Delicious, Waste-Free Holiday Recipes & Tips
The holidays are upon us and food is central to our celebrations. Holiday get-togethers can create stuffed bellies, but also over-stuffed trash cans. According to Worldwatch Institute, between Thanksgiving and New Year’s three times as much food is wasted than at other times of the year! As food waste continues to be a rising problem in the U.S., with 133 billion pounds of food being tossed every year, we’re making an effort to have a waste-free holiday season.
These holiday-inspired recipes and ideas can help you save time in the kitchen while you waste less.
- Gone are the days when your grandparents would toast bread and cut off the crusts to make stuffing! Use a loaf of frozen garlic bread to make this Shortcut Sausage Stuffing.
- For these Three-Cheese Mashed Potatoes, you don’t have to peel potatoes – just cook in the microwave and mash!
- Save time and reduce waste by adding your own special twist to a bakeshop quality frozen pie, like this Sweet Potato Pie with Marshmallows and Spiced Cream.
- These delicious Holiday Glazed Carrots come together in a flash thanks to these sliced frozen carrots!
- With frozen asparagus, it’s always in season and ready to be used in side dishes like this Asparagus, Parm & Prosciutto Gratin!
- There’s no need to worry about spoiling cranberries when you can use frozen cranberries to make this simple Cranberry Sauce.
- Say goodbye to leftover dough when you buy a frozen pie shell instead, like in this Mexican Chocolate Pie with Cinnamon Drizzle!
- These Holiday Rolls leave nothing to waste – all you need are frozen rolls and butter!
- Sweet potatoes are a must for the holidays, but peeling them can be a little daunting. Lucky for you there’s no need to wash, peel or dice when you can cook up a bag of these Fire Roasted Sweet Potatoes!
- Reduce waste by buying frozen broccoli instead of chopping a whole head of it to make this Broccoli Cheddar Casserole.
- When a recipe calls for chopped onion, like in these Holiday Brussels Sprouts, think frozen! With frozen pre-chopped onion, there are no tears or leftover onion that inevitably ends up in the garbage.
- We bet you didn’t think to use those soft pretzels you have in your freezer to make this unique Bavarian Pretzel Stuffing!
- If you made too much stuffing to stuff your turkey, make this oh-so-simple Green Bean Stuffing Bake.
- Frozen corn can be used to make side dishes like Plantation Corn Pudding.
- If you made entirely too much cranberry sauce, whip up these elegant Cranberry Cream Puffs for an appetizer.
- Refrigerated mashed sweet potatoes can be the hero of your holiday feast. Enjoy as is or use them in this scrumptious Sweet Potato Souffle.
- Use up that extra apple pie filling and make these Salted Caramel Apple Phyllo Tarts.
- For Creamy Kale Casserole. use the amount of chopped onions you need and put the rest back in the freezer for another time.
- Have leftover pie crust? Make these yummy Pie Crust Nachos!
Here are some other things to keep in mind to cut down on waste during the holidays:
The fear of not providing enough to eat often causes hosts to cook too much. Instead, plan out how much food you and your guests will realistically need, and stock up accordingly.
Plan your menu and create a shopping list before going to the grocery store to avoid impulse buys or buying unnecessary quantities that may not be used right away and go to waste. Have takeout containers available for guests to take food home with them if there’s an overabundance of leftovers,
Know portion sizes
If turkey is on your menu, allow 1 pound of uncooked turkey per person from an 8 to 12 pound turkey. If you’re having ham, plan to buy 3/4-1 pound per person of fresh ham or 1/2 pound per person for spiral sliced ham.
Be mindful of all waste
It’s not just about food waste. When preparing for and throwing your party, bring your own reusable shopping bags to the grocery store. Instead of plastic or paper plates and cups, use reusable place settings and cloth napkins. And designate an area for your guests to recycle bottles and cans.
Discover how buying frozen foods can be part of the solution when reducing food waste during the holidays and year-round:
How do you try to prevent waste during the holiday season? Share with us on social media @EasyHomeMeals.