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10 Holiday Recipes That Won’t Break the Bank

Posted by Renée Benson, Public Affairs Specialist, USDA Office of Communications in Food and Nutrition Health and Safety Research and Science Equity
Dec 06, 2023
Piggy Bank with Coins

The holiday season is a time for joy, celebration and delicious food! Celebrating the holidays on a budget does not mean sacrificing flavor or tradition. With a little ingenuity, you can create delicious, festive meals that celebrate the spirit of the season without compromising on flavor or nutrition. Let's explore some satisfying MyPlate holiday recipes that respect your wallet and contribute to a memorable feast!

Remember! Incorporating frozen and canned pantry staples can save time and money without compromising taste or quality.

Herb-Roasted Chicken

Roasted chicken is a simple and classic recipe that will never go out of style. Experiment with different seasonings if you would like. Try it with your favorite vegetables on the side for a delicious meal.

Whole roast chicken on a platter with a sliver of red bell peppers and twig of Rosemary.

Ingredients: whole chicken, olive oil (or canola oil), Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper (optional).

Oven Roasted Vegetables

This simple and delicious vegetable dish is perfect with your favorite entrée.

Oven-Roasted Vegetables ready to eat.

Ingredients: fresh vegetables (cut up, such as potatoes, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, or red peppers), vegetable oil, lemon juice, Italian seasoning, salt and ground black pepper.

Easy Stuffed Pasta Shells

Spinach, a mixture of low-fat cheeses and herbs combine for a delicious filling in these stuffed shells for a ready-to-bake casserole.

Pasta shells in red sauce, stuffed with spinach and cheese in a red baking dish, resting on a red and white kitchen towel.

Ingredients: pasta shells, frozen chopped spinach, cottage cheese, mozzarella, dried oregano and black pepper.

Simple Stuffed Peppers

These simple stuffed peppers are fun and flavorful. Use yellow, red, green and orange peppers for a colorful dish.

Simple Stuffed Peppers on a plate.

Ingredients: brown rice, black beans, bell peppers, cheddar cheese, tomato, salsa and salt (optional).

Three Sisters Soup

This is a true comfort recipe to warm you up year-round. Make it your own by using any vegetables or beans that you have on hand. Instead of cumin, try 2 to 3 teaspoons of Italian seasoning or 1 tablespoon of curry powder.

Two bowls of vegetable and bean soup.

Ingredients: carrot, onion, garlic, squash, corn, beans, tomatoes, broth, cumin and black pepper.

Oven-Baked Potato Pancakes

These potato pancakes are easily baked in the oven and offer a healthier version of a traditional recipe.

Oven baked potato pancakes

Ingredients: olive oil, whole wheat (or all purpose) flour, baking powder, russet (or Yukon Gold) potatoes, onion, 1 large egg, applesauce, yogurt and salt.

Sweet Potato Casserole

Cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger combined with vanilla extract are a delicious backdrop for sweet potatoes. Use canned sweet potatoes if you do not have whole sweet potatoes on hand.

Sweet Potato Casserole in a white serving bowl on a rustic table surrounded by sweet potatoes.

Ingredients: sweet potatoes, egg whites, sugar, nonfat evaporated milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.

Sweet Potato and Apple Bake

Enjoy the taste of fall with the combination of sweet potatoes and apples in this delicious side dish. Serve with roasted chicken or turkey and a large green salad.

Baked sweet potato, apple, and nuts.

Ingredients: sweet potatoes, apples, brown sugar, chopped nuts, flour and butter.


Homemade applesauce, an easy treat to make, is a wonderful side dish or dessert option.

Applesauce in a serving bowl surrounded by whole apples.

Ingredients: apples, water and sugar.

Fruit Salad with Yogurt

This colorful salad combines sliced strawberries, pineapple chunks and blueberries coated in pineapple juice. Serve topped with low-fat yogurt and slivered almonds for a treat that looks as good as it tastes.

Bowl of fruit salad with yogurt.

Ingredients: strawberries, blueberries, pineapple (chunks and juice), yogurt and almond slivers.

These recipes are available on All recipes use ingredients that can be purchased using Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits many ingredients are part of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) food packages.