There are many dishes that are pretty much staples for a Christmas dinner. From the mashed potatoes to roasted carrots and roasted potatoes to the stuffing and gravy that goes with the meat.
However, you may want to try a few different dishes to change up your traditional Christmas dinner.
Perhaps change the meat from a turkey to beef or goose or introduce a new starter such as Christmas Salad or Cranberry Brie Bites.
Whatever works for you as there are plenty of dishes to choose from and many that you should want to try.
In this guide, we will look at some recipes you should choose from for your Christmas dinner. From the starters to the sides, the meats, and the crucial dessert.
Try to plan your Christmas dinner responsibly so that it does not prove to be too overwhelming with the amount you are serving up.
If there is time, and to prevent people from going too hungry, include a starter such as a soup or salad.
Ensure that your guests are responsible enough not to fill up on bread too early as they may not have room to enjoy the substantial main part of the Christmas meal that awaits.
1. Potato Leek Soup
A warm bowl of soup is an inviting way to kick things off.
Fry leeks in butter in a stockpot until soft and add potatoes with chicken stock then cook until the potatoes fall apart. Blitz the contents using a hand blender and stir in some heavy cream.
2. Cauliflower Soup
Cauliflower Soup can make a great starter and it is so easy to do.
Soften some onion in a large pot then add garlic, when fragrant, add the cauliflower florets, stock, bay leaf, and thyme then simmer and cook until the florets are tender.
Remove the bay leaf and thyme then blitz until smooth and add heavy cream.
3. Prawn Cocktail
For a stylish starter, go with a prawn cocktail. Mix mayonnaise, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, grated horseradish, Tabasco sauce, and cayenne pepper.
Toss your peeled prawns in the sauce and place them in some lettuce leaves before topping them with more prawns. Service with lemon wedges and chopped parsley.
4. Christmas Salad
A salad can be Christmassy too. Cook brown sugar, water, and pecans in a frying pan then leave to harden.
Whisk together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, orange juice, orange zest, and black pepper.
Place the chopped kale in a salad bowl, cover with chopped orange, blue cheese, and pomegranate seeds then pour over the dressing.
5. Parmesan Brussels Sprouts Salad
Brussels sprouts are a staple on the Christmas dinner table and they look great in a salad.
Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, parsley, salt, and pepper then add thinly sliced Brussels sprouts until coated.
Leave to sit for a few hours then fold in pomegranate seeds and almonds with some shaved Parmesan just before serving.
6. Cranberry And Almond Spinach Salad
For a festive, refreshing salad for the Christmas table, try Cranberry And Almond Spinach Salad.
Combine spinach and arugula in a bowl, and add thinly sliced Honeycrisp apples, pears, candied apples, cranberries, and pomegranate seeds. Drizzle with some vinaigrette and serve immediately.
7. Cranberry Brie Bites
For a delicious starter that may remind guests of a festive cheeseboard, these tiny bites look great and taste sensational.
Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) then grease one mini muffin tray with a cooking spray.
You can use a tube of a crescent dough which can be rolled out on a floured surface and then pinched at the seams when cut into 24 squares.
Place the squares into the tin slots, cut the brie into bite-sized pieces, and then place them inside. Top each one with some cranberry sauce, chopped pecans, and a rosemary sprig. Bake for 15 minutes until golden
8. Christmas Tree Bread
This is another recipe where you can use some ready-made dough, in this case, pizza dough. Preheat your oven to 450°F (230°C), then line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Flour a surface and split the dough into two pieces, roll out both into a long rectangle then cut into two-inch squares, aim for 33 as that’s how many you will need.
Cut some mozzarella sticks into one-inch long pieces and wrap a square of dough around each one to create a tight ball then place them seam side down on the sheet.
Form your Christmas tree and ensure each ball touches then brush on egg wash and bake for around 20 minutes until golden.
Whisk together herbs, basil, parsley, rosemary, melted butter, and grated Parmesan then brush onto the balls once baked. You can serve it with some marinara dipping sauce.
9. Antipasto Wreath
Create a holiday wreath from antipasto for a spectacular starter.
Find some skewers then gather together some salami, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella balls, artichoke hearts (quartered), sweet cherry peppers, pitted olives, pepperoncini (see also our favorite pepperoncini alternatives), basil, and rosemary.
Arrange the ingredients on skewers and glaze with either a balsamic glaze or Italian dressing.
There are so many sides that you can have with Christmas dinner so it may be an idea to check with your friends and family first about what their preferences are.
Certain vegetables such as the humble potato, carrots, and Brussels sprouts can be served in numerous ways.
You also need some sauces to go with your meal just to provide a different consistency and a different flavor to enjoy with all your meat and sides.
10. Mashed Potatoes
As one of the most popular dishes to serve with almost any meal, you need a bowl of creamy mashed potatoes with your Christmas dinner.
Grab a large pot and cover your peeled potatoes (Yukon Golds or russets work really well) with water and then add a pinch of salt.
Bring it all up to a boil, cook until soft, then drain and return them to the pot. Mash the potatoes until smooth with either a potato masher or a whisk.
In a saucepan, melt the butter with whole milk until warm then pour over the potatoes with the sour cream.
Stir until the mixture is fully combined and season with salt and pepper. You can always add more butter and pepper prior to serving.
11. Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes are another flavorsome twist on a classic recipe. Simply add mashed roasted garlic cloves to the butter and whole milk and blend it all in.
12. Stuffed Mushrooms
For a tasty vegetarian dish, try some stuffed baby mushrooms. Preheat your oven to 400°F (205°C) then grease a baking sheet with some cooking spray.
Separate the mushrooms from their stems, roughly chop the stems, and put the caps on the sheet. Cook out the moisture of the stems in a skillet with some melted butter then add garlic.
When fragrant, cook the breadcrumbs until toasted then season and allow to cool.
In a bowl, mix the stem mixture with Parmesan cheese, cream cheese, thyme, parsley, and some seasoning.
Stuff each cap and cover with grated Parmesan cheese then bake until the tops are golden, which should take around 20 minutes.
13. Roasted Butternut Squash Parmesan
Butternut squash goes great with Parmesan too. Chop it up and mix with garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and Parmesan cheese.
Roast for ten minutes at 400°F (205°C) on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Toss around the squash, cover with more Parmesan cheese, and roast until golden brown then sprinkle on some thyme.
14. Roasted Parsnips
You cannot have a Christmas dinner without some sweet roasted parsnips. Peel and chop the parsnips into matchsticks then toss with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Bake at 425°F (220°C) for 25 minutes, toss around and then cook for a further 15 minutes until golden brown.
15. Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus
Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus looks great on a Christmas dinner plate, as do most foodstuffs when wrapped in prosciutto.
Brush garlic butter on the asparagus spears then tightly wrap in halved prosciutto slices. Heat up oil in a skillet over a medium heat then fry the spears for a couple of minutes on each side until browned.
16. Honey Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts
Here’s a great way to present Brussels sprouts. Cook the halved sprouts in oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add water and cover once golden on the bottom so they can steam.
Set the sprouts aside, add balsamic vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard, and garlic then whisk and simmer until syrupy. Coat the sprouts, heat them through, and season.
17. Maple Roasted Carrots
Maple syrup goes really well with carrots, especially at Christmas. In a pot, bring the carrots to a boil then simmer until tender and place in a bowl.
Melt the butter, stir in maple syrup and warm it through then pour over the carrots and season. You can also roast these in the oven to let the glaze crisp up.
18. Parmesan Roasted Carrots
For a gorgeous twist on roasted carrots, try them with Parmesan. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C) then combine melted butter with garlic and coat the carrots.
Arrange them on a baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper, drizzle with some more garlic butter, and roast for 15 minutes.
Top the carrots with grated Parmesan cheese then roast for another 10 minutes until browned.
19. Cheesy Cauliflower Bake
Another vegetarian option is this Cheesy Cauliflower Bake. Grease a baking dish and combine cream of mushroom soup with sour cream, cheddar cheese, and fried onions in a pan over a medium heat.
Add in the broccoli and cauliflower florets then bake in the dish for 30 minutes at 325°F (160°C). Top with even more cheese and onions then bake until the cheese melts.
20. Corn Casserole
Another vegetarian side dish is Corn Casserole (see also ‘30 Easy Slow Cooker Casserole Recipes‘). Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C), meanwhile combine creamed corn, drained sweet corn kernels, Jiffy corn muffin mix, sour cream, and a stick of melted butter.
Bake uncovered in a greased casserole dish for 45 minutes then top with shredded cheese. Bake for another 15 minutes until the top has browned.
21. Candied Yams
Some people only have yams at Christmas and this is a great way to prepare them. Combine dark brown sugar, orange juice, nutmeg, kosher salt, and a cinnamon stick in a pan over a medium heat.
Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer then cook until thickened. Remove the cinnamon stick, and prepare the sweet potatoes by peeling and slicing them into half-inch rounds.
In a greased baking dish, layer the yams, pour over the syrup, and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes at 400°F (205°C), remove the foil then cook for a further hour, basting every 15 minutes.
22. Lemon Herb Roasted Potatoes
Lemon Herb Roasted Potatoes can really add a fresh taste to your Christmas dinner. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and cut slits on your potatoes.
Mix olive oil, melted butter, garlic, parsley leaves, lemon juice, honey, and seasoning.
Place the slitted potatoes in a roasting pan then brush with the mixture, including the slits. Roast the potatoes for an hour, basting halfway through, then serve when browned.
23. Duck Fat Roasted Potatoes
Duck fat roasted potatoes are truly a decadent choice, ideal for Christmas. Peel and chop up your potatoes then boil them for ten minutes, drain and leave to steam for five minutes.
Add in salt and semolina then shake them up. Cook the duck fat in a metal roasting pan until it shimmers in the oven at 450°F (230°C) then coat the potatoes.
Roast them for 25 minutes, turn over, roast for a further 15 minutes, turn again, and roast for a final 15 minutes when they should be golden and crunchy. Sprinkle with rosemary and sea salt.
24. Potatoes au Gratin
Of course, you need potatoes with your Christmas dinner and Potatoes au Gratin can be prepared beforehand.
Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and slice your peeled potatoes into 3mm thick slices. Combine cream, melted butter, and garlic then pour a third of the mix over a third of the slices in a baking dish.
Scatter on some thyme and seasoning then add cheese and repeat for the remaining two layers but forgo the cheese for the top.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 75 minutes until the potatoes are softened. Remove the aluminum foil and top with the cheese to bake for another 15 minutes.
By then the cheese should be nice and bubbly, ready to serve.
25. Sausage Stuffing Balls
If you prefer even more meat on your plate then add it to the stuffing to create Sausage Stuffing Balls (see also ‘15 Vienna Sausage Recipes To Die For‘). Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine ground breakfast sausage with cooked, diced bacon, stuffing, and shredded Cheddar cheese. Once combined, roll into tight balls and bake for 25 minutes.
You cannot have Christmas dinner without stuffing.
Combine cubed white bread with onion, celery, sliced mushrooms, chopped dried apricots, dried cranberries, walnut halves, pine nuts, olive oil, and seasoning.
Cook in the turkey or cover in foil for 40 minutes at 350°F (175°C).
Gravy made from the turkey drippings and fat is a Christmas dinner treat. Cook the fat in a large skillet then whisk in flour to create a roux.
Add in the turkey drippings and whisk while simmering. Gradually add in thyme, parsley, and black pepper and you should have a thick gravy.
28. Cranberry Sauce
Cranberry sauce simply has to be involved with Christmas dinner, here’s a simple recipe. Place cranberries in a saucepan and keep hold of a handful while the rest are heated over a medium-low heat.
Add white sugar, water, and lemon zest then cook until the sugar has dissolved. Turn up the heat and cook for ten minutes until syrupy and the cranberries have burst.
Turn the heat down, stir in that handful of cranberries and add salt or sugar, depending on your preference. Leave to cool and keep in the refrigerator for a maximum of three weeks.
For some households, it may prove difficult to stray away from the traditional oven-roasted turkey. It may be the one time of the year that this particular bird is served so it usually makes its way onto the table.
Even then, there are other meats that you may want to try that you have perfected over the years and you may even prefer them.
29. Cranberry Apple Pork Chops
Cranberries and apples are such a festive combination. Brown the pork chops then sprinkle on chopped onion, poultry seasoning, and seasoning with chicken broth.
Bake them in a pan under aluminum foil for half an hour at 350°F (175°C). Add to cranberries, sugar, diced apple, and water then bake for another 20 to 30 minutes until tender.
30. Beef Brisket
You can also slow cook a brisket for a great centerpiece. Make a rub of brown sugar, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, mustard powder, and seasoning to coat the brisket.
Mix together garlic, apple cider vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, mustard powder, onion powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and Worcestershire sauce in your slow cooker.
Throw in your brisket and slow cook for eight to ten hours.
Reduce the leftover juices in a pan until syrupy for your BBQ sauce. Drizzle the brisket in oil and roast at 390°F (200°C) for 15 minutes, baste with BBQ sauce, and roast every five minutes until caramelized.
31. Roast Beef
For an alternative meat to turkey, try roast beef which should please the Christmas dinner table.
Let the beef sit on a baking sheet overnight then on the day, preheat your oven to 450°F (230°C). In a bowl, mix together thyme, rosemary, garlic, oil, salt, and pepper to rub over the beef.
Place the roast in a pan with a rack and roast for 15 minutes then drop the heat to 325°F (160°C) to roast for 105 minutes or 120 minutes to make it well done.
Remove the roast from the oven and allow it to rest for half an hour before serving.
32. Beef Wellington
Another beef option that acts as a showpiece on the Christmas dinner table is Beef Wellington. Tie the beef tenderloin in four places then season generously before searing it all over in a hot skillet pan with olive oil.
Leave to cool, remove the twine, coat with mustard then let the beef cool in the refrigerator.
To create duxelles, blitz mushrooms, thyme leaves, and shallots then cook in a skillet with butter until the liquid has evaporated, season, and leave to cool in the refrigerator.
Place the tenderloin on enough plastic wrap to cover it, and create a rectangle of prosciutto that should cover it too.
Cover the prosciutto with duxelles, season the tenderloin then roll it into the prosciutto-duxelles mix and create a tightly-fitting log to transfer to the refrigerator.
Heat your oven to 425°F (220°C) and spread out the puff pastry onto a lightly floured surface with a rectangle that will cover the entire tenderloin.
Remove the plastic wrap, place the tenderloin on the bottom of the puff pastry, brush the other sides with egg wash then tightly roll it up.
Trim off the excess pastry, crimp the edges for a tight seal, roll in more plastic wrap, and chill while your oven preheats, for around 20 minutes.
Remove the plastic wrap, transfer the tenderloin to a baking sheet lined with foil, brush with egg wash, sprinkle on some salt flakes and bake until golden.
Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature hits at least 120°F (49°C) which should take around 45 minutes though give it 10 minutes rest.
33. Maple Glazed Ham
A Maple Glazed Ham is a great Christmas centerpiece. Remove the skin then combine maple syrup, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, cinnamon, and All Spice.
Spoon over some freshly-squeezed orange juice then add your glaze. Bake for two hours but baste every half an hour.
34. Oven-Roasted Turkey
Ah yes, the turkey. Preheat your oven to 325°F (160°C) and rub in the herb butter underneath the skin.
Bake in the center of the oven for 13 to 15 minutes for each pound yet check that the internal temperature hits 160°F (72°C).
A traditional Christmas goose would look stunning on your table.
Pierce the skin and roast it breast-side down for 50 minutes at 350°F (175°C) and baste with salt water before turning over and cooking for another 50 minutes. Once browned, let it rest for five minutes.
If there is still room for dessert then you should opt for one that you can keep fresh once leftover.
A favorite dessert in the UK is Christmas pudding which needs to be covered in brandy and then lit which is difficult to replicate every time you want to enjoy a piece after Christmas dinner.
Instead, there are several desserts that you can bring out to enjoy after Christmas dinner but for a few days after too.
36. Bûche de Noël (Yule Log Cake)
For a showpiece dessert on the Christmas dinner table, a Bûche de Noël looks truly sensational.
Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C) and use some parchment paper to line a jelly roll pan which you can grease with some cooking spray.
Mix cocoa powder, flour, and salt then in a separate bowl beat egg yolks and gradually add sugar until pale then combine both mixtures.
In another separate bowl, beat the egg whites to soft peaks, gradually add sugar until stiff peaks are achieved, and fold into the batter.
Pour the batter into the pan and bake for around 12 minutes when the top should spring back. Dust a kitchen towel then invert the cake on top while you remove the parchment paper (see also ‘6 Best Substitutes For Parchment Paper‘).
Use the towel to create a tight-fitting lot and leave it to cool. Meanwhile, beat powdered sugar, heavy cream, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt to form medium peaks then refrigerate.
Once the cake is completely cool, unroll it and spread the filling then roll into a log again. Place the log seam side down and refrigerate for at least an hour while you make the frosting.
Beat butter until smooth, add the cocoa powder and powdered sugar until no lumps then beat in heavy cream, salt, and vanilla extract.
Frost the cake with the buttercream and dust with some powdered sugar then cover with cranberries and rosemary.
37. Peppermint Bark
For an after-dinner treat, try some Peppermint Bark. Melt white and semi-sweet chocolate separately, adding half a teaspoon of oil to each mix.
Take out half of the melted white chocolate, mix in peppermint extract and pour it into a baking tin lined with parchment paper then leave to set.
Once set, add peppermint extract to the melted semi-sweet chocolate and pour it on top.
The final layer of melted white chocolate will not have peppermint extract but will be covered with crushed candy canes.
Once completely set in the refrigerator or freezer, remove the parchment paper and chop it up.
38. Pumpkin Pie
Pumpkin Pie simply screams festive doesn’t it. Combine salt, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and ground cloves. In a separate bowl, beat eggs with pumpkin purée then add in the sugary-spice mix.
Stir in some evaporated milk and pour into an unbaked pie shell. Bake for 15 minutes at 425°F (220°C) then turn down to 350°F (175°C) and bake for a further 40 minutes or until it wobbles a bit in the center.
Christmas dinner can be such a stressful experience so plan it out as much as you can.
Choose the recipes you want and make sure there are some vegetarian options just in case you have unexpected guests.
Make sure you list out all the ingredients and do as much as you can before the big day so you can concentrate on the meat in a relatively open oven.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Typically The Most Popular Dishes To Serve For Christmas Dinner?
You may notice how popular certain dishes are by how quickly they run out when they are being passed around the Christmas dinner table.
The top pick is usually roast potatoes, particularly those are crispy on the outside having been roasted in duck fat but remain deliciously soft on the inside.
Mashed potatoes remain a popular choice on the dinner table, as does a traditional turkey.
You may also be surprised to learn that bread rolls, stuffing, prime rib, and roast beef are also popular dishes with Brussels sprouts ranking closer to the bottom.
What Do Italians Eat For Their Christmas Dinner?
An Italian Christmas dinner menu is a little different from an English or American Christmas dinner menu.
There are some typically Italian dishes such as pasta including lasagne, tortellini, and ravioli.
For dessert, an Italian Christmas dinner menu is likely to include cakes like pandoro, panforte, and panettone. Italians also prefer veal and lamb as opposed to turkey and beef for Christmas.
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