holiday menu planning

Holiday Menu Planning in Minutes

Holiday menu planning in minutes

Well, it’s November and the time to get the kitchen organized and start holiday menu planning. And it’s important to get the kitchen organized for holiday meals. Also, it is so much easier if we start in November. Let’s face it, everyone wants to enjoy a stress-free holiday season. So, no matter how you celebrate, lowering our stress, and enjoying awesome food are key. And we must be intentional about how we want our holiday plans to work.

Now, I will say for myself, I love to prep as much of everything as possible-the holiday menu planning is one of my biggest projects. So, I break it down into manageable bite-sized steps.

Action Check List-organize your pantry and your pots and pans

Now, this may sound mundane or silly. But trust me, if you go through and reorganize your pantry and your pots and pans cabinets, you would be ahead of the game! Check out my post on organizing your pantry.

“The kitchen is the heart of every home, for the most part. It evokes memories of your family history”. Debi Mazar was taken from BrainyQuote

Holiday Menu Planning – a simple plant-based menu

I posted last time on the importance of getting ready for the holidays. Now, one of the tasks you were assigned to do at the end of that post was to start creating your holiday menu. A few months ago, our family made big shifts in our diet. We started making plant-based healthy holiday main courses and sides.  Because I am allergic to dairy, we do not use any in our recipes. So, no more meat and dairy for us on our menu. I decided to get busy planning our first plant-based holiday menu:

Our Plant-Based Holiday Menu Plan

Appetizer- Simple Plate of Veggies and Hot Toasted Nuts– For these, I just arrange my favorite bite-sized veggies on a gorgeous plate and toast my favorite nuts.

holiday menu planning
Fresh Veggies

Main CourseMushroom Wellington For this recipe, visit my Pinterest page. Recipe provided by deliciouseveryday.

Sides: Roasted Vegetables and Mashed Potatoes: As a side note, I posted the recipes for these two awesome healthy sides in my recent post-Healthy Holiday Main Courses and Sides.

Dessert: Warm Peach and Raspberry Crumble taken from a fabulous vegan cooking site called ForksOverKnives.  Now, I must admit, I also love to add other fruit as well like fresh blueberries!

Add intense, delicious flavor to any dish that you use water for by using homemade vegetable stock. Now, I found an incredible article from my favorite grocery store website that enhances my concept of making freezer-friendly stock.

holiday menu planning
Homemade Vegetable Broth Adds Flavor to Meals

So, this recipe takes basic homemade vegetable stock and adds other ingredients to make a variety of freezer-friendly stock – Asian, caramelized onion, and mushroom stock. I plan on jumping on this next week and stocking my freezer for my holiday menu planning.

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Holiday Menu Challenge!

Assignment: Now, grab a pen and paper and start listing your healthy holiday main courses and sides. Choose from mine, your own recipes or get out there on the web and search for more. So, your holiday menu planning now will:

  • Now give you more time to plan a healthy satisfying menu
  • Get your menu ready and organized
  • Help you cook an entire menu without feeling overwhelmed and stressed out
  • Now allow more time with your family and guests
  • And will cost less as you prepared and shopped using a list and a plan

And most importantly!

  • So, it will make it easier to clean up the kitchen because I have a clear plan of action and a clear map of what happens when. Now, take holiday meal planning one step further, write your menu down and add the prep and cooking to a calendar. For example, I start four days before any holiday and schedule the prep and cooking of each dish. So, I will, for example, peel my potatoes the day before and place them in water in the fridge and then wash and peel the veggies a day or two in advance and bag and place them in the fridge.


  • Now, break the menu down.  And assign each item to the day and time you want to prep and cook them. Next, I found that writing my prep schedule going backward ensures that I won’t miss any steps. For example, let’s say I am cooking two or more recipes at once.  Now, get out the meal planner I have provided in the links in this post. Stop and layout each recipe and start putting all the steps for each recipe on the daily planner. Now, work backward from the end of cooking to the start.

Now, I would love it if you would take a moment and leave a comment.  And feel free to add your favorite healthy holiday recipe ideas and comments. Next, I will talk about some amazing simple tricks to keep your fruits and veggies fresh for two weeks.

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