Hack Your Sun Basket Dinners into a Holiday Appetizer Spread

The abundance of holiday parties and potlucks calls for an extra level of creativity in the kitchen. Skip the artichoke dip and pigs-in-a-blanket, and take some inspiration from our test kitchen team. Hack a few of your Sun Basket recipes this week and turn them into party food for a crowd. 

Turn Catalan Roasted Chicken and Root Vegetables into Rosemary Chicken Nuggets with Red Pepper Salsa and Roasted Vegetables. 

  • Heat the oven to 425°. 
  • Prep the parsnips and carrots for roasting according to Step 1 of the recipe. 
  • In a food processor, blender, or spice grinder, process the Marcona almonds to a crumb-like consistency, then transfer to a shallow bowl or plate. 
  • Prep the rosemary as instructed in Step 2, then add the chopped leaves into the almonds.
  • Pat the chicken dry, cut the chicken into 2-inch pieces and transfer to a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil, and toss to coat. Roll the chicken pieces in the rosemary-almond crumb.
  • Bake chicken on the same tray as the carrots and parsnips for 12 to 15 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  • Make the roasted red pepper salsa: finely chop roasted red peppers, garlic, and parsley. In a small bowl, mix with the red wine vinegar, tomatoes, and 1 tablespoon of oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 
  • Serve the chicken bites and roasted vegetables on a platter with the red pepper salsa for dipping. 

Instead of Steak Fajita Lettuce Cups make Tex-Mex Beef and Vegetable Skewers.

  • Prepare the onion and bell peppers according to Step 2 of the recipe. Trim the ends from the radishes and cut them in half lengthwise. 
  • Prep the steak as instructed in Step 1; toss the steak, onion, bell pepper, and radishes with the fajita spice blend, salt and pepper, and 1 tablespoon of oil. 
  • Thread the steak and vegetables onto skewers, alternating with a few handfuls of each ingredient. In a large frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat, cook until the steak is medium and browned on both sides, about 3 to 5 minutes per side.
  • Prep all the avocado as instructed in Step 4; add the chopped avocado to a small bowl, and, using a masher or fork, mash to your desired guacamole consistency. Finely chop the cilantro and, if desired, the jalapeño and stir it into the avocado. Stir in lime juice, salt, and pepper to taste. 
  • Serve the skewers on a platter with guacamole for dipping. 
    *Save the head of butter lettuce from the recipe for a salad, or clean and stack leaves alongside skewers for makeshift wraps. 

Make BBQ Meatloaf with Kale into Mini Meatballs.

  • Heat the oven to 400°. 
  • Prep the shallots as instructed in Step 1 and the garlic in Step 5, set aside. Heat a medium pan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon oil. Add kale and cook until the leaves start to wilt, 3 to 4 minutes.  Stir in the chopped shallots and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer to cutting board to cool, then finely chop the kale mixture. While the kale cools, prep the meatloaf mixture. 
  • Stir the kale mixture into the meatloaf blend. Using wet hands, form the meatloaf-kale mixture into 1-inch balls. Arrange the balls on a sheet pan 2 inches apart and bake for 20 minutes, turning once.
  • Serve the meatballs on a platter with toothpicks and BBQ glaze for dipping. 
    *Save the potatoes from this recipe and add them to your holiday mashed potatoes, make home fries with breakfast, or roast them according to the recipe and serve alongside the meatballs.