10 Classic French Christmas Recipes

Marron glace candied chestnuts recipe

The Spruce / Victoria Heydt

Even if you're not French, there's a good chance you're already preparing French-inspired dishes for your holiday meals. Gratins, soufflés, and carefully roasted meats frequently appear on tables around Christmastime and add a sophisticated touch to the festivities. Consider adding a few more French dishes to your Christmas menu—they're sure to wow your dinner guests.

  • 01 of 10

    Duck and Pork Terrine

    Duck and Pork Terrine

    Diana Miller / Getty Images 

    A terrine is a French pâté that is named after the dish it is cooked in. This elegant appetizer is made of duck, bacon, pork, aromatics, and spices that are carefully layered in a terrine and then baked in a water bath (bain-marie). Cut the terrine into slices and display on a platter with cornichons, Dijon mustard, and slices of baguette for a stylish start to Christmas dinner.

  • 02 of 10

    Brined Roast Goose With Orange Glaze

    Roast goose on a serving dish
    Karin Iden / Getty Images

    In many parts of France, you will find a roast goose on the holiday table instead of the turkey we are all familiar with. Roast goose is extraordinarily easy to prepare (there is no stuffing a goose since it will overcook) and makes a spectacular main course for guests. Just allow enough time to brine the bird in salt, spices, and sugar before roasting. A glaze of orange and wine adds flavors of duck à l'orange, giving this dish even more French flair.

  • 03 of 10

    Uncomplicated Boeuf Bourguignon

    Beef Bourguignon in a serving bowl

    Joff Lee / Getty Images

    This slow-cooked beef stew is the ultimate comfort food and will warm you up during the holidays. There are so many recipes out there for classic boeuf bourguignon or beef Burgundy; this traditional version has a long list of ingredients but is easy to prepare. The combination of beef, wine, vegetables, herbs, and spices makes for a delicious bowl to cozy up with over the days of Christmas.

  • 04 of 10

    Prime Rib Au Jus

    Au jus recipe

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

    Prime rib is a wonderful main dish to serve at Christmas dinner as it is not only delicious and impressive but quite easy to make. And when served with a traditional au jus, it will feel truly French. Once the beef has finished cooking, set aside, reserving the juices. Brown some aromatics, add the stock and the prime rib's cooking liquid, and simmer until reduced. Strain the gravy and serve alongside slices of the meat.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Classic French Gratin Dauphinois

    French Gratin Dauphinois

     The Spruce / Diana Mocanu

    The holidays are the ideal time to be a little decadent, and gratin dauphinois is a rich and creamy side dish that will complete the Christmas meal. This French recipe is layered with sliced potato, a creamy garlic sauce, and melty Gruyère cheese. It pairs perfectly with ham, duck, goose, or pork, as well as a greens side dish like haricots verts.

  • 06 of 10

    Easy Classic French Spinach Soufflé

    Easy Classic French Spinach Soufflé

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

    The beautiful presentation of this spinach soufflé makes it holiday-worthy, and the hint of green makes it especially fitting for Christmas (and is a clever way to sneak in a vegetable for the kids). The idea of making a perfectly puffed soufflé may be intimidating, but it is actually easier than you think. Just remember to carefully fold the egg whites into the batter, keeping the air bubbles intact.

  • 07 of 10

    French Almond Macarons

    almond macaron

     Getty Images / tenkende

    Celebrate the holiday season with a French sweet treat, the almond macaron. These are not the brightly colored disc sandwiches with tasty fillings. The almond macaron is a more humble biscuit that is easier to make and only requires a few ingredients. What results is an irresistible cookie with a crunchy exterior and chewy interior, perfect for filling the Christmas cookie jar.

  • 08 of 10

    Chocolate Bûche de Noël (Yule Log) Cake

    Chocolate Yule Log

     The Spruce

    First invented during the late 1800s by a French pastry chef, the yule log cake, or bûche de Noël, is now a popular holiday tradition. A Genoise cake is layered with buttercream and shaped into a log before decorating. Adorable meringue mushrooms are a classic addition.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Classic French Marrons Glacés (Candied Chestnuts)

    Marron glace candied chestnuts recipe

    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt

    Marrons glacés are a beloved holiday treat in France, and making them means you'll fill your entire house with a sweet aroma for Christmas. While candied chestnuts do take a few days to prepare, most of that is soaking time, and very little hands-on work is involved. Place each marron in a mini paper cup and arrange on a plate, and they will be the star of the holiday dessert table.

  • 10 of 10

    Chocolat Chaud

    Woman holding a mug of hot chocolate with melted marshmallows, mid section, close-up
    Annabelle Breakey / Getty Images

    Top off your holiday celebrations with homemade chocolat chaud. Made with melted chocolate, hot milk, and whipped cream, it certainly isn't your average hot chocolate recipe. Whether your holiday tradition involves playing in the snow, decorating the tree, or cuddling up by the fire, mugs of this French hot chocolate will bring a special touch to the festivities.