The best Christmas recipes and menu for the season is here! It looks like the holidays is looking very different for many of us this year. Most of us are planning a small and intimate dinner for our immediate family, some might be planning a virtual celebration, or some might still be cooking up a huge feast and boxing it up for family and friends.
However you are celebrating this year, let me make it easy by sharing lots of options for planning out the best Christmas recipes and menu, including everything from appetizers, the main course, side dishes, soup and salad, bread, dessert and festive drinks. I even share some recipes for all those delicious Christmas dinner leftovers.
Before we dig into our epic Christmas dinner feast, we need something to snack on. Try a classic holiday charcuterie board with creamy hummus and sourdough crackers, quick and easy classic deviled eggs, or bite-sized crostini like tomato bruschetta with balsamic glaze or curried white bean crostini.
Pick one to three of the following starters to feature on your Christmas dinner menu:
See all Christmas appetizers.
Christmas Main Course
The main course entree for Christmas dinner has to be a showstopper. You can't go wrong with a classic holiday glazed baked ham or whole roast turkey (that requires no brining tender). Or opt for a smaller dish like tender herb-crusted rack of lamb or a juicy roasted turkey breast or slow cooker turkey breast.
Pick one of the following mains to feature on your Christmas dinner menu:
See all Christmas main courses.
Once you have figured out the main dish that you will be serving, it's time to think about the sides. From creamy and cheesy casseroles, to fresh and light seasonal salads, to vegetable side dishes, and more, there are so many best Christmas recipes to choose from. Some of my favourites are creamy potatoes au gratin, hasselback potatoes with garlic herb butter, and creamy brussels sprouts bake.
Pick two to four of the following sides to feature on your Christmas dinner menu:
See all Christmas sides.
Christmas Soup & Salads
I like to start Christmas dinners with a bowl of warm soup, whether that's a creamy cauliflower and garlic soup, roasted butternut squash soup, or creamy ham and potato soup. Soup is easy to make even a few days ahead, and leftovers last for up to 5 days. I also throw in a seasonal salad on the dinner menu like a winter kale salad with apple cider vinaigrette or apple walnut salad with balsamic vinaigrette. It balances out all the heavy comforting dishes quite nicely.
Pick one soup and/or one salad to feature on your Christmas menu:
See all Christmas soup and salad.
We always have a bread basket with an assortment of bread on our Christmas table. Some of my favourites to serve during the holidays are rosemary cornbread, cheesy garlic dinner rolls, simple homemade biscuits, and easy rosemary garlic focaccia bread. You can make bread ahead of time and store it at room temperature for a couple of days or in the refrigerator for longer. You could even freeze it for up to 3 months. Simply let it thaw overnight and reheat when ready to serve.
Pick one or two of the following bread to feature on your Christmas menu:
See all Christmas bread.
There is always room for dessert, no matter how filling your Christmas dinner is. Our most popular Christmas desserts are are gingerbread bundt cake with maple cinnamon glaze, holiday yule log cake, and cranberry-apple cobbler with biscuits. Oh and don't forget the cookies! Try making an epic holiday cookie box or platter and gift the extras to family and friends.
Pick one or two (or as many as you like!) of the following desserts to feature on your Christmas menu:
See all Christmas desserts.
And let's not forget fun and festive drinks that the whole family can enjoy. Try creamy, thick and smooth homemade non-alcoholic eggnog and you will never look back at storebought eggnog again. And end the night with a nice hot cup of peppermint hot chocolate to serve alongside dessert.
Christmas Dinner Leftovers
Christmas leftovers might actually be one of the best parts of Christmas dinner. Which is also a very good reason to make a big holiday glazed baked ham or whole roast turkey even for a small intimate group. Think of the easy ham and potatoes au gratin or creamy ham and potato soup that you can make. Or how about a big pot of leftover turkey wild rice soup or some leftover turkey fried rice. And the cranberry sauce? Always make extra and bake up a storm. It's usually cranberry sauce oat bars or cranberry sauce muffins over here.
See all Christmas leftovers.
Tips for Planning the Best Christmas Dinner Menu
- Plan your menu ahead of time. This will make your grocery runs go so much more smoothly, when you know exactly what you are preparing far in advance. Plus, you can even start preparing some of these Christmas dishes ahead of time. Some can be frozen and reheated from frozen, others can be made and stored in an airtight container for a few days at room temperature or in the refrigerator, according to recipe directions.
- Make your main course fresh on the day of serving.
- Some sides should also be made fresh on the day of serving, but there are many that can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator and reheated. Some easy make ahead sides are creamy mashed potatoes, stovetop mac and cheese with white cheddar, creamy garlic mashed cauliflower, and easy make ahead cranberry sauce.
- All soup can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Salads can be prepared in advance (chopping vegetables and mixing the dressing ingredients together), and assembled before serving.
- Most dessert can be made in advance and stored in an airtight container either at room temperature or in the refrigerator . Some can even be made weeks in advance, frozen, and reheated in the oven.
- You can mix homemade and storebought. There is nothing wrong with getting some help by incorporating storebought items into your menu. If baking something for Christmas dessert is stressing you out, then just pick up a cake from the store instead.
- Prep your ingredients as much as possible. Once you have decided on the dishes to serve, prepare as much as you can in advance. Whether that is chopping vegetables, beating eggs, or preparing salad dressings. You can store all your prepared ingredients in airtight containers in the refrigerator.
- Set the table the night before. Take out the fancy dinnerware, flatware, glasses, placemats, and napkins and set the table the night before. Don't forget any special decorations and centrepieces. It's one less thing to worry about on Christmas.
Did You Make Any of These Christmas Dinner Recipes?
Please leave a comment and rating below, and let me know what you thought of this easy Christmas dinner menu. Be sure to snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @aheadofthyme or share it on the Pinterest pin so that I can follow along.Print