Scoop: How to Cook for Smaller Holiday Meals

As many of us know when after cooking large meals for years, transitioning to smaller portions, especially for holiday meals, is challenging. 

Here is a helpful guide of tips on how to cook smaller holiday meals for your guests.

Starts With the Menu

First, the menu. By creating the menu, this will help make the cooking process more straightforward. Since this is a smaller group, you can take things up a notch. When creating a menu for a large group, typically, people just make bulky dishes. If the group is smaller, you can make an extravagant menu. You’ll want a delicious appetizer, of course, and a few sides, the main dish, and two desserts.


You want to impress your guest with your appetizers. Stick to foods you can offer on a small plate. You want something that makes your guests curious. A great appetizer could be cheddar and walnut gougères. The mixture between these ingredients is going to help set the stage for the rest of your dinner. Look for appetizers that allow you to blend ingredients you wouldn’t see together on a dish.

Rethink the Main Dish

You will be giving your guests a much smaller experience, which is great since this means you want them to experience more variety. Instead of offering a dish with a lot of protein, which could fill your guests up prematurely, it might be a good idea to consider a low carb main dish. If you’ve got guests on a low carb diet plan for weight loss, they’ll love seeing you embrace this modification. An excellent low carb main dish is salmon. Just make sure you have enough for all the guests, including yourself, as salmon is that sort of dish we all love.

Lighter Sides

The sides should be light but unique. Instead of potato side dishes, opt for alternatives like roasted Brussels sprouts, prosciutto-wrapped asparagus, or pumpkin blossoms, to name a few. You’ll have time to try these exciting gourmet light side dishes since you don’t have to cook too long. Light is good, so that your guests can eat more of your feast. 

Tip, If you haven’t made your main dish, be sure to try the dish before dinner to master the art of your festive meal.

Individual Desserts

Finally dessert. Ideally, you want to find sweet desserts that can be offered individually. While cupcakes fall in the individual theme, let’s move beyond the cupcake and consider other types of smaller desserts, like lava cakes — perfect for your chocolate lover guests — apple fritters are also a twist to the classic dessert. 

Voilà. No huge pots and pans, just small and delicious meals cooked up to impress and enjoy for the Holidays! 

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