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40 Christmas Eve Recipes to Enjoy if You’re Baking Cookies for Santa

If you’re spending Christmas Eve baking cookies for Santa, than these recipes are for you. In this collection you’ll find hearty dinners, snacks, drinks and kid-friendly cookie recipes.

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Triple-Chocolate Peppermint Treats

Santa is sure to stop by your house if you leave these minty chocolate cookies waiting for him. They're quick and easy for the whole family to make together. —Teresa Ralston, New Albany, Ohio
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Potato Topped Ground Beef Skillet Exps Hck18 191121 B04 014 6b

Potato-Topped Ground Beef Skillet

Compared to other ground beef skillet recipes, the depth of flavor in this recipe is amazing, and I never have leftovers when I take it to potlucks. I love recipes that I can cook and serve in the same skillet. If your butcher has chili grind beef, which is coarsely ground, go for that; it lends an extra meaty texture. —Fay Moreland, Wichita Falls, Texas
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White Bean Chicken Chili

My sister shared this white bean chicken chili recipe with me. I usually double it and add one extra can of beans, then serve with cheddar biscuits or warmed tortillas. The jalapeno adds just enough heat to notice but not too much for my children. —Kristine Bowles, Albuquerque, New Mexico
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Skillet Mac & Cheese

This super creamy mac 'n' cheese is so simple it seems almost too easy! Kids really go for the rich cheese flavor, but I've never met an adult who didn't love it too. —Ann Bowers, Rockport, Texas
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Peanut Butter Christmas Mice

With their black licorice tails, candy noses and peanut ears, these chewy "mice" were always a hit at classroom parties. My children are in their teens now, but they still ask me to make these cookies for the holidays. —Nancy Rowse, Bella Vista, Arkansas
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Chili Skillet

Like most farmers, my husband loves a good hearty chili. With all the vegetables, cheese and meat in it, this dish makes a super supper—and it comes together in one skillet on top of the stove. I serve it frequently in fall and winter. —Katherine Brown, Fredericktown, Ohio
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Gingerbread Hot Cocoa

Are you in the Christmas spirit yet? If not, this special cocoa will do the trick. It’s like drinking a chocolate gingerbread cookie! —Erika Monroe-Williams, Scottsdale, AZ
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Snowman Cookies

Wrap these chocolate-topped snowmen in colored tissue and place them inside holiday containers. Like real snowmen, they disappear fast! —Betty Tabb, Mifflintown, Pennsylvania
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Confetti Spaghetti

It's not uncommon for folks to go back for second helpings of this hearty main dish when I share it at church potluck suppers. The combination of ground beef, noodles, cheese and a zippy tomato sauce is a crowd-pleaser. —Katherine Moss, Gaffney, South Carolina
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Cheesy Ham Chowder

My five children all agree that this soothing recipe is wonderful. The soup is full of potatoes, carrots and ham. The best part is that I can get it on the table in only a half hour of hands-on time. —Jennifer Trenhaile, Emerson, Nebraska
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Skillet Shepherd's Pie

This is the best shepherd's pie recipe I've ever tasted. It's very quick to make, and I usually have most—if not all—of the ingredients already on hand. —Tirzah Sandt, San Diego, California
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Easy Gingerbread Cutouts

I rely on this tried-and-true recipe during the holidays. The cream cheese frosting complements the cookies’ gingery flavor and sets up nicely for easy packaging and stacking. —Sandy McKenzie, Braham, Minnesota
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Hearty Skillet Supper

When the weather starts turning cooler, I start to hear requests for this dish. The light soy, onion and garlic flavors blend nicely with fresh carrots and potatoes in this budget-minded recipe. —Pat Jensen, Cottonwood, Minnesota
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Taco-Filled Pasta Shells

I've been stuffing pasta shells with different fillings for years, but my family enjoys this version with taco-seasoned meat the most. The frozen shells are so convenient, because you can take out only the number you need for a single-serving lunch or family dinner. Just add zippy taco sauce and bake. —Marge Hodel, Roanoke, Illinois
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Warm Christmas Punch

Red Hot candies add rich color and spiciness to this festive punch, and the cranberry juice gives it a little tang. Our children always request it for December brunches. —Julie Sterchi, Campbellsville, Kentucky
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Santa Claus Cookies

Store-bought peanut butter sandwich cookies become jolly Santas with white chocolate, colored sugar, mini chips and red-hot candies. —Mary Kaufenberg, Shakopee, Minnesota
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Slow-Cooker Pork Chops

Everyone will enjoy these fork-tender, slow cooker pork chops with a creamy, light gravy. Serve with a green vegetable, mashed potatoes and coleslaw or a salad. These are the best slow cooker pork chops. —Sue Bingham, Madisonville, Tennessee
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Pretty Penne Ham Skillet

I'm a busy nurse, so fast meals are a must. This pasta is a tasty change of pace from potato-ham casseroles. —Kathy Stephan, West Seneca, New York
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Mozzarella Baked Spaghetti

This satisfying easy baked spaghetti recipe comes together and will please everyone at your table. Add a salad and breadsticks, and dinner's done. —Betty Rabe, Mahtomedi, Minnesota
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Cheesy Quesadillas

We serve these quesadillas as chili dippers or load them up with salsa and sour cream for a super starter. —Terri Keeney, Greeley, Colorado
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Nice 'n' Soft Sugar Cookies

My family’s all-time favorite Christmas cookie has had a million shapes over the years. Little ones have fun making their own icing designs. — Cathy Hall, Lyndhurst, Virginia
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Turkey Spaghetti Casserole

My mom made this creamy comforting dish when I was growing up. Whenever I have leftover chicken or turkey, I look forward to making this simple, yet tasty, filling dish. —Casandra Hetrick, Lindsey, Ohio
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Stuffed Sweet Pepper Soup

Tomatoes, peppers, garlic and onions are the mainstays of my garden. Being the oldest of seven children, I acquired a knack for cooking from my mom. — Joseph Kendra, Coraopolis, Pennsylvania
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Homemade Fish Sticks

I am a nutritionist and needed a healthy fish fix. Moist inside and crunchy outside, these are great with oven fries or roasted veggies and low-fat homemade tartar sauce. —Jennifer Rowland, Elizabethtown, Kentucky
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Chicken and Orzo Skillet

Here’s a perfect one-skillet supper that’s colorful, healthy, filling and definitely special! Our taste testers loved the blend of spices, the touch of heat and the sophisticated flavor. —Kellie Mulleavy, Lambertville, Michigan
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Hearty Chicken Spaghetti Casserole

This creamy, cheesy casserole is so hearty and homey that second helpings are a must! —Lynne German, Woodland Hills, California
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Slow-Cooker Beef Stroganoff

No more standing and stirring at the stove. This creamy Stroganoff preps in a skillet, then cooks all day while you’re away. —Sarah C. Vasques, Milford, New Hampshire
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Garlic-Cheese Flatbread

Unless you plan to make two, don't count on leftovers. As an appetizer or side, this cheesy flatbread will be devoured in less time than it takes to bake. And that's not long! —Suzanne Zick, Maiden, North Carolina
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Chocolate Eggnog

I love Christmas so much that I decorate in October. I don't care for eggnog, but it's such a tradition at Christmastime that I created an eggnog that even I like! —Debbie Holcombe, Brunswick, Georgia
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Beefy Tortellini Skillet

This skillet wonder is a tortellini dish the family craves. From browning beef to cooking the pasta and melting the cheese, everything happens in one pan. You can add basil or chives for a touch of freshness. —Juli Meyers, Hinesville, Georgia
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Bacon Cream Cheese Pinwheels

It's hard to resist a crescent roll, bacon and cream cheese in one bite! Kids, friends, everyone will scarf these cream cheese pinwheels down. Now I bake a double batch whenever we have a get-together. —Krista Munson, Sharpsburg, Kentucky
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One-Pot Spaghetti Dinner

Mamma mia! What’s the secret to this one-pot spaghetti? A homemade jar sauce and a one-pot cooking method makes this family favorite recipe quick and delicious. —Carol Benzel-Schmidt, Stanwood, Washington
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Roasted Cauliflower & Red Pepper Soup

When cooler weather comes, soup is one of our favorite meals. I developed this recipe for my husband and me. I wanted it to be a healthier version of all the cream-based soups out there. After a bit of trial and error, this is the keeper. —Elizabeth Bramkamp, Gig Harbor, Washington
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Mom's Swedish Meatballs

Mom fixed this Swedish meatball recipe for all sorts of family dinners, potluck suppers and PTA meetings. The scent of browning meat is intoxicating. Add to that the sweet smell of onions caramelizing, and everyone’s mouth starts watering. —Marybeth Mank, Mesquite, Texas
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Santa Claus Sugar Cookies

Santa Claus Sugar Cookies

I've used this recipe for almost 40 years and love it because it's a little different than most. My mom always made Santa cookies, and we'd put them into little clear bags tied with ribbon to hang on the tree.—Ann Bush, Colorado City, Colorado
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Creamy Skillet Noodles with Peas

I’ve made this creamy noodle side for years. Since kids and adults go for it, I keep the ingredients on hand at all times. —Anita Groff, Perkiomenville, Pennsylvania
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The Best Chicken & Dumplings

 Homemade chicken and dumplings from scratch harken back to my childhood and chilly days when we devoured those cute little balls of dough swimming in hot, rich broth. It's one of those types of soup you'll want to eat again and again. —Erika Monroe-Williams, Scottsdale, Arizona
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Slow-Cooker Sausage Lasagna

On especially cold winter days, my family loves this with mild Italian sausage. I agree about the cold days, but I prefer a spicy sausage blend, which gives it a bit of a zing. —Cindi DeClue, Anchorage, Alaska
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Fire-Roasted Tomato Minestrone

This vegetarian minestrone soup was created to accommodate special Christmas dinner guests who don't eat meat. It was so good we all enjoyed it. This can also be cooked on the stove for two hours on low simmer. —Donna Marie Ryan, Topsfield, Massachusetts
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One-Pot Bacon Cheeseburger Pasta

When the weather's too chilly to grill burgers, I whip up a big pot of this cheesy pasta. Believe it or not, it tastes just like a bacon cheeseburger, and it's much easier for my young children to enjoy. —Carly Terrell, Granbury Texas

Katie Bandurski
Katie is an Associate Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in writing and email newsletters. When she’s out of the office, you’ll find her exploring Wisconsin, trying out new vegetarian recipes and combing through antique shops.
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