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35 Last-Minute Holiday Recipes Ready in 30 Minutes

Fast and festive recipes for apps, desserts, sides and more make holiday party prep easy. Relax. You got this.

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Peanut Butter Snowballs

This recipe for peanut butter balls is a nice change from the typical milk chocolate and peanut butter combo. It’s is also an easy one for children to help with. I’ve made them for a bake sale at my granddaughter’s school and tucked them into holiday treat boxes for neighbors. —Wanda Regula, Birmingham, Michigan

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Need more quick recipes? Check out all of our ideas in the last-minute holiday guide.

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Honey Champagne Fondue Exps Tohdj20 45531 E08 02 5b 4

Honey Champagne Fondue

This special champagne fondue has wonderful flavor from Swiss cheese and a hint of sweetness from honey. It clings well to any kind of dipper. —Shannon Copley, Upper Arlington, Ohio
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Roasted Chicken And Brie Holly Mini Bites Exps Thca18 159038 B01 23 4b 6

Roasted Chicken and Brie Holly Mini Bites

I got the idea for these appetizers from my favorite sandwich at a local restaurant—a symphony of sweet fig, roasted apple, melted brie and tangy garlic mayonnaise. I re-created this delectable combination in a quick appetizer with bright red cranberries and green spinach to give it a holiday twist. These scrumptious bites only take about 20 minutes, but taste like you spent hours; you can also make them a few days in advance, then warm them in the microwave for 20-30 seconds before serving. They're the perfect party appetizer! —Terri Gilson, Calgary, Alberta
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Pressure-Cooker Dressing

Here’s an easy dressing that’s perfect for special get-togethers. Once it’s in the instant cooker, you’re free to turn your attention to other dishes. —Rita Nodland, Bismarck, North Dakota
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Quick Golden Squash Soup Exps Sdon18 35949 C06 14 12b 4

Quick Golden Squash Soup

This delectable soup feels like fall! Its golden color and rich, satisfying flavor have made it a favorite of mine—which is really amazing because I was convinced I didn't like squash until I tried this recipe. —Becky Ruff, Monona, Iowa
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Snow Pea Holiday Wreath

Santa himself might stop to sample this pretty-as-a-picture finger food! Crunchy green pea pods and juicy red tomatoes add a natural fresh, festive holiday note to my buffet table. —Carol Schneck, Lodi, California
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Cranberry Pecan Cookies Exps Hccbz18 37302 D05 07 1b 4

Cranberry Pecan Cookies

These are so tasty and simple to prepare! Each delightful little cookie is loaded with cranberries, nuts and vanilla, giving them the taste of a treat that’s been slaved over. —Louise Hawkins, Lubbock, Texas
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Green Bean Bundles

I found this recipe in a rural newspaper years ago and have made it often. The bean bundles are excellent with chicken or beef. Sometimes I'll arrange them around a mound of wild rice to make an appetizing side dish. —Virginia Stadler, Nokesville, Virginia
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Cheddar Ham Soup Exps Bfbz19 35014 C01 11 1b 21

Cheddar Ham Soup

I knew this ham soup recipe was a keeper when my mother-in-law asked for it! The hearty soup—chock-full of ham, veggies and cheese—is creamy and comforting. And even though the recipe makes enough to feed a crowd, don’t expect it to last more than one meal! —Marty Matthews, Clarksville, Tennessee
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Triple Cranberry Sauce Exps Tohon19 46430 B06 19 9b 3

Triple Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry fans will ask for this sauce again and again. It's loaded with their favorite fruit—in fresh, dried and juice form. Orange and allspice make it awesome. —Arlene Smulski, Lyons, Illinois
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Cheddar Mashed Cauliflower Exps Cimz19 73100 E09 04 6b 5

Cheddar Mashed Cauliflower

Want an alternative to mashed potatoes? Try cauliflower jazzed up with cheddar cheese and rosemary. —Chrystal Baker, Studio City, California
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Candy Snack Mix Exps Hccbz19 19498 B05 21 8b 6

Candy Snack Mix

Chock-full of raisins, peanuts and M& M's, this crunchy salty-sweet mix stays fresh for weeks. I keep it on hand to serve to unexpected guests or to fill decorative containers to give as last-minute gifts. —Mary Newsom, Grand Ridge, Florida
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Pomegranate Splash Salad Exps Thca19 130161 B01 31 3b 2

Pomegranate Splash Salad

The sparkling pomegranate gems make this salad irresistibly beautiful. My family loves it at holiday gatherings when pomegranates are in season. Even the children can't get enough of this antioxidant-rich delight. —Emily Jamison, Champaign, Illinois
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Quick Easy Pumpkin Crescents Exps Pcbz19 76286 C04 25 6b 2

Quick & Easy Pumpkin Crescents

These homemade goodies are simple enough for my children to help with. Sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, the yummy crescents are perfect with hot cocoa on a chilly morning.—Mindee Erickson, St. George, Utah
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Special Creamed Corn Exps Tcbz19 9743 B05 16 4b 2

Special Creamed Corn

This corn has earned a permanent place on our special-occasion menus. While my whole family loves it, my son would be especially disappointed if I forgot to include our corn dish. —Deb Hauptmann, Mohnton, Pennsylvania
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Apricot-Glazed Bacon Spirals

Here’s a real crowd-pleaser for an appetizer table or brunch buffet. A whole piece of crispy bacon is rolled into each spiral. It's so good with the apricot preserves, which make it a sweet-and-salty treat. —Kellie Mulleavy, Lambertville, Michigan
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Caramel Fluff & Toffee Trifle

The best part of this stunning dessert is that you need only five ingredients to put it together. —Daniel Anderson, Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin
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Seven-Layer Mediterranean Dip

I like traditional seven-layer Mexican dip, but I love Mediterranean ingredients even more. When I made this mashup, my husband wolfed it down. And he won’t even touch hummus or Greek olives on their own! —Bee Engelhart, Bloomfield Township, Michigan
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Pomegranate Pistachio Crostini Exps Sddj17 181270 C08 25 5b 2

Pomegranate Pistachio Crostini

Pomegranate seeds intrigue me, so I sliced French bread, smeared it with cream cheese, and added seeds, pistachios and chocolate. —Elisabeth Larsen, Pleasant Grove, Utah
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Grandma's Cranberry Stuff

What could taste better than turkey and cranberry on Thanksgiving Day? My grandmother's classic recipe makes the best cranberry stuff to share with your family and friends this holiday. —Catherine Cassidy, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Caprese Salad Kabobs Exps Hcka19 123345 C05 11 1b 6

Caprese Salad Kabobs

Trade in the usual veggie platter for these fun kabobs. In addition to preparing these for get-togethers, I often make these as snacks for my family. And because assembly is so easy, the kids often ask to help. —Christine Mitchell, Glendora, California
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Gooey Caramel Topped Gingersnaps Exps Hcbz21 178946 B05 27 5b 1

Gooey Caramel-Topped Gingersnaps

Making these cookies is therapeutic for me. And they are always quite popular at fundraisers. If you’d like, you can make variations by using different nuts. —Deirdre Cox, Kansas City, Missouri
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Grandma's Biscuits

Homemade biscuits add a warm and comforting touch to any meal. My grandmother makes these tender biscuits to go with her seafood chowder. —Melissa Obernesser, Utica, New York
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Gorgonzola Polenta Bites

I needed a brand-new appetizer for a big party. I covered polenta with Gorgonzola and a tangy sauce. That’s how you spread holiday cheer. —Margee Berry, White Salmon, Washington
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Festive Holiday Sliders

Turkey sliders with ginger, horseradish and cranberry sauce refrigerate well, so I keep them ready for get-togethers when we bake gifts and wrap presents. —Pamela Miller, Big Rapids, Michigan
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Egg Baskets Benedict

A little puff pastry turns Canadian bacon and eggs into a tasty update on eggs Benedict. We use a packaged hollandaise or cheese sauce for the finish. —Sally Jackson, Fort Worth, Texas
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Herb-Roasted Olives & Tomatoes

Eat these roasted veggies with a crunchy baguette or a couple of cheeses. You can also double, or triple, the amounts and have leftovers to toss with spaghetti the next day. —Anndrea Bailey, Huntington Beach, California
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Pomegranate Persimmon Salad Exps Sdon16 189816 C06 07 8b 2

Pomegranate Persimmon Salad

To bring some sunshine to the table, I toss up a bright salad of persimmons and pomegranate seeds, dressed with a puckery vinaigrette. —Linda Tambunan, Dublin, California
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Brussels Sprouts Kale Saute Exps Tohca20 156772 E08 13 4b 4

Brussels Sprouts & Kale Saute

In an effort to add more greens to our meals, I created this dish—and my kids eat it up. The crispy salami is the "hook." —Jennifer Mcnabb, Brentwood, Tennessee
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Tangy Bacon Green Beans

My grandmother’s Pennsylvania Dutch-style recipe turns plain old green beans into a tangy cross between three-bean and German potato salads. —Sharon Tipton, Casselberry, Florida
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Deviled Eggs With Bacon Exps Gbhrbz17 108372 D07 11 1b 5

Deviled Eggs with Bacon

These yummy deviled eggs went over so well at our summer cookouts, I started making them for holiday dinners, too. Everyone likes the flavorful addition of crumbled bacon. —Barbara Reid, Mounds, Oklahoma
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Cranberry Fizz

With just five basic ingredients, this wonderfully tangy punch couldn't be much simpler to stir together. —Suzette Jury, Keene, California
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Pumpkin Toffee Trifle

I wanted to use pumpkin for a quick party dessert. This twist on a cream cheese pie tastes divine when made ahead. It keeps well, too. —Jodie Jensen, Draper, Utah
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Waffle-Iron Cookies

The recipe for these cookies is the easiest to find in my book because the page is a beautiful mess covered with fingerprints, flour smudges and memories of more than 30 Christmases! I made these with my daughters, and now I make them with my granddaughters. —Judy Taylor, Quarryville, Pennsylvania
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German Beer Cheese Spread

We love recipes inspired by our German heritage. This tangy spread is fantastic served alongside everything, including pretzels and pumpernickel or crackers and sausage. Choose your favorite beer—the flavor really comes through. —Angela Spengler, Tampa, Florida

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