There are so many great things about Christmas, including but not limited to Christmas dinner. Whether this happens on Christmas Eve or Day or both, delicious food is definitely required to celebrate what many call their favorite holiday of the year. What’s on the plate at Christmas dinner usually varies by culture, so if you’re looking for some fresh inspiration, take a look through the recipes I’ve rounded up below!
This is what my family traditionally eats on Christmas, because we’re Polish. Every year we crank out over 800 pierogies the day after Thanksgiving, each of us assigned a particular task (I’m always in charge of placing the filling on top of the circles of dough). Pierogies are basically like ravioli, and they actually were invented after the Polish royals took a trip to Italy, believe it or not! Fillings typically include meat, cheese, potatoes, and sauerkraut. The options are endless, so there’s truly a pierogi out there for everyone. Try this recipe for vegan pierogi from Jillian Harris, or search for a more traditional one if you’d rather.
I think baked ham is a very traditional Christmas dinner choice for a lot of people. Follow this recipe from Delish for baked ham with a brown sugar glaze. This sounds delicious paired with some fresh buns bought at the bakery or homemade! Choosing to make baked ham also means there’s endless opportunities for great sides to accompany it. Try mashed potatoes or roasted sweet potatoes, a fresh salad, and some other veggies for a nicely balanced meal. If you want to give your guests options, serve the ham with buns and toppings like mustard or mayo, so they have the option of making a sandwich if they want!
If pork roast is more your thing, then try this recipe from Bon Appétit for a Party Ready Pork Roast. I like this recipe because the meat is cooked with vegetables, like kale, leeks, and potatoes, so everything is truly ready at once! If you don’t want to hassle with making a smattering of sides to go with the pork roast, then this is the perfect recipe. Just prepare it then pop it in the oven and wait for it. I guarantee your house will smell delicious, too. Though it’s hard to beat the scent of a fresh Christmas tree!
Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin
There’s just something so decadent about anything wrapped in bacon to me. Maybe because when I was younger I traveled to my cousin’s wedding on the East Coast, and one of the hors d’oeuvre was bacon wrapped scallops. It felt extremely fancy to a ten year old, and me and my cousins devoured so many of them that we couldn’t eat our meals. Ever since, anything covered in bacon has been deemed special, therefore perfect for a Christmas dinner. That’s what makes this pork tenderloin from Bon Appétit special. Follow the instructions for a delicious dinner.
Roasted Vegetable Lasagna
For those of us who’d prefer something other than meat as the main course at Christmas dinner, this roasted vegetable lasagna by the Barefoot Contessa (otherwise known as the food queen Ina Garten) is a great option. Lasagna takes time and patience to make, so it’s perfect for a Christmas dinner that will feel extra special. Plus, any vegetarians dining with you on Christmas will be thankful there is something delicious and filling for them to eat, too!
Linguine with Mussels alla Diavola
Speaking of Italian food, if you want to create a traditional Italian Christmas dinner then you must make something with fish or seafood! Italians typically eat the feast of the seven fishes on Christmas Eve. So literally, there are seven courses of seafood at the table. I would love to try this one year, but until then I’ll settle for at least one dish with seafood! Try this Linguine with Mussels alla Diavola from Rachael Ray for a seafood pasta dish with a kick.
Pasta alla Norma
For an Italian dish with flavor, and the right colors for Christmas, try Pasta alla Norma from Rachael Ray. This is a traditional Sicilian pasta made with eggplant. The tomatoes and basil give it the colors of Christmas, making it a great option to serve at Christmas dinner. Another vegetarian-friendly option, too, but everyone at the table will love it. I mean, it’s pasta!
Roast Turkey Breast
Turkey isn’t just for Thanksgiving, anymore. Many people are opting to make it for Christmas dinner too, and why not? It’s the perfect main dish to serve, and this recipe from Good Housekeeping is a one-pan wonder which makes the prep work super easy and minimal for you. When there’s a million other things to do, like decorating and setting the table and wrapping last-minute gifts, sometimes an easy recipe is just the right solution. By cooking the vegetables with the turkey, you will end up with a delicious meal, warm from the oven all at once.
Sausage Herb Stuffing
Speaking of Thanksgiving, I’ve always wondered why stuffing has been reserved for only that one holiday of the year. I think it’s safe to say that for many people it’s their favorite part about the Thanksgiving dinner. So, why not make it for Christmas, too? For me that would mean one of my favorite foods on my favorite holiday, and I don’t think there’s anything better than that. We decided to make it for Christmas one year and I am planning to keep this tradition alive. Since I don’t have my grandma’s stuffing recipe on hand, try this one from Cafe Delites. With the addition of sausage, stuffing could definitely be considered the main course this Christmas dinner.
Butternut Squash Risotto
Butternut squash is a vegetable that my family loves to eat around Christmas, too. It’s just so delicious that we like to keep cooking with it, even past the fall. Risotto is a great idea for Christmas dinner because it’s rich and creamy, and you can really get creative with what type of flavor you want. If you don’t like squash, you could do a truffle or mushroom risotto, or just a creamy cheese risotto. The options are endless! I would love to try this recipe from DeLallo for butternut squash risotto with pine nuts and a balsamic glaze. Sounds like a match made in heaven!
Do you have any other favorite dishes for Christmas dinner? Share them in the comments below!
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Maggie is the blogger behind The Artful Everyday, a travel and lifestyle blog dedicated to living intentionally and finding beauty in the ordinary. She loves the idea that we get to escape our normal lives when we travel, and that it allows us to be more open to the world and its cultures. Maggie lived in Florence while studying abroad, then was an au pair in Rome last fall. She is very passionate about traveling in Europe, especially Italy, and living abroad. Maggie studied Interior Design at the University of Minnesota, but is currently pursuing a career in writing.