57 Classic Dishes to Add to Your Christmas Dinner Menu

Tis the Season for Delicious Traditions

Prime Rib Roast

The Spruce

 

It's the time of the year when family and friends gather together over food to celebrate the holidays. What could be better than a traditional Christmas dinner with all of your favorite fixings? Whether you're craving comfort, nostalgic for Christmases past, or just love the yuletide recipes you grew up eating, this holiday menu that is sure to make your stomach—and your heart—happy with festive appetizers, mains, and desserts. For twists on old goodies, try these alternatives.

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    Apple Salad With Pecans and Raisins

    Apple Salad With Pecans and Raisins

    The Spruce Eats

    Looking for a quick and easy salad to kick off a winter luncheon or supper? This seasonal apple salad with pecans and raisins is similar to the creamy Waldorf salad, but with a few tweaks to make it stand out even more.

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    Spinach and Artichoke Dip

    Spinach and Artichoke Dip

    Leah Maroney

    When the weather is cold and you're gathering with family to celebrate the holidays, this warm and creamy spinach and artichoke dip is sure to hit the spot. Serve it with crackers, mini pitas, or tortilla chips for dipping. It makes a great party appetizer, too.

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    Buttery Pan Rolls

    Buttery Pan Rolls

    Tom Grill-Getty Images

     

    Homemade rolls are a wonderful accompaniment to a special meal, like these incredibly fluffy and buttery rounds. They taste fantastic served warm from the oven, slathered with more butter.

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    Maple-Glazed Roast Parsnips

    Maple-Glazed Roast Parsnips

    The Spruce Eats

    Maple-glazed roasted parsnips smell fabulous when cooking, and taste just right alongside roast turkey, duck, or pork dishes. This recipe quickly parboils parsnips first, before glazing and oven-roasting them, for beautifully tender, caramelized vegetables. 

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    Traditional Roasted Rack of Lamb

    Traditional Roasted Rack of Lamb

    The Spruce Eats

    Roasted rack of lamb makes a stunning presentation on your holiday table. Ask your butcher to "French" the racks for you. Then simply coat the meat with mustard, dredge it in seasoned breadcrumbs to form a crust, and pop into the oven to roast to perfection.

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    Quick Brandy Eggnog

    Brandy Eggnog Cocktail Recipe

    The Spruce

    Eggnog is a holiday classic and a favorite party drink to enjoy at Christmastime. While there are many ways to make eggnog, few recipes are as traditional as this from-scratch version, which features brandy and fresh eggs. It's easy to make and sure to be a crowd-pleaser!

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    Mulled Wine

    Mulled Wine

    Molly Watson

    Mulled wine is a traditional holiday beverage that makes a warming tipple for grown-ups at your winter parties. Make it easily with this fruity, well-spiced stovetop recipe that begins with a full bottle of dry red wine.

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    Cranberry Coulis

    Cranberry Coulis

    The Spruce Eats

    Smooth, sweet-tart cranberry coulis makes a tasty, fruity, puréed accompaniment for roast turkey, duck, or chicken. A little orange liqueur adds a lift of flavor that makes this easy 30-minute sauce something extra special.

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    Festive Cheese Ball with Pecans

    Festive Cheese Ball with Pecans

    Lauri Patterson-Getty Images

     

    What would your Christmas party be without a cheese ball? Cheddar and cream cheese are flavored with onion, garlic, and Worcestershire, then shaped into a festive orb and rolled in finely chopped pecans. Serve with your favorite crackers.

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    Prime Rib Roast

    Prime Rib Roast

    The Spruce

     

    When you want to truly wow guests, you will never go wrong serving prime rib. This recipe produces a perfectly medium-rare roast with a gorgeous brown crust on the outside.

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    Roast Christmas Goose

    Roast Christmas Goose

    StockFood-Getty Images

     

    Bring to life the world of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" when you make roast goose the star of your Christmas dinner menu. Be sure not to skip brining the goose overnight, as directed in this traditional Christmas recipe, to ensure flavorful and moist meat.

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    Perfect Southern Pot Roast

    Perfect Southern Pot Roast

    Diana Rattray

    Pot roast is a wonderful way to enjoy the rich and savory flavors of low-and-slow cooked beef for Christmas. This is truly the perfect meaty entree—tender and delicious—with or without the optional gravy.

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    Traditional Yorkshire Pudding

    Traditional Yorkshire Pudding

    The Spruce

     

    Yorkshire puddings are a classic British recipe and the traditional accompaniment for a prime rib or other roast beef dinners. Puffed-up pastry puddings with beef drippings are a great way to sop up gravy!

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    Honey Glazed Ham

    Honey Glazed Ham

    Tastyart Ltd-Rob White-Photolibrary-Getty Images

     

    For the ultimate Christmas dinner centerpiece, this classic honey glazed ham is simply spectacular. Be sure to let it rest a bit before serving, as instructed, for the juiciest results.

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    Crockpot Oyster Stew

    Crockpot Oyster Stew

    Sheri L Giblin-Getty Images

     

    Oyster stew is a traditional Christmas Eve meal. The rich, stomach-warming recipe is easily made in your crockpot, which is helpful when your oven and stove top are busy with other dishes.

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    Bacon-Wrapped Parmesan-Stuffed Dates

    Bacon-Wrapped Parmesan-Stuffed Dates

    A.M.P.A.S.

    Bacon-wrapped dates are a classic Christmas appetizer and this easy recipe from celebrated chef Wolfgang Puck only requires three simple ingredients. Sticky rich dates are stuffed with salty Parmesan cheese, wrapped in smoky bacon, and quickly baked to sweet-savory perfection.

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    Cheddar Cheese Green Bean Casserole

    Cheddar Cheese Green Bean Casserole

    Diana Rattray

     

    The green bean casserole is an essential Christmas and Thanksgiving side dish. Your family is sure to go in for seconds of this dish, which boasts a fantastic, homemade cheddar cheese sauce made from with sour cream and mushrooms.

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    Roasted Potatoes With Parmesan Cheese

    Roasted Potatoes With Parmesan Cheese

    Diana Rattray

     

    These savory potatoes come out nicely crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Add them to your Christmas dinner menu as a great accompaniment to beef, fowl, or ham.

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    Roasted Butternut Squash With Sage

    Roasted Butternut Squash With Sage

    Diana Rattray

     

    Roasted butternut squash with sage makes a great holiday side dish. Best of all, the six-ingredient recipe is ready to eat in less than an hour.

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    Classic New York Cheesecake

    Classic New York Cheesecake

    Lew Robertson-Getty Images

     

    This recipe for wonderfully dense and velvety cheesecake is a wonderful way to wrap up your meal. Bake it the day before and let it refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours, before serving.

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    Traditional English Trifle

    Traditional English Trifle

    The Spruce

     

    An English trifle is a traditional British dessert that has appeared on Christmas dinner menus for centuries. Luscious layers of sponge cake, sherry, custard, and whipped cream make this a popular and beautiful treat at the holidays, year after year.

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    Vanilla Sugar Cookies

    Vanilla Sugar Cookies

    David Bishop Inc.-Photolibrary-Getty Images

    Christmas means sugar cookies! These classic, buttery holiday cookies are a kid favorite. Kids will love helping to decorate them with sprinkles, too.

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    Roasted Whole Duck

    Roasted Whole Duck

    Eising/Getty Images

    A whole roasted duck is a thing of beauty on the table. Follow this clever recipe for preparing this special, rich-tasting bird for oven-roasting. The technique here eliminates extra fat, while maximizing the crispiness of the delicious skin.

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    Green Bean Amandine

    Green Bean Amandine

    The Spruce Eats/Linda Larsen

    Green beans prepared with slivered almonds is an elegant vegetable side dish that goes wonderfully well with all the classic Christmas entrees. It adds a touch of specialness to simple steamed green beans and is ready to enjoy in about 20 minutes.

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    Roast Chestnuts

    Roast Chestnuts

    The Spruce Eats

    Chestnuts are a traditional Christmas treat celebrated in popular holiday songs. This easy recipe roasts chestnuts in the oven, instead of over an open fire, for a festive holiday snack.

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    Roast Pheasant With Port Wine Marinade

    Roast Pheasant With Port Wine Marinade

    Steve Lupton/Corbis/Getty Images

    Roast pheasant is a sophisticated recipe that brings to mind those elegant Christmas Eve dinners gone by. An overnight marinade in port wine flavored with aromatics and dried herbs helps to tone down the gaminess of this wild bird, for a moist and flavorful roast.

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    Pea and Mint Soup

    Pea and Mint Soup

    taniche/Getty Images

    Green pea soup with a hint of fresh mint is elegant and utterly simple to make. It is an excellent, light starter before a heavy holiday dinner, especially traditional British Christmas feasts.

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    Cranberry Cocktail Meatballs

    Cranberry Cocktail Meatballs

    Diana Rattray

    Place a tray of these saucy, tangy cocktail meatballs on your holiday buffet table and watch as they disappear. You can cook up a big batch in only an hour with this recipe that add chunks of pineapple to the cranberry-based sauce for extra flavor and texture.

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    Easy Traditional French Buche de Noel

    Easy Traditional French Buche de Noel

    Clive Bozzard-Hill/Getty Images

    Create a showstopping dessert for your Christmas dinner feast with this French-style recipe for yule log cake (buche de Noel). A Swiss roll made with vanilla-orange cake is filled and frosted with a delectable, espresso-spiked chocolate buttercream frosting and decorated with your favorite holiday toppings.

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    Guinness and Cheddar Biscuits

    Guinness and Cheddar Biscuits

    Diana Rattray

    Homemade, hearty cheese and stout beer biscuits make an excellent bread course for your Christmas dinner, and are a tasty way to sop up the last bits of gravy and sauces from plates. For less intense beer flavor, choose a lighter beer variety.

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    Parmesan Scalloped Potatoes

    Parmesan Scalloped Potatoes

    Diana Miller/Getty Images

    Decadent scalloped potatoes with a rich, delicious parmesan cheese sauce taste like you slaved over a hot stove all afternoon making them. In fact, this popular recipe is amazingly simple to assemble and cooks up in your oven in about an hour.

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    Mashed Potatoes

    Homemade Mashed Potatoes

    The Spruce

    Want to achieve the perfect mash to serve at Christmas dinner? This recipe has all the tips you need for choosing the right potatoes, cooking them until perfectly done, and adding in flavoring ingredients, for the best mashed potatoes ever.

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    New England Style Pot Roast

    New England Style Pot Roast

    grandriver/Getty Images

    Beef lovers, add this classic recipe for New England style pot roast with root vegetables to your Christmas dinner menu. This recipe cooks slow and slow all day in your crockpot, for an easy preparation and incredible moist and tender meat.

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    Perfect Roast Turkey With Bacon

    Perfect Roast Turkey With Bacon

    Rick Poon/ Moment/Getty Images

    Layering plenty of bacon or pancetta over a simply seasoned whole turkey is a fantastic way to help the meat retain moistness as it cooks, while infusing the bird with extra smoky, savory flavor. The cooked bacon can be crumbled into salads, or saved for other uses.

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    Vegetarian and Vegan Roasted Chestnut Soup

    Vegetarian and Vegan Roasted Chestnut Soup

    The Spruce Eats/Anastasiia Tretiak

    Roasted chestnut soup would be right at home at a traditional, Dickens-inspired British Christmas dinner. This subtly nutty, creamy-tasting soup is made with unsweetened soymilk and vegetable broth, and suitable for vegetarian and vegan guests.

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    Classic Italian Panettone

    Classic Italian Panettone

    Elaine Lemm

    The celebrated Italian panettone is a buttery Christmas cake with a tall, loaf-like appearance, that is filled with candied and dried fruits. Making one from scratch takes some effort, but this straightforward recipe will help, and yields beautiful results that are worth it.

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    Orange Glazed Ham

    Orange Glazed Ham

    Lauri Patterson/Getty Images

    Cooked ham is a must-serve Christmas entree for many families and this gorgeous and special-tasting recipe brings the wow factor. It's so easy to make, starting with a fully cooked ham, which is caramelized in the oven with a yummy spiced-orange glaze.

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    Broccoli Cheese Casserole

    Broccoli Cheese Casserole

    Diana Miller/Getty Images

    Vegetable gratins make excellent holiday side dishes, and this easy, cheesy broccoli bake is sure to please. It tastes rich, and is simple to make, with a filling of condensed soups and Velveeta cheese surrounding frozen broccoli spears, and a crunchy, buttered breadcrumb topping.

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    Instant Pot Coq au Vin

    Instant Pot Coq au Vin

    Diana Rattray

    Make this homey, French country-style dish for smaller holiday gatherings when you want to create a special atmosphere. The Instant Pot makes it easy to prepare coq au vin, in which chicken legs are braised with bacon, mushrooms, onion, and carrots in a rich, red wine sauce.

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    Pumpkin Pecan Pie

    Pumpkin Pecan Pie

    Diana Rattray

    Can't decide between serving pumpkin pie or pecan pie at your holiday dinner? Try this winning pumpkin pecan pie, which combines the best of both in one!

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    Make-Ahead Duchess Mashed Potatoes

    Make-Ahead Duchess Mashed Potatoes

    Rita Maas/Getty Images

    Make these French-style duchess potatoes ahead of time and freeze them for reheating when ready to serve. Buttery mashed potatoes are piped onto baking sheets and browned for a potato side dish that is both filling and decorative.

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    Instant Pot Bread Pudding With Bourbon Sauce

    Instant Pot Bread Pudding With Bourbon Sauce

    Diana Rattray

    Your Instant Pot is the shortcut to producing a rich, silky-smooth bread pudding that makes a perfect holiday dessert. The warming, nicely-spiced pudding is finished with a stunning whiskey sauce that takes this dish over the top.

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    Duck Liver Pâté

    Duck Liver Pâté

    Tony Briscoe/Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images

    Elegant duck liver pâté is easier than you might think to make at home. Serve it with crostini or crackers as a sophisticated appetizer for your Christmas holiday feast. Be sure to allow time for chilling the pâté at least 24 hours before serving.

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    Eggnog Cookies

    Eggnog Cookies

    Diana Rattray

    If eggnog is one of your favorite Christmas traditions, you are sure to love this simple recipe for eggnog cookies. In just 30 minutes, you can bake up a big batch for nibbling while tree-trimming or bringing to cookie exchanges.

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    Pork Tenderloin With Cranberry-Orange Sauce

    Pork Tenderloin With Cranberry-Orange Sauce

    James Baigrie/Getty Images

    Tender roasted pork tenderloin with a luscious, tangy cranberry-orange sauce makes a fabulous company meal any time and is especially perfect when you are hosting Christmas dinner. The recipe is written to serve four but can easily be multiplied for larger gatherings.

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    Cranberry Brie Bites

    Cranberry Brie Bites

    Elaine Lemm

    Bite-sized Brie and cranberry appetizers in flaky puff pastry are a delicious way to kick off holiday dinner parties. These popular hors d'oeuvres are so easy to prepare in about 30 minutes and look pretty on your platter.

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    Crunchy Acorn Squash Stuffing With Za'atar

    Crunchy Acorn Squash Stuffing With Za'atar

    Anita Schecter

    When you are looking for a holiday stuffing that can be cooked outside of the bird, reach for this wonderful winter recipe. Seasonal acorn squash and almonds are added to a classic bread stuffing recipe with za'atar spice in the seasoning mix to lift all the flavors.

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    Brined and Roasted Turkey Breast

    Brined and Roasted Turkey Breast

    The Spruce Eats

    Brining a basic turkey breast overnight (or up to 24 hours) results in more juicy and flavorful meat. This easy turkey makes a great choice for Christmas dinner when you are serving 8 to 10 people and want to forego roasting an entire bird.

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    Smoked Salmon Crostini

    Smoked Salmon Crostini

    Leah Maroney

    Smoked salmon crostini is a favorite appetizer at Christmas celebrations. Put the tasty salmon-topped baguette toasts together in a snap with this easy party recipe.

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    White Christmas Cocktail

    White Christmas Cocktail

    istetiana/Getty Images

    White chocolate liqueur, eggnog, and whiskey combine to create a fabulous cocktail in this naughty and nice holiday drink recipe. Make it using a cocktail shaker for an ice-cold drink that goes down smooth.

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    Creamed Spinach

    Creamed Spinach

    magnez2/Getty Images

    This rich-tasting creamed spinach is an indulgent way to serve up a side of greens at Christmas dinner. Even those who claim not to like spinach will want to try this stovetop dish of pureed greens cooked with butter, cream, and Parmesan cheese.

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    Caramel Meringue Pie

    Caramel Meringue Pie

    Diana Rattray

    A creamy caramel filling is layered with a fluffy, pillowy meringue topping in this stunning pie that makes a wonderful ending to any Christmas meal. Go ahead and use a store-bought pie crust, if you like, for a quicker preparation.

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    Honey Glazed Baby Carrots

    Honey Glazed Baby Carrots

    Miri Rotkovitz

    Honey-glazed baby carrots are a popular holiday side dish. This quick and easy recipe flavors mini-carrots with brown sugar, cinnamon, and optional raisins, as well as honey, for a veggie side that kids and adults will enjoy.

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    Braised Cabbage With Apple and Onion

    Braised Cabbage With Apple and Onion

    Diana Rattray

    When roast pork or ham are on your Christmas dinner menu, that's the time to offer up this buttery, braised cabbage side dish. It has a wonderfully sweet-and-sour flavor from tart, sweet fresh apple, apple jelly, onion, and cider vinegar.

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    Polenta With Parmesan and Ricotta

    Polenta With Parmesan and Ricotta

    Violeta Pasat/Getty Images

    Creamy ricotta cheese adds richness and fluffy texture to this luxurious-tasting polenta recipe that makes a great alternative to roast potatoes, or rice, at your holiday dinner. Make it in only 30 minutes, multiplying the recipe as needed to feed a crowd.

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    Slow Cooker Christmas Fruitcake

    Slow Cooker Christmas Fruitcake

    Getty Images

    Forget those fruitcakes that take a month to make! This fabulously aromatic recipe uses your crockpot to make a traditional steamed Christmas fruitcake in only one day. Leftover cake can be frozen up to 12 months, tightly wrapped in foil, and placed in a sealed freezer bag.

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    Merry Christmas Cocktail

    Merry Christmas Cocktail

    Rob Palmer/Photolibrary/Getty Images

    Say "Merry Christmas" with this sparkling holiday cocktail that makes a festive, refreshing drink at your Christmas gatherings. Cranberry juice and soda are spiked with gin, for a simple, delightful seasonal beverage.