Hosting the holidays with family and friends is a joyous time of year. For some, it is a huge celebration and for others, it is a little more low key but either way food is required. Between traditional recipes, easy options and modern twists, it can be difficult to navigate what to serve to your loved ones. So, to help you get ahead of your holiday planning here are some must-make entree, main and dessert recipes that everyone is sure to enjoy these holidays. Because let's face it, food is the way to one's heart and the best part of the festive season!



Savoury Snacks ~ To save on cooking time, canapes and antipasto are a great, easy way to keep the entrees light and fresh. Serve things like fresh seafood with dipping sauces, cheeses, deli meats, fresh bruschetta, grilled halloumi and so forth. Choose around 2-3 different options based on the number of guests you are hosting.



Mediterranean Pasta Salad ~ The colours of the festive season served in a nourishing pasta salad, bound to have your guests asking for the recipe before they leave.


  1. 200g elbow pasta

  2. 200g cherry tomatoes (cut in fours)

  3. 200g baby cucumbers (sliced thinly)

  4. 1/2 red onion (finely chopped)

  5. 100g baby spinach (finely chopped)

  6. 100g sundried tomatoes (stripes)

  7. 140g marinated green and black olives (sliced)

  8. 100g feta (crumbled)

  9. 1/2tbsp sea salt

  10. 1/2 tbsp black pepper

  11. 4 tbsp garlic infused olive oil

  12. 1 tbsp mixed herbs

  13. 1 tsp chilli flakes

  14. 1/2 lemon (juice)

  15. 2 tbsp red wine vinegar


  1. Add the pasta to a pot and cook as per the box instructions until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water.

  2. In the meantime, prepare all the individual ingredients by chopping, slicing or crumbling then setting aside.

  3. Combine the cooled pasta and fresh ingredients in a large serving bowl, roughly stirring. Serve and enjoy!


Maple Glazed Ham ~ This modern twist will have your home smelling oh so festive, but your guests will never guess how easy this holiday recipe truly is.


  1. 5kg leg ham (bone in, skin on)

  2. 2 oranges

  3. 250ml water

  4. 185ml maple syrup

  5. 165g brown sugar

  6. 3tbsp dijon mustard

  7. 3/4tsp ground cinnamon


  1. Remove ham from fridge 1 hour prior, then preheat oven to 160C. Check your shelves to make sure you have room for the ham to sit in the centre of the oven.

  2. Place maple syrup, brown sugar, mustard and cinnamon into a bowl and mix until combined.

  3. Run a small knife around the bone handle, down each side of the ham and under the rind on the cut face, use your hands to make sure the rind is back.

  4. Lightly cut diamond shapes into the fat surface of the ham about 75% deep and avoiding cutting the meat.

  5. Place the ham in a large baking dish, prop the handle of the ham up with scrunched foil and squeeze over the juice of 1 orange. Brush over half of the glaze and pour the water into the dish. Bake for 1.5-2 hours basting very generously every 30 minutes. Use foil to cover any bits that burn faster.

  6. Allow to rest for at least 20 minutes and baste again before serving.



White Christmas Chocolate Bark ~ Something sweet to conclude the dining experience that is fuss free and can be prepared days in advance.


  1. 500g white chocolate (chopped)

  2. 60g dried cranberries

  3. 50g pecans (roughly chopped)

  4. 4 green and red candy canes (crumbled)


  1. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave, stirring every few minutes.

  2. In the meantime, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and prepare the remaining ingredients.

  3. Once the chocolate is melted, pour it onto the lined baking sheet and smooth out. Then sprinkle over the cranberries, pecans and candy canes, making sure to press them slightly into the chocolate so they hold.

  4. Refrigerate until set and hard, about 1 hour. Break into pieces that are easy to pick up and serve as needed.


Happy Holidays, enjoy the festivities and this delicious 3 course menu!


From the team at SUNNYLiFE.