Salt & Wind Travel

The Tastiest (And Easiest) Recipes To Keep Houseguests Well Fed

The holiday menu is planned, every last gift bought, and the guest beds all set up.

You’re a lock for best hostess around, but you’ll be even more winning if you plan on what to serve everyone once they arrive chez toi.

Here are 15 choice recipes that are totally practical to make ahead for your houseguests. 

Opening photo by Alie Lengyelova

apple cinnamon pumpkin muffins recipe v1

Apple Cinnamon Pumpkin Muffins

dairy-free, nut-free, vegetarian

From road trips to breakfast-on-the-go, these muffins are pretty perfect for pretty much any cold-weather moment.

land o lakes sponsored mango bread recipe 4 1

Coconut Brown Butter Mango Bread

nut-free, vegetarian

When the winter weather is just a little too wintry, it’s time to make this sunshine-y quick bread that tastes like a vacation in Hawaii.

chai pistachio coffee cake recipe v

Pistachio Coconut Chai Coffee Cake


The classic coffee cake gets dressed up with pistachios and spices to mimic the flavor of one of our favorite traditional tea drinks.

salt and wind croque monsieur bread pudding recipe v

Croque Monsieur Savory Bread Pudding


This is everything that makes the Frenchy version of classic ham-and-cheese so deliciously turned into a casserole, and it’s as good at brunch as it is for a holiday lunch.

salt and wind chicken posole recipe v 1 scaled

Cheater’s Chicken Posole

dairy-free, gluten-free

The time to make something muy autentico isn’t when you have a house full of guests. This more straightforward and quicker version of posole means you can have a satisfying classic Mexican dish without too much work.

tuscan ribollita recipe v1 1

{Ribollita} Tuscan Bread Stew

nut-free, vegetarian

Speaking of slow-cooked stews, this Ribollita is perfect if you have vegetarian guests coming over. And it’s a pretty perfect way to get a veggie-ified dish in to keep you from going agro with the cookies.

aida mollenkamp chicken poblano chili recipe v

White Bean Poblano Chili

gluten-free, nut-free

A non-tomato twist on chili, this spicy poblano chicken chili is a bit smoky, quite filling, and a lot delicious.

150209 sweet sausage lasagna recipe v

Sweet Sausage and Three Cheese Lasagna


From weekends at music festivals to watching bowl games, this lasagna is a serious crowd-pleaser.

bacon tomato grilled cheese recipe v

Grilled Cheese With Slow-Roasted Tomatoes


Anyone who doesn’t love a grilled cheese — especially bacon, slow-roasted tomatoes, and gooey cheese — isn’t a friend of ours.

love lemons sweet potato quinoa bowls v 1

Sweet Potato Feta Quinoa Bowls

gluten-free, vegetarian

If you’re trying not to be naughty between all the holiday parties, this filling but healthy grain bowl is a must.

150309 baked pesto chicken parmesan v

Baked Pesto Chicken Parmesan

Breaded in Panko and topped with both pesto and red sauce, this healthy, baked version of classic chicken parm is still indulgent enough to be satisfying.

creamy polenta mushrooms peppers recipe v scaled

Creamy Polenta with Melted Peppers and Mushrooms

gluten-free, nut-free, vegetarian

We believe that there should always be a pot of polenta ready to be served this time of year. Keep it warm in your slow cooker, and then you can use it as a quick side to a holiday dinner or topped with eggs for a savory breakfast.

sizzling chicken sisig tacos recipe v

Sisig Chicken Tacos

gluten-free, nut-free

Speaking of slow cookers, you could combine all the ingredients for the taco filling and just let it simmer while you deck the halls and then serve it as a twist on a taco bar.

salt and wind truffle mushroom pizza recipe v 1

Truffled Mushroom Prosciutto Pizza


This more adult, sophisticated pizza is as fitting with a glass of red wine as it is for family movie night.

010115 chile lime spatchcock chicken v 2 scaled

Roasted Cilantro Chile Lime Spatchcock Chicken

dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free

A little spicy and a little Latin, this is one of the most crowd-pleasing chicken dishes we know of. Not to mention that spatchcocking the bird before roasting means it’s done in a fraction of the time.

cocktail recipes for holidays

Connect With Salt & Wind Travel

More On Salt & Wind Travel

This post may contain affiliate links. Please refer to our privacy policy.

About The Author


We'll help you taste Italy Mexico California Hawaii Mexico France Spain the world

Food Focused Experiences

We specialize in food-focused experiences in the most interesting culinary regions of the world.

Curated Group Trips

We host trips to Italy and Mexico to the regions of Lombardy, Mexico City, and Oaxaca.

Personalized Itineraries

Our services are tailored to meet your needs and make sure you make the most of your trip.