The holiday season is fast approaching, and that means planning another Christmas dinner with family and friends.
While Christmas is a time of cheer, it can also be stressful if you’re hosting a party or dinner. If you’re already panicking about what to make for the big meal, we’ve got you covered.
Mix up your Christmas spread with these traditional holiday food ideas. This list includes everything from traditional eggnog to a fresh pomegranate salad.
We’ve included plenty of appetizers, entrees, side dishes, and desserts, so you can plan your entire meal from our choices. There is sure to be something here to temp every palate!
Nothing screams Christmas quite like a warm and comforting glass of eggnog.
You could always go for store-bought, but trust me when I say making this simple recipe will elevate your entire party.
This recipe is easy to follow, using all ingredients you probably have in your cupboard, and comes together in just half an hour.
our favorite rums to use in eggnog if you want to make it alcoholic!
Thanksgiving staple also makes a delicious addition to a Christmas dinner spread.
This recipe is as classic as you can get, which also means it’s very affordable and comes together in minutes with canned green beans and soup.
The best part, of course, is the crispy fried onions on top, so make sure you pile them on!
There’s nothing more comforting on a winter’s night than a creamy bowl of mashed potatoes.
This recipe includes all the classics like hot milk and two whole sticks of butter.
This is also a great dish to meal prep and can be kept warm in a slow cooker or even reheated from the freezer.
Now for the main event: the perfect crispy and juicy turkey. You’ll be proud to put this at the center of your dinner table.
While cooking a whole turkey can seem intimidating, this recipe is approachable and uses minimal ingredients without compromising flavor.
There’s some prep time here, but the actual work is easy.
No matter how good your turkey and mashed potatoes are, they’re not complete without that aromatic gravy boat on the table.
While you can buy some decent gravy at the store, homemade is infinitely better.
Homemade gravy is surprisingly easy to make and uses parts of your turkey that would otherwise have gone to waste.
If you’re looking for an alternative to a turkey, this glazed ham screams Christmas.
This succulent ham is covered in a brown sugar and honey glaze, giving your Christmas plate the perfect mix of sweet and savory.
This simple recipe only uses a few ingredients, but you won’t believe how flavorful it is.
You could also serve this ham
for Christmas Eve dinner and save the turkey for Christmas day!
Fruitcake can be divisive, but with this recipe, you’ll be sure to please even those who claim to despise the dish.
Unlike store-bought, this cake is perfectly moist and much lighter than a traditional fruitcake.
There are a couple of non-traditional ingredients here like dried mango, which elevates the dish.
Better known as a yule log in the States, this
classic French cake will be the visual star of the show on your dessert table.
This cake is light and rich at the same time, the perfect centerpiece.
This recipe is a little time-consuming but still easy to follow. It’s the perfect thing to make with the family.
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire? Almost!
These aromatic and buttery chestnuts are so easy to make and will have your entire house smelling like a winter wonderland.
Chestnut’s hard shells can be intimidating but this recipe makes roasting them deceptively simple. Roasting them inside their skin makes peeling and eating a breeze.
If you’re looking for a dessert alternative to classic cranberry sauce, this salad doesn’t disappoint.
Finely ground cranberries are mixed with whipped cream and mini marshmallows to create a sweet yet tart bite.
This dish can be served chilled or frozen. While both are great, I think the frozen version is an unexpected treat.
This enriched bread is a classic Italian Christmas recipe that has made its way around the world with its unique flavor and texture.
Many people buy panettone, but it’s surprisingly easy to make at home and tastes worlds better.
sweet Italian dish is perfect for dessert after Christmas dinner or breakfast on Boxing Day.
If you’re after something a little different for your dinner centerpiece, look no further than this zesty and slightly sweet pork loin.
This recipe is incredibly simple, and you’ll have all the ingredients in your pantry.
What it lacks in complexion it makes up for in succulent texture and delicious flavor.
Brussel Sprouts are
a classic winter vegetable that stay in season throughout the cold months.
While not everyone is a huge fan of these cruciferous vegetables, this recipe is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
Anything is better with bacon, and the extra addition of classic fall flavors like pecans and cranberries makes this extra special.
Charcuterie boards are all the rage nowadays and for good reason.
This brie platter makes a perfect appetizer for people to graze on while they mingle before the main course or a great after-dinner snack with coffee.
This board is adorned with sweet winter bites like cranberries and pomegranate seeds, as well as
crackers and sweet spreads.
This salad is the perfect fresh and light accompaniment to the rich and savory main dishes served at Christmas dinner.
The salad comes together easily with plenty of leafy greens and some blue cheese crumbles.
The sweet bite of the pomegranate, as well as the raspberry vinaigrette screams Christmas.
other pomegranate recipes to make while they're in season!
Another quintessential American holiday dish is this bowl of candied sweet potatoes.
If you’re looking for something slightly different than sweet potato casserole – this is a great option.
Still sweet and sticky, this recipe includes fresh herbs and orange zest instead of marshmallows for an aromatic kick.
If you’re looking to go above and beyond for this Christmas dinner, this prime rib will blow everyone away.
The slow-cooking method and overnight drying out make this dish taste like you spent hours slaving away for it.
In reality, prep takes only 15 minutes and a handful of accessible ingredients like jarred horseradish and mustard.
Corn pudding isn’t as classic as some of the other side dishes on this list but it’s one of my absolute favorites every year.
The corn’s inherent creaminess pairs perfectly with the warming nutmeg and sweet bursts from the kernels. This dish is also great for cold leftovers!
No holiday dinner spread can be complete without cranberry sauce.
Many people buy the canned stuff, but there’s no excuse this year because this recipe is so easy and so much more delicious than anything store-bought.
Making this truly could not be easier. It comes together in just 20 minutes and you don’t need any cooking skills.
Christmas Plum Pudding sounds like something out of a storybook. It’s not so commonly made nowadays which is a shame because it is easy and so tasty.
The one thing to note about this recipe is that it is huge—it comfortably serves 20 people.
While not necessarily suited for a small family gathering, it makes an ideal dessert centerpiece for a party.
Roasted seasonal vegetables are a perfect side dish for any holiday meal. This delicious dish includes favorites like butternut squash and rutabaga.
The dish is finished with a few warming spices and freshened up with herbs and a bit of vinegar.
It’s easily customizable with your favorite spices and herbs.
Mincemeat can be somewhat of a mystery, and the name doesn’t sound too appealing.
However, this delicious filling is made of
fruit preserves and I think it makes a great addition to a holiday table.
It’s super easy to make and is the perfect thing to make ahead of time. Make it a couple of months ahead and let the flavors deepen for Christmas.
Even the pickiest veggie haters will love this creamy and rich spinach dish.
There’s tons of butter and decadent gruyere cheese in here. But don’t worry, it’s totally healthy because it’s technically a vegetable dish!
Adding warming nutmeg and finely diced onions brings this dish to a new level.
Pecan pie goes down
a treat all autumn and winter in my house.
This classic recipe has a little twist with the addition of rum and honey, making it more Christmassy.
Don’t be intimidated by the homemade crust–just a quick blitz in a food processor or blender, and it will come together easily.
We’re finishing our list with a unique addition to the Christmas dinner table that will impress everyone there.
This dish utilizes the delicious acorn squash as a bowl for the earthy flavors of mushrooms and wild rice.
This is a great side dish but is hearty and filling enough to make a delicious main dish alternative for any vegetarians at your table.
There’s nothing like a good Christmas dinner, and these recipes are a great way to celebrate the holiday. Pair them with a
holiday cocktail, or make festive mocktails for everyone to enjoy!
Finish off your meal with
Christmas desserts, or check out Christmas party apps to bring to complete your meal!
This page may contain affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, we'll earn a small commission, at no additional cost to you.