Holiday Winners

Crowd-pleasing recipes that stole our hearts

There’s nothing like serving up a special feast for family and friends who’ve gathered from near and far, especially when it ends up earning you compliments for months to come. That’s why we dedicated our 2009 Reader Recipe Contest to finding the ultimate holiday recipes.

Luckily, VT readers heard the call and delivered. The wealth of entries was inspiring, but it got even better when we started testing the recipes. From classics, such as pot pies and cranberry sauce, to an inspired appetizer of guacamole-stuffed potato skins, we definitely had our plates full. When it came down to choosing the top six, our taste buds had the final say.

So go ahead, try these winners at your next holiday meal, and see how much praise you get.

1st Place

Thanksgiving Pot Pie (pictured)

A hearty, comfort food main dish that will please meat eaters and vegans alike

Adrianne Dickson, San Diego

Prize: $500

2nd Place

Chickpea Pot Pie

The noodles and thick, creamy sauce in this veg pot pie will keep you coming back for more.

Vivian Larsen, Boyertown, Pa.

Prize $300

3rd Place

Fruit and Toasted Almond Stuffing

This nutty, lightly sweet stuffing is an instant holiday classic.

Ricki Blau, Berkeley, Calif.

Prize $200

Honorable Mention

Heritage Lane Cranberry Sauce

Eden Hommes

New-Style Thanksgiving Potatoes with Walnut Guacamole à la Mode

Mary Shivers

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Candied Cranberries
This creamy, decadent-tasting holiday cheesecake has under 300 calories per serving. Now that’s something to be thankful for!

Kathryn Hostettler