121 Cheap and Easy Holiday Recipes for a Tight Budget

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Need some easy holiday recipes you can make on the fly?

I love the holiday season. As soon as Halloween is over I start looking forward to Thanksgiving dinner.

Eating all the foods that we don’t normally have the rest of the year is a treat. But making all the food?

That part I don’t love quite as much.

So I’m always interested in anything I can whip up for Thanksgiving or Christmas that’s going to be quick and easy. And if you’re in the same boat, then you’re in luck!

Not long ago, I rounded up the best Instant Pot recipes for busy moms who need to save time. Today, I’m offering up a few more fast (and delicious) recipes for the holiday season that you can make in a flash.

No matter what your favorite holiday dishes are, I guarantee you’ll find something on this list you’ll love. So let’s dig in!

121 Quick and Easy Holiday Recipes for Busy Moms

Holiday appetizer recipes

1. Cranberry and Brie Bites – Mommy Made That

2. Turkey Veggie Thanksgiving Tray – On My Kids Plate

3. Mung Bean Hummus – Mind Body and Spirit Wellbeing

4. Easy Cranberry Baked Brie With Thyme – Happy Kitchen

easy holiday recipes


Holiday main course recipes

5. Instant Pot Turkey Breast – Tasty Galaxy

6. Air Fryer Turkey Breast – Recipes From A Pantry

7. Garlic and Herb Roasted Turkey Breast – Earth Food and Fire

8. Easy Instant Pot Ham With Vegetables – Sustain My Cooking Habit

9. Healthy Vegan Lentil Meatloaf – Nutritiously

10. Oven-Roasted Maple Turkey Breast – Healthy Fitness Meals

Easy holiday recipes for side dishes

11. Easy Baked Green Beans – Irish Twins Momma

12. Sourdough Sage Stuffing – Veggie Lexi

13. Butternut Squash Orzo With Feta and Sage – Mighty Mrs.

14. Better Than Your Mama’s Green Bean Casserole – Crave the Good

15. Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Butternut Squash – Happy Kitchen

16. Cheesy Potato Casserole – Moms Cravings

17. Easy Brussels Sprouts and Bacon – Berry Maple

18. Stuffing and Green Bean Casserole – The Cozy Cook

19. Low Carb Riced Cauliflower Stuffing – Flavor The Moments

20. Baby Hasselback Potatoes – Veggie Desserts

21. Pan-Fried Brussels Sprouts With Turkey Bacon and Parmesan – Babaganosh

22. Sauteed Spinach With Garlic – To Simply Inspire

23. Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole – Healthy Fitness Meals

24. Sauteed Green Beans and Mushrooms – Low Carb Africa

25. Maple Dijon and Thyme Roasted Vegetables – Calm Eats

26. Garlic Parmesan Roasted Broccoli – To Simply Inspire

27. Vegan Stuffed Acorn Squash – Tasty Galaxy

easy holiday recipes

28. Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes – The Fitchen

29. Easy Roasted Cranberries – Foodal

30. Roasted Carrots and Parsnips – Flavor The Moments

31. Cauliflower Rice and Sausage Stuffing – Low Carb Africa

32. No-Fail Triple Corn Casserole – Foodal

33. Parmentier Potatoes With Rosemary and Garlic – Veggie Desserts

34. Easy Cauliflower Fritters – Tasty Galaxy

35. Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Cranberries and Pecans With Balsamic Vinegar – Marathons and Motivation

36. Easy Creamed Corn – Berry Maple

37. Easy Crockpot Cheesy Potatoes – BubbaPie

38. Green Beans Almondine – The Recipe Well

39. Keto Loaded Mashed Cauliflower – Healthy With Jamie

40. Classic Green Bean Casserole – Healthy Kitchen 101

41. Classic Corn Casserole – Feast For A Fraction

42. Vegan Green Beans In a Blanket – Vegan Dollhouse

43. Quick and Easy Mashed Rutabagas – Fearless Dining

44. Easy Sweet Potato Casserole With Marshmallows – BubbaPie

45. Mashed Turnips – Low Carb Yum

46. Chargrilled Broccoli – Recipes From A Pantry

47. Easy Roasted Asparagus – Your Wandering Foodie

48. Keto Spinach Casserole – Healthy Ambitions

49. Sauteed Carrots in Maple Thyme Glaze – My Pure Plants

50. Healthy Sweet Potatoes – Pink Fortitude

51. Drunken Chorizo and Sage Stuffing – Carefree Mermaid

52. 5-Minute Vegan + Sugar-free Cream Style Corn – Strength and Sunshine

53. Scalloped Potatoes With Parmesan Cheese – Billy Parisi

54. Easy Roasted Sweet Potatoes – Baked Broiled and Basted

55. Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Lemon Thyme Vinaigrette – Snappy Gourmet

56. Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole Two Ways – The Banana Diaries

57. Dairy-Free Green Bean Casserole – Wicked Spatula

58. Savory Pumpkin Casserole With Herbs – Low Carb Yum

59. Creamy Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes – Billy Parisi

60. Bacon Mac and Cheese – Savory With Soul

61. Scalloped Potatoes – Little Sunny Kitchen

62. Southern Smoky Green Beans – Baked Broiled and Basted

63. Spicy Italian Roasted Brussels Sprouts – Raia’s Recipes

64. Garlic Parmesan Spaghetti Squash – Two Sleevers

65. Grandma’s Roasted Brussels Sprouts – Fearless Dining

66. Cream Style Corn – Savory With Soul

67. Garlicky Bacon Butternut Squash – On Tys Plate

easy holiday recipes

Holiday Instant Pot recipes

68. Instant Pot Turkey Breast – Little Sunny Kitchen

69. Instant Pot Turkey Breast – Spaceships and Laserbeams

70. Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes – The Recipe Well

71. Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce – Little Earthling Blog

72. Instant Pot Mashed Chipotle Sweet Potatoes – Boulder Locavore

73. Instant Pot Mashed Sweet Potatoes – Nourish Plate

74. Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes With Sour Cream and Garlic – Boulder Locavore

75. Instant Pot Glazed Carrots – Recipes From A Pantry

76. Instant Pot Hot Buttered Potatoes – Little Sunny Kitchen

77. Garlic Smashed Potatoes In the Instant Pot – Raia’s Recipes

78. Instant Pot White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Minis – Recipe This

79. Instant Pot Turkey Crown – Recipe This

Holiday soups and salads

80. Pumpkin Chipotle Soup – This Is How I Cook

81. Roast Pumpkin Pear Salad – Natalie’s Health

82. Healthy Pumpkin Soup – Healthy Kitchen 101

83. Simple Harvest Salad With a Creamy Walnut Vinaigrette – Hello Spoonful

84. Pumpkin, Potato and Carrot Soup – Francine’s Place Blog

85. Frozen Cranberry Salad – This Is How I Cook

86. Sauteed Squash Quinoa Salad – Marathons and Motivation

87. Pomegranate and Persimmon Salad – Small Footprint Family

88. Brussels Sprout Salad With Cranberries – Nibble and Dine

Holiday breads and sauces

89. Keto Biscuits With Thyme and Cheese – Primal Edge Health

90. Cheddar Garlic Buttermilk Drop Biscuits – The Rising Spoon

91. Mini Gluten-Free Cornbread Muffin Bites – Strength and Sunshine

92. Cranberry Sauce That Everyone Will Love – Pink Fortitude

93. Low-Carb Keto Gravy – Wholesome Yum

94. The Best Cranberry Sauce Recipe – Ann’s Entitled Life

95. Healthy Vegan Gluten-Free Cornbread – Nutritiously

96. Garlic-Cheddar Drop Biscuits – Snappy Gourmet

97. Homemade Cider and Elderberry Cranberry Sauce – Raia’s Recipes

98. Easy Homemade Cranberry Orange Sauce – Get Inspired Everyday

99. How to Make Gravy Without Drippings – The Toasty Kitchen

100. Cranberry Sauce With Orange Zest – The Toasty Kitchen

101. The Best Pumpkin Bread – The Salty Table

102. 3 Ingredient Cranberry Sauce – Home Cooking Memories

best holiday recipes

Easy holiday recipes for desserts & drinks

103. White Chocolate Cranberry Fudge – Dancing Through the Rain

104. Easy Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread – Healthy Christian Home

105. Pumpkin Pecan Pan Parfait – Stef’s Eats and Sweets

106. Caramel Apple Bars – Pastry and Beyond

107. Pumpkin Streusel Cheesecake Bars – A YouUnique Journey

108. No-Churn Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream – Raia’s Recipes

109. The Best Pumpkin Crunch Cake – Thrifty Frugal Mom

110. Pumpkin Chai Latte – Raia’s Recipes

111. Creamy and Flavorful Sweet Potato Pie – A YouUnique Journey

112. Pumpkin Bars With Cream Cheese Frosting – Natalie’s Health

113. Gluten-Free Crustless Pumpkin Pie – Strength and Sunshine

114. Apple Crisp Pie – My Pure Plants

115. Salted Caramel Filled Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups – Pastry and Beyond

116. Homemade Strudel – Francine’s Place Blog

117. No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake – Cheesecakeitis

118. Apple Crisp Cookie Cups – Pastry and Beyond

119. Pumpkin Eclair Cake – Stef’s Eats and Sweets

120. Gluten-Free Paleo Pecan Pie – Wicked Spatula

121. Fall and Winter White Wine Sangria – The Rising Spoon

How to save time when cooking for the holidays

These easy holiday recipes can help you get your cooking done faster but they’re only one half of the equation.

I hate being stuck in the kitchen for hours on Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Eve. And if you do too, then these tips are just for you!

1. Make your menu well in advance

At my house, we start talking about what we want to have for Thanksgiving dinner as soon as Halloween is over. I’m a planner by nature so I like to get a head start.

The more lead time you give yourself to plan out your holiday meals, the better. You can save time when it’s time to cook since you have a plan. If you shop in advance, you can also scoop up deals to save money.

(And if you’re looking for a money-saving tip for holiday grocery shopping, don’t head to the grocery store without the Ibotta app. It can save you serious cash on groceries!)

2. Limit the number of new recipes you try

I know, I know. I just gave you 121 easy holiday recipes and now I’m telling you not to make them all.

Well, not exactly.

You should definitely check out each one on the list because they’re all amazing! But if you’re trying to save time when cooking for the holidays, don’t overwhelm yourself with trying a bunch of new things.

Pick one or two new dishes to try for Thanksgiving. Then pick another one or two new recipes for the December holidays. And wrap it up with choosing one or two more for New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day.

That way, you can mix things up a little without feeling overwhelmed.

3. Embrace your Instant Pot

If you don’t have an Instant Pot yet, don’t cook a thing for the holidays without buying one first.

An Instant Pot is insanely useful for saving time in the kitchen over the holidays or any time. You can whip up main courses, sides and even desserts much faster than you could on the stovetop or the oven.

That can make all of these easy holiday recipes even easier!

If you’ve never used an Instant Pot before, there’s a little bit of a learning curve involved. But once you master it, you’ll wonder how you ever did without one.

Get your Instant Pot now!

4. Use your crockpot too

Just because you have an Instant Pot doesn’t mean your crockpot automatically takes a backseat.

I use my crockpots (yes, crockpots plural) over the holidays to make hot cocoa, simmer sweet and sour meatballs, make soups and cook breakfast casseroles for Christmas morning.

It makes things so much easier when I can just dump things in, turn it on and leave it to do its work.

If you don’t have a crockpot or you’re looking for a replacement, here are some of my favorite crockpot picks for the holidays. (And in case you’re wondering, the last two are the ones I use!)


5. Cook ahead

This last tip is what I think is the best one.

I try to get as much of the holiday cooking done before the actual holiday rolls around. So for Thanksgiving, here’s what my cooking schedule usually looks like:

  • Tuesday – Make the cheeseball and all the desserts
  • Wednesday – Make all the side dishes
  • Thursday – Cook the turkey, ham and rolls, then heat up the sides I made the day before

Having a schedule like this means I have to spend a little time in the kitchen each day. But it’s better than being stuck in the kitchen all day on Thanksgiving.

As you prep for holiday cooking, look at your own schedule to see if you can space things out a bit. And if you can’t do that, then at the very least see what you can delegate to other family members so the cooking isn’t entirely on you.

What are your favorite easy holiday recipes?

Hopefully, I’ve given you some great ideas for holiday dishes to try this year. Now it’s your turn.

Is there a go-to Thanksgiving or Christmas dish you can’t live without? Does your family have a special dish they request for New Year’s?

Head to the comments and tell me about it! And of course, don’t forget to pin and share these recipes with someone who could use them!

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