85 Best Christmas Dinner Ideas for the Most Festive Holiday Menu

Everything from traditional to unique dishes to complete your feast!

fennel crusted roast pork with acorn squash on a white plate
Mike Garten

With Christmas fast approaching, you might be thinking about what you'll make for Christmas dinner. From holiday appetizers to festive side dishes to the show-stopping main, there's a lot to consider. And that's before you even get to the Christmas desserts, like holiday cupcakes, pies, and of course, Christmas cookies. Whether you're cooking for two people or a few dozen, we've got plenty of easy Christmas dinner ideas that are sure to have everyone asking for seconds.

Many of these Christmas dinner menu items include vegan recipes and vegetarian Christmas options, or can be easily modified to suit several diets. We've also thrown in some classic Christmas dishes that include traditional holiday foods, along with some unique and delicious dinner ideas to round out the menu. We even have healthier Christmas dishes like roasted veggies and Honey Glazed Salmon. Plus, some of these tasty dishes can be made ahead of time, so you can relax and enjoy being with your family and friends.

So whip up a Christmas cocktail for yourself and start perusing these Christmas dinner ideas. Bookmark your favorites now so that you're ready for the big day.

fennel crusted roast pork with acorn squash on a white plate
Mike Garten
1 of 85
Fennel-Crusted Roast Pork with Vegetables

If you are looking for a showstopper to add to the dinner table, try making this Fennel-Crusted Roast Pork. The crust is made from fennel and coriander seeds for great flavor and aromatics, while the roasted acorn squash adds a little sweetness to the dish.

Get the Fennel-Crusted Roast Pork with Vegetables recipe.

creamy potato soup in white bowls
Mike Garten
2 of 85
Creamy Potato Soup

Nothing is more comforting than a bowl of warm soup during the colder months. Make from creamy Yukon gold potatoes, parsnips and other fresh ingredients for a bowl that will warm you right up.

Get the Creamy Potato Soup recipe.

white bean and radicchio salad on a black plate
Mike Garten
3 of 85
Winter White Bean and Radicchio Salad

Add something light and fresh to the Christmas dinner table with a delicious salad. With purple radicchio, endives and parsley, your plate with be bursting with color and flavor.

Get the Winter White Bean and Radicchio Salad recipe.

shrimp and orzo in a skillet pan
Mike Garten
4 of 85
Skillet Shrimp and Orzo

In the mood for seafood? Try making this easy skillet dish that you can make from using some of your pantry ingredients like orzo and canned tomatoes!

Get the Skillet Shrimp and Orzo recipe.

gnocchi with green beans and kale on a sheet pan
Mike Garten
5 of 85
Sheet Pan Gnocchi with Sausage and Green Beans

If looking for a quick but delicious dish, try this sheet pan recipe! Instead of boiling gnocchi, try roasting it along with green beans, sausage and kale.

Get the Sheet Pan Gnocchi with Sausage and Green Beans recipe.

RELATED: 18 Easy Sheet Pan Dinners That Make Cleanup a Breeze

delicata squash pizza sliced for sharing
6 of 85
Delicata Squash Pizza

This shareable pizza is perfect to add to the dinner table. With provolone, blue cheese and slices of delicata squash, what’s not to love?

Get the Delicata Squash Pizza recipe.

a bowl of salmon rillette with slices of rye bread
7 of 85
Salmon Rillette

Your dinner guests will love feasting on this Christmas appetizer made with a mix of smoked salmon and salmon poached with white wine and shallot.

Get the Salmon Rillette recipe.

glasses of aperol spritz granitas
Mike Garten
8 of 85
Aperol Spritz Granita

You've never had an Aperol Spritz quite like this. Big flakes of citrusy ice are topped with sparkling wine and a sprig of rosemary for an elegant and festive cocktail.

Get the Aperol Spritz Granita recipe.

RELATED: 30 Totally Delicious Classic Cocktails to Make at Home

honey balsamic glazed ham for christmas dinner
Mike Garten
9 of 85
Honey-and-Balsamic–Glazed Ham

This sweet-and-salty ham brings together black peppercorns, honey, mustard and balsamic vinegar for an irresistible main dish everyone will enjoy.

Get the Honey-and-Balsamic–Glazed Ham recipe.

RELATED: 35 Best Christmas Ham Recipes That Taste Amazing and Look Gorgeous on Your Dinner Table

coquito holiday drink served in a glass
Mike Garten
10 of 85

Love eggnog? Then you'll also love this creamy Puerto Rican drink made with three kinds of milk, warming spices, and a little bit of rum.

Get the Coquito recipe.

gingerbread bundt cake with icing and pomegranate seeds on top
Mike Garten
11 of 85
Gingerbread Bundt Cake

There's only one word for this Christmas dessert: showstopping. It's made with plenty of spices for that classic gingerbread flavor and then topped with a sour cream glaze and eye-catching pomegranate seeds.

Get the Gingerbread Bundt Cake recipe.

RELATED: 55 Gingerbread House Ideas That'll Inspire You to Create an Epic Masterpiece

honey glazed salmon with cucumber salad
Mike Garten
12 of 85
Honey Glazed Salmon

Who needs a centerpiece when you have this gorgeous, bright salmon on the table? Good news: it tastes as good as it looks.

Get the Honey Glazed Salmon recipe.

popover baked goods
Mike Garten
13 of 85

Who needs store-bought rolls when you can make these airy, delicious popovers?

Get the Good Housekeeping's Famous Popovers recipe.

steak au poivre with a baked potato and roasted vegetables
Mike Garten
14 of 85
Steak Au Poivre

For a hearty Christmas dinner, try this steak crusted with peppercorns, pan-fried and served with a creamy sauce.

Get the Steak Au Poivre recipe.

RELATED: 83 Steak Recipes That Make Dinner at Home Feel Extra Fancy

two bowls of chicken pot pie soup
Mike Garten
15 of 85
Chicken Pot Pie Soup

If you're looking to keep things simple this Christmas, try this cozy chicken soup topped with puff pastry rounds.

Get the Chicken Pot Pie Soup recipe.

cranberry curd tart with fall decor on top
Mike Garten
16 of 85
Cranberry Curd Tart

This gorgeous tart made with cranberries and a flaky pie crust is almost too pretty to eat (emphasis on the almost).

Get the Cranberry Curd Tart recipe.

beef bourguignon meatloaf with wilted greens on the side
Mike Garten
17 of 85
Beef Bourguignon Meatloaf

This isn't just any old meatloaf. It's topped with a mushroom and rich, creamy sauce to take things to the next level.

Get the Beef Bourguignon Meatloaf recipe.

crispy skillet carrot latkes in a cast iron pans
Mike Garten
18 of 85
Crispy Skillet Carrot Latkes

These veggie-packed latkes are made and served in mini cast-iron skillets. Everyone will be impressed when these come to the table.

Get the Crispy Skillet Carrot Latkes recipe.

a whole apple cranberry pie
Mike Garten
19 of 85
Apple-Cranberry Pie

Give your regular apple pie an upgrade with some cranberries and a creative crust that's easy to pull off.

Get the Apple-Cranberry Pie recipe.

pumpkin spice white russian cocktail with a stack of cookies on the side
Mike Garten
20 of 85
Pumpkin Spice White Russian

You don't have to put the pumpkin pie spice away just because fall is over! Put it to use in this creamy seasonal cocktail the whole crew is sure to love.

Get the Pumpkin Spice White Russian recipe.

tri tip salsa verde on steak
Mike Garten
21 of 85
Tri-Tip Steak with Salsa Verde

If you're lucky enough to live in a climate where December is still grilling weather, make the most of it with this flavorful juicy steak. (For the rest of us, you can also cook tri-tip in the oven!).

Get the Tri-Tip Steak with Salsa Verde recipe.

a plate of marinated feta
Mike Garten
22 of 85
Marinated Feta

Feta gets an extra boost from being marinated with lemon zest, red chili and herbs. Your guests will love snacking on this while you finish up the main dish.

Get the Marinated Feta recipe.

marinated beets on a plate
Mike Garten
23 of 85
Marinated Beets

While you're marinating the feta, you may as well also marinate some beets for a flavorful and colorful side dish. This might even be the prettiest thing on the Christmas table.

Get the Marinated Beets recipe.

negroni christmas cocktail
Mike Garten
24 of 85

This classic cocktail will keep everyone in good spirits. Break open the Campari!

Get the Negroni recipe.

cranberry pistachio cornmeal biscotti dipped in chocolate
Mike Garten
25 of 85
Cranberry-Pistachio Cornmeal Biscotti

Serve these eye-catching cookies along with coffee for the perfect finale to Christmas dinner.

Get Cranberry-Pistachio Cornmeal Biscotti recipe.

roasted tomatoes on a black plate
Mike Garten
26 of 85
Roasted Tomatoes

This impressive side dish comes together using just six ingredients, including things you already have on hand like olive oil, salt and pepper.

Get the Roasted Tomatoes recipe.

RELATED: 24 Easy Vegetable Side Dishes That Go With Any Main

pepper crusted prime rib on a plate with fresh herbs
kate mathis
27 of 85
Pepper-Crusted Prime Rib

Serve this centerpiece with a simple garlic-horseradish cream sauce.

Get the Pepper-Crusted Prime Rib recipe.

glazed green beans on a white plate
Mike Garten
28 of 85
Glazed Green Beans

Sweet-sour glazed green beans pair perfectly with a holiday ham.

Get the Glazed Green Beans recipe.

vegetarian lasagna with spinach and broccoli on a blue plate
Mike Garten
29 of 85
Easy Vegetarian Lasagna with Spinach and Broccoli

Loads of spinach, a healthy dose of broccoli, three cheeses, basil and your favorite sauce makes this vegetarian Christmas dinner every bit as good as the roast.

Get the Easy Vegetarian Lasagna with Spinach and Broccoli recipe.

christmas dinner ideas  eggnog
Mike Garten
30 of 85

It's just not Christmas without sweet, creamy eggnog.

Get the Eggnog recipe.

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