Tired of your usual fancy holiday meals? Why not let 2020 be the year you go casual? It’s already been a year for rule-bending, so carry that on to your Christmas or New Year’s feast. You can still dust off your good china, but fill those plates with some of these themed snack menu ideas instead of Beef Wellington or prime rib. Who knows? It could be such a hit, you want to bring it back next year.
- Build a board - Charcuterie boards are perfectly styled snacks, but beyond being Instagram-ready, they can be customized for your family’s tastes for a holiday meal. Make a Mediterranean board with herb salami, baked feta or goat cheese, hummus or red pepper dip, artichoke hearts and olives. And for dessert? Try a trendy hot chocolate board with marshmallows, chocolate chips, candy canes and whipped cream.
- Carb comfort - Fresh homemade soft pretzels are tough to beat, but if you don’t feel like going all out, there are shortcuts to this chewy treat. Don’t feel like taking on DIY dough? Buy refrigerated pizza dough. Or save time and skip the twisting by making pretzel bites instead. And don’t forget the cheese sauce.
- Movie-watching munchies - Lots of us will spend our holidays rewatching some favorite films, so take viewing up a notch with the perfect snacks. Make a fresh batch of plain popcorn, then toss half in stovetop caramel sauce and the other half with cheese powder. True cheese fans can treat themselves to homemade Cheez-Its, then use them to make a better-than-boxed Chex mix.
- Retro classics - Whip up a vintage-themed holiday buffet spread and the old-school cocktails to go with it. Break out the cocktail plates, stir up some Manhattans or martinis to sip on and make some deviled eggs, French onion dip and bite-size pigs in a blanket for the ideal throwback menu.
- Sheet pan snacking - It doesn’t get much easier than loading up one pan for a quick meal. Go simple with tortilla chips and cheese, or take your nachos next-level by adding avocado, sour cream and fresh cilantro before serving. Or try tater-tachos by swapping the chips for tater tots. You can expand your toppings to include anything tasty to you, like bacon, barbecue sauce or black beans.