124 Jingle Bell-Rockin’ Christmas Dinner Ideas
After the morning mayhem of gifts (and perhaps a mid-afternoon nap), there's just one more present left to open: Christmas dinner. Build the perfect holiday menu from these special recipes.
For food-loving families across the globe, there's nothing like coming together around the table for a Christmas feast. Once you've snacked on your favorite appetizers, these dinner ideas will make sure no one is left hungry. If anyone still has room, finish off your meal with one of these dazzling Christmas desserts or a plate of your favorite Christmas cookies. Then, when all is said and done (and eaten), go ahead and take that long winter's nap.
Jump ahead to:
This is the main event! Make it special with one of these show-stopping entrees.
Beef Wellington recipes:
Beef Wellington is an English classic that never fails to impress. A beef tenderloin is coated with a chopped mushroom mixture known as duxelles before being wrapped in puff pastry to create a savory masterpiece.
Based on the classic Italian dish porchetta (a roast pork), this roast turkey gets wrapped in Italian bacon and stuffed with smoked mozzarella, fennel, and sage.
Cornish hen recipes:
Good things come in small Christmas packages, right? That's certainly true for these Cornish game hens, which are a great option for an intimate dinner. While they're as easy to make as a roast chicken, having a whole bird for each guest feels decidedly decadent.
Apricot juice, brown sugar, and cloves meld in a sweet spiced glaze on this ham that can feed up to 20 people. This recipe is as simple as they come.
Turkey isn't just for Thanksgiving; in fact, a roast turkey is traditional Christmas fare in many countries outside of the United States. And why not? This herb-butter roasted turkey tastes great, feeds a crowd, and brings a festive, bountiful look to your meal.
Pork roast recipes:
A pork roast makes an elegant centerpiece without the expense of a large roast beef. No need to make a stuffing on the side; this recipe is filled with a cranberry-apple stuffing for a fitting winter meal.
Rack of lamb recipes:
A frenched rack of lamb makes a gorgeous winter display when decked out on a platter with pomegranates and chestnuts. The individual chops melt in your mouth for the ultimate Christmas treat.
Lamb shank recipes:
This cozy preparation of lamb shanks brings the comforting warmth of the hearth with every bite, and the lamb literally falls off the bone. Be sure to get a nice thick balsamic vinegar for this recipe.
Roast beef recipes:
You just can't go wrong with a prime rib for all the meat-eaters in your life. Dramatic, tender, and easy to cook, it's the perfect Christmas main dish. Horseradish cream makes the perfect topping. For more on how to cook roast beef, as well as recipes for beef tenderloin, standing rib roast, eye of round roast, and top of round roast, be sure to check out our article How To Cook A Perfect Roast Beef.
Short rib recipes:
Rich flavors of beer, soy, and beefy short ribs meld in a dutch oven to create this decadent dish. Serve with polenta or mashed potatoes to soak up the flavorful sauce.
Pasta, grains, and veggie mains
Whether you're vegetarian, on a special diet, or just love to mix things up, meat doesn't have to be the center of attention when you cook up one of these memorable non-meat dishes.
Lasagna is a tradition at many holiday meals ... and with good reason! This spinach version sports Christmas colors, feeds 12 people, and is easy on both your waistline and your wallet. The Cheesy Savory Monkey Bread in this recipe roundup would be a great pairing as well.
A risotto is fancy and comforting all at once. This vegan version with white wine and mushrooms will please everyone around your table.
While gnocchi are made from potatoes, they typically also include flour to bind the dumplings together, so be sure to buy a gluten-free brand if you're trying to accommodate any celiac diets (or make your own if you're feeling ambitious!).
Vegan centerpiece recipes:
This healthy seasonal dish is bursting with flavors (and cranberries). Hearty enough for a main and delightful as a side, this vegan dish fits right in at the Christmas table.
Savory galette recipes:
A stunning meatless main dish, the mushroom and ricotta galette is made with a flaky rough puff pastry and Gruyere, a rich Swiss cheese.
Roasted cauliflower recipes:
If you want a dramatic vegetarian centerpiece, this recipe will certainly do the trick. While veggie-based, it's decadent with dairy: The sauce features cream cheese, heavy cream, feta, and goat cheese. To serve, slice the cauliflower into steaks and top with the whipped cheese.
Pasta pie (or cake!) recipes:
Once again, we prove that pasta can be anything but ordinary. Flecked with roasted red pepper and spinach, this pasta cake is sure to let all your guests know that this is a special meal.
Nut roast recipes:
If you want a meatless main that embodies Christmas Day, look no further than this nut roast. Made with Cavolo Nero (an Italian kale variety), walnuts, and cranberries, this roast has all the flavors and colors of the season.
Stuffed squash recipes:
Those mini pumpkins aren't just for decoration, although they will add a festive flair to your table. Even better, they can be prepared up to four days in advance so all you have to do on Christmas Day is pop them in the oven for 10-20 minutes to bake.
When the side dishes are this satisfying, you might not need much room on your plate for the entree. The challenge, of course, is trying not to make too many side dishes.
Root vegetable recipes:
You can't help but eat this beautiful dish with your eyes. Luckily, you can also put it on your plate, where you get to eat the beets, parsnips, sweet potatoes, and Gruyere the old-fashioned way.
Green bean recipes:
Verdant green beans are always a welcome, cheery sight on a winter table. Meyer lemon zest adds a delicate tang and livens up the crunchy dusting of Parmesan breadcrumbs.
Brussels sprouts recipes:
A sumptuously sweet balsamic vinegar reduction highlights this red and green holiday dish. A far cry from bland boiled balls, these may just be the best Brussels sprouts you've ever tasted.
Mashed potato recipes:
Did you know you can make your own homemade Boursin out of cream cheese and herbs? There's no reason not to just buy it, but if you can't find it in your supermarket, you'll still be able to make these creamy, flavorful mashed potatoes.
This potato gratin is topped with Manchego cheese for a sophisticated take on the traditional gratin — and an extra touch of elegance.
This pretty dish brings some exciting new flavors to your meal. Romanesco, a cruciferous vegetable that tastes like a cross between cauliflower and broccoli, is seasoned with lemony sumac and a creamy tahini sauce, accented with sweet bites of golden raisins. This is a dish that's sure to be noticed.
Pomegranates and pistachios bring the colors of Christmas to your holiday table in these maple-syrup-kissed carrots. Miso paste adds a depth of flavor that makes this dish a real stunner.
The light and bright flavors of a citrus salad are always a welcome contrast to hearty roasts and heavy casseroles. Take advantage of in-season oranges for this easy and colorful addition to your Christmas menu.
White wine and Italian seasonings are the perfect accents for these elegant breadcrumb-studded beauties. Lovely to look at and tasty to eat, stuffed artichokes make any meal a little more special.
Christmas dinner wouldn't be complete without a feathery, soft bread roll or other carby side. Perfect for soaking up extra sauce on your plate or slathering with spiced or herby butter, these bread recipes add so much to a Christmas menu.
Milk- or butter-rich bread recipes:
This Japanese bread is soft and light with the barest hint of sweetness on the top. Perfect for sopping up juices from a roast, with butter, or eaten just as-is, one thing is certain —these rolls won't stick around for long.
Savory pull-apart bread recipes:
Monkey bread is fun to make, fun to grab, and fun to eat! Made in a tube pan, this cheesy version looks impressive while bringing your family together as everyone pulls hunks off the communal loaf.
Treat yourself to a holiday cocktail for extra warm holiday vibes.
Festive cocktail recipes:
At the end of all that cooking, even Santa's star elf wants to kick back with a treat! Pomegranate, ginger syrup, grapefruit, and mint bring Christmas cheer to this tequila-based cocktail. This festive-looking drink is great without the alcohol as well, so prepare it however you like.
And for dessert?
Check out these holiday treat articles on Yummly: