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11 Best Holiday Food Trends to Steal in 2021

Looking for some holiday food trends to steal? We have a few ideas for nontraditional holiday food, new themes to try, gifts, and more!

11 Best Holiday Food Trends to Steal in 2021

We all love our favorite traditional holiday foods. Green bean casserole and sweet potatoes, anyone? But it's also fun to mix things up sometimes! This holiday season, you can do a little of both—go with a few mainstays and try some new trends, too! But what holiday food trends will you steal? Check out some of our favorites below.

1. Thanksgiving with a theme

By this, we mean a theme other than Thanksgiving! Think about motifs you've used in past years or fun ideas from a favorite book, movie, or time. Create a Chocolat-inspired dessert menu, or splurge on Great Gatsby-style Oysters Rockefeller and Champagne. Another option is to focus on a culture or region, like an Asian-inspired feast. This idea is not limited to Thanksgiving, either. Create themes for each of your holiday feasts and seasonal parties to make planning more fun. 

2. Try vegetarian or vegan holiday meals

Want to commit to eating less meat? That's one reason to try vegan or vegetarian holiday meals. You can also use this as an opportunity to raise awareness about environmental causes, healthy eating, or factory farming. Vegetable-based feasts can be a fun way to bring your family and friends together around a cause that means a lot to them.

3. Tired of turkey?

Maybe it's time to start a new tradition! Meatless or not, holiday meals don't have to be all about the turkey. Try salmon for a protein-rich feast. Or a space-saving succulent roast chicken, sweet and juicy honey ham, or sumptuous herbed roast beef. All of these things can make for new leftover traditions, too — another way to save time and money. 

4. Or, let's get it twisted

Keep the turkey if you want—but maybe try it with a twist! Deep-fried turkeys have been a trend for a long time, but if you're looking for something less fatty (and less dangerous), there are many alternatives. Braise your bird in broth and spices for a savory, juicy dish. Or put it on the grill for crispy deliciousness. If you have a smoker, use it to make flavorful smoked turkey—and save the leftovers to make awesome smoked sandwiches and turkey jerky later on.

5. Spatchcock it!

What is spatchcocking, you ask? It's a method that many swear by for creating a perfectly cooked, super-juicy bird. In fact, it's meant to replace the usual baking method, which requires stuffing plus hours in the oven—and sometimes results in dry meat despite our best efforts. To spatchcock, cut the turkey down the middle and flatten it out (most baste with butter or oil). You won't be able to stuff the turkey, but it will cook a lot faster, which keeps the meat moister.

6. Bring on the cottagecore!

Cottagecore is huge right now. It comes from people spending so much time at home these days—and working hard to make home as cottage-cozy as possible. That includes cooking. Scratch-made dishes are popular, and lots of people have been brushing up their cooking and baking skills. Try out the trend with homemade bread, pies, or whatever your comfort-loving soul desires.

7. Low stress and mess

Looking to spend more time with guests and less in the kitchen? This year, one big trend is finding ways to eat and be merry—without the pre-dinner scramble or the post-dinner cleaning. Rather than calling off big plans, call in some extra help! Engage friends and family in the kitchen, ask guests to bring a covered dish, and designate an area for everyone to rinse and stack their used plates and utensils to make loading the dishwasher easier.

8. Holiday care packages

For those of us planning another year of stay-at-home holidays, care packages are a great way to share your kitchen with friends and family—plus check some names off your gift list! It's the thought that counts, so choose foods wisely. Give your charcuterie-loving friend meats and cheeses. Sweet tooths might enjoy homemade cookie mixes they can whip up themselves. 

9. Food-filled stocking stuffers

Stocking stuffers are so much fun—even better when they're edible! For this gift idea, you'll need sealable mason jars or mugs and an easy DIY printed recipe. Think mug cakes, hot chocolate mix, dry soup mix, or cookie ingredients. Your recipients just add the wet ingredients and heat according to your instructions to make their tasty treats.

10. Finger food for the win!

If you haven't seen your people in a while, create a low-fuss menu so you can spend the bulk of the day enjoying everyone's company. Finger foods are a great way to keep it simple. Anything goes here, from charcuterie to sliders, spanakopita, deviled eggs, fruits, vegetables, hummus—you get the idea! The trick is choosing foods you can make ahead in bulk to get everything on the table quickly.

11. Make it minimalist

This trend has been growing all year long—and it'll make holiday entertaining much more effortless. Keep the focus on simple foods rather than complex dishes that require a dozen ingredients and several steps. Remember that simple doesn't mean flavorless. Use spices, oils, and other flavorings where needed while keeping prep-time for each dish low. In other words, skip the beef Wellington in favor of perfectly herbed roast beef! Simple sides of roasted potatoes, brussels sprouts, and a salad pack a punch with just a few ingredients. 

Feast your friends in style and save money on holiday munchies!

Ready to start prepping your feast? Before you do, don't forget to check your Save mailer for coupons and deals on dinner ingredients and all the fixings you'll need this holiday season!