Everything You Need For Holiday Entertaining

Well... it's that time of year again... the season of holidays, house guests, festive food, big meals, and lots of (pleasurable!) work in the kitchen. But don't worry, I have you covered! I've put together an awesome round-up of all sorts of late-fall and holiday fare to see you through until the New Year.


Although this round-up isn't Thanksgiving-specific, it's a bit Thanksgiving-leaning. However, I think all these dishes fall into the overall "holiday" realm and can easily work for anything from a fall harvest dinner to Thanksgiving to Christmas to Solstice, or whatever else you want to celebrate this time of year. I've even included some breakfasts for festive mornings (and needy house guests).

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Breakfast
Start things off right with this Breakfast Stuffed Delicata Squash! It's really unique and uses my absolute favorite little winter squash. How cute are they?? Scale up the recipe for however many people you'll have, or assemble a build-your-own bar if you have a crowd.


Or if you're ready to start in early on pie, I absolutely adore these nourishing Apple Pie Breakfast Parfaits. They're easy to make in advance, which is a great option if you have guests staying over. They can double as a healthy dessert or light lunch too!

Whether it's for breakfast, snacks, or just general nibbling, this Apple Cider Donut Oat Flour Cake will definitely be a hit. It's loaded with good-for-the-body ingredients like oats, almond butter, and apples, and is decorated to look like donuts! This is a great make-ahead option and will make your house smell heavenly while it bakes.


Finally, let's not forget the granola! I have both a Pumpkin Pie Granola and an Apple Pie Granola on the blog. You could make either of these weeks in advance, store it in the freezer, and have healthy breakfast or snack options on-hand whenever the need arises. Both get their sweetness and crispness from fruit rather than sugar and oil, so they're very nourishing options.


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Cocktails
I'm a very firm believer that any festive occasion needs a signature cocktail. It makes the meal so memorable and gives people something to savor as soon as they arrive. My greatest love?? This Spiced Pomegranate Daiquiri! It's beautiful, easy to make in a big batch, and loaded with classic Thanksgiving flavors.

You also can't go wrong with this Thanksgiving Eve Ginger Rum Fizz, which I designed specifically with Thanksgiving dishes in mind. Its layers, garnishes, and cinnamon-sugar rum are sure to bring a festive vibe to your gathering. I promise it's easier than it looks!

If you'd rather go with some less-traditional autumnal flavors, I absolutely adore this Rosemary Fig Old Fashioned. It's a bit sweet, a bit earthy, a bit herbaceous, and a total show-stopper. This is a great option if you'll be hosting some bourbon lovers!


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Nibbles
No get-together is complete without some nibbles to start things off! Over the holidays, I like to serve appetizers that feature seasonal ingredients like these Sweet and Salty Stuffed Figs. As an added benefit, they can be made ahead and won't fill people up too much. Check out the post for a bunch of different flavor variations!


You can never go wrong with nuts either. They're protein-rich, totally wonderful, great for easy and neat nibbling, and if you make extra you can send home some goodie bags with guests. These Maple Rosemary Cayenne Roasted Nuts are my absolute favorite and have such a unique flavor profile.

Looking for some dips to go with chips or veggies? This Spicy Ginger Sweet Potato Dip is totally on-theme and really customizable. Make it ahead of time and just garnish it right before serving. This dip, alongside some carrot slices and root veggie chips, would be so seasonally-appropriate.


Or if you're more of a hummus lover, this Carrot Dijon Hummus would go great with holiday flavors. It packs a protein punch too, so it would be a great addition to a meal that's otherwise lacking in plant-based protein sources. It would work great with pumpkin or squash in place of carrots too.


If you want a hot appetizer, these Kabocha Squash Dippers are a blast! They take some time to roast but are largely hands-off, and you can serve them with whatever dipping sauce(s) you love best. A maple mustard sauce or even cranberry sauce would be such a lovely, seasonal accompaniment. These blur the lines between appetizer and main course, and could certainly function as the latter depending on what else you're planning.


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Salads
In my opinion, giant, seasonal salads are the absolute best part of a holiday meal! I always contribute a huge salad for Thanksgiving and get so excited about it. I love this Apple Cider Harvest Salad, which is a total show-stopper and could even function as a centerpiece.


My other big, green, fresh favorite? This California Harvest Salad! It's a bit less traditional with the avocado, but is so incredibly beautiful. Is this a stunner, or what?? I really think that a big salad is so important for balance, so don't forget to include one in your menu.

Another salad centerpiece option is this Wild Rice Salad with Red Fruits. It's a bit more involved in terms of the preparation, but is so incredibly lovely. It's even hearty enough to function as a main course for herbivores. My love of this salad is immense! Change up the fruit based on what's in season during your meal.


Looking for something a bit less traditional? I think this Roasted Brussel Sprout Waldorf Salad is a blast and it has some major comfort food vibes. This is another one that could easily function as a main course. Serve it cold as a salad, or warm as a veggie-filled side dish.


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Hot Dishes
I don't generally tend to think of things as "main courses" and "sides" (sorry if that's confusing, but I think a lot of veggie lovers approach food that way). Rather, I tend to think of things more as hot or cold. And nothing is more hot or comforting than my Creamy Vegan Kabocha Squash Soup! This would make a great addition or central focus of a holiday meal, and can be prepped completely in advance. See the blog post for loads of fun topping ideas!

Does your green bean game need an update?? I really don't get excited about heavy, creamy green bean casseroles. But fresh, snappy beans are totally my jam! Check out these If Green Beans Went to Southern Spain if you like your veggies fresh and simple.

Another classic, but with a major twist? Sweet potatoes! These Tropical Sweet Potatoes with Macadamia Dukkah are such a breath of fresh air. No sugar or marshmallows here... just fresh herbs, a zippy sauce, and the most addicting crumbly, nutty topping.


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Extras

It's not a holiday meal without cranberry sauce. My favorite? This Raw Cranberry-Pomegranate Sauce! Make a huge batch and hoard all the leftovers to mix into yogurt, scoop on top of salads, or add to desserts. There's no cooking, no refined sugar, no weird thickeners, and overall no fuss.


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Desserts
Lets be honest, desserts are often everyone's favorite part of a holiday meal. But even though they're "dessert", they can still be loaded with good-for-the-body ingredients! I absolutely love this No-Bake Ginger Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Pie, which contains a very secret ingredient in the filling. Can you guess what it is??


If you'd rather go chocolatey with your pie choice, this Vegan Chocolate Coconut MacNut Cream Pie is a winner for sure. It gets its luscious creaminess from avocado! Make it a couple days ahead of time and feel immense relief that your dessert is already done.

Not into pies or looking for something a little bit more manageable? These Chai-Spiced Pear Crumble Bars have all the holiday feels with none of the fuss. The chai spices are so on-theme and memorable. They'd work great with apple too! This is another one that will make your house smell heavenly.


If you're not afraid to go out of the box, my Fig, Bourbon, and Cinnamon Nicecream Cake is super unique and fun! Plus you can make it completely in advance and keep it stashed in the freezer, which always gives me such peace of mind. How amazing is this cake?? Even though it's a frozen dessert, the flavors are all about fall.


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And there you have it! All of my favorite ideas for nourishing, plant-based, whole food holiday fare that's as delicious as it is fresh. I really hope you'll try some of these for your holiday meals over the coming months. If you do, I'd love to see your creations, so please share them and tag me!

Happy holidays! Regardless of what you're celebrating, I hope your holidays are filled with happiness, joy, and good food.

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