Holiday menu planning can be tough. You want to add a few things to refresh your menu for the season, but don’t want to upset the balance of your dishes or stick to the same old holiday menu staples. So, what’s the best way to add some festive flair to your menu? Try these five trends we’ve seen popping up this holiday season.
- Rethink Your Roast: With traditional roasts dominating homes and holiday parties, making your menu stand out takes more than putting adding a sliced ham to the line up. You can rethink the roasts on your holiday menu by changing the flavor profile (think honey sriracha glaze or a lager brine). You can think outside the sliced ham, adding hearty options with smokehouse flavor from bone-in pork roasts to soy ginger short ribs. And, if you want to add a lighter roast that still feels festive, a cedar plank salmon adds family-style dimension to your featured specials.
- One Pot Holidays: From Michelin-star restaurants to home kitchens, one thing is certain, one pot meals are essential to saving time and building complex flavors in a short period of time. Add a one-pot meal to your holiday menu and give your diners the comfort of holidays at home.
- Stacked Sandwiches: The holidays this year are all about simplicity and ease. Sandwiches are a great way to introduce seasonal flavor to your holiday menu without the full production of a holiday-themed entree. Stick to traditional ingredients or go with pull from your favorite holiday appetizers for more ideas.
- Holiday Ramen: Ramen is a hit on any menu and at any time (Breakfast Ramen, anyone?) The holidays are a perfect time to add Ramen to the list because the noodles are such a great base for whatever flavor profile you are trying to build. Stick to Asian-inspired broth, sauces and seasoning, add ahi tuna or grilled chicken or try something even more unexpected than putting ramen on your holiday menu!
- Alternative Sides: Attend to dietary restrictions and choices by adding alternative sides to your holiday menu. From quinoa casseroles to cauliflower “mac and cheese”, these sides allow customers to indulge in holiday fare without straying too far from their dietary commitments.