Celebrating the holidays with friends and families is as good as it gets, but you need great food. Here’s a roundup of some of our favorite Christmas recipes for you and your family this holiday season.
There’s nothing quite like Christmas dinner. You get your friends and your family together, you talk, smile, and laugh, and you exchange presents. And maybe the best part? You have a whole bunch of fantastic food and drinks along the way.
Christmas recipes are some of my favorite foods. They’re fun, festive, and celebratory. Christmas recipes are meant to be a little indulgent, and shared with the people you love most. They’re a special thing.
Tips for Hosting Christmas Dinner
Before getting into a roundup of our favorite Christmas recipes, here are some tricks and tips for hosting a dynamite Christmas dinner this holiday season.
- Plan ahead. The single biggest thing that you can do when preparing food for a Christmas party is plan ahead. A lot of recipes can be made a day or two ahead of time, and stored in the fridge or freezer until the big day. Even recipes that need to be made fresh often have a sauce that can be made in advance. The more food that you have prepared before Christmas dinner, the easier it will be to make your holiday cooking go smoothly.
- Don’t be overly ambitious. One problem a lot of people have at the holidays is making too much food. We all get worried that we’re not going to make enough food, and we overcompensate. It’s certainly better to have too much food at Christmas than too little, and holiday leftovers are a wonderful thing. But even so, there are ways to not be overly ambitious when hosting a Christmas dinner. The biggest thing you can do is keep the menu small. It’s a lot easier to cook large amounts of five dishes than small amounts of ten dishes! You don’t need to have four or five sides … a good amount of one or two sides will do the trick.
- Strike a good balance. One key to a smooth Christmas dinner is to have a good mix of appetizers, entrees, side dishes, and desserts. That helps the dinner flow, and also helps people pace themselves as they eat.
- Pair with some good drinks. Finally, don’t forget the drinks! I probably don’t need to remind you not to forget the drinks at Christmas, but it’s a great idea to serve a signature cocktail! Think about the food you’re making, and what drinks might go with it. I love to have beer, wine, and one large batch cocktail to go with my Christmas menu.
Our Favorite Christmas Recipe Ideas
All of our favorite Christmas entrees and side dishes for your holiday party. From salads to casseroles to hams, you can fill your Christmas table with any of these dishes.
It doesn’t get much more traditional – or fancy – than a beef wellington. A beef tenderloin wrapped in mushrooms and puff pastry? What could be more celebratory than that!
Individual wellingtons are a fun take on the traditional beef wellington. They’re a little bit less fancy, but your guests might like them more. They also use ground beef instead of beef tenderloin, so they’re a much more affordable holiday option.
This entree has all of your favorite Christmas flavors. Garlic, rosemary, and black pepper cover a hearty top round roast, making a juicy beef dish that tastes like the holidays.
Pot roast is a very traditional Christmas dish. It’s meaty, hearty, herbaceous, and filling. The flavors of this pot roast are magical … I can almost guarantee that it will be first leftovers that you run out of.
Christmas dinner doesn’t have to be red meat. A roast turkey is an iconic centerpiece at the holiday table, and this recipe gives you an ultra juicy bird covered in a crackling, crispy skin.
This is the perfect recipe for if you want to roast a turkey but have a small Christmas dinner. You don’t need to buy a full bird, you can just roast the turkey breast instead. Plus, if you have any leftovers, you can make a turkey sandwich.
This is a fun recipe for if you want to go in a different direction with Christmas poultry. Cornish hens are quite small, so this is a great dish for if you’re having just a small Christmas get together. And the bourbon glaze on this bird will make your mouth water every time you think about it.
This recipe is an excellent take on a Christmas ham. The bourbon glaze is just the right amount of sweet, and really makes this ham shine. It’s a fancy Christmas dinner centerpiece that’s incredibly easy to cook.
Brown butter is one of my favorite flavors, and it feels pretty indulgent. And that’s what Christmas should be about, right? It really makes this ham stand out. It’s unlike any Christmas ham I’ve ever had.
The great thing about cooking a ham in the slow cooker is it frees up your oven to cook (or warm) other dishes. And the end result is every bit as fantastic. This rum and coke ham is sticky and sweet, but not overly so.
If I had it my way I just might eat lasagna every day. And that certainly includes Christmas. This is a great holiday party dish, because it’s easy to scale up, and you can make it the day before and just throw it in the oven on Christmas.
This lasagna brings a wintry flavor into it with pumpkin puree. It tastes celebratory, but also wintry, which is perfect for Christmas.
Mac and cheese is as great of a holiday food as exists. Tender pasta drowning in melty, saucy, gooey cheese? If that’s not the right way to celebrate Christmas then I don’t know what is.
This might not be the most traditional Christmas dish in the world, but it works perfectly. It’s a fancy and celebratory dish that’s easy to make in large quantities, perfect for a Christmas crowd.
Shrimp scampi is a fun dish that you can make for a large group at Christmas. Everyone loves this recipe, and it will set the mood for a fun and happy Christmas party.
I’m a firm believer that Christmas dinner should have a whole lot of butter in it. And this garlic butter shrimp recipe is a great way to do exactly that. The shrimp are dripping in garlic butter, and yes … it’s as good as it sounds.
Twice baked potatoes usually aren’t made with sweet potatoes, but doing so makes it a better fit for Christmas. They’re sweet and rich, with honey, cinnamon, and best of all, bacon!
For those who want a more traditional twice baked potato, these couldn’t be better. They’re creamy and rich, with melty cheese, crispy bacon, and lots and lots of butter.
These potatoes are super fluffy, creamy, and cheesy, and if that doesn’t scream “Christmas” then I’m not sure what does. This recipe is a fun and flavorful alternative to mashed potatoes.
Casseroles and Christmas go hand in hand. Potatoes and Christmas go hand in hand. So naturally, this twice baked potato casserole, which is covered in bits of crunch bacon, is a perfect dish for the holidays.
If you’re trying to impress anyone this holiday season, I guarantee you’ll do so by making these duchess potatoes. They taste as good as they look, and they instantly make any Christmas menu a lot fancier … without being a lot more work.
One of my favorite things about Christmas food is the overlap between sweet and savory. That’s on display with this sweet potato casserole, which is full of honey, cinnamon, apples, and rum. It’s hard to put the fork down when eating this dish.
These are some of the most indulgent potatoes I know, which makes them perfect for the Christmas dinner table. The potatoes are absolutely smothered in melty cheese, while cream of chicken soup gives the potatoes a rich sauce.
Scalloped potatoes and Christmas just make sense. This recipe is the perfect blend of hearty potatoes and upscale celebration. You’ll feel like you’re serving dinner at a nice steakhouse when you put these on the Christmas table.
This is for the purists out there. Sometimes what you need with your holiday spread is just creamy, rich, pillowy mashed potatoes. And this is the perfect recipe for that.
This is a fun and unique Christmas side dish that will be sure to get the attention of your guests. The pairing of squash, brown sugar, and walnuts is very wintry, and this dish tastes incredibly cozy. It’ll make you happy to be inside with your friends and family.
Carrots are a great addition to a Christmas menu. They’re hearty and wintry, but also break through the richness of the rest of the meal. This honey glaze is seriously addictive, you’ll find yourself going back for seconds and thirds.
Broccoli may not be the most traditional Christmas vegetable, but after tasting this dish you’ll think that it should be. I’m a big fan of having lots of garlic at Christmas, and broccoli can stand up to a lot of garlic. This is a great vegetable to add freshness to your Christmas plate.
The adults at the Christmas dinner table will love this recipe, but the kids will love it even more. It’s peas and bacon … what more could you possibly want?
This is one of my favorite recipes for making a Christmas dinner instantly feel more fancy. It’s an easy and pretty quick side dish to make, but it elevates any meal. You’ll feel like a chef at a five-star restaurant serving this creamed spinach.
Steamed artichokes are as fun as they are tasty. This aioli is rich, creamy, and has the perfect amount of garlic kick, and it pairs perfectly with the meaty artichokes.
Green beans are a staple of Christmas cuisine. This recipe covers them in slivered almonds, which gives the dish a wintry and celebratory feel.
This is a dish to make as much for the way it looks as for how it tastes. These roast carrots are absolutely gorgeous, and will steal the show at your Christmas table.
It wouldn’t be Christmas without a green bean casserole. This is the best recipe I know for green bean casserole, as it’s positively dripping in cheese. Plus, it can easily be made ahead of time.
Brussels sprouts are a slightly polarizing vegetable. I’m a huge fan of them, and think they’re a perfect Christmas dish. This recipe is super popular, and a great way to bring a vegetable to the table.
Carrots aren’t the most traditional item for a souffle side dish, but they work perfectly in this recipe. The freshness of the carrot pairs brilliantly with the rich sweetness of the brown sugar, making for an irresistible souffle.
This is one of my favorite recipes for making the Christmas dinner table a little bit more fancy. Roasted asparagus is paired with balsamic glaze and parmesan cheese, for a nutty, salty, and upscale side dish.
Does this dish really need a description? It’s creamy bacon mushrooms! If you’re not jumping up and down to make this for Christmas, I don’t know what to tell you.
This is a recipe that’s fun to make, and will impress your Christmas guests. The artichokes are stuffed with sausage and cheese, with a crunch from some breadcrumbs. They look gorgeous, and taste even better.
Sweet potatoes? Check. Pecans? Check. Marshmallows? Check. Bourbon? Check. Yep, this casserole has it all!
Here’s a healthier Christmas side dish that’s still hearty and festive. Cranberries are a great addition to savory foods on Christmas, and they really make this pilaf fun, exciting, and just the right amount of sweet.
Every Christmas dinner table needs some bread. Why not cornbread? With white sugar, brown sugar, and honey, this recipe is the perfect mix of sweet and buttery.
Applesauce is an underrated Christmas side dish, and it pairs so well with a roast turkey, a slice of ham, or a piece of beef. And when bourbon is also involved? Well, that makes it perfect for a party.
There are few flavor combinations as comforting as bacon and corn. This is a dish that will make all of your guests feel right at home on Christmas day.
Salads are a great addition to any Christmas menu lineup. A little freshness and crunch can really add some balance to a rich and hearty Christmas meal. And what salad does that better than a caesar?
This is another slow cooker dish, so you can save your oven for other recipes. This dish is super wintry, as it’s packed full of farro, mushrooms, and herbs. It’s hearty, rich, and a comforting addition to the Christmas menu.