From Cocktails and Bites to Main Courses and Desserts, These Are Our Best Recipes to Make for Holiday Parties

crispy holiday snacks holiday vegetables
Lennart Weibull

Another truly exceptional year is coming to an end, which means it's time to toast the season in kind. How best to do that? By gathering your nearest and dearest and treating them to festive drinks and the most delicious food, of course! Here, we're sharing our latest recipes and most delicious creations for any type or size of gathering. We hope they'll inspire you and help you to bring the fun to any scenario.

What kind of parties call for these ultra-festive recipes? If you ask us, anything goes. At your final book club meeting of the year, raise a toast with a tropical sparkling Ginger-and-Spice Punch. Host your group for drinks and small bites either inside by the fireplace or outside around a firepit. You can get convivial over crispy bites like those pictured here. A platter of Carrot, Zucchini, and Leek Fritters, Salmon-and-Mashed Potato Croquettes, and Spinach-and-Feta Patties with dipping sauces that pair with any and all of the snacks. If you want to up the ante, we also have a recipe for a molten triple cheese dip with artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes that we defy anyone to resist.

For a sit-down with your inner circle, you'll need a marvelous main course. We've got you covered with options for a celebratory herb-crusted pork rib roast that serves eight to 12 or a stunning Orange-and-Saffron Scented Seafood Stew that serves eight and just needs some bread for mopping up the delicious juices. Whatever you do, don't forget dessert. Treat your friends to a snowy frosted chocolate cake layered with a decadent chocolate filling. It goes so well with warm sips like Candy Cane Hot Cocoa or Honey-Buttered Hot Toddy.

No matter what type of event you're hosting this holiday season, you can't go wrong with these fabulous recipes.

01 of 13

Sparkling Ginger-and-Spice Rum Punch

sparkling ginger-and-spice rum punch
Lennart Weibull

Nothing jump-starts a little soirée like an over-the-top pour—and it doesn't get more over the top than this heady, Caribbean-inspired cocktail of black spiced rum with splashes of prosecco, ginger beer, and seltzer.

02 of 13

Carrot, Zucchini, and Leek Fritters

carrot zucchini and leek fritters
Lennart Weibull

Crispy, golden snacks like these are a fanciful riff on potato latkes and a glorious addition to a holiday mixer. They honor Hanukkah (oil celebrates the enduring light of the menorah) and are totally irresistible.

03 of 13

Salmon-and-Mashed-Potato Croquettes

salmon-and-mashed-potato croquettes
Lennart Weibull

Cold-smoked salmon or tinned red salmon is bound with mashed potatoes and egg yolks and coated with panko. The result is an absolutely mouthwatering bite.

04 of 13

Spinach-and-Feta Patties

spinach-and-feta patties
Lennart Weibull

These crispy patties taste like bites of creamed spinach.

05 of 13

Zesty Tomato Dipping Sauce

zesty tomato dipping sauce
Lennart Weibull

Easy peasy and versatile too, this lively dipper starts with canned tomato sauce. It pairs with any and all of the crispy snacks.

06 of 13

Curried-Sour-Cream Dipping Sauce

curried-sour-cream dipping sauce
Lennart Weibull

A sophisticated dipping sauce that's as simple as mixing sour cream with curry powder and adding a pinch of cayenne pepper. Scatter some toasted sesame seeds over the top before serving alongside our crispy croquettes, fritters, and bites.

07 of 13

Three-Cheese Artichoke-and-Sun-Dried-Tomato Dip

cheese dip with pretzels and crackers
Lennart Weibull

There's something wonderfully comforting and neighborly about a bowl of warm, melty cheese dip, especially if you bring back—and break out—the fondue pot. This recipe blends cream cheese, Colby Jack, and Parmigiano for a serious belt of flavor.

08 of 13

Pork Rib Roast with Apples, Fennel, and Potatoes

pork rib roast with apples fennel and potatoes
Lennart Weibull

French-cut rib roast is regal and festive, especially when encrusted with herbs and served whole on a bed of caramelized apples, fennel, onions, and baby potatoes.

09 of 13

Saffron-and-Orange-Scented Seafood Stew

saffron-and-orange-scented seafood stew
Lennart Weibull

Honor the Italian-American Feast of the Seven Fishes with a pot of seafood stew perfumed with orange and saffron. This version switches out pricey lobster and scallops for just-as-refined shrimp and white fish, so you can spend extra on a few threads of fresh saffron and the best seafood stock you can find.

10 of 13

Toasted Garlic Butter and Herb Bread

toasted garlic-butter-and-herb bread
Lennart Weibull

Quick herby toasts let you soak up the amazing broth—don't skimp on the stick of butter or the garlic.

11 of 13

Chocolate-and-Vanilla Pudding Cake

chocolate-and-vanilla pudding cake
Lennart Weibull

An old-fashioned layer cake conjures a winter wonderland when topped with white-chocolate buttercream as pale and thick as a fresh snowbank. Despite its black-tie formal appearance, this is a very pragmatic dessert. The dump-and-stir recipe bakes up light and doesn't flake off, so there's no need for a crumb coat when you frost it. And it's even better when you make it in advance: The milk-chocolate pudding in the middle and the icing have plenty of time to set, so the flavors intensify.

12 of 13

Honey-Buttered Hot Toddy

candy-cane hot cocoa and honey-buttered hot toddy
Lennart Weibull

Host an evening around the firepit, with nightcaps for every wassailer. To gussy up a traditional hot toddy (made with whiskey, honey, lemon, and hot water), whisk some butter and spices into the honey. Use high-quality ingredients—orange-blossom or clover honey, cultured butter, vanilla paste, and a little pour of Cointreau—then add slices of lemon and stir with a cinnamon stick.

13 of 13

Candy-Cane Hot Cocoa

candy-cane hot cocoa and honey-buttered hot toddy
Lennart Weibull

For non-imbibers, go team cocoa. Heat a pan of milk with chopped white chocolate and a bit of peppermint extract. Whisk it until it's thick and frothy, then top with a dollop of whipped cream and a candy-cane garnish—we hear that's customary at the North Pole.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles