If you are wanting the perfect Christmas meal, then look no further than our Christmas Recipes! Everything from Appetizers, Soups, Salads, Main Dishes, Sides, Rolls to Desserts, we have the recipes you need to build your perfect Christmas menu and the pro tips so that you get it done in style without the stress!
Christmas Meal Tips
Whether you are a first timer or a pro, review our tips so that you are ready to go on Christmas Day!
Planning in Advance of Christmas
Who is coming for dinner? Whether you are sending out formal invites or calling and texting your family and friends, make sure you know how many adults and kids are coming so you can plan you menu accordingly.
Plan your menu: Plan your menu in advance and choose the Christmas Recipes you will make. Here are some tips to help you plan your menu.
If you are unsure where to start, we recommend planning one or two appetizers, one or two main dishes, one potato dish, one or two vegetable dishes, rolls and a few desserts. If you are hosting a large group, then you can add more appetizers, more sides and consider adding a soup or salad. Also plan out your drink offerings, from water, coffee, tea, juices, soft drinks, to wine and cocktails. Here are our specific suggestions per course:
When choosing appetizers, we like to have a mix of healthy and comfort food options, so we always include a raw veggie tray and ranch dressing as a healthy option. You will want to have enough appetizers for each person to get about 3-5 bite-sized servings. We recommend making 2 different appetizers for up to 10 people, and then adding another appetizer dish for each additional 5-10 guests.
Soup and Salads
As your guest list grows, consider adding a soup or a salad or both. Since much of Christmas dishes are heavy, having a light salad is a great addition to your menu.
While turkey is the star of the show, and ham is the best supporting main dish, you can also have roasted chicken or pot roast as a main dish.
Plan for at least two or three desserts, so everyone can sample multiple desserts and get a belly full of sweetness.
Say Yes: When your guests ask if they can bring anything. If they ask what they can bring, then give them an assignment from your menu or have them bring a special dish that they love to share for Christmas. For your non-cook friends who offer to help, ask them to bring drinks, including wine or a cocktail to share, a store-bought dish or even flowers for the table.
Plan your Main Dishes: Plan the main dishes you will serve and how much of each you will need. Go ahead and buy these in advance. If turkey is your main dish for Christmas, then plan on about 1.25 lbs. of turkey for each guest. If you are also serving ham, then you can lower the amount of turkey for each person. If you are serving turkey, consider making some turkey gravy and cranberry sauce.
Test New Recipes: If you are feeling a little nervous about certain items you have on your menu, give them a test run and see how it goes, so that your Christmas is a little less stressful.
Stock your Pantry in Advance: Make sure that you buy what you need for Christmas dinner a couple of weeks in advance for non-perishable items, as some of them will be sold out in your local grocery store a day or two before Christmas. Don’t forget these items that are often forgotten for Christmas: cranberries, spices you will need for your recipes, napkins, and beverages.
A Few Days Before Christmas
Finish Shopping for Christmas: Now is the time to get your fresh produce for your Christmas menu including, potatoes, salad greens, fresh veggies, and fruit. Do you need more ice? If so, add that to your list.
Make More Ice: Another option instead of buying ice is to make more ice in your freezer and store it in your freezer in advance of Christmas.
Prepare the Pie Crusts: If you are making homemade pies – which you should – then make the pie crusts in advance and wrap the dough in plastic wrap and keep it in your fridge for a few days.
Defrost the Turkey: If you have purchased a frozen turkey, then defrost it in your refrigerator up to three days in advance of cooking it so it is ready to go on Christmas.
Make a Plan, Cooking Schedule and Checklist for Christmas: Don’t wait, it gets so busy the day before Christmas to get a plan, cooking timeline and checklist made. Make sure you know what Christmas Recipes you are cooking, what others are bringing. Think through cooking times for each item and how you will use your stovetop, oven, microwave, slow cooker, etc. to get each dish cooked and ready to go by your desired mealtime. It really helps to create a cooking schedule that you can use on Christmas. For example, if your dinner is at 2pm, then your schedule might include putting the turkey in a 10am to give it 3.5 hours to cook and 30 minutes to carve it to have it ready by 2pm. Bake the potato and green bean casseroles at 12:30pm, so they are out at 1:30pm, so you can keep them warm and then bake the rolls from 1:45pm to 2pm. When creating your schedule, it helps to overestimate the time you will need to get everything done so that you can handle any unexpected challenges on Christmas Day.
The Day Before Christmas
Bake the Desserts: This is an easy win to lower the amount of work on Christmas by baking your desserts the day before. If you are including some cookies or candy, a little test sampling for extra energy is highly advised!
Prepare the Sides for Baking Tomorrow: If there is any prep work you can do in advance for side dishes, do that today. Cut any vegetables in advance so that you don’t have to do that work on the big day.
Make or Prepare the Appetizers: Many appetizers can be made in advance and if needed, heated up on Christmas.
Set the Table(s): Save time on Christmas by setting the dinnerware, silverware, and stemware the day before. Make sure you have room for all the serving dishes you are planning. It helps to set out all the serving dishes on the table in advance and label them with each dish. Don’t forget a dish for the rolls! If you have a kids table, make it fun with the decorations and paper tablecloth if you want.
Chill the Beverages: Make sure any wine, champagne, or other adult beverages are chilled and ready to go, but also chill any juices and soft drinks so that you don’t have to use so much ice.
Setup a Self-Serve Beverage Station: You will be busy enough on Christmas Day, so save some time, by allowing your guests to serve themselves the beverage of their choice. Make sure you have plenty of ice available for them.
Make the Day Before into a Party: Don’t go it alone on the day before Christmas! Invite a few friends and/or a few family members over the night before to bake the pies and desserts, prepare the sides for cooking tomorrow and set the table. Many hands make light work. You can even order and enjoy some delivered pizza for a job well done, because let’s be honest, you’ve done enough cooking at this point.
It is the big day, so make it an awesome experience for you and your guests!
Fuel Up: Take some time for yourself to fuel up with breakfast and coffee to get energized for the day!
Review the Plan and Checklist: Take some time after breakfast to review your plan and checklist and make sure you know when every Christmas Recipe that you are cooking goes into the slow cooker, onto the stovetop, in the microwave and in the oven. Set timers and alarms to keep yourself on track.
Get the Slow Cooker Going: Get the slow cooker recipe(s) going early so they will be ready on time.
Start Cooking the Turkey: Most turkeys take several hours to cook, so keep to your plan and get the turkey in the oven on time. It can take 3-4 hours to cook a 15 lb. turkey, so get it going early as well.
Time for the Side Dishes: Now is the time to start working on the side dishes, like the stuffing or mashed potatoes, etc. If they are ready ahead of time, then keep them warm in the oven, warming tray or a slow cooker.
Start the Instant Pot: If you have some recipes that cook fast in the Instant Pot, then get them going now to be ready on time.
Appetizer Time: Now work to get your appetizers ready. Hopefully, it is just setting them out for your hungry crowd or warming them up if needed first.
Don’t forget the Rolls: Last, but not least, when everything is about ready, put the rolls in the oven to get them done when everything else is done.
Final Details: Carve the turkey in the kitchen not at the table to have more room and not make a mess on the table, serve the wine, make sure all the dishes are on the table with the proper serving utensils and ready to go. Then, relax and enjoy the time with your guests!
Say Yes to Help Cleaning Up and Doing the Dishes: Again, if your family and friends ask to help, say yes to them. We have had some of our best times working side by side with friends and family and keeping the conversation going.
Here are some of our favorite recipes to fuel up for the big day!
Breakfast1 Hour Cinnamon Rolls Recipe
You won't believe how light and fluffy these 1 hour cinnamon rolls are! They're quick, easy and incredibly delicious!
These Christmas Appetizers will help keep your crowd pleased while you are putting the final preparations together for your Christmas meal. For more ideas, here is our complete list of Christmas Appetizers.
AppetizerSmoked Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball Recipe
This smoked bacon ranch cheese ball is a great party appetizer! It's creamy, cheesy and loaded with tons of flavor!
Christmas salads bring some additional flavor to your Christmas Day Menu. Consider adding one of these delicious fall salads to your feast! For more Christmas Salad recipes, here is our complete list of Christmas Salads.
Salad, Side DishPea Salad Recipe
This Pea Salad recipe is packed with peas, cheese, bacon, onions, all coated in a creamy mayo and vinegar dressing.
Salads & SidesCranberry Apple Pecan Kale Salad Recipe
I know kale gets a bad rap, but I promise this salad will have the biggest kale haters swooning over it! It’s topped with chunks of apple, candied pecans, dried cranberries, and my favorite part – bacon!
Whether you are a traditional Christmas Turkey and Ham kind of person, or if you enjoy a pot roast, roast pork or roasted chicken, we have the Christmas Main Dish recipes for you! For more ideas, here is our complete list of Christmas Main Dishes.
Main CourseOven Roasted Turkey Recipe
A moist and flavorful oven roasted turkey is so incredibly delicious! Just a few steps and key ingredients will create a beautiful and delectable bird.
Besides the desserts, Christmas is ALL about the side dishes and providing a variety for your group! We have everything from the classics to something new! For more ideas, here is our complete list of Christmas Side Dishes.
Dips, Dressings & SaucesTurkey Gravy Recipe
This Turkey Gravy Is One Of The Easiest, Yet Yummiest Recipe Around! It Can Be Made From Your Turkey Drippings Or From Chicken Broth, Which Makes It A Great Gravy For Not Only Thanksgiving Dinner, But Any Time Of Year!
Our Classic, Buttery And Herb Topped Bread Stuffing Is Delicious And Is The Favorite Of Many Thanksgiving Connoisseurs. This Instant Pot Stuffing Is Quick And Easy And Will Help Free Up The Much-Needed Oven Space!
Au Gratin Potatoes Are Thinly Sliced Potatoes, Covered In A Creamy Cheese Sauce And Then Topped With More Cheese And Baked In The Oven Until They Are Soft With A Crispy, Cheesy Crust! It’s The Perfect Side Dish For A Holiday Meal Or Really Any Meal For That Matter!
Homemade rolls hot out of the oven are a holiday must! Choose from these delicious recipes to have hot rolls that will soak up the butter and make your guests smile. For more ideas, here is our complete list of Christmas Breads.
Bread1 Hour Dinner Rolls Recipe
Warm buttery 1 Hour Dinner Rolls from scratch. These 1 hour soft & fluffy dinner rolls are so easy to make they're sure to become a family favorite!
What is Christmas without desserts? We have so many great dessert recipes, we had to categorize them into sections! So, have some fun and pick a few Christmas dessert recipes from the categories below. For more ideas, here is our complete list of Christmas Desserts.
Christmas is not complete without a pie or two. Choose from the many delicious options below.
DessertPerfect Coconut Cream Pie Recipe
This fool-proof perfect coconut cream pie made completely from scratch is cool and creamy with whipped cream and toasted coconut on top.
Pastries, Pies & TartsThe Best Cranberry Apple Crisp Recipe
This is the best cranberry apple crisp out there! It’s sweet, slightly tart, and has a hint of orange zest. Best served straight from the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Absolutely perfect for fall!