Your 13x9 Holiday

Have casserole dish, will party. Count on that 13x9 for homey rolls, crunch-coated mac, layered salad and sweet squares—sized just right for all those hungry revelers.


Above Image | Chocolate Toffee Crunchies.

Honey Whole Wheat Rolls

Prep | 20 min. + rising Bake | 20 min. Makes | 15 rolls

There’s nothing quite like a warm yeast roll fresh from the oven. With hearty whole wheat and oats in the mix, these buns are loaded with goodness. They’re a must when we’re having soup. —Celecia Stoup, Hobart, OK


  • 2 pkg. (1/4 oz. each) active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • Additional melted butter, optional

  • In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. In a large bowl, combine butter, honey, egg, whole wheat flour, oats, salt, yeast mixture and 1 cup all-purpose flour; beat on medium speed until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  • Turn dough onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning the dough once to grease the top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • Punch down dough; shape it into 15 balls. Arrange in a greased 13x9-in. pan. Cover with a kitchen towel; let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. If desired, brush with additional butter. Serve warm.

PER SERVING 151 cal., 4g fat (2g sat. fat), 21mg chol., 188mg sod., 25g carb. (5g sugars, 2g fiber), 4g pro.


Cranberry Chicken & Wild Rice

Prep | 10 min. Bake | 35 min. Makes | 6 servings

Baked in a savory cranberry sauce, this chicken and rice dish is just delicious and so easy to prepare. I love that I can do other things while it cooks. —Evelyn Lewis, Independence, MO


  • 6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 oz. each)
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water
  • 1 pkg. (6.2 oz.) fast-cooking long grain and wild rice mix
  • 1 can (14 oz.) whole-berry cranberry sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Place chicken breast halves in a 13x9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. In a bowl, combine the hot water and rice mix, including the contents of seasoning packet; pour around the chicken.
  • In a small bowl, mix remaining ingredients; pour over chicken. Bake, covered, until a thermometer inserted in chicken reads 165°, 35-45 minutes.

PER SERVING 332 cal., 3g fat (1g sat. fat), 63mg chol., 592mg sod., 50g carb. (19g sugars, 2g fiber), 26g pro.


5 ingredients

Chocolate Toffee Crunchies

Prep | 20 min. Bake | 20 min. + cooling Makes | 4 dozen

With golden toffee, rich chocolate and toasty pecans, these bars are filled with holiday happiness. —Joni Crans, Woodhull, NY


  • 2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs (about 60 wafers)
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

TOPPING

  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup (6 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Toss wafer crumbs with brown sugar and butter; press into the bottom of an ungreased 13x9-in. pan. Bake until lightly browned, 8-10 minutes.
  • For topping, place butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir 1 minute. Pour evenly over crust.
  • Bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven; let stand 2 minutes. Sprinkle with chocolate chips; let stand until chips have softened. Spread evenly over top; sprinkle with pecans. Cool completely before cutting.

PER SERVING 93 cal., 6g fat (3g sat. fat), 11mg chol., 55mg sod., 9g carb. (7g sugars, trace fiber), trace pro.


fast fix

German Pancake

Takes | 30 min. Makes | 8 servings (2 cups syrup)

Piping hot and puffy from the oven, this golden pancake is an eye-opening treat, especially with my homemade syrup. —Renae Moncur, Burley, ID


  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, melted

BUTTERMILK SYRUP

  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 Tbsp. corn syrup
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Confectioners’ sugar

  • Preheat oven to 400°. Blend first four ingredients just until smooth.
  • Pour melted butter into a 13x9-in. baking dish; tilt dish to coat. Add batter; bake, uncovered, until puffed and golden brown, about 20 minutes.
  • Place butter, sugar, buttermilk, corn syrup and baking soda in a small saucepan. Boil, uncovered, 7 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla.
  • Remove pancake from oven. Dust with confectioners’ sugar; serve immediately with syrup.

PER SERVING 428 cal., 19g fat (11g sat. fat), 203mg chol., 543mg sod., 56g carb. (42g sugars, trace fiber), 8g pro.

HEALTH TIP The pancake itself has just 150 calories and 7g fat. For a nutritious spin, fill it with sautéed fresh fruit, or go savory with some cubed turkey, gravy and minced herbs.


Make-Ahead Coffee Cake

Prep | 15 min. + chilling Bake | 35 min. + cooling Makes | 15 servings

My kids say this from-scratch cake, with its nutty topping and sweet glaze, is the ultimate treat. —Cindy Harris, San Antonio, TX


  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. each baking soda and nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup (8 oz.) sour cream
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp. 2% milk

  • Cream softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy; beat in eggs, one at a time. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, nutmeg and salt; beat into the creamed mixture alternately with sour cream. Spread batter into a greased 13x9-in. baking dish.
  • Mix brown sugar, pecans and cinnamon; sprinkle over top. Refrigerate, covered, overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 350°. Remove coffee cake from refrigerator while oven heats. Bake, uncovered, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 35-40 minutes.
  • Cool on a wire rack 10 minutes. Mix confectioners’ sugar and milk; drizzle over warm coffee cake.

PER SERVING 336 cal., 16g fat (8g sat. fat), 53mg chol., 255mg sod., 46g carb. (33g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g pro.


fast fix

Grandma’s Spinach Salad

Takes | 20 min. Makes | 8 servings

Thanks to all its fresh ingredients, this pretty salad was my grandma’s favorite. Even my little ones like it (but don’t tell them spinach is good for them)! —Shelley Riebel, Armada, MI


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. celery seed
  • 10 oz. fresh baby spinach (about 13 cups)
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 lb. sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 5 hard-cooked large eggs, sliced
  • 8 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled

  • Whisk first four ingredients until sugar is dissolved.
  • In a 13x9-in. dish, layer half of each of the following: spinach, onion, mushrooms and eggs. Repeat layers. Drizzle with dressing; top with bacon.

PER SERVING 280 cal., 21g fat (3g sat. fat), 125mg chol., 214mg sod., 16g carb. (14g sugars, 1g fiber), 9g pro.

HEALTH TIP Skip the bacon and this is an easy meat-free, gluten-free, dairy-free potluck dish!


White Chocolate Cranberry Blondies

Prep | 35 min. Bake | 20 min. + cooling Makes | 3 dozen

I’ve been baking these special blondies for years. They’re so spectacular, I’ve even been asked to make them for friends’ wedding receptions! —Erika Busz, Kent, WA


  • 3/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 6 oz. white baking chocolate, coarsely chopped

FROSTING

  • 1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. grated orange peel, optional
  • 6 oz. white baking chocolate, melted
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped

  • Preheat oven to 350°. In a large microwave-safe bowl, microwave butter until melted; stir in brown sugar. Cool slightly.
  • Beat in the eggs, one at a time; add vanilla. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; stir into butter mixture. Stir in the cranberries and chopped chocolate (batter will be thick). Spread into a greased 13x9-in. pan.
  • Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (do not overbake), 18-21 minutes. Cool blondies completely on a wire rack.
  • For frosting, beat cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar and, if desired, orange peel until smooth. Gradually beat in half of the melted white chocolate; spread over blondies. Sprinkle with cranberries; drizzle with remaining melted chocolate.
  • Cut into triangles. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

PER BLONDIE 198 cal., 9g fat (6g sat. fat), 27mg chol., 100mg sod., 28g carb. (22g sugars, trace fiber), 2g pro.


Baked Mac & Cheese

Prep | 15 min. Bake | 30 min. Makes | 8 servings

Even people who have a signature macaroni-and-cheese recipe ask for mine. If you like a tangier sauce, grab extra-sharp cheddar. —Shelby Thompson, Dover, DE


  • 1 pkg. (16 oz.) uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup butter, divided
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 6 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. ground mustard
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 4 1/2 cups 2% milk
  • 4 cups (16 oz.) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup dry bread crumbs

  • Preheat the oven to 350°. Cook macaroni according to package directions for al dente; drain.
  • In a Dutch oven, heat 1/3 cup butter over medium heat; saute onion until tender. Stir in flour and seasonings until blended; gradually stir in milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir until thickened. Stir in cheddar cheese until melted. Stir in macaroni. Transfer mixture to a greased 13x9-in. baking dish.
  • In a microwave, melt remaining butter; toss with bread crumbs. Sprinkle over casserole. Bake, uncovered, until heated through, 30-35 minutes.

PER SERVING 689 cal., 37g fat (22g sat. fat), 104mg chol., 834mg sod., 62g carb. (10g sugars, 3g fiber), 28g pro.