Healthy Holiday Potluck Ideas

It’s the most wonderful time of the year; where we gather with the ones we love, to share in great food and warm memories. And with each year that goes by, we’re reminded what a gift good health can be.

That’s why we’re helping to spread good cheer, and good health, with a ho-ho-whole host of ideas on how to support the wellness of everyone on your shopping list (and in your community) for many happy holidays to come!

(Before we get to the good stuff, why not gift yourself daily health tips, nutrition research and deliciously healthy recipes? Just follow The Peanut Institute on Facebook, TwitterInstagramLinkedIn and Pinterest!)

A Gift that Keeps on Giving

Like any great gift, peanuts and peanut butter combine the practical with pizzazz—providing protein, fiber, heart-healthy fats, and a diverse assortment of 19 vitamins and minerals. Plus, research shows that peanuts can even help you live a longer life.1

Combine all that with great taste and an affordable price, and you’ve got a gift that’s perfect for anyone’s list!

But what kind of benefits do peanuts and peanut butter offer for the people on your shopping list?

Holiday Potluck Recipes to Share the Health

For New (and Expecting) Parents:

Peanuts and peanut butter have been shown to support healthy brain and body development, along with making it easier for kids to start healthy eating habits early2 (because honestly, who doesn’t love ants on a log?).

Share the Health:

PB&J Pancakes

Perfect for a fun weekend morning with the kids (or a great way to celebrate having the day to yourself), it’s a new way to enjoy the classic combination!

(Honorable Mention: For new parents, we recommend the Overnight Apple Peanut Butter Oatmeal—it’s high in protein and low in involvement, letting your slow cooker do a lot of the work.)

For Fitness Lovers:

Many athletes know that peanuts help energize recovery and workout performance. But they can also help to lower body weight and prevent blood sugar spikes and crashes.2,3

Share the Health:

Peanut Energy Smoothie

Perfect for a healthy way to start the day, or as a post-workout pick-me-up, this simple recipe can even be frozen for plant-based, low-sugar, on-the-go energy pops!

For Students and Athletes:

Peanuts provide a plant-based protein that helps in the classroom and the weight room—supporting both a healthy body and mind. Plus, the protein and healthy fats in peanuts help to sustain energy, so they can power through their studies.

Share the Health:

No Bake Peanut Butter Protein Balls

The busy life of a student doesn’t leave much time for cooking, and strict dorm rules on cooking appliances sure don’t help—which is why this no-bake, on-the-go snack is our top pick.

For Puzzle Masters and Sudoku Solvers:

If you know someone who love strengthening their mind, peanuts support healthy cognition and may improve memory function at any age.4,5

Share the Health:

Mediterranean Grain Medley with Peanuts

The MIND Diet, which uses the Mediterranean diet as a base, is designed to support brain health—with two studies showing it could reduce risk for Alzheimer’s disease by up to 53%.6 Which makes this easy recipe a no-brainer.

For Busy Types:

Know someone who’s constantly on the move? Peanuts and peanut butter provide big-time nutrition that’s affordable and easy to keep with you.

Share the Health:

Peanut Granola

Great on salads, yogurt, or even by itself, this simple granola recipe can be a great stocking stuffer for anyone who wants to keep their get-up-and-go.

For Earth-Friendly Folks:

If you know someone who wants to keep themselves and the planet healthy, we’ve got good news: due to their sustainable nature, peanuts might just be the Earth’s favorite food.

Share the Health:

Peanut Caramel Popcorn

Mix up the standard holiday popcorn tins with a healthy twist—using peanut oil and peanut butter for a plant-based snack with worldwide appeal.

For Your Community:

Giving good health doesn’t have to stop at home. Due to its high protein, varied nutritional profile and shelf-stability, peanut butter is a highly requested item for food banks across the country.

If you’re in a gifting mood, consider donating to your local food bank to help make someone else’s season just a little brighter.

(Find your local food bank at Feeding America’s website here.)

Put Good Health at the Top of Your List.

Whether you’re prepping for a potluck or stocking up on stocking stuffers, peanuts and peanut butter can offer something that fits everyone’s tastes—no gift receipt required.

Want to explore more ways to health-ify your holidays? Check out our full recipe page for ideas on everything from appetizers to dessert! Or, if you’re looking to talk turkey (especially the deep-fried variety), don’t worry—we’ve got you covered.

  1. Luu HN, Blot WJ, Xiang YB, Cai H, Hargreaves MK, Li H, Yang G, Signorello L, Gao YT, Zheng W, Shu XO. Prospective evaluation of the association of nut/peanut consumption with total and cause-specific mortality. JAMA Intern Med. 2015 May;175(5):755-66. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.8347. PubMed PMID: 25730101; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4474488.
  2. Johnston, C.A., et al., Increasing vegetable intake in Mexican-American youth: a randomized controlled trial. J Am Diet Assoc, 2011. 111(5): p. 716-20.
  3. Cintineo HP, Arent MA, Antonio J, Arent SM. Effects of Protein Supplementation on Performance and Recovery in Resistance and Endurance Training. Front Nutr. 2018;5:83. Published 2018 Sep 11. doi:10.3389/fnut.2018.00083.
  4. Kirkmeyer SV, Mattes RD. Effects of food attributes on hunger and food intake. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2000;24(9):1167–1175. doi: 10.1038/sj.ijo.0801360.
  5. Katzman, E.W., Nielsen, S.J. The Association between Pea-nut and Peanut Butter Consumption and Cognitive Function among Community-Dwelling Older Adults. J Prev Alzheimers Dis (2021).
  6. Li, M., Shi, Z. A Prospective Association of Nut Consumption with Cognitive Function in Chinese Adults Aged 55+ _ China Health and Nutrition Survey. J Nutr Health Aging 23, 211–216 (2019).
  7. Morris MC, Tangney CC, Wang Y, Sacks FM, Bennett DA, Aggarwal NT. MIND diet associated with reduced incidence of Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimers Dement. 2015 Sep;11(9):1007-14. doi: 10.1016/j.jalz.2014.11.009. Epub 2015 Feb 11. PMID: 25681666; PMCID: PMC4532650.