No one wants to be the one who shows up empty handed or with something store bought for a holiday gathering. Instead of being that person, use one (or more!) of these five dishes to be the talk of the potluck. No matter what type of dish you’ve been tasked with, we have a recipe for you.

Drink: Holiday Sangria

To create the perfect holiday sangria you will need a few ingredients, a pitcher or punch bowl, and just a few minutes of your time.

Ingredients include:

  • 2 bottles of your preferred white wine
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 2 cups ginger ale
  • 1 granny smith apple, diced
  • 1 anjour pear, diced


  1. In a saucepan, combine 1 cup of white wine, apple juice and sugar. Bring to a boil
  2. Add cranberries to mixture. Boil for 1 minute
  3. Strain the cranberries, allow them to cool. Save the liquid.
  4. In a large pitcher or punch bowl, combine cranberries, remaining cooking liquid, the rest of the wine, ginger ale, apples and pears
  5. Refrigerate for at least two hours before serving

Recipe and photo courtesy of HGTV.

Appetizer:  Cheese Platter Christmas tree

This appetizer is even simpler than the sangria.

Ingredients include:

  • Grapes
  • Cheese
  • Salami
  • One stick of celery
  • One piece of broccoli


Alternate levels grapes and cheese on a serving platter to create the shape of a Christmas tree. Use the celery stick as the base and the broccoli as the tree topper (or, if you follow the recipe, use cream cheese covered in parsley). Feel free to lay the salami as the base, underneath the grapes and cheese, or alternate it as its own level. Add garnishes for a tree with “leaves”.

Recipe and image courtesy of Kraft.

Salad: Apple Bacon Salad

The holiday season is packed with unhealthy desserts and calories galore. Provide an alternative with a salad.

Ingredients include:

  • Spinach or mixed greens
  • Almonds
  • Onion
  • Apples
  • Bacon
  • Vinaigrette dressing


  1. Cook bacon according to package, then dice
  2. Dice apples
  3. Dice onions
  4. Add cooked and diced bacon, diced apples, almonds, diced onions, mixed greens
  5. Add vinaigrette dressing and toss immediately before serving

Recipe and image courtesy of cd kitchen.

Main dish: Tortellini Skewers

A new spin on a well-known pasta dish will impress your coworkers.

Ingredients include:

  • Tortellini, mixture of cheese and spinach tortellini
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Fresh mozzarella
  • Skewers
  • Pesto


  1. Cook the tortellini according to the package instructions
  2. After cooking and draining the pasta, add it to a small bowl
  3. Add mozzarella and cherry tomatoes into the bowl
  4. Stir pesto into the bowl to coat ingredients evenly
  5. Skewer tortellini, mozzarella, and cherry tomatoes onto the skewers. Tip: If using spinach and cheese tortellini, alternate when placing them on the skewer.
  6. Refrigerate until ready to serve

Image and recipe courtesy of Food Network.

Dessert: White Christmas Tree Toppers

These easy-to-make trees can be used to top cupcakes, cookies, brownies, cake, or eaten on their own.

Ingredients include:

  • Mini pretzel sticks
  • Sprinkles of your choice
  • White chocolate wafers (2 cups makes 24 servings)


  1. Melt the white chocolate in a microwavable dish. Use 30 second intervals until the chocolate is almost completely melted
  2. Once nearly melted, continue stirring and the heat will melt off in the bowl
  3. Place the melted chocolate into a piping bag and cut the tip – be careful not to cut too large of a hole
  4. Place pretzel sticks onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  5. Pipe a tree shape with the drizzling chocolate onto each pretzel
  6. Immediately sprinkle the trees
  7. Let rest for 10-15 minutes

Tip: Adjust ingredient measurements for each recipe to accommodate the size of the party you are feeding.

Image and recipe courtesy of Forkly.


Whether you are a chef or barely know where the kitchen is in your house, you can master these recipes and be the star of your holiday party!


Guest Blogger: Sydney Kelly

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