De Ma Cuisine



November 2014



Holiday Dinner Party Menu Ideas

Written by , Posted in Holiday, Menu Planning, Potlucks

It’s getting to be the holiday season. I love this time of year! I love family gatherings with people I don’t see often enough, dinners with friends who are so dear to us (especially being so far from both of our families), hot chocolate with marshmallows on a cold night while Home Alone plays and we decorate the tree.

I love planning the menu for a dinner party, large or small. Sometimes I like to go with traditional – like for Thanksgiving dinner, I don’t want to try something new, I just want the same thing every year. But, for the other events, anything can go.

Here are some ideas for a menu for a holiday dinner or party.

The Intimate Dinner Party

The idea is a small-ish, sit down dinner party. You can let guests bring something, if you’d like. And whatever you end up preparing, most of the ideas for this party can be prepared at least partway the day before.

You could serve a Crudité Platter, Nuts and Seeds, or a Cheese Platter for guests to snack on while you put the finishing touches on dinner.


Vegan Roasted Butternut Squash Soup for a light appetizer (serve it in small bowls so guests don’t fill up before the main course)


Chicken Pot Pie made with seasonal veggies (one of my all-time favorite foods)

Warm Arugula and Orange Salad


Baguettes served with Herb Butter (mix some seasonal herbs with unsalted butter and a pinch of salt) or Honey Butter (mix 1 t, or more, honey, with a pinch of salt, and 1/4 C unsalted butter)


Apple Bourbon Galette

The Buffet Style Dinner Party

Let guests bring dishes to share. Or, take care of the main two or three dishes, and let guests bring the appetizers, desserts, and sides. Make sure you have warming dishes or crock pots, so hot food stays at a safe and yummy temperature. Below are some ideas for things that you might want to prepare, or suggest to guests who need help with ideas. Having a variety of foods will ensure that there’s something for everyone.


Fresh Herb and Dried Tomato Bruschetta


Vegan Roasted Cauliflower and Potato Soup


Roasted Beet and Carrot Salad

BLT-Salad5BLT Salad

Lasagna8Classic Meat and Cheese Lasagna


Chicken and Rice Casserole


Fish Wellingtons (make them minis) (another one of my favorite foods)


Roasted Chicken Thighs with Cherry Tomatoes (switch out tomatoes for veggies that are in season, like brussels sprouts, cabbage, or fennel)


Turnip and Potato Gratin


Vegan Fruit Crisp (use fruit that is in season, like apples, pears, or persimmons)

Trio of Soups

Soups are a wonderful, easy, comforting way to feed a crowd. Make three of your favorites and ask guests to bring the bread, wine, and dessert. Or, make your favorite and ask a few others to bring theirs. Other guests can bring bread, wine, and dessert.



Minestrone to be served with Baguettes



Vegan Roasted Butternut Squash Soup to be served with Mushroom and Prosciutto Flatbreads



Browned Butter and Four Cheese Broccoli Soup to be served with Apple Rosemary Flatbreads

The Everyone You Know Holiday Party

Make this a tapas party. Let guests bring an appetizer or dessert to share. Depending on how many of each you want to have, you could split the alphabet and have guests on one side bring the sweets, the others the appetizers.


Grape Toasts


Parsnip Fries with Dip


Hawaiian Sliders


Spicy Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes (cut them in to bite-sized pieces before roasting, follow regular instructions, just on a smaller scale)


Chard Wraps with Quinoa and Raisins


Lavash Chips and Guacamole


Radish and Feta Toasts


Crostini with Sausage and Braised Greens

However and whatever you are celebrating this holiday season, I hope it’s filled with great food, wonderful friends and family, and lots of laughter!

I’m taking some time off this coming week to be with family, but I’ll be back on December 1st, with persimmons and bacon.

Happy Eating!

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