Pre-Holiday Dinner Ideas

The holidays are creeping up on us at my house and, for once in my life, I am trying to prepare ahead of time for a house full of family and friends this Thanksgiving. This year, we will host Thanksgiving at our house for Chris’s family and then have some of my family over the night after Thanksgiving so both sides of our family can see each other. Sprinkle in some friends and neighbors here and there, and Thanksgiving has suddenly become so much more than just one big meal. IMG_4523 IMG_4517 One of the things I always forget when it is my turn to host a holiday meal is that there is more to hosting than just cooking the day. There will be people in my house for almost a week. This is a hostessing marathon, not a sprint. Which is why I have been scouring my cookbooks and Pinterest boards for good, comfort food that can feed a crowd during the holidays.
I can tell you one thing, on busy holiday weeks when family and friends are around for days at a time, Success® Rice is my best friend.  I especially like their boil-in-a-bag rice because (get this…) Success®is quick and ready in 10 minutes! And I like that I don’t have to measure out and exact amount of water or rice.  I just fill a pot with water and throw the bags in and let it all boil together all pretty-like and in about ten minutes – VOILA! – perfect rice every time! This is especially helpful when you’re in the middle of cooking and your doorbell rings with friends and neighbors who have popped by throughout the holidays, and you don’t have time to watch the rice on the stove – ®Success Rice can be left in hot water after the heat is off for up to 30 minutes.

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I also like it because the rice doesn’t get all clumpy.  With Boil-in-a-Bag Success Rice, my dishes look like I slaved away in the kitchen. But let’s not talk in hypotheticals.  Let’s talk in recipes. This weekend was the first cooler weekend we’ve had this fall.  With temperatures finally down in the 50’s and 60’s during the day, it was the perfect day to test out a recipe for the week of Thanksgiving. That week, my in-laws will be arriving in town around dinner time on Tuesday night, and I want to have something warm and cozy for them when they get here. I think a bowl of creamy chicken and rice soup will do the trick.


I started by sautéing half a medium onion, two stalks of celery, 15-20 baby carrots, and 2 tsps of minced garlic in butter. (Excuse my poorly lit, not very professional pictures. I’m no P-Dub in the kitchen, y’all.)


When the onions were nice and translucent, I added a box of one of those easy creamy-broth starters because I can’t make a roux to save my life (approximately 4 cups).


I let that simmer for about 15 minutes or so while my Success® White Rice boiled away and I ran to throw a few loads in the washing machine.

IMG_1584 When the rice was done, I simply tossed it into the pot of soup. But then, we randomly had family show up the afternoon I was making this, and I had to figure out how to stretch the soup to fill more bowls. So, I made some more rice and threw that in with the soup and it filled it out so that there was enough for everyone!

This sealed the deal for me, and now I will definitely be serving this to family and friends the week of Thanksgiving because it can accommodate any number of people so easily.


By the time the bread was done crisping in the oven, the soup was hot and ready to eat. I fed six people with this one little pot of soup, thanks to Success Rice!



With the holidays coming just around the corner, don’t forget to serve your family up some easy, homemade meals every day of their visit, not just on Turkey Day! And let Success Rice help make your holiday meal planning simple and dependable!

Check out for recipe ideas and more info. about cooking with the 4 different rice varieties. For recipe inspiration, lifestyle tips and more, like and follow Success Rice’s social pages on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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146 Thoughts to “Pre-Holiday Dinner Ideas”

  1. Ellen S

    Chicken and wild rice casserole! Generations of holiday goodness.

  2. Lisa

    Love rice – just forget to fix it.

  3. Alicia

    Go to is white or brown rice with s rice cooker. Easy. Can’t screw if up. But does take a while…

    Soup looks yummy!

  4. Dessi

    I love the boil in the bag rice! Even I can’t mess it up! On lazy days we just top the rice with a can of chunky soup and call it a day!

  5. Laure

    Sweet and Sour Meatballs!

  6. Amber

    I love a good ole jambalaya when it is nice and cold outside. Which is has been extremely cold for alabama lately, especially so early with lows in the 21st the next two nights! (but don’t worry we are back in the 70s saturday)

  7. Chloe P

    I love a chicken stir fry over rice for anytime of the year.

  8. Mami2jcn

    Our family is Spanish and Portuguese so we go for Paella.

  9. Mami2jcn


  10. Arielle

    We actually have never had rice during a holiday meal

  11. Megan Smith

    Broccoli and rice casserole is my favorite Thanksgiving dish!

  12. I love your recipe posts sooo much!!

    Our go to rice would be the chicken and rice at any Chinese restaurant. Because I am no chef, and don’t know how to cook anything that hasn’t been on here or facebook lol. We will have to try your dish, it looks so good.

  13. Carlene

    Jambalaya, naturally! Got my husband hooked on it when we lived in Pensacola and Mobile!

  14. Jessica To

    I would have to say chicken stir fry with rice.

  15. Sharon Faye

    broccoli rice & cheese casserole – don’t leave home without it… don’t stay at home without it… 🙂

  16. Elena

    My favorite dish is turkey rice bake

  17. Kristi

    my favorite go-to rice dish is a simple, yummy, creamy rice casserole with sour cream and cheese and a crunchy, buttery crust!

  18. Kelly D

    I like a cranberry walnut rice dish during the holidays.

  19. Maria

    I’m always in charge of making my Grandma’s “Spanish rice” recipe. I used quotes because it’s not a typical Spanish rice recipe – it also has ground beef and a few other special ingredients to make it special. It is super yummy and everyone in our family loves it because it reminds us all of Granny Grace! Happy Thanksgiving!

  20. Nicole D

    Our favorite go to rice dish during the holidays is a veggie and chicken stir fry with brown rice.

  21. Jenna

    Baked chow mein!

  22. Trish D

    jambalaya or red beans and rice

  23. Mary Ellen

    Sweet Potato Casserole! =)

  24. Melissa

    Cheesy broccoli and rice casserole!

  25. Lee Ann

    A chicken/artichoke/rice/mushroom casserole. Yummy and tummy-warming!

  26. Broccoli and rice casserole!

  27. Leah

    I always forget about rice over the holidays. But we eat it all year. Veggie rice or broccoli cheese rice are probably our two favorites.

  28. Julie Wood

    We love my Creamy Chicken and Rice Casserole. It is so yummy!

  29. Stephanie

    Yum rice! My favorite way to have it currently is to have Mexican haystacks, using rice and tortilla chips as the base and then adding any taco/burrito toppings on top, like beans and ground meat and tomatoes and corn and sour cream and cheese. It can easily expand to feed a lot, and everyone will eat it because they choose what goes on their plate. Winning!

  30. Kara

    Rice pilaf is one of my favorite side dishes!

  31. You took such a smart approach here – good job. 🙂

    Ummm . . .Broccoli/Rice/Cheese casserole which I have not made for several years actually. Might have to remedy that this year.

  32. Tiffany

    Chili (not for the actual holidays, but around the holidays when family is around!

  33. Stuffing with wild rice, mushrooms, cranberries and walnuts. Mmmm!

  34. Susannah

    We love chicken and rice casserole with veggies! It so so easy and yummy!

  35. Tori

    We love to make a dish of rice with chicken stock, onions & garlic, butter, and mushrooms. It’s so comforting and filling and feels very virtuous despite the butter 🙂

  36. Amy

    I love making beans and rice! And i love how easy it is to use success rice!

  37. My favorite types of rice are jasmine or basmati. I like it with a chicken parmasan recipe or with curry..not really a holiday meal but will definitely warm you up.

  38. Jenna

    rice with beans.

  39. Erin

    Broccoli and wild rice casserole!

  40. Shelley

    Broccoli, cheese, and rice casserole. It’s a family Thanksgiving tradition.

  41. Laurie

    Veggie and rice stir fry.

  42. jodi scott

    broccoli and rice casserole..lots of cheese

  43. vdragon

    These would be great with stir fry.

  44. Nina

    I love rice! Specifically basmati rice. Broccoli Rice Casserole, butter chicken over rice, fried rice, stuffed peppers with rice. Yum!

  45. PJ

    We love to use left overs in either a soup or a stir-fry with rice! My personal favorite is Thai pineapple fried rice!

  46. Erica

    Definitely risotto!

  47. Just a simple garlic rice pilaf is the go-to – goes with everything!

  48. Ginna

    Maybe not for holidays, but warm bowl of risotto is always nice on a chilly evening

  49. Katie N.

    I make a mean chicken & vegetable soup, always with Success Boil-in-a-Bag brown rice!

  50. Allison

    Crockpot sweet meatballs

  51. Jessie C.

    My family loves chicken and cheesy rice casserole during the holidays.
    tcarolinep at gmail dot com

  52. Jessie C.


  53. Rachel K

    Chicken and Rice…and lots of cheese

  54. Michaelyn Pappert

    My family loves it when I make Success brown rice, and then saute it with 1 medium onion chopped, and a can of diced tomatoes with garlic and onion, a little pepper, and 1/2 tsp. of sugar to cut the acid. Great side dish for pork!

  55. Angie Estes

    Love this! Looks so yummy.

  56. Tiffany Smith

    We all love the broccoli and cheese rice.

  57. christine burd

    I have never had rice for the holidays but would love to try the featured soup and rice in a bag.. I do like rice pudding once in awhile .

  58. During the holidays, what’s your family’s favorite go-to rice dish? stuffed peppers with rice

  59. lisa n

    definitely long grain and wild rice with mushrooms

  60. Matt

    brown rice & chicken/vegetable stir-fry! The best!

  61. Tari Lawson

    My family likes fried rice.

  62. Margaret Smith

    Stuffed peppers is one of our favorites.
    Thanks so much.

  63. We love chicken stir-fry with white rice.

  64. Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup


    my family likes CHEESY RICE>>>cook rice in chicken broth, mix with milk and cheese( we add Italian bread crumbs into the mix) and micro wave to melted

  66. Denise B.

    The soup looks good–nice spread.

  67. Cynthia C

    Rice pudding makes a very good holiday dessert. Everybody loves it.

  68. Chrystal D

    Sweet and sour rice with lots of veggies!

  69. Stephanie V.

    sausage, rice, broccoli and cheese!
    tvollowitz at aol dot com

  70. paige chandler

    I like rice with peas and tuna during the hectic season.

  71. Tabathia B

    We enjoy dirty rice

    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

  72. We make broccoli cheese and rice casserole.

  73. Crystal F

    We like to bake rice, chicken and cream of chicken. It’s super yummy and is great on a cold night. Thank you!!

  74. Barbara Montag

    Our go to rice dish is brown rice black beans salsa and Rotel tomatoes.
    thank you

  75. mickeyfan

    My mom got a chicken and rice recipe off a ketchup bottle when I was in school (over 30 years ago). We still love it.

  76. We enjoy Chicken with Stuffing and Gravy over rice.

  77. Denise S

    We like broccoli cheese rice casserole.

  78. We love just mixing rice with chicken and veggies. Simple and yummy!

  79. Bruce

    Turkey rice soup

  80. Linda G.

    I like to use the white rice and add chicken and veggies to it.

  81. Anastasia Falling

    One of our favorites is hamburger & gravy over white rice with veggies (on the side or mixed in. I like to mix mine in 😉 ) We like to make it during the holidays because it’s warm and filling and quick to make 🙂

  82. Ed

    We heart tomato soup and rice!

  83. My favorite go to rice dish is Chicken Stir Fry

  84. Donna Jacoby

    We like to add rice to soup to make a dish that fills you up better. Thank you for the giveaway!

  85. Donna Jacoby

    I tweeted–

  86. Daniel M

    rice & veggie stir fry, just fry your fav veggies in virgin olive oil add a little soy sauce serve over rice

  87. letessha

    Chicken with rice brocolli & cheese casserole

  88. Sarah Hirsch

    our go-to rice dish is sweet and sour chicken with rice

  89. Pamela A

    Yep, Boil in the bag is a great way to go.

  90. joe gersch

    out go to rice dish is turkey and rice with gravy

  91. The boyfriend always makes sushi rolls as appetizers.

  92. We all enjoy Spanish rice and it’s easy to make.

  93. Erica B.

    I like shrimp fried rice.

  94. Kathy Pease

    I like to add spinach to my rice and sprinkle with parmesan cheese

  95. kolette

    boil in the bag rice is so quick and easy, while that is cooking, I will stir fry some shrimp and veggies, toss with a teriyaki sauce and stir in the rice. yum


    chicken stir fry over rice

  97. Leela

    Pork fried rice.

  98. My family has a favorite cheesy broccoli casserole, made with white rice. The kids love it!

  99. Breanne

    We like stir fry.

  100. Cheesy crockpot chicken over white rice. Yum!

  101. Betty C

    I love to make fried rice using leftover chicken or turkey or even pork chops. Using different meat changes the flavor as does using brown rice instead of white.

  102. Michelle Tucker

    The one dish we always have on the holidays is Broccoli and rice casserole, and I always use success rice. It’s always the easiest to use, and it comes out tasting great every time!

  103. Karen Drake

    I like to make white rice topped with stir fried vegetables.

  104. We love rice so good the favorites here chicken and rice, red beans and rice, burritos, steak stir fry so so good.

  105. I love a good Indian curry over Success Rice.

  106. jules m.

    my sisters broccoli casserole cant be beat- but my daughter loves rice a roni with chicken LOL

  107. Allison Kusel

    Cilantro lime rice!


    we don’t use rice generally for holiday dinners..but we seem to make a lot of red rice and sausage around the holiday time.s

  109. My family loves for me to make Cajun red beans and rice. I was born in Louisiana and I make my grandmothers red beans which are true Cajun red beans and rice. So I have to make them for Christmas dinner for the whole family.

  110. I like broccoli cheese casserole

  111. Douglas Houston

    We like to have spicy jambalaya with anything off the grill.

  112. Vicki D.

    I have a shrimp and wild rice dish that everyone loves!

  113. Jimmy

    We don’t eat rice dishes during the holidays but we like cheesy rice when we cook chicken.

  114. Ellie Wright

    Spicy green chile pork stew over white rice is my family’s favorite.

  115. Our favorite go to rice dish during the holidays is spanish rice and sausage.

  116. Candie L

    I love a raisin sauce to go with ham. Thank you

  117. thischickwins

    We like yellow rice with pink beans

  118. rice and peas. White rice with coconut milk and red kidney beans

  119. we like to make curried chicken with rice

  120. Mandala

    We make fried rice with lots of veggies, Spanish sausages and eggs. Thanks!

  121. Christy

    It’s been so long since I have had rice. This soup looks absolutely wonderful.

  122. Kristi D

    We always do rice, beans, veggies and roll up all the goodies with some salsa in tortillas.

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