As has become a Playbill holiday tradition, we asked Broadway stars to send us their go-to recipes for holiday dishes. After all, so many of our favorite performers are also whizzes in the kitchen—bringing treats to their casts or impressing their loved ones at family meals.
So, if you’re stumped on what to whip up for your table, we’ve got recipes from a variety of cutures for mains, sides, and desserts that will tickle your taste buds.
Shoba Narayan, Nessarose in Wicked
“Every holiday season, I long for this creamy, delicious linguine. This recipe is so popular in my family, it has become a holiday staple. It’s vegetarian, and full of wintery herbs and spices such as rosemary, thyme, and nutmeg. Enjoy this yummy dish with your loved ones!”
• 1 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• 2 Tbs. butter
• 1 lb. white mushrooms, thinly sliced
• 2 Tbs finely chopped fresh thyme
• Salt and pepper
• 1 large shallot, finely chopped
• 1/4 cup dry sherry or marsala
• 1 cup cream (light or heavy)
• Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
• About a cup freshly grated parmigiana-reggiano cheese, plus some to pass at table
• 1 lb egg linguine
• 1 cup frozen organic peas, defrosted
• Finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
Directions for sauce:
1. Sauté 1 pound mushrooms in butter and olive oil.
2. When it’s sautéed well, add salt, pepper, onion/shallots, and thyme.
3. While it cooks, add the marsala or dry sherry. You have the option to add peas at this point!
4. Once that cooks, add some cream (light or heavy—depending on what you want!).
5. Wait till it’s boiled and add grated nutmeg.
Directions for pasta:
1. Cook fresh egg linguine pasta.
2. Save some liquid before draining pasta.
3. Pour the sauce over the pasta.
4. Add some flat leaf parsley, Parmesan-Reggiano and a bit of that starchy water from earlier.
5. Dinner is served!
Paul Whitty, Oz and others in Come From Away
“It’s your lucky day! My mother, Antonella Whitty, makes the best lasagna ever. Why wouldn’t she?! She is Italian, born and raised! I hope you feel just as at home as I do when enjoying this recipe. Happy holidays from our family to yours! Buon appetito!”
This recipe has ingredients that you can find at your local grocery, but feel free to replace any of the ingredients with freshly made substitutes (pasta, tomato sauce), or adjust to specific dietary restrictions (milk, butter, cheese, beef, etc.)
· 1 aluminum cooking pan 1 1/2 or 2 inches deep
· 1 large pot
· 1 large skillet or frying pan
· 1 medium to large sauce pan
· 2 boxes of Barilla Oven Ready Lasagna
· 2 lbs. lean ground beef
· 2 -3 large carrots diced very thin
· 2 stalks of celery diced very thin
· 1 medium size red onion sliced and diced very thin
· 2-3 Tbs. of white flour
· 2-3 sticks of salted butter
· 1/2 gallon of milk
· Olive Oil
· 1 jar of Classico Traditional Sweet Basil Tomato Sauce
· 1 large can of diced tomatoes
· 2-3 cubes of Knorr beef bouillon (to taste)
· Grated Parmesan Cheese
1. Brown the ground beef in a large pot. Season with salt and pepper and drain fat.
2. Sauté onions, celery, and carrots with olive oil and a teaspoon of butter in pan or skillet.
3. Mix beef in with the sautéed veggies and add the can of diced tomatoes, jar of tomato sauce, and beef bouillon in large pot.
4. Cook sauce on medium to low heat for about 1 hour.
5. After the meat sauce is ready you can start cooking the béchamel. Melt a stick of salted butter on low heat in a sauce pan. Add the flour and stir briskly with a wooden spoon.
6. When the flour and butter are of a creamy texture start adding the milk. Add salt and pepper, and keep stirring on medium heat.
7. Bring to a boil then stir for 10 minutes.
8. Add a sprinkle of nutmeg, and the béchamel should be ready.
9. Assembly: Butter aluminum pan, then start with a thin layer of béchamel sauce followed by a layer of the lasagna, then a layer of meat sauce, and, lastly, the parmesan cheese. Continue layering (béchamel, lasagna, meat sauce, parmesan) until you reach the top of the pan (not too close to the edge or it will overflow when cooking). The last layer should be lasagna loosely covering the top.
10. Cover with aluminum foil and cook for about 30 minutes at 375 degrees.
11. Remove foil and cook for 10 minutes or until the top is golden.
12. Cut into square slices and serve.
Dawnn Lewis, Zelma in Tina: The Tina Turner Musical
Dawnn’s Dynamite Gumbo
· 1 can (14.5 oz) chicken broth
· 1 can (14.5 oz) seasoned stewed tomatoes
· 1 small bay leaf
· 1 Tbs. dried thyme leaves
· 2 Tbs. butter or margarine
· 1 cup chopped onions
· 3/4 cup chopped green pepper
· 1 Tbs. minced parsley
· 3 Tbs. file powder (or more according to taste)
· 3 Tbs. Cajun season
· 3 Tbs. seasoned salt
· 3 Tbs. garlic powder
· 1 lb. diced chicken breast
· 1 large sliced smoked turkey sausage
· 2 cups fresh baby shrimp
· 2 cups shredded crabmeat
· 2 cups frozen sliced okra
· 2 cans (14 ounces) water chestnuts
· 3 cups cooked rice
· Hot pepper sauce (optional)
1. Separate the chicken and shrimp into a shallow skillet and season with half of the Cajun seasoning.
2. Grill on low heat until evenly browned. Set this aside.
3. Combine chicken broth, tomatoes, water, bay leaf, thyme, butter, onion, green pepper, remaining Cajun seasoning & garlic powder in stockpot or large Dutch oven.
4. Cook 30 minutes.
5. Add okra and cook an additional 8-10 minutes.
6. Add turkey sausage, crabmeat, and shrimp and chicken mixture, as well as water chestnuts and cook an additional 10 minutes.
7. Let stand 5 minutes.
8. Remove bay leaf before serving.
9. Cook rice separately and pour the gumbo over it.
10. Season with hot pepper sauce, if desired. *Add or subtract spices according to taste for mild/hot flavoring.
“This isn’t so much a recipe as it is an ongoing conversation/argument/cry for help from my Jewish elders. Nothing is precise, everything is discussed, and the ingredients change depending on whose house you’re at and what pan you use. Every year I make them but every year they fall short in comparison to my mom Helen’s, which are crisp lacy perfection on the outside, moist potato heaven on the inside, and scrumptiously seasoned everywhere. Knowing this recipe would be published, I was determined to get it right. And I think I did. Finally. Maybe. Helen’s are better. Go for it if you dare…”
· Approx 1 lb. of Idaho potatoes. “I think I used a pound. That was like five potatoes.”
· 1 medium onion (You can use more or less.)
· 1 egg
· Matzah meal. Or flour. “Helen says you can use either. I used matzah ball mix this time. In the boxes from the store there are two packets. Use one of those packets. Which is about a quarter cup.”
· Salt. “A teaspoon? Maybe more? Taste it as you go. (Yes, raw.)”
· Pepper. “A bunch of shakes.”
· A pinch of baking powder “Helen was surprised that I did this. It seemed to work.”
· Regular old vegetable oil. “Has a high smoke point and is nice and thin and flavorless.”
1. Peel the potatoes and cut them, as well as the onions, into one-inch chunks. Run it all through the food processor so it’s all ground up but not mush. There should be texture. Like little 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch pieces. But closer to 1/8-inch.
2. Work in batches, transferring the processed mixture into a big bowl. For the potatoes that are waiting to be processed, Helen says keep them in water. For the post-processor potatoes, keep blotting the water that collects on the surface. Helen says keep it in the fridge so it doesn’t get brown.
3. Add all the other stuff into the mixture and mix it around with your hands.
4. Heat a heavy pan. HIGH. HOT. Pour in enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan very generously. (Add more oil for each batch. The later batches of latkes are usually better and I think this is because of the amount of heat and oil that’s accumulated.)
5. Take little blobs of the mixture with your fingers and drop them in the hot oil. When you see the edges getting brown flip them. Then smush them with your spatula. Flatter is better—more crisp surface area. (I got great results with a bendy egg flipper. Because it’s so thin I could get underneath the latkes when they stuck a bit.)
6. Keep flipping them till you like how they look on both sides and then transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. I like to do some that are really burnt and some that are golden brown. And some that are just east of raw.
7. Serve with your favorite condiment. I come from applesauce people, but you can also do sour cream, horseradish, ketchup, whatever.
8. Be prepared for your entire life to smell like latkes for a week but who cares because Helen’s latkes are the absolute best and you will never want to stop eating them.
Stéphane San Juan, Percussionist in American Utopia
Guinea-Fowl Capon with Apple and Cider
· A 3.3 lbs. guinea-fowl
· 2.2 lbs. of apples (golden)
· 1.5 pint of apple brut cider
· 1.5 lbs. of peeled chestnuts
1. Pre- heat the oven 210°C/410°F
2. Put some butter on a slow cooker (usable in the oven) and brown the guinea-fowl on each part.
3. While that cooks, peel and core the apples, then cut each into quarters.
4. Sear the guinea-fowl.
5. Arrange the guineafowl over the apples, chestnuts, and the cider.
6. Add salt and pepper to taste.
7. Cover the slow-cooker and put in the oven for 45 minutes total. Baste from time to time. Turn over the guinea-fowl at the 20-minute mark.
Myra Lucretia Taylor, Gran Georgeanna in Tina: The Tina Turner Musical
“This is actually my mother’s recipe for glazed sweet potatoes. She prepares it by feel and taste, so my queries as to specific amounts were met with sighs. So, this recipe might be called: Tasty and Full of Feeling Sweet Potatoes.”
· 6 medium sweet potatoes
· 2 cups of water
· 2/3 cup sugar
· 1 stick of butter
· 1 Tbs vanilla flavoring
1. Bake the sweet potatoes in their skins at 350 degrees until done.
2. While baking, simmer 2 cups of water, sugar, butter, and vanilla.
3. Peel done potatoes.
4. Put whole hot potatoes in a Pyrex, halve them with a knife, pour liquid over potatoes and sprinkle with cinnamon.
5. Bake at 350 degrees. For how long? Sigh. Til it’s yummy.
Robyn Hurder, Nini in Moulin Rouge!
Raspberry Jam Shortbread Cookies
“My mom has been making them ever since I was born. They are one of the biggest holiday traditions in our family and I have continued to bake these little Christmas delights with my son every Christmas Eve.”
· 1 cup shortening
· 1/2 cup sugar
· 1/2 cup brown sugar
· 2 egg yolks
· 3 Tbs. milk (I use eggnog!)
· 2 tsp. vanilla extract
· 2 2/3 cup flour
· 1 tsp. baking soda
· 1/2 tsp. salt
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cream shortening and sugars in upright mixer.
3. Beat in egg yolks, milk (or eggnog) and vanilla extract.
4. Sift together dry ingredients and gradually add it to the creamed mixture.
5. Form into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and let chill for 1 hour.
6. Take half the dough and roll out on floured surface. You want the dough to be about 1/8-inch thick before you cut with a 2-inch star shaped cookie cutter. (Or whatever design you like!)
7. Place on cookie sheet. Place 1/2 tsp. of raspberry jam in the center of each cookie. Roll out other half of dough and repeat cut outs.
8. This time, punch out a 1/2-inch circle in the center of each cookie. (The cap of the vanilla extract works perfectly for this.)
9. Place on top of the cookies with jam. Seal all edges together by gently pressing down with fingers.
10. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
Jalynn Steele, Sally and others in The Lightning Thief
Jalynn’s Salted Caramel & Pecan Cheesecake
“I created this dessert from several different recipes I’ve found and added some of my own Jalynn-ness to make a treat you will enjoy with your cast, crew, friends, and families! So, put on your favorite holiday tunes, take your time, and enjoy making this cheesecake. I put this together in about three days to lock in the flavor and make something special. Feel free to add your own and enjoy. Warning: This pie is very messy, very sweet, and very, very, very tasty!”
Ingredients for the crust:
· 1 Package of Cinnamon Graham Crackers
· 4 Butter Cookies (small)
· 2 Ginger Snap Cookies
· 1/3 cup Brown Sugar
· 6 Tbs. Brown Butter
· 1/4 cup Toasted Pecans
Ingredients for the filling:
· 2 (8 oz.) packages of cream cheese
· 1 1/4 cup of salted caramel sauce
· 2 Tbs. maple syrup
· 1 cup toasted pecans
· 1/4 cup of crust mix
Directions for the crust:
1. Set aside 1 graham cracker for topping. Grind together the rest of the graham crackers, cookies, sugar, and pecans in food processor until pieces are grainy.
2. Slowly mix in brown butter until mixture is well blended.
3. Press crust mixture into 8-inch pie tin. Start on bottom pressing hard, then fill in the sides gently until completely covered. Leave about 1/4 of a cup of the crust mixture for the filling.
4. Bake the crust at 375 degrees for 8 minutes.
5. Chill the crust in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
Directions for the filling:
1. Mix cream cheese, 1 cup of caramel sauce, maple syrup, and pie crust mixture in a mixer bowl or food processor until well blended and smooth.
2. Pour filling into pie crust and arrange toasted pecans on top.
3. Drizzle with the rest of the caramel sauce then sprinkle cinnamon graham crumbs.
4. Chill pie for at least 1 hour in refrigerator to set.
“Remember to sprinkle a lot of love throughout and enjoy!”
Jenn Gambatese, Miranda Hillard in Mrs. Doubtfire
Grandma Tootsie’s Pizzelle Recipe
“Grandma made a gazillion of these every Christmas. Since she passed, my cousin Mark has taken over the tradition and still uses her original pizzelle iron! Pizzelle irons are easy enough to find (Bed Bath and Beyond even has them) and not too expensive.”
· 6 Eggs
· 3 1/2 cups flour
· 1 1/2 cups sugar
· 1 cup margarine
· 4 tsp. baking powder
· 4 Tbs. vanilla
1. Beat eggs adding sugar gradually. Beat until smooth.
2. Melt the margarine (in the microwave is fine).
3. Add cooled melted margarine and vanilla.
4. Sift flour and baking powder
5. Add egg mixture to the sifted flour and baking powder. Mix.
6. Dough will be sticky enough to be dropped by spoon into the pizzelle iron.
7. Serve plain or dusted with powdered sugar.
Adam Jepsen, Sven in Frozen
Cherry Pineapple Dump Cake
“My grandmother made this for every family event that I can remember. The smell and taste is pure is nostalgia. I think of her and my family every time I make it. It's easy to make and delicious.”
· 1 (20 oz.) can of crushed pineapple with juice
· 1 (21 oz.) can of cherry pie filling
· 1 box of yellow cake mix
· 1 stick of unsalted butter
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Grease 9x13 baking dish.
3. Dump can of pineapple with juice into pan.
4. Dump cherry pie filling into pan.
5. Mix and spread evenly.
6. Take one box of yellow cake mix and spread evenly over the pineapple and cherries.
7. Chop up thin slices of butter and place the butter squares evenly over the cake mix.
8. Bake in oven for 40-45 minutes until topping is slightly browned.
9. Wait until it cools (or not) and dive in.
Cheech Manohar, Kevin Gnapoor in Mean Girls
“My annual contribution to the Manohar Christmas dinner is putting together a big table of various Christmas desserts for our friends and family to spoil their appetites. The first year I did this, I took two whole days putting all of the treats together and spent a great deal of time rolling and decorating cookies. Much to my chagrin, the dessert that was by far the most popular was also the one I spent the least effort on: Rum Balls. My uncle asks for them every year, and I always make them because they are just the easiest things to throw together. The vast majority of this recipe is just making a simple Devil’s Food Cake (mine is adapted from an old Food Network recipe), and if you don’t have time to make one from scratch (in true Ina Garten fashion), store-bought is fine.”
· 2 cups all-purpose flour
· 1 ½ tsp. baking soda
· ¾ tsp. baking powder
· 1 tsp. kosher salt
· 1 tsp. cinnamon
· 12 Tbs. unsalted butter, room temperature
· 2 cups plus 2 tbsps. sugar
· ¾ cup cocoa powder
· 2 tsp. vanilla extract
· 3 large eggs, room temperature
· 1 ¼ cup water
· 1 ¼ cup milk
· Nonstick spray
· About 4 shots rum, give or take a couple
· Shredded coconut (optional)
· Melted white chocolate (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Nonstick spray two 9-inch round cake pans. Don’t bother lining the bottoms with parchment; it doesn’t matter if the cake come out cleanly. If you’re using store-bought cake mix, skip to step 10.
2. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
3. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat butter for about two minutes on medium speed, until smooth. Increase speed slightly and slowly stream in sugar until butter has become fluffy and lightened in color. Be careful not to over whip your butter.
4. Drop speed of mixer to medium and add cocoa powder and vanilla until incorporated, about a minute.
5. Drop speed to medium low and incorporate eggs one at a time. Scrape down sides of bowl when necessary.
6. Combine your milk and water and warm to a bare simmer. You’re effectively trying to bring these ingredients up to room temperature. NOTE: A good rule of thumb while baking is that most of your ingredients should be at the same temperature. Cold eggs, cold butter. Room temp butter, room temp eggs.
7. Add in the flour mixture about a half cup at a time, mixing on low speed and scraping down the sides of the bowl when necessary. Follow that up with the warm milk/water mixture, streamed in slowly.
8. Take bowl out of mixer and stir with a rubber spatula until smooth. Divide in half and pour into your prepared cake pans.
9. Bake on a center rack for about 30 to 35 minutes. NOTE: All ovens are a little bit different. Keep your eyes on the cake. You’ll know it’s done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean with just a couple crumbs and the cake has started to pull away from the sides of the pan.
10. If you’re using store-bought cake mix, just make and bake the cake according to the box.
11. Let cakes cool until they are cool enough to handle, but still slightly warm, about 10 minutes. Dump cakes out into a very large mixing bowl and begin to crumble with your hands. Once the cake pieces become about the size of marbles, drizzle three to four shots of rum over them. Combine with hands until mixture starts coming together like Play-Doh.
12. Roll the mixture into 1-inch balls. You can enjoy these as is or from here, you can roll them in coconut, dip them in melted white chocolate, or dip/roll them in practically anything and they’ll be delicious.