18 Dinners & Lunches to Get You Through the Holidays

With all the recipe planning, grocery shopping, and oh-wait-our-second-cousin-twice-removed-is-no-longer-eating-anything-orange (why? who knows), the holidays can begin to wear on even the most avid of holiday enthusiasts.

In these times, we turn to our tried and true back-pocket recipes—and by recipes, we mean Not Recipes, those that require just some know-how to throw together and are adaptable to whatever you have on hand. These are the not-quite-holiday foods that will save your soundness come dinner. They offer freedom, a respite from all that incessant planning (even if it's just for one meal).

Here are 18 dishes to make in-between the turkey buying and pie crust making and pondering your second cousin twice removed's strange choices.

Just let it simmer

comfort in carbs

Into the oven it goes

a bit of bright greens

Tell us: What know-it-by-heart recipes do you rely on to get you through the holidays?

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This article was originally published in November 2016.

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  • Joyce weatherly
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I fall in love with every sandwich I ever meet.


ARISTI C. December 3, 2016
greetings from greece. Lovely recipes and decoration ideas ...
Joyce W. November 30, 2016
what a great compilation of all time people pleasing recipes Thank you for taking the time and trouble, I will use them over and over again.
Steve November 28, 2016
They all have recipes attached, just not the usual way.
Sharon H. November 28, 2016
Never mind the typo - I haven't even read the article. What I find stupifying is that people talk about "getting through the holidays". There are folks being bombed this very moment, a maniac has been elected President, and a whole lot of other craziness. How about a little mindfulness? I guess this year I don't give a rat's a** about "the holidays"....perhaps it's time for people to wake up and appreciate each moment rather than running around buying things for people who already have way too much of everything. My ten cents. ;-)
Edward November 28, 2016
With all the stress in the world today because of politics,war,crime,and hatred I think a four letter word written in error is not the end of the world,move on people,not worth the trouble.
Phyllis A. November 28, 2016
Certainly not the end of the world , LOL! I just thought they might not of noticed .
Sharon H. November 28, 2016
Oh and....that would be "might not HAVE noticed' ;-) Sorry. Couldn't resist.
Phyllis A. November 28, 2016
Touche', LOL!
Sharon H. November 28, 2016
Again, sorry to know, a beeyatch. I do that all the time - often writing "beset" rather than "best" at the end of an email ;-)
Author Comment
Riddley G. November 27, 2016
Hi! Thanks for the comment. It always helps having an extra pair (or pairs!) of eyes during this crazy holiday season. The typo is fixed. Thanks again!
Phyllis A. November 28, 2016
No problem ! I love your site, otherwise I wouldn't have bothered .
Phyllis A. November 27, 2016
Yes, it's meant to be helpful.
Milehighlori November 27, 2016
Thank you Food 52 for a wonderful collection of short cuts and great ideas to keep us on our healthy track rather than ordering take out during this crazy-busy time of year. There is always something I can throw together that is going to be better & healthier than calling for a pizza delivery.
Phyllis A. November 27, 2016
Please invest in some copy editing.

"... The holidays can begin to ware on even the most avid of holiday enthusiasts." I'm sure you meant "wear" not "ware."
Milehighlori November 27, 2016
Is this meant to be a helpful comment? It reads differently.
Elisa F. November 27, 2016
I agree with you! that drives me crazy, in a professional venue yes, this is helpful!!