Even if you're not heading out of town this season, you can still make the holidays feel as festive as ever at home — and one way to do that is by preparing a cozy, comforting meal. Of course there are all the nostalgic favorites you can make (turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and so on) to get you into the spirit, but if you're looking for something new to add to your spread, a few celebrity chef-approved holiday recipes might just inspire this year's menu.
Everyone's got their own way of celebrating the season with food. Perhaps your signature family recipe is a traditional Mexican dish, or maybe it's the desserts (like pumpkin or pecan pie) that never cease to put you in the holiday mood. And top chefs are no different: Even when they have access to exotic or high-end fare, they gravitate toward dishes that remind them of their own culture or family traditions, just like everyone else.
But thanks to their expertise, they might also have a few tips or tricks to make this year's meal even more inspired. So if you're looking for a few new additions to this year's holiday table, read ahead and learn a little more about eight chef-approved dishes that are so delicious, they might become a new tradition.
Celebrity Chef-Approved Holiday Recipes: French Onion Soup
"I adore all holiday recipes: Mine tend to be on the cozy side and with a touch of something special," says Tieghan Gerard of Half Baked Harvest. "I always have my creamy French Onion Soup on repeat when my family is in town for the holidays. This isn't your average French onion soup. It's made creamy with a splash of cream and boozy with a good amount of wine, so it's extra special for the holidays."
Celebrity Chef-Approved Holiday Recipes: Apple Streusel Bread
“I love to bake a warm loaf of bread before my friends and family come over for the holidays, because it makes your house smell amazing when they walk in the door," says Elizabeth Stein, CEO of Purely Elizabeth. "A slice of this Apple Streusel Bread is perfect with your morning coffee, as an afternoon snack, or even as dessert paired with some ice cream.” A trick for making it perfect? “When making the caramel drizzle, I would make sure to use a creamy nut butter, so you get a smooth consistency that matches a classic caramel texture,” she adds. For the complete recipe, check out page 15 of her 2020 Purely Holiday magazine.
Celebrity Chef-Approved Holiday Recipes: Carrot Soufflé
“This carrot soufflé recipe is inspired by Chasen’s, which was an iconic old Hollywood restaurant," Jonathan Grahm, CEO of Compartés Chocolatier, explains. "This is a unique carrot dish, made with brown sugar. I use cornflakes and butter to create the amazing, crunchy sweet topping. The bottom of this soufflé is creamy and fluffy — tastes almost dessert-like.” For a version based on Chasen's dish, try this recipe.
Celebrity Chef-Approved Holiday Recipes: Paprika Roasted Turkey
"My grandmother Rose was a great cook, and all of our family holiday recipes come from her culinary collection," Elizabeth Blau, Founder/CEO of Blau + Associates and owner of Honey Salt shares. "She immigrated from Eastern Europe, so paprika is the secret ingredient that makes this turkey special. No matter what the holiday menu, Grandma Rose’s turkey is always the centerpiece, and the recipe has been passed down through many generations. We also make a turkey meatball version, which is a menu favorite at our restaurant Honey Salt." Find a similarly paprika-spiked recipe here.
Celebrity Chef-Approved Holiday Recipes: Red Mole
"The dish that I like to make the most around the holidays comes from a recipe that my mother makes: Chicken mole," says Carlos Cruz-Santos, Head Chef at China Poblano by José Andrés. "Unlike most traditional moles that use chocolate to sweeten the dish, this one is a bright red mole that is both full of flavor and extra spicy because of the variety of chiles and spices added to the dish." Give this recipe a try for a similarly spicy red mole sauce you can add to your chicken or turkey this year.
Celebrity Chef-Approved Holiday Recipes: Spiced Sweet Potato Bundt Cake
"One of my favorite holiday dishes is the Spiced Sweet Potato Bundt Cake from the Brown Sugar Kitchen Cookbook," says Tanya Holland, host of new OWN show Tanya's Kitchen Table, and chef of Brown Sugar Kitchen. "The spices used in the cake are reminiscent of the holiday season and the addition of the chocolate chips help make this cake a true crowd pleaser." Find the exact recipe from her cookbook here.
Celebrity Chef-Approved Holiday Recipes: Homemade Cranberry Sauce
It's an age old debate: Canned cranberry sauce versus homemade. "In our house, we prefer homemade with orange zest and Grand Marnier," says Cheryl Day, Co-Owner of Back in the Day Bakery in Savannah, Georgia. "One year we made it from scratch, then put it back in the can. Nobody complained. Now, I just make a Cranberry Crumb Pie (it tastes like the best cherry pie) and everyone is happy!”
Celebrity Chef-Approved Holiday Recipes: Stuffed Grape Leaves
"These are a holiday must for any self-respecting Middle Eastern family and it’s a process," Mareya Ibrahim, celebrity chef and author of Eat Like You Give A Fork: The Real Dish on Eating to Thrive, tells The Zoe Report. "We get the grape leaves fresh and cure them (that’s always the best way to go) for about two to three weeks prior. We fill them with rice, ground lamb, chopped parsley, onion, chopped tomato, 7-spice seasoning, and fresh dill — and my special addition, toasted pine nuts. I stack them in my rice cooker and they come out perfect every time."