From the Shipt Kitchen: Ashley Mincey and Holly Grainger’s Favorite Holiday Hosting Hacks 

The holidays are hands down our favorite time of year – from gift-shopping to putting up decorations, holiday cards, hosting family and more. But with all that’s going on, it’s easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle and forget to soak in all the joys of this special time. 

That’s why our favorite holiday dishes are the ones where you spend less time in the kitchen, and more time with your friends and family. In order to truly make the holidays “the most wonderful time of the year,” our Shipt chef extraordinaire Ashley Mincey teams up with nationally recognized dietitian and “clever living” expert Holley Grainger on these merry festive recipes. Read on to see their favorite holiday hacks and some exclusive dishes they’ll be using for their own holiday celebrations this year! 

Zesty Broccoli Salad 

Get the holidays off on the right foot with this fast and healthy, but delicious side dish that captures the season’s most delightful flavors. While it only takes minutes to prepare, this zesty broccoli salad recipe is packed with holiday spirit and is the perfect dish for your annual family potluck.

Ingredients

  • 3 parsnips
  • 20 oz steamed broccoli 
  • 14 oz steamed string beans
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • Lemon
  • 1/2 cup Caesar dressing
  • 4 oz crispy onions or shallots
  • Parsley, chopped
  • Rosemary 

Directions

Use julienne peeler on clean parsnips, then use knife to cut string beans in half and chop broccoli into smaller pieces, then combine vegetables in a salad bowl.

Pour dressing around the inside of bowl and use salad hands to toss everything together and disperse evenly. 

Zest more lemon on top of salad, then garnish with crispy onions and chopped herbs and enjoy!

Tip: Put your own spin this recipe by trying other great additions such as toasted walnuts, diced apple, candied bacon or your own favorite salad topping. To kick the festiveness up a notch, try making your own caesar dressing using the recipe below! 

Homemade Caesar Dressing

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup caesar dressing
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp lemon pepper
  • 1 tbsp apple cider or white wine
  • 1 1/2 tsp honey 
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika 
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Directions

In a bowl, combine caesar dressing, buttermilk, onion powder, lemon pepper, apple cider or white wine, honey, smoke paprika, and black pepper. 

Whisk everything together to serve with Zesty Broccoli Salad, and enjoy! 

Glazed Holiday Pears for Two

“On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me, a partridge in a pear tree.” Well, maybe skip the patridge, but capitalize on the pears for the perfect dish to impress your significant other this holiday season. After a big day of gifts and food, this holiday recipe makes for a sweet, but light dessert to enjoy while cozying up by the fire.

Ingredients

  • 2 pears
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 cup mixed nuts, roasted
  • 1 cup granola, loose
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • Chocolate caramel sauce
  • Salt 

Directions

Slice pears in half and use spoon or melon baller to scoop out center. 

Use paring knife to gently apply diagonal marketings across flesh of the pear to create an “x” pattern. 

Melt butter on skillet, then place pears cut side down over medium heat for two minutes. 

Carefully flip pears over and add apple cider and cranberries around the pears, then sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon on top of each. 

Cover and turn fire to low, cooking for another 5 minutes or until pears are tender. 

Transfer pears to serving dish and fill center with sauce and cranberries from the pan, then add mixed nuts and granola. 

Drizzle chocolate caramel sauce on top and serve with your favorite whipped cream, ice cream, or gelato!   

Tip: Once the pears are removed from the skillet, bring the juices up to a boil and leave uncovered, letting it boil for 5 minutes. This will allow it to reduce into a smooth, caramel-like sauce! 

Baked Herb Ricotta Flatbread

Better than a Black Friday deal, this hot option for a charcuterie board is a three-for-one dish! Dazzle guests with the perfect blend of holiday herbs that can be served either as hot and gooey bread bites, a deliciously creamy dip or a healthy holidays vegetarian spread. 

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs of olive oil
  • Italian or roasted pepper chicken sausages
  • 4 sage leaves
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • Flatbread
  • 16 oz whole milk ricotta
  • 1 mozzarella cheese ball
  • 1 cup fontina cheese, shredded
  • Honey 
  • Salt

Directions

Use knife to slice chicken sausage, then place on place on non-stick baking sheet along with sage leaves. 

Roast in oven at 425°F for 10 minutes. 

In a bowl, combine grated ricotta, mozzarella, and fontina cheeses with salt, black pepper, and rosemary

Slice cooled sage leaves into thin ribbons and incorporate, then spread cheese mixture onto flatbread. 

Top flatbread with remaining mozzarella and fontina cheeses, then add cooked chicken sausage slices. 

Bake in oven at 425°F for 20 minutes until cheese is melted and bread crust is crispy.

Remove from oven to cool, transfer to charcuterie board and enjoy! 

Tip: Transform this hot recipe into a dip by combining everything in a medium-sized ramekin instead of a flatbread. Bake at 425°F for 15-20 minutes until the top is bubbling and voilà! You now have the perfect dip to pair with the charcuterie board or grazing table. 

Tip #2: Swap the chicken sausage for either roasted mushroom or roasted butternut squash to make a vegetarian holiday swap! 

What’s the ultimate holiday hosting hack? Same-day delivery from Shipt of course! shipt.com has everything you need to host the holidays this year, brought right to your door in as soon as one hour!

Live chat