A Party in the Pantry

The last two weeks of December are always a whirlwind, madcap dash from one party to another. No matter how well you plan, there’s always that one party that sneaks up on you, leaving you in a last-minute rush to put together some dish to contribute. These recipes start with pantry staples and canned goods to make your life easier. Tip: If you don’t have fresh or frozen produce on hand, you can generally substitute with star-earning canned goods.

Fruity Peanut Butter Spread
This spread makes a great dip for vegetables, giving you an easy, tasty, nutritious snack to make for a party. Made of stuff you probably have on hand and very flexible (try substituting cranberries for raisins!), it’s also a great last-minute addition to a party menu. (2 Stars)

“Cocoa-Nut” Bananas
Looking for a sugar-free way to enjoy coconut and cocoa this holiday season? Try this simple recipe for fruit-based hors d’oeuvres the kids can make for you from a few simple pantry staples and bananas. (2 Stars)

Black Beans with Corn and Tomatoes
Looking for a little holiday heat? Grab those dusty cans of black beans, corn, and tomato off your pantry shelf and get ready to wow your own tongue. Serve with a star-earning tortilla chip, like Baked Tostitos Scoops. (3 Stars)

Spiced Toasted Almonds
Every one loves nuts for the holidays. Mix up your usual offering of protein-filled morsels with a little simple spice work. (3 Stars)

Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Bring a popular restaurant flavor home for the holidays with the twirl of a can opener. Keep the offering nutritious by serving it up with a vegetable platter, or these Pita Crisps. (3 Stars)

Vegetable Platter
Vegetable Platter / Andrew Malone / CC BY 2.0


Fruit Compote
As a dessert or side dish, this simple-yet-elegant compote can be served alone or as a nutritious topping to a more decadent dish. (2 Stars)

White Bean and Roasted Garlic Dip
You will love the smoky flavor of this dip almost as much as you love the simplicity of making it. Serve with red bell peppers or Pita Crisps and start a new holiday tradition. (3 Stars)