Your Stress-Free Holiday Menu: Step-by-Step



This holiday season, welcome friends and family with a comforting holiday menu full of bright, sophisticated flavors. Better yet? Get most of the work done in advance so you can actually enjoy the day. Wouldn’t that be lovely?

Our meal plan is your guide to stress-free hosting with a menu that’s sure to impress. There’s creamy crab lasagna, burrata-stuffed meatballs topped with a fresh gremolata, and a showstopping white chocolate tiramisu layer cake with creamy mascarpone frosting. We’ve even got you covered for breakfast the next morning with a make-ahead French toast casserole that’s topped with leftover cake frosting. Frosting for breakfast? Why not? It’s the holidays.

Our schedule starts 1 day ahead of your holiday dinner and takes you right up to the moment when your guests arrive.

Ready, Set, Prep!


Assemble the Creamy Fontina Crab Lasagna. Cover and refrigerate until ready to bake. [Get the recipe]

Make the Burrata-Stuffed Meatballs. Place on baking sheets, cover and refrigerate. (The next day, you’ll prep the easy gremolata that’s served atop these cheese-filled beauties). [Get the recipe]

Bake the cake layers for the White Chocolate Tiramisu Cake. Drizzle them with coffee liqueur as directed. Wrap well with plastic wrap until you’re ready to frost the cake the next morning. [Get the recipe]



Make frosting and assemble cake. Double the frosting recipe if you’re making French toast casserole for the next morning. By not frosting the edges, you keep things really simple AND show off the wonderful cake layers. If you’d like to dress it up a bit, garnish with candied orange peel and white chocolate chips.

Prep Cranberry French Toast Casserole for the next morning. You’ll serve it with extra White Chocolate Mascarpone Frosting. Trust us, you’ll be so glad to have an impressive breakfast dish ready to go the morning after a big holiday dinner. Especially if you’re hosting overnight guests. [Get the recipe]



Assemble your relish tray. To complement the menu, we recommend serving a mix of Wisconsin Pepperoncino, peppercorn cheddar and fresh mozzarella cheeses, along with an assortment of fresh and pickled vegetables such as endive leaves, green onions, pickled cherry peppers, garlic-stuffed olives, roasted red peppers. Add a special touch by tossing olives in a bit of olive oil, orange zest and rosemary. Or toss thinly sliced cucumber and red onion in a splash of red wine vinegar, a pinch of sugar, salt and red chile flakes.

Wash and trim broccoli and cauliflower for Broccoli and Cauliflower with Breadcrumbs and Romano. Toast breadcrumbs. This side dish will come together in a snap right before dinner is served (on the stovetop so you have to negotiate precious oven real estate). [Get the recipe]



Make Radicchio, Fennel and Citrus Salad with Parmesan. You’ll love the refreshing flavor combination in this simple and beautiful salad. [Get the recipe]

Make gremolata for meatballs. Spoon it over the meatballs right before serving.

Preheat oven for lasagna and meatballs.



Bake lasagna.

Slice crusty bread for serving on the table.



(Or 30 minutes before you’re ready to eat)
Serve relish tray.

Bake meatballs.

Steam broccoli and cauliflower 10 minutes before serving.

You did it! Gather your guests around the table to enjoy the meal. Happy Holidays!

Find more great holiday tips and recipes in the new issue of Grate. Pair. Share., our online magazine all about cooking and entertaining with Wisconsin cheese.