top of page

Holiday Meal Planning: Five Quick Meals to Serve Over Rice

Between the decorating, the shopping, the school pageants, and the cookie baking, finding time to get a solid meal on the table can be tough this time of year. To help, we’ve created this handy holiday meal planning guide to get you through the final stretch.

You’ll prepare one big batch of meat (or other protein) and then use it every night in five recipes you can serve over rice – made using your InstantPot, rice cooker, or stove. If your family doesn’t like rice (or gets sick of it), try pasta, baked potatoes, sliced baguettes, or riced veggies like broccoli or cauliflower. Add a simple side salad or fresh or canned veggies, and you’re to go.

Take a look at the recipes below, and for more great ways on how to handle feeding the family, be sure to check out HelloJoey’s “Meal Planning – What’s on the Menu.” Happy Holidays!


5 lbs meat or protein of your choice (a whole chicken shredded, diced chicken breast, ground beef/turkey, sliced Italian sausage, cubed ham or pork, tofu, tempeh, etc)

1 16 oz container sour cream

1 8 oz package cream cheese

1 8 oz bag shredded mozzarella

12 oz block cheddar cheese

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 can cream of celery soup

1 can evaporated milk

1 jar pizza sauce

1 jar salsa

1 bag stir fry veggies (shredded cabbage, broccoli slaw, frozen veggies, etc)

1 8 oz package sliced fresh mushrooms

24 oz fresh broccoli florets

Optional: pizza toppings like olives or pepperoni

Optional: ginger, garlic, green onions



peanut butter

rice wine vinegar or red wine vinegar

soy sauce

herbs and seasonings



1 pound of your prepared meat (or protein)

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup sour cream

1/4 tsp garlic salt

1 can pizza sauce

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Toppings like sliced olives, onions, or pepperoni (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.

Combine the meat, cream cheese, and sour cream in a medium bowl and mix well, seasoning with garlic salt and oregano (if desired). Spread the mixture into the bottom of 9 inch baking dish. Spoon the pizza sauce over the mixture and bake for 10 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and add the mozzarella cheese and any additional toppings you enjoy. Bake until the cheese is melted (roughly 7-8 additional minutes). Serve by spooning the mixture over rice.


1 pound of your prepared meat (or protein)

1 8 oz package sliced fresh mushrooms

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 can of sour cream

Combine the meat and mushrooms in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until the mushrooms are browned. Add the cream of mushroom soup and the can of sour cream and cook until the sauce has thickened as desired (thinning with a little milk if necessary). Ladle over rice.


1 pound of your prepared meat (or protein)

12 oz freshly grated cheddar cheese (freshly grated will melt smoothly)

1 12 oz can evaporated milk

4 tsp. cornstarch

1 ½ lbs. broccoli florets

Steam the broccoli florets and reheat the meat in a saucepan or in the microwave.

To make the cheese sauce, toss the cheese with the cornstarch in a bowl. Combine the mixture with the evaporated milk in a saucepan. Heat the mixture over low and stir it occasionally until the cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth. Serve by putting some of the meat and broccoli on a bed or rice and pouring over some of the cheese sauce.


1 pound of your prepared meat (or protein)

1 can cream of celery soup

½ can milk

2/3 cup salsa

In a skillet, add the meat, and pour over the cream of celery soup, followed by the milk and the salsa. Cook over low heat for 10-15 minutes without stirring until the sauce begins to bubble and thicken and the meat is heated through. Serve the mixture over rice.


1 pound of your prepared meat (or protein)

1 package shredded cabbage OR broccoli slaw OR fresh sliced stir fry veggies like carrots and snow peas OR frozen stir fry vegetables

2/3 cup creamy peanut butter

¼ cup rice wine vinegar OR red wine vinegar

½ cup soy sauce

Minced ginger, minced garlic, sliced green onions (optional)

Prepare the peanut sauce by combining the peanut butter, vinegar, and soy sauce in a bowl and mixing well with a fork. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

In a skillet, add the meat and half the peanut sauce and cook over low until the meat is heated through. Add the minced ginger and garlic (optional) and then add the stir fry vegetables and the rest of the peanut sauce, stirring often to coat. Cook over medium until the veggies are al dente or your desired consistency. Serve over rice and top with sliced green onions (optional).

App Tip

While these five recipes can come in handy during the busy holiday season, you’re not always going to have time to get a homemade meal on the table – and that’s okay. According to registered dietician Carol Danaher, a family meal only has four requirements:

  1. The family is seated together.

  2. Everyone is served the same food.

  3. There are no electronic distractions.

  4. There’s pleasant conversation.

“There's no stipulation on what food has to be served,” she stresses. “A family meal can be eating take-out food or home delivered pizza around the table, with great conversation and everyone facing each other.” So, if you can cook, that’s great, but getting DoorDash so you can decorate or watch your favorite holiday movie is just fine, too. That time together is what really matters.

Want to learn more about “Meal Planning – What’s on the Menu?” Start your path to a solid parenting foundation in just 10 minutes a day. Check out the HelloJoey app.

bottom of page