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How to Make a Holiday Dinner in Under 1 Hour

image source: brooke mclay
image source: brooke mclay

It’s time to forget that old-school, all-day holiday meal prep. We are not our mamas, and we don’t have to be. Instead of stirring away over hot stoves a la Stepford Wife-style, while everyone else has all the fun, this menu is about to turn your holiday on its head.

You can whip up a classically inspired menu in less than 60-minutes. And I’m going to show you exactly how to do it.

Image Source: Brooke McLay
Image Source: Brooke McLay

There are five deliciously simple recipes (with 7 ingredients or less), all of which will look beyond stunning on your serving table. Though you’ll be whipping up a time-saving dinner, no one will know you took every shortcut under the sun. They’ll be far too busy swooning over your clever cooking ways to notice that you never even broke a sweat.

How’s that for serious holiday style?

Image Source: Brooke McLay
Image Source: Brooke McLay

Before you get cookin’, a few secrets to making this super quick 60-minute holiday meal happen:

  1. Shop the night before. Okay, you could technically hit the grocers on the day of your big dinner, but the idea behind this menu is fuss-free Zen planning. Do yourself a favor, and prep a shopping list at least 24 hours before.
  2. Clear the kitchen sink. Start with a clean kitchen, and you’ll be able to tidy as you go. Fill the sink with soapy water, and add dirty dishes as you prep. When you’re done cooking, you’ll have most of the cleaning already done.
  3. Package prep. Keep your cooking and staging areas super clean by getting all of your ingredients ready before you start.
  4. Set the party table. Cooking, decorating, and hostessing all in one day? Sounds like a long and exhausting list of to-dos. Instead, prep your place settings the night before. That way, all you have to do is cook and welcome everyone with a smile. This is about to be the most relaxing holiday dinner you’ve ever thrown.
  5. The magic order. Coordinate your cooking flawlessly by prepping the following recipes in this order: 1) pumpkin pie 2) sweet potatoes 3) green beans 4) ham 5) sparkling sangria. When made in that order, you’ll be able to time everything perfectly, making the entire meal in 60 minutes or less. Enjoy!

The 60-Minute Holiday Party Menu

Ready for the recipes? We’ve put a twist on traditional holiday eats, making them extra easy and adding a hearty punch of flavor. This way, you don’t need all day to cook, plus you won’t miss all of the usual party eats. Prep and enjoy. These five recipes make for a spectacularly festive dinner.

image source: brooke mclay
image source: brooke mclay

Maple-Glazed Bourbon Ham

Makes: 6 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoon fresh-cracked pepper
  • 1 (3-5 pound) smoked ham, sliced
  • fresh thyme for garnish (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet, heat together coconut oil, maple syrup, bourbon, orange zest, and pepper.
  2. Once boiling, turn heat to medium and place ham slices in skillet, turning to coat.
  3. Cover and heat through, about 5-7 minutes. Transfer to serving platter. Garnish with fresh thyme, if desired.

Image Source: Brooke McLay

Bacon-Wrapped Green Bean Bundles

Makes: 6 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups green beans, ends cut
  • 3 slices peppered bacon, cut in half

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Gather together 1/2 cup of green beans and wrap the center with bacon. Place on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining green beans.
  3. Bake for 17-23 minutes, or until bacon is cooked through and green beans are tender.

Image Source: Brooke McLay

Checkerboard Sweet Potatoes

Makes: 6 sweet potato halves

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3 sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup olive oil or melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt

Directions:

  1. Slice sweet potatoes in half. Then score the top of each with a sharp knife, making 1/4-1/2″ slices to create a checkerboard pattern. Place in a parchment-lined 9×13″ baking pan.
  2. Drizzle with coconut oil, and top with brown sugar, lemon zest, and salt.
  3. Bake for 35-45 minutes, basting with juices until tender and cooked through. Remove and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Image Source: Brooke McLay

Sparkling Holiday Sangria

Makes: 6 servings

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle champagne or sweet white or rose wine, chilled
  • 2 cups ginger ale or sparkling water, chilled
  • 2 limes, sliced
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 large sprig fresh mint

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients together in a large pitcher. Serve immediately and enjoy.
image source: brooke mclay
image source: brooke mclay

Pumpkin Pie Bars

Makes: 12 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 60 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 refrigerated pie crusts
  • 1 (30-ounce) can pumpkin pie mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups whipped topping

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Unroll pie crusts, pressing into the bottom of a 13×9″ nonstick baking sheet. Discard extra pie crust, if needed.
  2. Flute the edges of pie crust by pushing every 1/2″ down with your thumb.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together pie mix and eggs. Pour into prepared crust.
  4. Bake for 22-30 minutes, or until the center of the pie is set.
  5. Remove and cool completely before slicing into bars and piping with whipped topping.
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