Your Perfectly Planned Holiday Meal

We’re taking the headache out of holiday entertaining with 10 incredibly delicious, festive recipes that won’t pack on the pounds. The best part? We’ve done all 
the planning for you so that you can do the bulk of the work in advance!
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The holidays are a time for family, friends and a whole lot of laughs; but for many of us, it can also be a time for overindulging in less-than-healthy food and drinks. Here at Clean Eating, we try to promote balance over rigidness. We’ll never tell you not to go out and enjoy yourself during the holidays, but we might nudge you to snack from the veggie tray a little more than the dessert table!

To help you stay on your clean-eating path during this busy time of year, we’ve created your ultimate holiday menu (full of incredible-tasting food!) that includes everything from appetizers to mains and even a luscious dessert. This menu is not only wonderful from the perspective of eating clean, but each one of your guests will be impressed by the quality and amazing taste of the food.

And since we don’t believe that you should spend your entire party in the kitchen, we’ve created a game plan so that you can do the bulk of the work in advance and spend more time with your loved ones. We’ve mapped out your preparation of the entire menu, or you can check out our “Make Ahead” tips above each recipe for more details on which components you can do in advance.

This menu was designed to make your holiday entertaining go smoothly and deliciously, and also to maximize time with family and friends. We’re sure you’ll love these recipes just as much as we do!

Find more holiday recipes here! 

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Starters

Pumpkin & Pear Soup

MAKE AHEAD: Prepare up to 3 days ahead through Step Three. Cover and refrigerate. Prepare garnish and reheat within 1 hour of serving.

Butter Leaf Salad with Grapefruit, Avocado & Buttermilk Yogurt Dressing

Endive Bites with Goat Cheese, Figs & Honey

MAKE AHEAD: Prepare up to 1 day ahead through Step One. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Remove from fridge about 30 minutes before assembling and serving.

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Entrées

Spiced Brisket with Shallots & Tangerines

MAKE AHEAD: Prepare up to 2 days ahead. Store sliced meat and sacue in a baking pan, cover and refrigerate. Remove from refrigerator 30 t0 60 minutes in advance, then reheat at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 45 minutes before serving.

Rosemary-Roasted Turkey with Porcini Pan Sauce

MAKE AHEAD: Prepare up to 1 day ahead through Step One. Remove turkey from refrigerator about 1 hour before proceeding, then complete preparation the day of.

See alsoPork Loin Roast with Butternut Fontina Stuffing.

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Sides

Maple-Glazed Carrots

MAKE AHEAD: Prepare all ingredients, except parsley, up to 1 day ahead, storing perishables in the fridge. Prepare parsley within a few hours of serving and prepare recipe within 1 hour of serving.

Whole-Wheat Dressing with Wild Rice

MAKE AHEAD: Prepare up to 2 days ahead through Step 3. Cover and refrigerate. Remove from fridge 30 to 60 minutes in advance and bake within 1 hour of serving.

Sour Cream & Chive Mashed Potatoes

MAKE AHEAD: Prepare ingredients up to 1 day ahead, storing perishables covered in the fridge (store the potatoes in a container of water, covered, in the fridge). Prepare recipe within 1 hour of serving.

Lemon Cranberry Sauce

MAKE AHEAD: Prepare up to 5 days ahead. Garnish just before serving.

See also15 Irresistable Holiday Sides.

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Dessert

Individual Apple & Pecan Crumbles

MAKE AHEAD: Prepare through Step Three the day of. Cover and refrigerate ramekins (with fruit) and crumble topping separately. Remove reamekins from refrigerator 30 to 60 minutes before assembling and baking. Leave crumble in the refrigerator until just before baking. Complete within 1 hour of serving.

Spice Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting