top of page

Joi's Essential Holiday Dishes

Updated: Dec 10, 2021

Its that time of year when families rush to buy out all of the meat and vegetables in the grocery store and spend some quality time with family with an extra amount of good food that only comes around once (or twice if you count Christmas) a year. I've always thought of the holidays as a perfect opportunity to test my cooking skills (endurance lol) and try to make something good and memorable for my family. As someone who likes good food and loves cooking good food for the people I care about I want to share some of my favorite recipes that I love to cook on the holidays. Oh and don't worry if you will be cooking by yourself and don't want the cooking to turn into an endurance test. This list is filled with easy recipes that can be done in 30 minutes or less and don't require too much prep.

Main Dishes

Baked Rotisserie Chicken

This recipe is perfect for those who want the flavor and tenderness of rotisserie chicken without having to buy and prepare a whole chicken or rush to the grocery store to buy a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken. And guess what? It only takes 30 minutes to cook with little prep needed. All you need is a couple boneless skinless chicken breasts.

Joi's Chicken and Gravy with Vegetables

This is one of my favorite weeknight recipes that can also be a delicious meat and vegetable main dish for the holidays. This recipe is perfect for anyone who wants to do a chicken dish for a meat option and for people who don't want to make a beef or pork main dish. Its done in 30 minutes and can be served on top of rice or mashed potatoes.

Easy Baked Lemon Garlic Herb Tilapia

Who says that Thanksgiving always has to have turkey, beef, or pork? Why not try fish for Thanksgiving for a change? Tilapia is an excellent fish for beginner cooks and this recipe requires little prep and can be can is less than 15 minutes.

BBQ Meatballs

Meatballs are a delicious option for any time but especially for cookouts, barbecues, and the holidays. If you don't mind a little more prep than adding some seasonings and baking and like to get hands on, this recipe is definitely worth it. The fun part is that you can make them as big or as small as you want. These meatballs also taste amazing even without adding sauce to them as well.

Fried Whiting with a Kick

Here's another delicious fish dish that's perfect for cookouts and the holidays if you're missing a fried dish.

Easy Pan Fried Tilapia

Don't like whiting? Have no fear, you can use this recipe for making fried tilapia instead. Its delicious with or without the flour coating.

Side Dishes

Garlic Butter Couscous with Mushrooms, Onions, and Spinach

If you feel like switching things up from rice and mashed potatoes, this recipe can be a tasty new addition to Thanksgiving.

Joi's Mac and Cheese

For me and my family, its not the holidays until there is a big pan of macaroni and cheese on the menu! This recipe is also special to me because I only cook mac and cheese for the holidays which builds up the excitement for the family. My mac and cheese has a combination of white and yellow sharp cheddar, a dash of smoked paprika, Lawry's seasoned salt, and topped with breadcrumbs for texture.

Brazilian Collard Greens

If you love collard greens and are up for trying a different collard greens recipe than you're used to, this recipe will be a fun addition to you dinner table. I make this recipe often as a side to fish or chicken.

Addictive Garlic Lemon Asparagus in a Pan

I used to hate asparagus until I realized like with lots of things, it goes great with garlic, lemon juice, and butter. Whether you're an asparagus lover or are in the middle on it, this recipe is a good easy vegetable side dish to add to your table. Don't want to fry asparagus in butter? Try my equally delicious "Easy Steamed Lemon Garlic Asparagus" recipe.

Pan version:

Steamed version:

Tasty Boiled Green Beans and Potatoes

I've bet you've had the canned version before but that has nothing on my homemade green beans and potatoes recipe from scratch! Make some room for more savory veggie sides with this addition.

Sweet Potato Bake

You can't have Thanksgiving without the sweet potatoes! This recipe is great both as a dessert and as a side and is sooo easy to make! I used to not like sweet potatoes until I made this myself.

Savory Green Beans with Kielbasa

I love green beans and this recipe is my mother's recipe but with a few tweaks. If you love green beans slowly simmered with meat but want to skip the ham, this recipe is perfect for you!

Delicious Fried Cabbage

Cabbage in all of its forms is delicious but there is something about cabbage that has been cooked in butter, bacon, and onions that keeps you coming back. This is simple and classic recipe but a good one.

Easy Savory Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Do you love sweet potatoes but want to try a different version of mashed sweet potatoes? These savory sweet potatoes are a perfect compliment to a main meat dish while keeping the mild sweetness of the potatoes present.

Spicy Green Beans

This recipe is a fun variation of green beans if you want to try something a green bean dish that isn't green bean casserole or green beans boiled with ham. If you like veggies with a mild kick, this one is for you!

Lemon Pepper Green Beans

Green beans are always a good time and I love how there are many ways to season and cook them. This recipe is another one of my favorite green beans side dish recipes that can be a tasty addition to your Thanksgiving dinner.

Chicken Flavored Rice

Need a simple and flavorful rice side dish this year? Why not try homemade chicken flavored rice for a change? Whether you like white rice or brown rice, this recipe is a must have for all year round as well as the holidays.


bottom of page