For some people in the U.S., Christmas dinner is one of the biggest meals of the year, along with Easter and Thanksgiving. This meal can involve lots of preparation from shopping to food prep and from serving to cleaning up. Often, the host ends up frazzled, collapsing into their chair at the dinner table.
But it doesn't have to be that way! By following this very easy Christmas dinner menu, you will be able to relax and enjoy the meal without a lot of work beforehand. We've included time-saving, easy recipes for appetizers, main dishes, sides, desserts, and even a couple of festive holiday cocktails to enjoy.
Just choose your favorites from this round-up of the easiest-ever holiday recipes to create the ultimate Christmas dinner menu that's not only delicious but will earn you plenty of compliments as a fabulous host or hostess.
So whether you're a beginner cook or have more experience under your belt and just don't want to spend too much time cooped up in the kitchen this holiday season, we've got you covered for your Christmas dinner menu with these simple, scrumptious, time-saving recipes.
01 of 24
Christmas Mule Recipe
Christmas dinner is a great time to have some fun with holiday cocktails. This festive cocktail brings the popular Christmas Mule recipe into the holiday season, with a warm, inviting, and comforting flavor that's ideal for any cold winter night. Best of all, it only takes two ingredients (plus a decorative cinnamon stick) to mix this cocktail, making it just about the easier beverage choice for any host or hostess—and one your guests will certainly appreciate when they come in from the chill.
02 of 24
Merry Christmas Cocktail Recipe
Merry Christmas to all! This refreshing tall drink is great for Christmas dinner and features one of the most classic flavors of the season—the juicy cranberry. The Merry Christmas cocktail is a simple gin cocktail that adults will enjoy, but you can also leave out the gin for a tasty, thirst-quenching non-alcoholic alternative.
03 of 24
Gingerbread Man-tini Recipe
Let grown-ups enjoy classic holiday gingerbread cookies in cocktail form at your Christmas dinner party. Our gingerbread man-tini drink is a whole lot easier than baking gingerbread cookies, with only four ingredients needed (and no baking, obviously). It's essentially a vodka martini, tweaked with seasonal gingerbread liqueur. Make it even easier by prepping the simple syrup up to three weeks ahead of holiday time, and storing it in the fridge.
04 of 24
Candy Cane Popcorn Recipe
While guests mingle with cocktails before they sit down to your festive feast, let them browse on candy cane popcorn. This Christmas-themed nibble is a true delight to munch on, and a cinch to prepare with three ingredients. Simply pop some microwave popcorn, then use your microwave again to melt white chocolate chips, for mixing with crushed candy canes, and pouring over the popped corn. Leave on a baking sheet to cool and set, before breaking into pieces, and transferring to serving bowls. You can serve it right away, or store it in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. It makes a great edible holiday gift, too!Continue to 5 of 24 below.
05 of 24
Festive Party Cheese Ball With Pecans Recipe
For many families, the party cheese ball is a holiday must-have. Our festive cheese ball appetizer is incredibly easy to make, with just a few simple ingredients. It brims with rich and cheesy flavor, and your guests will love its deliciously creamy texture, and the chopped pecan coating that adds a fantastic, contrasting crunch.
06 of 24
Quick and Easy Shrimp Dip Recipe
Creamy, cool shrimp dip is a popular holiday appetizer. Our flavorful version is a breeze to whip up, using canned small shrimp, Italian dressing mix, cream cheese, sour cream, and simple seasonings. Feel free to tweak it to taste with a few dashes of hot sauce, some chopped nuts, or chopped chives for extra color and texture. Serve with crackers or raw vegetable sticks for dipping.
07 of 24
Bisquick Sausage Balls Recipe
Bisquick sausage balls loaded with herbs, and cream cheese are an easy, hearty finger food appetizer for any Christmas dinner party. They mix up in less than 5 minutes, and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. You can also make them days ahead of time, for freezing in airtight bags. Then bake them off when you need a quick appetizer to hold off your guests' hunger until the holiday meal is served.
08 of 24
Pear and Greens Salad Recipe
Start your Christmas dinner with this elegant-looking salad that you can put together in a snap. This simple pear and greens salad includes tender fresh greens with juicy sliced pears, crumbled blue cheese, and chopped walnuts for a sweet-meets-savory flavor combination that's nothing short of delicious. To make it even easier, skip toasting the walnuts and use your favorite store-bought vinaigrette dressing, instead of making one from scratch. (We won't tell your guests if you don't!)Continue to 9 of 24 below.
09 of 24
No Yeast Dinner RollS Recipe
Imagine how impressed your Christmas dinner guests will be when you emerge from the kitchen with piping hot, homemade dinner rolls. There is no need to reveal how easily you pulled off this culinary feat, with our four-ingredient, no-yeast dinner roll recipe. The secret is self-rising flour, which dramatically slashes the prep time for dinner rolls, by omitting the need to rise and rest the dough. You can whip up fluffy rolls in less than 20 minutes.
10 of 24
Make-Ahead Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes Recipe
Make Christmas dinner easier on yourself by cooking the holiday mash ahead of time, so you can focus on guests, instead of fretting over spuds. Our make-ahead slow cooker mashed potatoes are not only rich, creamy, and super-easy to make, they can be refrigerated for up to three days, for reheating on Christmas day. Just prep them by boiling cut-up potatoes and mashing them with a few easy ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. Then store them in your fridge in an ovenproof baking dish, and reheat up to a few hours ahead, keeping them warm in the crock pot, on Christmas Day.
11 of 24
Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash, and Cranberries Recipe
A sheet pan is your shortcut to a gorgeous, holiday-worthy vegetable side. You can cut up the butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, and onion in the morning, storing in the fridge in airtight containers, for arranging on a baking sheet later, with toasted pecans and cranberries. It is a healthy and delicious dish that will add a special touch to your holiday feast.
12 of 24
Crock Pot Caramel Glazed Sweet Potatoes Recipe
Free up stovetop and oven space at holiday time with a sweet potato side dish that cooks all day in the crock pot, while you take care of other things. These sweet potatoes are sliced and cooked with brown sugar and cinnamon, and develop a caramel-like glaze as they cook, for a mouth-watering side that will fill your kitchen with fantastic aromas.Continue to 13 of 24 below.
13 of 24
Easy Turkey Gravy Recipe
If you're cooking a holiday turkey, use the pan drippings to make this easy turkey gravy. It's a snap to prepare on the stovetop with just a handful of basic ingredients, and creates a smooth, savory, thick gravy that will taste delicious drizzled over turkey meat, mashed potatoes, and roasted vegetables.
14 of 24
Easy Garlic Green Beans Recipe
Garlicky green beans go beautifully with meat or turkey main dishes, making them a great choice for Christmas dinner. Our trusty, impossibly easy green beans with garlic are a snap to prepare. Just steam or boil the beans for a few minutes (feel free to use the microwave) until they turn bright green, and then toss them into a pan briefly with some butter and garlic. In a few minutes, you get a colorful and nutritious accompaniment to your holiday main course.
15 of 24
Easy Broccoli Cornbread Recipe
Mississippi-style broccoli cornbread is a great addition to any down-home Christmas dinner. It's crazy-easy to make with a Jiffy corn muffin mix, thawed and drained frozen broccoli, and just four other simple ingredients. Best of all for the holidays, you can bake it ahead, and store it in the fridge well-covered for up to one week. Your guests will love the ultra-moist, delicious crumb. Feel free to tweak it with added cheddar cheese, or cooked and crumbled bacon.
16 of 24
Instant Pot Stuffing Recipe
Stuffing (or dressing, if you're from the South) is definitely a "want to have" item, versus a "need to have." But if you're cooking a whole turkey or holiday ham, and want to serve it with all the trimmings, our easy Instant Pot stuffing won't stress you out. It cooks quickly in the appliance, leaving your oven free for other dishes, and makes an excellent holiday side dish. To cut the cooking time even further, dry the bread cubes a day or two in advance, and use store-bought chicken stock. You can also toss in dried cranberries or chopped apples to make it even sweeter and festive.Continue to 17 of 24 below.
17 of 24
Roasted Maple and Orange-Glazed Turkey Recipe
Have you always been intimidated by the idea of roasting a whole turkey for guests? Here's what most chefs won't tell you—it's actually incredibly easy to make a moist, juicy and tasty turkey in your oven, without a whole lot of time spent fussing in the kitchen. This easy whole turkey recipe uses a simple orange and maple glaze to highlight the mild taste of turkey, and surrounds it with vegetables that you can serve as an instant side dish. It all bakes together in a few hours in your oven, for a stunning holiday main. Want to make your life even easier? Give someone at the table the "honor" of carving the bird—they'll be glad to pitch in, and you can sit back and enjoy the kudos you'll get as the chef.
18 of 24
Instant Pot Baked Ham Recipe
When you're short on time (and oven space), and need to fix a big Christmas dinner for guests, our Instant Pot baked ham with fruit practically prepares itself. It starts with a fully cooked, bone-in ham (when shopping, look for one labeled "ready to eat" or "ready to serve"). Just pop it into the pot with some canned crushed pineapple, brown sugar, honey or maple syrup, and an optional splash of bourbon, for a luscious, glazed holiday ham that comes out ready to slice and eat.
19 of 24
Roast Lamb With Root Vegetables Recipe
If you enjoy lamb stew, you'll love how we've taken all of its wonderful flavors and aromas, and turned them into an impressive holiday main. Instead of cutting the lamb into chunks and cooking it in a pot with broth and vegetables, the lamb is left whole and roasted in the oven along with seasonings and root vegetables. The result is a savory, meaty roast that comes out crispy on the outside and tender and succulent on the inside, plus already-cooked vegetables to serve alongside it.
20 of 24
Herb and Spice Beef Tenderloin Roast Recipe
Roast beef tenderloin seasoned with a wonderful array of dried herbs, spices, and Dijon mustard is a true show-stopper. This pricey cut of meat is buttery and tender when cooked medium-rare to medium, and doesn't take a lot of fussing to come out perfectly. The spice rub is a cinch to assemble with ingredients you likely stock in your pantry already, and the beef takes practically no time to prepare for the oven and cooks hands-free. Keep a meat thermometer on hand for checking its doneness, and serve with your choice of holiday sides.Continue to 21 of 24 below.
21 of 24
Simple Orange Glazed Pork Roast Recipe
Pork roast makes a flavorful holiday entree that smells wonderful while it's cooking in your oven. You'll earn kudos from guests with this uncomplicated orange-glazed pork roast that is tasty, tender, and crazy-easy to make with only four ingredients, plus salt and pepper. Serve it as the Christmas main alongside mashed potatoes and your family's favorite veggies.
22 of 24
10-Minute Roasted Asparagus Recipe
Roasting asparagus brings out all the best flavors of this vegetable and is unbelievably easy to do. This quick and simple 10-minute roasted asparagus recipe is truly delicious. Just dress asparagus spears with some olive oil and salt before popping into the oven for a quick bake before serving.
23 of 24
Easy Baked Apple Crisp Recipe
Wrap up your Christmas supper with our scrumptious and stress-free apple crisp dessert. The medley of sliced apples, aromatic spices, and a crispy crumble topping is always a crowd pleaser, and is one of the easiest desserts you could possibly make. Best of all, it can be baked and refrigerated the day before, to be reheated when you want to eat it.
24 of 24
Easy Sugar Cookies Recipe
Chewy, buttery, tender sugar cookies are a Christmastime favorite, especially among children. Get kids to help you make the easy cookie dough with just a few ingredients, and roll it into balls before you pop them into the oven. You can also do the baking up to a month ahead, and flash-freeze the cookies on baking sheets, for storing in the freezer in airtight bags. After the holiday meal, present the thawed cookies along with a few tubes of icing and lots of sprinkles, and let your guests (young or old) decorate them for a fun activity.