Turkey, dressing, rinse, repeat. (Or maybe not?) This year has been anything but ordinary, so let’s keep the trend going. There’s no need to splurge on a big, traditional holiday meal. While we’re following state and national guidelines, we’ll only need enough for our own family, anyway. We’ve curated the best non-traditional holiday meals to enjoy and possibly still have some leftovers.

Beef Wellington

beef wellington
Brittany Baxter

Although laborious, this meal will be well worth the work. Start with delicious center-cut beef tenderloin, season it, and then wrap it all up in prosciutto and puff pastry. Mushroom duxelles (minced ‘shrooms, shallots, and garlic cloves) will give the beef wellington a wonderfully savory flavor. Gordon Ramsey’s got nothing on you! Serve with brussels sprouts, garlic mashed potatoes, or roasted asparagus. Pick a pinot noir or other robust red to pair.

Chicken Pot Pie

Isolated Image of Chicken Pot Pie

It’s a holiday, why not double the pie? Make this savory chicken pot pie and your favorite dessert pie. Add a little extra love and make your crust from scratch. Chicken pot pie with its golden, flaky crust and warm gravy will remind you of childhood. There’s always the option to switch up your filling and spices or keep it conventional.

Shepherd's Pie

Mashed potatoes atop ground lamb and veggies will make your holidays merry and chill. Instant pot recipes are quick and easy to make, and this shepherd’s pie is no different. It will nourish, comfort, and leave you with less mess to clean up. It’s a win/win/win! Our recipe calls for a mixture of ground lamb, carrots, onions, celery, mushrooms, and peas.


Our simple and tasty air fryer salmon recipe is great for any occasion. However, if you’re waiting on your air fryer from Santa, try our delicious garlic and butter salmon in foil. Both salmon recipes are uncomplicated and scrumptious. Serve with a side of simple roasted asparagus, brussels sprouts, or steamed veggies. Pair with your favorite wine and enjoy a no-frills, easy meal!

Mexican Meatloaf

Mexican meatloaf with chips, lime, and salsa

Chorizo, fresh cilantro, avocado, and serrano peppers make this dish a little sweet and spicy. We’re adding salsa as a garnish, so hold off on the ketchup! Mexican meatloaf is a great choice for any night of the week, including holidays. Comforting and filling, it may just become a holiday tradition for your family.

Shrimp and Grits

Although shrimp and grits are technically a breakfast meal, you can enjoy our easy cajun shrimp and grits at any time of day. You’ll make a roux (the base of the dish) by mixing the drippings with flour, butter, and hot sauce. This down on the bayou meal is trés bon.

Pork Tenderloin

Switch out the meat of your holiday feast with our easy classic bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin. Easily customizable, this dish will make an amazing main course. Adding different glazes, like brown sugar, orange marmalade, or maple will only increase the tastiness. Marinating the pork adds tenderness and complexity. Make sure the glaze and marinade flavor compliment one another. An herb-infused, bourbon, or ginger marinade pairs perfectly with pork. Wrapping in bacon or prosciutto helps seal in all the goodness.

Chicken Tikka Masala

An Indian staple, tikka masala is an excellent choice for your holiday meal. Chicken thighs are a tender and succulent meat. The blend of spices: garam masala, turmeric, cumin, and chili powder will give the meal a piquant flavor and a festive hue. Serve with rice, na’an, and a mint and red onion raita.

Creamy White Chicken Chili

Homemade white chili chicken with beans, lime and corn close-up on the table. horizontal

Our creamy white chicken chili is a slow cooker meal that’ll have you drooling while you wait. For a quicker alternative, throw the ingredients in an Instant Pot. Cream cheese and heavy cream meld together in a velvety sauce with shredded chicken and great northern beans. Serve with a dollop of sour cream, shredded cheese, and sliced avocado.

Pot Roast

Homemade Slow Cooker Pot Roast with Carrots and Potatoes

Another Instant Pot hero, our pot roast recipe will save the holiday. Hearty and filling, pot roast is reminiscent of home-cooked meals of yesteryear. Done in an hour in your instant pot, you will be happy to serve this any time of year. Cabernet sauvignon or pinot noir will be your best bet for complementary wines.

Thai Spicy Drunken Noodles

Melanie Davis/OOLA

Our vegetarian one-pot Thai Spicy Drunken Noodles is, as the title states, a somewhat spicy dish. However, this meal is easy to modify to reduce the spiciness if needed. A beautiful mix of veggies, thick noodles, and broth is quick and easy to make, only taking around 30 minutes. You can always add a protein, like fried tofu, chicken, or shrimp. Instead of the frozen veggie medley, pick out your favorite fresh veggies to add.

Perfect Pierogi Dinner

Pierogi Dinner

Although a traditional holiday meal in Poland, a pierogi dinner is not the first thing you would think of for holidays in the US. We should definitely rethink our festive cuisine to include these potato pockets. Pierogies are already perfect mashed potato-filled dumplings, but they can be modified with different filling options, sweet or savory. Served with sauteed brussels sprouts or kielbasa and sauerkraut, pierogies make a perfect holiday meal.

California Burrito

Hearty Chorizo Breakfast Burrito with Eggs, Cheese, and Hashbrowns

Anytime is a good time to have a burrito. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even the holidays are all acceptable times to indulge in the hand-held meal. Burritos seriously might be the perfect food. Add a little starchy love to your burrito in the form of french fries to transform it into a California burrito. Our Cali burritos call for carne asada, but you can use any meat you prefer. Stuff them with other fillings like cilantro, guac, and sour cream, then enjoy an apple empanada for dessert.

Beef Stroganoff

beef stroganoff
Dana Hopkins

A classic family meal, beef stroganoff can be altered to fit any taste. Make a vegetarian version with baby bellas or creminis or switch up the meat from ground beef to a tasty cut of sirloin or ribeye. Broccolini, asparagus, and brussels sprouts all pair nicely with stroggie.

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