The Christmas season is full of opportunities to try something new in the kitchen, whether you’re coming to a family dinner or just want to impress at the office potluck. And while there are plenty of beloved traditional recipes out there, sometimes it’s fun to get creative with what you already have on hand.
Here are 10 fun food hacks that will help you put together amazing Christmas dishes in record time. Spend time with your guests, not over a hot stove!
10 Christmas Fun Food Hacks
You can add a little festive flair to old favorites with these tasty little shortcuts that anyone can pull off.
#1 Use a muffin tin to make different appetizers.
Instead of making individual treats, use a muffin tin to create bite-size portions. Fill each cavity with a different cheese or meat filling, then bake until the edges are golden brown. When they come out of the oven, simply remove them from the tin with an offset spatula and let cool on a wire rack before serving.
Or you can fill each cup with your favorite spread or a tasty beetroot and yogurt dip and then garnish the top with whatever ingredients you like – sliced veggies, cheese, herbs, or even small pieces of ham or bacon. The best part of Christmas day food ideas like this is that they won’t get soggy because they’re sealed off from the elements, which can sometimes ruin a perfectly nice dish.
#2 Make five-minute snacks from scratch.
If you’re looking for Christmas Day finger food ideas, all you need are a few ingredients and some creativity:
- Wrap bacon around asparagus spears for easy appetizers that are sure to be a crowd pleaser.
- Cut store-bought puff pastry into strips and then dip them in melted chocolate for a treat that will satisfy any sweet tooth.
- Use string cheese to cut your own cheese logs or sticks. String cheese makes a great base for snacks and can be cut into fun shapes with a pair of scissors or kitchen shears.
#3 Make a crowd-pleasing charcuterie board.
A charcuterie board is a great way to showcase some of your favorite Christmas day food, from cheeses and meats to fruit and bread. Using even just store-bought crackers and cheeses, you can create a platter that will delight your guests.
If you’ve got time, try making your own jams or chutneys for an extra special touch. You can also add in some seasonal favorites like olives, but use chilled canned black olives instead of fresh ones to make a delicious brine.
One more tip for your charcuterie board: Instead of going through the hassle of making your own gravy, use instant mashed potatoes for a quick fix. (Just between us, it tastes just as good, right?)
#4 Let guests assemble their own personal pizzas.
You can make your own dough ahead of time or use store-bought pizza dough. Then just have some tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and a wide variety of toppings at the ready: veggies (like mushrooms, bell peppers and olives), meat like pepperoni or sausage, and perhaps leftover ingredients from Christmas dinner.
And then, just haul the entire smorgasbord to the party! This is a great way to get everyone involved in the kitchen and it’s also fun for kids.
#5 Need something fast for vegans? No problem.
Just when you thought you had the perfect food ideas for Christmas Day, a vegan comes to the party.
Come prepared with snacks that everyone will love, like garlic breadsticks. Simply cut up some French baguettes into thin slices and then drizzle olive oil over them before sprinkling on plenty of garlic powder. Place them in an oven-safe dish and bake for about 5 minutes or until golden brown. Then serve alongside some marinara sauce for dipping.
Vegetable kabobs are another way to go. You can make them with whatever vegies you have on hand, particularly those that will hold up well on the grill or in the oven. Some good choices are red and green peppers, mushrooms, onions and zucchini. Just skewer them together with toothpicks and serve with your favorite dipping sauce.
Most stores sell hummus and pita bread or chips, then add a few crunchy veggies for dipping. If you prefer to make your own hummus, just combine chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, tahini paste and cumin in a blender or food processor until smooth. For added flavor, add roasted red peppers or sun-dried tomatoes (or both).
#6 Use up leftover eggs by making deviled eggs… and ice cream!
You can never have too many eggs, you thought while doing your grocery shopping. Now, what to do with all that extra stock? Omelettes are a great way to use up leftovers. Just add in some ham and cheese, or whatever else you have on hand.
Deviled eggs are another great way to use up leftover eggs. You can make them ahead of time and enjoy them on a picnic, for example. Got leftover vegetables, too? You can put just about anything in frittatas, so have fun with it! Egg casseroles are another good choice if you want an easy dish that will feed a crowd – or a really hungry couple!
And, of course, you can use an old carton of eggs to make ice cream! Add sugar, vanilla extract and whole milk or heavy cream into your ice cream maker, then let it churn away until it’s ready.
#7 Use box cake mix to create Christmas cookies and brownies.
If you’re out of ideas on what food to bring to a Christmas party, dessert is always the answer. Ever made Christmas cookies or brownies with box cake mix? You can use up leftover batter from your holiday baking and will save you some time in the kitchen.
Feel free to add all sorts of ingredients, like chocolate chips or pretzels to make your Christmas dessert mix extra special. Once you’ve baked the cookies and let them cool, decorate them with frosting or icing using a piping bag.
This is just one way to get creative in the kitchen with kids; just add some sprinkles or icing and have fun decorating them. You can also use various colored frosting for different holiday themes, like red and green for Christmas, obviously.
#8 Add snowman marshmallows to your hot chocolate.
Sure, you’re all set with food on Christmas day, but what’s Christmas morning without hot chocolate to go around? This is also a great way to get the kids involved in making their own hot chocolate—you’ll save yourself some work!
Just add a few snowman marshmallows to your mug and let them melt. Then, pour hot chocolate over the top for a fun little surprise. You can even use the snowman marshmallows as stirrers.
And for the grownups in the room, try mixing your hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps or other flavored liqueur for a little extra fun.
#9 Give store-bought ice cream sandwiches a Christmas flair.
To make ice cream sandwiches look festive, you can use a few different techniques. One option is to spread some melted chocolate on top of the ice cream sandwich, then freeze it for about 15 minutes so it hardens.
You can even make your own ice cream sandwiches by spreading some melted chocolate on top of two cookies, then sandwiching it with vanilla ice cream. Finally, sprinkle on some sweetened red and green sprinkles, mini candy canes, or other Christmas candies.
#10 Repurpose eggnog into boozy pudding shots.
Eggnog is a delicious holiday drink, but it can be difficult to find after the holidays are over. If you have some leftover eggnog in your fridge, make pudding shots with it! All you need are instant vanilla pudding powder and some rum or brandy—whatever alcohol you have on hand will work well. You can also add cinnamon, nutmeg or allspice to give your shots an extra kick of flavor.
If you’re looking for a more indulgent way to use up leftover eggnog, try making an alcoholic smoothie with it! Add some milk and vanilla ice cream, then top with whipped cream for a festive treat that’s perfect for brunch.
These simple Christmas food hacks are excellent ideas that anyone can do. Keep things simple or go wild! It’s all about knowing what your family and friends like and giving it to them in a way that surprises and delights. So get out there and start creating some memories!