12 Tasty Holiday Recipes

Article written and reviewed by Tara Kemp
Published December 15, 2017

The holidays are just around the corner, meaning your schedule is packed with holiday gatherings and events.

Trying to eat healthy can feel extra difficult during this time of year, especially when you want to eat without losing the “festive” feel of the season, but also want to control your blood sugar. 

You have probably been wondering what to make for your family or bring to holiday parties this year. Well, spend no more of your precious time and mental energy trying to figure this out.

We decided to take the task of finding delicious and healthy holiday recipes off of your plate!

Behold: a dozen of the most colorful, flavorful, healthful holiday recipes for you to make and share with family and friends this year!

Eat these recipes, embrace the nourishment, and enjoy the holiday season for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even diabetic friendly desserts without any food stress.

Main Dishes:

This dish is delicious served both warm or chilled. It is made with simple ingredients but is quite flavorful due to the fresh herbs, and it is packed full of energy thanks to hearty quinoa.

Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad cropped

This healthful and flavorful Shepherd’s Pie defies tradition by forgoing the usual ground or minced meat, and uses portobello mushrooms instead. 

Shepherd_s Pie

This cranberry relish requires no cooking, just a food processor for uniform chopping. The sweetness of the persimmons, apple, and tangerine balance the tartness of the raw cranberries.

Raw Cranberry Persimmon Relish

This flavorful loaf is perfect for the holidays, or anytime you want a hearty main dish. It can be made with fresh or dried herbs. Make two loaves while you’re at it and freeze one for leftovers. This is delicious topped with Creamy Mushroom Gravy (recipe below)!

Lentil _ Rice Loaf

This gravy is delicious over Mashed Potatoes and Lentil & Rice Loaf. It’s rich and flavorful even without the typical overly processed ingredients.

Creamy Mushroom Gravy

Impress your friends and family with this lovely recipe. It works great as main dish or side dish for a holiday meal.

Squash Stuffed with Lemon Herb Rice

Just 5 ingredients, with 5-star-worthy flavor.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Mushrooms

This simple salad, seasoned with a French vinaigrette, is a classic dish in France. Because the flavors continue to meld, it’s also great the next day.

lentil salad cropped

A classic roasted potato dish. Easy to throw together, and everyone will love it!

Rosemary Potato Bake


When most people hear "desserts for diabetics," "diabetic dessert recipes," "diabetic friendly desserts," "diabetic baking recipes," or any other diabetes-related modifier before dessert, that usually translates to one thing -- expecting disappointment. 
But these aren't sugar-free dessert recipes, because these "diabetic desserts" are packed with natural, healthy sugars that will satisfy your sweet tooth even while lowering your blood sugar. And we'd trust the best dessert for diabetics to knock any sugar-free dessert recipes out of the water, and stand up to any unhealthy dessert that you can find! 

This delicious pie is similar to pumpkin pie but it is made with sweet potatoes (or yams) instead of pumpkin. The filling is sweetened with dates, thickened with a little oat flour, and the Pecan-Date Crust is just like a sweet, crumbly cookie!

Sweet Potato Pecan Pie

Good ol’ pumpkin pie! Serve this at any holiday table, and people will ask for more. But the best part? You're satisfying that sweet tooth with diabetic recipes that will make you rethink why you're not using fruit as a natural sugar substitute!

Pumpkin Pie

BREADLESS bread pudding?! Yes… it has been done. And it is delicious, one of our favorite desserts for diabetics. And just because we've only got three diabetic dessert recipes listed here doesn't mean there aren't some other amazing recipes, like holiday cookies and more!

Apple Cinnamon Breadless Pudding

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About the author 

Tara Kemp

Tara Kemp is the Director of Nutrition Education at Mastering Diabetes. She has been active in the field of health and nutrition for many years, including working with Forks Over Knives, Engine 2, and Dr. Neal Barnard and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Tara has a bachelor's degree in Education from Bucknell University, a Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from eCornell, and is a Certified Food For Life Instructor through the Physicians Committee.