Holiday Make-Ahead Recipes


I really wanted to share this fast make-ahead Ham Roll-up recipe in time for you to include it in your Holiday meal plan. It is such a great deliciously predictable recipe. It can stand alone as the entrée or be a side dish to the turkey. I use it to stretch my turkey, because I never feel comfortable that there will be enough turkey. Pork just seems to be the perfect complement to turkey anyway. Think how much better dressing is when sausage is added. Oh my! I made this recipe today, as a mini version for the post, using 2 individual ramekins instead of the usual casserole dish. It looks so nice this way I would do it again for a small dinner party. Captain requested a baked potato and salad so that’s what floats tonight.



Ham Roll-ups recipe:

Serves 6 or for me 4. The sauce will be enough to cover 6 roll-ups in a 2-quart casserole. (For the 3 roll-ups in photo I made the amounts below, We will use most of it tonight) When served as a side to a turkey I figure 1 roll-up per person, with maybe a few more for leftovers. See my Thanksgiving Leftovers freebie printables. These reheat beautifully. That is why I call this my stretcher dish, I count the guests and add 3 then I feel confident that the turkey will be enough even if more guests show up or if I roast a smaller turkey.

  • Ham slices, I use deli off-the-bone, cut #3 on slicer as a starter, ask to see first slice & if it rolls easily.
  • Swiss cheese, slices. 1 per ham slice. I buy packaged slices.
  • 1 pkg frozen broccoli spears, steam or cook to tender crisp. Or fresh, steamed to tender crisp. (I use 2 spears per roll-up) squeeze out the water with hands after cooking.
  • 2 Tbsp. Butter
  • 1/4+tsp dried Basil
  • 2 Tbsp Flour (I use Wondera quick-mixing flour during the holiday for gravies & sauces)
  • 1 cup Milk (I use 2%)
  • 1 can French fried onions

Process: Preheat oven 350 degrees. For Béchamel Sauce: Melt butter, blend in flour & basil. Gradually add milk and stir continually until thickened over reduced heat. It will take maybe 9 min of stiring. You want it to be thick enough to not be runny. Top ham slices with cheese. I spread 2-tsp of the béchamel sauce over the cheese slice. Place 2 steamed & water-squeezed-out broccoli spears on each. Roll securing with toothpicks. Place in a single layer in a lightly buttered casserole. Pour some sauce over the rollups and sprinkle the french fried onions on top. COVER with lid or foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes til hot in center of rolls. You can do ahead sans french fried onions, refrigerate and then add french fried onions and bake before serving. OR make & bake completely, refrigerate and reheat *add more french fried onions if refrigerated so you get their crispness. Reheat any extra sauce to serve at table. Enjoy!

Bonus recipe: If you love the traditional mushroom soup green bean casserole but want to change-up the menu this year, my Green Bean wrapped in Bacon Bundles recipe is a sure winner. It is served with Hot Cajun Mustard Sauce. When I say I serve this during the holidays, I am referring to ALL seasons, Fall, Winter and Spring. HERE is the recipe from my Spring, Fat Tuesday, post. What makes it so perfect, aside from its delicious taste, is its presentation on a serving platter with the turkey, ham or prime rib. I always prepare the mustard sauce a week ahead to make my preparation easy. Actually, if I have a large crowd I will complete the whole cooking process earlier in the day; refrigerate and re-warm in the oven or microwave. I plan 2 bundles per person plus extra for leftover meals.

I came across this Easy Roast Turkey for Beginners video by Chef John, my favorite cook…good recipes and techniques. If you need courage to roast your first bird…


Thanks for Meeting Me Lakeside (late in the day, yikes, I have been busy shopping for something to wear for our family photo)

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