Festive Ideas for Your Christmas Meal, From Cocktails to Entrees

Festive Ideas for Your Christmas Meal, From Cocktails to Entrees

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Let’s be honest: The food is better than the presents.

Dec 8, 2020 christmas dinner ideas - roast beef and potatoes

Mike Garten

There’s a lot that goes into planning the ultimate Christmas. You decorate a Christmas tree, wrap presents, and sort through your family’s favorite Christmas dinner ideas to organize a menu full of Christmas side dishes, Christmas appetizers and of course, Christmas desserts! It can be complicated to prepare a festive meal when you have so many other tasks to complete by the 25th. But with these straightforward (and tasty!) ideas, you’ll have all the info and inspo you need to put together the best easy Christmas dinner menu.

Whether you’re looking for alternative Christmas dinner ideas, Christmas dinner ideas for a small family, or the perfect traditional Christmas dinner menu, it’s super simple to build a meal that everyone will enjoy. We even shuffled in a few meat-free mains if you need vegetarian Christmas dinner ideas!

Wondering what to serve at a traditional Christmas dinner? A great roast is a good place to start — and we rounded up our best ham and roast beef recipes that totally double as festive centerpieces. Since even the most delicious meaty main needs some support, there are plenty of side dishes that go with ham, beef or even turkey (that’s right — the bird isn’t just for Thanksgiving!). Plus, we collected our best-ever Christmas desserts to end your meal on the right note. So just pick out your favorite dinner ideas, write out your Christmas menu and enjoy the rest of the holiday season stress-free and so ready to feast.

pineapple glazed ham

Mike Garten

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Pineapple-Glazed Ham

christmas dinner menu

Mike Garten

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One-Pot French Onion Soup

Slow-cooked, caramelized onions and fresh thyme give this classic soup its winning flavor. Topped with tons of grated cheese, you’ll want seconds (and thirds!).

Get the recipe for French Onion Soup »

crab cakes with mango avocado relish

Mike Garten

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Crab Cakes With Mango-Avocado Relish

christmas dinner ideas   beef tenderloin

Mike Garten

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Peppercorn Beef Tenderloin With Horseradish Cream Sauce

apple cider sangria

Mike Garten

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Apple Cider Sangria

spinach and artichoke dip

Mike Garten

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Spinach and Artichoke Dip

pumpkin spice cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

Mike Garten

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Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting

christmas dinner ideas   blood orange spritz

Mike Garten

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Blood Orange Spritz

All Christmas dinner parties need a signature cocktail, and this bubbly, Aperol-based bev is the perfect elegant sipper.

Get the recipe for Blood Orange Spritz »

one pot mashed potatoes   christmas dinner ideas

Mike Garten

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Creamy One-Pot Garlic Mashed Potatoes

christmas dinner ideas

Mike Garten

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Short Ribs With Creamy Polenta

christmas menu ideas

Mike Garten

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Coq au Vin Rosé

A twist on a classic stew of chicken, bacon, and mushrooms this crowd-pleaser uses rosé instead of red wine for a lighter, zippier take.

Get the recipe for Coq au Vin Rosé »

christmas dinner ideas

Mike Garten

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Chicken, Sausage, and White Bean Stew

holiday appetizers

Mike Garten

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Jammy Brie Cups

christmas dinner menu ideas

Mike Garten

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Vanilla-Roasted Sweet Potatoes

christmas dinner ideas   apple and brie tart

Mike Garten

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Brie & Apple Tart

chocolate gingerbread cake

Mike Garten

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Chocolate Gingerbread Cake With White Chocolate Buttercream

christmas dinner ideas - one pan turkey

Mike Garten

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One-Pan Roast Turkey Breast and Root Veggies

easy christmas dinner ideas - Roasted Sweet Potato, Pear, and Onion

Mike Garten

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Roasted Sweet Potato, Pear, and Onion

christmas dinner ideas - creamed kale and gruyere gratin

Mike Garten

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Creamed Kale and Gruyère Gratin

christmas dinner ideas   trio of cheese balls

Mike Garten

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Trio of Cheese Balls

christmas dinner ideas   spice roasted carrots

Mike Garten

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Spice Roasted Carrots

christmas dinner ideas   gingery shrimp toasts

Mike Garten

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Gingery Shrimp Toasts

cauliflower soup   easy chirstmas dinner ideas

Mike Garten

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Cauliflower Soup

christmas dinner ideas   cherry bomb fizz

Mike Garten

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Cherry Bomb Fizz

christmas dinner ideas   butternut squash and feta tartlets

Mike Garten

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Butternut Squash and Feta Tartlets

christmas dinner ideas   mushroom toasts

Mike Garten

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Wild Mushroom Toasts

christmas dinner ideas   sparkling wine mojito punch

Mike Garten

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Sparkling Wine Mojito Punch

christmas dinner ideas   beef bourguignon

Mike Garten

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Easy Beef Bourguignon

Here’s a Christmasy idea: Serve up this comforting stew that will impress the whole family (but it’s secretly so simple to make!)

Get the recipe from Woman’s Day »

RELATED: 22 Soups and Stews That’ll Warm You Up All Winter

christmas dinner ideas   thyme roasted turkey

Mike Garten

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Thyme-Roasted Turkey and Gravy

christmas dinner ideas   goat cheese log with cranberries, chives and black pepper

Mike Garten

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Goat Cheese Log With Cranberries, Chives and Black Pepper

christmas wreath ideas

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Festive Ideas for Your Christmas Meal, From Cocktails to Entrees

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