Christmas Dishes: Top 10 Christmas Dinner Menu You Must Try

Christmas Dinner Menus
Editor's Note: This article has been recently updated with latest information and research studies.
 

Christmas day is coming soon, and you’re probably already making meal plans for this special occasion. The hardest thing about planning a Christmas dinner is coordinating your dishes. In fact, planning a Christmas dinner menu seems to be more stressful than actually preparing the actual meals. To help you make this Christmas a stress-free occasion, we’ve compiled a list of 10 easy-to-make but impressive Christmas menus.

1. Classic Holiday Menu by Martha Stewart

This is a no-fuss Christmas dinner recipe that you can make in advance. We have to trust Martha Stewart on this one and say that it looks pretty impressive for a Christmas meal that requires a minimum amount of time to make. The main dishes is brandied ham which is sweet and delicious and much better than store-bought ham. The sweetness comes from brown sugar and brandy glazing, and grainy mustard give this main dish a bit more aroma. The whole recipe makes eight servings and it takes only 10 minutes of preparation while the rest is done by your oven. The best side dish to go with this main dish are leek gratin, roasted winter vegetables, or spinach and gruyere soufflé. You can make all three side dishes or choose one to avoid holiday gluttony. These dishes are also pretty easy to make but look and taste fabulous. You’ll definitely fool your guests into thinking that you’ve spent hours in the kitchen preparing these meals. Lastly, serve glazed chocolate layered cake for dessert. We suggest preparing the glazed cake up to two days in advance because you’ll probably need to spend at least 45 minutes on this chocolaty dessert.

Chocolaty Dessert

2. Roast Pork with Brown Butter Brussels Sprouts

For pork and brussels sprout lovers, this is a great dinner option. It’s really too bad that many don’t like brussels sprouts, mostly because of their pungent aroma and slightly bitter taste. But when prepared the right way, anyone can learn to appreciate these anti-oxidant packed greens. If you consider that studies on brussels sprouts show that they are able to protect from free radical-caused DNA damage, then you get another motivation to introduce them to your Christmas dinner. You can make the maple-glazed stuffed roast pork in advance and heat it up right before serving. The pork takes 20 minutes of preparation and up to an hour and a half of baking depending on the size of your pork meat. The brussels sprouts side dish is best when served fresh and warm, but they only take a maximum of 30 minutes to prepare. The nuts added to this brown-butter brussels sprouts recipe give them additional crunch and they parmesan cheese is just what helps enhance* the sprouts’ perfect aroma. You can serve this dish with any appetizer you want, but we suggest trying these cranberry-chicken boats with endive because they are relatively low in calories which is exactly what you need to go with your pork dish. For dessert, serve this creamy eggnog tart.

3. Budget-Friendly Dinner Party

Budget-Friendly Dinner Party

If you are planning a Christmas party for a large crowd instead of the classic family-setting Christmas, then this meal plan may save you some money while pleasing a crowd of guests. This menu plan that was featured in Country Living just shows that you don’t have to spend a whole lot on Christmas Day to please your guests. The menu plan suggests several interesting appetizers, namely, roasted winter squash soup, pigs in blankets, smoky popcorn, pulled pork in biscuits, and spicy rosemary peanuts. All of them are dishes that won’t go over your budget but that taste great. The menu does not have a main meal because it was designed for a more laid back Christmas party for big crowds. The desserts are mini bread puddings which are simply perfect for a buffet-style Christmas party. The recipe here makes for a total of 20 servings and it takes around 2 hours to prepare these bite-size desserts. The cocktails that go perfectly with these meals are cranberry cava cocktail, tropical bourbon punch, and warm bourbon cider. You can find all cocktail recipes in the links provided in Country living and make them ahead or on Christmas Day to preserve their aroma.

4. Easy Tenderloin Dinner

Another recipe by Martha Stewart, this easy tenderloin dinner is another easy dinner idea perfect for Christmas. The main dish is beef tenderloin which requires a minimum amount of effort to make. The tenderloin is tasty in itself and you only need to season it with salt, pepper, and some olive oil. Optionally, you can add horseradish cream or béarnaise sauce if you would like more of a twist to this classic main meal. Martha Stewart suggest serving the tenderloins with potatoes Anna and sautéed swiss chard. These two side dishes perfectly complement the succulent tenderloin meat. However, it is best to make the side dishes on Christmas day. Swiss chard tends to oxidize if standing out for too long and the potatoes could easily become soggy if not served immediately. To top this dinner with a festive dessert. Martha suggests making grand raspberry trifle. Trifle is everyone’s favorite dessert and it sure looks impressive. The recipe by Martha Stewart is a safer version as it requires no eggs for making. When making trifles, the problem always seems to be with the egg pudding and this version is sure to make for a stress-free trifle making.

5. Cozy Christmas Dinner

Cozy Christmas Dinner

This Christmas menu plan makes for up to 8 servings and it gives classic Christmas dinner a slight twist. The menu plan calls for goat cheese-pesto crostini and pork loin roast with Carolina apple compote for the main dish. Both meals are succulent and have a strong aroma which is exactly what we look for in a Christmas dinner. The side dish is classic bacon-brown sugar brussels sprouts. We simply can’t let Christmas pass without indulging in these sweet and healthy greens. The butternut squash risotto goes perfectly with the pork due to its slightly sweet taste. We suggest preparing the risotto immediately before serving because risotto loses its texture if served cold and usually does not handle being warmed up very well. Additionally, you can also serve home-styled butterbeans if you like but we believe that there will be no need for this as there are already plenty of greens in this Christmas menu. And lastly, for dessert you can make Christmas shortbread cookies. Since you’ll be indulging in a rich Christmas meal that is already abundant in calories, these light cookies won’t make you or your guests feel stuffed and guilty once Christmas is over.

6. Traditional Portuguese Christmas Dinner

If you are really looking for something new this Christmas, then turning to other cuisines may give you some inspiration. Christmas in Portugal is traditionally celebrated with codfish instead of pork or beef. The traditional codfish in olive oil dish is accompanied by boiled vegetables, usually potatoes. To make this dish, you will need codfish steaks, potatoes, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. The dish is very easy to prepare and it is very healthy when compared to other Christmas dishes. The dish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids while being low in fat. However, some studies show that those prone to developing allergies should stay away from codfish as codfish contains a substance that is considered to be an allergen. If you’d like to make a complete Portuguese Christmas dinner, then serving traditional Portuguese Christmas desserts is the way to go. We suggest making Portuguese lemon and vanilla torta. The dessert is similar to jelly roll which also means that it is easy to make.

7. An Italian-Inspired Christmas

Italian-Inspired Christmas

Since we’re already going international with our Christmas menu ideas, why not try a Christmas menu from one of the best cuisines in the world. This Italian Christmas menu was featured in Epicurious and it looks both healthy and delicious which is something we’re used to seeing in Italian dishes. The main dish is turkey breast stuffed with Italian sausage and Marsala-steeped cranberries. Serve the turkey with tagliatelle pasta with chestnuts, pancetta, and sage. If you’d like to include appetizers, simple prosciutto-wrapped grissini is a good option for an Italian-themed Christmas party. The panettone dressing squares described in this menu are similar to classic Thanksgiving stuffing and they go perfectly with the turkey breasts. Make sure to include winter caprese salad to your Christmas dinner for easier digestion and to complete the dinner. Of course, you also need to include a classic Italian dessert to make for a complete Italian Christmas. And although panettone is usually served during Christmas in Italy, you can go for the struffoli which are small deep-fried dough balls. These dough balls are very tender due to the semolina flower and plentiful of eggs used in the recipe. You can decorate the balls with Christmas sprinkles or even cinnamon to add more aroma to them.

8. Membrillo-Glazed Lamb with Potato, Celeriac, and Chestnut Gratin

This recipe that calls for 2kg of lamb is enough for 6 servings. The recipe is from the December 2014 issue of House & Garden and it was created by Diana Henry. You won’t see many lamb recipes introduced as Christmas dinner options which is strange because lamb is a leaner type of meat that is tastier and more flavorful than turkey, pork, and beef. The lamb here is additionally flavored with garlic, rosemary, olive oil, white wine, sherry, and stock. The side dish is just as flavorful thanks to the celeriac, garlic, thyme, and chestnuts. All this makes this dish wonderfully aromatic and it is sure to impress your guests. The dinner also takes quite the time to prepare, but you’ll see that it is worth the effort once you start getting compliments. The sweet note of membrillo means that this dish is best served with a fruity and spicy red wine. The dish does not feature a dessert to go along with it, but we suggest going for panettone or a similar sweet-bread dessert to complement this nutty and aromatic dish.

9. Healthy Christmas Dinner Menu

Healthy Christmas dinner menu

Although we like to let ourselves go during the holiday season at least, some may still want to avoid holiday weight gain by sticking to a healthy Christmas diet. After all, healthy does not equal tasteless and there are many healthy Christmas dinner options to choose from. We suggest trying out this healthy Christmas dinner idea featured in allrecipes. One of the mains suggested for a healthy Christmas dinner is roasted turkey breast. The reason being that turkey breast is leaner than chicken breast and that you can make to remain succulent by following the recipe given here. As a side dish, we suggest going for simple baked potatoes. The recipe given here is low in calories and very easy to make. If you’d like to make jacket potatoes instead, mash one-third of the potatoes and add sour cream and chives for a richer side dish. For a healthy dessert option, try out cranberry apple crumble. The recipe calls for porridge oats, cranberry sauce, and granny smith apples which are all healthy dessert ingredients. The dessert is also easy to make besides being low in fat and calories.

10. Christmas dinner menu ideas by All recipes

The options with Christmas dinner menus ideas are endless as you can see in this list of ideas provided to you by Allrecipes. From nibbles to desserts, there are many options available for you this Christmas season. Try starting Christmas dinner with bacon quiche tarts and introduce Hungarian mushroom soup as your appetizer. Go for the perfect Christmas ham as your main dish or alternatively, vegetarian lentil loaf if your guests don’t like meat. Cranberry sauce is always suitable for the occasion as are brussels sprouts recipe with pancetta as a side dish. For the dessert, you can make traditional Christmas cake or mince pies if you like something a bit on the healthier side. For the extras, we suggest going for Christmas rum balls as no one can turn these down.

Conclusion

All these ideas make for a hearty Christmas that you and your guests are sure to remember for the years to come.

References:

  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12067567
  • http://allrecipes.co.uk/how-to/39/christmas-dinner-menu-ideas.aspx

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Author

Expert Author : Dr. Ahmed Zayed (Consumer Health Digest)

Dr. Ahmed Zayed Helmy holds a baccalaureate of Medicine and Surgery. He has completed his degree in 2011 at the University of Alexandria, Egypt. Dr. Ahmed believes in providing knowledgeable information to readers. Other than his passion for writing, currently he is working as a Plastic surgeon and is doing his masters at Ain shams University.