ARTICLE / RECIPE ROUNDUP

31 Christmas Dinner Ideas For The Perfect Christmas Menu

After the morning mayhem of gifts and coffee cake (and perhaps a mid-afternoon nap), there's just one more present left to open: Christmas dinner. To make sure the last gift of the day is one to remember, here's 31 of our favorite holiday dinner recipes.

For food-loving families across the globe, there's nothing like coming together around the table for a Christmas feast. Once you've snacked on your favorite appetizers, these recipes will make sure no one is left hungry. If anyone has room left, finish off your meal with one of these dazzling Christmas desserts or a plate of your favorite Christmas cookies. Then, when all is said and done (and eaten), go ahead and take that long winter's nap.

Meaty Mains

Easy Beef Wellington with Mushroom & Jamón

Beef Wellington is an English classic that never fails to impress. A beef tenderloin is coated with a chopped mushroom mixture before being wrapped in puff pastry to create a savory masterpiece.

Easy Beef Wellington with Mushroom & Jamón

Easy Beef Wellington with Mushroom & Jamón by Happy Foods Tube

Pancetta-Wrapped Roast Turkey Breast (Turketta)

Based on the classic Italian dish porchetta (a roast pork), this roast turkey gets wrapped in Italian bacon and stuffed with smoked mozzarella, fennel, and sage.

Pancetta-Wrapped Roast Turkey Breast (Turketta)

Pancetta-Wrapped Roast Turkey Breast (Turketta) by Saveur

Roasted Cornish Hens With Cherry-Bourbon Glaze

Good things come in small Christmas packages, right? That's certainly true for these Cornish game hens, which are a great option for an intimate dinner. While they're as easy to make as a roast chicken, having a whole bird for each guest feels decidedly decadent.

Roasted Cornish Hens With Cherry-Bourbon Glaze

Roasted Cornish Hens With Cherry-Bourbon Glaze by Grab A Plate

Apricot-Glazed Ham

Apricot juice, brown sugar, and cloves meld in a sweet spiced glaze on this ham that can feed up to 20 people. This recipe is as simple as they come.

Apricot-Glazed Ham

Apricot-Glazed Ham by Pork

Herb Butter Roasted Turkey

Turkey isn't just for Thanksgiving; in fact, a roast turkey is traditional Christmas fare in many countries outside of the United States. And why not? This herb-butter roasted turkey tastes great, feeds a crowd, and brings a festive, bountiful look to your meal.

Herb Butter Roasted Turkey

Herb Butter Roasted Turkey by A Cedar Spoon

Cranberry Apple Stuffed Pork Loin

A pork roast makes an elegant centerpiece without the expense of a large roast beef. No need to make a stuffing on the side; this recipe is filled with a cranberry-apple stuffing for a fitting winter meal.

Cranberry Apple Stuffed Pork Loin

Cranberry Apple Stuffed Pork Loin by Simply Recipes

Pistachio Crusted Rack of Lamb

A frenched rack of lamb makes a gorgeous winter display when decked out on a platter with pomegranates and chestnuts. The individual chops melt in your mouth for the ultimate Christmas treat.

Pistachio Crusted Rack of Lamb

Pistachio Crusted Rack of Lamb by What’s Gaby Cooking

Balsamic Braised Lamb Shanks

This cozy preparation of lamb shanks brings the comforting warmth of the hearth with every bite, and the lamb literally falls off the bone. Be sure to get a nice thick balsamic vinegar for this one.

Balsamic Braised Lamb Shanks

Balsamic Braised Lamb Shanks by Diethood

Perfect Garlic Prime Rib

You just can't go wrong with a prime rib for all the meat-eaters in your life. Dramatic, tender, and easy to cook, it's the perfect Christmas main dish. For more on how to cook roast beef, as well as recipes for beef tenderloin, standing rib roast, eye of round roast, and top of round roast, be sure to check out our article How To Cook A Perfect Roast Beef.

Perfect Garlic Prime Rib

Perfect Garlic Prime Rib by Dinner Then Dessert

Stout-Braised Short Ribs with Soy and Honey

Rich flavors of beer, soy, and beefy short ribs meld for hours in a dutch oven to create this decadent dish. Serve with polenta or mashed potatoes to soak up the flavorful sauce.

Stout-Braised Short Ribs with Soy and Honey

Stout-Braised Short Ribs with Soy and Honey by Big Girls Small Kitchen

Pasta, Grains, And Veggie Mains

Skinny Mushroom Spinach Lasagna

Lasagna is a tradition at many holiday meals ... and with good reason! This spinach version sports Christmas colors, feeds 12 people, and is easy on both your waistline and your wallet. The Cheesy Savory Monkey Bread in this recipe roundup would be a great pairing as well.

Skinny Mushroom Spinach Lasagna

Skinny Mushroom Spinach Lasagna BY Little Spice Jar

Creamy Vegan Mushroom Risotto

A risotto is fancy and comforting all at once. This vegan version with white wine and mushrooms will please everyone around your table.

Creamy Vegan Mushroom Risotto

Creamy Vegan Mushroom Risotto by The Foodie Takes Flight

Mushroom Gnocchi with Arugula and Walnut Pesto

While gnocchi are made from potatoes, they typically also include flour to bind the dumplings together, so be sure to buy a gluten-free brand if you're trying to accommodate any celiac diets (or make your own if you're feeling ambitious!).

Mushroom Gnocchi with Arugula and Walnut Pesto

Mushroom Gnocchi with Arugula and Walnut Pesto by Pinch Of Yum

Butternut Squash, Cranberry, Maple Tempeh Holiday Brown Rice Bowl

This healthy seasonal dish is bursting with flavors (and cranberries). Hearty enough for a main and delightful as a side, this vegan dish fits right in at the Christmas table.

Butternut Squash, Cranberry, Maple Tempeh Holiday Brown Rice Bowl

Butternut Squash, Cranberry, Maple Tempeh Holiday Brown Rice Bowl by Healthy Happy Life

Mushroom And Ricotta Galette

A stunning meatless main dish, the mushroom and ricotta galette is made with a flaky rough puff pastry and Gruyere, a rich swiss cheese.

Mushroom And Ricotta Galette

Mushroom And Ricotta Galette by Gourmet Traveler

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Whipped Goat Cheese

If you want a dramatic vegetarian centerpiece, this recipe will certainly do the trick. While veggie-based, it's decadent with dairy: the sauce features cream cheese, heavy cream, feta, and goat cheese. To serve, slice the cauliflower into steaks and top with the whipped cheese.

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Whipped Goat Cheese

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Whipped Goat Cheese by Bon Appetit

Pasta Cake

Once again, we prove that pasta can be anything but ordinary. Flecked with roasted red pepper and spinach, this pasta cake is sure to let all your guests know that this is a special meal.

Pasta Cake

Pasta Cake by Martha Stewart

Cavolo Nero and Cranberry Christmas Nut Roast

If you want a meatless main that embodies Christmas Day, look no further than this nut roast. Made with Cavolo Nero (an Italian kale variety), walnuts, and cranberries, this roast has all the flavors and colors of the season.

Cavolo Nero and Cranberry Christmas Nut Roast

Cavolo Nero and Cranberry Christmas Nut Roast by Foodie Quine

Nutty Wild Rice and Shredded Brussels Sprout Stuffed Mini Pumpkins

Those mini pumpkins aren't just for decoration although they will add a festive flair to your table. Even better, they can be prepared up to four days in advance so all you have to do on Christmas Day is pop them in the oven for 10-20 minutes to bake.

Nutty Wild Rice and Shredded Brussels Sprout Stuffed Mini Pumpkins

Nutty Wild Rice and Shredded Brussels Sprout Stuffed Mini Pumpkins by Half Baked Harvest

Savory Sides

Cheesy Root Vegetable Gratin

You can't help but eat this beautiful dish with your eyes. Luckily, you can also put it on your plate, where you get to eat the beets, parsnips, sweet potatoes, and Gruyere the old-fashioned way.

Cheesy Root Vegetable Gratin

Cheesy Root Vegetable Gratin by Spoon Fork Bacon

Green Beans with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette & Parmesan Breadcrumbs

Verdant green beans are always a welcome, cheery sight on a winter table. Meyer lemon zest adds a delicate tang and livens up the crunchy dusting of parmesan breadcrumbs.

Green Beans with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette & Parmesan Breadcrumbs

Green Beans with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette & Parmesan Breadcrumbs by Fine Cooking

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Reduction & Cranberries

A sumptuously sweet balsamic vinegar reduction highlights this red and green holiday dish. A far cry from bland boiled balls, these may just be the best brussels sprouts you've ever tasted.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Reduction & Cranberries

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Reduction & Cranberries by Platings And Parings

Boursin Mashed Potatoes

Did you know you can make your own homemade Boursin out of cream cheese and herbs? There's no reason not to just buy it, but if you can't find it in your supermarket, you'll still be able to make these creamy, flavorful mashed potatoes.

Boursin Mashed Potatoes

Boursin Mashed Potatoes by Plain Chicken

Potatoes au Gratin

This potato gratin is topped with Manchego cheese for a sophisticated take on the traditional gratin and an extra touch of elegance.

Potatoes au Gratin

Potatoes au Gratin by El Invitado De Invierno

Pan-Roasted Romanesco with Golden Raisins, Tahini & Sumac

This pretty dish brings some exciting new flavors to your meal. Romanesco, a cruciferous vegetable that tastes like a cross between cauliflower and broccoli, is seasoned with lemony sumac and a creamy tahini sauce, accented with sweet bites of golden raisins. This is a dish that's sure to be noticed.

Pan-Roasted Romanesco with Golden Raisins, Tahini & Sumac

Pan-Roasted Romanesco with Golden Raisins, Tahini & Sumac by House And Home

Maple Roasted Carrots in Tahini Sauce with Pomegranate and Pistachios

Pomegranates and pistachios bring the colors of Christmas to your holiday table in these maple-syrup kissed carrots. Miso paste adds a depth of flavor that makes this dish a real stunner.

Maple Roasted Carrots in Tahini Sauce with Pomegranate and Pistachios

Maple Roasted Carrots in Tahini Sauce with Pomegranate and Pistachios by Closet Cooking

Easy Mediterranean Orange Pomegranate Salad

The light and bright flavors of a citrus salad are always a welcome contrast to hearty roasts and heavy casseroles. Take advantage of in-season oranges for this easy and colorful addition to your Christmas menu.

Easy Mediterranean Orange Pomegranate Salad

Easy Mediterranean Orange Pomegranate Salad by The Mediterranean Dish

The Ultimate Stuffed Artichoke

White wine and Italian seasonings are the perfect accents for these elegant breadcrumb-studded beauties. Lovely to look at and tasty to eat, stuffed artichokes make any meal a little more special.

The Ultimate Stuffed Artichoke

The Ultimate Stuffed Artichoke by Cooking On The Weekends

Don't Forget the Bread!

Milk Bread

This Japanese bread is soft and light with the barest hint of sweetness on the top. Perfect for sopping up juices from a roast, with butter, or eaten just as is, one thing is certain these rolls won't stick around for long.

Milk Bread

Milk Bread by The Woks Of Life

Cheesy Savory Monkey Bread

Monkey bread is fun to make, fun to grab, and fun to eat! Made in a tube pan, this cheesy version looks impressive while bringing your family together as everyone pulls hunks off the communal loaf.

Cheesy Savory Monkey Bread

Cheesy Savory Monkey Bread By Macheesmo

A Little Gift For You

Pomegranate Ginger Paloma

At the end of all that cooking, even Santa's star elf wants to kick back with a treat! Pomegranate, ginger syrup, grapefruit, and mint bring Christmas cheer to this tequila-based cocktail. This festive-looking drink is great without the alcohol as well, so prepare it however you like.

Pomegranate Ginger Paloma