When it comes to the holiday season, nothing brings family to the table quite like an extravagant feast for Thanksgiving, New Year’s Eve and all other holidays or get-togethers in between. From family traditions to entertaining new guests, the holidays are a time to get excited about what ends up on the dinner table. It’s not a time to hold back, but rather let your skills in the kitchen shine!

With so much happening throughout the year, this can be a great time to go above and beyond to impress your loved ones and really create something memorable. That’s why I’ve compiled some of my most luxurious meal ideas with show-stopping starters, incredible entrées and even a few indulgent treats.

Show-Stopping Starters

This year, serve your guests a spread they won’t be able to stop talking about! Try a Rice and Cheese Spread and mold conveniently into the shape of your choice. Go with a classic log shape or get creative and form another holiday shape of choice.

For finger food that everyone will be lining up to try, prepare your own golden-brown Sausage and Sage Arancini using a rich and creamy Arborio Rice risotto. Or, make homemade Wild Rice and Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms with a Royal Blend® of grains, and portobellos.

When I want to truly steal the show, I make these Chicken Salad Puffs which use homemade choux pastry filled with a delicious luxe take on classic chicken salad. Tip: Save a bit of the choux pastry, or make double the amount, and fill with cream for a cream puff dessert.

Incredible Entrées

Luxurious Meats

There is absolutely no denying that the centerpiece to a Thanksgiving table spread is a roast turkey that has been slowly cooking and filling your home with its delicious aroma all day. However, if you’re looking to explore other options I’ve got inspiration that will make your mouth-water.

If you’re wondering how to serve your meat, I’ve included my absolute favorite pairings. Of course, I choose RiceSelect® because their gourmet products truly match the culinary level I’m aiming for:

Royal Stuffed Pork Loin Recipe Royal Stuffed Pork Loin Recipe
Royal Stuffed Pork Loin Recipe Royal Stuffed Pork Loin Recipe
Royal Stuffed Pork Loin Recipe

This recipe for pork loin stuffed with a Royal Blend® of whole grain rice is a show-stopping dish for any holiday table or special occasion.

Rice Select Lamb Shank Cous Cous Rice Select Lamb Shank Cous Cous
Rice Select Lamb Shank Cous Cous Rice Select Lamb Shank Cous Cous
Lamb Shanks with Lemon Couscous Recipe

Lamb shanks are baked until tender, then served over lemon pearl couscous for a fresh and inviting meal.

Red-Wine Braised Duck with Royal Blend® Rice

Braised in a luxurious red wine sauce with warm spices, pancetta, and pearl onions, this duck dish is perfect for celebration dinners. For a feast of flavors, serve over a...

Moroccan Spiced Roast Chicken with Pearl Couscous and Chickpea Stew

Perfect for entertaining or Sunday dinners, this Moroccan-inspired feast with will make your taste buds sing with delight.


Wine-Poached Halibut with Celery Root Puree Recipe

Elevate any weeknight dinner with this luxurious recipe for wine-poached halibut with Texmati® White Rice and greens, all served a celery root puree.

Tri-Color Pearl Couscous with Langoustines Recipe

With fresh Greek flavors, langoustines and RiceSelect® Tri-Color Pearl Couscous, this seafood dish is perfect for an impressive dinner.

Risotto Rice

If you’re serving a meat-free menu, I’d suggest a luxurious risotto recipe. Follow my guide on how to make an incredible risotto recipe and explore new options of your choice. With a base of Arborio Rice, there is no limit to what you can make.

I enjoy taking full advantage of seasonal fall vegetables such as butternut squash or pumpkin to make this Pumpkin and Sage Risotto. To make it fully vegetarian, use vegetable broth and simply omit the pancetta, or include an alternative bacon option using tofu or vegetables. This Mushroom Risotto requires a medley of options such as oyster mushrooms, button, wild, baby bella, chanterelle and shimeji.

Side Dishes

All wonderful meal spreads include complementing side dishes to offer a burst of color and flavor. I’ve handpicked these sides made with rice and pasta, such as Couscous, for something that will keep you satisfied and also big on taste. These recipes can all be adapted for other bases, such as an orzo recipe if you want to try mixing things up.


This classic Holiday Couscous Salad is made with pecans, Brussels sprouts and savory bacon all tossed with a homemade vinaigrette that will brighten any table. You can also adapt this dish into a Pearl Couscous recipe if you want to try something different.

These simple yet elegant Spicy Salmon Avocado Towers are layered with aromatic Jasmati® Rice, salmon, avocado, onion and cilantro in a jalapeno dressing to serve individually for an impressive and appetizing high-end restaurant detail.

International Inspired

For a Moroccan-inspired side, this dish of Seven Roasted Vegetables is served over a bed of couscous infused with flavor. The number seven is considered lucky in many cultures, however if you want to add fewer vegetables, feel free to experiment with the flavor and texture of those you’d like to add in.

This Persian-inspired dish of Jeweled Rice with Dried Fruit and Nuts is vibrant in color and bursting with flavor.

Indulgent After Meal Treats

Before the new year kicks in, send your holiday season out with a bang and indulge in any one of these delicious dessert ideas.

Starting with a rich and creamy Jasmati Coconut Lime Rice Pudding or a Peach Curd Raspberry Rice Pudding Parfait, served in layers for an appealing presentation.

If you’re looking for classic flavors, try a Creme Brulee Rice Pudding or an Arborio Silk Torte.

If you prefer something fried and delicious, serve these cinnamon and sugar coated Rice Fritters with a side of jam, chocolate sauce or dulce de leche if desired.

Share your holiday meals with me by connecting on social media, show me your creativity with holiday meals this year by tagging @RiceSelect on your posts. Most importantly, create unforgettable meals like this shrimp and rice recipe and unforgettable moments with the people that matter the most.