Our Best Holiday Recipes for The Unforgettable Feast

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  • Welcome to our best holiday recipes for the season! From easy appetizers to bright verdant green salad to decadent desserts, you’ll find a holiday menu that includes new classics & many unexpected delicious recipes that will wow everyone on the table. Let the feasting begin!

    best holiday recipes and menu ideas

    What is your holiday tradition? Are there any signature mishmash dishes that your family serves at the table?

    Over at Just One Cookbook, we are a team made of mash-up heritages & cultures: Japanese, Taiwanese-American, Chinese-Malaysian, and Japanese-Danish-American. That means you’ll see Japanese potato salad next to kabocha soup. Spicy Brussels sprouts with lemongrass next to stuffing. Sometimes a smoked miso butter turkey that centers the table. Amid our different backgrounds, we all share many common things: love, kindness, and good foods!

    Here, we’ve gathered all our favorite best holiday recipes on Just One Cookbook over the years. The menus are filled with new classics & many unexpected recipes that put unique perspectives on the table.

    Whomever you’re celebrating with this year, we raise a glass and toast to your most unforgettable holiday feast. We hope you’ll love what we’ve put together. And thank you for being here with us, and for trying something new.

    29 Best Holiday Recipes For The Unforgettable Feast

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    Appetizers, Snacks & Sides

    A white plate containing arugula and burrata cheese topped with ikura and served with baguette and yuzu kosho pepper.

    Start your holiday spread with this Burrata Crostini with a Japanese twist! Toasty French baguette topped with creamy cheese, peppery arugula, savory red caviar & a pinch of yuzu pepper. This is the hors d’oeuvres that will make a lasting impression at the party. It may look fancy, but it’s really inexpensive to put together.

    How to make an easy and perfect cheese board

    Say cheese! Cheeseboard is almost as important as the desserts at a holiday party these days. A full stock cheese board will keep your guests entertained and delighted. You’ll find tips and step by step guides to creating a beautiful cheese board that everyone will remember!

    3. Popovers with Strawberry Butter

    Popovers placed in the special popover pans.

    These amazing buttery delights are the perfect meal starter for your holiday menu.  First, they are easy to make. Second, no one can ever resist the warm, crispy bread pastry. Make a big batch as they will be gone in seconds!

    popcorn with truffle salt seasoning

    The truffle salt is the instant magic to this upgraded version of popcorn. It makes a great snack to nibble on, especially if you have a tradition of watching holiday movies together.

    Easy cheese tart made with crescent roll and filled with brie cheese and fruit preserves

    These cheese tarts are filled with melted brie cheese with fruit preserves. An elegant choice to grace your holiday appetizer table. We love that you can make them a day in advance. When you’re ready to serve, just pop these babies into the oven to warm up.

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    Salads & Soups For Starter

    A large white bowl containing Roasted Cauliflower Kale Salad tossed with Miso Tahini Dressing.

    Dressed with miso tahini dressing, this Roasted Cauliflower Kale Salad is packed with caramelized cauliflower, kale, sweet glazed pecans, and crunchy croutons. It’s nutritious and filling. A welcome addition to the holiday table.

    Rustic plates containing broccolini dressed in the Japanese style sesame sauce.

    To prevent serious food coma, you’ll need a solid vegetable side like this Broccolini Gomaae. It’s full of flavor and goes well with everything. Even the non-vegetable eaters would go for extra.

    Apple Walnut Salad in a black ceramic bowl.

    This Apple Walnut Salad is the healthified version of Nami’s mom Japanese apple salad. Instead of mayo-laden, the dressing uses Greek Yogurt and just a dollop of Japanese mayo. It’s always a favorite among the kids.

    Kabocha salad in a white Japanese ceramic bowl.

    Sweet golden Kabocha Salad with sliced cucumber, crispy bacon and tossed with creamy Japanese mayo. This beautiful salad could be your new classic on the holiday table.  For a vegetarian and vegan option, you can easily leave out the bacon.

    A white rectangular plate containing arugula salad with fennel and navel orange.

    This refreshing arugula salad with fennel and sweet navel orange can instantly brighten up any holiday spread.

    Japanese potato salad in a Japanese black ceramic bowl.

    Another make-ahead favorite: Japanese potato salad. Thanks to the addition of vegetables, it’s creamy yet full of textural crunch. You will be happy to add this delicious version to your holiday repertoire. 

    Warm Mushroom Salad with Sesame Dressing in a dark ceramic bowl.

    If you like to keep the menu light yet flavorful, this warm mushroom salad with sesame dressing will not disappoint. Use an assortment of Japanese or wild mushrooms for amazing textures! It’s going to win the hearts of vegetarians and vegans.

    13. Kabocha Squash Soup

    A white soup bowl containing kabocha soup.

    Make the kabocha squash soup a few days ahead and warm it up on the day of your party. It’s rich, creamy and soul-warming. Exactly the type of soup you need for a get-together.

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    Main Dishes That Grace The Holiday Table

    Inspired by and learned from the best – Franklin Barbecue in Austin, Texas, Mr. JOC and I made smoked turkey breast this year for Thanksgiving, but with a Japanese spin. Juicy, flavorful, and tender, this Smoked Miso Butter Turkey Breast is surprisingly easy to make and feeds 6-8 people!

    Baked Macaroni with Kabocha Squash in gratins

    Tender chunks of sweet kabocha, umami mushrooms, and macaroni in a creamy béchamel sauce, topped off with panko breadcrumbs and baked until crispy golden. Think fancy Japanese style mac and cheese. It’s going to steal the show.

    Easy Japanese Pork Roast recipe with caramelized vegetable gravy.

    If serving a whole turkey is not your thing, consider this Japanese Pork Roast with caramelized vegetable gravy as your main dish. Seared in a cast iron pot, then roasted in the oven, this pork is cooked to perfection in Japanese seasoning. It’s easy and takes less effort than cooking a whole bird.

    17. Braised Herb Chicken

    Dutch oven containing braised chicken and vegetables.

    We love this Braised Herb Chicken for the holiday menu, where juicy chicken thighs are slowly simmered in white wine and herb-infused sauce until tender. There’s plenty of rich, flavorful sauce to slop up with crusty bread. 

    18. Cioppino (Seafood Stew)

    San Francisco cioppino recipe

    Seafood stew is a great change to the usual turkey and ham, especially if you have multiple parties going on. Filled with clams, mussels, crab, shrimp, squid, fish, and scallops in a tomato-y soup, it’s so so good. Extra toasty bread rolls, please!

    19. Japanese Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

    Japanese Stuffed Cabbage Rolls - Served in a tomato based sauce, this Stuffed Cabbage Rolls dish is a beloved western-style Japanese dish

    Elegance and coziness are what we aim for when crafting a holiday menu. Served in a delicate tomato-based sauce, this Stuffed Cabbage Rolls dish will make a satisfying entree.

    Creamy macaroni gratin in blue and red STAUB gratin dishes.

    The holiday table deserves something better than just plain old mac and cheese. This macaroni gratin with succulent shrimp, mushroom and crunchy panko topping is going to set things apart.

    flavorful oxtail soup recipe cooked in an instant pot

    This Oxtail Soup (Hong Kong Style Borscht) is cooked with oxtail, stew beef, onion, carrot, tomatoes, potatoes, and cabbage. Full of flavor, comfort, and flair, it is a dish that brings a delicious surprise to the holiday table.

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    Desserts for the Sweet Ending

    Pear and Almond Tart (Pear Frangipane Tart) dusted with powdered sugar and sprinkled with toasted almond slices.

    This Pear and Almond Tart is by far our most popular holiday recipe favorited by our readers. Many of them have shared their beautiful creations with us over at Pinterest and Instagram. Have you tried it yet? With a homemade crust and seasonal pears on top of the creamy almond cream filling, this tart is an excellent dessert to grace your Thanksgiving or Christmas table.

    pie recipe made with kabocha squash

    Thanksgiving or Christmas does not feel complete without decadent pies. This Kabocha Pie with a dollop of freshly whipped cream and a hint of rum is our all-time favorite. As Kabocha has a much natural sweeter taste than pumpkin pie, you’d get a rich and creamy pie.

    24. Easy Apple Tart

    easy apple tart recipe made with puff pastry

    For a simple, fool-proof holiday dessert, mark this apple tart recipe down!  Made with puff pastry, putting the tart together is as easy as apple pie (no pun intended). Even little kids can help out with the assembly. Oh, it’s best enjoyed with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

    Japanese sweet potato pie made with puff pastry

    How about some afternoon tea treats for the holiday? Make this Japanese Sweet Potato Pie. It’s crispy and flaky, with a smooth, silky filling. Mmmm…

    Easy Chocolate Almond Toffee recipe | JustOneCookbook.com

    This Chocolate Almond Toffee makes the greatest sweet to gift. Not only it’s easy to make, but it also travels well. So if you need to be on a road trip or short plane ride for family gatherings, bring this homemade treat along.

    27. Matcha Mille Crepe Cake

    best Japanese matcha flavored mille crepe cake recipe

    Layers of green tea crepes stacked together with fresh whipped cream in-between, this Matcha Millie Crepe Cake is a guaranteed show stopper. It was the most popular dessert that our readers made for Christmas last year. You can totally nail it too.

    best fluffy and airy Japanese Cheesecake recipe

    Light and fluffy, Japanese Cheesecake is so dreamy you can’t wait to serve up and show off. It’s a melt-in-your-mouth combination of creamy cheesecake and airy soufflé that makes it so much more special than regular cheesecake.

    29. Matcha Tiramisu

    matcha tiramisu cake made with soaked ladyfingers and mascarpone custard filling.

    A delicious twist on the classic. Creamy, rich, and bursting with bold matcha flavors, this matcha tiramisu is made of matcha soaked ladyfingers layered with a mascarpone custard filling.

    Have you started your holiday menu planning? Will you be trying out any of these recipes? Who will you be spending your holiday feasting with? We’d love to hear from you! 

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