Easy Holiday Recipes
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32 Incredibly Easy Holiday Recipes for People Who Can't Cook

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Easy Holiday Recipes
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Recipe for Success

The holiday season might call for anything from a traditional sit-down meal to a reunion brunch for college pals. While all of that might sound cozy, it might also be cause for panic for people whose cooking skills are, shall we say, nonexistent. Fear not. We've gathered a batch of easy recipes for holiday-appropriate dishes and drinks that just might turn anyone into a confident chef — or at least someone who can get a dish on the table.

Related: 25 Betty Crocker-Era Holiday Recipes That We Secretly Love

Parmesan Crisps
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Parmesan Crisps

Love fancy cheese appetizers? Here's a one-ingredient recipe that could become a signature, turning a half-cup of Parmesan cheese into cocktail fare in 10 minutes just by dropping it in spoonfuls and baking briefly. You can also serve it alongside soup or a salad.

Recipe: Food Network

Tomato-Avocado Toast
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Tomato-Avocado Toast

Guests already groaning from seasonal excess will no doubt savor this vegetarian appetizer that's as easy as making a sandwich — brushing baguette with olive oil for baking, mashing and seasoning avocado for spreading — albeit a pretty fancy open-faced mini sandwich that won't spoil the appetite for what's to follow.

Recipe: Martha Stewart

Artichoke Spread with Garlic Bread
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Artichoke Spread with Garlic Bread

Start with cream cheese, canned artichoke hearts, some spinach, Parmesan cheese, and green onion, and after mixing, it's all about the slow cooker. Serve it with garlic bread you can pick up in the frozen-food section.

Recipe: Taste of Home

Hot Dates
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Hot Dates

Besides loving the playful name, we also love how the four ingredients in recipe from Sandra Lee (of "Semi-Homemade Cooking" fame) — dates stuffed with cheese and almonds, wrapped in bacon — will have guests wondering if you aren't a secret gourmet.

Recipe: Food Network

The Original Chex Party Mix
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The Original Chex Party Mix

There are a lot of ingredients — six crunchy things and another four seasonings — but ultimately they all get stirred with butter and baked, and that's all there is to this easily customizable snack that Land O'Lakes notes has been a staple for generations.

Recipe: Land O Lakes

Shrimp Cocktail
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Shrimp Cocktail

Impress with an elegant platter of boiled shrimp (feel free to go for the precooked and cleaned option, often on sale this time of year) and take all the credit for the accompaniment by whipping up Robyn Stone's "cocktail sauce that will make you never buy bottled again." All you need is ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and horseradish and five minutes.

Recipe: Add a Pinch

Simple Chicken Soup
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Sweet and Sour Meatballs
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Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Stave off hunger while the main meal cooks with meatballs simmered in a quick sauce of grape jelly and ketchup. The recipe is a breeze, since it starts with frozen meatballs — and there's even a seasonal variation featuring cranberry sauce.

Recipe: Spend with Pennies

White Bean Soup
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Slow Cooker Tuscan White Bean and Sausage Soup

No precooking or searing of the sausage makes this "a true slow-cooker meal," blogger Heidi Larsen says. Decorate the tree while this hearty meal with carrots, celery, butternut squash, and kale, virtually cooks itself.

Recipe: Foodie Crush

Beef and Bean Weekender Chili
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Five-Ingredient Crockpot Chili Recipe

When schedules get crazy, anyone in the family can load up the slow cooker in the morning with a handful of thrifty ingredients that often come canned, jarred, or otherwise ready to use: kidney beans, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, onion, and spices. If you don't have time to brown the ground beef or ground turkey, leave it out.

Recipe: The Typical Mom

Related: 13 Regional Chili Recipes to Try This Fall

Easy 4-Ingredient Pork Roast
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Easy Four-Ingredient Pork Roast

A simple, satisfying main course can make a lasting impression — no one needs to know how easy this entrée truly is, and this one basically comes down to some salt and pepper and garlic rubbed over the meat before roasting. Surround the dish with store-bought sides (instant mashed potatoes and a prepackaged salad) and feel smug about offering up a holiday classic.

Recipe: The Spruce Eats

Brown Sugar Ham Steak
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Brown Sugar Ham Steak

Buy the ham steak and simply create this crowd-pleasing sauce with just butter and brown sugar. Basically, one skillet and you're good to go.

Recipe: Allrecipes

Fried Turkey Breast
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Slow-Cooker Turkey Breast

Pick up a bone-in turkey breast and a couple of spices and throw it all in the slow cooker. Five hours later, you'll be ready to bring the satisfying entrée to a potluck or have your own guests surround your masterpiece with their contributions.

Recipe: Taste of Home

Blake Lively’s Chicken And Leek Pie
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Easy Chicken Pot Pie

In a dish of rotisserie chicken, a package of crescent rolls, canned cream of chicken soup, and frozen vegetables suggested by a cook known as Cloverleaf, assembling the dish isn't even the hardest part. That would be waiting up to 25 minutes while it bakes.

Recipe: Delishably

Filet Mignon
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Filet Mignon

If you're excited about filet mignon (scored on sale, of course), no need to be daunted by picking up fresh rosemary to become the heart of this straightforward but elegant holiday option. Beyond that, you need only worry about butter and olive oil; salt and pepper; and perfecting your searing technique.

Recipe: Delish

Lasagna
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Extra-Easy Lasagna

"When we say easy, we mean easy," goes the boast on this Southern Living recipe. Store-bought jars of pasta and bags of shredded mozzarella combined with uncooked noodles makes browning the beef the hardest part of a lasagna that still winds up tasting homemade.

Recipe: My Recipes

Garlic Roasted Potatoes
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Parmesan Peas
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Parmesan Peas

Frozen peas are the key to Tiffani Thiessen's unique take on this tried-and-true vegetable, adds an unexpected touch to the holiday table. Onion could work in place of shallots if those sound too intimidating.

Recipe: Food Network

Maple Roasted Carrots
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Maple Roasted Carrots

Another elegant side, these carrots get a boost of sweetness from pure maple syrup — and are a baking-sheet wonder. Buy baby carrots for an even easier (already peeled) option.

Recipe: Salt & Lavender

Cranberry Sauce
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Cranberry Sauce

Forget the canned cran — you can make a cranberry sauce from scratch with this Elise Bauer recipe that features just water, sugar, and fresh or frozen cranberries. Add-ins from pecans to orange juice allow you to customize to your heart's content.

Recipe: Simply Recipes

French’s Green Bean Casserole
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French’s Green Bean Casserole

Close to a universal holiday favorite found on tables across the country is also one of the easiest to make. Expect five minutes of prep for green beans and store-bought crispy fried onions, original cream of mushroom soup, milk, and pepper.

Recipe: French's

Restaurant-Style Hashbrown Casserole
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Restaurant-Style Hash Brown Casserole

A cheesy treat ideal for a dinner side dish, or part of a holiday breakfast or brunch, this is an easy bake treat frozen hash browns and canned cream of chicken soup.

Recipe: Allrecipes

Apple-Cranberry Salad Toss
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Apple-Cranberry Salad Toss

This salad reads as elaborately gourmet but is actually a healthy option that gets to the table in less than 15 minutes. A package of mixed salad greens is dressed up with fresh and dried fruits, nuts, and bottled raspberry vinaigrette dressing.

Recipe: My Food and Family

Easy & Delicious Canned Corn Recipe
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Easy & Delicious Canned Corn Recipe

Butter, garlic, parsley, salt, and pepper take everyday canned corn to the next level.

Recipe: Longbourn Farm

Simple Holiday Punch
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Simple Holiday Punch

Featuring pineapple, cranberry, and orange juices, this is a drink that cookbook author and blogger Jamielyn Nye offers as a super-easy way to welcome guests for any holiday-themed event but "perfect to make for Christmas." (You can add a favorite spirit for an alcoholic version).

Recipe: I Heart Naptime

The Hot Toddy
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The Hot Toddy

Start off some cold-weather entertaining on a cozy note with a warm cocktail. This spin on an old favorite takes just five minutes to combine some tea bags, the liquor of your choice, honey, lemon, and tea.

Recipe: The Spruce Eats

Fluffy 2-Step Cheesecake
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Fluffy Two-Step Cheesecake

There's no oven involved in this mix-and-chill dessert that's many a family's favorite, with just cream cheese, sugar, and whipped topping in a premade graham cracker crust.

Recipe: Food.com

3-Ingredient Strawberry Icebox Cake
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Three-Ingredient Strawberry Icebox Cake

A retro treat uses just sweetened whipped cream, graham crackers, and chopped strawberries, layered and refrigerated to soften the crackers and meld into a dessert that people enjoy customizing with cinnamon flavors and blueberries.

Recipe: Tasty

Ambrosia Salad
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Bisquick Coffee Cake
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Bisquick Coffee Cake

You'll savor this cake as a coffee break before or after a long day of holiday shopping, and it's made of just Bisquick, water or milk, an egg, and sugar, with a topping that's even easier (Bisquick, brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter), needing a bake of only 25 minutes.

Recipe: Food.com

Super Easy Fudge Brownie Recipe
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Super Easy Fudge Brownies

Brownies and hot cocoa — a chocolate-lover's dream or sugar overload? Either way, you can gather the kids and make memories whipping up this version of brownies, including thinking about changing it to taste with chopped-up candy bars, dark cocoa powder, or (of course) nuts.

Recipe: I Wash You Dry

Raspberry Trifle with Rum Sauce
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Raspberry Trifle with Rum Sauce

A truly elegant-looking dessert will amaze guests — and no one will guess it was just a store-bought pound cake, refrigerated pudding, and the microwave. Oh, and rum.

Recipe: Food Network