Holiday season is in full swing, and you might be looking for some new ideas to entertain guests. Weis Markets Registered Dietitian Lyndi Wieand is back in the kitchen sharing some easy seasonal recipes using beef that will be sure to please your party.

The Weis RD team is partnering up with the PA Beef Council this holiday season to share some tips for entertaining while getting high quality nutrients from different cuts of beef.

These ground beef and zucchini mini meatballs paired with a cranberry BBQ sauce are perfect for any holiday party. This recipe is certified by the American Heart Association® so you can be confident when snacking on this tasty appetizer.

Holiday Mini Beef Meatball Skewers with Cranberry BBQ Sauce

  • 1 pound Ground Beef (96% lean), any ground beef that is 93% or higher is considered “lean”
  • 1 cup grated fresh zucchini, high in vitamin C, vitamin B6, antioxidants, will also help to bind the recipe together
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 small onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 red bell peppers, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 green bell peppers, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces, seasonal holiday colors will provide an extra boost of nutrition with Vitamins A, B6 and C and crunchy texture

Cranberry Barbecue Sauce

  • 1 can (16 ounces) whole berry cranberry sauce
  • 3 tablespoons barbecue sauce

Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine ½ lb ground beef, ½ c grated zucchini, ½ egg, ¼ tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper in medium bowl, mixing lightly, but thoroughly. Shape into 12 1-inch meatballs. Alternately thread meatballs, red peppers, green peppers and onions onto each of twelve 6-inch skewers. Place skewers on shallow-rimmed baking sheet.

Combine cranberry sauce and barbecue sauce in medium saucepan; simmer 5 minutes or until flavors are blended.

Bake in 400°F oven 22 to 25 minutes or until instant-read thermometer inserted into center of meatball registers 160°F.

Mediterranean Beef Pinwheels

In our next recipe, Mediterranean Beef Pinwheels, we are using thinly pounded Flank Steak that has been pre-marinated and will be filled with olive tapenade, spinach and feta before roasting alongside some of my favorite vegetables.

We are all trying to make our grocery shopping as affordable as we can these days. For smaller gatherings and individual servings, strip steaks and flank steaks are budget-friendly options chock-full of flavor. Flank steak is a more versatile cut, whereas strip steak is incredibly tender and a great substitute for ribeye.

  • One beef Flank Steak (1-1/2 to 2 pounds) marinated in 1/3 cup lemon juice + 2 tablespoons vegetable oil + 2 tablespoons dried oregano leaves

Place steak between 2 pieces of plastic wrap.  Using smooth side of meat mallet, pound steak to 1/2-inch thickness.  Place steak in large food-safe plastic bag or large baking dish.  Combine marinade ingredients in small bowl.  Pour marinade over steak; turn to coat.  Close bag securely or cover dish and marinate in refrigerator 4 hours or overnight, turning occasionally.

  • Thaw and squeeze dry 1 cup frozen chopped spinach

Preheat oven to 425°F. Line shallow baking pan with parchment paper.  Remove steak from marinade.  Reserve remaining marinade; cover and refrigerate.  Place steak on cutting board so grain is running top to bottom.  In a medium bowl, combine reserved marinade and 4 cups cherry tomatoes + ¼ tsp salt, toss to coat.  Arrange tomato mixture around sheet pan. 

Spread 1/3 cup olive tapenade on steak. Arrange 1 cup spinach evenly on tapenade and sprinkle with ¼ cup crumbled feta.  Starting from side closest to you, roll the steak tightly to form a log.  Using 6 (8-inch long) pieces of kitchen string, tie log in even intervals.

Cut log between string into 6 equal pieces, leaving string in place.  Place pieces, cut-side up, on baking pan. Roast in 425°F for 25 to 35 minutes until instant read temperature inserted horizontally into center registers 165°F.  Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Serve pinwheels with a cooked whole grain such as faro, bulgur or quinoa.

Cheesy Beef Artichoke Dip

Our next dish is a unique take of a popular appetizer, Cheesy Beef Artichoke Dip. This recipe is a “cook once, eat twice” idea and uses cooked beef pot roast, so it could be a great option if you have leftover pot roast from entertaining or a weeknight meal and are looking to use it up. You could also make a large portion of pot roast for this and freeze the rest for another time.

To cook the roast, place 1 large onion, chopped, 1/2 cup beef broth or water, and 2 tablespoons minced garlic into your slow cooker; place roast on top. Cover and cook on LOW for 9 to 10 hours, or on HIGH for 5 to 6 hours, or until roast is fork tender then chop it up for the recipe.

  • 12 ounces Cooked (Leftover) Chuck or Bottom Round Roast, chopped
  • 1 (12oz) can artichoke hearts, drained
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 3/4 cup reduced-fat dairy sour cream
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup reduced-fat mozzarella cheese
  • 5 ounces fresh spinach, chopped

Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large bowl mix together cream cheese, sour cream, parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, pepper, and garlic. Once smooth add in spinach, chopped Beef, and artichoke hearts; combine.

Coat a 9 X 9 baking dish with non-stick spray. Place mixture into baking dish and bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until mixture is bubbling and golden brown. Serve warm along side fresh vegetables and tortilla chips.