5-Ingredient Christmas Recipes You Can Pull Together at the Last Minute

Cinnamon-Sugar Christmas Tree
Photo: Southern Living

While you've probably had most of your holiday menu planned out for a while, if you realize you need another dessert or appetizer at the last minute, there's no need to panic. These five-ingredient recipes will be the perfect addition to your Christmas celebration. You may even be lucky enough to have all of the ingredients for some of these easy recipes on hand. No grocery store run is needed.

The recipes on this list, like Christmas cookies and cheese straws, even make great food gifts for friends and neighbors. These quick and easy recipes with few ingredients are here to save the day, no matter the holiday dilemma heading your way. Here are our best recipes to make using fewer ingredients than you think.

01 of 19

Orange-Basil Baked Brie

Orange-Basil Baked Brie
Alison Miksch

Recipe: Orange-Basil Baked Brie

Our favorite is a dish with plenty of flavors and only uses a short list of ingredients. This recipe features orange marmalade, frozen phyllo pastry, and brie. Garnishing with seasonings like basil and pepper and sliced almonds make the presentation look professionally created with very little work.

02 of 19

Red Velvet Cake Mix Cookies

Red-Velvet Cake Mix Cookies
Micah A. Leal

Recipe: Red Velvet Cake Mix Cookies

A box of cake mix is the not-so-secret ingredient to making impressive cookies with little effort on your part. The pops of white chocolate inside these festive red cookies will be Santa-approved. Eggs, kosher salt, and vegetable oil are the only additional ingredients needed to make these adorable sweets.

03 of 19

Toasted Pecans

Buttery Toasted Pecans
Photo: Iain Bagwell

Recipe: Toasted Pecans

Keep these out for hungry guests to graze on before the holiday meal. Toasted pecans work in many holiday recipes, so making a large batch at the beginning of the season will cut down on some preparations later. Salt, red pepper, butter, and pecan halves—it doesn't get easier than that.

04 of 19

Sausage Bread

Sausage Bread
Victor Protasio, Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall, Prop Stylist: Kathleen Varner

Recipe: Sausage Bread

Prepared pizza dough helps this recipe come together with just 20 minutes of hands-on time. You can make multiple batches and substitute the Italian sausage for chicken or turkey sausage if you prefer. Serve with marinara or pesto sauce, or enjoy it entirely on its own.

05 of 19

No-Bake Chocolate-Oatmeal Cookies

Granny's Homemade Chocolate-Oatmeal Cookies
Zoe Denenberg; Prop Stylist: Rachel Mulcahy

Recipe: No-Bake Chocolate-Oatmeal Cookies

A recipe that requires no baking and just 10 minutes of hands-on time can be a lifesaver during the busy holiday season. Plus, when sugar, butter, chocolate, and oats are on the ingredient list, you know it'll satisfy Santa's sweet tooth.

06 of 19

Cheddar Cheese Straws

Cheddar Cheese Straws
Photo: Lee Harrelson

Recipe: Cheddar Cheese Straws

This classic snack is great for a last-minute food gift or to keep on hand all season long for drop-in guests. It's a savory snack to substitute for all the sweets you'll be eating through Christmastime. Paprika adds some flavoring to this recipe, but feel free to experiment with your favorite spices or cheeses.

07 of 19

Deviled Eggs

Classic Deviled Eggs
Lee Harrelson; Styling: Jan Gautro, Laura Zapalowski

Recipe: Deviled Eggs

You'll probably want to double this recipe. If not, these deviled eggs might be gone before everyone sits at the table, which is fine since they make great appetizers. You'll probably have most of these ingredients in your pantry around the holidays, so it's a good recipe to keep in mind.

08 of 19

Cathedral Window Cookies

Cathedral Window Cookies
Zoe Denenberg, Styling: Rachel Mulcahy

Recipe: Cathedral Window Cookies

This nostalgic treat requires no baking and is a fun way to get the kids to help in the kitchen this Christmas season. Remember to allow enough time for these treats to firm up before serving, so you can make these the day before your holiday party, which will ultimately be a time-saver. Chocolate, marshmallows, and nuts are the most fabulous additions to holiday baking, and this recipe uses all three.

09 of 19

Buttermilk Biscuit

Father's Day Brunch Recipe Ideas: Buttermilk Biscuits
Photo: Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Buttermilk Biscuit

Christmas morning breakfast is worthy of homemade biscuits. You only need self-rising flour, buttermilk, and butter to create this warm, flaky no-fail biscuit recipe. Remember not to overwork your dough to keep it light.

10 of 19

Four-Ingredient Slow-Cooker Pot Roast

Four-Ingredient Slow-Cooker Pot Roast
Melina Hammer

Recipe: Four-Ingredient Slow-Cooker Pot Roast

The main dish for Christmas Eve dinner doesn't have to be complicated. Spend less time in the kitchen and more time with your family by letting your slow cooker do most of the work. Add chuck roast, canola oil, beer, and an envelope of Italian dressing mix, and enjoy this meal fit for a crowd.

11 of 19

Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Beth Dreiling Hontzas; Food Styling: Angella Sellers and Vanessa McNiel Rocchio; Prop Styling: Melanie J. Clarke and Sissy Lamerton

Recipe: Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese

This easy, cheesy dish belongs on every holiday menu. This classic dish is also a great make-ahead meal because it freezes well when placed in an airtight container. Prepare your mixture, freeze, and wait to bake it until you're ready to serve.

12 of 19

Easy Peanut Butter Cookies

Easy Peanut Butter Cookies Swap
Betsy McCallen Lovell

Recipe: Easy Peanut Butter Cookies

You're probably lucky enough to have all the ingredients for these simple cookies in your kitchen. Combine peanut butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and an egg for chewy gluten and dairy-free cookies. Flattening the dough with a fork adds a little design to the top of this simple cookie.

13 of 19

Cherry-Pecan Brie

Cherry-Pecan Brie
Jim Franco

Recipe: Cherry-Pecan Brie

This appetizer is festive, impressive, and easy to pull together. Cherry preserves add a splash of holiday red to this brie dish, while chopped pecans make it a Southern classic you'll want to serve at every event. Swap the cherry preserves for cranberries if you prefer.

14 of 19

5-Ingredient Sugar Cookies

5-Ingredient Sugar Cookies
Linda Pugliese, Hector Sanchez; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas, Buffy Hargett Miller

Recipe: 5-Ingredient Sugar Cookies

Basic sugar cookie dough requires just five staple ingredients. No decorating is needed. Just supply the icing and let your guests create their masterpiece—this is a fun activity resulting in a delicious treat.

15 of 19

Peppermint Divinity

Peppermint Divinity
Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Christine Keely; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer

Recipe: Peppermint Divinity

The secret to making divinity is to choose a day with dry, sunny weather. Try swapping traditional crushed pecans for peppermint in this updated holiday classic. Make enough for friends and family because these bite-size sweets are lovely gifts that look beautiful in a cookie tin.

16 of 19

Cornmeal-and-Brown Sugar-Crusted Bacon

Brunch Recipes: Cornmeal-and-Brown Sugar-Crusted Bacon
Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Cornmeal-and-Brown Sugar-Crusted Bacon

Make the bacon a little more special for Christmas brunch with the addition of a crisp brown sugar and cornmeal crust. Combine yellow cornmeal, brown sugar, and ground pepper to generously coat bacon slices and then place them on a baking tray. Use aluminum foil for an easy clean-up solution on those busy holiday mornings.

17 of 19

Praline Pull-Apart Bread

Praline Pull-Apart Bread
Beth Dreiling Hontzas; Styling: Caroline Murphey

Recipe: Praline Pull-Apart Bread

Frozen dough and a handful of ingredients you probably already have in your pantry come together to create this decadent pull-apart bread. Remember to whip the cream before stirring in the brown sugar because that makes the texture smooth in the caramel-flavored sauce. Chopped pecans add a crunchy texture to this seriously sweet bread.

18 of 19

Mississippi Mud Medallions

Mississippi Mud Medallions
Alison Miksch

Recipe: Mississippi Mud Medallions

A traditional Southern classic treat, the Mississippi Mud Medallions dessert uses only four ingredients. For a no-bake holiday treat, combine espresso beans, pecan halves, chocolate, and graham crackers. Substitute mini marshmallows for espresso beans for a more kid-friendly treat like a version of a mini-s'more.

19 of 19

Baked Brie Bites

Baked Brie Bites
Laurey W. Glenn

Recipe: Baked Brie Bites

This appetizer packs plenty of flavor and texture into one bite using just five convenient ingredients. For extra convenience, use frozen mini phyllo pastry shells and top each with brie, red pepper jelly, pecans, and flaky sea salt. These bite-sized snacks should be crispy, warm, and cheesy on the inside.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles