warned-it won't last long).

Get the Recipe: Baked Brie with Apples

Blissful Basil

Pumpkin Pie Fudge

Enjoy the sweetness of pumpkin pie wherever you go! This fudge is made healthier with coconut and almond butter, and it's sweetened with natural maple syrup. So good, you won't want to share.

Get the Recipe: Pumpkin Pie Fudge

The Love Nerds

Apple Rose Pastries

These breathtaking desserts are much easier to make than they look (don't worry, no one will know). These babies call for pre-made puff pastry, so that added "wow" factor won't cost you much in prep time.

Get the Recipe: Apple Rose Pastries